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Udang Galah & Tong Po Yoke @ Chui Chak
These days people go to lengths to find good food, having savoured food in the cities, many now go hunting for food at the smaller towns or even small villages. Often the food there are fresher, better and definitely more reasonabley priced.
We did that too while on a cycling trip to off-the-beaten-track Chui Chak, a non-descript village somewhere in central Perak; one so off the foodie radar that many have not even heard about the village. We went to the Sun Sun Brothers Restaraunt in Changkat Jong outskirts of Chui Chak village.
Let's see whether our cycling effort was worth it; let's have a look at their food.
This Claypot Seafood Stew kicked off our lunch. It came with lots of fish maw and sea cucumber with some clams and shrimps.
Both the main ingredients (the maw and cucumber) are basically tastless but they aborbed well the gravy which was very tasty, probably having been cooked with some other seafood.
The maw and cucumber were superb, of high quality. The maw was spongy and easy to bite into while the sea cucumber was adequately soft with a slightly harder top skin and good textured flesh.
Next was one of the signature dishes - Tong Po Yoke also called Dong Po Yoke (Braised Pork Belly). This is one dish that take a lot of work, the belly is first boiled and then seasoned with Chinese Red Wine. They are then cut into slices and slightly deep fried before being braised in gravy.
The ones here were fanstastic, tender with crispy edges. The tenderness comes from longer braising while the crispiness is deep-frying done at a right temperature for short, adequate time. As this dish take time to cook to perfection, it's best to call up to pre-order it.
Tong Po Yoke was invented by Su Dong Po, a Chinese scholar/court official of the Song Dynasty.(... click here for a recipe fo Tong Po Yoke)
Next on the list - Claypot Mutton Stew. Can't see the mutton, well it's there in smaller cuts. It's suppose to be a house speciality, but I found it average only as it lacked the strong mutton aroma which I love.
This fish curry looks simple but was really very good, the fish was fresh and the curry tasty with good creaminess of santan. Many of us ordered extra white rice to go with it.
And NOW........ (imagine some rolling drums and blaring trumpets) ...
THE CROWNING DISH OF THE DAY - Steamed Udang Galah (Giant Fresh Water Prawns).
These came looking fiercely red, resting on a contrasting froth of egg white.
Unlike other shops which serves these prawns with a long slit on the back, here they don't have those slits. This, I think was a better way as it retained the sweetness of the prawns meat and head. Of course, the gravy won't have that much prawny flavour; but then it's the prawns that are important, not the gravy.
Look at how fress the prawsn were - firm, sweet meat, even the heads had some good meat there.
This Pak Cham Kai (Broiled Chicken) must have been good; but by the time it came many of us were already full from the earlier dishes. Lucky me! I did go for my favourite cuts - first the Bishop's Nose, then the wings and lastly the upper thigh. The ginger condiment that came with it was their own home-made ones; very nice with strong ginger slightly stir fried.
The sprinkling of deep-fried shallots lended a good aroma to the chicken too.
Bitter Gourd Deep Fried With Salted Duck Eggs - this one did not come out that well. I think it's just not the right combo as the taste of the salted duck eggs was lost in the bitterness of the gourd. Overall the dish being deep-fried was a tad dry, further losing the taste of the duck yolk. I think salted duck eggs should be cooked slightly moist to bring out its flavour, don't you?
Okay, okay.... this was not a dish we order. It was one some locals ordered at the next table; just couldn't help stealing a photo of it 😝
The damage? No damage as at RM48 per pax it was really reasonable, considering that we each had a medium-large Udang Galah plus all those other heavenly dishes.
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