Bedong, a small town located 12km north of Sungai Petani, Kedah may sounds alien to the folks in Penang or Kuala Lumpur. It is a sub-district of Sungai Petani and houses AIMST university. Chuan Heang restaurant, a modest restaurant in Bedong town offers a simple yet unique food - Mantou (steamed buns).
A traditional mantou or steamed bun is made of wheat flour and has no fillings, while a more delicate version of mantou may be deep fried or sweeten with condensed milk. Now you may be asking me then, why bother to travel so far to the small town Bedong just to taste some leavened wheat flour?
The answer lies in the filling or to be more precise, the piece of wonder hold by the mantou. The golden coloured deep fried stuff is actually beancurd skin with pounced shrimps and mushrooms as fillings. The great combination of pounced shrimps and mushrooms yields excellent aroma with every bites.
It was tough to tell that the fillings are actually mixture of shrimps and mushrooms as they were pounced into very fine texture, and the chef creatively concealed it by applying a thin layer of bak kua sauce on top of it. I was deceived and thought it was pork meat until further clarification with the restaurant owner.
One drawback is that you have to order a minimum 4 pieces of mantou (RM5.60), each piece cost RM1.40 as they only sell in the multiple of 4. Fret not, I could finish 4 pieces in one shot as it was not sebaceous due to exclusion of meat in the processing, what says you then?
You will be surprised that the core business of Chuan Heang restaurant is zhu cha (wok-fried dishes) but not the mantou. However, a lot of patrons will walk to the kitchen and order a quantity of mantou for dine in during tea break or take away. You will see the kitchen are busying preparing the mantou and amazed at the mantou they are preparing, yet it could be sold out within minutes when they are ready. I have not tasted their zhu cha so I cannot comment further on it.
The restaurant is rather small hence it may be challenging to find a seat during lunch or dinner time. Be prepared to wait for the mantou as I waited mine for 30 minutes during lunch hour. It was definitely worth then wait.
If you are not familiar with Sungai Petani and wish to head to the restaurant, just exit from Sungai Petani Utara toll and turn right immediately at the first traffic light. Go ahead until you see Shell petrol station on your right. The restaurant is roughly opposite of the petrol stations, grouping with other restaurants together.
Chuan Heang Restaurant
Operation hours: 12 pm - 10 pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Location map refers here.
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