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Tag / prawn

Of the 400 some bak kut teh places in Klang, one of the most unique offerings of them all has got to be Ah Tao Seafood Bak Kut Teh at Teluk Pulai, for this is the very place that the whole idea of having seafood in bak kut teh came into fruition… I think.

Ah Tao bak kut teh is located at Beng Heong restoran, at the corner
Ah Tao bak kut teh is located at Beng Heong restoran, at the corner

If you’re looking for a sign that says “Ah Tao BKT”, you won’t find it. The stall is located within Restoran Beng Heong, on the same row of shop houses also include the original Teluk Pulai BKT situated in a stone’s throw away. Parking is usually not a very challenging task, but they do sell out by 10am or so on weekends, so getting there early is a must if you want to avoid disappointment.

glorious seafood bak kut teh, proper tea is a must
glorious seafood bak kut teh, proper tea is a must

While they also serve “normal” bak kut teh in clay pots, the unique selling point here is their seafood infused BKT. If you simply go with seafood, they’ll include big prawns, lala, sea cucumber, fish fillet, and perhaps squid together with your choice of pork meat (I usually go for “tua kut” aka big bone, or “kahwan”).

Alternatively, you can also opt for crab, or just lala, just prawn, and so forth. I tend to think anything involving shells work best, such as lala, crab, or prawns.

prawns, fish fillet, and lala are among the extra ingredients
prawns, fish fillet, and lala are among the extra ingredients

To make the herbal soup “compatible” with seafood and partly to avoid unwanted seafood smell, the soup is made spicy with quite a fair chunk of chili padi, so what you have then is a very unique taste of spicy bak kut teh. I love it, it was like BKT on steroid.

KY, Kelly, Haze
KY, Kelly, Haze

I’ve only been to Ah Tao a couple times since, but I figure there’ll be quite a few more future visits.

If you’re from the other side of Klang/Shah Alam or prefer to have this for dinner, Klang Coast at Bukit Tinggi serves a pretty decent version of seafood bak kut teh as well, supposedly manned by the apprentice of Ah Tao.

ah tao seafood bkt map

Address:
Ah Tao Bak Kut Teh
Restoran Beng Heong
Jalan Teluk Pulai,
Taman Teluk Pulai,
Klang, Selangor
GPS3.040397, 101.434065
Tel03-3374 2630
Hours: Breakfast & Brunch

Seafood in Sabah is like char kuih teow in Penang or Tomyam in Bangkok, if you find yourself in Kota Kinabalu, it is pretty much compulsory to get yourself to one of the many seafood restaurants and have a meal.

Salut Seafood, located within a prawn farm
Salut Seafood, located within a prawn farm

On our Mt. Kinabalu trip (more on that soon), we met up with one of my old friends Ben for dinner. On our previous trip we went to New Gaya, so this time around Ben suggested that we head to Salut Seafood, the restaurant located within a prawn farm.

It took us quite a while to get there due to the (un)expectedly rush hour traffic, but alas, we got there in time before sunset. The restaurant is located by the sea and accessible via cars, but if you’re on a tour bus, you’ll be out of luck. This place is built for the locals.

live seafood to choose from, including quite a variety of shellfish
live seafood to choose from, including quite a variety of shellfish

Like most seafood restaurants worth its salt in South East Asia, there’s a good selection of live seafood to choose from. Crabs, prawns, fish, and quite a few types of shellfish can be chose from the live tank to be cooked in the method of the customer’s liking. There’s also a big price list plastered on the wall to remove too many surprises.

haven't had this type of shellfish since Vietnam
haven’t had this type of shellfish since Vietnam

For the three of us, we ordered some live prawns, crabs, shell fish, and sabah vegetable to go with rice.

The prawns and shellfish were steamed, the simplest possible cooking method, this was to preserve the natural sweetness of the seafood. The quality were apparent as the prawn were quite a lot more difficult to peel than the usual “already dead for a couple days” variety.

butter crab, fresh prawns, and "sabah vegetable"
butter crab, fresh prawns, and “sabah vegetable”

This was also the first time I had the same snail since New Gaya & Hong Hai in Ho Chi Minh City, tasted a bit like a cross between lala & balitong, if you enjoy those, you will enjoy this.

The crab, while properly seasoned and prepared, was not as firm and “full” as I had hoped for, though it was nonetheless an acceptable dish.

great first meal at KK and to catch up with old friend
great first meal at KK and to catch up with old friend

Then there’s the unique “Sabah vegetable” that you can’t get in Peninsular Malaysia, with its slightly crunchy stem and soft leaves, I always make it a point to order this whenever I’m at KK.

Dinner came to about RM 50+ per person, right around the average for a good seafood meal at KK. We could have kept it a bit cheaper if not for the over ordering, but diet goes to hell when you’re traveling, right?

Thanks Ben!

map to salut seafood, kota kinabalu

Address:
Salut Seafood
Jalan Sulaman, Kampung Salut,
89200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 6.103970, 116.160311
Tel: 019-881 8515
Hours: 11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Several weeks ago I was invited to a soft launch of Little Mums, the restaurant that was run by the same people that brought us Mum’s Place at Damansara Perdana, a restaurant that I’ve reviewed almost ten years ago, with shitty camera phone then.  As the name suggests, this offshoot is run by the second generation, offering many of the best selling dishes from the parent restaurant.

Little Mums at Damansara Uptown
Little Mums at Damansara Uptown

Located at the back row of Damansara Uptown, Little Mum spots a modern yet simple interior, and while parking isn’t the most ideal this part of PJ, it is not exactly an exercise of patient either. Little Mum serves both lunch and dinner, and offers several individual plates in addition to the usual “tai chao” style dishes.

prawn sambal petai, fried cencaru, soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce
prawn sambal petai, fried cencaru, soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce

On our visit, we started off with an appetizer with the crab cheese sticks (RM 16.80), a dish that would really go well with some cold beer, which sadly they do not offer.

Our main meal was served with steamed rice, and we had prawn with sambal petai (RM 31.80), fried cencaru with cili padi paste and petai (RM 26), soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce (RM 10.20/100g), daun keledek with lime juice (RM 15), and brinjal with black pepper (RM 15).

daun keledek, terung black pepper
daun keledek, terung black pepper

These dishes were as good as I remembered them. The cencaru and soft shell crab stood out as the two must-order dishes were strong tasting in a good way, especially for those who like their food spicy. While daun keledek is one of their classics, I found myself really enjoying the black pepper brinjal even though as with the other previously mentioned dishes, it was really spicy as well.

crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan
crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan

For dessert, sago gula melaka (RM 6.30) was really well executed, and pulut tekan (RM 7.30), served with homemade kaya, is another must-try. This version is like hot KFC vs stale fried chicken from the roadside, you gotta try it.

I did find the cendol with red bean (RM 6.30) a little underwhelming though, and perhaps being from Penang has something to do with that judgement.

KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze
KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze

Little Mums serves Halal food and the prices are nett. While it is slightly on the high side when it comes to pricing, they do deliver rather well in terms of quality of food. Would certainly visit again.

map to little mums at damansara uptown

Address:
Little Mums
13, Jalan SS 21/1a, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
GPS3.136665, 101.620997
Tel: 03-7710 0388

Every once in a while, the bunch of jokers at work would organize a fun “eating out” session, usually when one of us has something to celebrate and belanja the team.

A few weeks ago, we ended up at Jalan Bellamy for some good old fashion ikan bakar on one of such occasions.

Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy
Gerai Mak Alang Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy

Tucked behind Agong’s old palace between Jalan Syed Putra & Jalan Istana is a small hill that is very different from most part of KL. There’s virtually no development, you can’t find any big commercial buildings or high rise offices. A place so close to the hustle & bustle of the likes of Puduraya and yet immune to the change of time.

It is here that you find some half a dozen ikan bakar places, all packed with hungry lunch crowds any given afternoon.

Gerai Mak Alang was the restaurant of choice for our excursion.

tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places
tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places

Gerai Mak Alang offers quite a good selection of grilled fish and other dishes. You have the standard ikan pari (sting ray), kembung, tilapia, and even terubok (toli shad, full of annoying tiny bones but with the softest meat ever). There’s also a selection of sambal to complete the dishes, including my all time favorite – tempoyak!

prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too
prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too

In addition to fish, they also offer prawns, cuttle fish, and cockles. I expected the cockles to be of the Nong & Jimmy bakar method, but it came coated with curry powder/sauce instead, which turned out to be quite ok nonetheless, but I would still prefer it grilled tho.

The cuttle fish was superb though, soft, succulent, and tasted supremely fresh. The prawn seemed to be prepared similar to nyonya asam prawn style, which was mighty fine by me.

food is always best when enjoyed with great company
food is always best when enjoyed with great company

Food quality is more than decent, and we certainly had a great time at Jalan Bellamy. There are a few other stalls still yet to be explored for me, and judging by the amount of crowd, I believe they are all worth trying out.

map to ikan bakar at Jalan Bellamy

Address:
Gerai Mak Alang
Jalan Bellamy
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670

Kota Kinabalu, and many parts of East Malaysia for that matter, is famous for its seafood, and there are many restaurants to choose from. For a visitor, this can get pretty tricky as there are always those TSH (tourist slaughtering house) that one should avoid.

So on my trip to KK last year, I got the help from locals to suggest a good seafood meal. When both Joyce and Ben agreed that New Gaya Seafood is the destination fit for purpose, it surely can’t go wrong.

New Gaya Seafood at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
New Gaya Seafood at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Unlike some of the fancier seafood restaurants in the city, New Gaya is relatively plain. There’s no cultural dance or elaborate interior decorations, but there’s plenty of live seafood to choose from, with simple dining area that’s complete with plastic chairs and relatively tired looking tablecloths.

We’re here for the food though, and so long it’s relatively clean, who cares?

Sabah vegetable, ostrich meat, tofu in hotplate
Sabah vegetable, ostrich meat, tofu in hotplate

To start with, we have something green in the form of Sabah vegetable (RM 12). While seafood is the main topic, if you’re in Sabah, you gotta order this. The vegetable has a very distinct sweetness that is absent in those you find in Peninsular, I highly recommend this.

Then there’s ostrich meat (RM 20) and tofu in hot plate (RM 20) to complete our non-seafood trio. All these dishes were very good and go along well with the garlic rice (RM 10 for 5pax) we ordered.

fresh prawns and clams
fresh prawns and clams

Then came the seafood.

We started out with 1 kg of live prawns (RM 48). To enjoy the freshness of these prawns in its most unadulterated form, we have them steamed. It was so succulent and full of seafood sweetness, it really is the best way to enjoy these prawns.

Then we had those thick shelled clams (RM 26/kg) prepared with minimal fuss – garlic and chives. Sweet and juicy.

steamed garoupa, more clams, soft shell crab, mud crab
steamed garoupa, more clams, soft shell crab, mud crab

Our most expensive dish of the night was the 1 kg steamed garoupa with superior soya sauce (RM 90), as with everything else, freshness is key and this fish was alive prior to us ordering. I think that garoupa at this weight is pretty much perfect when it comes to the texture of the meat.

We also had the shellfish (RM 22 per kg) that you eat by twisting out the meat with a pick. This was steamed and went really well with the supplied condiment.

these were not all the dishes we shared at New Gaya
these were not all the dishes we shared at New Gaya

No seafood dinner is complete without crabs, and for this purpose we had 1 kg of deep fried soft shell crab (RM 78) and another kg of mud crab (RM 38) prepared with salted egg yolk. These dishes did not disappoint either, though I probably like the mud crab to be prepared a little less dry or perhaps have them baked or steamed instead.

Joyce, KY, Maha, Raj, Ben, Chew, Michelle, Vicky
Joyce, KY, Maha, Raj, Ben, Choo, Michelle, Vicky

Overall it was a great dinner with very good company to boot, we ended up splitting the bill at just over RM 50 per person. If you happen to go to KK, eat where the locals choose to eat and you won’t be disappointed. New Gaya seafood is definitely one of those destinations.

map to New Gaya Seafood restaurant, KK

Address:
New Gaya Seafood Restaurant
Lot A & B, Wisma Lucky Centre, Jalan Kianson,
88450 Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.988415, 116.138549
Tel: 088-385 020
Hours: 11:30am – 2pm; 5pm – 10pm