Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heavenly Crabs off the red dot: Tian Lai Seafood @Gelang Patah

There is always something that fascinate me in Malaysia and that is their cze char stall and seafood.
Appearantly it doesnt matter where you are but all you need to do is walk into any cze char shop and chances are the food is fantastic in a way or so.

I have been to Satu malaysia countless time and no matter where i am, every time we intend to be adventure we will most probably find a new nice dining spot.

And today i present to you one of the nicest find just across the causeway. One thing that seperates the best and mediocre eateries is not only good food. But consistent good food, reputation and past review counts for nothing if you are going to eat and praying that it will taste the same. Good food is like good sex, no matter where , how and when you do it it must be good always and looking forward to the next round.

 Here we are! At truly asia, it is sometime so refreshing to know that you can practically park anywhere without worrying about coupons and stuff. Just drive in slot in and go. I will leave directions at the end of the post.

Been here couple of times and this signage is becoming somesort of trademark already. The eatery seems like family own as you are actually just infront of their house. Somewhat like a bungalow where the front pouch has been transformed to a kitchen area + dining area. During the weekends they will even use their neightbours access area and you could easily see children playing inside the house. That could also explain the ambience's of being casual and relax unlike high end eateries where everything is very professional and purely commercial. Not that it is bad but situational depended.

Ok now pay attention to the following words, you see the bundle full of crab the staff is taking out from? Follow by the 10 over basket there.

It is all LIVE CRABS, and chances are they will sell out by the day!! And we are talking about it being a normal thursday. The waitress we spoke too mentioned that every basket has average 25 -35 crabs depending on size. That is a whopping 250 crabs easily on a weekday.

Random and old signboard nonchalantly displaying their recommended dishes. 

Fresh thai coconut juice, i prefer this sweetend version to the other Green colour coconut.

This plate actually cost just 6rm, crunchy fresh vegetable. The aroma of freshly stir fried garlic with oil was just perfect. I realised that some dishes like vegetable taste better when the garlic is smashed rather than chopped.


Difference in chopped and smash garlic, with me preferring the latter.

Ok First dish up deep fried crispy baby sotong, i am not a fan of this dish and noticed that older people actually prefer this dish ? not sure why though. It was a tad small serving though, was a little over fried though. Was supposed to be crispy but it was a bit hard this time.

Hor fun as one of the main dish! Whenever we come here we will definately order a big serving of this, the prawns and fishcake is nothing to shoutabout but the hor fun is very smooth and chewy! That is something that i have yet to find in Singapore yet. You know usually when you order from random neighbour cze char store the gravvy is always watery and after a while it will start turning dark brown due to the hor fun dark soya sauce spreading to the gravy itself. In this plate you dont have such a problem! Even though it is soupy but there is the distinctive 'wok hei' wok breath in this simple delicacy.

Giner and spring onion deer meat

For this dish i actually prefer singapore version as i find that our 'deer meat' is usually much more tender, not really sure if they use tenderiser here but at times deer meat is actually nothing more than pork meat. 

Deep fried grouper in sweet and sour sauce

This dish cost about 100g 6rm if i remember correctly, but taste wise was just average and the sauce was a little on the less side. Next~~

Now now, the previous dishes were nothing more than the opening dishes for the main star.

The Salted egg crab (1kg 55rm for small, large crab goes for 65rm)

This dish is by far one of the nicest crab i had tasted. The saltness egg fried with butter is amazingly nice, with a very balanced taste of sweet and saltiness.

The salted egg gives it a very distinctively nice mix with seafood. In all fairness, a fresh ingredient is as important as the flavoring of the dish itself.
You could still taste the juiciness of the crab while savouring the flesh, good crabs should be firm yet easy to peel the meat off. No matter how good the sauce is, if you have to scrap the stuck meat off the claw it is a FAIL.

Thankfully we do not have such a problem over here. The only problem you will have is just the smell of crab lingering after your sumptuous meal

Tian Lai Seafood Garden
158, Jln Leong Bee, Gelang Patah, 81550 Johor Bahru
TEL: 07 510 1521
Daliy 12pm to 11pm
Closed on Alternate Mondays

Getting there is quite easy, Take 2nd link
After R&R there is exit to Gelang Patah town, drive straight till a T junction where you see a big globe,
make a left turn, drive pass many shop house till you see a Shell petrol Stn,
make a right turn after the petrol station,Tian lai should be about 100 metres from there on the left.
you can park right infront of the restaurant or along the road.  

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