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Motormouth From Ipoh

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Men Lok Seafood @ Hutan Melintang, Perak

Hutan Melintang in Perak remains as a mystery to most. Not exactly a forest, although not without its fair share of palm oil plantations lining the trunk roads leading to Sabak Bernam and Bagan Datoh. A small town in the Hilir Perak district in southern Perak, this town had us keeping our fingers crossed, all the while scratching our heads and wondering; "How did Hutan Melintang got its name?!"

Men Lok Seafood Restaurant - A small gem amidst the quaint fishermen's village

Literally translated to 'Horizontal Forest', the moniker may sound unflattering at times, and makes an exceptionally worthy joke whenever someone's behaving like an ape; Throw him to Hutan Melintang ... and never be seen again .... Muahaha!!! (How I wish)

To get to this town, that connects Teluk Intan in Perak, and Sabak Bernam of Selangor, one must resort to trunk roads as no highways serve the route. Of course, you can't even travel on highway to Teluk Intan, although widely recognized as one of Perak's larger town (after Ipoh, Taiping and Seri Manjung).

Ginger Chicken

A reader of Motormouth From Ipoh once recommended Men Lok Seafood in Hutan Melintang, a Chinese seafood restaurant that has been operating for a good 30 years, situated right before the river banks of Sungai Bernam, lining the borders between Perak and Selangor.

Since work took us to Teluk Intan and Hutan Melintang today, we grabbed this opportunity and wondered over to Men Lok Seafood (Makanan Laut Men Lok in Malay), a humble one-storey shoplot on the main road, right before the road curves to the right, leading to Bagan Datoh.

Stir-fried Kailan with Salted Fish

Arriving a little before lunch hour, the place looked a tad deserted, with only a few tables seated with patrons. But do take note that after awhile, the capacity swelled to its fullest, and evidently, most customers this afternoon were not locals, judging from their outlook.

Of course, I spoke for ourselves as well; all decked in shirts and suits, and having lunch in a coffee shop-like ambience, which exudes a certain nostalgic charm & tells of its legacy throughout the years.

Claypot Grouper Fish Fillets with Spicy Sauce

Almost every table had a portion of either fish head, fish fillets, or even baby shark's meat served in claypot, a signature dish of Men Lok's. We chose the grouper (Sek Pan) fish fillets, which came in abundance in a claypot, cooked with some dry spicy sauce resembling 'sambal' but with a generous amount of caramelized onions, bird's eye chillies, and garlic, and probably curry paste. Though I find the dish a little dry on the whole, without sufficient gravy, the sambal went really well with the thick, succulent pieces of grouper.

Their signature Crispy fried mantis prawns and baby squids in a slight piquant sauce

But do remember to order the mantis prawns, or baby squids or a combination of both (which we had today) cooked in their Special method. Deep-fried mantis prawns and baby squids resulted in a very crunchy, almost snack-like dish, then lightly stir-fried with the sweet and spicy sauce, almost resembling 'Kung Pow' style.

"Don't be such a baby ...."

The chicken for the Ginger Chicken dish was filleted, a welcoming touch as I don't prefer my chicken with lots of bones. The dark & thick gravy belied its true flavour, which was punctuated with slight nuances of ginger slices and chopped scallions. The greens for the meal came in the form of stir-fried kailan with salted fish, a homely approach at best.


Don't write them off, yet.

The meal came to a reasonable RM58.50 for the four of us, including rice and Chinese tea. They serve various other seafood dishes as well, in the form of prawns, crabs, and such. But we held our horses this afternoon, not wanting to see someone's lips in an exaggerated, hyper-allergenic mode. ;)

Location : Men Lok Seafood Restaurant @ No 21, Main Road, Hutan Melintang, Perak.
Tel No : 605-6411484.
Opens daily from 12pm until 9pm. Closes on Fridays.

Here's a GOOGLE MAP of Men Lok Seafood.

And to burn off some calories, we went for a short, VERY short leisurely walk over to the banks of the river ....... about a stone's throw away. LOL. Wait, you can't expect us to stroll all over the place under the scorching sun now, can you?!

Pakcik in a fishing mode. He caught some prawns in a net soon after.


A fishery village in Hutan Melintang - We embraced the serene lives of the fishermen, really.



Sometimes, all we need in life is a moment of reflection.
(Selangor is on the other side of the banks)

34 comments:

reanaclaire said...

wow..Hutan Melintang ... all the way there... i have never been there before.. thanks for sharing the makan info here..

Elin said...

Gosh,that was cheap!RM58+ for those food! I want,I want too! * Sighing...someone sure blessed. Everyday aso good food..hmmm I jealous wei :p

hcpen said...

omg! I can manage to salivate every time i manage to see ur foodie photos..hahaha~~~i wanna eat the kailan with salted fish~~~boohoo..sobs..

J2Kfm said...

reanaclaire : it's for work, not play. :) so happened we were there today ...

elin : aiya, you cook your own ma ... lagi best, kan?

hcpen : of all the dishes, you want the kailan?!! oookkkay ....

Big Boys Oven said...

OMG! I just love those baby octopus!

mboy said...

Haik..I used to live in Diamond Bay for 1 year yet i hv nt been to Hutan Melintang before except passing thru Simpang Empat.. =P

J2Kfm said...

BBO : cute, cuddly, crunchy stuff, arent they?

mboy : erm, more or less liao. simpang empat also considered hutan melintang. but this restaurant a bit further down the crossroads.

Sean said...

this doesn't help solve the mystery, but hutan melintang has got one of the strangest wiki entries ever. u've gotta help clean this up! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutan_Melintang

New Kid on the Blog said...

wah, you really travel a lot lor

J said...

Poor little baby octopus! :(
(... but who asked them to be so delicious?)

J2Kfm said...

Sean : I have no idea about the origin of the name (sorry, was not there for the longest of time, you see). but the wikipedia entry had me wondering, who posted the folklore-like story?

NKOTB : in the nature of our work. lesser liao, compared to previous times.

J : yeah, but least they don't grow to be an adult, and then only die a cruel death. ;)

Selba said...

Great shots!

Interesting to learn the special method of the deep friend prawns & baby octopus :)

SimpleGirl said...

been there a few times to meet customer....but normally makan at teluk intan, never get the chance to enjoy the nice food there...seafood should b promising ya!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

thats a very cool hutan lor..got such decent cheap food around haha

J2Kfm said...

Selba : at 1st glance the dish looked unappetizing, almost too messy. but one bite on those squids/mantis prawns ... wow. crispy and yummy.

SimpleGirl : teluk intan which part? alwiz wondering where to eat in TI.

Sin Tai Lim said...

This fried mantis prawns and baby squids already making me hungry. I wish I can have for happy hour...

thule a.k.a leo said...

OK... November is the time where I will be driving all the way up North from KL :)
if got time, will drop by this place on the way.. those cheap seafood is simple divine my friend!
If I arrive in Ipoh... can be my tourguide ah???

worldwindows said...

Heard alot abt this place but have not been there. Beautiful shots of the fishing village.

GFAD said...

You will be a very handy companion for a food road trip! Can find any restaurants all over the place! :D

Good hearty Chinese food - that's what I miss the most. Small towns always seem to have the best dishes - unpretentious and always in generous portions. One of my fave places to eat is in Kundang. They serve the best claypot fish-yam stew!

BTW, the rest in Tg Malim is not a mamak. I think it was called Restoran Muhibbah. Mebbe they are not there anymore.

J2Kfm said...

Sin Tai Lim : to go with your liquor? hahaha ... still missing your baby squids and fried shrimps from Kuala Sepetang eh?

thule aka leo : eh for sure! hahha .. i wont come in handy though. :)

worldwindows : at least you've heard of this place before, unlike most of my friends who remained clueless and had vivid images of forest and wilderness at the sheer mention of the name!

GFAD : that dish sounds mighty homely. there's something strangely attractive about cooking in claypots. very earthy, and very authentic.
Muhibbah? I cant rmbr for the life of me, but there was this restaurant at the other end of Yik Mun.

foodbin said...

a "must try" place.

Wilson & Rachel said...

interesting place not to mention...

just a stone away from the river...

another good find! :)

thenomadGourmand said...

All the food tht i like!
Wonder if i can get a gang to go with me during the Raya hols...
How many hours if we r comin frm KL?

fcoe said...

hey!...UM and i went to this place early this year or last year if i've not mistaken.her friend's father's restaurant.enjoyed our lunch and we liked the environment..kinda muhibah since it's pork free.

D-Tourist said...

so when r u going to the newly opened Simpang Tiga @ Greentown? Waiting for ur review... :)

J2Kfm said...

foodbin : really? but given the far out location, would you? :)

Wilson : the river actually nothing much lah, a fishing village. rather relaxing looking at the people going on with their lives.

TNG : from Kuala Selangor direction, should be rather near. passing by Sekinchan, then reaching Sabak Bernam then Hutan Melintang. From highway, exit at Bidor/Tapah, then go Teluk Intan, then Hutan Melintang. erm, 3-4 hours i guess.

fcoe : aiya! why u never recommend us one?! keep everything to yourself. sigh ...

d-tourist : haha, ironically, i passed by just now, and wondered the same thing to myself. have you visited?

Wilson & Rachel said...

thanks for commenting on my gu yue tien post, did miss out some details... :)

ai wei said...

the photos are great!!! esp the fishing pakcik!

fatboybakes said...

aiyo, looks damn good la. must try this place. will buzz you the next time i am perak-ing.

J2Kfm said...

Wilson : youre most welcomed.

ai wei : he was in his own world, oblivious to the surroundings. except for his catch , of course.

FBB : no problem. but this one abit far from Ipoh/Taiping eh ...

D-Tourist said...

Nope i haf not :) been passing by almost everyday... but since it is puasa month the place has been quite packed... so i guess may haf to wait till after puasa or risk being packed like sardine... :)

J2Kfm said...

D-Tourist : then are they opened for lunch? i'm sure it's dead-empty during this fasting season. :)

D-Tourist said...

hmm.. tat i dunno lor .. :)

Kok Chee Kang said...

show try the Drunken Steamboat at ColdStream which is not far away from teluk intan too... (^_<)~