” Uncle Soon Guan (SG) became a Chartered Accountant to avoid inheriting his father’s business as a noodle vendor which gives only a tough life.
He grew up with operators of all kind of street food (his father’s friends), which has given him an extensive knowledge and love for the subject. ”
One of the several long drives we would take is along the coastal road down south of Klang towards Port Dickson. After Klang is Banting and Morib, another 40km south is a thriving fishing town called Tanjong Sepat. This drive is along a breezy not busy road lined with coconut trees. Very pleasant drive, I guarantee.
We arrived at Tanjong Sepat at 4 pm, an hour where little food can be found except their famous dumplings in Hai Yew Heng pau shop manned by two youngsters, uninterested with customers after a long day. We bought and ate a kaya and a black bean dumpling, the last few in a coffee shop hoping to also sample Tanjung Sepat coffee, the beans grown and processed in the area but the two youngsters were not too service minded. A tourism poster in the shop revealed that the town has some more interesting food, one is seafood bak kut tea which is served only in the morning and the other is of course seafood.
For seafood we had to wait an hour till 5pm for a restaurant by the sea front when it opened for dinner. This place, Baywatch Restaurant is the biggest in Tanjung Sepat, has a great ambience minus the bikini clad life guards in the famous television series. The restaurant food has been reviewed by many food critics locally and from abroad and the restaurant proudly displays a merit certificate by Jason, the famous local Chinese program food reviewer. We ordered 4 dishes and again we over-ordered as is usual with the two of us. The portions were quite big, probably serving the locals who are hardworking Chinese fishermen with big appetite.
The highly touted oyster omelette was disappointing as the oysters, gluey with flour were small and dry, not enveloped properly with the egg. A signature vegetable dish of kailan with mooi choy and minced pork gave good contrasting textures and colors. The former was fresh and crunchy and the mooi choy, soft and slightly sweetish. Mooi choy comes in two varieties, salty and sweet types and this dish uses the sweet version.
Our steamed prawns came embedded in egg, not just egg white usually found in most steam prawn dishes. The egg provided a fragrant coat to the medium size sea prawns which were fresh and juicy. We had about 8 prawns in the plate. For a restaurant in a big fishing town, there is no excuse for the prawns not to be fresh.
Not having ordered a fish in a fishing town as we were again recommended the snappers ( like in most sea front restaurants we have been in Malaysia) , a fish with meat a bit coarse, I ordered a fish head dish, just half a head. One thing we were sure is it will be fresh. We were recommended to have it curried but we chose to have it braised. The dish came in a claypot and the good size chunks of the braised very fresh snapper fish head had lots of titbits like broccoli, button and shitake mushrooms, Japanese taufoo, big onions and cauliflower. The pot could easily be for 5 persons. I believe the curried version would also be good.
Tanjung Sepat warrants another trip for us to sample the morning fare of seafood bak kut tea and Baywatch Restaurant also open at 12 noon. The day trip could be rounded off by buying back its famous dumplings, coffee powder and fish products like fish balls and fish paste stuffed beancurd. We bought some stuffed beancurd and they used pure fish paste unlike many in Kuala Lumpur which adds flour to the paste. Many small jetties dot the beach front and if one is lucky one can buy from these fishermen if their catch are not already reserved for their regular middlemen. The superstitious fishermen also build many temples in the town which are interesting to explore. So, one could easily occupy a day here in this town with some time just enjoying the sea breeze at the beach. This place may rival Kuala Selangor if there are many stalls selling sea catch to the public rather than wholesaling.
The bill :
Braised fish head 29.00
Steam prawns 18.00
Oyster omelette 13.00
Lailan and Mooi Choy 6.00
Address Jalan 3 Tepi Laut 42800 Tanjung Sepat
Phone: 03 3197 3843/ 019 272 3629 ( K S Kuan )