There is endless choices to opt from when it comes to food; and we also top the list as the country with the most festive holidays, with the many celebrations observed by the different races and religions. It is something we all grew up with and we are more than proud to be part of this colorful nation where it is like a big family with unseen barriers from the races and religions, it doesn't bother us, at all.
Why would it bother us, when we can speak different languages and go to our friends' houses for different festive celebrations? Then there is the food to pick from, one can have nasi lemak in the morning, curry mee in the afternoon, with pisang goreng as a snack before going for a seafood dinner, and perhaps completing it with a roti canai and the tarik for supper at night with friends.
It is really just a tip of the iceberg on the food varieties we have in this country.
For instance, just the other day, I just thought of having seafood, and I have been hunting for seafood restaurants around the island of late when I was introduced by surprise to this place in Bayan Lepas.
Folks who work in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone would be familiar with this place which has been in business for some time now.
Located in a Malay fishermen settlement near the Fishermen's Association, the Medan Selera Teluk Tempoyak is a sea-facing eatery outlet with few stalls run by the locals specializing in home-cooked style seafood.
The humble eatery is home to two main seafood stalls and a drinks stall, and they serve fresh seafood from the sea, perhaps they were the fishermen who just put their cooking skills to work after returning with their hard day's work at the sea.
There are a few seafood to choose from; fish, prawns, clams, squids and crabs and the cooking styles are as listed or will be explained by the owners.
Standard cooking styles will be Tiga Rasa (Triple Flavors), Spicy style (Cabai or Sambal), Goreng Tepung (Deep fried with flour coating), Halia (Ginger), Kicap (Soy sauce), and even steamed if you want.
There are different types of fish available; from the Black Pomfret (Ikan Bawal), to Tilapia and Siakap and the prices are according to the market price. Check with the owners and they would gladly name you the price directly, they are really friendly too :-)
The best part about dining here is not just the friendliness of the people running the stalls and the freshness of the seafood, but also the view.
The friendly stall owner, who was also the chef himself
Stir fried clams with Ginger (Lala Masak Halia) (MYR10)
Recommended by the chef himself, the clams were fresh on that day and we opted for ginger to go with the fresh clams, which is always the best style, in the humble opinion of our taste buds :-)
Triple Flavored Black Pomfret (Bawal Tiga Rasa) (MYR27)
I have to say, this dish reminded me of my childhood when my parents would bring us for Malay food once in a while and the Malays really perfect this dish.
Deep frying the black pomfret fish before cooking it together with a combination of spicy, sweet and sour sauce with lemongrass, pineapple cubes, tomatoes, onions, capsicums and cauliflowers and chili, this dish is by far, the most memorable and a clear winner.
The black pomfret is a fish which is thick in its flesh and it is not as popular as its white counterpart in most Chinese style cooking. Most of the cooking styles revolving the black pomfret requires stronger tastes and longer cooking time; such as deep frying and also serving it with spices and curry which would enhance the tastes of the fish.
Sweet and Sour Squids (Sotong Masam Manis) (MYR10)
Fresh squids and since we have already had the spicy fish with its triple flavors, we had the squids done in sweet and sour style and the squids were just so large and juicy that it was indeed a treat.
I think the freshness just contributed to the yum factor of the dish, and it could be just any style of serving and the squids would still taste good.
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The servings are generously portioned, and could easily feed more than 2-3 at a go.
Wash down the spicy tastes with the variety of drinks available from the stall nearby; from sour plum juices to fruit drinks (ranging from MYR1.50 to MYR3), there is bound to something for everyone.
(Choose from jugs or individual servings for your drinks)
Asam Boi (MYR1.50) and Carrot Juice (MYR2)
Order a Ais Limau Sirap (Lime with Iced syrup) (MYR1.50) and watch its transformation of colors
First you see it in triple tones
Now, all Red! :-)
What a delightful meal, and a satisfying one, with the flavorful and fresh seafood before us!
Now, what's next, maybe prawns and crabs soon?