Thursday, 6 January 2011

Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Restaurant

I'm still writing about our Taiping Christmas outing last December. Another memorable place we tried was Xin Seafood located in Port Weld or Kuala Sepetang as it is now known. Kuala Sepetang is a 30 minute drive from Taiping and the journey will take you through various old kampongs (some dating back to the days of Long Jaafar) and a verdant mangrove forest. A visit to the mangrove education centre and a charcoal factory would make a good day trip, but we did not do it this time. Our sole intention this time was the seafood ! The original plan was to go to Restoran Tepi Sungai (a.k.a. RT Port Weld). It was however the Christmas weekend and the place was full and we had not made any prior reservation. They were kind enough to point us in the direction of Xin which they said belonged to their 'saudara' (relative).

So that's how we ended up at Xin. The restaurant is located just beside the river. There were actually boats docked next to the restaurant. Quite a scenic view at sunset I must say. The restaurant itself was very basic and functional as most restaurants tend to be in small villages. Lots of seafood were on display in various tanks and baskets and we were told to take our pick. The choices of preparation were mainly either steamed or fried with a few choices of gravy.
We picked 2 medium sized ikan kerapu (RM36 each) and these were plain steamed with some ginger slices. In any other place, a simple preparation like this would have been disappointing but the freshness of the fish here prevented any unsatisfactory verdict. 
We were recommended to try the prawns and squid in a tom yam soup (RM48) and we had no regrets with this dish. The tom yum was thick without the heaviness of santan (coconut cream). Sour, spicy and a little sweet – very well balanced and definitely a 'must have' here.

We picked several types of seafood which were just plain fried including:-

Small sardine-like fish. These were fried until nice and crispy and you could almost eat the entire fish - with the exception of the spinal bone. This was pretty good.

Small baby crabs. You can often see these tiny crabs on the beach but we never thought these could be eaten. Deep fried in oil, these became a very nice snack. It would Would have been great with some cold beer.
Small prawns. Like the baby crabs, these would have been great with beer.
Boiled shellfish (kerang). The accompanying chilli sambal was not pungent enough so this dish was not very exciting.
Flower crabs. There were no mud crabs available so we had to make do with flower crabs which tend to be less meaty and tasty. However the freshness of the crabs saved it from being mediocre.
There were no green vegetables available so we had to make do with binjals. These were stir fried with a dried prawn sauce which was very crispy and tasty. Very good and recommended.
Other popular dishes here are boiled octopus (we saw it on many tables) and mud crabs (when available). Overall it was a pretty good experience. The total bill was RM245 for 13 of us which is about RM20 a head – not too bad for the amount of food we had.

Location : Lot 155B, Tepi Sungai, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Taiping, Perak
Contact : 017-5619384

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