"Fresh Frog Porridge".
I never ever tasted frog porridge until I shift to Johor Bahru five year ago. I loved porridge since young but somehow frog porridge was not within my radar. Now, it is one of my more sought after dishes.
Yesterday we were on the prowl for good food, we chance upon this restaurant at the popular 'food hunting ground' Mount Austin. We would have missed Ding Seng Restaurant if not for the words "Fresh Frog Porridge" spread across the signboard.
The Owner is also a Frog Supplier to Restaurants
Ding Seng Restaurant was establish in 2011 at Taman Bukit Indah by Mr Tan Hock Seng, a supplier of fresh frogs to restaurants in Johor and Singapore. He and his wife teamed up to venture into the restaurant business when they saw a growing demand for frog porridge and related dishes. Since then they have open a second outlet at Taman Mount Austin.
Signature Dish - Frog with Dried Chilli
Our Standard Operation Procedure (S.O.P) when we head to a new restaurant is to try their signature dish. In this restaurant it is their Claypot Frog with Dried Chilli. This dish is not unique to their restaurant but it is probably one of the best I have ever eaten. Firstly, the chilli is NOT so spicy till it makes you cry, Secondly, the black gravy is not inundated with oyster sauce or light soya sauce so it is not too salty and you can taste the sweet, moist meat. Thirdly, the frog meat is extremely tender, it is perfectly prepared to fall off the bone by gently sucking on the meat.
Another Must Try - Claypot Drunken Frog
According to the waiter, the drunken frog is cooked with traditional Chinese herbs, ginger and a mixture of three different wine, one of which is rice wine. As usual, they are unable to divulge more as the recipe is secret. This rich tonic soup goes well with both rice and porridge.
My better half enjoyed the soup tremendously , she even brought the remainder home to make bee hoon soup for lunch the next day. I found the smell and taste of Chinese wine overwhelming at first, but I took a liking to it after a couple of spoons. The frog meat is big, tender and juicy. I guess the restaurant gets the best quality frogs since the owner is also a fresh frog supplier for the Food and Beverage industry.
The salted radish omelette is dry and slightly crispy which is perfect dish to accompany a porridge meal. The portion is more that enough for two people. The only downside is that there was not sufficient dried radish to make it salty and crunchy enough. The plain porridge is awesome. It has a very fine and smooth texture, probably due to the many hours on the cooking stove.
Breakdown of Bill:
- Signature Claypot Frog with Dried Chilli - 2 Frogs (RM $24.00)
- Claypot Drunken Frog - 2 Frogs (RM $30.00)
- Dried Salted Radish Omelette (RM $10.00)
- Plain Porridge - 2 People (RM $6.00)