That day, during lunch, I was sorely disappointed with the cam.
For it had felt like one of the best lunch experiences ever, what with a great location, great atmosphere, great weather, great company and most importantly, great food. And yet, the cam chose to die on me (batt flat) right when I'm about to snap photos of the food.
Nice timing. Grrr...
great location, great weather, great company
It wasn't even 4pm, that Sunday afternoon. The lunch crowd were long gone and the dinner crowd would be in only later. So East Coast Lagoon Food Centre was pretty much a picture of peace. It was sunny and pretty breezy. We managed to secure a table at the very shady pavilion which had pretty spacious seating and it overlooked the nearby lagoon.
After fetching my bro from work, my mum had wanted to patronise the Thai Restaurant near the Sultan mosque but the rest of us were somehow resistant to the idea. Not surprisingly, here, my mum also asked to have the same type of meal that we would have had, over there.
Namely, a plate of rice each and an array of dishes. She must be hungry.
We were seated right behind this stall which we have never seen before. Must be new. It's called Adim Ann Seafood & Satay Specialist. What caught my eye was the weird name. Sounds really foreign, almost.... Thai.
My bro and I proceed to make the order. Cereal prawns is a must on my list right then. Kangkong belachan and kailan (veggies are good for health, ok?). My mum refused to have BBQ fish. I saw that they do serve sweet & sour so I ordered that. Somehow the guy offered the '3-rasa' (3-flavours) instead. That one is more like a Thai kind of sauce- sweet, sour AND spicy. We agreed on that.
I saw the array of fresh fish on display on the bed of ice in front of the stall and chose the seabass cos' that- to me, taste pretty good when fried. I cheekily asked that it be fried till' really, REALLY crispy.
I guess there's really something about a heavily pregnant woman making special reaquests when ordering food. You just have to abide. The fella literally wrote down on the order chit - beside the 3-flavours seabass, 'Very, VERY crispy'. Heh.
Also ordered satay. I somehow missed having tripe so I ordered 5 sticks of those and 10 sticks of beef. Surprisingly, my bro refused to have chicken, this time.
The 15 sticks cost us $8. Not exactly cheap, actually but that price seemed to be the norm, nowdays. But they tasted pretty good. Even the sauce. Now, when everyone in a Javanese family unanimously agree that the satay is good, you gotta believe them. Satay is a specialty of the Javanese, after all.
The first dish to come was the cereal prawn and boy, were we taken aback. The portion was huge! It's definitely large. Thing is, the stall didn't state any portion sizes so we didn't see the need to specify. We were worried as to how we were gonna finish all that. There was a mound of cereal over the prawns there. I took a spoonful of the spiced cereal....
It-was-sooo-good! They were generous with the curry leaves and chili padi. Those tiny red bits were also really spicy, an indication of the freshness. My mum told me that the prawns were fresh, because she had to tug hard at the head to separate it from the body. And the flesh was sweet and firm. Ummmm..... I like the fact that they didn't fry the prawns in some batter, like how it's done in some places.
Now that I count back the number of prawns each of us had, I dare say that there were at least 10, big, fat and juicy tiger prawns, there. Maybe, there could even be 12!
The portions for the veggies were pretty small though. I'm surprised at the way they prepare the kangkong belachan. There were cut red chilies and rings of red onions fried together with the greens, hence giving the dish a pretty nice hint of sweetness, "...just like how mum cook," my bro remarked. I agree.
And lastly, the deep fried seabass in '3-flavours' sauce (ikan siakap 3-Rasa). I poked at the fish. It sure is crispy. Very crispy, alright. I first attacked the crispy meat around the fins. And the sauce was awesome! Sweet, sour and pretty spicy. And they were pretty generous with the kaffir lime leaves, which were torn by hand.
Seeing that, I looked back into the stall to spot the cooks. I told my mum, "..Are the cooks Thai? Something tells me that they are..." She also start looking in and we spotted a couple of guys and a lady helming the kitchen. "The guys sure looked Thai to me.." she replied.
Thai or not, their cooking style is reminiscent of Thai cooking. Should have tried their tom yam...
For that large portion of cereal prawns, 2 plates of veggies and a medium-sized seabass + 4 white rice, I paid merely $45.
I recommended this place to my colleague and she treated her family there yesterday. Imagine- she ordered stingray, cereal prawn, calamari, kangkong belachan, omelette and tom yam; and she was charged only $70. And that's for 8 pax!
She told me the calamari is nice. I remember my bro mentioning calamari. He was wondering if they have that there. Well, we have our answer!
Another visit sure is due (before they start changing cooks or compromise on their quality or even revise the pricing).
...Pretty long entry, eh? If I only I had the photos, I needn't have to describe so much. Hmph! =((