Fresh strawberries and more

Fresh strawberry juice and Kerabu & Fruit Salad

MOST people know that strawberries are grown in the cooler climes of Cameron Highlands.

But if you’re in Johor and have a craving for fresh strawberries, get over to Daddy Village in Batu Pahat.

The town may seem an unlikely place to find strawberries but Daddy Village is where you’ll find these luscious red berries.

When Adam Chew left Cameron Highlands for his hometown, he not only brought home his Highlander wife but also made arrangements for a steady shipment of fresh strawberries to his restaurant in Batu Pahat.

Daddy Village is a cosy eatery that’s popular with families and big groups and waiters are always kept busy serving a steady string of customers.  Everyone in my group had wanted a light lunch but when we saw the delicious signature selections, we couldn’t resist ordering more than we had planned.

While waiting for the food to arrive, we were served tumblers of fresh strawberry juice. As we took our first sip, our eyes widened with amazement. Everyone agreed that this was a most refreshing drink. In fact, it was so good that we could not resist ordering a second round!

Daddy’s Specials

The kerabu salad appetiser lived up to its name, whetting our appetite for more. Slices of green and red apple, tomato, onion, lettuce and strawberry were tossed together and topped with a Chinese parsley, toasted ikan bilis and sesame seeds.

The distinctly delectable flavour of bunga kantan or torch ginger flower, was what made this luscious salad so agreeable.

Chew with his Daddy Special Fish

Chew personally served us his Daddy Special Fish and, with a dramatic flourish, unwrapped the aluminium foil to reveal his signature fish dish. A fragrant aroma assailed our nostrils. The scrumptious siakap was first deepfried and then wrapped, together with a special sauce, in foil to keep in all the natural juices and flavour. When we finished, there was nothing left on the plate but the bones.

There are lots of other delectable dishes like steamed otah, stirfried eggplant in spicy sauce and tender mutton rendang to go with white rice. Black pepper fried rice and otah fried rice are popular one-dish meals. For dessert, local favourites include iced cendol, ice-kacang and sago gula melaka.

Tribute To Dads

When I asked him why the restaurant is called Daddy Village, Chew, himself a father of three, cheerfully explained that he wanted to pay tribute to all fathers.

When families dine out, fathers are usually the ones who pay the bill, so Chew wanted to honour them by naming a favourite family restaurant after all dads!

Where To Go

Daddy Village is a halal restaurant located at 18-20 Jalan Kundang 3, Taman Bukit Pasir, 83000 Batu Pahat. It’s open from 8.30am to 10.30pm daily and closed on Monday. For reservations and catering, call 07-433 9118.

This article was first published in The New Straits Times, Travel Times on 8 December 2008

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