…just a little space of expressions…..


Seafood temptations

Posted in food,kuantan,malaysia,seafood by chrisau on February 18, 2008

I found this interesting and informative article via the The Sunday Star Metro, which published blogs on local malaysian food. Probably can try it out if happens to visit Kuantan.

The seafood spread at Sri Mahkota Seafood Restaurant in Kuantan is simply enticing.

BEH Kim Seng, or sometimes known as “Lou Mah” to Kuantan folks, runs Sri Mahkota Seafood Restaurant with his wife.

Bustling with customers at night, especially on weekends, the restaurant keeps Beh on his toes, churning out dish after dish for customers.

Personal touch: Chef Beh pouring broth over the steamed shark head and (below) the prepared dish, Steamed Shark Head.

Beh strongly believes in giving his personal touch to his signature dishes.

That’s why he never takes leave except for the Chinese New Year.

A friend who frequently dines at his restaurant jokes, “Lou Mah can’t fall sick or else who will be cooking the salted egg crabs?”

Salted egg crabs. Sounds exciting. When can we try that? “Ah, first, you must have the Hattyai Style Bean Curd,” Beh insists.

He whips out the smooth and soft bean curd, which is homemade, deep-fried and then poured over with a sweet and sour Siamese sauce topped with sliced onions.

Steamed Shark Head

Once your gastronomical engine is set running, Beh rolls out his signature dish – Salted Egg Crab.

The orange crustacean shells, coated with salted eggs, are fried to crisp. This dish will leave you licking the shells for more, if you are not sucking your fingers already.

Another signature dish is the Mongolian Lobster, which has juicy flesh and just like the Salted Egg Crab, the shells are coated with a spread of black pepper sauce which is perpetually stuck to the shell.

Another mainstay at Sri Mahkota is his Thousand Island Prawn. Prepared using fresh prawns (with the shells removed), this mouth-watering item is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside with a springy texture and creamy taste.

One of the not-to-be-missed dishes is the Assam Fish. Using fresh fish steamed with lady’s fingers and added with a special home made assam sauce, this dish is sure to set your tongue on fire.

It is cooked using charcoal, which makes the fish taste better. And it arrives on your table with the charcoal still burning underneath!

Salted Egg Crab

For customers who come for lunch, he recommends the homecooked porridge.

He has given one of his many porridge dishes a certain catchy name in Cantonese to denote a multi-racial spirit but for easy reference, we will call it Seafood Porridge in English.

The porridge, cooked in a special broth of fish, prawn and scallop, exudes a certain seafood flavour unlike any other.

“It comes in a small serving. So, you can have a light meal without feeling like dozing off after lunch,” jokes Beh.

Later, Beh asks his son to take something out from the kitchen. “See this?” he asks, showing off what looks like frozen shark’s fin.

“If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps you’d like to try this shark dish.”

To our amazement, what resembles shark’s fin turns out to be something else.

Mongolian Lobster

Pointing at the dish, Beh smiles, “This is not shark’s fin or shark meat. It’s part of the head of a shark!”

The thick skin from the head of a shovelnose shark is removed, sliced into little pieces and fried with dried chilli.

A little on the spicy side, this dish has a chewy texture and greatly resembles sea cucumber.

It is one of Beh’s latest innovations. He calls it “Fa Xian Xin Ta Lu” (literally it means discovery of a new continent), which is a variety of dishes that use shark heads.

Yes, we can’t help but agree it’s a “new continent’ and very much out of this world! If you order the Steamed Shark Head, you get to indulge in the entire shark head (well, technically speaking, more of the snout), served in a smooth rich broth garnished with crabmeat and scallop shreds.

Hailing from Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan), Beh started apprenticeship at the age of 13.

He is a member of the Chefs Association of Malaysia (which is a member of the World Association of Cook Societies), which holds a yearly cooking competition for its members.

“I participate every year. It (the competition) keeps me on my toes because every year, my fellow chefs around the country would be coming up with great new dishes!” he chuckles.

The 46-year-old advocates that a good cook has to be innovative and experiment with new ideas. That’s why he never stops churning out new varieties of food.

He adds, “In the long run, we also give the customers a wider menu to choose from. Not many people like the same old dish every time they come. They want to try new stuff. So we have the signature dishes, the all-time favourites and, of course, the new ones for the bold and adventurous.

“Use your own flair to ‘create’ the dish. There are a lot of common dishes. So it’s really up to the cook to improvise, make it better, add some extra taste or even make a variation and come up with a new dish!”

Other favourites include fried squid with petai, crabs or prawns cooked with dried chilli and butter sauce, golden fried rice and many other choices.

For enquiries, contact Beh at 012-988 0218 or 09-513 4318.

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