Thursday, July 11, 2013

An Evening In Tanjung Dawai

Years gone by... My boy is already done with with his first year at uni. He's back on his break. And since mantis prawns is one of his favourite, my friend enthusiastically made the necessary calls to make this trip a success. These prawns are only available during certain time of the month only... something to do with the ebb and flow of tides. So, it's always best to call ahead. Anyway, I blogged about this place here after my first visit there 3 years ago. We've gone back there 2 or 3 times but did not manage to eat the mantis prawns.

So after lessons with the kids, we pushed off to Tanjung Dawai, 5 kids and 2 mothers - 4 juvenile and one soon-to-be adult, who can now drive. The journey took over an hour and when the first stop was the wharf to get the mantis prawns where they are kept in holding tanks.
The prawns are as fresh as you can get them, alive and swimming for us to choose. We took 8 of these huge flers. These set us back around RM150 @RM95 per kg. These were skill kicking when we passed it to the cook to be deep fried. You can also request for them to be baked.
We also took some crabs. 4 of these cost around RM20, which I felt was quite reasonable. We had it cooked sweet sour. The littlest of the kids who is a crab fan ended up saying that the mantis prawn tasted better than the crabs. I have this to say... at that size, they are as good as lobsters.

These we took to the old ramshackle restaurant by the jetty. Beyond the jetty is Pantai Merdeka. The shop was packed when we got there at around 5.00 p.m. Service was quite slow but everyone dug in as soon as the orders arrived. We also ordered some deep fried squids and another vegetable dish for good measure. Suffice to way, everything was wiped clean. Initially, I had thought that there might be mantis prawns left over for us to tapau home but it was not meant to be. We paid an additional RM70 at the restaurant for their service and the extra dishes.
An interesting observation though... Found the way this uncle make the drinks most interesting. Watching him prepare each drink conveys the feeling that every cup he makes is important to him. We noticed that every glass took quite a while to prepare. One can't help but feel that it's of great concern to him that every glass is well-prepared. He makes sure that the sugar or milk is well mixed into the drink by twisting this mini egg beater like thing in the glass. It's quite mesmerising watching him work. This uncle takes great pride in his work. I noticed too that he would wash his hands, utensils while he sets about preparing each drink.

I have not blogged about food for quite some time. But memories are made of these. The kids are growing. One of mine has 'semi-flown' the roost. In a short time, the other 4 kids (3 belong to my friend) will leave the nest too. On our way home, we stopped by the popular restaurant for Bedong's famous mantou. The mantou tasted better this time around too.
The trip was nice... And I didn't have to drive... 8)