Dis­cover the in­tri­ca­cies of Tereng­ganu’s Malay cui­sine from Tan­jong Jara Re­sort’s Chef Ann

Dis­cover the in­tri­ca­cies of Tereng­ganu’s Malay cui­sine from Tan­jong Jara Re­sort’s Chef Ann dur­ing a tour of her daily stomp­ing ground, the bustling Dun­gun Mar­ket.

YTL Life - - Contents - Words WEI-YU WANG

Dun­gun, a peace­ful sea­side town with an ac­tive fish­ing in­dus­try, has a charm­ing laid-back vibe. Chef Ann, who was born here, has worked at Tan­jong Jara Re­sort since 1999. She vis­its the mar­ket ev­ery morn­ing, and if re­sort guests want to fol­low her on a spe­cially guided tour, she will gamely bring them along. “This is where the lo­cals come,” she of­fers, with a smile.

The mar­ket hums gen­tly with ac­tiv­ity, and Chef Ann heads straight to the wet mar­ket sec­tion, where stall own­ers greet her warmly. Ta­bles are piled high with a rain­bow of shim­mer­ing ocean catch. There is a brightly hued red snap­per, tiger­striped mack­erel, a palm-sized shiny sil­ver mir­ror fish, tiny slip­per lob­sters and a mas­sive 15kg stingray. Fish­mon­gers do brisk busi­ness, and are busy gut­ting and fil­let­ing for wait­ing cus­tomers.

Chef Ann is in her el­e­ment amid the clam­our as she moves from stall to stall, while of­fer­ing guests tips on se­lect­ing the best seafood for spe­cific dishes. “Tuna is pop­u­lar with lo­cals in the form of curry or sam­bal,” she ex­plains. Par­rot­fish, she says, is sweet and has soft flesh. Stingray is best for cur­ries and bar­be­cues. Shark is mostly good for curry, while bur­gundy-toned blocks of roe are tasty when deep-fried with gar­lic.

Dun­gun mar­ket is also pop­u­lar for its de­li­cious food and snacks. Some of the fare is unique to Malaysia like apam ba­lik – peanut turnover pan­cake – and other va­ri­eties of lo­cal desserts or kuih.

Back at the re­sort, Chef Ann works out of the Di Atas Sungei restau­rant. Here, she and her kitchen team pre­pare the dishes from the mar­ketto-ta­ble menu that very day.

Al­ways a repos­i­tory of in­for­ma­tion, the good­hu­moured chef en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ex­plains the dif­fer­ences be­tween ren­dang and as­sam to din­ers new to these styles of Malay cui­sine. “I’m al­ways happy to pre­pare dishes the ways guests pre­fer,” she says.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.tan­jong­jararesort.com

THE MAR­KET HUMS GEN­TLY WITH AC­TIV­ITY, AND CHEF ANN HEADS STRAIGHT TO THE WET MAR­KET SEC­TION, WHERE STALL OWN­ERS GREET HER WARMLY.

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