Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seafood with a View at the Tsunami Village Cafe

When you are on an island surrounded by the big sea out there, the thing that comes to your mind besides the sun, sand, shady trees and awesome view plus a pina colada in your hand is definitely the fresh seafood. After all, you are right there by the sea, right, and what other food besides fresh seafood, caught straight from the sea?
(I almost felt it sound cruel, with the sentiments developed for the friendly sea environment but we are thinking of eating the creatures living in it? Oh well, let's just put the blame on the works of nature then, and as long as we are not coveting the extinct or protected species, like some irresponsible folks are).

Seafood restaurants are abundant in Penang, with the location by the sea which led to the birth of a well-sized population of fishermen making a living by casting their nets out there in the sea in the ungodly hours while we are enjoying our beauty sleep.
It is amazing what these men do, and the risks they take to bring the freshest of the sea to our shores and tables; or rather, the middlemen who are in the trade. The process from the nets to these traders to the fishmongers and to the restaurant proprietors is just a common protocol, and can vary as well, subject to the terms and conditions set in the trade.

There are also those who own their own fishing boats and run a seafood restaurant, or locate their restaurants in the fishermen's neighborhood, and that is just the benefit of being on an island where the coast area just happens to almost everywhere on the island.
It is also the reason why the seafood restaurants are so popular on islands; besides the availability and accessibility to fresh seafood, there is also the awesome view of the sea while diners are enjoying the catch of the sea on their table.

One of the popular stretches for the coastal view, and definitely the most tourist-infested area in Penang has got to be the famous Batu Ferringhi stretch which runs from Gurney all the way to the Teluk Bahang area. Hotels line the stretch with their seafront locations, alternating with restaurants and beach sports activities. Seafood restaurants can be found along Gurney area, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang area.

Tsunami Village Cafe is a unique name for a seafood restaurant which may be mistaken for just a coffee shop, but to the locals, this is definitely a seafood restaurant which is hidden along the stretch slightly after Tanjung Bungah and on the way to Batu Ferringhi.

It is hard to find a parking space if one were to visit the restaurant, as the restaurant is located by the roadside and right beside the traffic light. Most patrons park on the road, but at their own risks and to be cautious of being a hindrance to the oncoming traffic flow from Batu Ferringhi.

There is a sign from the restaurant leading patrons into the place as it can be rather confusing with the few shops located side by side; with sundry shop and also two other seafood restaurants beside it.
Step into the restaurant and one will be taken by surprise by the amazing view they have here.
There are two sections; from the inner dining area to the outer dining area which offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the local fishing scene along with the high rise condominiums lining the seafront and some of the eye-catching landmarks of Penang. It can be a promising experience indeed to be seated outside facing the sea view if the weather permits, and the restaurant staff would advise you on on the weather as well.

The view from the outer dining deck

The famous floating mosque

Yes, even my watermelon juice is enjoying the great view of the sea out there! :-)
Order from a variety of fresh juices, or the herbal tea and local favorites from their drinks menu.

Stir fried Kangkung (Water spinach/convolvus) with belacan (dried shrimp paste) and prawns (MYR8.00)
This has got to be one of the local Malaysians' favorite and most ordered vegetables dish, for all the reasons and of course, because of the availability and the affordability.

Deep fried Mantis prawns Kung Pow style (Dried chilies with Lea Perrins sauce and spring onions, onions) (MYR15.00)
There are two types of mantis prawns; the large ones which are usually good to be steamed to maintain the natural freshness and sweetness and these are the smaller ones which can be cooked in various styles as well, though this remains one of my personal favorite style.

Finally, a Steamed Red Snapper in the good old Teochew style (MYR28.00)
The fish is priced according to the market trends, and do check with the staff on the prices and sizes of the fish before you order.

Usually I would love my fish to be steamed the plain and simple way, but depending on the type of fish, I do like a little different taste to the way it is steamed too.
Teochew style gives that extra kick of sweet and sour taste to the fresh fish; especially those with a thicker flesh such as snapper and sea bass, with the addition of pickled vegetables, spring onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes that makes it extremely appetizing and naturally sweet.

It was an enjoyable seafood dinner here, not just because of the view and the sea breeze though we were also quite fortunate to duck a storm on its way as we left just right before the heavy downpour, but the seafood were fresh and reasonably priced.
Also, the staff were quite attentive and friendly, and explained patiently as we ordered our food and that deserves a praise for their customer service.
After all, the service besides the food and the environment can be a real deal maker or breaker to most of us patrons right?

I'm just glad that I've finally found another seafood restaurant that suits my tastes and that I can add to my personal list of favorites~

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