1Malaysia Breakfast in A Small TownApril 24, 2010 | 5,111 views
IF you have to vote for ONE particular Malaysian breakfast of choice, to be eaten everyday of the week, and to represent the concept of 1Malaysia-ness, which would it be?
A sinful, creamy and spicy bowl of curry noodles (in this case, it was “kuey teow”, but unlike Ipoh’s “sar hor fun”, the noodles resembled Thai’s version of rice noodles), cockles, chicken, bean sprouts and potatoes.
A fluffy, thick, yet crispy at the sides with slight charring piece de resistance of Roti Canai. Served with the ingenious combination of sambal sardin, dhal curry, and curry gravy.
OR a dainty portion (so you can wallop more than one pack?) of meticulously wrapped Nasi Lemak in banana leaf, with a dollop of anchovies with sambal, a not-so-conventional piece of salted fish, and half a boiled egg.
The ladies of Restoran MaTai minding their own businesses; One frying the noodles while the other cooking up bowls after bowls of soupy delights. And they’re mirror images of each other, don’t you think so?
I spent half of my PRECIOUSSSSS weekend over at the town of Pengkalan Hulu, to the northern most tip of Perak state, sharing the same perimeters with Betong of Thailand. Half-baked attempts to re-introduce both towns notwithstanding, do read my Pengkalan Hulu-Betong excursion way back in 2008.
At least you won’t be scratching your head, wondering if I’m half-mad or pulling a quick one on you !!! (Perak HAS a Thai border?!) 🙂
The pretty ladies of MaTai’s can literally whip up a small storm; their repertoire includes fried noodles, wantan mee and soup noodles, as well as curry noodles.
Minum-lah … TEH dan KOPI. (Translation : Do Drink Tea and Coffee). Strong advocates for caffeine addiction?! Yeah, I like!
Not sure whether I have written about this corner coffee shop facing Maybank of Pengkalan Hulu before, but this eatery named MaTai Restaurant may just be the most happening outlet for breakfast in town. Yes, read that right. Though this may not be saying much, for the town’s not exactly your idea of the usual hustle and bustle, congested with foodies, travellers and the likes.
But stay on the optimistic path though, for I found myself drawn closer and closer to the quaint and charming town, reminding me of my childhood days spend in Sungkai way down south. Sung-WHAT?! Once again, don’t bother ….. (Here’s a short post on our stay at the VILLAS of Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park, and another on Choy Kee’s famous braised pork knuckle)
If you are here, don’t give their curry noodles a miss. Unlike the conventional santan (coconut milk) laden creations or the thicker, more robust dry curry Ipoh is famous for, MaTai’s curry noodles is an ode to the town’s neighbouring influence of Betong’s, leaning towards the spicier scale of the spectrum. Thanks to the spices and generous addition of curry powder. And no pork is served here, instead you get pieces of chicken, potatoes, long beans and cockles. I picked their Kuey Teow (flat rice noodles), and the velvety smooth noodles came thicker than the average Ipoh’s sar hor fun; an instant reminder of Thailand’s version of rice noodles.
Restoran MaTai is opened for breakfast until lunch daily. Days off not sure. Situated on the main road of Pengkalan Hulu town, you will see this corner shop directly facing the only Maybank in town.
Not an Indian nor an Indian-Muslim (erm, Mamak?) ….. I have to admit, I was not the most confident in his skills. But boy, was I wrong!
Or wait, you’re not keen on noodles, noodles and nothing but noodles?! Then no fret. Pursue further down the road, en route to the customs at the border of Pengkalan Hulu-Betong.
After passing by Chalet Air Panas and the Ayer Panas Police station (yes, there is a station named as such before you reach the customs. Just look to your right constantly) on Jalan Betong, take note of a wooden shack at the T-intersection on your right. The road to your right leads to FELDA Nenering, and towards the town of Gerik.
Hygiene worries aside, Warong Simpang 3 actually serves up some mean breakfast items such as Nasi Lemak (both steaming hot with your pick of dishes and wrapped in banana leaves), Roti Canai/Roti Telur, as well as kuih-muih.
Warong Simpang 3 has NO signboard nor indication of whatsoever they’re serving for breakfast. You just have to put your faith in the morning crowd, and the cars parked on the outside of the unassuming, humble shack sheltered with mere zinc roofs and no doors.
The Malay guy at the counter was stretching the roti canai dough and flipping his way on consecutive rounds of making the famous Malaysian breakfast. Only two versions available; the plain one and Roti Telur, with eggs and onions.
The roti was thick, fluffy and crispy at the same time. But more importantly, he made them FRESH, on the spot. And the three metal pots of curries resulted in the most clever combination of dhal curry, curry gravy, and sambal sardin. Perfect accompaniment to the roti, I savoured every bite and every scoop of the concoction.
Warong Simpang 3 @ the T-junction connecting Jalan Betong and the road to FELDA Nenering/Gerik. Coming from Pengkalan Hulu town, once reaching the FIRST traffic lights in town, turn RIGHT towards Betong direction. After about 5 minutes of drive, you will pass by Chalet Air Panas and the police station on your right. Slow down and you will see this shack at the T-junction on your right.
Comfortable stay at Hilltowne Hotel – BEST choice for accommodation in town. At least, better than Chalet Air Panas, for all I know.
Hilltowne Hotel @ Pengkalan Hulu – For RM75/USD23 per night for a double room, you get an air-conditioned unit, with attached bathroom (equipped with hot shower), TV with Astro channels, free Wifi service, and of course, free parking. Though the last perk is not much of an attraction, for parking’s free everywhere in Pengkalan Hulu.
To get to Hilltowne Hotel, at the same traffic lights I mentioned above, turn LEFT instead of right towards Betong. You will see this hotel on your right.
Address & Contact Number :
111, Jalan Tasek,
Pengkalan Hulu, 33100
Telephone : 604-477 8032, 6019-561 0751.