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Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)

Best giant prawns in the world, hands-down! Tanjung Tualang is a tiny township about 40 minutes' drive out of Ipoh, the state capital of Perak. From KL, it's a butt-numbing 3-hour-plus drive but, I can assure you, absobloodylutely worth.

Sun Mee Fong Restaurant is our destination of choice for lunch here today (other well-recommended seafood spots there include Yew Kei, Luen Fong and Lung Seng).

People flocked here from all over Malaysia for only *one* dish: steamed freshwater prawns (each weighing about half a kilo) in Chinese rice wine and finely-julienned ginger. The prawns were gigantic, but yielded the softest, sweetest flesh one can ever find - definitely the best I'd ever had in my gustatory trips across the Seven Seas (and some rivers) ;-)

Each giant prawn head also contained generous amounts of milky-rich yellow milt - to-die for!

Other dishes we ordered paled in comparison, though the smaller prawns which were dry-fried in soy-sauce (with the tiniest smidgen of sugar for caramelisation) were also delicious.

The "Soon Hock" (marbled goby) fish, steamed Cantonese-style with high-quality light soysauce, and finished off with a quick splash of smoking-hot vegetable oil, was exceptional. My fave part of the dish was actually the rich, earthy fish-liver - a delicacy like the Japanese "ankimo" (monkfish liver).

We also ordered some stir-fried greens with garlic. Vegetable dishes are not a forte of this place - just stick to the gargantuan prawns.

Address details
==============
Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)
21 & 23 Jalan Pasar
Tanjung Tualang
31800 Perak, Malaysia
Tel: +605-3609321

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  1. One interesting dessert which you'll find in Ipoh, and also here in Tanjung Tualang is the sweet-sour-tasting, yellow-hued jelly called "wan thau long" ('giddy-headed bloke'), so-called as it's wobbly. Very refreshing when served chilled with a squeeze of lime. It's not found outside Perak state here in Malaysia. The most well-known "wan thau long" stall in Tanjung Tualang is located on the road-side right across from Sun Mee Fong, and you can actually order it to be brought over and served in the restaurant itself.

     
    1. wow that looks really awesome...exactly how i like my seafood cooked

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lau

        Considering that Tanjung Tualang can be best described as a tiny hamlet not much larger than one city block, the fact that it contained 10 large Cantonese seafood restaurants (Tung Lok, Man Wah, Luen Fong, Lung Seng, Yew Kei, etc.) is nothing short of incredible.

        1. re: klyeoh

          wow that is kinda crazy, they must get alot of out of town people to support that amount of restaurants? (must all be very good as per your post)

          btw i had some really good cantonese style steamed fish at restoran overseas, i cant remember what kind of fish it was, but i told them i wanted a really good ocean fish (it was like $40-50 USD so quite expensive by KL prices). It was very good though, one of the best id had in a while. I need to post pics about that soon

      2. I can't even comprehend how amazing that looks, especially the 3rd pic with the milt perfectly cooked, which means the meat must also be perfectly cooked. But it's mindblowing to me that each prawn is ~1 pound. I keep staring at the second pic and think to myself the plate must be really small, but then realize the plate is normal sized, the prawns are just that big. Lucky you.

        43 Replies
        1. re: FattyDumplin

          good point that is one big ass prawn

          1. re: Lau

            seriously. i just think about langoustines, which i guess are similiar in size, and how disappointing they are when you get this scrawny little tail. And then i compare to this which is just delicious heaven.

          2. re: FattyDumplin

            The clientele for these giant prawns are exclusively non-locals: many driving for miles thru little trunk roads which cut across the tropical rainforests and vast plantations to get to this little hamlet. The town gets flooded by inter-state visitors over the weekends.

            Photos on the wall of Sun Mee Fong of some of their more famous customers included the Malaysian Prime Minister.

            The prices are low: MYR33 or US$10 for each of the giant prawn!

            1. re: klyeoh

              how close is the closest major city?

              $10? man id buy a whole bunch of those

              1. re: Lau

                The closest city would be Ipoh, Perak's state capital. It's a major culinary city in Malaysia in its own right - I'd rate it just behind Penang, and above Kota Bharu (Kelantan state), Kuching (Sarawak state) and Kuala Lumpur.

                Some past Chowhound threads on Ipoh:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840660
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883338
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/598851
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884194
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840663
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/807655
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626043
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884220
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780810
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883425
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883422
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840848
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883419
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840661

                There are direct flights from Singapore (1 hour) and Kuala Lumpur (40 minutes) to Ipoh. It then takes about 45 minutes to drive from Ipoh to Tanjung Tualang.

                I've covered Ipoh quite a bit in the past couple of years. Now, I'm exploring other towns in Perak state: Tanjung Tualang, Tanjung Malim, Sitiawan, Bidor, Kampar and Teluk Intan so far. To come: Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Sungkai, Pusing, etc. Each town normally has one or two very old & well-known eating spots, often pre-World War II. These are the places I want to explore and document down here for the Chowhound database.

                Interesting to note that *all* the towns/urban centres here are largely Chinese - and the presence of a particular dialect group, be they Hakka, Cantonese, etc. - is pretty exclusive, i.e. each town normally has only *one* major Chinese dialect group. For example, the Foochows makes up 60% of Sitiawan's population, whilst the remainder of the populace there are Indians and Malays, but very few Chinese of other dialect groups. Ipoh, on the other hand, is largely Cantonese, but with a small Cantonese-speaking Hakka community, besides minority Indians and Malays.

                1. re: klyeoh

                  ah cool, ive heard good things about Ipoh

                  1. re: Lau

                    For serious foodies, I'd recommend spending at least a couple of days in Ipoh, to explore its food scene. Despite its very Cantonese image, it's interesting to note that the famous "Ipoh kai see hor fun" (chicken shreds with rice noodles) was invented by their local Cantonese-speaking Hokkiens from Nan'an county in Fujian province (see post by penang_rojak: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/910732).

                    Also interesting to note that: in Kuching (Sarawak) which is Malaysia's major Hakka-dominated city, the famous Sarawak laksa is invented by the Teochews; whereas in Penang, which is Malaysia's largest Hokkien-dominated city, the famous Penang "char koay teow" is also invented by Teochews from Shantou county, Guangdong province. What a convoluted but rich culinary scene which Malaysia has :-D

                    1. re: klyeoh

                      haha i was about to say that is all over the board

                      i do want to try real ipoh hor fun as i only realized last time that ipoh hor fun in singapore (that i'd eaten for many years) is not really ipoh hor fun at all!

                      1. re: Lau

                        You must have meant Lee Tong Kee Ipoh hor fun on South Bridge Road, Singapore? I knew it wasn't the "real thing" as I'd tasted Thean Chun (Ipoh)'s hor fun as far back as 1972, if I recall correctly, during a road-trip from Singapore up to Penang.

                        1. re: klyeoh

                          yah but thats not the first place ive had ipoh hor fun, i remember eating it many times when i lived there at places other than lee tong kee and it was similar to lee tong kee, so i just assumed thats what ipoh hor fun was

                          i actually just looked it up on ieat's website and he has a bunch of places that look like lee tong kee's too
                          http://ieatishootipost.sg/search/labe...

                          1. re: Lau

                            This is Singapore-style Ipoh hor fun, with sticky, braised gravy, instead of pork-prawn broth that's served in Ipoh itself.

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              yah exactly. however, until recently i didn't actually realize singapore "ipoh hor fun" wasn't the way hor fun in ipoh was made.

                              When i lived in singapore I'd only spent time in johor bahru, KL, perhentian islands and kota bharu. Stupidly i didn't go to penang and ipoh with all my friends when they went (i was young and stupid...well i guess i sorta still am! haha). That is one of the few things i regret from when i lived there was that i didn't spend more time eating in malaysia even though i knew it was the mecca (all the local kids at NTU kept telling me thats where the good stuff was)

                              1. re: Lau

                                You did NOT come to Penang?!! This is where all the good food is. I can never stomach Singapore hawker food - all the half-hearted cooking efforts and emphasis on cutting cost/increasing profit. They don't even bother to shell the prawns for Penang char koay teow in Singapore, none of which tasted any good anyway.

                                1. re: penang_rojak

                                  penang_rojak - this is in 2002 and i was in college, i really didn't have any idea what i was doing back then haha. although i was in HK like twice a month bc i have alot of friends there, taiwan fairly often, china etc etc. i ate plenty good

                                  although to be fair i do feel like singapore has changed quite a bit since i lived was there.

                                  one day when i make it to penang, im going to need some help from u telling me where to eat!

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    Lau, I *really* like Taipei street food (Kaohsiung's is *much* blander) but, IMO, Penang's street food is much tastier than Taipei's, although the food in both cities (Fujianese) are very similar in most cases. There are some variations due to localisation.

                                    For example, fried oyster omelette (called "oh-chien" in Penang, "oh-ah chien" in Taipei) is oilier in Penang and served with spicy chili sauce, whereas the Taipei version normally has a lettuce leaf or two added into the omelette during the frying process, but doesn't have chilli sauce dip on the side to add to the flavour.

                                    Penang Hokkien prawn noodles soup, for example, has spicy-red pork-prawn broth - the colours for the Penang version comes from chilli powder added into the soup during the cooking process. In Taipei, the reddish hue comes only from the prawn-roe and prawn-shells, hence paler.

                                    Taiwanese "wu xiang" pork rolls and its Penang counterpart, "lor bak", tasted 100% the same - in fact, I can't tell the difference between the two. Singapore's "ngoh hiang" is a similar dish, but the 5-spice composition and textural content are different from Taipei/Penang's. My sole explanation is that the Fujianese who migrated and settled in Malaya/Singapore in the 19th-century somehow mirrored their geographical origins back in Fujian, i.e. the Northern/Quanzhou-dialect Fujianese settled in Penang, Kedah, Perak and other parts of Northern Malaya, whereas the Southern/Zhangzhou-dialect Fujianese settled in Southern Malaya: Selangor (later encompassing Kuala Lumpur), Malacca, Johore and Singapore. Consequently, Penang-Hokkien dialect also bore closer resemblance to those spoken in Xiamen (Amoy), Taipei and Kaohsiung, compared to that spoken in central/southern Malaysia (KL, Klang, Johore) and Singapore.

                                    These differences are also reflected in the culinary aspects of the Fujianese in those cities.

                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                      oh im not comparing taipei vs penang and saying its better or worse just that its good on an absolute basis.

                                      malaysia (and singapore to a lesser degree) is much more heavily spiced, oilier etc bc of the local influence; I totally get that. I know some malaysians think HK food is bland (i think penang_rojak actually commented about that once) and HKers were would go the other way (too spicy, oily etc). I can go either way, I traditionally like the subtleties of HK food which i find far more refined than food i've had in malaysia, but that said I really do enjoy the pure heavy handed flavoring of Malaysia as well and there are certainly times when a flavor bomb and some amazing chili sauce is far superior to a subtle more bland dish (depends what mood im in).

                                      My point being is that I don't think being more heavy spiced or more refined is necessarily going to mean one is superior to the other. I'll just have to go Penang and try it.

                                      Also, while taiwan is very famous for it's street food, I actually don't think that its its strongest point. I think the best food (aside from home cooked) are the small mom & pop restaurants that are generally good at making one or a few things or churning out homestyle dishes. I've always found those generally anywhere from far superior to better than what you get in night markets. I think its a mistake people make although to be fair its not always easy to find these places particularly if u don't have a guide, can't read chinese really and alot of these places don't advertise. You need to find them through locals, blogs and sometimes TV shows. Plus taiwan's address system is at best dysfunctional

                                      btw oyster omelettes are not that easy to find any country made well, there is a huge difference between really good ones in taipei and the run of the mill you might find at a night market. For a long time I actually didn't really care for them that much until maybe about 10 or so years ago when we went to a very small night market by my friends uncles place (not close to anything) and there was a place famous for it and it blew me away (still the best one i've ever had to this day) as it was so far superior to anything id had at night markets. Also that lettuce thing isn't universal, for example this place did not put any lettuce in.

                                      Man that area had some obscenely good food although it was kinda hard to find bc it was this little no address shops or push carts and they only knew where they were bc they'd lived there forever. The three things I remember well were that o ah jian, this lady who'd been selling baozi there for like 30 years (she would bring a push cart thing out to the street and sellout by like 11am) and the this one stir fried mian xian place (this pork sauce on top...omg)

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        "she would bring a push cart thing out to the street and sellout by like 11am"
                                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        So, how long does she take to sell out her wares for the day? I get frustrated sometimes by these "I can only make so much" vendors whose famous food items are hard to come by - case in point, the Foochow bakery called Yee Si in Sitiawan which is famous for their "thousand-layer" peanut steamed buns. They will only start selling these buns at 3pm each day (a queue will form long before then) and all will be sold out by 3.30pm!!
                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/j2kfm/81...

                                        Needless to say, I didn't manage to get even a whiff of these when we passed by Yee Si last Sunday (we were there at 4pm). Now I *know* how New Yorkers feel about queuing up for Dominique Ansel's cronuts.

                                        1. re: klyeoh

                                          i think she opened at like 7 or something like that. Basically people would get an order on their way to work or for breakfast and she was done by like 11ish. my friend actually forgot about her bc she hadnt had them in years (lives in the US) and we ran into her in the morning and got them. Then we happened to run into her at like 1230-1 the next day and she had basically already wrapped up and we asked her if she had anymore and she had one last order left, said that it was a slow day that day (my friend was surprised she was still around) thats when i found out that she was normally done at like 11 or something

                                          wow 30 mins thats nuts, its more nuts bc the cronut is hype and its starting to die down (there are apparently days if u come in the morning that you can get a cronut w/o waiting now) vs this which im assuming is an old place that has been doing this for a long time

                                          btw that thing looks awesome, it looks like a combo of a plain standard cantonese man tou and mi chiam kueh from tanglin halt (you ever go there btw, i enjoyed it)

                                          https://www.lauhound.com/2013/01/tang...

                                          http://yireservation.com/recipes/mant...

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            Nice photos you've got there! It's making me homesick.

                                            I passed by Tanglin Halt food centre every day when I was in my previous job back in Singapore, before I "migrated" to KL. It's between Bukit Timah (where I live) and Pasir Panjang (where my office is) but, you know, I'd never tried the "mee chian kueh" here eventhough I knew it was one of the highest-rated in Singapore (besides Frankie's in Teluk Ayer St., the Tiong Bahru stall, and Yean Heng at Pek Kio Food Centre). I usually go to Tanglin Halt for their fried carrot cake - an old man who's been cooking there for decades, and who churned out the greasiest but most fragrant plate of carrot cake I'd ever tasted (of course, the "greasy" bit also turned quite a few people off this stall, heh-heh).

                                            1. re: klyeoh

                                              yah ive got lots of pics! check out my singapore section: https://www.lauhound.com/category/chi...

                                              this video is good too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzaxVr...

                                              i liked it particularly the filling; freshly roasted ground peanuts with that sugar stuff is awesome, i could eat a bowl of that stuff.

                                              The old lady was really sweet, she reminded me of my grandma. i chatted with her a bit and she was pretty surprised i had come all the way from the US. actually so was the cab driver he very interested as to why i was going to tanglin halt and was like "wahhh u know tanglin halt mi chiam kueh la! u must really like local flavor la"

                                              the other food looked really good there, but i was hesitant to eat anything else bc i was meeting up with fourseasons later that day to go to old airport road (and the unexpectedly hong lim and lee tong kee as well haha....good thing i didnt eat more)

                                              1. re: Lau

                                                My fave spot in Hong Lim Food Centre is actually Heng Kee curry noodle stall, but I heard some bad news - the long-time owner-chef just died of heart attack yesterday, and the stall's closed for the next 2 weeks at least. I hope his son takes over - they *do* have the best chicken curry noodles in Singapore ... and Malaysia!

                                                http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/new...

                                                1. re: klyeoh

                                                  i read that too, its sad that happened, but i guess the silver lining is that the son has supposedly committed to take over and has been working under his dad for 14 years so knows what he's doing. Nice to see when it lasts another generation, but always sad to see someone pass

                                                  http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/new...

                                                  a side note, heng kee is making people everywhere happy. i had some friends from home who had a 2 day layover in singapore on their way to a surfing trip and one of my recs was heng kee and it was "the best thing ive ever eaten" haha. my actual hometown of newport beach in CA has crap food (although adjacent cities have amazing food), so alot of my friends from home who have unadventurous families (most) are amazed by asian food bc its so different than what they are used to eating. ive become de facto food guide when i go home or when people go to asia. they loved hiong kee (they actually got the last bak chang of the day to the dismay of everyone in line behind them)

                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                    And so you should point them in the right direction - many Americans' view of Chinese cuisine is very different from what we know - the image of Chinese food in America is that of cheap take-aways and budget eats, and to change that perception will take a very long time indeed.

                                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                                      oh ive totally changed that perception well at least among my friends at home! (their knowledge of chinese food was basically what u said)

                                                      when i go home now ive got a whole bunch of people who want me to take them to get as one of my friends said last time "i dont care what it is as long as its some of that amazing asian food u keep taking us to"

                                                      its funny bc most people in my hometown don't realize that they have amazing food that's within a 10-15 min drive from them (mexican, vietnamese, korean, chinese, thai etc) and they are sort of shocked to be able to find it so close when they finally realize where it is

                                        2. re: Lau

                                          Lau, what's the small night market by your uncle's place? I want to put that on my list for when I return to Taipei (assuming your uncle lives in Taipei). I find the address system to be quite sensible, so I'd be much obliged if you have the address for anything that's near the night market...

                                          I completely agree that Taiwanese cuisine strengths lean towards to tiny mom-and-pop shops that do one, maybe two, things really well. But I also think that there are quite a number of really great, slightly more upscale neighborhood restaurants that have been around for decades. They have focused menus and very capable cooks with a deeply grounded understanding of their culinary roots. I'd be willing to go to some of these places every night for the rest of my life.

                                          And even though you have to rely on word of mouth and locals and blogs and TV reviews and the restaurant review books you can get at any 7-11/Eslite, well, sometimes they're all still wrong as to how absolutely great some dishes are... First world problems.

                                          1. re: mookleknuck

                                            its not my uncle, its my friends uncle's place. i always forget the name of it, let me email her and find out the name of it (last time i was at this night market was probably 4-5 years ago)

                                            the stir fried mian xian place was a really small restaurant that is one of the restaurants that line side of the night mkt and the o ah jian place wasn't a stall per se, more of like a grill just set up in front of this kitchen thing. i ate both of these places pretty early want to say like 10-11am. both were busy which is why we tried them

                                            i agree with what u said btw im just saying i generally find the mom and pops the best, but ive been to some amazing more upscale places that my friends families have been big fans of (food is ridiculous). I think taiwanese food is actually hugely misunderstood as people always just talk about night mkt street food and beef noodle soup which dont get me wrong i love, but they're really missing out on what i think the real strengths of taiwanese food are

                                            1. re: mookleknuck

                                              its nan ya ye shi 南雅夜市 in ban qiao 板橋區

                                              the places i was talking about are open early and i dont believe any of them are open when the actual night market opens. there was a fairly bustling breakfast / early lunch trade going on

                                              1. re: Lau

                                                one other thing the night market is crowded like most although u won't see many non-taiwanese, but during the day (as i said earlier i ate sort of breakfast / brunch time) its all locals and thats when i got all this food (the places were not open when the night market was open) and its also way less crowded

                                                1. re: Lau

                                                  Lau, I skimmed over where you'd written that the night market was near your friend's uncle's place in Banqiao. I've actually been to that night market (unfortunately for these shops you've mentioned) only at night and only a few times, not nearly enough to remember and discover which shops had which items best worth eating. I don't remember seeing any non-Asians at that night market though as it's not very touristy.

                                                  Was the oyster omelette place you mentioned this one? http://tw.knowledge.yahoo.com/questio... This picture guide wasn't too bad either but is mostly of the night market stalls: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/lazycatgogo... This is the official tourism website of famous dishes: http://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/page.aspx?wtp...

                                                  I really like going to night market areas that have restaurants open during the day, at the very least, for the before/after effect. There was one near Jingmei MRT that was decent. And yeah, I agree that Taiwanese food is stereotyped as being just street food and beef noodle soup, but that's how culinary tourism works! It takes a lot of effort to track down all these other great eating spots...

                                                  1. re: mookleknuck

                                                    the oyster omelette - for some reason the pic wont show up on my computer, so i cant tell

                                                    see that the 9th pic down of the 炒米粉 for 40 元? thats the mian xian dish im talking about, but thats not what the restaurant looked like (it was much more old school looking). that meat sauce, holy crap was it good

                                                    its not hectic during the day since most of the stalls arent open just some of the restaurants and random stuff like the o ah jian guy

                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                      Here's another post about the oyster place: http://ax-tour.com/articles/1724

                                                      Hmm, I wonder what restaurant it was with the chaomifen that you're talking about. What do you think made the meat sauce so good?

                                                      Yah, I like the relaxed tropical attitude during the day and then seeing all the renao/hustle-bustle at night. It's hard to know if a place is good enough to visit during the day if there's not much to see/do near it, especially if you have to take time off work to do it!

                                                      1. re: mookleknuck

                                                        no this isnt the place, the place in this photo is much bigger than the one i talking about. also the o ah jian looks different, they didnt put lettuce in the one i had and their sauce looked different.

                                                        i dont know but the sauce was so flavorful and the noodles had good wok hay, it was one of those things where when chinese food is cooked right even if its simple its so good. we didn't even know the place was good when we walked in and then we ended up eating there like every morning bc it was good

                                                        i agree, i wish i could give u more definitive directions about where to go bc all the places were in like one little area right next to each other, but its before i go really anal about documenting where i go haha

                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                          ah, too bad! it can be so much work to track down each and every place of deliciousness AND do some kind of documentation of location/menu/business card. oh well, i'll keep my eyes and ears open the next time in taipei and visiting banqiao! thanks for bringing this area to my attention.

                                                          love it when everything is done so right and everything is so good. mmm, really can't wait to return.

                                                          1. re: mookleknuck

                                                            haha yah sorry! nowadays i always know where everything is and i document it, but i wish i had done the same back in the day

                          2. re: klyeoh

                            I have ALWAYS wanted to eat here but, the last time we drove from Penang, we got lost trying to find Tanjung Tualang. I think the road signs around there are not very good. We could not find that smaller road which turns off from one of the main connecting road from Kampar and Teluk Intan. In the end, I gave up and we returned to Ipoh. OK, I'm going to try and find this elusive town again soon. Those big prawns look very enticing!!

                            1. re: penang_rojak

                              Penang_rojak,

                              If you get lost or have trouble finding it, you can head back to Ipoh. Tanjung Tualang "exports" the prawns there and there are a couple of restaurants that do it better than the Tanjung Tualang places but cost more. Also, they are more selective with the prawns and only buy the better ones. The mutant prawns and Soon Hock have been a staple of Malaysian Canto food for years.

                              Mooklenuck,

                              I think langoustines are more delicate in flavour. These prawns have a very robust taste.

                              1. re: mikey8811

                                I know that. We ended up in our old hangout, Mun Choong. They charged us RM50 for each of the freshwater prawns, fried in soya sauce. It would have been nice to be at the source where these monsters come from - I mean the prawns, not the Mun Choong owners.

                                1. re: penang_rojak

                                  A Singaporean friend mentioned that he went to Mun Choong when he was on a business trip to Ipoh a few months back, and he did mention fantastic seafood - he may have also have talked about the large prawns but I wasn't really paying attention then. In fact, it was his cousin who told me about her organising an eating excursion to Tanjung Tualang early this year, and invited me along - but I couldn't make it as I was in London/Brussels during that period, and she subsequently cancelled the side-trip to Tanjung Tualang as she and her friends ran out of time whilst in Ipoh.

                                2. re: mikey8811

                                  mikey8811, I think you meant to say this to FattyDumplin? At any rate, thanks for the clarification.

                          3. re: klyeoh

                            Actually, Perak is very very well-covered on the blog of one Motormouth, a young Ipohan whose work used to take him to the state's nooks and crannies. Highly recommended for both casual reading and practical use on the ground - I'm still working my way through his 'ultimate Ipoh list' myself. Will try to link below, otherwise searching for Motormouth Ipoh will bring up the site.

                            Ipoh is actually a very do-able day trip from Kuala Kumpur for interested visitors. 90 mins by train and many of the famous 'old town' kopi tiams readily accessible on foot. Bring a shady hat and keep an eye out for portable goodies (kaya koks, salt-baked chickens and so on).

                            http://www.j2kfm.com

                            1. re: shakti2

                              Motormouth from Ipoh is one of the *very* few food bloggers in Malaysia whom I'd trust - he puts in a lot of effort into his blogs and is very objective, compared to the many commercialised/"out-for-a-free-lunch" food bloggers in Malaysia.

                              But *the* one whose reviews I can truly depend upon is Jason Yeoh aka Axian, TV food critic and travel host extraordinaire:
                              http://www.axian.my/

                              1. re: klyeoh

                                Axian/Jason Yeoh is from Penang (Bukit Mertajam to be precise). Naturally, Penangites are very much into "makan" big-time. When are you up in Penang again, klyeoh?

                                1. re: penang_rojak

                                  Middle of this month, let's keep in touch.

                    2. Looking at this after my lunch in the office just makes me sadder. Thanks for that? =D

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: mookleknuck

                        Back in my KL office, I actually have the same feeling as you right now: just had a ham-and-egg sandwich just now, but thinking of those giant prawns. But KL to Tanjung Tualang is like Manhattan to Albany, so it's not exactly a hop and a skip away :-(

                        1. re: klyeoh

                          Yes, I have a sweet bologna sandwich today. Fine, but not anywhere in the same class as these beautiful prawns. For $10/prawn and a drive equivalent to Albany, I would do some damage! Are these restaurants open during the week? Do you think they have these fresh every day? If not, what day do you think that they would be best?

                          1. re: mookleknuck

                            They're all open 7 days a week - 12 noon onwards. We were there last Sunday for lunch, and didn't need to make any reservations. I'm told by my friends that Tanjung Tualang is famous throughout Malaysia for these prawns and *every* Malaysian knows that! Gawd, before last weekend, I didn't even know this place exists!!

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              Haha, thanks for the info. You're doing all of us a great service by posting all this up and I'll definitely be asking my friends in Penang about this place! Really look forward to seeing all the other specialty one-dish places in Msia.

                              1. re: mookleknuck

                                Believe me - Malaysia has a *lot* of one-dish places. You can run through my postings on this board on Penang alone, which probably run into the hundreds - and your Penang friends will testify that they are probably only the tip of the iceberg!

                      2. "... With Thailand and Singapore to the west, Indonesia and Brunei to the East, and maritime boundaries with Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines, Malaysia has a cuisine jam-packed with cultural influences. Of course, not every restaurant or street stall delivers memorable results. That’s where Chowhounds come in, offering expert advice on where to chow down in Malaysia right now."
                        http://www.chow.com/food-news/147423/...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I wonder if anyone is able to comment reliably about the intensity (or otherwise) of chemical usage in the Tanjong Tualang industry ?

                          I ask because I've known of folks who refuse eat the Tualang prawns because they are 'full of chemicals', and these folks include a chef who grew up in that part of the world and a friend with an aquaculture business who certainly wouldn't blink at normal levels of permitted additives in his industry.

                          1. re: shakti2

                            Can you give us more precise information of your sources , shakti2, as they sound pretty serious to me. I live in Penang and have eaten Tanjung Tualang's prawns in Ipoh's Mun Choong and also at some of the Tanjung Tualang's restaurants since. Our Malaysian govt-controlled media here have never raised any concerns about use of chemicals or GM products, so I'm definitely interested to hear from your sources.

                            Can I message you privately, so we can follow up on this with the relevant M'sian authorities?

                            1. re: penang_rojak

                              But Penang Rojak, if I had definitive information from a properly-identified source, I would simply have posted it here, instead of asking if there's anyone ELSE who can comment reliably ...

                              1. re: shakti2

                                Seems a common problem in Malaysia where all our official media is tightly-controlled by the govt. which is why we depend on sources like yourself outside the country for information that concerns us. I was hoping you can throw more light, as we locals definitely have not heard of this chemical (genetically-modified?) prawns which you said the chef you know will not touch. We here in Malaysia have zilch news/info on this, which is why I'm interested.

                                Can your chef friend at least let us know his source/details of his concern? I'm sure parties like the Consumer Association of Penang (of which I'm also a member) will be very interested to take it up.

                                1. re: penang_rojak

                                  'we locals definitely have not heard of this chemical (genetically-modified?) prawns'

                                  All the folks from whom I've heard this comment about intensive use of chemicals are Malaysian, as am I. The chef's parents used to work in the Tualang prawn business.

                                  You've mentioned GM twice, I didn't actually bring it up. I think you can relax about it - it would be extremely surprising to find it in a cottage industry like the one in question.

                                  1. re: shakti2

                                    "All the folks from whom I've heard this comment about intensive use of chemicals are Malaysian" - which is why I'm asking for more info from you, since you are obviously in contact with Malaysians who talked about this issue, which is NEVER published or mentioned by local media here.

                                    1. re: penang_rojak

                                      'NEVER published or mentioned by local media here'

                                      Penang Rojak, I don't know that this statement is true. Do you ? By all media, in all languages, over the last 30 years, since that's how long the aquaculture business has existed in Tualang ? And if it is indeed NEVER mentioned in Malaysia's local media, what difference does this make ? You yourself don't seem to think very highly of Malaysian reporting.

                                      'More info from you'

                                      I've already posted what I've heard and answered a question on my friend's likely source of knowledge. Yes, it is all pretty informal, which is why I posted my original question.