CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

SPECIAL MANTOU AT RESTORAN CHUAN HEANG IN BEDONG KEDAH

Posted by crizlai On May - 26 - 2015

Recently, I had a short trip out of Penang to visit a wall mural site at Pekan Semeling (錫米嶺/新文英 – GPS: 5.700010, 100.472375), a small town within Bedong (off Sungai Petani) in Kedah, Malaysia. It housed many mural arts by various artists at the back alley of some old and abandoned houses along Jalan Raya Semeling, 08100 Kedah, Malaysia. You can check out the wall murals at my FB Site. To fill up my stomach prior to visiting the wall mural site, I’ve decided to pay a visit to a restaurant 10 minutes or 7.5km away named Restoran Chuan Heang (全香茶餐室), along the old trunk road of Jalan Utama Alor Setar-Sungai Petani. The restaurant has its regulars swarming in continuously for its specially crafted mantou, none that you could find anywhere in Malaysia. Other than the mantou, you could expect to order some home-style Chinese dishes.

CHUANHEANG01 photo CHUANHEANG01_zps7ramamxl.jpg

Let’s start by introducing the much acclaimed Steamed Mantou with Fritter (RM1.40nett/pc with minimum order of 4 pieces or according to the number of diners with more than 4 pax). Each of the delicacy would come with a somewhat square steamed mantou filled with a crispy homemade fritter plus a light touch of sweet BBQ sauce. As the crispiness of the fritter overwhelmed the taste from what were within, many diners had the wrong idea that it was filled with prawn, pork, etc. It was actually filled up with mashed fish, dried shrimps, shitake mushroom slices, chopped spring onions with a light touch of seasoning and wrapped in bean curd skin, prior to being coated with batter and deep fried to golden brown. It was indeed a rather unique way to serve mantou. However, as a seasoned food creator with a higher expectation on quality, I do find the item lacked of bites other than the crispiness from the thickly coated batter. The filling was barely 3mm in thickness, whereas the batter had expanded to ±25mm. Moreover, the BBQ sauce was not adequate to give the whole bite a juicy sensation. Well, I can’t complain much as it was indeed a rare creation and at a cheap price of RM1.40nett each.

CHUANHEANG02 photo CHUANHEANG02_zpscjlw5aj1.jpg

CHUANHEANG03 photo CHUANHEANG03_zpsccptygi3.jpg

Since it was lunch time and their Roasted Pork Trotter won’t be ready until 5.00pm, I tried their Braised Pork Trotter (RM24nett) instead. It was juicy and meaty with just some lightly spiced up gravy, accompanied with some vegetables and mushrooms. Though the flavors were quite adequate to go with a plate of hot steaming rice (RM0.80nett/bowl), it would be great if the kitchen had extended the time to marinate the trotter more to enable more flavors to seep into the meat. Alternatively, if you love this type of braised dish, I would recommend you to try out the more flavorful Braised Ham Hock at Zi Zai Restaurant in Paya Terubong, Penang.

CHUANHEANG04 photo CHUANHEANG04_zpsvjdfirwi.jpg

Next on the list was the Steamed Prawns with Egg (RM14nett). This dish could be a love-hate dish for some diners as it used lots of julienned young ginger and Shao Xing wine. The dish practically had 4 butterfly-cut large prawns laid on top of beaten eggs with a generous amount of julienned ginger prior to steaming. When cooked, the dish would be garnished with some deep fried garlic in oil, a light touch of soy sauce and sesame oil plus some sprinkles of Shao Xing wine. Though it could be a bit strong for many, I quite like the dish due to the freshness of the prawns as well as the nice combination of flavors.

CHUANHEANG05 photo CHUANHEANG05_zpsxypkqg2j.jpg

Lastly, I just ordered a simple Stir Fry Bean Sprouts & Pea Sprouts with Salted Fish (RM6nett). I loved this type of combination as bean sprouts could be rather soft if overcooked while pea sprouts could be rather fibrous if cooked alone. The kitchen got the heat right while maintaining the crunchiness of the vegetables. The added salted fish was also nice as they used a better graded one which was not too salty. It would be great if the kitchen would add in a light touch of julienned ginger and red chilies to pep up the flavors more.

CHUANHEANG06 photo CHUANHEANG06_zpsagdksbuf.jpg

Overall, it was still a satisfying and homely meal, considered that everything served on that day were fresh and cheap. It might be that Penangites tend to have stronger taste buds on flavors and it would take a bit of effort to get use to the taste of food in the neighboring states.

It’s not really hard to locate Restoran Chuan Heang (全香茶餐室) as it’s just along the old trunk road of Jalan Utama Alor Setar-Sungai Petani. Some may just label the road as Jalan Raya or Batu Satu but if you have a GPS gadget or even mobile application such as WAZE, just key in the GPS coordinates provided below and you won’t get lost. I’m sorry that you can’t key in the restaurant name as it’s not detectable on Google Maps or WAZE. To reach the trunk road, the nearest PLUS highway toll station would be at Sungai Petani (U – Utara). Upon exiting the toll plaza, keep to your right until you reach the traffic lights. Turn right and drive about 7.6km or 10 minutes away until you see a Caltex and Shell petrol kiosk next to each other on your right. The restaurant is just directly opposite the Shell petrol kiosk on your left.

CHUANHEANGMAP photo CHUANHEANGMAP_zps3vq2esj1.jpg

Name: RESTORAN CHUAN HEANG (全香茶餐室)
Address: 374-375, Jalan Raya, (Batu Satu/Jalan Utama Alor Setar- Sungai Petani), 08100 Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-458 3007
Business Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.733286, 100.511183

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Many people are not aware of the small town of Terong, located between Changkat Jering and Pantai Remis in Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia. The quaint township used to be quite active in tin mining until the late 1970s but has now been replaced by rubber and palm estates as well as charcoal factories. Thanks to the snail development pace for decades, Terong is still left untarnished with the pollution of mankind. It still has the old architectural buildings intact, lively mangrove swamps, forest reserves, clean rivers, scenic waterfall such as the Air Terjun Terong and more. Located about 10km away from the Changkat Jering toll plaza and 1.5km into Terong, lies a nice getaway for families and friends. It’s the first duck themed resort in Malaysia with a total area of 70 acres called Trong Leisure Farm & Resort (自農休閒農莊). The place would consist of a resort with recreational activities, a fishing pond, a duck farm (formerly called Soon Hock Duck Farm), a pork-free seafood restaurant and a Halal Malay restaurant.

TRONGLFR01 photo TRONGLFR01_zpsyzxkmv4z.jpg

Since not much information is available online regarding this place, let me brief you part by part on the whole establishment.

RESORT:

There are 12 units of rooms available for booking (2.00pm check-in and 12.00pm check-out) – 2-pax Standard (5 units), 2-pax Superior (4 units), 2-pax Deluxe (2 units) and 4-pax Family (1 unit). Prices can range as LOW SEASON (Sunday – Thursday): RM128-RM358, SHOULDER SEASON (Friday, Saturday & School Holidays): RM158-RM388, PEAK SEASON (Eve of Public Holidays & Public Holidays): RM188-RM438 and SUPER PEAK SEASON (EID, Chinese New Year & Deepavali): RM228-RM488. For more information, please contact +6010-464 0918/+6012-549 8978 or email: [email protected]

TRONGLFR02 photo TRONGLFR02_zps8wcseryo.jpg

INDOOR & OUTDOOR RECREATIONS:

There will be a small amusement corner next to the restaurant for children such as the Duck Ride Machine and Toy Grabbing Machine. You can change some coins at the cashier counter. Other than that, you can try out the Duck Pedal Boat at RM6 per 15 minutes or feed the duck with duck feeds at RM2.00/100g. You can buy the ticket at a shop lot next to the pond. There’s a passion fruit arch nearby. If you were lucky enough, you might find some fruits intact but I only managed to see some blooms. Do not go about plucking anything in the farm as you will be fined heavily for vandalism.

TRONGLFR03 photo TRONGLFR03_zps3ijbedfd.jpg

FISHING POND:

There will be a few species of freshwater fishes in the pond for your angling experiences such as tilapia, lampang, rohu, patin, sultan fish and more. Any fish above 3kg has to be released back into the pond. Other than the tilapia and lampang which you can bring home for free, rohu and patin will be charged at RM5/kg whereas sultan fish will be charged at RM20/kg. There will be a small fee per rod for the number of hours you spent fishing by the pond (9.00am-9.00pm). Price: Full Day (RM50nett), Half Day (6 hours – RM40nett), 1st hour (RM15nett) and subsequent hour at RM10/hour. Baits and hooks will be calculated separately. For more information, please contact +6010-464 0918/+6012-549 8978 or email: [email protected]

TRONGLFR04 photo TRONGLFR04_zpsfqwpbcov.jpg

DUCK FARM VISIT:

There will be 6 duck houses with each house able to accommodate around 1200 ducks. In total, there will be around 7000 ducks at one time. You will be able to get upclose and personal with those ducklings, drakes and ducks. You can identify the gender of the drakes by their low and deep sound whereas the ducks with their louder and high pitched sound. Ticket is available at the restaurant count at RM5.00/adult and RM3.00/child. Visiting hours will be from 9.30am until 7.00pm. Resort guests will be at half price. A tractor with passenger seats, will chauffer you to and fro from the duck farm. At the moment, there’s no limitation on how long you can spend at the duck farm. Be warned that there might be strong stench emitting from the duck shit along the way. Please make sure that you close all the gates when you enter each fenced farm to prevent the ducks from running out. If you are lucky, you might find some egrets mingling with the ducks.

TRONGLFR05 photo TRONGLFR05_zpsmrwg6eww.jpg

RESTAURANTS:

There will be a HALAL Malay restaurant named Naz Tomyam at the dining area. The vendor will operate from 6.00am until 12.00am. They have a combination of dishes from roti canai in the early morning to Thai style dishes throughout the day. For more information, you can contact Encik Khairol at +6017-299 9883/+6016-809 6648 for your special bookings.

TRONGLFR06 photo TRONGLFR06_zpsygnowcki.jpg

There will also be the Trong Seafood Restaurant serving PORK-FREE dishes from 11.00am until 10.30pm. You can make your reservation by contacting +6010-464 0918 or +6012-549 8978 during business hours.

TRONGLFR07 photo TRONGLFR07_zpssxxlqtpz.jpg

Since this was my first time here, I only managed to try out some of their signature dishes. The first dish was their Signature Pei Pa Duck (Pipa Duck/琵琶鴨 – RM20nett/half duck). The name derived from the shape of the duck being opened up prior to roasting which resembles the Chinese musical instrument, Pipa. The sauce had all the necessary flavors which may include hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, ginger juice, sesame oil, sugar and finely chopped garlic. However, the skin was not as crispy as it should be and the meat was rather tough. From my experience having this dish many times, I would think that the kitchen did not spend time truly understand the method of tenderizing the meat. Moreover, the skin won’t be so soft if they had the proper time to sun-dry the duck properly. On top of that, some famous vendors would normally deep fry the roasted duck prior to serving to give it that extra crispiness. Something might have gone wrong in their process or else it would be a perfect dish to my preference.

TRONGLFR08 photo TRONGLFR08_zpsbhmcw21w.jpg

The next dish was the Chili Salt Deep Fried Squids (椒鹽蘇東 – RM15nett). I was actually expecting this dish to be Pepper Salt Deep Fried Squids since “椒” can mean pepper too but it ended up as diced capsicum salt version. The taste was not bad but it would be better if some coarsely pounded black pepper be added in for that extra earthly flavor.

TRONGLFR09 photo TRONGLFR09_zpstjq1cuj2.jpg

We also tried out their Signature Deep Fried Homemade Tofu (招牌豆腐 – RM10nett). There are many versions of homemade tofu being served in different restaurants, from silky smooth texture to reprocessed mashed ones with sandy texture aka the Yunnan style tofu. The ones served here was the latter. However, the tofu only had mashed bean curds with only Thai dried shrimps, some chopped scallions and added egg to steam again to make the block. The end product would then be cut into bite sizes, coated with some corn starch and deep fried to golden brown prior to serving. The tofu fell flat to my liking without much flavor and they were rather chewy too. They did not have that bite as some of those I had tasted before. With some added thinly sliced wood ear fungus or finely chopped up shitake mushrooms would have given the dish better justice. I hope the kitchen would improve further on this dish.

TRONGLFR10 photo TRONGLFR10_zpsce9rfnzq.jpg

The last dish I ordered was their Signature Eggplant with Dried Shrimps (蝦米茄子 – RM10nett). The dish was just some deep fried batter coated eggplant slices stir fried with some onions, curry leaves and dried shrimps. The whole dish practically depended on the flavor from the dried shrimps, nothing else. The chef should at least add in some pounded bird eye chilies or sliced red chilies or even some chopped fermented black beans to pep up more flavors. The dish was rather amateurish and rather one track style of cooking to my liking.

TRONGLFR11 photo TRONGLFR11_zpsudpjp6d5.jpg

As for beverage, we just ordered a jug of Prunella Herbal Tea (夏穀草涼茶 – RM9.00nett). This was a real thirst quencher with the use of brown sugar to clear the internal body heat from the scorching sun.

TRONGLFR12 photo TRONGLFR12_zpsldmqq9mi.jpg

If you are in for freshly salted duck eggs, you can always purchase a bag of 12 salted eggs at RM9.00nett at the counter.

TRONGLFR13 photo TRONGLFR13_zpsxrobe5jb.jpg

Overall, the restaurant could just be a convenient place for visitors to dine in but not one that could provide the right balance of yin and yang in flavors. In short, it’s a place to fill up the stomach but not the place to go for skillfully prepared meals. Maybe as a Penangite, we have been pampered with too many choices to end up with this type of verdict. However, I hope that the kitchen will improve their food quality too. Wouldn’t it be great if the restaurant could attract more outsiders rather than relying just on the visiting crowd?

It’s not really hard to locate Trong Leisure Farm & Resort as it’s just along the main road towards Terong. No matter where you are coming from such as Taiping, Lumut, Pantai Remis or even via Changkat Jering toll using the old trunk road, just look out for the “Terong” signboard. As you turn into the main road via Jalan Kuala Terong, just drive further in for about 1.5km and you can see the venue on your left. No worries as there’s a big signage in front of the property.

TRONGLFRMAP photo TRONGLFRMAP_zpshmlmdirh.jpg

Name: TRONG SEAFOOD RESTAURANT @ TRONG LEISURE FARM & RESORT
Address: PT293, Jalan Kuala Trong, 34800 Terong, Perak, Malaysia.
Contact: +6010-464 0918, +6012-549 8978
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.30pm
GPS: 4.711202, 100.708172

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

VIDEO

TAG CLOUD

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs

About Me

Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

By the way, you might not notice it but CRIZ BON APPETITE is iPhone/Mobile Compatible. Please do feel free to hop over to http://ip.crizfood.com to get the latest updates! If you want to contact me for any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at crizlai [at] hotmail [dot] com. Spamming would not be tolerated – you are being tracked here!

Photos

Twitter

    LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs