25 September 2010

Malay Food in Ipoh - Restoran Tasik Raban

We finally tried out the well-known Restoran Tasik Raban near the Balai Bomba HQ close to the Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah for lunch today. The restaurant started out somewhere near Sauk (near Kuala Kangsar) at Lake Raban. The story goes that some VIP in Ipoh loved the food so much that the restaurant owner was made on offer too good to refuse to open up in Ipoh.

Well, the food was really tasty. I am not that well acquainted with Malay food, and this restaurant is famed for homestyle Perak-Malay cuisine - but I certainly enjoyed all the dishes that we ordered.

I used to be repulsed by "tempoyak" (a durian paste that is fermented and mixed with chillies and spices to be eaten as a sambal/ sauce) but on trying tempoyak here, it was fabulous! The traditional sambal that goes with "ulam" was also great.

While I was picking out my ulam, a Malay gentleman asked me "Orang Cina tahu makan ulam juga? " (The Chinese know how to eat ulam too?) I smiled and replied, "Tahu, sebenarnya saya sangat suka. Lagipun sekarang kan 1Malaysia?" (Of course, actually I love ulam. We are all 1Malaysia now.) Wouldn't our PM Najib be proud of my response??

The place is supposed to be famous for its grilled fish (ikan bakar), but we didn't order any today. Well, reason enough to go back again! We had ulam, "urap" (salad-like dish with coconut and chillies and "pucuk paku"), sambal sotong, tempe cooked in sambal, rendang and french beans fried with tumeric and egg. All were eaten with hearty appetites and I finshed my big plate of rice. (the kids had their take-away KFC snack plates there, though!) I bought some home for our maid's lunch - she said it was delicious and reminded her of her mother's cooking at home!

Well, looks like everyone agrees that the food at Tasik Raban is good.

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