Thursday, September 18, 2014

YummY! - Seafood @ Kang Kao Kuala Sepetang

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Kuala Sepetang, Perak, Malaysia - September 2014
On a cycling expediton around the fishing villages of north Perak, we stayed the night at Happy 8 Retreat at Kuala Sepetang. Dinner was at Kang Kao Seafood, conveniently located at the first floor of the same building. I have heard of this place before, of how good the food is; so this will be a good time to see whether the raves about it is true!

The restaurant shares the same entrance as the Happy 8 Retreat Hotel. Entrance is via the ground floor of this ebony coloured building situated next to the Kuala Sepetang jetty.

It is at the first floor and is reached through a staircase just before the hotel entrance. A nice mural of tree line the wall of this staircase.

Their dining area is fairly large, it probably can seat 200. Roy the friendly captain was very attentive of our needs.

First to be served was Deep Fried Tofu With Vegetables. The tofu had been deep fried in very hot oil so that only a thin layer of crispy crust had formed, while the inside was still very soft. This seems to be a vegetarian dish coming with lots of vegetable - Chinese black mushrooms, lettuce, carrots and some peas in a pod.
A simple tasty dish to prepare us for heavier dishes that are to come.

Next to come was the piece-de-resistance - Curry Prawns In A Loaf.
The loaf was shaped like a round gourd and inside were fresh prawns swimming in an enticing curry. The curry was very good, tasty and just of the right creamy thickness, neither too thick nor too thin. The prawns were super fresh, with their meat firm. The prawns were delectable as a coating of curry has added to their flavour.

The large bun was baked with an aluminium-foil "bowl" in it and then the cooked curry scooped into this bowl.
The bread of the bun was fluffy, and we tore pieces of it to dip into the curry, YummY!

The Steamed Mangrove Red Snapper (Mangrove Jack) came looking very ferocious. It was served in a simple soy-oil thin sauce and garnished with thin strips of ginger.

It may look ferocious yet its meat was lovingly tender - sweet and firm, so fresh one can taste the sea in it. It just goes to show how freshly good seafood from these fishing villages can be.

I pause to take a look at the dinner spread, it was a well balance of simple to rich food. Food with just a tinge of flavour to those strong spicy ones.
I let the tasty fish settle in first, to savour it more before I continued further.

Taking a break, I went out to the balcony taking a view of the moonlit river with the fishing boats moored at the piers. It's all part of the eating experience here, good food combined with a great view while listening to the hum of the boat engines coupled with the twittering of birds.

In a mellow mood, I can imagine how dining here will be like in the daytime, with a brighter view of the river. Well, that will be an experience for another day.
Contented, I went back in.

The Paku Sambal Belacan came looking like a bundle of mess but it was actually very good. The rich looking sambal sauce had held well into curling twines of the Paku (Fiddlehead Fern) giving the vegetable that extra Oomph!

Stir-fried Lala Clams was another good simple but spicy dish. The soupy sauce with it's clam underlying taste went very well with white rice.

This Roasted Duck was the only dish for the evening that was not up to par. The meat was tough and dry; while the skin though crispy, lacked that thin layer of sweet duck fat. Though disappointing, it did not really make a dent in a otherwise perfect meal. The other good dishes more than made up for it.

When this dish came, I thought to myself "That's odd, are the serving us Mua Chi? Isn't it a bit early for desserts? Even then, Mua Chi doesn't tie up well as desserts for a seafood dinner.

No, it was not Mua Chi but rather Deep Fried Mantis Prawns with Buttered Oats.

The mantis prawns used must be fairly large size as the pieces of de-shelled meat was of good size. The meat, as expected, was fresh; it was a nice touch of tender meat with a crunchy exterior coating of the oats.

This was one of the better seafood meals that I have had: a satisfactory meal that had made most of us happy.
Yah! Happy near Happy 8!

Update September 2016: I have been hearing remarks that the standard of the food here has dropped and is not as good as when I wrote this blog. I do hope that the management will buck up and revert back to their former glory.
An alternative is to try out Xin Restaurant, which also serves very good seafood.

151-A2, Riverside, Jalan Sungai Manggis, 32650 Kuala Sepetang, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel.: +605-858 1335     Mobile: +6012-538 4033 (Captain Roy)
Hours: 11:00 am-10:30 pm (Everyday)
GPS: 4.835222,100.627472

View Kang Kao Seafood @ Kuala Sepetang in a larger map

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  1. Last week, group of 3 family trip to Sepetang. Having dinner at this claim to be good seafood restaurant but very disappointed. We order Steam Grouper Fish (not fresh, you eat it you know), Mantis Prawn (normal), Steam Lala (Not fresh, some more cook with chili), Vege (didn't serve), Fried Sotong (worst ever, we didn't almost not eat it. not fresh and they cook with sour and spicy), Famous Curry Seafood Bread (spoil by non-fresh prawn).

    1. Hi Wilson,
      I must apologise if my blog here led you to have this bad experience in eating there.
      I do hope that the management of Kang Kao will take note of your complaints and improve their food to ensure that they serve what is expected of them - good and fresh seafood - irrespective of whether their place is crowded or not; irrespective of whete it's a holiday peak period or not.

      Thanks again for you comment.