Topspot Seafood Kuching: A CNY dinner with Mandy

I’m currently in Kuching to celebrate the tail end of CNY with Mandy (and to meet her family 😱). One of the things we wanted to do in Kuching was to eat a seafood dinner. There are many great places for seafood like Buntal and Petanak but we thought it’ll be a safer bet to eat in the city. Lots of places are closed during Chinese New Year.

I’ve been to Top Spot in the past, and even blogged about ABC (Ah Seng Seafood) and Bukit Mata Seafood Center. We went to BBQ Topspot Seafood (Ah Hock) this time. The guy warned us there’s a 1 hour wait and we’re on a special CNY pricing structure so it’ll be more expensive than normal.

One of the interesting things that all Topspot outlets share is the ability to choose your own mixed vegetable dish. There’s a row of various types of pre-cut vegetables, seafood, and other small assorted items and you take a plate and pile it up with the things you want. You pass it to the chef and he’ll cook up your special mixed vegetable dish. My favorite things to add in this are quail eggs and deshelled prawns.

I was also tempted to get a lobster (or at least one of the local slipper lobsters) but settled for King Prawns instead. These are huge freshwater prawns with big heads and long claw-like appendages you can eat.

Nowadays they even print and laminate menu cards with the updated CNY pricing so you know what you’re getting into. Off the top of my head, the huge freshwater King Prawns are RM 14/100 gram. I got two of those – one for each of us. I also wanted to eat fish and that limited the things we could order coz each fish is so large that you can’t eat much else.

This is o chio (black pompfret). RM 60 for this +- 800 gram fish. They recommended sweet and sour fish which turned out really good. This was the best dish of the night. Unfortunately Mandy isn’t a huge fan of fish so I ended up eating most of this myself. To be honest I didn’t know this was a black pompfret at first or I’ll have chosen a different fish coz I eat o chio a lot at zi char places.

Kuching-style oyster omelet (RM 28). This is how we do it here – the distinctive shape is from the wok. It comes out as a huge half sphere. The edges are crispy while the bottom bit is more moist. It’s not the soggy o chien that you get in Penang. This is a more crunchy variation. Served with fish sauce.

Midin! RM 14. This is a must eat in Sarawak. It’s a toothsome jungle fern usually cooked with belacan. This one is cooked with Shaoxing wine. We both liked it but it was served last and we were so full then we couldn’t enjoy the midin. There was at least a 30 minute lag between the first and last dish.

King prawn stir-fried with egg (RM 63). I went with their cooking recommendation but this turned out so oily and disgusting I immediately regretted it. Easily the worst dish of the night, without doubt. I should have asked them to simply steam it with Shaoxing wine. That would have tasted so much better. Urgh. The amount of cooking oil that the prawn retained is shocking. I tried sucking on the head and only got a mouthful of oil.

The food bill for 4 dishes with rice came up to RM 165. This is more expensive that what a normal meal here would cost due to the CNY surcharge. All this is communicated in advance and a proper menu with the updated prices given to customers – that’s a good thing. However, the 1 hour wait was excessive and the neighboring table (who came from KL and struck up a conversation with me) told us they found their meal underwhelming. They also found the seafood less than fresh. I agreed and said we could get better seafood in KL.

Sekinchan: A day trip to Pantai Redang, famous Sekinchan wishing tree, paddy fields, rice factory, bus café, capped with a seafood dinner

I went on a day trip to Sekinchan with Mandy last week. Sekinchan is a small village with fishing and paddy cultivation as its primary industries. It’s a sleepy small town where everyone seems to know each other. One of their most famous landmarks (?) is a tree by the Pantai Redang beach called the Sekinchan Wishing Tree. This is an old looming tree that has strands of red hanging on its branches. People write on red threads and throw it into the air so it hangs from the tree. It’s a wish fulfillment thing.

It makes for a really nice picture!

There is a Chinese temple beside this tree where you can get the red strands of clothes. I can’t read Chinese but there are recommended donation amounts for things like joss sticks. The threads are freely available for the taking but you’re supposed to put in a donation into the box. The donation can be any amount you feel like giving.

You take the red strip of cloth and write whatever you want on the provided table. This is usually a wish you want fulfilled. Mandy wrote both my name and hers in Chinese. Coz this is an Oriental tree, you see. It may not understand English. Haha.

The red cloth has two round metal weights at the end so you just need to lead one and it’ll hook around something. I managed to get it up on the tree on my second try.

Our names in Sekinchan for all eternity, bound by the red threads of fate. Or until a strong wind comes, which is more likely.

Pantai Redang is not a swimming beach. The sand is quite dirty and the water is polluted. However, it’s a nice place to chill and walk with your loved one.

There are stalls at one end of the beach selling seafood dishes and drinks. We got a coconut and took it to a hut by the beach to enjoy.

The best thing about taking leave to come on a weekday is the lack of people around. We had the beach hut all to ourselves and we spent a good hour here talking with our arms around each other. It’s fun. There’s a cool sea breeze, the smell of salt in the air, the warm indirect sun beside you, stray puppies coming to sleep by your feet, and a refreshing drink of coconut within arm’s reach. Bliss.

There’s also an abandoned café (I think) made of red Coca-Cola shipping containers which makes for a good photo opportunity. It has the Coke tagline and Sekinchan on one of the sides. This is my #emoforever contribution.

My beautiful Mandy does it better though. <3

There’s not much to do in Sekinchan. Like I said, it’s a sleepy little town but another place people go to is the Sekinchan Paddy Processing Factory and Museum. The road here is lined with paddy fields.

This is actually just a rice processing factory which has a small museum attached. Entry is RM 5/person and comes with a free small packet of Sekinchan rice.

The tours are guided, which an option of Chinese or English. I learned that rice factories add in 5% broken rice to meet government specifications. The technology is already there to produce 100% unbroken rice but this is more to keep with government regulations on rice price controls.

There are also 3D photo walls inside the museum where you can take photos.

…as well as various old scenes from Sekinchan past. It’s worth the 45 min or so coz there’s little else to do in Sekinchan.

You can also get cendol made with their special Sekinchan brown rice and ice cream there.

Of course, another popular destination in Sekinchan is the No. 16 Sekinchan Bus Café. I’ve written about it in a previous post.

The best part of the café is the photo ops, not the food per se.

Definitely worth a trip if you stick to the cakes and drinks though.

It’s a great place to get the perfect shot for Instagram.

You have to try Sekinchan’s local seafood before you leave. We choose a restaurant at random and ended up at Restoran Pantai Redang. This is a family run seafood location near the beach.

Mandy wanted to have their crabs. This is a crab of around 600-700 grams that’s simply steamed to preserve its original flavor.

It’s very good! Juicy and succulent, much better than the crab we had in Pulau Ketam. I love the Shaoxing wine flavored sauce too.

We saw the owner carrying in two huge fishes. They looked fresh, so we ordered two slices of that as well. It’s also cooked with minimal seasoning. I don’t think Mandy liked it but I really enjoyed the simple, clean flavors. You can only get fish as fresh as this in a fishing village.

Lala cooked in taucu and chillies were very decent as well.

We also ordered huge ass mussels steamed with garlic and rice wine. This was my favorite dish of the meal. They’re only RM 2 each and perfectly steamed so they’re still juicy and plump. This isn’t one of those overcooked mussel dishes you normally see – Mandy made sure to tell the owner to steam it for a short while so it’s barely cooked. Delicious!

It’s important to note that there’s no fancy techniques or complicated sauces at this restaurant. The food is cooked and presented simply, allowing the freshness of the seafood to shine. We both enjoyed the meal and it only came up to RM 127 including beer. Food alone was just RM 93 which is a great price for seafood of this quality. Sekinchan may not be for everyone with its slow pace of living and relatively uncommercialized tourist attractions but both Mandy and I enjoyed it immensely. I love going on trips with her.

Kai’s Plato, Kota Damansara

Kai Plato

My better half’s parents wanted to have dinner together last night so I thought of Kai’s Plato. Kai’s Plato is a restaurant specializing in seafood that subscribes to a no utensils and plates policy. The lobster, prawns, crabs etc comes in a platter and you use the table and your fingers to eat everything. It’s a pretty cool experience.

Kais Plato

I had wanted to come when it first opened but the queues were prohibitive. It’s still quite packed but you’ll be able to get in with a reservation. I booked a table for 4 pax at Kai’s Plato for 6:30 pm.

Kais

There is only 1 menu item here. The meal is standardized and goes according to the number of people. 2 diners will be served with a 3-tier platter while 4 pax has a 4-tier platter.

Writing Shell

You get shells to draw with from the server. These will be mounted on the walls with your customized message – the walls of Kai’s Plato is filled with these.

Watermelon Lychee

I ordered a Virgin Mojito (RM 8.90) while my dear had the Watermelon Lychee (RM 8.90). These two drinks are the house specials. I liked the Watermelon Lychee, it’s very refreshing. The mojito was decent too, they don’t skip on the mint leaves here. It takes up a full half of the glass!

Scallop Oyster

Our 4-layer platter came and was mounted on the jelly flame source. This is the first tier in the platter. There are 11 types of seafood in total here. I particularly liked the sea snails. It’s musky and sandy. Yum! The scallops are served with chopped ginger and spring onions. The oysters are topped with cheese and it’s pretty awesome.

Prawn Octopus

The second tier is filled with prawns, clams, mussels, bamboo clams and octopus. There is another type of clam called arc shell so there’s actually 3 types of clams in this layer. The bottom is lined with cabbage and the vegetables are edible. I preferred the broccoli from the first layer though.

Crab Lobster

The third tier is the best one! It contains the most premium ingredients – slipper lobsters, crabs, huge big head prawns, and grouper fish slices. I love the monster big head prawns. The brains are bigger than the size of my thumb when extracted! The mud crabs are super delicious too. I enjoyed eating the grouper and the small serving of vermicelli is infused with the flavors of the shellfish and seafood. It’s so bomb!

Seafood Soup

The fourth tier contains the seafood soup. You’ll notice that each layer has holes at the bottom to allow stray juices to drip downwards though each tier. This means the scallops, snails, oysters from the first layer drips down to the clams, octupus, mussels in the second layer which in turn goes into the huge prawns, crabs and lobster in the third layer and everything finally drains into this sweet, sweet broth.

Pasta

Kai’s Plato will give you a serving of pasta to eat with the soup. This is meant to fill you up but we were all very full from the seafood already. The soup was really nice though.

Seafood Pasta

I kept a little bit of the crab meat to put into my pasta and seafood soup. The soup is soooo delicious from the 11 types of seafood juices dripping down. It’s such a treat to finish the meal with piping hot soup. I like how the flame is kept going so the soup is boiling. The soup also serves as as steam source to keep the rest of the platter warm.

Kais Us

Kai’s Plato works out to around RM 86 per pax. I ordered the Captain’s Platter for RM 270++, which is what they call the set for 4 people. It’s RM 138++ for 2 pax or RM 390++ for a group of 6. We all enjoyed eating with our hands and using the table as a plate. I also learned that my dear’s dad is a collector of snail shells last night. The meal came up to RM 343.60 for the 4 of us which is reasonable for a meal with lobster, crabs, prawns and grouper. I’ll be back again but not for a long while since you can get sick of eating so much seafood. Haha!

Seremban Baked Crabs @ Kedai Makanan Seremban

Seremban Baked Crabs

We took a route that brought us through Seremban over the long weekend and decided to eat the famous baked crabs here. These delicious morsels of crustaceans are grilled (so maybe it should be called grilled crabs) with nothing more than a simple dressing, making it the perfect food for all seafood lovers.

Seremban Crabs

The best place to have the baked crabs is apparently Seremban Seafood Village (Kedai Makanan Seremban). It looks like an unassuming stall that’s located by the roadside until you actually step in. The interior is surprisingly huge! There’s a set of stairs that you’ll have to walk down and it’s almost a cavern inside. There are lots of pictures of crabs so visitors wouldn’t miss what they’re all about.

Soup Lala

Soup Lala (RM 15)
This is the clams people in Peninsula Malaysia love. It’s done in a “soup” (technically a light broth) so the molluscs can shine. I like how Seremban Seafood Village do the catch justice by applying light and easy cooking methods so as not to overpower the natural taste.

Salted Egg Fried Sotong

Salted Egg Fried Sotong (RM 25)
This is Chinese style calamari – the batter is mixed with salted egg so there’s a natural seasoning. We got this for the kids. I thought the batter didn’t stick very well to the squid but then this place is more known for their crabs.

Season Pea

Season Pea (RM 15)
I think a hungry person started grabbing at the shoots before my better half could take a photo. smirk This is the obligatory vegetable dish.

Fried Soo Hoon

Fried Soo Hoon (RM 15)
This is the carbohydrate to fill everyone up coz some people didn’t want to have rice. We had this in the late evening for an early dinner after lunch in Melaka and tea at Klebang Original Coconut Shake so we were still quite full.

Baked Crabs

Baked Crabs (RM 210)
This is the famous Seremban baked crabs! It costs RM 70/kg and we had 3 kilograms. This plate holds 2 kilograms alone. We started picking at the crabs and decided we wanted more so we ordered another 1 kg. Our hands were all sticky then so we didn’t take a photo of the second batch. You should always order smaller batches and add-on since it’s a lot nicer when it’s hot and turnaround is fast. The nice thing is that they try to serve the crabs looking like how they should – it’s just quartered and assembled back. The black stuff sticking to the crab is caramelized soy sauce and it goes very well with the fresh crabs.

Seremban Seafood Village

The whole meal cost RM 330.10. I was a little surprised by the amount coz I didn’t have much cash on me but luckily it was enough to pay for the meal. The place also charges for incidentals like wet towels and “tidbits” (deep fried wonton skins served before the meal) but the actual price for the crabs is quite reasonable considering big head prawns are RM 200 per kg in some places. It’s good, I’ll go again for the baked crabs if I’m in Seremban.

B & Best Seafood Noodles, PJ SS4

Seafood

I discovered this haven for fresh fish connoisseurs way back in 2008. B & Best Seafood Noodles has a lot of different types of fish on ice and it’s one of the best places to eat a steaming hot bowl of fresh fish noodles. I was with my better half and her mom over the weekend and we decided to pop in here for a slightly luxurious breakfast.

B Best Restaurant

There is a wide range of premium seafood options for the taking – everything from grouper to huge prawns and scallops in the middle. The huge board above the stall lists down prices for every type of fish and ranges from RM 13 for Senangin to RM 26 for Estuary Grouper.

Red Grouper Fish Noodles

Red Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 15)
This is what my dear’s mom went for. You can opt for noodles or rice vermicelli or a mixture of the two. I personally think rice vermicelli goes better with all types of seafood due to the delicate nature of the meat but it’s personal preference. The fish didn’t disappoint, it was tender and the broth carried enough flavor while allowing the natural fish taste to shine though.

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles (RM 26)
My better half had this one. It’s the special of the day. Queensland Grouper is just another name for Estuary Grouper. There’s only one fish head per fish so stocks are understandably limited. The fish head meat comes pre-sliced and it tastes better than regular body meat, at least for people who like fish. The texture of the flesh from a grouper’s face is a lot more pleasing – plenty of cartilage and collagen, I would highly recommend it over the regular cuts.

Napoleon Fish Noodles

Napoleon Fish Noodles (RM 26)
I had the humphead wrasse/so mei/蘇眉 with noodles. The fish is supple and yielding with a clean aftertaste. I liked it, but I exchanged a lot of my fish slices with my dear since I preferred the meat from a fish head. This place has a smorgasbord of fishes to suit all budgets from the humble mackerel (RM 13) to the midrange mullet fish (RM 20) right up to the Pearl Grouper (RM 26).

Whole Scallops

Whole Scallops (RM 18)
I also ordered a bowl of scallops to share. You can have this with noodles too, all the options are available with add-on noodles. The fat and juicy scallops are quite good, and fresh too. I chose this over the abalone since the latter comes in packs while the scallops are the real deal. They also have oysters, escargots, clams, and fish maw.

You’ll love this place if you enjoy a bowl of steaming fresh fish noodles. They have a range of species to fit every budget and you can even opt for the dry version (soup with seafood served separately) if you prefer. The prices are slightly higher than other dedicated estuary grouper fish noodle stalls like Ah Po Estuary Grouper and Min Yee Estuary Grouper but they have a wider selection of seafood here. The bill for the three of us came up to RM 84.50 but the fish portions are larger than it looks from the shock of green vegetables floating on top.

B Best Seafood Noodles

You’ll need to go early though. I made a Google Maps destination in my previous post, which I used to get there yesterday morning – I forgot how to go and the GPS marker is confirmed correct. :)

Mr. Dakgalbi @ Citta Mall

MrDakgalbi Korea

It was just after work and we were at Citta Mall to grab a quick bite to eat. My better half actually wanted to eat something else but I saw an advertisement for this outlet at the escalators and we decided to check it out.

Mr Dakgalbi Citta Mall

Mr. Dakgalbi is a franchise from Korea with a pretty descriptive name – it tells you what’s on the menu, dak galbi. Dak galbi is a Korean dish from Chuncheon, Korea (just like how okonomiyaki is associated with Osaka, Japan) that involves a hot plate and chicken.

MrDakgalbi

The process of ordering at Mr. Dakgalbi is pretty simple:

  1. Wear your assigned aprons to avoid splash damage
  2. Choose one of chicken, octopus, or seafood dak galbi
  3. Choose combination of rice, ramen, cheese add-on

Mr Dakgalbi

I went for chicken since dak galbi is traditionally made with chicken. The Mr.Dakgalbi (RM 19) option is their flagship – chicken marinated in traditional Korean chilli paste, potatoes, onions, spring onions and tteok (rice cake). It’s a very common Korean ingredient, I’ve had tteokbokki while in Pusan.

MrDakgalbi Chicken

The chicken marinated in gochujang is then sliced into small pieces and fried together with the accoutrements. You don’t have to do it yourself – the staff will cook everything for you, much like Palsaik. It seems like full service Korean restaurants is very big here.

Mr Dakgalbi Rice

Next up, is choosing the carbs. I asked for rice (RM 6) and cheese (RM 6). You can also ask for ramen (RM 6) if you like. This is fried together with your chicken and then the entire thing is ready to eat!

MrDakgalbi Frying Rice

The staff will also portion your chicken into two portions just in case you want to add on, and if you don’t, your leftover rice will be made into a sort of pizza. It eats like the bottom of claypot chicken rice – the caramelized and crispy bottom is nice.

Pizza Rice

It’s pretty decent but if you don’t like gochujang or have small kids, you might want to order something else since the signature fermented Korean chilli paste can be quite spicy for sensitive palates.

Seafood Jeon

We also ordered Seafood Jeon (RM 19) – a crispy Korean style pancake. It looks nothing like what the menu promised (the picture in the menu had large octopus tentacles practically burying the jeon) and it tasted about as appealing as it looked. Dismal. action

Dak Galbi

I guess we should have stuck to ordering the namesake from Mr. Dakgalbi. Their dak galbi is alright and it can feed two people easily. You can also add rice, cheese or ramen as much as you want at a price of RM 6 per portion/plate. Thus, our dak galbi is actually RM 30 (RM 19 chicken + RM 6 rice + RM 6 cheese).

Mr Dakgalbi Us

It’s not good enough to make me want to make another trip back soon and their menu is pretty one dimensional. However, I’ll drop by if I have a dak galbi craving (or have an urge to dress up in aprons) since it’s quite close to us. The Mr. Dakgalbi restaurant in Citta Mall is very empty though – it was just the two of us inside before another couple walked in.

Red Lobster @ quill

Red Lobster Malaysia

I didn’t really pay attention to the launch of Red Lobster Malaysia so I was quite surprised to see the Red Lobster marquee while at Quill City Mall. I was there with a friend and wanted to see if it was the same Red Lobster as the US casual dining restaurant so we popped in to check it out.

Lobster Tank

They have a very misleading lunch promotional menu which says “Value Lunch RM 28.90 with 6 delicious options”. The Fine Print (TM) of “starting from” really pushes the definition of the term but who in their right mind would think lobster would come at less than RM 30? I had browsed the menu and spotted the same item I wanted to order at RM 84 but I feel that this has created a lot of ill-will among the public.

Red Lobster Value Lunch

It seems that Red Lobster Malaysia has some teething problems which resulted in a lot of angry customers but most of that seem to be price or service related. It’s been proven that good service actually increases the enjoyment of a meal and we had great service from the wait staff. Granted, we were the only ones there and the staff to customer ratio was 4:1.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

We were seated inside and provided with complimentary Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I love the warm and cheesy biscuits, but the presentation could do with a bit of work – it was served on a tray with serviettes (!!!). I would have expected something a little better from a place like this, at least spring for a nice piece of linen to keep the biscuits warm. The complimentary soup wasn’t interesting at all but that wasn’t why I came here.

Red Lobster Lobster and Steak Burger

I ordered the Lobster & Steak Burger (RM 81.50). It’s a dish of “tender juicy beef burger patty paired with grilled Maine lobster tail and French fries”. I loved my burger! I had ordered it medium and it came out exactly medium. It was succulent and juicy and positively dripping with bovine goodness. The grilled Maine lobster tail was awesome too, especially with the butter sauce. The hot sauce was addictive as hell too!

Red Lobster Bar Harbor Lobster Bake

My friend went for the Bar Harbor Lobster Bake (RM 127.90). This is supposed to be a sharing dish but we were still quite surprised at the portion. It’s a “roasted, split lobster tail, tender shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and linguine in a savory broth”. I can’t say I enjoyed the pasta much, it was slightly gloopy but the lobster was good. The sea scallops and mussels were on the small side (especially the former) and didn’t add much to the dish. It was still better than the appalling Lobster Thermidor I had in Harrod’s KLCC.

Red Lobster

I thought Red Lobster Malaysia does what it does very well – lobster! The other dishes aren’t that great. I went for the burger coz there was a LongHorn Steakhouse directly beside this outlet sharing the same kitchen and it was super! I feel that if you go, knowing that it’s a casual dining restaurant that doesn’t accept reservations (like Chili’s), stick to what they know best (lobsters) and don’t mind the high prices (use a corporate expense account) you’ll love the food. I sure did.

Ah Po Estuary Grouper, Ma Yau and White Pomfret Fish Noodles @ Kota Damansara

Ma Yau Fish

This is my favorite place to eat fish noodles! It’s really fresh as they source the fish directly from fishermen and slice it on-site. That’s a whole Ma Yau (Threadfin fish) above. You have to go really early in the morning before they run out of fish so the long weekend was a great time for me to eat all the types of fish noodles they have. Haha!

Estuary Grouper Loong Tan

Ah Po Fish Noodles carries a lot of different types of fish with prices ranging from RM 14 – RM 22. You can ask to have a peek inside their cooler to see what they have. Yes, one of those plates equals one portion of fish! This stall is actually at the *same* coffee shop as Min Yee Estuary Grouper. However, you get more options here and (arguably) better quality fish.

Estuary Garoupa Fish Noodles

Their flagship dish would be the Estuary Garoupa Fish Noodles (RM 22). This is RM 4 more expensive than Min Yee but the cuts of fish are better. Ah Po uses the prime cuts with lots of fatty collagen and it’s really good while Min Kee seem to use offcuts. I prefer the fish from this stall but the cleaner broth from Min Kee.

White Pomfret Fish Noodle

The cheapest fish noodle you can get here is the White Pomfret Fish Noodles (RM 14). This is a whole fish and since it’s a white pomfret, it can be really bony so watch out for bones! If you love eating fish noodles though, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Ma Yau Fish Noodles

The mid-range offering is Threadfin Fish Noodles (RM 18). This is better known as Ma Yau (馬鮫) or Senangin locally. This is pretty decent and the fish is pretty fresh but for that price, I’ll rather eat the Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles at Min Yee or fork out an additional RM 4 for Ah Po’s top of the line Estuary Garoupa.

Estuary Grouper Collagen

They also have Red Grouper Fish Noodles at RM 18 but it seems to be permanently sold out and the owner and owner’s daughter has confirmed this on numerous occasions (something to do with Chinese New Year and demand for the fish). I would personally suggest coming here for their awesome RM 22 Estuary Grouper (Malabar Grouper/Greasy Grouper/龙趸) as they have the best cuts in town!

Just look at the sheer amount of collagen in the picture! :)

Ah Po Estuary Grouper

Ah Po Fish Noodles
Restaurant Big Family
Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh
GPS: 3.166326, 101.569765

Chee Keong & Mei Sze’s wedding @ Summer Palace

Chee Keong Mei Sze Wedding Banquet

This is the first wedding we attended this year! I had missed a friend (and co-worker) wedding in December 2014 due to prior commitments, so this is the first wedding of 2015. It’s a bit unusual as the traditional Chinese wedding banquet dinner was held on a Sunday night and the restaurant was quite far in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel so we got home quite late yesterday.

Summer Palace Putrajaya Marriott

The bride and groom had a ceremony earlier in the day which culminated in this wedding dinner. I knew the couple from a previous trip to Bangkok and the 9-course banquet was held at Summer Palace – the Chinese restaurant at Marriott in Putrajaya.

HB Ling Wedding

It’s a very nice place for a wedding – I’ve eaten here before at a company dinner and the food wasn’t too bad but the scenery and service is the main selling points. The servers are very conscientious about changing your plates after every course and I had a glass of The Macallan 12 year old for my drink.

Deluxe Five Happiness Combination Platter

Deluxe Five Happiness Combination Platter

This is the first course and instead of the traditional “Four Seasons” plate with four food items this has five different hot and cold elements. There’s also the increasingly common theatre that goes with the first course, with the servers getting in line and doing a performance before grandly putting the first plate on your table.

Deep Fried Salted Egg

I first saw this at my sister’s wedding in Sibu but it wasn’t present at her wedding in KL. We thought the cold pork belly/duck breast slices were the best part of the dish – it was lying on a bed of pickled jellyfish which provided a wonderful acidic element. We also loved the boiled and deep fried salted egg.

Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Baby Abalone, Top Shell & Chinese Herbs

Double boiled Chicken Soup with Baby Abalone

Shark’s Fin Soup has gone out of vogue since the environmentalist types and the wannabes/sheep started a crusade against it. I’m personally ambivalent about the issue, as most people who really understand the issue, with the entire hypocrisy (and racism) of Sea Shepard and other militant environmental organizations on one side and the heritage of Icelandic culture (hákarl – fermented Greenland shark), Canadian legal seal meat and Japanese/French proudly unapologetic cuisine on the other.

However, I think the substitution of shark’s fin soup with a clear soup with premium ingredients like abalone, fish maw, top shell (magpie shell) and such is a good thing too and it tastes better and there was been a spate of fake shark’s fin going around in the few years before it became the “S-word”.

This is a good example of a nice clear soup which highlights the abalone, top shell, chicken and fish maw and it’s individually portioned beforehand.

Roasted Sesame Chicken & Roasted Chicken

Roasted Sesame Chicken

The chicken done two ways is a nice twist on the traditional roasted chicken. However, I’m not a huge fan of chicken done this way – there’s no sea salt or plum sauce for the slightly overcooked and dry roasted chicken and the roasted sesame chicken wasn’t much better.

Steamed Mandarin Fish “Unicorn” Style

Steamed Unicorn Fish

This seems to be the latest trend in serving fish at Chinese banquets! The fish is totally de-boned and filleted. The fillets of fish is then wrapped around a long, tubular “fish ball” and presented on the carcass of the fish so it looks like rolled up fish flesh.

Unicorn Fish

I’m a purist so I still prefer steamed fish served whole but I have to admit, this “unicorn style” platters of fish is very easy to eat, and the fish ball inside makes it taste artificially good with lots of MSG!

Chilled ‘Ming’ Prawns with Mayo & Stir-fried Prawn Balls with Butter Cream

Chilled Ming Prawns with Butter Cream

This is the best dish that we had the entire night! There’s huge prawns done two ways, and they’re all de-shelled and de-veined. One is cooked in a sweet and wet butter/mayo sauce and the other is deep fried in butter. It’s very creamy and I love the huge, juicy prawns – I had three and my better half had two.

Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Broccoli

Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Broccoli

I love the texture of sea cucumber! I’ll actually order this if I see it around. There was a RM 60 PNG (Papua New Guinea) sea cucumber promotion at Glory Cafe in Sarikei when we went but I was too full to order it. The sea cucumber here is done well, thickly sliced and full of slippery and chewy collagen. I also liked the mushrooms – very flavorful, especially with the bits of dried and rehydrated scallops in the reduced sauce.

Special Three Layered Fried Rice

Special Three Layered Fried Rice

There’s nothing special about this dish – it’s just rice done three ways. There’s plain fried rice on top, rice fried with light soy sauce in the middle and cooking caramel (dark soy sauce) fried rice at the bottom. That’s what causes the layered coloration and it was very oily – this is a dish for people who’re still hungry to fill up before dessert is served.

I know people who eat this way – main dishes only (fish, chicken, pork etc) with no accompanying rice in a multiple course banquet where they fill up on fried noodles or rice as the last course, it’s a different style of eating but we were too full at this point to eat more than a spoonful of the rice to taste it.

Special Dessert Combination

Special Dessert Combination

This is actually pretty decent! They made the crushed peanut covered mochi to be flavorless (except for the smoky and nutty accents from the peanuts) so the sweet component comes from the mung bean shaped and moulded into a cartoonish ear of corn.

It’s meant to be eaten together and it’s a good pairing.

The Chinese characters makes a lot more sense than the English translation though. Haha.

Chilled Mixed Fruits with Avocado Cream

Chilled Mixed Fruits with Avocado Cream

This is the highlight of the dish and it was what we had saved up space for. We both thought an avocado based dessert sounded delicious and we’re glad we waited for this even though a lot of people were leaving at this point to beat the traffic and try to get home before a work day. It has a wonderfully rich mouthfeel and a nutty flavor that’s very morish. Delectable!

Chee Keong Mei Sze Wedding Photo

Congrats and all the best to the newly-weds! :)

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 18)

Garoupa Fish Noodles

Min Yee is located at the same coffee shop which hosts Ah Po Grouper Noodles so it has some stiff competition. However, their estuary grouper fish noodles are cheaper at RM 18 compared to Ah Po’s RM 22. The portion seem to be slightly larger too, at least at first glance – this is due to them not slicing the fish too much and presenting beautifully thick slabs of fresh garoupa.

Min Yee Grouper Fish Noodles

They’re also known for their fresh handmade grouper fish ball noodles too! The Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles are RM 6 per bowl and the fish balls have that prized bouncy texture:

Grouper Fishball Noodles

I ultimately found that each stall has its own charms. I’ll go for Min Yee’s Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles if I want a simple clear broth, untainted by soup stock, that allows the thick slices of estuary grouper (also known as “Loong Tan”/King Grouper) to shine through. The fish slices are equally fresh but this stall does it thicker so it’s more satisfying to eat.

Loong Tan Fish Noodles

I love eating fish noodles, and I don’t mind paying the higher prices, especially if it’s good fish. There’s a RM 30 fish noodle in Sibu but the fish noodles I’ve eaten here is a lot better, and more reasonably priced too.

Estuary Grouper Noodles Me

My current favorite is Ah Po Grouper Noodles but Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles does a more than satisfactory job too, especially if you prefer a blander broth with no MSG that allows the estuary grouper fish slices to shine through.

Estuary Grouper Noodles

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles
Restaurant Big Family
Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh
GPS: 3.166326, 101.569765



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