During our last visit to see my parents-in-law in Sungei Petani at the recent Raya break, our niece's boyfriend led us this rustic seafood restaurant for lunch. We drove in a convoy of 3 cars. It took us nearly an hour and we finally arrived at Kedai Makanan Dan Minuman Kemunting Kenneth Ng.
I will not be able to direct you there. Unfortunately I did not have my Garmin to take down the co-ordinates. So the best I can do is to provide the full address - Lot 1331, Kampung Kemunting, Pekan Karangan, Kulim, Kedah. The drive went through some rough roads and ended in a place like this.
But the surrounding scenery was breath-taking. Enjoy some of the snapshots I took.
The restaurant was not much of a place. It was basically a large dingy shed with the barest of amenities. The place was not crowded. There were some people sitting around idly, perhaps waiting for their food. But the nearby kitchen was a hive of activities.
There was shed by the lake - ideal for a relaxing meal. Unfortunately it was already taken.
Kenneth Ng, the owner himself took our orders. As it turned out, he was a grumpy man. He told us curtly that since we did not make prior reservations, we would have to wait awhile for our meal. Who makes reservations in a place like that? Not as if they were doing a roaring business. When we asked what was good in his menu selection, he tersely replied that everything he cooked was good and made no recommendation. What an attitude!
And indeed, we had to wait for more than an hour before the first dish arrived. In the meantime, we were served mugs of nutmeg juice which was really not the ideal drink for a seafood meal. I would had preferred the simple Chinese tea. But we were not offered the choice. The kids had to buy some prawn crackers to relieve their hunger as it was approaching 3pm by then.
The first dish that finally arrived was this deep fried tilapia. Perhaps it was the hunger, but it tasted wonderfully delicious. The fish was very fresh and was fried to its full glory. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I was munching on the fins and bones. They were delightfully crunchy.
Next was the curried wild boar meat. It was a dry curry. The meat was surprisingly tender. The flavour and aroma of the curry was absolutely superb. I like curried wild boar a lot and have tasted it in many places. This place perhaps serves one of the best.
The patin was huge and steamed in 2 halves. The head was steamed in a clear soya and fish sauce. A very good choice. The fish was expectedly very very fresh. The belly of the fish was heavenly. It was soft and tender, and so very delicious. The patin is one of my favourite fresh water fish.
The tail half was steamed in a chilli and bean sauce. Another wow. The sauce was spicy and rich, and complemented the fish. I enjoyed it absolutely.
These are chicken - young chicks. I can't help but notice that people in the north like to eat premature birds. They were marinated and deep fried. They tasted good. The skins were crispy. The bones were crunching. You could practically eat the total bird - bones and all.
Finally, the green dish...
By the time we finished our meal, it was over 4pm. A meal between breakfast and lunch is called brunch. What do you call a meal between lunch and dinner? Lunner? This was exactly that. I had such a full meal that dinner became unnecessary. Kenneth may be a grumpy man, but he sure cooks a good meal.