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Lucky – A Lip-Smacker of Lips

Lucky Restaurant on Pasir Puteh main road has always been one of my places to go to whenever I am looking for a ‘Tsing’ meal. ‘Tsing’ is the Cantonese description for food that is clean (as in spring water), natural (minimum additives and taste aids) and fresh; as opposed to robust and rich. In fact, whenever my sister comes up from Singapore, Lucky is the place she requests to eat at.

Lucky Cheong the proprietor is always on the lookout for the freshest catch, the best seafood available and only the ones caught locally. “I never buy fish imported from Thailand. They may look appealing but I’m always suspicious that they have been preserved with formaldehyde or something equally sinister. That’s why I always buy local….whether from Pantai Remis, Kuala Sepetang or Sabah.”

In my review on Lucky Restaurant in the Ipoh Echo issue 179, I said that Lucky Restaurant is a veritable shrine for seafood lovers looking for the biggest, the rarest, and the freshest seafood and fish and  willing to pay the high prices that some of these dishes fetch.

The same holds true today and the quality has remained superlative. The fish noodles in claypot is still yummilicious (my favourite) and their  heavenly, springy, homemade fish balls which proprietor Lucky Cheong swears is made from pure fish meat, a mix of saito (wolf herring) and tao foo yu (Yellowback fusilier) with no other additives other than salt and water, are there. And of course one can choose from the giant grouper or loong dan which is prized for its thick, velvety smooth gelatinous skin; or the parrot fish; or his specialty (depending on availability) the tao dai (large white pomfret, seasonal price) and request for your favourite style of preparation.

But Lucky is not one to rest on his laurels and on a recent visit I was enticed into ordering something I have never in my entire life tasted before – Shark Lips. I have had Shark’s liver which if fresh is comparable to Foie Gras, especially pan fried and which is also available at Lucky’s – a fact of which I was totally unaware, despite being quite a regular at Lucky’s.

I was dubious as to the taste, worrying that it may be too fishy for my palate as the plate of Shark’s Lips arrived on a platter looking for all the world like slices of wobby white jelly with scallions and other accoutrement as garnish. To my utter surprise and delight, the ‘jelly’ had a firmness on the bite and was absolutely umami with not the slightest hint of fishiness. It had a velvety texture and slid down the throat like the jelly it resembles.

I was with my sister Winnie and there were only the two of us but nevertheless we polished off the plate with alacrity and promised ourselves to return for more of the same and to add Shark’s Lips to the list of our favourites. RM150 per kilo. Our portion RM70

While at Lucky’s remember their fabulous Wonton and their fried small fish as appetizer. And do sit and savour the wide selection of special teas that is also Lucky’s trademark.

Restoran Lucky
266 Jalan Pasir Puteh, Pasir Puteh.
Tel.: 05-255 7330, 012-501 6630, 012-510 6279
Business Hours: 7.30 am-3.30 pm
Closed 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
GPS:  4° 34.802’N, 101° 4.913’E
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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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