Ikan Patin (Catfish) in Temerloh – Street Eats Journey 4

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Click to watch on YouTube >> https://youtu.be/g7TfdTbcQkI

To give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the planning of Street Eats Journey, the catalyst for our series was an invitation from Carotino Malaysia to visit and film their plantation in Pahang. We had less than 4 days to cover the 4 segments we needed to make a full TV pilot, and a rural plantation a day’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur had to be factored into the equation.

Enroute to the Carotino Pahang plantation.

Enroute to the Carotino Pahang plantation.

All your go-to foodie and travel destinations – Penang, Melaka, Ipoh, Langkawi – were out of the way and out of the question with our limited filming window. On top of that, it was Ramadan and a lot of street stalls in our long journey to the plantation would likely be closed until dusk, so the possibility of randomly stopping and filming these roadside vendors would be limited. Then my producer, David, put his research skills gleaned from years of making The Travel Bug to good use. He sent me an email about some town called Temerloh and its claim to fame, Ikan Patin (silver catfish). Temerloh is situated enroute to the Carotino plantation. I’m embarrassed to say I’d never heard of the place nor the fish.

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Discussing the Pahang River shoot with Alex, my director.

I reached out to the Facebook group – Global Malaysians Network – Australian Chapter – and right away, I had a number of offers to help, including one from Melbourne-based Albert Tay who had a Temerloh nephew, Desmond, who could act as a local fixer. Desmond in turn had a friend, Eddy, who owned a restaurant in Temerloh specialising in, you guessed it, Ikan Patin.

Ikan Patin farm

Ikan Patin farm

Everything went like a dream; we met up with Desmond and Eddy, who took us to the fish farm that supplied Eddy’s Ikan Patin. They then arranged for us to ride a boat along Pahang river and finally, it was off to an unforgettable meal and segment shoot at Eddy’s Restoran Delight.

Fresh seafood at Restoran Delight in Temerloh

Fresh seafood at Restoran Delight in Temerloh

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The restaurant’s unassuming exterior belies the wonderful food served there.

I got to meet Eddy’s lovely wife Shienie and their two kids – who were doing their schoolwork in the restaurant dining area. It reminded me of my own childhood growing up in the family business, of trying to complete our homework in between serving the customers.

Photo-op with Shienie and Eddy, the owners of Restoran Delight.

Photo-op with Shienie and Eddy, the owners of Restoran Delight.

Eddy and Shienie's kids doing their homework during downtime at the restaurant.

Eddy and Shienie’s kids doing their homework during downtime at the restaurant.

Temerloh is a good 2 hours out of KL but I can see why big city folks would make regular trips to this little town in the middle of nowhere just to try its legendary Ikan Patin. For the record, the Malays (as mentioned in this segment) cook the fish differently to how the Chinese prepare it; I look forward to trying that one day.

Ikan Patin steamed with soy sauce.

Ikan Patin steamed with soy sauce.

I understand with the recent floods in Malaysia that about 50% of the fish farms in Temerloh were destroyed; this is very sad and I hope the locals’ livelihoods are restored in a timely manner. Meanwhile I seriously am looking to work Temerloh into my future Malaysian trips – it’s well worth the travel to experience the beautiful Ikan Patin and other seafood the town, and in particular Restoran Delight, has to offer.

 

Restoran Delight kitchen

Restoran Delight kitchen

Thank you to everyone from the the Global Malaysians Network who reached out to me with offers of assistance; thank you in particular to Albert, Desmond, Eddy and Shienie. What an incredible meal 🙂

 

Restoran Delight business card.

Make a note of this place if ever you visit Temerloh.

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