Saturday, April 22, 2006

Eating journey to the Mid North Malaysia.

I have been wanting to post\podcast this for a long time but could not find the time. Since I had some free time at work, I managed to complete part one of Journey to the Mid North Malaysia. This entry is all about the interesting and delicious food you can find along the coastal and towns from KL to Pangkor, Perak, and then back.

From the north south highway (PLUS), exit at the Bidor exit. Bidor is a small town, but a very small busy town. You can find a number of coffee shops, mamaks and road side stall that sells simple Malaysian food. Bidor is more famous for it's Chinese chicken biscuits (kai chai peng). And more recently... or not so recent, is a noodle stall serving duck noodles. See a review by xes on the duck noodles. There are also many shops and road side stalls selling fresh high quality fruits, 'petai' and water lily seeds at a reasonable price.

The packaging have changed from the old fashion red plastic package to attractive gold packaging. There two types of chicken biscuits. The crispy ones are a thin crispy cookie type biscuit. The one on the left has a crunchy outer layer with a chewy inner filling. I personally prefer this chicken biscuit compared to the flat ones.

Next stop after Bidor is Lekir. Along the costal road before the padi fields, there are many small huts\stalls selling Nira water. Nira is taken from the Nira flower that grows on the Nipah tree. The Nipah tree are found in a dry swampy land. Nipah is a type of palm tree that looks oil palm minus the trunk.

Nira flower in a whole.

Nira flower when all the petals drop off.

Nira flower petal flesh.

The Nira water is drank chilled and is naturally very sweet. Like the coconut water, it helps brings down the body temperature in a hot day. Very good for heaty people. The Nira flower flesh can also be eaten. It tasted like sea coconut. Very nice and chewy.

Continuing up north comes Kampung Koh. Kampung Koh is famous for it's chili. The garlic chili actually originated from here.

And something that you should not miss is the Hock Chiu Peah (Hock Chiu biscuit). I call it the Chinese burger though hehe. So far, I have only found Hock Chiu Peah in this area (Kampong Koh, Kampong Cina and Setiawan). Hock Chiu Peah is actually dough wrap with filling (either garlic, onion or pork or a combination of them) and then baked in a large clay jar (imagine the oil jar in Ali Baba and the 40 thieves). There are only a few shops selling them, just ask any local town people and they will point you to the locations.

I think I should quit work and learn how to make Hock Chiu biscuit. I could open a franchise in KL and make big bucks! Anyone willing to be my partner?

[Edit: 09 Sept 2006] Also see this and this on Hock Chiu Peah.

If you happen to drop by Kampung Koh for lunch or dinner, look for this nice (and very old) restaurant that serves the best Oh Chien (oyster omelet) I have eaten. The restaurant is located at one of the shops not facing the main Kampung Koh road.

Five minutes from Kampung Koh is Kampung Cina. This is one of the place where you still can get good seafood that is cheap and nice.

They are plenty of seafood restaurants around the area. Just visit one, you won't regret.

The Swa Chuie fish is one of the famous dishes that those restaurants serve. The whole fish is deep fried and can be eaten in a whole including the head.

My favorite blood noodles MUAHAHAHAHA. Hehehe actually it's not blood. This is called the Red Rice Wine Noodles aka Ang Chiu Mee Swa. It's made from fermented red rice cooked with spring onion, ginger and chicken with noodles. This Ang Chiu Mee Swa can be found in more of the seafood restaurant in Kampung Cina, but the restaurant that serves the best Ang Chiu Mee Swa was in Kampoung Koh actually, sadly the restaurant is no longer a restaurant. I think the owner passed away or something... sad... so sad.

Next up is Pangkor Island. You can actually buy a lot of dried sea goods including salted fish, salted dried squid, dries ikan bilis, dried shrimps, and all types of seafood snacks. There's also a lot available in Lumut (that's the place you take the ferry to the island) if you do not want to hop over to Pangkor.

The squid is actually marinated first then dried under the sun for a few days to a week. After that, they go thrugh a machine to flaten and stretch the dried sotong. The machine is something like a smaller but much more powerful version of the sugar cane maker that you see in the pasar malams.

On the way back down south using the coastal road when you reach Sungai Besar, you will see another stretch of huts along the road selling sweet corn, mango, sweet potato and yam. Here you can find some of the stalls selling mango juice.

The stall owners converts the unsold over wipe mango to juice. The mango juice taste absolutely wonderful. No added sugar, smooth with no trace of fiber. It's like drinking mango lassie without the yogurt taste.

Do also drop by Kuala Selangor for their prawn crackers on the way back down south. The shops also sells fish and sweet potato crackers, but I still find the prawn ones are the best.

They are shops selling freshly caught fish and seafood products.

This famous shop in Kuala Selangor was actually featured on TV3's Majalah Tiga for it's fish paste and Yoong ToFo ingredients. Just look for this restaurant (very easy to find as this restaurant is at the end of the road where all the seafood restaurants are located) and turn left. You will see the shop right away.

Well, that's all for this journey and do let me know what you think of the food I have mention if you have tried any of them. Hock Chiu Peah is a must to try!

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4 pieces of worms:


The Mee Suah looks kinda good. Hehe. Mmm...

The Hock Chiu Peah seems exotic - salty in taste I presumed?


eva: heheh the mee suah is the bomb! i'm not sure if we can get it in KL.. but i eaten the yellow wine mee suah in KL tho. The Hock Chiu Peah is not really salty..i think sweet and salty... mixture of it.


more food reviews please.. yummy


i think i dowan to be filmmaker anymore lah. i wanna be your biskut partner :))

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