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Motormouth From Ipoh

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cameron Highlands - OK Tuck & Strawberry Park Resort

The previous visit to Cameron Highlands was some time in August 2008. Almost a year ago. What better way to release pent-up frustration (with life, work and everything else ...), & escape from the sweltering heat of the lowlands, than a getaway to the Highlands located about an hour from Ipoh?


For a comforting meal to warm the tummy, and appease that hunger pang. Don't you realise one gets hungry REAL quick at higher altitude?

Truthfully, the weather up in Cameron Highlands is far from the idyllic, chilly one from yesteryears. With rampant development, most hills and forests had been paved for plantations, various Valleys (flowers, veges, cactus), hotels/resorts, etc.



Beer Pork Ribs, Belacan Asparagus, Stir-Fried Mixed Mushrooms, and Crispy Roasted Chicken (Kam Heong Chicken)

Arriving at lunch hour, after a tedious drive up the hills, our tummies were growling (no thanks to the spiralling ascend + early breakfasts!) and screaming to be fed.

From Simpang Pulai way, you'll reach the towns of Tringkap, then Brinchang. Since for the 2 previous visits have been T Cafe all the way, we decided to stop at Brinchang before reaching Tanah Rata for lunch.



Little Wok Beancurd with Mixed Vegetables

OK Tuck is more or a less a household name in Cameron Highlands. Serving delectable steamboat sets for lunch and dinner, they can literally whip up a storm with their 'dai chow' dishes as well.

We ordered 5 dishes to be shared amongst 3 of us. A little gluttony at work, but what the heck. We're not keeping our fingers crossed in anticipation of GREAT hotel food anyway. (Which, surprisingly, made me ate my words, as the food at our hotel was beyond our expectation).

The Pork Ribs with Beer tasted almost generic, as with most dishes cooked with beer, stout, or marmite. Sweet-ish, glistening outer coat, with dense meat in the centre. Worth complimenting were the Little Wok Beancurd (at least I think that's what it's called), with lots of greens thrown in for good measure, the gravy was perfect to drench the white rice. Kam Heong Chicken was also commendable, but suffered the harrowing fate of over-generosity in seasoning on behalf of the cook, rendering the dish saltier than desired.



OK Tuck @ 26, Jalan Besar Brinchang, 39100 Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
Tel No : OK Tuck (the boss, of course) - 019-647 7757, or Ling - 012-46105126.

The meal came to Rm56.40 for the three of us. Reasonable, given the location and dishes served. But bear in mind these were small portions. Rather easy to find this restaurant in Brinchang, as coming from Simpang Pulai's directions, you'll see this restaurant on your left, in Brinchang town. You'll know you've reached Brinchang town when tall buildings (and civilization) surround you!




Strawberry Park Resort @ Cameron Highlands - Equipped with an indoor pool, and comfortable rooms with cool, crisp air

Accomodation for the 3 days? The charming Strawberry Park Resort located on a hill (really isolated from the towns) between Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Locating this resort was a breeze, given the multiple signboards along the way. But to reach the resort is hidden from clear view, and one has to drive up the hills to reach this destination. The path is not as treacherous compared to the one leading to Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation.



A larger-than-life bathroom, with a bathtub in the midst, Rustic, wooden furnitures, and a Balcony with bougainvillea flowers

The neo-Tudor design of the resort depicts heavy influence from the British medieval era, preserved until this very day. The slightly off the beaten track location has its advantage as well, with a serene surrounding, cleaner/unpolluted air, and a generally more soothing and cooling environment.



The Lobby, The Bar, The Lounge and the Spa



To imagine a hearty breakfast overlooking the lush greeneries, with cool/fresh air .... Bliss?

All the meals were included in our package (we were attending a Seminar there, in case you're wondering), and served at Jim Thompson Terrace, the resort's in-house dining outlet.



Breakfast to jumpstart the Day



Fire a-blazing - Free show while tucking into one's meal @ Jim Thompson Terrace ....



BBQ Dinner on the Second Day - More Misses than Hits, sadly.


The Sweets to complete the Experience

An interesting note about the meals at Jim Thompson Terrace; They varied their selections from day to day. For instance, for the 1st day, we were served with a Thai-style dinner, with delicious choices such as green curry chicken, tom yam, tab tim krob (yup, that famous Thai dessert), and even sweetened pumpkin & sweet potatoes.

On the second night, we were treated to a feast of BBQ meats (satay, prawns on skewers, otak-otak) pasta cooked on-the-spot, grilled cuts of lamb/beef/chicken, etc. However, the BBQ dinner paled in comparison to the usual offerings, as the meats were not cooked to perfection, with some raw parts (oozing blood), while some overcooked. The pasta (fettucine or spaghetti, cooked with either tomato paste or creamy carbonara) was forgettable as well. Stick to their cooked items, I'd reckon.



The Perilous Journey for RM5 a pop. We were NOT sold.



The Flora & The Fauna

Our stay at Strawberry Park Resort was a thoroughly enjoyable one, the beds were clean and comfortable, carrying us deep into slumberland for both nights, while the food was generally tip-top, with us going overboard most of the times with the servings.

A strange phenomenon happened on the second evening though, when almost the entire Cameron Highlands was engulfed in darkness no thanks to a power trip. But a blackout atop the hills does not sound so bad, as we embraced the non-existence of technologies anyway. With such chilly weather (it rained on the second day), I was tempted to off all the lights and electrical equipments and declared Earth Hour there and then!

But of course, without the Hot Shower, I retracted my thoughts. :)



Still to come - The (Almost) Perfect High Tea .....

32 comments:

PureGlutton said...

CH is nice for a cool getaway. Can't remember when I was there last, though - too long already! Strawberry Park's not bad wor - shd stay there the next time! Nice food too.

Shell (貝殼) said...

Recently, the weather is very hot. Thinking of planning a trip to Cameron Highland or Genting~

foodbin said...

For morning breakfast,the various types of noodle served at Tuck Kee are passable

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your BBQ reminds me of the time when I was hospitalised thanks to the badly cooked BBQ food. Shudder.

The views are breathtaking. Sometimes, I realise that one doesn't need to travel far to experience beauty such as this.

J2Kfm said...

Pureglutton : the place was cool. in every sense of the word. though the rates are pretty hefty on the pocket!

Shell : yeah, Genting's on my mind as well. since travelling internationally may be out of the question.

foodbin : tried those noodles the previous visit.

LL : hospitalized?!! wow. that serious? undercooked meats? i bit into a piece of UNcooked fish, almost wanted to vomit.

ck lam said...

This post gives me the idea on where to spend my next holiday.

Nice way displaying your photos too :)

J2Kfm said...

ck lam : thanks, Cameron's a good choice, a getaway of sorts. if island getaways are not your thing.

JENCOOKS said...

Colleague just came back from Strawberry Hotel in Cameron Highland too. It was pure bliss with the cooler than hot air here. Like the pic with fiery shoot in the air, nicely done.

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I had a really bad experience with OK Tuck when I was in Cameron last year.

My family had the steamboat lunch, and halfway through, we saw a huge housefly floating in the soup! It was there from the very beginning. The owner insisted the boiling killed the germs, and didn't even apologize. First and last visit! o_0

thenomadGourmand said...

err..not a fan of the cold..but gimme tht breakfast anytime!!
aiyo, should hv taken tht Perilous Journey..hehe

J2Kfm said...

Jencooks : yeah, indeed a cool respite from the heat. very welcoming, wouldnt mind staying there for a week or more. the net connection there (wifi) DAMN expensive though. RM45 per day!

bangsar Babe : really?!!! they couldve apologized. this is utter rubbish of a joke. boiled the germs?!!

TNG : but its just behind the hotel, and not a very nice view. and a short walk across, not worth.

Selba said...

What a great resort! I really like the idea of having b'fast with the cool fresh air :)

SimpleGirl said...

yea....very crowded restaurant....remember our last trip to cameron..also saw the crowd there...but we end up having steamboat at a restaurant serving organic veg for steamboat

550ml jar of faith said...

Wah, your job really hotel seminar kuat kuat huh? But I wouldn't mind going to CH for work... the air instantly makes me feel more productive! :-)

jason said...

It's been a long time since I see a white hibiscus. :)

J2Kfm said...

Selba : true, breakfast was a delight, such cool, fresh air while eating your toasts and a hot cuppa tea.

Simple Girl : I think there are alot of steamboat restaurants up there. but more or less the same, to me at least.

550ml jar of faith : seminar nonstop, and worked weekends also. like a robot now. Transforming.

jason : me too. in fact, its been some time since I stopped and really looked at a flower. simple colours of life, neglected.

CUMI & CIKI said...

LOL. why would anyone pay 5bucks to hang on that rickety rope bridge.. i wouldnt even do it for free:P

blood on to food and some overcooked? sounds like some chef was sleeping hor?

I agree, camerons is not dusty, congested and expensive with everyone out to make a quick buck, even along the pasar malam street.
What to do.. tourism has spoilt the place..

worldwindows said...

Day trip or stay, CH is my favourite highland retreat. Anyway not many choices. Nice to bring older folks there during off peak. I won't miss the roti canai with local jams, the scones and home-made strawberry jams.

J2Kfm said...

Cumi & Ciki : the chef was clearly not in his element, i supposed. the lighting was rather dim, hence he may not be sure of the % the meat was cooked.

worldwindows : i'll go during offpeaks as well, we went from Sunday-Tuesday. the crowd was thin, and the jostle at the markets was lessen.

Life for Beginners said...

Me, I just love the name... OK TUCK! Hehehe...

cariso said...

SO envy you loh! staying at such nice place! Phew~~!!! How much per night by the way if normal rate?

J2Kfm said...

LFB : OK Tuck ... there was a TVB drama back then, with a character with that name. forgot which liao ...

cariso : normal the room should be about RM300 per night. with breakfast only. rather pricey.

mimid3vils said...

I saw Malay in ur 1st photo at OK Tuck, but u guys had pork ribs there....what happen ar? o.O''

kevin_chung said...

wow, nice resort, nice breakfast!!!
I don't even know that there's such a nice place,Strawberry Park Resort. I'll visit that place during holidays :)

Elin said...

Nice place and nice food ! And someone has a nice job too :P ;P

FoOd PaRaDiSe said...

Ah... thought of bringing my guest to Cameron last weekend but drop the idea. But intend to go back soon. ^-^

UnkaLeong said...

Looks like a trip to CH is long overdue ;)

backStreetGluttons said...

It is good that you have a ready & warm team able to bump, stretch , sit and burn through all those sights , sounds and tastes of the everbright colors, even if its not so cold as before. With this kinda uplifting spirit you can go anywhere ( 2 eat)!

Wilson Ng said...

Cameron Highland looks extra good here. Never been there for years already. The "fire" picture looks awesome....

fatboybakes said...

wah, how come your experience at strawberry park so good one ah? i think i stayed there, but with not the same good experience. must give it a try again. whats that perilous journey for RM5? looks quite fun.

Big Boys Oven said...

that indoor swimming pool look so awesome! so fun to swim!

ketikketok said...

Cuti-cuti for a unique Spa Therapies Vacation. Visit Mini Agro-Forestry Aromathrepy Village Cameron Highlands.