Monday, April 6, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Part 6

The Seafood Parade

I can never stop marvelling at the price of the enormous, extravagant seafood feasts you can have in Malaysia. The food is just SO cheap, I am pretty sure that some of them cost as much as my fried chicken dinner in Epping last night. So I could not complain one teensy tiny bit that for my last five nights, and for many other nights during my visit, we were treated to ginormous seafood dinners with various family members.

1. King Crab

Steamed fish, stir fried veges, butter crab with mantou

Dad's side of the family love King Crab, so we come together for a birthday celebration. This is the first time I've gotten to try the butter crab. King Crab serves a variety of sauces with their crabs, and this particular sauce is a creamy butter sauce. The sauce is a mixture of butter, condensed milk, bird's eye chillis and curry leaves. It's wonderfully rich and every trace of the sauce is greedily mopped up with the freshly fried mantou bread. King Crab really know their mantou, it's always perfectly crisp and warm. We try a variety of other meat, vegetable and seafood dinners but none of them come to mind easily so they were not spectacular, but not terrible either.

2. King Crab Take 2
We return to King Crab right at the end of our holiday for the purpose of having some Singapore Style Chilli Crab. Because of some family issues, our planned trip to Singapore was cancelled and I had not had a chance to fulfill my promise to A's Dad that I would stuff A full of chilli crab (it was his Dad's absolute favourite dish when he visited Singapore years ago). This time I have full reign over the menu since it is just a small group of us.

King noodles, sweet and sour fish and kangkung belacan
I insist on ordering the king noodles, which I adored on my last trip. When the noodles come out it all makes sense, it is laden with crispy pork fat. Every dish from Malaysia that engraved itself in my memory from my last short trip seems to have been pork fatted to the max! Mum gets the fried fish for herself since she is skipping the crab. The kangkung was a disappointment, it was very oily that night, even though it was fragrant and spicy, the whole thing just oozed and dripped with the leftover oil.

Chilli crab with mantou
The chilli crab is probably not the best you can find but it is always enjoyable. The spicy tomato and egg sauce is mouth watering and all you can hear from our table for the first 20 minutes is the quiet slurping and sucking of sauce off the shells of the crab. I always selfishly grab my favourite part of the crab, the head and scrape all the tastiest morsels out of this section. The meat is wonderfully fresh.

3. Eric Deli Paradise

Steamed fish in spicy clear soup
We choose this dinner location hastily, in an attempt to find somewhere that is close to home since Dad is not feeling 100%. I came here on my last trip and enjoyed fresh steamed fish and crispy fried pigeon. The pigeon has been taken of the menu, rather disturbingly because the bird has been banned because it came from China. It's definitely not the best of our seafood dinners, my cousin's nose is wrinkled up in disapproval from the time the decision is made to go here until the time the enormously expensive bill is delivered by the smarmy idiot of a waiter. We also figure out later in the evening that they overcharged us for one of the dishes. The food is okay but none of us were particularly hungry so we ended up with way to much food and it felt like a waste.

Crispy skin chicken
The chicken is well-cooked, with a super crispy skin but this is the offending dish which we are charged for a full serve when we only receive a half serve. We order some prawns that are cooked in a creamy curry sauce just so that I can try out their mantou. It is served steamed and deep fried with a small dish of condensed milk in the middle. I cannot stop eating the mantou and eat more of it with the sweetened condensed milk than the actual prawn dish.

Curry prawns and mantou!
4. Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant
Lala chong. Lala chong. Lala chong. This is something I keep randomly hearing from my parents mouth's every now and then. It is their favourite place to bring a big group of family for a celebration dinner, because my parents are the ultimate cheapskates and this is the ultimate value for money seafood dinner.

Salted egg yolk crab, steamed vegetables with garlic, fried paku with tuna and chilli, siong tong lala (fresh lala cooked in a soup with garlic and cili padi) and butter prawns fried with black beans

I've gotta say, this was a fantastic meal. Totally worth the drive out past the old Subang Airport to the middle of nowhere. The crabs fried with salted egg is requested by my Malay cousins and it is so much better than the version I tried at king crab but the crab meat is not very fresh, almost mushy. The paku vegetables fried with tuna was a surprising hit, it turned out to be a great combination. And my god. The LALA. I DIE.


Assam fish and honey fried baby squid

...now that I have gotten my Rachel Zoe moment out of the way, the siong tong lala was just so damn good. The soup was multi-dimensional, that's the only way I can think to describe it, an explosion of flavour in your mouth packed with garlic, ginger and chilli . I drink it up greedily. The assam fish is great, and comes with heaps of vegetables in the sauce. I love the crispy pieces of deep fried honey squid. The tiny little baby tentacles of the squid are super crunchy with their sweet honey batter. Love it.

5. Port Klang

Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of this restaurant, which is a real pity. It is one of the huge restaurants that competes along this waterfront strip. A narrow, dark bridge on stilts leads you to the open restaurants which has a specular view of the water. And the water is conveniently close to your table, so you can happily fling your empty crab shells over your shoulder into the water.

Marmite chicken, two types of fried noodles, siong tong fish, praying mantis fried prawns and steamed veges

Every single dish is fantastic. I am in heaven. The siong tong with anything is fast becoming one of my favourite dishes. I can't resist that spicy soup. The funny looking pink fish is flattened out with its eyes bugging out rather comically. The marmite chicken is sticky and delicious. We get two types of crabs - singapore style chilli and the pepper crab. The chilli crab is a million times better than the king crab version - extremely tomatoey and dense with chilli padi. The pepper crab is very strong, almost eye wateringly peppered. I'm not sure I am a fan of it but I still love my crab. A insists on taking a photo of the table at the end of our meal to show his family - I guess it's a bit of the culture shock hehe.

The aftermath
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