The six of us were on our way back to Singapaore from Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday evening and decided to swing over to Gelang Patah near the Second Link (between Johor and Singapore) to try out the famous Tian Lai 天来 Seafood Garden. Tian Lai 天来 Seafood Garden is the most popular and best known seafood restaurant in Gelang Patah.
Since this was our first time at Tian Lai Seafood Garden, we asked the waitress who attended to us for recommendations. These were her suggestions based on what she said were the most popular dishes at Tian Lai Seafood Garden.
This was the steamed Ikan Patin (RM35) with fried chopped preserved vegetables (tong chai). We felt the fried tong chai was a little sparse and requested for more.
Someone from the kitchen promptly brought this heap of freshly fried tong chai and smothered the fish with it, even though the restaurant was full house at the time, and the kitchen was furiously busy. Thumbs up for service :)
The live Ikan Patin was nicely steamed so that the flesh was sweet and juicy, and would have been perfect if it was more tender as it was a tad firm.
This was the curry pork ribs (RM15). The thick curry was fragrant, felt grainy from the ground spices and not overly spicy hot, which appealed to many. The pork ribs were tender and saturated with the mild curry gravy. Personally, I prefer my curry to be sharper, with a sting.
The hot plate toufu (RM12) moved really fast and I only had the opportunity to snap this overhead shot before my companions ravaged the dish. The single piece of toufu that I had felt tender and very similar to those good ones that I tried before elsewhere. My companions liked this too.
The chili crab (RM84) looked quite messy which was not surprising if you had seen the hectic kitchen from which it came. The sauce was savoury and tangy, and again, not overly spicy. We ordered a fried bun for everyone and all the buns disappeared after we used it to wipe the plate clean of the chili gravy.
The natural sweetness and firmness of the thick, juicy crab flesh was commendable. We all loved it.
The sambal kang kong (RM8) moved so fast, I couldn't even get a picture of it. But, I did hear my companions raving about how good it tasted.
Before we got our bill, we played a game of guessing the total price. When the bill arrived, the total amount came to RM180 inclusive of drinks, which we all thought was quite reasonable as the food was good and there were six hungry adults in our group.
As we stepped out satisfied, we took glances at what the other customers were eating. On seeing their black pepper crabs and plump fried la la (shellfish), we discussed plans to be back as we walked happily to the car :)
Restaurant name: Tian Lai 天来 Seafood Garden
Address: 158, Jalan Leong Bee, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru, Johor
GPS: 1.447316, 103.588199
Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm (Closed on alternate Mondays)
Date visited: 7 Oct 2012