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!
Many many years ago, before the existence of this website and when I was still a student in the States, we took a super long road trip down to New Orleans for spring break. It was a beautiful city with quite a bit of culture, and it was also the first time I had Louisiana style seafood, with crayfish, shrimps, and those really distinctive sauce.
A few weeks ago, I had the same type of seafood treatment for the second time of my life, right here at PJ SS2’s Crab Factory.
Crab Factory at PJ SS2
Crab Factory has been in existence for almost 3 years now, situated just right across the road from McDonald’s in the busy commercial area that is PJ SS2. Parking can sometimes be a challenge at this area, especially on a Monday night when Pasar Malam is in full swing. Which isn’t really a problem since Crab Factory smartly chooses Monday to be their rest day.
menu with price list on the table, and on the wall
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with very practical table arrangment fit for group and couple dining as well. For those who are worried about going out of hands in terms of budgeting for a seafood feast, the prices are well written on the wall, in the menu, as well as their website at crabfactory.com.my
brown crabs in signature southern bang sauce
The ‘standard operating procedure’ when it comes to a shell-out type of restaurants like this is a little bit different from the conventional seafood restaurants many of us are familiar with. There’s no fork & spoon, chopsticks, or even gloves.
crayfish/yabbie in zesty lemon, shrimp with garlic butter
The seafood is poured onto your table that is laced with a giant piece of food grade wax paper. You then use your base hands to feed these delicious sea creatures right into your mouth ala caveman style. Quite a fun experience for most, but you’d want to make sure the nails are clean prior to dinner.
For a restaurant this size, the seafood selection is rather impressive. There are various types of crabs such as brown crab, king crab, spanner crab, and meat crab. Then there’s normal lobster, red lobster, and slipper lobster. You want shrimps? They’ve got tiger prawn, white prawn, freshwater prawn, and amaebi. Then there’s baby octopus and several types of shellfish as well.
brown crab set
If you can’t choose, the easiest way to start is with one of their sets. Such as the crab set we tried. In addition to your choice of crab, the set come with king white prawns, yabbies, hamaguri clams, NZ green mussels, scallop in shells, and baby octopus.
Additionally, there’s also sweet corn, chicken sausage, potatoes, french beans and shallot rice. These are the stuff that will help fill up the stomach a bit if you don’t want to overindulge yourself to way too much seafood (like we did this session)
brown crab set, mussels, and more shrimps (spicy plum sauce)
We sampled quite a variety of offerings from Crab Factory. The crabs were really fresh, big, and very juicy. The white shrimps tend to soak up seasoning very well, while baby octopus is perhaps just a tad slightly more cooked than I’d like it to be, but I think they stay quite true to the Louisiana style.
As for the sauces, I found myself enjoying the Signature Southern Bang sauce quite a bit, but my favorite has got to be the with the butter garlic sauce, which I think let you really taste the sweetness of seafood.
good times, and extremely full stomach
Overall it was quite a fun experience, the only problem I had was trying to operate the camera while eating with my bare hands (many trips to the water basin).
If you want to treat yourself some out-of-the-norm seafood feast, this is certainly a worthy option.
Here are several news worthy items you may find useful:
Valid till the 15th of January 2017 – Double Trouble- 2 L Crabs for RM120 only (1.2-1.4kg)
Seafood sets for 2-3 pax
1) Meat Crab-M (2pcs) RM175
2) French Brown Crab (900gm – 1kg) RM239
3) King Crab L 900gm – 1kg) RM299
new sauce – Thai Sambal and Spicy Plum
Scroll down and you’ll a coupon for 25% off (valid till 31st Jan 2017)
One of my favorite dishes to cook during my time in the States was scallop fried rice, the reason is two folds – it is very delicious, and scallops are very affordable there (a pack of 8-10 huge scallops went for less than $10).
first, “marinated” your scallops and prawns in brine
Back home in Malaysia, scallop is quite a prized ingredient, so having scallop fried rice is a bit of a luxury. That is unless, you get the seafood from East Malaysia. I picked up some frozen scallops and prawns while on a work trip to KK a week ago, so I immediately thought of recreating the very same dish that I’ve been missing.
boil the vegetable, and pan fry the seafood separately
Here’s how you can cook this simple scallop and prawn fried rice at home, feel free to substitute with other shellfish or seafood items if you like.
Ingredients (for two servings):
a dozen scallops, medium size
6-8 prawns, medium size
vegetable (choi sum)
2 bowls of steamed rice (cook from 1.5 cups)
1 bulb of garlic, chopped
black pepper & salt
start by frying garlic, then rice, and finally eggs
marinate seafood with brine for 5-10 minutes before cooking
boil the vegetable separately for about 5 minutes, add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water to make it smooth and more palatable
heat up 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil and fry the seafood for about 2 minutes, set aside
reuse the same cooking oil but add another 3-4 tablespoon
fry garlic till fragrant
add rice and 2 tablespoon of soya sauce (dark soya sauce optional), fry for a minute
add pepper to taste
split the rice in the middle, and add eggs
continue frying until eggs are cooked
plate everything and serve!
scallop and prawn fried rice with a side of vegetable
This fairly simple dish only takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, tastes pretty awesome too. Total price for two person came up to be about RM 20 or so, I got the seafood from KK airport.
One day while trying to find something new to eat, we chanced upon Chu Cha Dan Fan (粗茶淡饭) at Seksyen 14, a restaurant that I’ve noticed for quite a while but somehow never manage to try. Looking at the menu posted at the stairway leading up to the restaurant, my buddy Horng immediately agreed to give it a try.
Chu Cha Dan Fan is one of the very few restaurants in Klang Valley that offers Hunan dishes, and since Horng spent a few years working in China, he was keen to relive the taste of some of those dishes.
Chu Cha Dan Fan at PJ Seksyen 14, or in English, humble food
粗茶淡饭 literally translate to “rough tea and bland rice”, or humble food.
So prior to looking at the menu, I initially thought that this is perhaps a place offering comfort food like porridge or tongsui. As it turned out, they have quite an extensive Hunan dishes instead. I think they can really use a line of description on their signboard outside.
The look of the restaurant though, really exudes that “humble food” name, there isn’t any decoration to speak of, but it was pretty clean and air conditioned.
all three dishes turned out to be spicy, in a good way
Since there were only 3 of us, we ordered 3 classic Hunan dishes for dinner – Mala chicken (辣子雞 RM 16), Hunan skewered prawns (串烧虾 RM 28), and dry fried green beans (乾煸四季豆 RM 10).
All three dishes turned out to be more than decent. While Horng commented that the mala chicken was not as aromatic as he’d like them to be, I found them to be delicious with the right amount of mild spicy numbing feel.
Our favorite was the shrimp on skewer, spicy, crunchy, and full of flavor, you can actually eat the whole thing with shells and all. The green beans weren’t bad either.
love the prawn, even though Yuki was trying to avoid spicy food that night
Overall it was a pretty pleasant dinner, we should go back there again with a few more people so that we can order more. I’ve heard that they also offer simple set lunches for the office crowd as well, so do give it a try.
Address: Chu Cha Dan Fan No. 6A-2, Jalan 14/20 Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS: 3.109763, 101.635860 Hours: Open for lunch and dinner
A few weeks ago we were invited to sample some drinks and food at The Roof & Stratosphere in One Avenue.
I must say that I’m perhaps one of the very few people who didn’t realise that there’s such a happening place at around One Utama area. My memory of “happening” and “One Utama” was still stuck in 1997 where there were clubs blasting “Lemon Tree”. When you’re drunk and can’t remember where you park your car in the maze that is One Utama car park, you would have quite a situation. Anyway, I digressed.
The Roof at One Avenue’s top floor
The Roof is located at the top floor of One Avenue, which is located next to One Utama. With an underground car park and a pretty high speed elevator system that gets you on top rather quickly, it is rather convenient.
There are a few hang-out places at The Roof, and the one we checked out was Signature by The Hill, a restaurant with a full bar and pretty interesting menu.
Hawaii 5-0, The Fish Bowl with Deep, and Milo Ais with Haze
The cocktail menu at Signature is contemporary and playful. I tried Hawaii 5-0 (RM 40) that’s laden with Smirnoff vodka, Frangelico, organic raspberry jam all housed within a hallowed out pineapple. It was very sweet, refreshing, and easy to drink. I really liked it.
Haze tried the Milo Ais (RM 28), our local favorite breakfast chocolate drink but infused with rum, baileys, and kahlua. Rich and silky.
The other cocktails we tried at Signature were really impressive as well, perfect compliment to the food we were ordering next.
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Black Angus Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Fingers
The food menu isn’t particularly extensive, but covered all the bases.
With about 10 items to choose from, we picked pan seared foie gras (RM 48), black angus carpaccio (RM 32), caesar salad (RM 22), and chicken fingers as starters.
I liked that the foie gras was served with caramelised fig, and the carpaccio too was sliced to perfection. Chicken fingers made for perfect beer companion as well. Would love to their their salmon & maguro (tuna) tartar (RM 25) and escargot (RM 28) next time.
Wagyu ribeye, black cod, king prawns
For mains, I picked Wagyu Ribeye (RM 138) with a pretty simple presentation of baked sweet potato and sautéed seasoned vegetable. The beef has a marbling no. 7 rating. The only complain I have with this dish is that it came in a hot plate, and thin cuts don’t work particularly well with hot plates. I’d order this with normal plate instead.
Black cod (RM 50) turned out to be one of the best dishes we tried. Perfectly seared and served with braised leek & fennel topped with tomato jam, it was excellent. That perfectly prepped fish skin, I can have it all day!
King prawns (RM 55) came with creamy pasta, and I thought the presentation was particularly clever. The prawns served in a jar making it a less messy affair. Deep who had this was happy about the dish.
Other dishes to check out would be Black Angus tenderloin (RM 88), seared duck breast (RM 45), and perhaps the ultimate gourmet burger that’s priced at RM 200!
Stratosphere – where drinks are served on a helipad
After dinner, we adjourned to the Stratosphere, which is actually a helipad on top of the roof of… well, The Roof.
This was one of the bars with the best ambiance in town, with 360 degree uninterrupted view of Selangor and KL, you can see all the way to KLCC, the whole of Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, and TTDI.
There were 10 different cocktails to choose from here, and all priced at RM 40 nett. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the couple drinks I tried to be honest, and this is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve had those excellent cocktails just a couple hours prior, but the view was able to make up for it.
I think the cocktail department is something that they will be able to correct, and I certainly hope so. Regardless, it is still most definitely worth checking out.
Thank you Kim for the invitation and a great night.
Address: The Roof First Avenue, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.146684, 101.617005 Tel: 012-6910628 (Stratosphere)