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.
It is somewhat of a fashionable thing to be talking about the negative things about the various social media channels that are popular these days, such as how you only view the highlights of your friends, and how that elevate the whole “grass is greener on the other side” mentality and so forth.
However, like many things in life, if you use it right, great things can come out of it.
Delicious Curry House, Kota Kinabalu
Case in point – I got to know about both about Delicious Curry House from my instagram connection, a fellow user who hailed from Sabah and have since moved to Klang Valley some years back. Additionally, my makan buddy at Kota Kinabalu too, is someone I got to know from the same channel.
Who said it’s all negative? 😀
Anyway, Delicious Curry House is situated about 15 mins or so from the town center at Taman Ridgeview, a small commercial area that is pretty quiet in the evening (translation – easy to find parking).
The menu is not overly large, but covers a decent selection of dishes that includes seafood, vegetables, poultry, both in spicy or non-spicy forms.
paku pakis, squid with lime, asam prawn, bitter gourd with salted egg
For the two of us, we ordered four dishes (obviously too much).
The asam curry prawns (RM 32) was one of my favorites of the night, the broth was flavorful and packs a punch in terms of spiciness. If you love asam pedas, you’d find this version satisfying, especially with KK quality prawns.
Thai style steamed squid (RM 18) provides another jolt to our senses with its lime, garlic, and chili padi ingredients. The huge squid was of course, fresh and juicy.
four dishes was a bit much for two pax
For greens, I took the advise from fellow instagramfriend and went for their salted egg bitter gourd (RM 13.80), and a paku pakis (RM 13.80, sometimes ‘branded’ as Sabah vege).
These two are some of my favorite vegetables so they obviously did not disappoint. I thought the portion was a bit too big though for two pax, and maybe the paku pakis dish was just a tad too oily. Those bitter gourd would also make for perfect snack to go with beer.
Overall the dinner was super satisfying and offers rather decent value. Would not hesitate to go back there again.
I’m blessed with many friends who know I love to explore different foods, and it is also from suggestions of these friends that I manage to experience all these different places documented in this spot on the interweb.
But even better than suggestions though, is when friends brought me to the source of food – like during my last work trip to Kota Kinabalu, May picked me up and took me to this place by the name of Sabah Keratang.
Restoran Sabah Keratang, Kota Kinabalu
Keratang is the local name for Giant Garupa – the largest bony fish that offshore Sabah. While there’s a misconception that giant garupa is just normal garupa that grew old and huge, it is actually an entirely separate species of garupa that can grow to half a tonne and has distinctively thicker skin.
Unlike full fledged seafood restaurants like Welcome Seafood, Salut Seafood, New Gaya, or fish noodle places like Fatt Kee, Taukefish, Sabah Keratang wedged itself pretty much right in the middle, offering fish noodle soup, fried rice or noodle with garupa, and a selection of seafood and other dishes to go with rice.
three dishes for two hungry souls
Over the dinner for two, we ordered a garupa soup (RM 30 for small), 3-in-1 seafood (RM 29.50 for small), and vegetable (RM 10) with a couple plates of steamed rice.
The garupa soup was as good as any seafood noodle places, with tomato and salted vegetable tofu soup base that compliments the fatty nature of the garupa meat with its thick skin. Portion was rather healthy as well even though this was a supposed to be a “small” one.
the giant garupa skin, check it out!
The 3-in-1 seafood came with prawns, squid, and of course, giant garupa slices. This turned out to be our favorite dish, the seafood was fresh and super tasty, and while it was slightly on the saltier side, with steamed rice it was perfect. I love it.
As for the vege, it wasn’t anything to shout about, not anywhere near the Kundasang sort of vegetable I enjoy.
Overall though, I thought Sabah Keratang is definitely a worthy place for a meal if you find yourself at Kota Kinabalu.
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.
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.
The one food that you absolutely must try when in Sabah is of course, their seafood. Situated by South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu is blessed with some of the best the ocean has to offer.
And when it comes to KK seafood, the locals definitely have their own list of restaurants they prefer – Welcome Seafood at Penampang is one of those places.
Welcome Seafood, at Penampang, Sabah
The restaurant is situated some 10 KM away from the city at this place called Fu Guan Industrial Centre. Parking can be a bit of a challenge especially on weekends as the place is almost always packed with locals looking for a good meal.
Modus operandi here isn’t too different from many other seafood restaurants – pick your fresh catch or live seafood, weigh them, and get the restaurant to prepare them in the cooking method of your choice.
clams, fresh shrimps, and steamed jewel garupa
Since it was just Ben and myself, we were pretty modest on our visit. We had live clams with leek and onion, steamed live prawns, and a portion of steamed deep sea jewel garupa with soya sauce.
When the seafood is of good quality, you want the preparation method to be as simple as possible to bring out the natural sweetness.
the coconut jelly is a must order too
True to Welcome Seafood and Sabah’s reputation, the meal was absolutely top notch. The seafood was fresh, and the value offered was very very hard to beat, all those for RM 124.00.
If you’re there, be sure to leave some stomach space for their coconut jelly too!