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Homemade “Pao” Meat Buns in Cameron Highlands

Nothing makes me more thrilled when i get local recommendations for stuff that are purely for locals and not the hoard of tourist. So one morning chit chatting with the lady hostel owner became a treasure hunt for a local ‘Pao’ Shop and it would be the best day I spent in Cameron Highlands

Not the bee farm, nor the Rose Farm nor the Tea Plantation or the Mossy Forest but the adventure of the mundane and the excitement of a possible story.

Hostel Owner: What’s your plan for today ?

Me: Thinking of just Riding to the last town of Cameron Highlands, Blue Valley and roam around

Hostel Owner: Oh ... then i will recommend you some place for food.

There is this local shop at Kampung Raja, the last town before Blue Valley which they handmade the ‘Pao’ everyday fresh and only sells them at 4pm. I’ll draw you a map ...

Hence The Map !! 
Treasure Map of Cameron Highlands Fresh Local Made 'Pao'

Hostel Owner : When you get there don’t go putting your hand up and calling the restaurant people for orders, just sit down keep quiet and wait. Even if they don't serve you, don't disturb them just wait. Wait till they come and ask you what you want, then order a tea maybe. 

At 4pm roughly the ‘Pao’ will be ready, then it will come out and you will know what to do when all the locals just shows up and start buying ‘Pao’. We drive all the way there sometimes just for the ‘Pao’

Remember, don't disturb them ... they don't like tourist and sometimes chase the tourist away without selling anything to them because they only make enough for the locals everyday so by 6pm its usually sold out. They don't need tourist money and sometime the local tourist can be very rude thinking that with money they should be serve like Kings. But you alone .... I think you can blend in ...

Hearing the Lady Owner story, this was already becoming a compulsory treasure hunt and mission to obtain that ‘Pao’

The shop was easy enough to locate, its a small town really so i found it quickly enough but continued riding by and return at 345pm. Walking in and going to a table to sit down iIcould feel all the shop workers eyes staring at me ... crap ... was something wrong ?? so i meekly sat down smiled and made some gesture asking if its was ok to sit there. 

Restaurant Yat Yee - Kampung Raja

Quiet Just before 4pm 
A bemused smile was my reply from one of the server but they all practically ignored me continuing with their handmade preparation of the ‘Pao’ near the back of the shop. So I sat and kept to myself and about 10 minutes later a server came up to me asking what I wanted ... Kopi I ordered, and got the Kopi another 10 minutes later.

Close to 4pm the crowd trickle in all smooth just strolling in and sitting down. I notice that the customers also waited patiently till they came up to take their order. One particular customer asked if there was anything to eat and a hand gesture saying there is nothing here was all he got. Still he stuck around waiting. This shop sure have some strange customs.

The ‘Pao’ came out slightly after 4pm and suddenly people all stood up and grab the ‘Pao’ while it was hot and more people trickled in ordering takeaway by the dozens. When the crowd thin down I strode up to get one. 

Freshly Made 'Pao'

'Pao' Time ... 
I got the Char Siew Pao ... Yummy ... 

Cost of the Adventure RM 3.6 for one Pao and one Kopi ....

Char Siew Pao at Kampung Raja 

Traveled on : Sep 2018

This post first appeared on Service Unavailable, please read the originial post: here

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Homemade “Pao” Meat Buns in Cameron Highlands


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