A Story of Gu Lou Yuk, Puppy Duck & Chicken DungMay 14, 2010 | 5,588 views
And yes, Friday’s here before the spurts of cheers, celebrations & camaraderie really set in. And I bet most would be at home now (or live on the scene) cheering their lungs out for the heroes/darlings of Malaysian sports. (Malaysia is in the semi-finals against China for the coveted Thomas Cup)
Though it was still a five-days working week for me, yet I spent the first half of it cooped up on a secluded ‘island’ somewhere on the west coast of Perak (more on this over the weekend), a Wednesday that saw me almost choked with emotions and fits of rage, no thanks to last minute bureaucracy-red tape matters but culminated in a most devil-licious feast at Assam House Restaurant in Medan Gopeng (a post to come soon enough, I promise) and finally a Thursday that saw me hopping around town in a much frantic pace, wondering if all the extensive/meticulous preparations was well-worth the loot?
No frills, unpretentiously packed with flavours, and screamed for our attention.
I don’t, and never doubted the magnificent pulling power of Gu Lou Yuk, or Sweet and Sour Pork. In case you’re still in the dark, Gu Lou Yuk happens to be one of my favourite Chinese ‘chu char’ dish ever since I learned to utilize my (motor)mouth and started to chew.
Okay, slightly exaggerated maybe. But I still vividly remember the times when we placed orders for Gu Lou Yuk almost every single time we dined in Chinese restaurants. Back then, there was the evergreen Wong Koh Kee on “Concubine Lane” (Lorong Panglima) in Ipoh old town, when I first fell in love with that amazingly crunchy pieces (or rather, chunks) of pork first marinated then deep-fried to perfection, before basking the morsels of meat with a sticky and zesty concoction of sauce.
If you like your Gu Lou Yuk with a crunchy texture without much meat, you will fall in love with Koh Kee’s rendition. But if you’re seeking for a meatier version, bursting with flavours and fragrance from the five spice powder (and whatever else) used to marinate the pork prior to being coated with corn flour and subsequently deep-fried, then Ming Feong whips up a plate of Gu Lou Yuk that might just get you on your knees !!! (Begging for more rice lah, don’t think otherwise … )
You can almost sense the wandering lost souls circling around your tables. (Just kidding … I hope)
Ming Feong Restaurant is situated on the main road of Pusing in Perak, a surprisingly ‘manageable‘ 15 kilometres away from Ipoh town. If you’re driving from Menglembu area, then you might just reach Pusing before your engine gets warmed up. Really.
Fresh Beef Fillets stir fried with Ginger and Scallions, served with rice.
I first wrote about Ming Feong back then, when we were on our way back from Batu Gajah. That was almost two years ago. But the Sang Har Meen (Egg noodles with Freshwater Prawns) did not impress, and I was dumbfounded at the hoo-ha over this supposedly legendary restaurant from the golden years of Malaya.
Then I read about the famous “Puppy Duck” creation, a signature of Ming Feong’s that you can’t find anywhere else. Animal activists hold on to your swords/tasers/molotov cocktails, for this dish was aptly named as such, but rest assured it contains NO puppies, dogs, kittens nor whatever cute creatures we have grown fond of. Unless of course, you champion for DUCKS’ rights as well … then I can’t help but feel sorry for the ducks that went into the claypots!
Puppy Duck (Kow Chai Ngap) is their most precious recipe; at least half a duck braised in a claypot. Tough luck, for there were only two of us, hence no ducks for us. Though I was really, REALLY tempted to order half a duck, just to see how far our stomachs could stretch ……
Gai Lap Fan (Stir-fried Diced Chicken with Mixed Vegetables in Gravy) – A perennial favourite of many, especially children. A safe choice if you’re at lost on what to eat.
And so we were there at Ming Feong for lunch one fine afternoon, on the way back from the aforementioned island. And no, we were NOT in Pangkor Island in case you’re wondering.
Problem was, the menus were all printed in Chinese. Only. So there I was staring at the piece of paper with almost 50 individual meal items and their prices (the most ‘exorbitant’ item came to only RM10, being the Sang Har Meen which I blogged about before this), without a clue on what to order this time around. And yes, I am a BANANA. Go ask your Chinese friend on what this means.
Droolworthy? You bet. Almost too good to be devoured, in a few minutes flat. By two gluttons.
Thankfully, the young lady (hinting at possible family business this one, although I am not so sure) was cheeky enough to participate in my embarrassing endeavour. She rattled off a list of signatures from her mind, without a reasonable pause in between. Ho-hum.
And then I heard “Qiong Chung Ngau Yuk Fan”, or Beef with Ginger and Scallions with Rice. And I halted her before she went out of breath, or out of items to recommend, whichever that was coming first. Tender fillets of beef, evidently fresh from the pinkish centre and chewy texture, were stir-fried with generous stalks of chopped scallions (spring onions), and ginger. A classic Chinese dish, you don’t get to order beef that often in most Chinese eateries here in Ipoh; in accordance with religious beliefs.
Gai Lap Fan (Chicken Cubes Rice, literally) was lapped up ever so rapidly by ZP, I merely poked my fork at one piece of the chicken, before the plate was polished clean by him. Should not be anything short of satisfying, I assumed. Served with white rice, instead of fried rice; as in the case of most ‘chu char’ stalls.
I sure hope this man is not reading this post. If you are, I am sorry. I was merely trying to snap that heavenly pot of braised ducks that we had missed ….
While we were deep in thoughts (okay, maybe not so … but we were glancing around the place, appreciating the ambience preserved since colonial days), a lady breezed past us carrying a plate of Sweet And Sour Pork. Yes, my eyes were fixed, salivary glands went into overdrive, and a hand shot up, ordering an extra serving of Gu Lou Yuk. Since we could not have our Puppy Duck, everything goes here ….
And boy, did the Gu Lou Yuk manage to WOW us! Of course, we had to wait a good 10 minutes or so before the dish arrived. One because this was an extra order AFTER they started cooking up our initial orders. Secondly, the place was starting to get packed right before 1pm. Hmm, but well worth the wait we reckoned.
Every bite was a delight. Perfect combination of the sweet’s and the sour’s, the sauce was whipped up with enough zing; packing a punch unlike some lazy, watery tomato sauce masquerading as sweet and sour sauce served elsewhere. And the pork was delicious, meaty yet coated with a crispy exterior, albeit not as hollow as Koh Kee‘s, hence not as crunchy.
Kai See Th’ng !!! aka Chicken Dung?! (There’s a more civilized name; Chou Yip Pan, or Tim Pan; as I was told by some readers … but still … 😉 )
And I could never leave Pusing without at least a piece or two of the famous kueh (sweet snacks) sold by the peddlers diagonally opposite of Ming Feong. You can read about the various kueh sold here in my previous posts : HERE and HERE.
The lunch came to RM20/USD6.30 for the both of us, including herbal tea for two. You bet I will be back for the Puppy Duck, and many more interesting dishes served at Ming Feong in the near future. Question is, how many ‘makan kaki’ will I need to bring then?! 😉
Address & Contact :
MING FEONG RESTAURANT
37, Main Road (Jalan Pusing),
31550 Pusing, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-288 1362.
Directions : Pusing is a small town off the Lumut Highway (Lebuhraya Ipoh Lumut). If you’re coming from Ipoh town towards Lumut, just follow the signboards leading to Lumut/Seri Iskandar/Batu Gajah, and turn RIGHT when you see Pusing/Papan. Or there’s another turning at traffic lights at the crossroad branching off to Batu Gajah on the left, and Pusing to the right.
# You can read about the Puppy Duck story on Ipoh Echo’s website.