Today, we had a great day trip to Sungai Rengit, Malaysia's lobster town, in Pengarang, Johor. Sungai Rengit is a small town famed for the Spiny Lobsters or Rock Lobsters that live among the rocks off shores of Pengerang.
Sungai Rengit town in Pengarang is dotted with a dozen seafood restaurants, all with local Spiny Lobsters as their main draw.
The owners of Straits View Seafood restaurant 海景轩海鲜, Stanley and Chef Liew invited me to try out their signature dishes.
Chef Liew had worked thirteen years in restaurants in Malaysia and Singapore before striking out to launch his own restaurant with Stanley in Pengerang. Observing Chef Liew in the kitchen, I was impressed by his passion for his art.
Straits View is a simple seafood restaurant with basic decor and focuses on well executed fresh seafood dishes.
How fresh are the lobsters here? The restaurant is so near to the beach in Pengarang that the day's catch of live lobsters is brought in by motorbike in plastic bags and simply dumped straight into the holding tanks. It's practically straight from the sea to the restaurant - that's how fresh lobsters are in Pengerang.
First dish of the day was lobster, of course. Since we tried Straits View's Lobster in Superior Broth during our last visit, we opted for the Butter Lobsters 牛油龙虾 this time. We tried the small ones at RM120 per kilo.
The batter wrapping the lobsters was crispy and kept the lobster flesh juicy and sweet. Chef Liew told us that many Singapore customers took away their Butter Lobsters and they were still crispy when they reached home two to three hours later.
These were the succulent medium sized lobsters in Superior Broth which we had during our first visit. Yum Yum. Click on the picture to see the post on my previous visit.
Besides the Must Try lobster dishes, Straits View also serves several other tasty signature dishes.
This was the Typhoon Shelter Crab (港式) 避风塘螃蟹 at RM68 per kilo. Cooked with loads of fried finely chopped garlic.
The crab was juicy and its fresh taste was well highlighted by the savoury fried garlic bits and preserved black beans. This is a good alternative to the usual salted egg yolk, chili and black pepper styles (which Straits View also serves).
Straits View uses large local wild caught crabs as well as crabs imported from the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
The Thai Style Trotter 泰式猪手 at RM42 was crispy outside and still moist and juicy inside. The trotter was braised for a few hours till it is soft, and then deep fried in high heat to crisp the skin. I liked the tangy, spicy and sweet Thai style gravy which enhanced the flavour of the trotters.
Stanley wanted us to try their Sizzling Crocodile Meat with ginger and spring onions on a hotplate. These were farm raised crocodile meat from Sabah. Crocodile meat has its own unique texture and flavour. A change from the usual pork or venison hotplate dishes. At RM24 per serving, it's worth a try, if you are game for exotic meat.
Chef Liew was eager for us to try his newly created dish, deep fried Cumin Pork Ribs (RM12).
This dish has a unique spicy, tangy and aromatic flavour from cumin and other spices. Chef Liew executed the dish very well so that the pork ribs were slightly crisp outside while inside it was tender.
We wrapped up our long and heavy lunch with a RM5 plate of Straits View's version of San Lou bee hoon 三楼米粉 . Well executed by Chef Liew, the lovely seafood flavours nicely seared in with good wok hei.
Restaurant name: Straits View Seafood Restaurant 海景轩海鲜酒家Address: 84, Jalan Besar, Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor
Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Date visited: 2 Aug 2012, 12 Dec 2012