Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ulek Mayang Restaurant, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu

From The NST

Fiery Monsoon laksa, nice match to stormy season
Spicy mee mamak with fresh seafood and tofu
The fried rice comes with keropok lekor
“WOULD you like to try our Monsoon Laksa?” the petite waitress asked as I switched my gaze from the pouring rain outside to the menu she handed to me.

Not a bad idea, I thought, as the annual year-end north-easterly monsoon wreaked havoc outside Heritage Bay’s Ulek Mayang Restaurant in Pulau Duyong near Kuala Terengganu.

The menu offered a tantalising list of both local and traditional cuisine. I was especially attracted to the interesting names given to the dishes.

Imagine tucking into a spicy Monsoon Laksa and cooling down with an icy cold Ais Kacang Lambaian Kasih (love wave). I was not sure whether the former could rival the storm raging outside or if the dessert would encourage me to wave lovingly to all present after dinner.

But the laksa it would be for me. My friends Natasha, Din and Husrin decided to have Pulau Redang Special, Heritage Bay Club Lekor Fried Rice and Nasi Lemak Traditional Seberang Takir respectively. Add to that ais kacang, mixed fruit platter and bubur pulut for dessert.

We had a good chuckle over the noodles. Imagine a name like Ah Chew Fried Noodles. To us, it sounded more like “Ah Choo” and we imagined the chef having a tingling sensation in his nostrils and the sudden “wooosh” that would normally follow. So we gave that a miss altogether.

Jumbo Serving

Food arrived in a jiffy, which was surprising considering the packed Thursday evening crowd. The tables were well spaced and the sail-like partitions provided diners with a private dining feeling although practically every table was occupied.

Servings were more than generous. My bowl had twice as much noodles as what I would normally get back home while the ice cream topping on the ais kacang was way beyond the capacity of a normal person, so my friends and I decided to do the natural thing — share!

At the end of the meal, we were really satiated. I enjoyed the rich laksa gravy, heavily laden with deboned fish. It was definitely one of the best I have ever eaten. The keropok lekor that I pinched from Husrin’s fried rice was crunchy and not too oily nor salty. Just the way I like it.

The Pulau Redang Special turned out to be a foot-long chicken sausage served in a warm bun. Although the sausage itself was a bit chewy, we loved the homemade sauce that had a hint of coriander. It took all our concerted efforts to finish the whopper!

The only snag of the day was the bubur pulut hitam panas bersantan. The black glutinous rice was a bit overdone and the santan too diluted.

Natasha’s nasi lemak was prepared using a recipe from the villagers of Seberang Takir, a quaint fishermen’s kampung nearby. It had an aromatic pandan smell and the chicken stew it was cooked in gave it a unique taste. There was also the dried squid sambal and usual side accompaniments of ikan bilis, cucumber, egg and peanuts.

By now, the storm had abated. As we were leaving, I turned around and saw the waitress who had taken our orders. Unconsciously, I waved farewell.

Hmm, was it an after-effect of the Ais Kacang Lambaian Kasih?

Where It’s At

Ulek Mayang Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the main clubhouse, offers all-day dining on local and western cuisine.

Address: The Heritage Bay Club Marina & Resort, Pulau Duyong, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu. Tel: 09-627 7888, Fax: 09-622 9903, e-mail: info@heritagebayclub.com, website: www.heritagebayclub.com

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