Alex the boss of Star Chef restaurant in Gelang Patah (near Legoland) invited me to visit his family's seafood farm in Pontian which supplies his restaurant. The seafood farm in Pontian uses sea water with modern machinery and technology to rear wild caught crabs and lobsters, and fish.
The cement vats for crabs
No wonder when I went to Star Chef restaurant in Gelang Patah, I did not find piles of forlorn, tired looking crabs, that I often saw at seafood restaurants.
Star Chef get their crabs from Orang Asli fishermen. The daily catch of crabs are first kept in those large cement vats and fed with fish for about a week before there are ready for the table. Local crabs caught by Orang Asli fishermen are relatively small - about 500 grams each and they have sweeter meat.
Star Chef also source their crabs from Sabah and Indonesia. These imported crabs are also brought to the farm for fattening. Sabah and Indonesian crabs are larger, commonly about 1 kilo each and they are not as sweet as local crabs.
The price of crab, is of course, seasonal. Tonight, the medium size crabs go for RM65. The large size crabs go for RM80.
I have already tried Star Chef's salted egg crab and their signature "King of Crab" which is crab baked in tangy sauce in an aluminium foil bag. I liked Star Chef's salted egg crab and am not a big fan of their tangy tasting crab as I personally associate crabs with spicy and savoury umami flavours. In that sense, I am a little conservative and less adventurous here.
White pepper crab
Tonight, I opted for Star Chef's white pepper crab and black pepper crab.
Black pepper crab
This plate of Vietnamese style spicy fried bee hoon for RM5. I like this bee hoon tossed and fried in seafood broth in a super heated wok till it is dry outside.
I was surprised how much effort and skill went into making this simple and humble dish.
A small steamed grouper fish RM28
We had this freshly caught grouper steamed and served with a light savoury sauce. The Chef did well to highlight the natural sweetness of the fresh grouper with the light sauce.
Click on this photo to read my earlier post on Star Chef restaurant.
Address: 51, Jalan Gelang Emas 1, Taman Gelang Emas, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru
Hours: 09:30am to 10:30pm (Closed on alternate Thursdays)
Date visited: 28 Oct 2012, 28 Nov 2012
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