I usually prefer to take the 2nd alternative even though it means passing through more small towns and villages (i.e. a longer journey time). I like to travel this way because I can break my journey at a few places of choice where I get to taste some lovely foodstuff. Depending on the time of travel, I could either stop for makan at Batu Pahat for mouth-watering nasi beriyani, or at Muar for some delicious mee bandung.
Ever since the completion of the highway, it has been ages since we last drove on the Batu Pahat - Muar road. That meant that it has been quite a while since we last sampled the original beriyani Batu Pahat or mee bandung Muar. Over the years, we hear more recommendations from friends about good makan places in BP, Muar and even Melaka but unless we have specific reasons to make a detour, we were unable to try them out.
On our journey to KL last Friday however, we decided to take the old road, just so we can try and taste a dish that has been highly recommended by a few friends and relatives. It is a dish that both Johor and Melaka folks claim to cook better than people from other states in Malaysia, and it is called Asam Pedas. According to word-of-mouth and also TV reports, the place to get the tastiest asam pedas is at the small town of Parit Jawa in Muar.
We have never been to this place before, so our decision to check it out is purely based on trial and error. Driving from south, Parit Jawa is located a few kilometres before reaching Muar town. As we approached Parit Jawa, we spotted a signboard saying `Medan Selera Asam Pedas'. We followed the sign and later reached an area by the river that looks like the place where fishermen unload their catch from the sea. There are a few food stalls claiming to sell the famous asam pedas so we simply chose one that seems to have more customers.
The stall we patronised is called Asam Pedas Mak Ngah. I left it to my better half to pick the dishes and she chose kepala ikan jenahak, kupang (mussels) goreng cili, tauge masak lemak, telur asin and ulam sambal belacan. It was a lovely spread and the taste was not disappointing. The trick to delicious asam pedas is in using fresh fish. The three of us (wife, son and myself) wiped the plates clean. Truly worth the extra miles in making the detour and the damage was only RM48. Now that's real value for money.
|A view of the spread|
|Jenahak fish head|
|Tasty fresh mussels|
|The fishermen's jetty at Parit Jawa|