As far as food that we consume, crabs must be one of the stranger looking type isn’t it? I mean, they are basically sea spider with really tough exoskeletons and clamps that can snap off a baby’s finger. Once you get pass that (which most of us in Malaysia do), crab is perhaps one of my favorite the ocean has to offer.
Sheng May Restaurant, Pandamaran Klang
Earlier this year (when the world was still relatively normal, pre-Covid 2020), our collective cravings for crabs brought us to one of the more famous spots in Klang for a dinner in which this crustacean takes center stage – at Restoran Sheng May.
The place is one of those unremarkable house-turned-restaurant set up that are quite common in this part of Klang Valley at Pandamaran. Plastic chairs, zinc roof, and ceiling mounted fans, zero luxury, but adequate for a meal.
steamed crab, size – L @RM130 each
Crabs aren’t a certainty here (as with Kali Little, another great spot for crabs in Klang), call ahead to be sure, and even then you may need a little luck. We were semi-lucky to get fairly large sized crabs at around 900 gram each (RM 130 each).
sweet and sour crab, same size, same price
There are several ways to have them prepared, we chose steamed and sweet and sour. Both were delicious due to the freshness as well as how juicy and sweet the crabs were, but on hindsight, if you want the true taste of it all, steamed or salt baked would be my recommendation. Any sauce only serves as distractions to the main event.
tapioca noodle, meehun, mee goreng, Hokkien mee
As for other stomach lining dishes, we had fried tapioca noodle (a Klang specialty, imagine bubble tea bubbles but in noodle form), fried meehun, Chinese interpretation of Indian mee goreng, and this overly wet Hokkien mee. All were decent though I wouldn’t describe any of them to be outstanding.
steamed lala, fried baby octopus
Steamed lala with superior soup was spicy, fresh, and carries a strong flavor, as good as many of the other restaurants more famous for it. Fried baby octopus too was sweet, crunchy, and rather delicious, wish I had some rice with them though.
ginger chicken, sweet potato leave, green dragon vege, mantis prawn with dry cili
There’s also ginger chicken, while fragrant with its generous use of ginger, I thought they could take a lesson of how to chop chicken without resulting in so much bones…
The mantis prawn with dried chili (kung pao style) was an outstanding dish, combination of hotness from chilli, sweetness from onion, sauce, and the way they prepared the mantis prawn resulting a crispy outer layer while remaining juicy within, awesome.
this was the bill for 16 pax, RM 1740.50
Overall it was definitely not a cheap dinner but one that was very satisfying. We did end up ordering way too many crabs by making the dumb assumption that everyone needed an entire crab for him/herself, not wise.
If you’re a fan of big crabs, this is certainly a place to have them at “reasonable” price.
Found myself at JB a couple weeks ago looking for dinner options after a short day trip for work, and since I know very little about JB, I decided to be a bit adventurous and head to KSL area which I stayed last time to pick a restaurant to try out.
Matang Seafood View, Johor Bahru
As fate would have it, we stepped into Matang Seafood View, a relatively quiet looking place at 6 something in the evening. Little did we know that the same place would be packed just half an hour later, always a good sign for a restaurant.
Ordering affair is pretty simple, you can choose one of the pre-packaged seafood porridge deals or go by picking your favorite ingredients to be in the same claypot. Alternatively, there are quite a number of ala carte dishes to choose from as well.
seafood porridge with crab and garupa fish
We ended up ordering a claypot porridge with 2 crabs, minced pork, and fish fillet, a plate of vegetable, and two rather large oysters as starters.
Those oysters turned out to be better than I’d expected, they were huge, fresh,and packed with sweetness, a couple drops of lemon was all we needed to bring out the flavor.
As for the main dish, the crabs weren’t exactly huge in size, but they were rather flavorful. The garupa fish and minced pork further adds to the overall taste of the porridge as well. It was rather satisfying.
fresh oysters, cho sum vegetable
The dinner came to RM 90.30 with drinks included. Pretty decent value for what we get, and it is no wonder this place was packed. Would not hesitate to go back again should I find myself at JB.
Growing up on an island and having relatives who were fishermen definitely does instill some love for seafood in me from a young age. Hence, Crab Factory being one of our destinations for the short food trip to Johor Bahru definitely helped encouraged me to participate in this fun little blogger get-together.
Update: Crab Factory at Johor Bahru is permanently closed.
Crab Factory at Little Paris, Johor Bahru
I’ve been to the original Crab Factory outlet at PJ SS2 about a year prior and enjoyed the experience tremendously, so the expectation was certainly up there for this visit down south.
The restaurant is located at Little Paris, JB’s attempt at replicating the famous city in France with tastefully thought out architecture, I must say overall the small development area looks rather neat.
For the afternoon, we sampled three different sauces – Signature Southern Bang, Creamy Lemak, and seemingly flavor of 2017 for many dishes these days – Salted Egg.
crab, shrimps, or squid?
For those who hasn’t tried the Louisiana style seafood dining before, the experience can be quite fun. Your seafood is basically poured directly on the table and you use your bare hands & fingers to dig in. There’s no bowls, plates, or forks & knifes, but thankfully, a little hammer & clamp is provided for those pesky crab claws.
pour it all on the table and lets get messy
As for pricing, there are 3 different value meals to choose from – Crab Lover Shiok (2-3 pax), Crab Lover Party (4-5 pax), and Crab Lover Giler (7-9 pax) priced at RM 49.90 or RM 59.90 per pax. Pretty decently priced for the experience and premium ingredients I thought.
what’s your favorite sauce?
Having sampled all three sauces, I find myself gravitate towards the classic Southern Bang, with it’s cajun spice, lemon, garlic, and herbs contributing just enough to the fresh seafood. Creamy Lemak makes for good sauce base if you love to have some deep friedmantao with. As for the Salted Egg sauce, well, could perhaps be a bit stronger to give it that extra kick.
To be honest though, I also kinda missed the original butter garlic sauce, of course you could order yours that way.
Address: Crab Factory G14, Block B, jalan jaya putra 1/1, Bandar Jaya Putra, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor GPS: 1.567581, 103.776728 Tel: 07-351 4062 Web: http://www.crabfactory.com.my Hours: Tues-Sun: 12pm – 10pm, closed on Mondays
As for big aquariums, I’ve visited Aquaria KLCC (even dived in it), Siam Ocean World in Bangkok, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and at one point, I even held the yearly pass for Newport Aquarium at Kentucky, so clearly I wasn’t going to miss the chance to visit Underwater World Langkawi.
As it turned out, the decision was a correct one, what we got to enjoy was well worth the RM 36/pax entrance fee (for Malaysian). Check out the short 3 minute video above.
rockhopper and black-footed penguins!
The aquarium covers some 60,000 sq ft separated in several sections, starting with reptiles and some freshwater fish right after the entrance area. Here you get to see the biggest freshwater fish species – Arapaima Gigas, among others such as the freshwater stingray, red tail cat fish etc.
getting up close with the sharks, and the mesmerizing octopus
Next up is the tropical rain forest, which houses not only fish but birds and and small animals. Our favorites being the marmoset, which looks a bit like super tiny Chinese opera actors if you ask me. There are also flamingos, swan, mandarin ducks and more.
The temperate and sub-antarctic sections are the main draws here, cos for many this would be the first time being up close with seals & penguins. There are in fact two penguin areas, one of each for rockhopper and black-footed penguins.
giant garupa, mud skippers, jellyfish and more
Like many big aquariums, there’s a tunnel at Underwater World Langkawi as well. Here you’ll see several species of sharks, giant grouper, turtles, stingray and more swimming about merrily. To be honest, I thought the tunnel at Aquaria KLCC was a bit more impressive, but this is a much bigger aquarium with more to see otherwise.
After the tunnel, there’s still yet more sea lives on showcase at the various tanks, including spider crab, octopus (very mesmerizing), jelly fish, reef fish, trevally, batfish, mudskippers, shrimps, and of course, clown fish.
Overall I thought it was a very fun experience and I’d recommend it to anyone, but especially those who loves the ocean.
Address: Underwater World Langkawi, Zon Pantai Cenang, Mukim Kedawang, 07000 Langkawi GPS: 6.287737, 99.728655 Tel: 04-955 6100 Hours: 9:30AM-6:30PM weekdays, 9:30AM-8:30PM weekends
Ever since we moved to KEN Rimba, we have had to drive out for most of our meals, until very recently – the famed Ana Ikan Bakar Petai opened a branch literally right outside at our doorstep here in Shah Alam.
Update 23/12/18: This place has since closed down
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, now in Shah Alam
For the uninitiated, Ana Ikan Bakar Petai is a “brand” originated from Kuantan which also has a rather popular branch in Bangi. This is their 3rd outlet, occupying three shop lots, including upstairs & side walkway, a pretty big set up for the this otherwise pretty sleepy commercial area.
We’ve been to the place quite a few times since, it certainly is legit.
squid, prawns, crab, shellfish, and a variety of fish to choose from
At Ana Ikan Bakar, you get to choose from quite a variety of seafood – squid, lala, bamboo clams, prawns, blue crabs, sting ray, cencaru, siakap (barramundi), jenahak, garupa, and more. The price is per 100 gram (RM 3.50 – RM 7.00) is clearly stated on the display as well, so you know what you going to have to pay.
There are several cooking methods as well, with the most popular being bakar petai. If bakar isn’t what you want, you can have them masak cili, manis, halia, kicap, pedas, tiga rasa, asam pedas, lamprik, kerabu mangga, goreng kunyit, or steam limau, asam boi, or halia. Quite a number of permutations really.
pari & sotong with petai
On our first visit we had a ikan pari & sotong prepared the traditional bakar petai style. The fish was absolutely on point, super spicy with the hint of petai permeating from the sauce. As it is basically covered with the sauce, you really don’t need to have a separate condiment to go with. I also particularly like the texture of the fish here that is not overly cooked like many others.
all wrapped up in banana leaf, the only way!
The sotong bakar petai was pretty good too, but to be honest if you already have a bakar petai dish, it’s best to go with a different cooking method. On subsequent visits, we found out that the sotong is best deep fried, and they also serve very good ikan siakap steamed limau, with tiga rasa among their most popular orders as well.
keropok lekor, tomyam, lala, kailan ikan masin
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai serves more than just ikan bakar. There’s a full menu of traditional “goreng goreng” dishes. Their vegetable dishes are among the best I’ve had (try their kailan ikan masin), tomyam was good as well. There’s also other dishes such as various types of fried rice, meat, soup, etc.
Oh by the way, the lala is not worth ordering. Happy dining!