As you’re chomping down on that delicious prawn laksa, that beautiful ginger-infused grouper, that mackerel curry, do you ever give a thought to where that seafood has come from?
The most traded food category in the world, seafood often travels long distances, wending its way to your dinner plate via various lengthy supply chains from fishing ports and fish farms around the world.
So how sustainable are your choices? How many food miles are you racking up? And how environmentally-friendly and socially responsible is its production method?
Although a relatively small country, on a per capita basis, Malaysia is one of the biggest consumers of seafood in the world, guzzling down more than 50kg per person per year. This puts it on a similar footing to South Korea, Myanmar and European nations like Norway and Greenland. Malaysia also ranks 11th in terms of seafood production globally, although compared to some of its Asian neighbours – China, Thailand, Vietnam – its production is a mere drop in the ocean.
However, it can claim to be one of the few seafood-consuming countries in the world that, theoretically, breaks even on consumption and production. I say “theoretically” because in Malaysia, as in most other parts of the world, local tastes for seafood don’t necessarily match what is produced on your doorstep.
Indeed, Malaysian tastes for shrimp and marine fish, for example, are in no way sated by domestic production. As such, a substantial share of the seafood on the local dinner plate is imported, adding to the complexity of sustainability choices. The ABC of fish productionSo how do you judge whether seafood is sustainable or not?
Making smart seafood decisions will help drive the sustainability effort forward. Photo: Shutterstock
Some would have you believe it is as simple as choosing local, but there is a bit more to it than that. On the most basic level, seafood production falls into two categories – wild and farmed.
It is generally agreed that – give or take some ups and downs – wild caught fisheries have reached capacity, and the proportion of seafood which we source from them will remain static going forward, making up a smaller and smaller percentage of our total seafood consumption as the population grows and more protein is in demand.
Aquaculture will therefore need to make up the shortfall, but aquaculture itself encompasses a vast array of species and the systems in which these species are produced range from simple ponds or fallowed rice paddies hand-fed a mass-produced feed each day; to complex land-based production systems employing state-of-the-art monitoring, feeding and harvesting.
Pond-grown fish and shrimp in Asia can contribute to mangrove destruction, but hi-tech land-based farms tend to employ vast amounts of energy in temperature regulation and monitoring. On the plus side, your shrimp likely started out on a small-scale Thai or Indian shrimp farm supporting a family, and your salmon or barramundi is helping build industry and job opportunities in perhaps more remote areas.
So, as with all things “sustainability”, it is a complex landscape to navigate and a million shades of grey to sift through before you make what turns out to be a slightly subjective decision.
How to make sensible choices
There are some international certification standards out there that in some cases, will make your life easier.
The Marine Stewardship Council (look for the blue MSC tick on labelling or at the fish counter) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (green tick) both incorporate standards around environment and social responsibility and today cover a substantial proportion of the world’s seafood.
WWF Malaysia and the Malaysian Nature Society have also published a traffic light guide to making sustainable seafood choices that will help you understand the status of certain stocks or production methods.
Seafood crucial for a growing world
But also know that eating seafood, in and of itself, is generally a more sustainable and earth-healthy choice than eating meat, particularly if we think longer term.
The environmental footprint of seafood is generally far lower than that of other proteins, particularly beef. Seafood production tends to require no fresh water, does not take up space on valuable arable land needed for farming vegetables and produces very little carbon dioxide.
As the obvious choice for future world protein production, it is also being held to higher and higher environmental and social standards, forcing a technological revolution in the way it is being produced. The industry is heavily invested, for example, in producing more sustainable feed, and commercially viable novel ingredients are coming to the fore to replace some of the fishmeal and oil traditionally used in fish feed.
Knowing where your seafood comes from can help you make better shopping decisions. Photo: Filepic
Fish – particularly certain species – need specific Omega 3 fatty acids to grow and to produce a nutritious protein. And until recently they have got this pretty much entirely from being fed small oily fish, in the form of fishmeal and oil in their manufactured feed.
But now, algae, yeast and even flies are proving viable long-term sources of these fatty acids, to complement and help sustain fishmeal fisheries around the world.
So, while it is important to have an understanding of how sustainable your seafood is, it is also important to support the parts of the sector working towards that goal. They will form a crucial industry going forward in ensuring food security for a burgeoning world population.
So hold your fishmonger, stall holder or supermarket to account on where they are sourcing from and fully understanding the production methods and supply chain of their products.
If enough customers demand it, they will have to deliver. And in the meantime, do your research on the species you have available and how they are being brought to your plate and make smart choices aro [...]
You will not be disappointed at the Ikan Bakar Pasar Sim Sim in Sandakan, Sabah.
Planning to go on a food trail? Consider making a trip to Sabah, particularly in the east coast, to hunt for delicious fare.
In Sandakan, perhaps the most famous place to have seafood is at the Sim Sim water village. There are several restaurants there, and opinions vary on which one is the “best”.
But all you need to do, really, is to pick one and you would still enjoy your food. The seafood is fresh – you can even choose your fish or lobster from the tanks – and the staff is more than happy to recommend some cooking styles for you based on the type of seafood you order.
Also at Sim Sim (but not on the bridge) is a market that’s famous for grilled fish. They also have other seafood like squid and prawns.
Sandakan town is small so it’s very easy to navigate. It also makes it easier for tourists to look for something to eat as every other shoplot is a kopitiam or food centre. The market is another good place to try local dishes too.
If you’re in the mood for something not so local, then head over to the famous English Tea House & Restaurant, where you can get scones and finger sandwiches with your Sabah tea or coffee. It is located right next to the historical Agnes Keith House, which you can visit to learn more about the author’s life and work. Both buildings are on the Sandakan Heritage Trail, an official tour package offered by many travel companies there.
The famous UFO tarts from Sandakan.
Meanwhile, for those looking to get their hands on pretty UFO tarts (a Sandakan specialty), check out San Da Gen Kopitiam. It’s actually a hipster joint, with designs and props that are perfect for Instagram.
Apart from the UFO tarts, the shop also offers other interesting dishes like Sambal Konlou Chicken Chop and Nasi Lemak Slipper Lobster.
Once you’ve had your fill in Sandakan, take a short flight to Tawau for its famous “nasi kuning”, a regular breakfast meal for many locals.
Restoran Haji Tamrin (House of Nasi Kuning Tawau) is said to be where this dish was first created in 1979.
Stop for tea at the English Tea House and Restaurant, which is adjacent to the Agnes Keith House in Sandakan, Sabah.
If rice is too heavy for you for breakfast, look around for coffeeshops that sell “mee tauhu”. It’s basically just fried noodles with a side order of stuffed tofu, a popular breakfast for many Sabahans.
As Tawau is also a coastal town, seafood is in abundance here, and fresh too. Ikan Goreng TNT is a good place for lunch; for dinner, look for Kam Ling Seafood Restaurant. Order some deep-fried softshell crabs, salted egg squid and butter prawns if you’re unsure what to try.
End your Sabah east coast food trail at the morning market for some yummy souvenirs. Tawau’s Pasar Tanjung has a large variety of dried seafood products for sale. You can find crackers (either ready-to-eat or raw), salted fish, dried squid, dried anchovies, prawn pastes, homemade sauces and more here. If you let the vendors know that you’re bringing them home as souvenirs, they might be able to pack them nicely for you.
AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan 21 times weekly, one way; and from KL to Tawau 38 times weekly, one way. For more information, go to the Sabah Tourism Board website.
Local snacks make great souvenirs for friends and family. Head to the Tawau Tanjung Market for a wide variety of goodies. [...]
“Where can I eat good seafood here in the middle of the city?”
If you have ever found yourself asking that question, you are definitely not alone. I’ve asked myself that question about a gazillion times. This is because happening and good seafood places don’t immediately come to mind. After all, we live in the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur, which is miles away from the sea shore.
However, all dead ends when looking for where to get good seafood ends today! What everyone needs is a seafood restaurant list. Luckily, we have put one together. So, cruise through the list down below because we have got a slew of seafood restaurants around Klang Valley that you should check out.
Some are new kids on the block while others are classics but all are worth a try especially when dining with family and friends.
1. Shucked Oysters & Seafood Bar
If you crave for that fresh wave of seafood from different continents, check out this eatery. It features eight types of oysters from all over the world. Taste the world in a single sitting with gloriously imported oysters to satiate your seafood hunger!
Where is it?
A: Southern Rock Seafood & Car Park Marquee, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar
2. One Seafood Restaurant
Your dinner or lunch date loves fancy seafood? Blow her mind away with some of the seafood selection at One Seafood Restaurant which includes Geoduck, king crabs and oysters fished live from their aquarium! Their menu ranges from simple garden salads made from local ingredients to fish, poultry and much more.
Where is it?
A: One Seafood Restaurant, Lot. 510, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
M: +603 2143 3323 or +603 2143 991
3. KL Seafood Market
If you have been wishing to bring your whole family for a merry reunion, this seafood eatery will surely fit the bill. It’s family friendly and perfect for large crowds. All food prepared contains no pork nor lard.
Where is it?
A: Jalan Tanglin, Taman Tasik Perdana, 50480 KL.
M: +603 2276 0066
3. Southern Rock Seafood
One of the popular seafood suppliers known to distribute live and fresh chilled cold water seafood from around the world, they also operate some restaurants and a chain of SHUCKED Oyster and Seafood bars at B.I.G and Village grocer supermarkets. You can also buy their seafood products online. Currently, their featured is the LOCH DUART SALMON FILLET – PORTION sold for as low as RM25!
Restaurant reservations and online order enquiries can be done by contacting +603 2282 8315.
Where is it?
A: Southern Rock Seafood, 34. Jalan Kemuja, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4. BRYCG @ Greenhouse by Muir
Pronounced as “bridge”, this eatery will introduce you to the best of American cuisine. So, if you can’t travel clear across the other side of the planet, head to BRYCG. There you can certainly sample the flavours of New Orleans and Louisiana.
Where is it?
A: BRYCG @ Greenhouse by Muir, 1. Jalan Nipah, Kampung Berembang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
M: +603 4266 3189
5. Shelled Out
Who doesn’t know about this popular seafood eatery which offers 5 different unique sauces that include Butter Garlic, Lemon Pepper, Shell Bang, Curry-Curry and Black Pepper? From celebrities to normal citizens, you never know who you might meet just by eating there.
Want to dine there?
Search the nearest outlets near you by visiting their website, http://www.shellout.com.my/
6. Just Seafood
More than dining, it’s an experience. Reviews of Just Seafood have thus far been glowing. Diners’ opinions of the eatery have taken note of their excellent service from great food to good waiters. Even better, they also have an Oyster Buffet with prices starting at an affordable RM19++.
Where is it?
A: Sunway Giza Mall, A-9-G, No. 2 Jalan PJU5/14, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
M: +6012 229 0855
7. Nice Catch
If you feel adventurous and are looking for bold homemade sauces, prepared fresh before the sun even rises, then check out these guys. Besides, you can also experience their wide selection of premium seafood from Canada to Caribbean lobsters, giant king crabs to French crabs and Norwegian salmon. All seafood is air-flown in weekly, prepared by their chefs and served right onto your plates!
Where is it?
A: Lot 1.18.02, Level 1, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
M: 03 – 2110 1387
How’s that for a seafood adventure? We’ve given you our best shot, but the ship is definitely yours to navigate. If you think you can top our list, we welcome the input. Please do share your favourite places to eat seafood within KL.
AHOY! To the freshest fish in the sea and everything delicious in between!
The post 7 Happening Seafood Restaurants in Klang Valley appeared first on Butterkicap. [...]
If you’re eating here alone, you can get the one person portion for seafood porridge that is ample enough to fill you up. — Pictures by Lee Khang Yi
PUCHONG, Nov 25 — Whenever I mention going to Puchong for a meal, I can hear a collective groan from my friends. Sure, it’s far. Super jammed too. Especially when you pick the wrong timing. But once in a while, a place pops up that you don’t mind making a trip further away from your comfort zone for. Like this place that serves Matang-style seafood porridge.Opened about nine years ago, this restaurant is run by the Beh family who hails from Matang, a village which is a stone’s throw away from Taiping town. People flock to the village to eat their famous seafood porridge, made with the freshest catch from the sea.In Puchong, brothers Beh Lian Peng and Beh Liang Sing recreate that whole dining experience using the freshest seafood from their village. Back in their hometown, their family are fishermen, hence the best seafood is easily sourced.
Beh Lian Peng (left) and his brother, Beh Liang Seng (right), started this restaurant when he was just 20! (left). The steamed sotong is perfectly cooked with no rubbery bits (right).
The restaurant was started by Lian Peng when he was just 20! You’ll find that the whole Beh family start at a young age in the F&B industry. After finishing Form 2, they started working in a restaurant at Matang.Through hard work, they picked up the cooking skills. Even their current head chef, who is Beh’s cousin, is only 20 years old! For their first outlet, they selected Puchong, influenced by their former business partner. The place also made sense since there was little food choices back in those days.When they first opened, they offered a buffet of seafood to their customers. That was enough to draw people’s attention without any advertisement. Since then, they have a steady stream of regular diners.
The steamed clams are perfectly cooked and accompanied with a sweet broth laced with Chinese wine.
The rice is cooked ahead and added to the broth during the cooking session (left). The rice is added to the broth to make the porridge on high heat (right).
In their early days, they partnered with many investors to open outlets all over Malaysia and even Singapore. During their heyday, they had outlets in Ipoh, Johor and Melaka. They also opened places around the Jalan Kuchai Lama and Kota Kemuning area. Sadly, all these places aren’t operating anymore, leaving only this restaurant.Beh explained that they have slowly upgraded the restaurant to what it is now. Previously, it was just a simple set-up with fans, tables and chairs. Now the place sports an open kitchen, allowing you to see what is cooking. They also use marble tables since the food keeps warm on that surface.Walk into the restaurant and you’ll find each table has a large claypot of seafood porridge. This is the Teochew version where cooked rice is added into a flavourful broth. The grains remain whole and have a nice fluffiness.
You get to relish fresh silver pomfret from Matang which have a sweeter taste (left). Once steamed, quickly eat the delicate pomfret fish especially the fins which is the best part (right).
You also get more broth versus rice ratio with this type of porridge. Each spoonful of this dish is heartwarming since the broth is packed with flavour. The broth is made by boiling large pork bones and ikan bilis for four hours! They also add white radish to the broth and that lends a natural sweetness to it.The menu offers a variety of combinations for your porridge. There’s a mix of prawns, fish slices, sotong and crabs, with the four treasure combination. If you prefer fish maw, try the four style king which is served with prawns and pomfret. Or go seafood-free, by ordering their minced meat porridge.Select your preferred combination first and add on anything you like from their list of ingredients. It can be a luxurious choice like canned abalone clams or even mushrooms. The portions range from one person to 10 persons for large groups. As a hungry solo eater, I could easily polish off the single portion by myself.
The crabs with roes are prepped for steaming in their central steamer (left). These fried sole fish is perfect with the soupy porridge (right).
During the weekends, you will find many families dining here.
When it comes to your choice of fish in the porridge, it depends on whether you’re challenged when it comes to handling fish bones. Should you hate dealing with pesky bones... go for the boneless siakap fish slices.If you’re a true blue fish connoisseur, the must order is pomfret. The flat looking fish is the preferred choice for its delicate, sweet fish flesh. The restaurant offers two types of pomfret: silver and white.It’s more than just porridge here. The restaurant also offers stand out seafood dishes. Go for their steamed clams. They use the bigger, harder shelled Manila clams here that is steamed to juicy perfection. It comes with a clear, sweet tasting broth laced with Chinese rice wine that you won’t be able to stop drinking.
The crabs are sourced from Matang (left). The siakap fish is kept chilled under a bed of ice (right).
Another must-eat here is the steamed sotong. Again, their steaming skills are perfect, as you won’t find any rubbery bits. It comes with the soft egg sacs. Even the steamed pomfret is good. They also offer patin fish and large sea grouper.There is also smaller-sized crabs from Matang with softer shells. These smaller sized crustaceans require more work compared to their Indonesian cousins but you’ll be rewarded with sweet, delicate flesh.And what goes really well with the soupy porridge... is their deep fried sole fish. Nibble on the golden brown fish with its crunchy bones. The fish flesh is also sweet and delic [...]
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson is opening a seafood restaurant at the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel Montreal. ― AFP pic
NEW YORK, Nov 17 ― Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson is planting his first flag in Canada with the opening of a seafood restaurant at Montreal's upcoming Four Seasons Hotel Montreal.The luxury hotel chain has enlisted the chef, restaurateur and TV personality from New York to helm the flagship restaurant that will bear his name and bring a dash of star power to the city.Samuelsson is known among TV audiences for his appearances on shows like Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, where he emerged the champion, and for his appearances on ABC's The Taste.Food lovers and restaurant goers know him for his acclaimed restaurants Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch in London, and Marcus B&P in New Jersey. He was also the youngest person ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times.“Montreal's sophisticated and worldly sensibility is one that I've long been attracted to,” he said in a statement. “Its global dynamic and European flair closely relate to my own journey. I can't wait to bring my flavours and vision to this incredible culinary culture.”Marcus, the restaurant, is described as a brasserie-style eatery that will focus on sustainable seafood and feature a raw bar. The chef says he will also be sourcing ingredients from local growers and producers.Design images for the 95-seat main dining room area reveal a clean, bright airy space and an esthetic of marble, copper and brass, wicker and wood.The outdoor terrace seats 100 and the bar and lobby lounge 130.Both Marcus and the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal are expected to open in spring 2019. ― AFP-RelaxnewsView this post on Instagram I’m excited to announce the opening of MARCUS at the @fsmontreal. Coming to you Spring 2019. Stay tuned and follow @marcuscooksmtl for updates. #montreal #restaurant #cheflife #canadaA post shared by Marcus Samuelsson (@marcuscooks) onNov 15, 2018 at 3:00pm PST [...]
It is a rainy day in central Kuala Lumpur, but as is often the case, the gentle thrumming of raindrops soon begins to stop. Although the sky is overcast, the sun is visible in the distance, a glowing amber orb that melts into the horizon.
From where I sit at Cielo, a rooftop restaurant perched on the 23rd floor of Vida Bukit Ceylon, the views are nothing short of breathtaking. The Petronas Twin Towers are a clear feature, and as night descends, the city lights begin coming alive, twinkling and sparkling everywhere the eyes alight. Overhead, the retractable roof has been displaced, allowing an untrammelled view of the inky black sky, dappled with stars.
Cielo is the latest progeny of Werner Kuhn, the owner of restaurants like El Cerdo, Dining in the Dark and Opium, all centrally situated along the main Changkat Bukit Bintang stretch.
“The owner of the building asked me three or four years ago whether I would be interested in opening an outlet here. And our managing director had wanted to have a seafood restaurant for a couple of years already. But for me, seafood is a tricky thing because it has to be as fresh as possible. But finally, I said, ‘Okay, let’s do it,’” says Kuhn.
The restaurant is a beauty, with the aforementioned views taking centre stage as well as soft, demure lighting (although it can be a little difficult to see the menu), an open kitchen and a casual, relaxed ambience. In the kitchen, a Spanish-sourced Mibrasa charcoal oven takes centre stage. The oven creates wonderfully crafted barbecued food but weighs a tonne. This particular model weighs 600kg and required 20 men to push and pull it into place!
The menu swims the world’s waterways, making pitstops in the choicest areas and regions. To begin your meal here, have a sample of the pan-seared scallop (RM52) with green lentils, tomato confit, celeriac mousse, tobiko and tahini dressing. The scallop is beautifully seared and has a slight crust on the outside that yields to a quivering, silken interior. The lentils meld perfectly into this amalgamation and the tobiko adds pops of umami.
Cielo’s range of appetisers include Akami tuna tartare, duck foie gras pate and pan-seared scallop.
Then there is the Akami tuna tartare, with avocado-kyuri salsa, mango salsa, wasabi tobiko and tomato vinaigrette. This is a delightfully light, zesty offering that highlights the freshness of the fish. If you opt for the restaurant’s degustation menu (RM298 for four courses), you will have the chance to sample three appetisers in one go, including the duck foie gras pate on toasted brioche with moscato jelly. The pate is silken smooth and has rich, earthy flavours and the jelly and brioche add texture and dimension to the dish.
Next up, try the smoked romaine Caesar salad (RM46) with a Brittany sardine tempura in a parmesan basket.
The smoked romaine Caesar salad is an elevated take on the classic Caesar salad
The sauce is smoked using the Mibrasa oven, and this has given the entire meal a rustic, smoky quality that undulates throughout the dish. The sardine tempura is an inspired addition that imbues the meal with a nice crunch while the parmesan basket offers cheesy goodness – it’s a meal that takes the classic Caesar salad to whole new heights.
The abalone consomme (RM70) with salmon roe is a light, fairly unremarkable affair that tastes a lot like a Chinese herbal soup, albeit without the added depth.
The main meals like the Iberico lamb loin (back) and king salmon (front) come with a choice of sauces that range from tarragon lemon butter, lobster cream, morel mushroom, Sarawak black pepper and rich red wine.
Then there is the marinated king salmon (RM115) which is essentially a plump chunk of salmon with bario risotto. The fish is tender to the core and really, really fresh, which makes all the difference. But the real show-stopper here is the risotto, which offers creamy little morsels of decadence. The main meals are served with an option of sauces like tarragon lemon butter, lobster cream, morel mushroom, Sarawak black pepper and rich red wine. In this instance, the salmon pairs remarkably well with the aquatic undertones of the lobster cream.
The birdie is a pretty little thing that is as much of a joy to drink as it is to look at.
Although seafood is the highlight at Cielo, there are plenty of carnivorous offerings for those who prefer something with a little more bite. Of these, the Iberico lamb loin (RM150) is a sure-fire winner. Again, the Mibrasa has been put to good use here and lends a nice char to the outer edges of the lamb. The meat itself is supple and velvety soft and pairs remarkably well with the robustness of the red wine sauce.
Desserts are also a highlight at Cielo, and you’d do well to indulge in the salted caramel cheesecake with almond brittle, pralinosa and salted caramel sauce (RM36). The cake is rich and luscious with cheesy underpinnings and a sweetness emanating from the salted caramel sauce (if you don’t like your desserts very sweet, you might find this a tad much though).
Because Cielo is such a beautiful restaurant, you won’t want your meal to come to an end, so halt the inevitable and order a nightcap, in the form of the birdie (RM50) to round out your night. The cardamom and blackberry-infused gin, with basil and cava is a sweet temptation that will leave you feeling suitably euphoric.
According to Kuhn, this is exactly what a night out at Cielo should feel like. “ I just want to give very good food and make sure it’s the freshest and highest standard, so whoever comes here will be happy,” says Kuhn.
The restaurant is perfect for dreamy, romantic nights out, as it offers gorgeous views and the ambience to match.
23rd floor, Vida Bukit Ceylon
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2022 1798
Open Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm to 1am; Friday to Saturday: 6pm to 2am; Sunday: 6pm to 1am [...]
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will impose a 5% state sales tax on all seafood exports, with effect from Jan 1, 2019. [...]
New research suggests that people who consume high levels of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood are more likely to stay disease-free well into old age. [...]
Given the price of fish these days, it’s hard to imagine anyone’s wallets stretching to accommodate daily meals made up of seafood. But growing up in Sabah, that’s exactly the sort of diet Charles Devan and his brother Patrick Devendran were fed on.
“Seafood is an extension of our childhood. We ate a lot of fish and prawns almost every day because seafood there was so cheap,” says Devan, who has memories of eating in fishing villages where he could literally see boats delivering fish to the restaurants.
When the brothers came to KL to pursue their degrees, they found that they could no longer enjoy good seafood, as what was available to them was either sub-par or way too expensive. So they decided to take matters into their own hands, and started a business importing Scottish smoked salmon, which they sold to gourmet supermarkets like Ben’s Independent Grocer.
Eventually, the brothers realised they had to expand their business and began importing award-winning olive oil, flour and other goods (which they hand-picked from the Guild of Fine Food) before finally deciding to dip their toes in the restaurant business. With childhood friend Andy Hiew, they set up artisanal eatery Ingrained by Ironwoods and cocktail bar Los Flowerpecker, both of which have proved immensely popular.
But the call of the sea proved too difficult to resist and a few months ago, they set up Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar, in tribute to their love for seafood.
Charles Devan (right) and Chan Khai Ming both share the idea that fresh seafood should speak for itself and doesn’t require too much makeup.
“The opportunity came when our friend, who opened the place downstairs (S’mores), said, ‘Why don’t we share this lot? It was good for us because we were very new in F&B, and we didn’t have deep pockets,” he says.
And so Poseidon Caviar & Seafood Bar was born. The eatery is ensconced in DesaPark City’s Plaza Arkadia in an upstairs lot that is cosy, with a distinctly Nordic feel (accentuated by the simple but functional Danish brand Normann Copenhagen’s furniture dotted across the space).
The menu imbibes this good quality, fuss-free approach with premium seafood cooked simply with little in the way of embellishment. It is an ethos that the restaurant’s executive chef Chan Khai Ming lives and swears by.
“There’s only one type of rule to me: don’t mess around with the seafood too much. If it’s fresh, it will shine,” says Chan.
There’s plenty to whet the appetite of seafarers of every stripe, but you’d do well to start with one of the restaurant’s specialties: oysters. The eatery is so popular for it that Devan says a table once ordered 200 of these babies!
Fresh oysters, like the salt-nuanced Fine De Claire, are incredibly popular at Poseidon.
For us regular plebs though, the Fine de Claire (RM120 for half a dozen) will do nicely. The French oysters are from the largest oyster-producing region in the world and are dipped in salt ponds for one month to enhance their flavour. The result is a naturally briny oyster – plump, with a tender, velvety core.
The midnight black squid ink infused spaghetti has subtle seafood nuances that do not overpower the palate. – ART CHEN/The Star
Next up, try the clumsy squid with wasabi caviar (RM30) which is spaghetti tossed in Sicilian squid ink sauce, topped with wasabi-infused flying fish roe. While some squid ink pastas have a strong, inky cephalopod taste, this one appears as an undercurrent rather than making its presence felt too strongly.
The Captain Davy Jones features a large, perfectly cooked Peruvian octopus tentacle.
Then there is Captain Davy Jones (RM40), a riff on the monstrous sailor from Pirates Of The Caribbean, who literally had tentacles coming out of his face! In this iteration, the tentacle in question is a fat one from Peru that has been grilled and glazed with butter and chilli flakes. A serving of cherry vinegar on the side serves to add a cheek-pinching tartness to the offering. But the focus is on the tentacle, which offers the contrary combination of tenderness and a firm bite.
The Toast to Tarama features a trio of roe spreads – rose, unagi and truffle, each distinctive and each delectable.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things on Poseidon’s menu at the moment is the newly-launched Toast to Tarama (RM25) which features a trio of salt-cured roe spreads (sourced from cod, carp or grey mullet), served with blinis. The mounds of roe are easily distinguishable from their colours – the rose petal infused one is a pretty pink affair, while the sunny unagi-flavoured spread has strong umami flavours. The most triumphant spread of this threesome is the pale-looking truffle spread, which is hedonistic and luxuriant.
The skipjack loin is delicately tender, with a firm bite.
The Wagyu from the Bay (RM45) is a reference to skipjack tuna loin, which is reputed to have a velvety, melt-in-the-mouth quality. Here, the fish has a smokiness to it that enhances its appeal and is tender but also holds its shape without breaking apart at the slightest inclination.
Simplicity is at the heart of the pan-seared Argentinian black cod, which is silken and tender to the core.
The pan-seared Argentinian black cod (RM65) too is exquisitely bare-boned, allowing diners to really taste the supple, silken fish without sauces drenching it or accoutrements getting in the way.
At Poseidon, the much-anticipated caviar comes in many forms, from starter French Kaviari packs that come in 15g portions to Russian Beluga caviar, which typically sells for RM800 a tin. I had a tiny spoonful of the French caviar, a salty, poppy affair that offers just a sample of what life is like for rich Russian oligarchs.
The French Kavari caviar proves that good things come in small packages.
“We wanted to make caviar something everybody could try, so making it affordable was a leap of faith. Now, people are looking to us for caviar, and we sell 40 t [...]
Ong Chin Lee and his mother Tan Lay See at the stall. — Pictures by K.E.Ooi
GEORGE TOWN, Aug 12 — More than 37 years ago, Tan Lay See wanted to start her own business so she became an apprentice at a popular noodle soup stall in Penang.Tan took a few months to learn the basics of boiling pork bone and fish bone broth for the soup.“After learning from him, I started selling seafood bihun soup and porridge from a small push cart by the roadside,” she said.
Pork bihun soup (left) and fish bihun soup.
Her “master” who taught her the recipe eventually relocated to Johor but Tan’s stall, which she set up in 1981, became more popular.Though Tan is the one to set up the stall, it is named after her late husband... or to be more precise, his nickname. Hor Chiu Hai means “bearded Hai” in Hokkien.“My husband had a thick beard so everyone called him Hor Chiu Hai and we used his name for the stall because everyone knows him,” she said. Her late husband was the one who sourced for fresh seafood supplies for the stall.
Tan Lay See taking orders at the stall.
Her stall offers a variety of seafood; customers can choose what to add to their clear soup with bihun, noodles or porridge.Tan’s stall relocated from the roadside location about 25 years ago and they took up a space in front of an ancient Taoist temple — the Fu Su Kong Temple. The pushcart was also upgraded to a larger newer stall inside the temple compound.Today, the 72-year-old’s son, Ong Chin Lee, has taken over the cooking while she continues to help out. Ong has been helping his mother at the stall since he was 10 and took over the cooking in 1997.Tan said preparing the soup is not easy work as they have to boil pork bones and fish bones for several hours to produce a flavourful broth for the soup base.
Seafood tomyam noodles at the stall.
After her husband died, Tan said they have to go to several markets to source for their ingredients especially the seafood.“My husband passed away about seven years ago so since then, we go to a few different markets for different ingredients, the fish from one place, the prawns from another stall,” she said.
The ingredients available at the stall.
In recent years, it has become harder to get some of the seafood ingredients so they have stopped offering crabs and frogs. There is the standard fish fillet, prawns, squid and oysters.Even the local oysters are harder to come by so they are relying on a variety of imported as well as some from other states.Tan’s stall is known for its seafood porridge, bihun soup and now, a tomyam variation for those who prefer something with a spicier kick.Hor Chiu Hai Assorted Seafood Bihun Soup and Porridge228A, Burma RoadGeorge TownTime: 5pm-10pmClosed on Sundays
The stall is located within an ancient temple’s grounds. [...]