Another “Dai Chow” Maestro @ Wan Chai Kok Restaurant, IpohNovember 17, 2010 | 4,919 views
Claypot Indonesian Prawns – Irresistible right? Imagine the utmost sins of devouring fresh and succulent prawns cooked in a creamy gravy with a tinge of curry and spices.
Wan Chai Kok Restaurant near to Merdeka Garden (that famous garden in Ipoh; renowned for the curry mee stall come the darker hours of the day) has been featured in the paper once (an article by Alexandra Wong in the Star, but sorry the link is broken), and also occupied a page in Eatpoh, a brief yet comprehensive food guide to the best eats around Ipoh.
Still remember how in her article, Alexandra gushed lyrical on the new-found favourite of her family’s; the Claypot Indonesian Prawns from this restaurant. Had me salivating reminiscing about the delectably creamy/sinful/spicy creation back in Pengkalan Hulu sometime last year.
Read on to find out more about this perennial favourite of residents around the area ….
Wan Chai Kok Restaurant occupies a corner lot, on the same row as N.S. Curry House that serves a reputable version of Banana Leaf Curry Rice near to Taman Merdeka/Taman Cherry, off Labrooy Road.
Anyway, initially we planned for a meal at Teo Chew Restaurant, directly opposite of Wan Chai Kok. The former serves various Teo Chew dishes as well as their famed steamboat, even a signature beef steamboat that needs booking a day in advance. But since Mum is not fond of beef, we settled for a meal at Wan Chai Kok instead.
We were still early, hence the vacant tables all around. And they were in the midst of prepping up the place for the evening that time, hence the slight wait before we were attended to. No qualms, since we were not famished anyway.
Signature Spare Ribs in a Spicy Sauce
I almost immediately eyed the special dishes of theirs displayed on the walls. Claypot Indonesian Prawns, a crab dish and another claypot item, most probably curry fish head. We ended up with three dishes (only 3 of us that evening); the Claypot Indonesian Prawns (a must-try, it seemed), the Spare Ribs in a ‘Kam Heong’ style of cooking, and an interesting salted egg yolk bitter gourd that can be done either wet or dry. We opted for the dry version, came in batter-coated form deep-fried until crispy.
The Claypot Indonesian Prawns had this beautiful orange-red hues, almost saffron-coloured gravy with a rich and creamy taste. Curry leaves, chopped red chillies and ‘cili padi’ (bird eye chillies) with a distinctive zing from the spices in the gravy added dimensions to the otherwise decadent dish. Not sure why this dish is so-called Indonesian Prawns, since I have never tasted anything resembling this in authentic Indonesian cooking.
Salted egg yolk coated bitter gourd – Something that may appeal to non-bitter gourd eaters. But beware, the bitter taste was very imminent, so if you’re not fond of bitter foods, you should think twice.
The spare ribs in a spicy sauce (there’s a very pleasant name for this, but sorry …. the memory’s not helping much) came in boneless chunks of porky goodness, in a sauce almost passing off as ‘kam heong’ style with bits of dried shrimps, curry leaves, black beans and such. Although this dish could have been so much better without the excess grease.
Gorgeously plump and juicy prawns in a claypot. Wondering if these prawns would have fared better being steamed or baked?
The meal came to about RM60 for the 3 of us. Not a poor experience by a long shot, but still not a restaurant that I would instantly think about when I am craving for a good ‘dai chow’ session. Maybe we should have given Teo Chew Restaurant a chance?
WAN CHAI KOK RESTAURANT
10-P, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak,
30100 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-506 2893, 6012-528 7444
Business Hours : 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 1am.
GPS Coordinates : E101 4′ 33.9″ N4 36′ 37.2″
Google Map to Wan Chai Kok Restaurant