Disclaimer: What you’re about to read below is a really bad prawn joke. The punch line is just so corny and distasteful, yet I couldn’t help giggling like a silly 12 year old when I first read it. Some of you might have read it before since it has been floating around the internet for a long while now. I knew one day it’ll come in handy to accompany a post like this. You have been warned! Here goes:
There are two prawns, Dorothy and her boyfriend, Christian. They’re happy prawns, playing with their happy prawn friends. One day Dorothy decides that she’s bored and she goes off to the house of Cod.
“Cod, I’m bored,” says Dorothy. “Please turn me into a great big shark!” So, Cod waves his magic fin and turns Dorothy into a shark. Dorothy swims off and has a few fun weeks scaring all her little friends. But, eventually they worked out that this particular shark isn’t going to eat them, so they start ignoring her. Dorothy gets angry and (disturbed little prawn that she is) starts eating them.
At last, there is only Christian left, and Dorothy wants to play with him. She goes to Christian’s rock and says, “Christian, come out and play with me!”
“No no no no, you’re a big shark, you’re going to eat me!” replied the terrified Christian. “Cis! I won’t eat you, please come and play with me,” Dorothy demanded again. “No no no no, you’re an angry big shark now and you’re definitely going to eat me!”
So, Dorothy swims off to see Cod once again. “Cod, I’m bored! All my friends are dead, and Christian won’t play with me. Please turn me back into a prawn again.” Cod says “OK, I think you’ve learned your lesson,” waves his magic fin and Dorothy is a prawn again. She swims off to see Christian. “Come out and play with me now,” she calls. “No no no, you’re a shark, you’re going to eat me!”
“No, it’s OK! I’ve spoken to Cod, I’m a prawn again Christian!”
Okay, bad prawn jokes aside, let me tell you about the scrumptious seafood dinner I’ve had last week. As if there are any more need to proof that we Chinese loves our seafood, along comes another one with an excellent repertoire of seafood dishes done in many, many different ways. Uncle Prawn has been opened no more than a month ago at Kota Damansara’s new pride and joy, Sunway Giza (alas, it’s not the one in Egypt!) This new restaurant is a welcomed addition to the already thriving food scene of the neighbourhood. One can see that from how, surprisingly, bustling the restaurant was even on a rainy mid-week evening.
As you would expect from its name, prawn-based specialties are indeed what the restaurant wants to built its brand on. To be exact, the Tai Tau Har (giant freshwater prawns or udang galah) variety. In fact, the restaurant’s name in Cantonese is exactly just that. It’s also a quirky play on the Chinese idiom meaning “forgetful“. At the dinner, we managed to sample two very similar looking prawn dishes, but were worlds apart in their taste. Firstly, was the Cantonese-styled braised Sang Har Egg Noodles (RM 25/prawn) made with an excellent textured pure egg noodles which retained its ‘springiness’ even after soaking in the silky egg gravy topped with heaps of succulent prawns. It definitely got the oohs and ahhs out of everyone.
Just when we thought we had the ultimate prawn dish, along comes the Angled Loofah with River Prawns (RM30/prawn) vying for the same crown. The prawns on this dish were slightly larger and came swimming in a milky broth flavoured and tinged orange by an indulgent amount of prawn roe. Our arteries were probably screaming S.O.S as we profusely slurped on the intensely flavoured and addictive soup. Perhaps the idea of pairing the dish with the sweet loofah (seng kua) was to give it a “healthier” edge.
Like all good Chinese restaurants, Uncle Prawn knows that the key to success lies in variety and they did not disappoint. Our meal started off with a snackish Crispy Pork Belly with Honey (RM12) and Milk Butter Squid (RM12). While we absolutely loved the pork belly (Ciki wiped the dish out in a matter of seconds) but found the squid, no doubt tasty, to be on the chewy side. The healthiest dish of the night goes to the Crispy Homemade Tofu with Mushrooms and Broccoli, which comes with an unusual crumbly top layer which reminds me of the batter from Mr. Chiam’s fried nian gou.
The next dish is something I’ll remember for a while, and is what I’ll call a one pot wonder. Definitely one of the restaurant’s most defining dishes. Packed with mussels, crabs, prawns, frog legs and konyaku, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (RM118 per pot for 4pax) is the chef’s new invention and has yet to make the permanent menu. Oh did I mentioned that you’ll find an unusual piece of fried minced pork patty with salted fish and water chestnut hidden underneath all the other ingredients. This surprising element may sound strange or lost in the busy pot. However, it was anything but. Once again, the gravy was flavourful and addictive. Mrs. Fatboybakes and I were practically scraping the bottom of the pot for the last drop of its lovely non-spicy curry sauce. We were also told that the curry contained no coconut milk, which makes it all the more exceptional.
If you like butter prawn with golden egg floss, then you’ll like the Deep Fried Tilapia in Western Style (appx RM40/kg). Wonderfully executed for a fish that’s notoriously known for its muddy flavours which went really well with the side of coleslaw (that’s the western part!). Uncle Prawn’s take on a popular Shanghainese dish, Hong Shao Rou or better known by its English name of Braised Sweentened Pork Ribs (RM18.80) was awesome to sink into. Again, squeals of happiness were heard around the table. This sublime wobbly chunk of baby back ribs comes with two variations of Mantou.
Simple desserts of Herbal Black Jelly (RM4.50) and Lemongrass Jelly (RM4.50) with a compote of fruits were just what we needed to cleanse our palates at the end of this feast.
It’s been a pleasure being invited for a meal here. Many thanks to Stephanie, Tony and his super-wife, for hosting all of us. I can foresee that Uncle Prawn is going to be favourite among my family and group of friends. Another plus point for me was the low usage of MSG in the restaurant’s cooking despite how much gravy I’ve drank throughout the dinner. Nothing turns me off more than a case of MSG-poisoning after a Chinese meal.
Note: From now till 31 July 2010, spend RM50 at Uncle Prawn and you will get a tilapia for just RM1. If your bill exceeds RM80, you will get 300g of tiger prawns at just RM1.
This post was featured on The Sunday Star, 22nd August 2010. You can read the coverage on The Star’s website.
Uncle Prawn Restaurant
Unit A-15, Sunway Giza,
Jalan PJU 5/14 Dataran Sunway
Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: +603-6148 1998