Hong Kong seafood
Story by ANTHONY LAW (extracted from the Star Metro – 15 June)
The restaurant’s master chef Sham Chung Ho, assisted by four of his cooks, is in Ipoh to cook up a storm for seafood lovers with the opening of a seafood restaurant on Jalan Hussein.
The 48-year-old Sham decided to set up the restaurant, also called Cheung Ching Seafood Restaurant, with local partner Bob Chai as managing director, only after much persuasion by Chai.
Chai said he had always wanted Sham to start a seafood restaurant that was similar to Hong Kong’s Cheung Ching, so that people in Ipoh and its surroundings can enjoy Cheung Ching’s cuisine without needing to leave the country.
“At first, Sham was not very keen but I carried on renovating the premises to convince him,” Chai recalled.
“After seeing the new premises and the establishment of the restaurant, Sham was very impressed and agreed to come here. He even brought his team of cooks with him.”
Sham, who began as a kitchen helper at the age of 13, had teamed up with his brother over a decade ago to start the popular Cheung Ching Seafood at Wan Chai district in Hong Kong.
The restaurant in Hong Kong is popular with locals there, as well as tourists and celebrities.
At Cheung Ching Seafood restaurant patrons can pick the various fish and shellfish, including geoduck, from the tanks built to store them.
Among the signature dishes that Sham cooks up are baked lobster with cheese on a bed of yee mee and steamed imperial bean curd with seafood.
Another not-to-be-missed dish are the mantis prawns that were once discarded by fishermen.
Other exotic seafood includes the Mexican Geoduck clams, Japanese snail, spider crab, Australian abalone, Boston lobsters and sturgeon.
On the difference between food cooked for Hong Kong and Malaysian crowds, Sham said food for his customers in Hong Kong tasted “lighter” or less spicy.
“However, I can prepare the food according to the preference of the customers,” Sham added.
While Sham concentrates on tantalising the taste buds of his customers, Chai handles the physical setting to bring comfort to the patrons.
The restaurant’s bamboo plants, palm trees and man-made ponds, gives patrons the feeling of dining in a lush green environment.
Apart from seafood, the restaurant also serves dim sum from 6am to 2pm daily. Cheung Ching Seafood Restaurant is located at 43 Jalan Hussein, Ipoh.