Monday, 9 December 2013
Yuan Yean Fish Ball in Yong Peng, Johor 元延正宗永平西刀鱼丸
When I asked Johor Kaki Facebook fans for suggestions on what to eat in Yong Peng before my trip to KL, several fans mentioned Yuan Yean fish balls 元延西刀鱼丸.
In my opinion, Yong Peng 永平 is an ideal stopover between KL and JB/Singapore as the town is just 5 minutes drive after exiting the toll gate (Exit 241/ Exit 242) and there are a number of interesting eateries. As the population in Yong Peng is mainly Foochow 福州 , it is an opportunity to try out unique Foochow cuisine.
Yuan Yean is quite easy to locate. It is along the Main Road, beside the Caltex petrol station and a few shops from the KFC outlet. Yong Peng is a strip town, so most of the restaurants are just on the left or right side of the Main Road.
The décor at Yuan Yean is simple, neat and clean with an air conditioned section, a non air conditioned interior and an al fresco area. Yuan Yean is equipped with clean toilets and wash basins which are welcome little blessings for travellers.
If you are stopping by between JB/Singapore and KL, Yuan Yean has ample free parking right at the restaurant. It even has a helpful attendant who directs traffic and cover the windscreens of customer's cars with cardboard to keep out the scorching sun.
Yuan Yean is now run by Thomas, the second generation owner. Thomas's dad was the first to introduction the fish ball business in Yong Peng. After more fish ball restaurants opened in Yong Peng, the small town became famous for this speciality.
Heritage photo of Yuan Yean in 1998
Yuan Yean started as a push cart stall in 1988 and moved into it's present premise in 1998.
Yuan Yean's claim to fame is their hand made 100% Ikan Parang fish balls with no MSG or preservatives. Tender, bouncy with a nice fresh fish aroma. (After the success of Yuan Yean's fish balls, other shops emerged helping make Yong Peng a popular food stop.)
Included in the set is this thick yellow noodles in a dark soy sauce with fried shallot aroma.
We also ordered the mee suah soup version to try.
Besides the fish balls, another Must Try is the old school Foochow fish balls.
Foochow fish ball is unique as it is like wanton except that the minced pork is warped in fish paste instead of wanton skin. Foochow fish ball is a blend of fish and pork flavours with an interesting mouth feel. Not commonly found except in places where the Foochow people live.
The fried tofu skin and Yuan Yean's fried fish cake. Both were crispy and the fish cake has a soft inside with a nice fish aroma.
Another Yong Peng specialty - Taiping 太平 eggs, which is fried hard boiled eggs wrapped in fish paste and light batter. Interesting blend of flavours and textures worth a try.
Not a Foochow speciality but this otak otak Muar is really good stuff. Compact, dense with fresh Ikan Tenggiri meat and held together with coconut milk and aromatic mildly hot spices. Yuan Yean got this from a leading otak otak Muar maker - steamed and served on order.
I like the chili dip at Yuan Yean which is made with 5 types of chilis including the ultra hot Vietnamese chili peppers.
->> If you want a quick food stop with a light meal and simple drinks between KL and JB, Yuan Yean Fishball is a good option.
Restaurant name: Yuan Yean Fishball Eating House 元延正宗永平西刀鱼丸
Address: 123, Main Road, Yong Peng, Johor
Hours: 8:30am to 7:30pm (Closed on alternate Wednesday)
Date visited: 9 Dec 2013
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