Perhaps it was my own picky taste buds creating the barriers, but at the same time, most of the restaurants do not seem to have the exact fish that I want, to begin with.
I don't ask for much, just for a simple dish of steamed fish served in that appetizing sauce (yes, I am not referring to plain Chinese steamed style with soy sauce).
The fish that I am craving for, which would fit the bill to be served in such a manner, is none other than the snapper species.
Red snapper, to be precise.
Don't ask me why, I just have specific cravings during those specific periods, enough said.
At this point of time, I just crave for red snapper to be steamed the Teochew style (think a combination of salty and sourish plum sauce loaded with pickled vegetables, tomatoes, thin slices of mushrooms and white beancurd, garnished with coriander leaves).
For somewhat reason, I just know that's the one plaguing my mind and the taste just rolls on the edge of the taste buds, and no, I am not pregnant, despite all these cravings.
They are just my usual seasonal cravings that just come and haunt me once in a while.
The search took months, seriously, and I think I may be the one running out of places on my mind for good seafood restaurants.
Then I decided to revisit this seafood restaurant in Teluk Kumbar; Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant, which I have previously blogged here.
Well, it was a good thing I thought of Hai Boey, because they met my requirements and I almost squealed for joy when they told me that they have the red snapper fish.
On top of that, they can even customize to a smaller-sized fillet portion to accommodate the two of us.
I would have suggested the Teochew style that I craved for, but then I was enticed by one of their styles which brought back memories and ignited another craving, so this was what I settled on;
Steamed Red Snapper fillet with sour lime juice and garlic
The fish fillet is weighed by the size and weight, but approximated to a range of MYR35-40 for a serving like this.
I had this twice, and both times the price fell in the range mentioned.
It was the right choice definitely, and I never looked back since; after all, how else could one explain the repeated visit to enjoy this, like two times in a row.
I was hooked on the flavorous tastes of the exotic yet appetizing sauce; which is sweet, sour and exciting all at the same time.
It is teasing to the taste buds, and is simply irresistible to keep away from.
The flesh of the fish was smooth and succulent, and I am pleased that it was fresh, which is just the primary requirement (or the basic) for a fish to be steamed to enjoy the real tastes of the juicy fish fillet.
The bird's eye chili seeds and the red chilies added just contributed that hint of spicy taste; just a tiny weeny bit but also sufficient to fuel that excitement in the flavorful sauce to complement the tender fiesh.
I would be happy with the fish alone, but then again, a trip to a seafood restaurant located at the far end of the island thronged by crowds of seafood enthusiasts comprising of local and tourists from other states/countries would not be justified without having a real meal accompanied by other seafood served in the restaurant.
It will be terribly unjust to the restaurant which had all the large aquariums filled with swimming fishes and live seafood greeting their patrons at the entrance of the restaurant, promising that fresh variety and that one will not leave dissatisfied with their fill of fresh local seafood.
Deep fried Mantis prawns with dried chilies/Kung Pow style (MYR12) - one of my usual favorites.
(I have tried their other style; which was quite unique too in my previous visit here, equally relish as well)
They have done this dish quite well, I must say, as I am also, again, particular with the way the mantis prawns are fried that they do not end up too deep fried to the extent of dried hollow.
The juicy flesh is to be maintained at a medium done level; maintaining that balance between the crispy outer part and the moist trapped for a tender bite into the flesh of the prawns.
Another side order of Spicy Stir Fried Clams/Lala (MYR12) also promises more appetite stimulating experience to the meal.
I am not big on shell stuffs or clams, but I have to say this is one fiery way of serving the clams which were again, amazingly fresh and made its worth to be added to our list of orders.
I guess I could say that the search is over for my favorite steamed fish, until, they tell me that they run out of my favorite fish, but I can see that is highly unlikely.
So here I have come, and here I will stay (at least when I crave for that zesty lime sauce drizzling my juicy snapper flesh) ~
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