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Tag / garupa

It was a span of almost half a year since my last work trip to Kota Kinabalu, and I believe anyone would know that this was due to the Covid-19 lock down (2020, what a year huh?).

I had only two meals to dine out on this stopover, dinner was at one of my favorite restaurants in KK – Tung Fong Seafood, and for next day’s lunch, I met up with Ben and was introduced to this new-ish fish noodle place by the name of GK Fish Soup.

fresh fish head vs fried fish 'lam'
fresh fish head vs fried fish ‘lam’

The operation has only been around for about 7 months, it is located about 10 minutes away from city center and can be slightly tricky to find – but if you thought you end up at light industrial area with lots of car workshops, then you’ve reached the right place.

Menu is a simple one page affair – you get to have fish filet, lam ikan (fish stomach), sirip ikan (tails), mix ikan, or kepala ikan (fish head) either fried, or fresh. Soup base can be either peria (bitter gourd), tomato, hamchoi (salted vege), or tomyam.

Ben had fresh fish head and I ordered fried fish stomach with tomato soup, partly due to us being late in arrival (almost noon) and ran out of other options. The seafood were prepared just right, and of top quality, something that I now came to expect at this part of Malaysia. The soup too was packed with flavor and I especially enjoyed the cili paste that was served alongside. This was a good departure as some of the other places often serve subpar condiment (looking at you, Fatt Kee), or have it ultra limited (hello Madam Ing).

GK fish soup, plenty of social distancing
GK fish soup, plenty of social distancing

Priced at RM 10 – 18, it offers rather good value. There’s plenty of seafood in a bowl, but portion of meehun can be a bit on the low side, which suits me but not everyone. I am going to come back here again for sure.

map to GK fish soup, Kota Kinabalu

Address:
GK Fish Soup
23, Lorong Nosoob Jaya 1,
Taman Nosoob Jaya,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.931134, 116.075720

The days of cooking at home continues, and for someone like me who grew up on an island, fish is always a very familiar ingredient on the table, and when you have fresh seafood, the best way to prepare them is almost always by steaming.

Today’s recipe involves a block of fresh garupa fish filet from one of the local grocery stores, and instead of just normal steaming, I’m adding a bit of a twist – with BRAND’S Essence of Chicken.

garupa steamed brands homecooked

I actually got the inspiration from this dish slightly more than ten years ago at Yap Yin & BKT restaurant in Seri Kembangan with their steamed haruan fish dish. The recreation for today is slightly different and simplified. Without further ado, here we go

Ingredients:

  • 1 block fresh garupa fish filet
  • 1 bottle BRAND’S Essence of Chicken
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 glove garlic, diced
  • some wolfberries
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • salt to taste

garupa steamed brands homecooked with brand's chicken essence

Instructions:

  • clean and dry fish, salt it lightly
  • placed ginger both above and under fish in steaming bowl
  • pour BRAND’S Essence of Chicken + soya sauce
  • steamed for 10-12 minutes (depending of fish thickness)
  • separately fry garlic till golden brown
  • use garlic & spring onion as garnish, serve while hot

The result is a dish that’s also full of nutrient and also yummy to eat. Try it!

Check out more simple recipe here.

I think I’ve just found my favorite restaurant at Kota Kinabalu for dinner, and yes, it does have seafood like any other “tai chao” places in Sabah, but no, it’s not one of your typical big seafood restaurants in North Borneo.

Of course, we’re talking about Tung Fong Seafood at Inanam.

steamed garupa, fish lips, paku pakis with sambal
steamed garupa, fish lips, paku pakis with sambal

For those who aren’t familiar with this area, Inanam is located about 10 km away from KK city center, and you’ll be right to say that this area is mostly frequented by only by locals, Chinese or Korean tourists can’t be found here.

One of my favorite Tuaran mee is also found at this suburb – Tuaran Mee Restaurant.

The restaurant is pork free, and they have their menu hooked up on the wall ala billboard style for your convenience (see below). While carrying a variety of typical Chinese taichao dishes, the claim of fame for Tung Fong is their fish dishes.

You basically pick the type of fish/seafood you want – from garupa, green wrasse, giant garupa, sea carp, to fish lips, innards, and sea cucumber; then pair it with the preparation method of  your choice – braised, onion ginger, scallion oil, rice wine, or black bean.

braised, steamed, or lips?
braised, steamed, or lips?

I’ve already been to this place three times on the past three trips to the city.

Had two different types of garupa as well as the rather interesting fish lips. The fish here are so, so, so good! Fresh, flavorful, and prepared with seasoning that doesn’t take away the natural flavor of these seafood. They’re simply addictive.

the other accompanying dishes were good too
the other accompanying dishes were good too

The vegetable dish here are typical of Sabah standard, sweet, crunchy, and fresh. They also serve a side of tomato soup as standard, and these tasted pretty much like Fatt Kee’s fish noodle soup.

If you’re at Sabah, do yourself a favor and check this place out. Expect to spend some RM 30-40 per pax for some good seafood.

Tung Fong Seafood Restaurant map, Kota Kinabalu

menu at tung fong seafood restaurant, KK

Address:
Tung Fong Seafood Restaurant
Mile 6, Jalan Tuaran, Inanam,
88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.991707, 116.132074
Tel: 012-801 1336

Kota Kinabalu has always been known for their seafood, undoubtedly due to its location as well as the local’s preference in how they get their protein. Since I’m a fan of fish noodle in general, I do make it a mission to try the various offerings they have on this North Borneo town.

One of the latest places I got a chance to check out was Mdm Ing Fish Noodle at Jalan Penampang.

Madam Ing fish noodle, Kota Kinabalu
Madam Ing fish noodle, Kota Kinabalu

The restaurant is located about 15 minutes away from town by car, so you would definitely need a ride to get there. Parking isn’t an overly complex exercise at the area, much like most places at KK. However, on weekends, there’s usually a crowd so locating a table may require a bit of patience.

Mdm Ing offers quite a variety of ingredients and choices revolving around fish, you can have it with fish slice, fish innards, fish stomach, roe, skin, fish head, fish tail, fish face, mouth, and more.. yes, fish face! The prices range from RM 10 to RM 26 and up, if you go crazy with it.

They serve garupa, red snapper, tabong, and kakap fish. As for soup base, you get to choose between tomato with salted vege and tofu, bitter gourd, with milk, or clear soup. Then of course there’s yur choice of mee, meehun, mee suah, or kuih teow.

mdm Ing fish noodle with salted vege and tofu soup
mdm Ing fish noodle with salted vege and tofu soup

I had mine with fish slices in salted vegetable and tofu soup. The bowl comes with quite a generous amount of fish and a couple slices of fish cake soaked in the soup base that reminds me of salted vege/tofu soup that mom used to make.

The seafood was fresh, but the thing that stood out from other such outlets in KK was the sambal at Mdm Ing. It carries quite a bit more kick, and with a squeeze of limau kasturi it was also very refreshing.

garupa fish fillet, and their "sambal"
garupa fish fillet, and their “sambal”

I think I do owe it to myself to try some of the more exotic ingredients when this place has to offer on my next visit.

Thanks Yann May for being my ride there!

You can also check out Fatt Kee and TaukeFish if you’re into fish noodle at Kota Kinabalu.

map to Madam Ing fish noodle

Address:
Madam Ing Fish Noodle
29-34, Jalan Penampang,
Towering Industry Centre,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS5.930958, 116.085221
Tel016-831 8726

Many of you know that one of my favorite restaurants in the whole Klang Valley is this fish noodle place called B & Best at Kelana Jaya, a place I go without fail at least once a month. To me, a proper bowl of soupy kuih teow or mee suah with fresh seafood is the ultimate comfort food one can ask for.

Knowing my preference, Alan, a diving friend of mine texted and suggest that I should also give this other seafood noodle place a try – Pong Kee at Jalan Ipoh, so I did.

Pong Kee Seafood Noodle at Restoran 88, Jalan Ipoh
Pong Kee Seafood Noodle at Restoran 88, Jalan Ipoh

Pong Kee is a stall located at Restoran 88, a kopitiam at Jalan Batu Ambar, just off the main stretch of Jalan Ipoh. It is the biggest stall in the kopitiam, you can’t miss it. Parking can be slightly challenging at this area but shouldn’t be a problem if you’re willing to walk a few steps.

Like most seafood noodle places, they actually offers both noodle (kuih teow, yellow noodle, mee suah, mihun), and porridge to go with a selection of seafood, including different species of fish, lala, oysters, abalone, and so forth.

tiger garupa and fresh oysters with kueh teow
tiger garupa and fresh oysters with kueh teow

My choice of the day right after a rigorous futsal session was tiger garupa & oyster (RM 24) in kuih teow. The soup base was subtle, and the portion was actually pretty decent with probably a palm full of decent size oysters and expertly cut fish fillet. While there’s no awesome sambal like they have at B & Best, this version is more than competent in itself.

comfort food with fresh fish in soup and noodle
comfort food with fresh fish in soup and noodle

For those who are from this side of Klang Valley, this is definitely a worthy fish noodle place to check out, and Pong Kee also definitely has some die-hard fans. Check out the exchange below after I posted the short video on my FB page.

B&Best vs Pong Kee

map to Pong Kee seafood noodle, Jalan Ipoh

Address:
Pong Kee Seafood Noodle
Restoran 88
4-1, Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian,
51200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.202415, 101.674460
Tel 016-379 0181