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Monday, May 23, 2011

Crab, marmite pork ribs and 1m roti, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Forget the humble nut cracker. I love that in Malaysia you get a little hammer to crack open your crab.

After three days in Phuket exploring James Bond and Phi Phi islands, we make our way back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a finale of shopping and eating. Crab has been at the top of our To Eat list, and we head to Wong Poh in Petaling Jaya, a local favourite famous for their crab.

Pickled papaya

Wong Poh sits in a small cluster of restaurants, a beacon of bright lights in an otherwise deserted street. Inside we find the undecorated dining room filled with families -- many of them boasting three generations -- all sitting on plastic stools and huddled about large round tables.

The blackboard menu

We start with complimentary nibblies - salted peanuts and slender strips of pickled papaya - as we peruse the menu, a carefully hand-written blackboard menu offfering a dizzying array of choices.

Fish head curry RM40 (about AU$14.30)

Fish head curry is the first dish to arrive, a deep tureen of tumeric-tinted curry that is packed with tofu puffs, okra and fat chunks of fish head slowly simmered until the flesh is soft and yielding.

Marmite pork ribs RM20 (about AU$7.20)

Marmite pork ribs are a cross-cultural celebration, mixing marmite (similar to Vegemite) with honey to create a sticky finger-licking muddle of caramelised pork goodness.

Stir-fried noodles with lala (pippis) RM18 (about AU$6.40)

I still love the fact that the Malaysian word for pipis is "lala". It makes dinner sound so musical. We dig into a mound of stir-fried noodles, savouring the surprise finds of pippi meat hidden within.

Butter crab

We've ordered two styles of crab. Butter crab is a glistening bounty of sweet crab flesh bathed in a rich creamy sauce. There is nothing more joyous than eating crab with your fingers, using your chopsticks to coax out reluctant shreds of flesh, and licking the shells to get every every last bit of sauce.

Salted egg yolk crab

Salted egg yolk crab is a wet mixture that clings to the surface of the crab. It's not the crumbly egg yolk I'm expecting, but the richness of salted duck yolks is relished regardless.

Deep-fried mantou buns RM7 (about AU$2.50)

We pounce on the deep-fried mantou buns, soft pillows of sweet steamed bread that have been deep-fried until the skins reach a toffee-like crisp. The buns are meant for dipping in the crab sauce, but I prefer to eat them on their own, enjoying the contrast between the golden shells and the fluffy interiors.

Everybody loves crab

Fruit plate RM6 (about AU$2.15)

The fruit plate is a serve of mangoes, cooled with shards of ice and eaten with plastic toothpicks. They're bright yellow in colour but are actually sour in taste, designed to refresh the palate. Malaysians also love sour fruits.

Lotus paste pancake RM7.50 (about AU$2.70)

The sweet factor is more than provided by the lotus paste pancake, flaky pastry stuffed with sweet lotus paste and fried in oil until crunchy and blistered.

Popiah RM4.50 (about AU$1.60)

Our final day is spent shopping. Minh and I pound the pavement at the One Utama shopping centre, shopping for twelve hours from 10am until 10pm. We break for food in the local food court, and before we leave there's even room for a final 1m roti tisu, a fitting mega-sized farewell to our group of voracious food bloggers.

Penang char kway teow RM8.50 (about AU$3)

Tahu bakar tofu puffs stuffed with salad RM4.50 (about AU$1.60)

One last Assam laksa RM4.50 (about AU$1.60)


Ais batu campur or ais kacang

1m roti tisu from Nasi Kandar 
Read more about the 1m roti tisu at Nasi Kandar

Crazy Pringles flavours at the supermarket including soft shell crab, seaweed, wild spices and lemon and sesame

And guess what - by the time you read this post, I'll be back in Malaysia! I'm travelling around Malaysia for a week as a guest of Malaysia Kitchen with a small group of journalists, hosted by Adam Liaw, winner of MasterChef Australia season two.

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for updates, and don't worry, posts will continue as usual on Grab Your Fork!

< Read the first Malaysia 2010 post (Kuala Lumpur) 

Wong Poh Restaurant
No. 36 and 38, Jalan BM 1/2
Bukit Mayang Mas
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 (03) 7803 3527
21 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/23/2011 05:22:00 am


  • At 5/23/2011 8:06 am, Blogger K said…

    PRINGLES I want soft shell crab flavour!
    Have fun Helen! Don't come back til you have a full belly, lots of pics and plenty of stories to tell us. :)

  • At 5/23/2011 8:16 am, Blogger Shanks said…

    So much crab, so much deliciousness!! Have a great trip Helen and bring back some funny flavoured Pringles :D

  • At 5/23/2011 9:37 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Tofu puffs stuffed with salad! Pickles things! Sweets and sweets and sweets! Oh yes. This is making me miserable on a Monday morning indeed.

  • At 5/23/2011 9:38 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    lol - ss crab Pringles... In one place in HK, we were given scissors to get into Alaskan king crab legs - surprisingly effective, but probably not for thicker shelled muds

  • At 5/23/2011 11:08 am, Blogger muppy said…

    Sounds awesome, hope you have a fab time! I love the look of that butter crab.

  • At 5/23/2011 11:25 am, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    wow i never had roti tissue!

  • At 5/23/2011 11:39 am, Blogger Apple said…

    I would die for those tofu puffs!!
    They look so light and yummy. And some of those lemon seasoned pringles would just be perfect :)

  • At 5/23/2011 12:05 pm, Blogger susan said…

    Malaysia again! Wow I can't wait to see the photos from that trip too. The fish head curry looks magnificent.

  • At 5/23/2011 12:06 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    I love the little hammer for the crab! Hope you have an awesome time in Malaysia Helen!

  • At 5/23/2011 12:39 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    Lucky duck! Hope you have a blast in Malaysia - it's another place I really want to go to. To eat (of course) and to visit the country which provided my parents refuge after escaping Vietnam and where I was born! :)

    Those pringles flavours are insane!

  • At 5/23/2011 3:26 pm, Anonymous Dumpling Girl said…

    Hope your having a great time. I never knew that Pringles had so many flavours.

  • At 5/23/2011 5:41 pm, Blogger sugarpuffi said…

    whoa they actually give u a hammer for the crabs! Whack em good!!! ahh i love the sight of the 1m roti <3

  • At 5/23/2011 7:44 pm, Blogger Kay @ Chopstix2Steaknives said…

    oooh.....I am missing those marmite pork ribs!!!! Cant find any in London.

  • At 5/23/2011 7:52 pm, Anonymous kay said…

    yum yum yum!

  • At 5/23/2011 8:16 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    Wow what a feast! The ribs look amazing! I love seeing the different flavour varieties of Pringles lol :)

  • At 5/23/2011 11:54 pm, Anonymous penny aka jeroxie said…

    So many delicious Malaysian favourites! The butter crabs! The 1M high roti! Super jealous.

  • At 5/24/2011 1:19 am, Anonymous Jenny @ Musings and Morsels said…

    I love how Malaysians (and other SE Asians) really take it upon themselves to make a point of their bounty of fruits. Too much papaya? Let's pickle them. Tired of juicy watermelon in its raw form? Let's throw it in a noodle soup (and they do). Great!

  • At 5/24/2011 2:51 pm, Anonymous chopinandmysaucepan said…

    Assam laksa of that quality and size at RM4.50?!

    The tangy sour taste is perfect and I would have 2 bowls just for starters :)

  • At 5/24/2011 3:46 pm, Blogger Dynamic Naturopathy said…

    I have recently returned from KL and can't wait to read about what you ate. I wish I had tasted the crabs MMMM.

  • At 5/26/2011 2:56 pm, Anonymous sara (Belly Rumbles) said…

    Enjoy your week in Malaysia. The marmite pork ribs do look finger licking.

  • At 5/28/2011 8:16 pm, Anonymous Shaun @ Everybody Loves Ramen said…

    The metre roti!!!! <3 <3 <3 I want!!!

    Love popiah too -- looks so good.

    And the PRINGLE FLAVORS!!! Nothin better than findin' tasty asian flavors of pringles/lays chips :D


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