December 05, 2008

Kuala Lumpur: Pulao Langat Seafood Center

“Where the heck are we going?” We were bumping along on this dirt road in the middle of a palm oil estate trying not to run down goats and the occasional child on a tricycle. Even though there was a huge sign at the start of the road stating restaurant 3km, it’s still kind of ominous. In the back seat we had two travellers from Cambodia wondering what on earth they got themselves into.

And then suddenly the road opens into a clearing where a large boat with hanging tanglongs sits in one corner and the main restaurant at another. The view was wonderful. We are somewhere where the river meets the sea. The scene is languid, relaxing with even a tranquil boat puttering in the distance. I quickly grabbed my camera to go down by the rocks to take a picture, startling a Chinese woman squatting on a rock talking rapidly into her handphone. Ah well… we are not far enough from civilisation it seems.
After a glass of fermented coconut drink (no names shall be mentioned) which is very fresh and very good, we ordered. The waiter was a young, bright eyed bushy tailed guy who enthusiastically tried to explain to us every aspect of the menu. “You must have the snapped fish (red snapper?), very fresh…

We decide to do so after he assures us that the patin fish is not as fresh today. He said he will order it steamed for us with fried garlic, scallions and superior soya sauce. “You want to try the mantis prawn? With mayonnaise and sweetcorn?” “How about some other prawns, we can cook it Mongolian style”. Whoa… steady on boy. It seems that we don’t even need to look at the menu. Leave it all in Mr. Eager-Beaver's hands. Looking around we realise that most of the staff here are young, articulate and enthusiastic. They really go the extra mile. When we ask for fried squid he shook his head and said it’s not really that fresh either and one of the vegetable dishes we want is too wilted for his liking.

I find it quite refreshing, this extra bit attention after years of being ignored in various Chinese restaurants. Seriously in some of these places it seems like the people there are doing you a favour just to serve you nuts. Pulau Langat bends over backwards to ensure you have the freshest thing from the boat. We also ordered chilli crabs with some fried mantou buns. And to cap it all off, some fried meehoon with small clams.

The meehoon is delicious with teensy little clams that add a chewiness and tastiness to the noodles. This is a good option to get if you don’t want to get too full from rice.

The mantis prawns was a little sweet but surprisingly good. The mayonnaise gives it a certain tang and richness. Prawns are fried first in flour so that it’s crunchy. Crabs are also on the sweet side so we recommend next time to have it with kam hiong style (curry leaves) or fried with duck’s eggs. We are rubber-necking looking at what other people are eating, already noting what we will order next time we come. The good thing about ordering crabs with gravy though is that you can mop it up with the fried mantou and this is so sinfully good, you won’t care about the fact that it’s all going straight to your hips.

Best dish of the day is the super fresh snapper. Flesh is firm and melts in the mouth. This is a real treat with bits of garlic and scallions giving it texture and pungency. Yummy… After we are satisfied, it’s time to sit back, order another bottle of that coconut drink and enjoy the sunset. If you come later do get a table on the boat as they light up all the lanterns at night so you feel like you are dining by some riverside in Old China.

Pulau Langat also does cattering and we reckon you can book the whole boat for a sunset chow down with friends. They claim that they can do it for you, whatever the budget.

Pulau Langat Seafood Centre : Chinese
Address: Lot 8620, Kg. Air Hitam,
Batu 6 and a half, Jalan Langat,
41200, Klang, Selangor
Tel : 03- 3122 0089
012- 670 7796

Post is courtesy of Honey Ahmad of Fried Chillies!

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