It was a simple makan shop at the end of a dark row of shop houses. It seemed rather isolated and out of place in the vicinity of a quiet stretch of road that led to some private residences. We got ourselves a nice table and as Edwin and wife ordered the dishes, I walked around with my camera for some pictures. Then it was deja vu. It dawned on me that I had actually been to this place before. It was easily more than 10 years ago, perhaps when my father was still alive. I remembered a nearby house and I related it to the quiet road to realize that I had been there before. The world of food is perhaps a very small one.
Edwin ordered a feast that night. It started with the hor chien (蚵煎 or oyster omelet) which was really quite good. The oysters were very fresh. But I was a little queasy over them. The little white balls looked like and reminded me of eggs of some lizards or spiders.
The shrimp salad was fantastic. It was deep fried prawns mixed into a salad of vegetable and fruits. The dressing was mayonnaise. The prawn was fresh and delicious.
The fish was a siakap or sea bass or barramundi. It was deep fried with a sweet Thai sauce and some mango and onion strips over it. It was very fresh. It was so well fried that we could eat the fins and tails - bones and all. Very nicely done indeed.
The tofu was ordinary, simple but nice. There was some minced meat and deep fried shallots over it and served with a light soy sauce.
The braised pork knuckle was eaten with a bread roll. It was not extraordinary. It was not too fat. The sauce was light and pleasant. The bread was very nice and complemented the pork very well.
We had a choy sum (菜心) for our vege dish.
The final 2 dishes took some time to arrive. And they were worth waiting for. The duck was meat deep fried with a layer of yam. It was served in a sweet soy sauce. Somehow yam complements duck meat very well. The yam was crispy at the crust. The meat was tender and delicious. I enjoyed the combination.
Soft shell crab is one of my all time favorites. I believe the soft shell is at the time when the crab is molting its old shell. What a time to be cooked! Anyway, the crabs were deep fried in a batter, in which I detected a slight flavor of curry spices. It was covered with a generous portion of deep fried yam in strips. The taste was marvelous. The crab was rich and juicy when bitten into. Most of my soft shell crab experiences were in Japanese restaurants where the servings are small and where I never had enough. But here the portions were big. In spite of the very good taste, I could only manage one piece, which was half a crab.
Soon Tong is a very credible makan place. Beside the taste, the thing that I particularly liked was the freshness of the seafood. The price was also very reasonable. That meal for 10 people with all the goodies we had came to just over RM160. The place is apparently very popular in spite its remoteness. And I could well see the reason why.