BY CK Lam
What could be better than a lunch with fresh seafood and sea breeze?
Thanks to a friend’s birthday invitation, we had a meal at Balik Pulau’s Jia Siang Cafe. Nestled in Pulau Betong, the restaurant by the riverbank offers a selection of seafood and meat dishes besides beverages.
The unique part about this restaurant is the cooking services provided for customers who bring in their own seafood bought from the nearby fisherman’s market. The kitchen team will gladly cook the food for a small fee once the cooking methods are decided. Choices include steaming, deep-frying, and stir-frying, which features hot and spicy, sweet and sour flavors.
If you are visiting this place with a group of people, it allows you to try out a greater plethora of dishes. My visit there with 10 others allowed us to try out a total of 10 dishes. Our meal was greatly complemented with glasses of fresh nutmeg juice.
As for steamed fish, the lemongrass version that we had comes with a wide assortment of ingredients, including tomatoes, lemongrass and chilies. Its melding of flavors whetted the palate nicely.
The stir-fried kappa dish offers a bean-based sauce with chilies, which enhances the flavor. We also enjoyed the cockles, blanched in hot water and eaten with the accompaniment chili sauce.
The mantis prawns cooked kam heong style was one of our favorite dish. It comes smothered in a spicy sauce which combines heavier flavors of curry powder and curry leaves. The crabs on the other hand was addictive for crab-lovers with the slightly sweet and sour gravy complementing its flesh.
The stir-fried prawns in salted egg vie for attention, with the salted egg providing a good contrast in flavors and grainy texture to the prawns.
In addition to the many seafood, meat and vegetable-eaters are fully catered for with a variety of dishes prepared by the kitchen team. There is a host of green veggie options along with brinjal and tofu, as well as crowd favorites like pork belly with yam.
Jia Siang Cafe opens at 12pm and stays open til 7pm everyday except Thursdays. Click here for the google map location of the outlet.
Jia Siang Cafe 家香茶室
321 MK7 Pulau Betong
11020 Balik Pulau
Tel: 019 – 746 8465 / 019 – 764 5116