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.
Yung Kee Restaurant located at the heart of Central is one of the top restaurants in Asia according to various restaurant guides. They serve a number of award winning Chinese dishes but Roast Goose is the main reason why they are so popular. Just how popular you ask? Well, the demand for Yung Kee’s roast goose is so high that as many as 300 birds are sold daily and it is even served in first and business class on board Cathay Pacific’s flights. So with that in mind, we thought Yung Kee was worth a visit despite their reputation of being expensive.
Among the many places we ate in Hong Kong, Yung Kee is be the classiest of all. Service is much more friendlier and attentive too, which kind of explains the prices here. And maybe because we already expected the price to be sky high, we were not very shocked when browsing the menu. In fact, we found Yung Kee’s pricing is similar to what Yue Kee is charging. Half a bird (two to four person portion) costs $240 while a quarter (two-person portion) goes for $120.
Looks mouth-watering good, right? It definitely is. Sadly, the reality is that it will be very difficult for us to get a roast goose that could match the flavor, smoky fragrance and texture of Yung Kee’s in Malaysia. No matter which piece you pick from the plate may it be the thigh, drumstick or breast, the meat tastes equally juicy and delicious. And of course the crispy skin with a thin layer of fat underneath was our favorite part.
E Soo (Cantonese for 2nd sister in law) is an extremely popular Yong Tau Fu restaurant in Kepong and it is not difficult to understand why. Not only your food arrives fast even during the busiest times, there are plenty of other main dishes to order too which makes a meal here really quick and complete.
The sizes of the individual YTF here is delightfully big and packed with fish paste, so we did not really mind them being slightly pricier than the rest. Besides, they are really tasty too except for some fried items that were just plain oily to the extent of being inedible.
The fried item I was referring too is the friend brinjals, they were so soaked in oil that it felt like biting into a greasy and soggy tissue, kind of gross. We complaint about this to the staff and owner but our complaint was simply brushed off with something along the lines of ‘fried brinjals are like that one mah, sure got a lot of oil, even if I replace for you also will like that‘ So yeah, no more fried brinjals for us in our future visits since the other restaurants do not seem to have this problem. The rest was OK though – we liked their fried ‘fu cuk’ and ‘tau fu pok’, both were crispy and light with very little grease.
Judging by the number of people eating at T&K Seafood, it should be the most popular seafood restaurant in Chinatown (Yaowarat Road). Just do a Google search for seafood recommendation in Bangkok and you will find T&K Seafood being mentioned everywhere in forums, travel websites and blogs. But wait, does this also mean it is a tourist trap? I am no expert when it comes to Bangkok’s food but even if this is indeed a tourist trap by local residents, it is a trap somewhat worth falling for – especially if you came for their famous Grilled River Prawns.
From the various photos I saw online, I thought T&K is more of a roadside eatery. Little did I know they actually have an actual restaurant about four floors in height, air-conditioned too. Stepping into the restaurant reminded me of our trip to Hong Kong though – tight and winding staircase leading up to the higher floors. Which is why a pully system is used during peak hours, you simply don’t expect the staff to deliver your food by scaling the staircase – a misstep means spilled food.
Compared with the other seafood restaurants I have been to during my short stay in Bangkok, the menu at T&K seems pretty standard and have quite a number of similar dishes. But I think you will at least be pleased at the prices, which I think is quite affordable hence you could pretty much get anything you feel like having. If not because there were only the two of us, and we already had a meal just two hours before reaching here, we would have ordered many more dishes.
Grilled River Prawn is a must have here and you should not leave without trying them. The prawns are so fresh that the simplest cooking method is enough to bring out the best in them. A sourish chilli dip is given but I prefer to eat them just like they are to savour the sweetness of the firm flesh.