|Just look at that - SLURP!!!|
When one talks about claypot crab and glass noodles in Ipoh, the name Restoran Rasa Lain will inevitably comes to mind. This restaurant has been going strong for years, its fame having been elevated beyond the shores of sleepy Bercham since appearing in the foodie program Taste with Jason (Ah Xian) a few years ago.
Whilst the food at Rasa Lain is undeniably good, many locals-in-the-know would point to another eatery – Restoran Different Taste, that claims to serve up an even better version of the dish. The interesting twist to the story is that the owner of Different Taste is the elder brother of Rasa Lain's owner. Having tasted Rasa Lain's version some time ago, we decided to head towards Different Taste to see whether the underdog's version is indeed tastier.
|Blink and you just might miss it. The restaurant is inconspicuously located in the middle of a row of shoplots|
|Not a huge shop by any means, just two rows of tables and chairs|
We ordered their signature claypot crab with glass noddles for 2 (1 large crab is sufficient for 2 persons), a smal plate of pandan chicken, steam fishballs and a bottle of fresh sugar cane juice.
|Piping hot and super aromatic. You just wanna dive in - who cares about table manners.|
The prized dish arrived piping hot. The portion could easily feed 3-4 persons, depending on how hungry you are. Upon our first sip of the soup, we decided Different Taste's rendition was definitely better. The soup was wonderfully fragrant yet clear, without that pungent smokiness that permeats the soup at Rasa Lain. This can be attributed to the fact that the pork strips at the bottom of the claypot was not burnt. There was also a layer of golden crab oil floating at the side of the pot, which gives out that appetizing aroma and flavour.
|Smooth and slippery glass noodles that soak up all the sweetness of the crab broth|
I love love love glass noodles, and here at Different Taste, they are pretty generous with the amount of glass noodles in the pot. Loads of it!
|Juicy crab claw for the win!|
The crabs – oh my. We've had pricier and bigger size crabs in Klang Valley, but none compared to the sweet juiciness of these fat babies. The briny sweetness burst out the minute you bite into the chunky flesh of the crab claw. It was worth every cent of that RM64 we paid for the dish.
|So-so lah. Kids would enjoy this.|
After a dazzling feast of juicy crabs, the pandan chicken was comparatively forgettable. Minced chicken, marinade with turmeric and seasoning, and wrapped with pandan leaves were deep fried. If you are bringing kids, this would be quite pleasing to them.
The fishballs, on the other hand, was excellent. Soft and springy, made from minced tofu fish. Doused with a splash of garlic oil, soy sauce and a sprinkle of spring onion, this simple and tasty dish was polished up in no time.
|Much bigger in size than your average fishballs, these were excellent, prepared with the simplest of seasonings.|
To wash it all down, make sure you order a bottle of their fresh sugar cane juice. It comes already chilled, and is absolutely refreshing to counter all the heavily flavoured and salt laden food.
|Give those artificially sweetened drinks a miss. This is the one to order.|
Apparently, Different Taste can get quite busy on weekends. Best to go on weekdays or before 730pm on weekends.
Restoran Different Taste. Address: 72, Persiaran Bercham Selatan 2, Taman Desa Kencana. Tel: 012.502.1132. Opening hours: 1130am – 930pm daily. GPS E 101 7'40.3", N4 37' 58.4". Non Halal.