All it took was the mention of the word "prawns" and we didn't need anymore convincing. We hopped onto the bus we'd charted for our little food trip to the Malaysian food hotspots of Penang and Ipoh and went in search of Luen Fong Restaurant in Tanjung Tualang.
Luen Fong Restaurant
No 19, Market Street,
31800 Tanjong Tualang,
31800 Tanjong Tualang,
We caught a glimpse of the live prawns at the entrance of the restaurant - larger than your usual prawn and with what looked like scaled down versions of lobster legs. Settling down at the table, one gets a sense of how popular the restaurant is from the newspaper clippings on display. We ordered, and waited in anticipation.
Simply steamed with egg white, the prawns looked almost too good to eat as they arrived at our table in all their sunset coloured glory. I appreciated how succulent and juicy the prawns were but found that they lacked the sweetness that I usually associate with prawns.
Deep fried soft shell crab - these crunch little bits of crab are always a crowd pleaser and this time, it was no different.
Steamed soon hock - well liked for the delicate flesh that belies its less attractive physical features, this freshwater fish is quite hit-or-miss as a lot rides on the freshness of the fish. This one was on the hit end of the scale with the flesh still firm but delicate.
Kam Heong Clams. I love a good clam dish and this not only had the oomph of a good kam heong dish, it also had the freshness of the clams going for it.
Buttermilk Mantis Prawns - this marked the start of a whole array of buttermilk mantis prawn dishes that we were going to have over the course of of trip. These ones were crunchy and had just the right amount of flavour, making it no surprise that it instilled the desire to have the same dish at every subsequent meal.
Kung Po Frog. A little meat to provide some balance to all the seafood we were having. Sure, the choice of meat was rather unusual but it was one of the better frog dishes that I've had.
I must say that the prawns left me disappointed as I had been looking forward to that gorgeous prawn flavour - ahh, to think of what could have been. Seafood at the restaurant is fresh (as evidenced by the live prawns at the entrance) and one could tell that the dishes had much experience behind them. Unfortunately, the cleanliness of the restaurant left much to be desired and as such may not be everyone's cup of tea.