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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / mantis prawn

Sentul is one of those places in KL that I probably go less than once per year, and both times in the last two years, I went there for dinner at Zhen Liew Siang, courtesy of Haze’s aunt, one of those old school ladies who  loves her good, strong tasting Malaysian Chinese food.

Zhen Liew Siang at Sentul, always packed at weekends
Zhen Liew Siang at Sentul, always packed at weekends

The restaurant is located at Sentul Raya, the part of Sentul that has seen quite a bit of rebuilt over the years, you’d easily mistaken the area with some of the more glamorous parts of KL.

The restaurant occupies two floors of a shop lot, and a big chunk of parking space as make shift alfresco dining area. On weekends, parking is terrible and you almost always have to wait for a table, telephone booking is recommended.

fried mantis prawn with egg yolk, deep fried choi sam, belacan fried chicken wings
fried mantis prawn with egg yolk, deep fried choi sam, belacan fried chicken wings

For this session, we ordered five dishes for the six of us, and had to wait for some 20-25 minutes before the food is served on a Saturday night.

Fried mantis prawn is battered and coated with salted egg yolk, and curry leaves to spice it up a bit. Anyone who likes squid with salted egg would love this.

For greens, we had fried “choi sam”, a cooking method that’s been gaining popularity recently, especially with kailan. The choi sam version is just as good, and I especially  like it that they sprinkle some deep fried imitation crab meat on top for that extra texture and complexity.

The belacan fried chicken is a dish taken from classic Penang Hookien/Nyonya cooking style, and according to Haze’s aunt, the head chef is apparently a Hokkien, which explains the chicken wings and the next dish – curry fish head.

nyonya style curry fish head
nyonya style curry fish head

The curry fish head here is excellent, and pretty much the same as the way my mom cooks it. There’s brinjal, long beans, lady’s fingers, tofu pok, curry leaves, and of course, the fish head itself (I believe it was red snapper). Gravy positively thick and flavorful, with just enough hotness to go with steamed rice. If you want a full flavor Penang Nyonya style curry fish head, this is the place to go.

steamed stingray, irresistibly spicy
steamed stingray, irresistibly spicy 

The last dish we had was the steamed sting ray. Smaller sized string ray is used here as they often have a much smoother texture. The fish is covered with a thick layer of really spicy sambal that is slightly sweet and positively addictive. I struggled a bit to cope with the hotness but find myself unable to stop scooping up more of those spicy sauce. It was really good.

Zhen Liew Siang also offered other signature dishes like their steamed lala, banana leaf prawns/sotong, and even “shark mouth”. Do yourself a favor, make a trip to Sentul and give it a try!

map to Zhen Liew Siang, Sentul

Address:
Restoran Makanan Laut Zhen Liew Siang
No.30, Jalan 14/48A,
Sentul Raya, Off Jalan Sentul,
51000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.18472, 101.69212
Tel: 03-4041 3781

My siblings and me share the same passion when it comes to food – we want to eat everything and anything that is delicious, and usually would travel to illogical distances just for this purpose.

Over the last CNY holidays, we paid a visit to my younger brother who works at Sungai Petani as a houseman and he brought us to this little hidden gem that is Mae Salong Thai Restaurant for dinner. Most of us are tomyam fanatics, so the destination suits us very well.

Mae Salong at Sungai Petani
Mae Salong at Sungai Petani, crazy decoration

Mae Salong resides in an unimpressive part of Sungai Petani, which is a pretty unimpressive town in a state that isn’t known to be impressive. The restaurant however, is anything but.

Nestle in the kampung is a structure that could easily confuse diners as a set for fantasy movie. There’s hanging bridge, a huge koi pond with a two level dining area that is half submerged, and even a massive water wheel and fountain and the center. Oh, it is also some sort of a mini zoo as well.

All these fancy decoration proved to be useful when we had to kill time waiting for table on the Saturday evening when we were there. (booking highly advisable)

the drinks come in a big bottle, red ruby's nice!
the drinks come in a big bottle, red ruby’s nice!

After securing a seat, we were given some Thai tidbits as some sort of appetizer, and they come in the form of dried anchovies with curry leaves, peanuts, and dried chili padi. That thing was quite awesome, and you could actually buy them at Thailand in packets, beats potato chips anytime. :D

We made our orders with the friendly Thai lady, and asked for desserts to be served first since we knew it was gonna take a while before food is ready. The red ruby (RM 2.50) was delicious, with the right amount of santan, fresh nangka, and that chestnut in tapioca.  Yummy.

We ordered  honey dates with sugar cane drinks (RM 12 for all) to quench our thirst, and was happy that they come in big bottles instead of individual cups.

thai style lala, mantis prawn, otak otak
thai style lala, mantis prawn, otak otak

Our first dish that came was the the Thai style lala (RM 15), though the shellfish wasn’t exactly big in size, the taste more than make up for it. There’s chili, green onion and garlic all mixed up with the lala soaked in spicy sourish broth that’s kept warm with a small fire under. The soup itself was very very delicious.

Mantis prawn (RM 15) is deep fried with salted egg yolk, another dish that never disappoint. Again you find chili padi in the mix, spicy, savory, with the hint of saltiness, love it.

Thai otak-otak (RM 15) was perhaps the only thing that was a bit disappointed. It was packed with seafood, but somehow the otak otak paste wasn’t exactly up to the level of standard I was expecting. Not a bad dish per se, but nothing special.

steamed siakap, omelete, and of course, tomyam
steamed siakap, omelete, and of course, tomyam

Of course, no Thai meal is complete without an order of tomyam (RM 20). The seafood tomyam is hot, flavoful, and absolutely packed with ingredients – prawns, fish, squid, and more lala in addition to tomato, chili, and other ingredients that make up a proper bowl of tomyam soup. We enjoyed this a lot.

We also had a fish to go with all the other seafood dishes, the steamed siakap (RM RM 27) was the most expensive dish we ordered. It was fresh and does taste very good, the soup made me suspect that it is a cross between the lala and tomyam, and hence didn’t make a very good combination to the other dishes we oredered. It was however, a quality dish nonetheless.

Last but not least, there’s omelete (RM 8) that again, has a hint of seafood in it – very tiny baby prawns, the same size that you find in cincalok. It brought back some childhood memories when we’d catch them in the sea, good times. The omelete was pretty decent as well.

mom, sister, brother, haze, niece - happies!
mom, sister, brother, haze, niece – happies!

By the time we are done and headed back to Penang, it was already some 11pm, but that was after a very good dinner that only cost less than RM 140 for the 6 of us. If you find yourself anywhere within 50 or even 100 km from Sungai Petani, give this place a try, but do call and book your table if it’s on weekends.

direction map to Mae Salong

Address:
Mae Salong Restaurant
199-E, Kampung Bakar Bata,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
GPS: 5.62594863, 100.46545
Tel: 016-424 6842

Just got back from a trip to the Similan Islands near Phuket/Khao Lak over the past 6 days that includes 4 days and 4 nights spent on the boat without touching dry land. My very first Live On Board experience.

enjoying a piece of grilled chicken at Khao Lak

enjoying a piece of grilled chicken at Khao Lak

It was pretty much a last minute thing as I only decided to join when a spot came up for the liveaboard trip. I’ll be writing a lot more about the trip in the next couple days.

mantis shrimp, shot at Similan Islands

mantis shrimp, shot at Similan Islands

The trip was full of unplanned events, but that’s until next post! In the mean time here’s a photo of a mantis shrimp taken at one of the 15 dives we did over the course of the entire trip.

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In the mean time, hope over to MilkADeal.com and check out the lastest deal – RM 6 instead of RM 14 at sbread, the Gardens for a bowl of authentic Penang Asam Laksa and a drink, that’s a good 57% off!

Asam Laksa at SBread, Gardens

Asam Laksa at SBread, Gardens

While the name sbread is a bit out of the ordinary, the place is run by Penang-born Madam Q S Tan, you can perhaps test her with Penang Hokkien. Redemption period of this deal runs from 25 February – 31 March 2011, 10am – 7pm daily. Don’t miss out

What’s better than an ice cold beer? A frozen beer of course!

I’ve heard about this wonderful concoction from Gareth several years ago, so when Cheesie, Kim, Jojo, and I were shooting Project Alpha season 2 at Lost World of Tambun, we made it a point to have dinner there.

Kafe Yoon Wah with frozen beer
super chilled beer poured on frozen mug = frozen beer!

After spending a good 20-30 minutes looking for the place and almost ended up at a wrong shop with a deceptively similar name, we finally sat our collective butts on the table. Except this time around the 5 of us sat at a semi-circle aka TVB style dinner, and I got to do the food review in the video below:

Before talking about the food, lets concentrate on the frozen beer for a moment. The idea is actually pretty simple, the beer is chilled till it’s almost frozen, I’m guessing probably below 4 C.

The beer glasses are super chilled separately, and when the two meets, the beer foam is instantly frozen, and the beer itself remained super cold but in liquid form. The beer tasted super awesome! I’m not sure you can do this at home, but I think it’s worth a try, just don’t leave your beer in the freezer though.

tofu, kung pao chicken, vegetable, fried lala
tofu, kung pao chicken, vegetable, fried lala

Since the shop uses a super cool and ultra efficient wireless PDA for ordering, we ended up asking for way too much food. The five of us had 7 dishes, and later added on 2 other side dishes since we found out Jojo doesn’t eat seafood, at all!

We had tofu with minced meat, kung pao chicken, and vegetable (vitamin c quota :D) for the non seafood dishes. While the tofu and vegetable dishes were pretty decent, the kung pao chicken was rather good, it had a good “wok hei” going on. Those were the only dishes Jojo eats, FHL.

mantis prawn, steamed pak sou kong, steamed frog
mantis prawn, steamed pak sou kong, steamed frog

As for the seafood dishes, we had deep fried mantis prawn, steamed cat fish (pak sou kong), steamed frog with chicken essence, and fried lala.

Other than the fish which tasted rather ordinary, the other 3 dishes were excellent. The mantis prawns was my favorite, deep fried, salted, and with fresh chili all over, it packed a punch and was really flavorful. The steamed frog with chicken essence were very sweet too, Kim loved that max!

stuffed chicken wings, frozen beer, satay
stuffed chicken wings, frozen beer, satay

Since Jojo were only able to have 3 out of those 7 dishes, we ordered stuffed chicken wings and satay for the tv celeb without telling her that the wings are stuffed with a variety of ingredients including mutton and fish. We liked it, and so did Jojo, but she almost killed me when I told her they had fish in them.

The stuffed wings are a must order item, and it’s sold by this old lady that has a stall next to Yoon Wah. Don’t miss out if you’re there. The satay though, was forgettable.

Kim, Gareth, Jojo, KY, and Cheesie
Kim, Gareth, Jojo, KY, and Cheesie

Since this was for Project Alpha, the production treated us dinner and I didn’t manage to find out the exact price of the feast. But from all the other blogs and comments, Yoon Wah seems to charge pretty reasonably. So if you’re in Ipoh, get some frozen beer and good seafood there.

map of kafe yoon wah at ipoh

Address:
Kafe Sun Yoon Wah
No. 7, Jln Bijeh Timah,
30000 Ipoh, Perak

GPS: 4.596231, 101.078977
Tel: 05-253 9980

Check out our other Project Alpha season 2 videos too!
Ep 26 – Musing around at Lost world of Tambun

Ep 27 – Photoshoot with Jojo & Cheesie, with snakes!
Ep 29 – Gareth spilling Kim’s secrets
Ep 30 – Terribly cute Racoons
Ep 31 – KY enters the Serpentarium

As a practical joke from this God person, people are made in such a way that food always tastes better when we have to travel long distance to obtain them. Something that you can get right next door is never as satisfying as the one you have to spend an hour’s journey getting there.

Hence, the place to go for seafood when you’re in Penang is not located on the island, it is this little fishing village called Tambun on peninsular side of the stat. The place is anything from 40 min to 1.5 hours away from the island, depending on the mercy of traffic.

tambun seafood, gee seng restaurant
Jon, Jun, and Wai Meng, check out the big fat mantis prawns swimming!

And since we were in Penang over the long weekends, it took us well over an hour to get from the little motel at Tanjung Tokong to Gee Seng Seafood Restaurant at Tambun. The road from Penang bridge onwards was alright, it was getting to the bridge that took the longest time ever.

Lesson Learned: never try to drive anywhere far within Penang over any long weekends.

deep fried squid, prawn with nestum, fried noodle, crab with salted egg
fried squid, prawn with Nestum, fried noodle, crab with salted egg

This was actually my first time at Gee Seng seafood restaurant, and it was almost a couple years since I last went to Tambun. We somehow found a parking space deep inside the village and made our way to the restaurant.

For the five of us, we ordered deep fried squid, prawn with Nestum, crab with salted egg, giant mantis prawn, noodle, and a plate of vegetable for some sense of balance.

mantis prawn, elfie and KY
love the giant mantis prawns, says Elfie

Despite the crowd, our dishes didn’t take long start arriving at the table. They were fresh and really tasty, despite having scored almost negative when it comes to presentation. I particularly like the giant mantis prawns (RM 60 for the 3 we had), very succulent and sweet, did you know that these creatures have polarized vision?

Nestum prawns (RM 23) and deep fried squid (RM 18)  too were top notch, but I thought the crab with salted egg (RM 47) was kinda average, would have been better if they were bigger.

map to tambun seafood

Together with the vegetable, noodle, and tea, the bill came to RM 155.50, which translate to only RM 31 per person for the 5 of us for some rather satisfying food. Everyone agreed that it was worth the drive, but perhaps next time we should try somewhere closer? emm

Address:
Restoran Makanan Laut Gee Seng
860, Bagan Bukit Tambun,
14100 Simpang Ampat, Penang
GPS: 5.271221, 100.443385
Tel: 04-588 7200

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