Sunday, 24 January 2010

Tiger Prawn Treat

Travellers going south on the North-South Highway, and exiting the Pagoh toll to get to Batu Pahat would have probably wondered where that side road on the left after the bridge leads to. But a few luminaries, including the previous transport minister, Tan Kong Choi, had set foot on that little 'pekan' or small township, Panchor to savour its well-known (at least to some) freshly caught udang galah, or tiger prawns.

There is little in that sleepy hollow to excite the imagination, except for the river which flows by the town and is designated as a station to monitor the quality of water in the river as part of a government programme to clean up the rivers in Johor.

The shop, Han Thay seems to have a long history as evidenced by two photos of the founders. Other than the two photos, there are newspaper cuttings to impress visitors that the shop is pretty well known among food lovers, particularly Johoreans.

One of the dignitaries, the former Minister of Transport, seen with a group enjoying a lunch spread

The town and its river

The restaurant known for its udang galah

This is the best dish: steamed tiger prawns

This deep fried variety is palatable, but after the steamed version, this is disappointing

There are of course other dishes which it is famous for, for instance, the 'jiu he eng chai', but this can be found in any rojak stalls in small towns, the only difference being the restaurant uses peanut sauce instead of the more common sweet sauce used for 'chee cheong fun'.

If you are on the way back from the north and happen to exit the Pagoh toll, it is worthwhile to stop there to try out the food. After the bridge, you will see a straight road on the left. Follow the road until until you see a Chinese primary school; you won't miss it.


  1. Udang galah is a freshwater prawn specie ( Scientific name : Macrobrachium rosenbergii ) while tiger prawn is marine ( Scientific name : Peneaus monodon ).

  2. Thanks for the correction, anonymous.

  3. How to get there?

  4. You fly, drive and walk, then ask for direction. You'll get there.