It was a really grand feast, which made me felt really indebted to this family. They made the orders, and I had the shock of my life when the dishes came one after another.
Location : The Water Front, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Rating : Good
The first dish was 10 inches sea tiger prawns cooked in spiced butter. You may not know how huge is the prawn. Maybe the picture below will give you a clue.
The prawns were so huge and they are so fresh that the meat is sweet and springy. I think the cook managed to ensure that the sauce did not over power the fresh taste of the prawns, which was good.
The second dish was also 10 inches sea tiger prawns. This time, it is fried with soy sauce. Sorry, I can't help it but show off how huge the prawn is.
I love fresh sea prawns being cooked this way as it usually retains the sweetness of the meat. Unfortunately, the cook had poured in a bit too much soy sauce. The dish was slightly too salty. It was still good though. One thing about eating huge seafood is that the meat will be quite chewy, but this was ok.
Next we had some rather exotic food. There is this shark's lower jaw's soft bone stewed in clear sauce. Such a long name, even longer jaw.
By the way, this has to be quite a huge shark. Personally, I do not agree in shark killing but since it has been served, I might as well tell you how it tastes. The texture is rather chewy and jelly like. The bones itself is rather tasteless (at least it has no fishy smell). It took hours of stewing to soften the bones and the cook blend it with clear sauce of mushrooms, garlics and corianders to fused the traces of freshness in them. It seems that this is a delicacy favoured by Hongkies, as it offers medicinal values. Shark bones are rather well known among in chinese medicine as good for bones, spines and joints.
Next we have fresh abalone steamed with garlic topping. If you like garlic, this dish is great as garlic draws out the fresh seafood taste.
I felt that the cook has slightly overcooked this dish. It would have been better if the meat wasn't that chewy.
Then came the fresh sea flower crabs. It is difficult to get live flower crab. The dead ones that are sold in the market are the worst type of seafood as the meat would have disintegrated and bacteria would have spread.
I remember a funny quote by a relative: "The crabs are lining up to go into your stomach". Hehehe... she is such a cute and funny person.
That's why I think it was a great idea to order sea flower crab and it was even greater idea to have it steamed with eggs. Simple yes, but the taste of fresh sea enveloped within your mouth was heavenly!
Finally came an unassuming stew. Now this may look small and simple dish to you, but it is actually the fin lining of a 200kg fish they call it "long dun". "Long dun" is a term for fishes that has lived longer than 10 years and grew so huge that man should swim away and leave it alone. Again, I do not condone killing or eating them. But since it is served... The texture is slightly like beef tendons but tasted very strongly of sea blood. Seafood lovers will love the powerful fragrant and tastes.
Our grand feast was wrapped up with 2 coconut fill of pudding made of coconut meat and juice, blended and frozen. The pudding is naturally sweet and fragrant of coconut. This is a great finale to seal off the feast.
- What is good - The cook knows how not to over power the naturally fresh taste of seafood. All dishes are mildly dressed.
- What is not such a good idea - Extinction of certain species.
- A note of heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Ben's relatives for such a grand feast.