‘Ancient fish’ dish among delights at Ipoh’s Labu Sayong Signature Restaurant

The restaurant offers more than 50 menus to customers and 70 percent of them are traditional ‘authentic’ food of the State of Perak. (Pix by Noraini Ahmad)

IPOH: ‘Ikan Purba Labu Sayong’, ‘Tenggiri Kepai Udang Kertas’, ‘Rusuk Kambing Tongkat Ali’ and ‘Ikan Tongkol Pindang Daun Senair’ are some of the many authentic traditional Perak dishes that will arouse the curiosity and delight the taste buds of patrons of Restoran Labu Sayong Signature, here.

The restaurant, based on the ‘rumah kutai’ or pre-1900 traditional Perak Malay house concept and located near Bulatan Amanjaya in Meru Raya, is an initiative of the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) to promote the state’s cuisine and tourism.

PKNP Hospitality and Tourism executive chef, Nazrie Shaaban said the restaurant offered more than 50 dishes on the menu, with 70 per cent of them being authentic Perak Malay traditional dishes and the rest from other states and the Middle East.

He said the menu selection was made by him and chief cook Zaharullail Ashari as Perak traditional dishes have their own uniqueness and taste appeal.

The menu also includes ‘Pajeri Nenas Kampung Selabak’, ‘Gulai Lemak Pisang Muda-Mudi’, ‘Kari Ayam Limau Purut Sungkai’, ‘Itik Darat Desa Trong’, ‘Sup Ketam Labu Sayong’, ‘Telur Dadar Ikan Tenggir’ and “Asam Pedas Ikan Tenggiri Bunga Kantan’ to please the palate.

Nazrie said the ‘Ikan Purba Labu Sayong’ dish using deboned and fried siakap fish, drenched with cili padi-ginger sauce, for instance, contained 27 local herbs to maintain authenticity.

There is also ‘Laksa Pulau Pangkor’, a favourite of Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, who hails from the resort island.

The variety of appetizers include ‘Wadai Kiping Gula Kabong’ , which is a traditional dish of the Banjarese community, ‘Tepek Pisang’, ‘Sira Pisang Sate Gamelan Serai Sebarang’, ‘Cucur Udang Kak Ros’ and ‘Kerepek Daun Kesum’.

According to Nazrie, the restaurant which started operating on Aug 17, has eight highly-skilled cooks. It opens daily from 11am to 10pm on Monday to Thursday and from 11am to 11pm from Friday to Sunday.

It was officially opened by State Industry, Investment and Corridor Development Committee chairman, Datuk Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid last Monday.

PKNP Communications and Corporate Affairs director, Norlida A. Manaf said the rumah kutai restaurant in Meru Raya would serve as a new attraction due to the uniqueness of its architectural design.

She said the building of the three rumah kutai at a cost of RM200,000 each for the restaurant was also timely, in keeping with the rapid development in Meru Raya and also strategically located near the Movie Animation Theme Park (MAPS), Casuarina Hotel and Ipoh Convention Centre, as well as the Bulatan Amanjaya recreational area.

The rumah kutai were modelled after the house built in the 1840’s belonging to Tok Anjang Pelita, a penghulu in Pasir Salak.

“Although newly opened, the response to the restaurant has been very encouraging so far,” Norlida said, adding that PKNP planned to open more franchised restaurants serving authentic Perak traditional fare, while a hipster cafe, Kafe Labu Sayong would be established soon at Kompleks Silveritage in Medan Gopeng, here. – Bernama