Thursday, 11 October 2012

Johor Seafood - Tian Lai Seafood Garden 天来 at Gelang Patah, Johor (near Legoland), Malaysia

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.
It is easy to locate Tian Lai Seafood Garden once you are on Jalan Leong Bee in Gelang Patah. Just look out for the most crowded restaurant along Jalan Leong Bee. There will also be cars parked along the street.

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.
Steamed Patin Fish

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.
Steamed Patin Fish

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.
Curry Pork Ribs

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.
Hot Plate Toufu Tofu

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.
Chili Crabs

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.
Chili Crabs

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)
Non Halal

Date visited: 7 Oct 2012


  1. The crab looks SCRRRRRUMPERLICIOUS!

  2. my brother has brought me to this place twice not too long ago. the gave me mixed impression. we had one crab cooked in salted eggs (good and crab was meaty), the other was 甘香crab( their version was way below the mark). however, the fried vegetable and curry spare rib were good. their 炒河粉 was good too. the second time we ordered crab with salted eggs. alas , the crab was small and not meaty despite asking for a more expensive bigger crab !! the black pepper version was also not well done. i have asked my brother to try a nearby 蔡记 which a friend has recommended as it is cheaper and nicer. waiting for my brother's feedback.

  3. After comparing the taste of the seafood, for personnaly and my family all of us prefer Sin Ming Chu rather thn TianLai. Not only the taste but also the environment.

  4. I like Cai JI better than tian lai.. think price is slightly better at Caiji.

  5. Hello... I am going to visit LEgoland in May and stay AT legoland. Can I have your advise which seafood restaurant is closest to legoland?

  6. After reading your review, my wife and I went to Tian Lai for dinner . Although the chilli crab was good
    it is definitely too pricey, at rm $105 just for a mid sized crab. While still eating, we decided to buy
    some dinner for relatives back home so we ordered a pepper crab (rm$100 ) beer pork ribs( rm$20)
    and fried hor fan (rm 7). They did not have boxes to pack the food but merely wrapped them in plastic sheets. We were extremely disappointed when we found we were cheated on the pepper crab as it weighed only 700g with ingredients! Also the pork ribs were small bite-sized pieces of salty meat, not worth rm$20. What a let down! Definitely not going there again.

  7. Tian Lai is now very ex in term of Malaysia standard, I rather go Star Chef

  8. Dear Sir,
    Tried Tian Lai yesterday on 9th Jul 2015 at noon.

    Service was brisk.
    Dishes Ordered :
    (1) Nonya 红糟 fish - the fish is fresh, the assam sauce is just right, sourish, not too hot and tasty.
    (2) garlic fried la la - so so.
    (3) otah - fresh home-made tasty.
    (4) fried garlic kai lan - simple and good.
    Cost : RM104 for two


    1. Thank you Sunny for your information. Appreciate much.


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