Panchor is a small town within Muar district in Johor situated approximately 30km north east of Muar’s town center. Back in the older days when road networks were not as developed as they are today, Panchor was a busy river port used to transport inner agricultural and plantation crops on the Muar River. Fresh river prawns are aplenty too, which is why some outstation people would make a special trip off the beaten path for a quick meal here.
We did not have the coordinates of the restaurant so we could only rely on the GPS to route us to the address we found online. After driving along some questionable roads through a dense oil palm plantation for a while, we managed to find Han Thoy (the restaurant famous for fresh water prawns) easily once we reached the town. It was literally just a stone’s throw away from the big river. Our first impression of the town was that it is quiet, clean and seemed to be stuck in the 60’s.
This was meant to be a light meal before we continue our journey to Muar so we only tried two of their signature dishes. There are many cooking styles available for the river prawns but we opted for the steamed version (with ginger and scallion in egg white) because we thought it was the best way to enjoy their natural flavor to the fullest.
Delicious! The delicate yet firm flesh had a faint fragrance of Chinese wine. Nothing goes to waste here, we even slurped up the last bit of the egg white which was infused with the river prawns’ sweetness.
‘Jiu Hu Eng Cai’ (Cuttlefish Salad) is another dish worth trying here because Han Thoy’s rendition is different from the rest where a sweet and spicy peanut sauce is used instead of the dark one. Honestly it was not bad at all and I actually prefer this version more. It would have been even better though if the peanut sauce was less oily.
Han Thoy Coffee Shop (also known as Hin Thoy and Han Thay)
Lorong Said, Panchor
GPS Coordinates: N2 10.358 E102 42.761 (courtesy of Happy Happy)