Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lung Seng (for gigantic freshwater prawns)

Back in my school days, we were taught that udang galah in Bahasa Malaysia meant lobster. I had no reason not to believe. Afterall, this was not from the teacher who told us that "leopard" was to be pronounced as leo-pard instead of lear-perd. We still make fun of her in our gatherings. Apparently, there's another meaning to udang galah - giant freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii). So, what is what? I don't know if there's such a thing as a freshwater lobster but one thing's for sure - it's darn delicious.

I come from a family that avoids ordering prawns in restaurants, Chinese especially, because it's exorbitantly priced. And that it's usually not as fresh as what we get at 5 am in the wet markets. Therefore, it's not surprisingly that we are not amazed by some of the famous (a.k.a. expensive) restaurants specializing in freshwater prawns in town.

This one's different. For that, I have some food blogging friends to thank. It was the only stop we made (apart from Kellie's Castle) en route to Penang, for our Nirvana Food Trip. Despite the name, it's not a vegetarian weekend excursion. In fact, I think we hardly touched any vegetable in that 48 hours of makan madness.

What we ordered were the typical cooking styles of prawns, as recommended by the restaurant. Cereal and butter prawns are all the rage for quite sometime now, but how often do we get good gorn jin (dry-fried in Cantonese) prawns these days? This is one old school dish that I've almost forgotten. Loved the aroma (mostly contributed by the amount of heat and oil applied) and like how olive oil is used for everything under the sun, the oily sauce was good enough to coat some white rice for some carbo indulgence. Of course, the sauces and ingredients can only enhance the dish that much. Ultimately, the prawns decide if it's worth the detours and slight fear of getting lost in an unchartered territory. Okay, not that serious lah, since Lyrical Lemongrass provided us with some love stories that took place in this little town along the way.

Growing up, I was told not to eat the heads of prawns. Not that it'll shrink my brains (like how eating pig brains is supposed to make me any cleverer) but because it's dirty. Here, not eating the head is a sin, I'd say. This is where the good stuff is! Addictive, smooth orange roe that will have you sucking like a hungry baby given a bottle of warm milk. The prawns were perfectly cooked too, proven by the tender and succulent flesh. I saw blocks of ice floating in the tanks where the prawns were kept. This must be another reason why the prawns tasted so fresh and alive. The dainty crabs are worth mentioning too, for that real umami taste.

We definitely came a long way in every sense but when everyone glowed at the first bite of the prawns, you know it's all worthwhile. And good omen too, of what's to come in the next 2 days.

Thanks again, Lyrical Lemongrass and Bald Eagle for organizing this wonderful trip. Masak-Masak did an excellent job in planning the makan itinerary. And Lotsofcravings, thanks for enduring my snores!

It's going to be Penang all this month, right here.

Gorn jin prawns

Butter prawns

Orgasmic roe in each prawn


Lung Seng
10, Jalan Besar
31800 Tanjung Tualang
Perak, Malaysia
Tel: (+605) 3600735


backStreetGluttons said...

This place has been famous for the longest time and infact might have the most no of seafood restaurants on dry land far from the sea
per sq foot in Malaysia

J said...

Lol. Love the photo of the aftermath - what a lot of prawn shells! :)

qwazymonkey said...

saya tak pernah pergi. *looks over at C&C* let's go road trip!!!

Nice pictures lah bro. If ours sure look like lapsup one.

CUMI & CIKI said...

yummie prawns.. now only u post ar.. as usual.. but better late than nevah! :P

CUMI & CIKI said...

munkey .. yes! another roadtrip:P

Xiu Long Bao said...

Now I understand the 'cholesterol theory' that u told me on sun.

550ml jar of faith @minchow said...

I can feel my feet throbbing just looking at the prawn roe - a feast like this is bound to unleash the king of gout attacks! GAH! But I want!!

mimid3vils said...

my family also didn't order prawns when dining outside, hehe :P

ck lam said...

Those prawns are fresh and this is the palce that I would love going back to.
In fact I still have my photos in my folder, almost forgotten about them.

Bangsar-bAbE said...

OMG...I'm drooling already. Bad hairy berry...bad!! 0_o

ai wei said...

hungry larrr... am drooling badly now... Awww

pang said...

luv em all...slurrrpppppp....
price cheaper than Rest Mun choong's (jln. pasir putih,Ipoh town)fresh water prawns. But then again, much bigger around rm20-rm30per pc.

Nic (KHKL) said...

backstreetgluttons, omg, that's a very interesting explanation! haha. i think that this is the kind of place that we should promote for tourism. it's really unique! much better than a new shopping complex.

j, yeah, it was a mountain! on all five plates! of course, some had them arranged nicely lah. not messy like mine! haha.

qwazymonkey, so farny la you! it'll be fun to go on a road trip with you guys la. gosh, i missed out 2 already. :( thanks for the compliment. aiyah, my plate was literally lapsup also la. and harlow, your pics rawk, ok!

cumi & ciki, your first comment reminded me of that fire incident! heheheheh...aiyah, u know how slow i can get lah. just posted absinthe last week! haha! hope to join u guys for the next road trip!

xiu long bao, which cholesterol theory ar? i think that day i was too crazy and hungry to remember la. i only remember eating salmon+collagen sushi. tell me when we meet, ya.

Nic (KHKL) said...

minchow, yeah, fight gout with gout, i'd say..there's another restaurant that we've been to that's great as well. will blog about it soon. served with curry sauce! oooohhh....

mimi, hi5! same goes to fish as well. i can almost see $$$ flying from my wallet when they mention pomfret. haha.

ck lam, i absolutely agree! there are many other dishes that we've not tried. it's definitely worth a revisit. i heard the place is very crowded too, at times. this must be a really famous place.

bangsar-babe, hahaha, i'm drooling also cos i can remember how the roe tasted. maybe we should all go there again!

ai wei, me too! hmmm, maybe i should go have supper later. prawn mee! hehe.

pang, you are right. the prawns are relatively smaller than those we got from another part of town. to me, the best dish was the dry-fried prawns. full of wok hei and salt. delicious!

J2Kfm said...

Still the better one compared to the others I've tried.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I agree with BSG. Remember the love story I told you? Took place 45 years ago in Tualang, k. :-D

Nic (KHKL) said...

j2kfm, this is the best for me! cos i've not tried the rest...hehehe...but seriously, good stuff la! ;D

lyrical lemongrass, lurve that story u told us that day! in the age of bad romance, that's something that we can all learn from! ;D