Sunset, seafood and scintillating conversation, an enticement for us to brave a weekday traffic and go to Pulau Langat for dinner. After an age on the highway, bumping through a palm oil estate, avoiding dogs with attitude, a herd of goats and a goose with a naughty behind we arrive in time for sunset on to find… the restaurant is gone! Closed, boarded up, a sign in Chinese indicating probably a new venue but alas! None of us are Cantonese literate. The romantic boat where you can have dinner under scarlett tanglongs is now a concrete field.
Stuck in nowhere between Klang and Banting and by now quite ravenous we decided to go to Tanjung Harapan for seafood. “Yes, down the road that looks dark and dodgy”, says our friend. It’s Sleepy Hollow kind of creepy. “Are you sure there’s something down there? Swear it,” I stalked her on the phone.
“Yes, yes, I swear I was there last week.” And then, suddenly out of nowhere are two brightly lit artificial ponds. For recreational fishing. It was packed for a Tuesday night. Where do all these people come from? Has Klang such little entertainment? And it’s opened 24 hours! So now we know where insomniac fisher-wannabes hang out.
Beside these ponds, a beacon of hope shines in neon. Bagan seafood- a large airy restaurant halfway into the swamp with fishing nets covering the front part. “Suicidal birds,” explains the waitress.
So it’s crabs cooked in ‘butter basah’, a huge plate of butter prawns, garoupa tiga rasa to start with. Then crab fried rice and asparagus belacan, crabmeat egg fu yong and sizzling Japanese tofu with more seafood. We are HUNGRY!
Now the food is nice simple Chinese cooking. But that's just it, somehow by the sea, seafood just tastes better. The butter prawns are super fresh and crunchy, the fish’s sauce is so delicious we took the mantou buns (deep fried into fatty goodness with bizarre green stripes inside) and mop it all up.
The crabs are bun sopping good. Not usually a fan of ‘butter basah’ which is usually a Horlicks butter concoction, this one has thick and fantastic gravy made savoury from the chilli padi and fresh curry leaves thrown carelessly in.
So, oil laden hot buns with a baby’s bottom centre swiped on this buttery, malty slightly spicy pale gravy. Then into the mouth and it’s an explosion of flavours that will damn you into chubby hell forever.
The rest of the dishes are good too. The sizzling tofu especially, riddled with bits of vegetables, mushrooms and meat. I suppose if Pulau Langat did not decide to abandon us bereft without dinner we would not have ventured here. What a yummy silver lining.
After dinner as everyone groaned and one, two som for the last mantou, there’s a rickety jetty to walk on to shift the food around a little and take in the night air. On the way out we saw that one of the specialties of this place is ‘Repulse Prawns’. What does that mean? Prawns repulsed by the sea? Repulsive Prawns? Intriguing. Perhaps a reason to come back and brave the boondocks of Port Klang again.
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