Sunday, 1 December 2013

Johor Bahru Honbin Seafood Restaurant 宏运海鲜 in Permas Jaya

Steamed-Catfish-Johor

My friend Bryan has been telling me about the steamed catfish at Honbin Seafood 宏运海鲜 for a while, and today we finally gathered a few kakis to pay this restaurant a visit.


Johor-Bahru-Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

Honbin Seafood is located at a quiet corner of Permas Jaya, not far from the AEON JUSCO mall.

Johor-Bahru-Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

The simple menu is written out on this white board. Besides the usual fish, prawns and crabs, Honbin has the proper license to serve certain wild game like terrapins, boar and squirrels.

Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

Hian is the friendly owner and head chef. Honbin started as a street side stall, slowly working their way to today's simple but good size restaurant.

Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

Sally and her husband Hian are visibly and deservedly proud of their restaurant which is the result of their decade of hard work.

Johor-Bahru-Honbin-Seafood-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

First up was this mixed platter of crispy fish roll, fried chicken balls and crispy fried chicken.

Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

The fish roll was made of tender minced fish meat and vegetables wrapped in crispy thin tofu skin. A quite interesting and tasty snack or appetiser.

Honbin-Seafood-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

The fried chicken ball is made of minced chicken and water chestnuts. Would be perfect if the chicken balls were a little more moist.

Honbin-Seafood-Restaurant-宏运海鲜-Permas-Jaya

I like Honbin 's crispy fried chicken with a savoury and sweet sauce. The thin slice of chicken with skin on is fried till the skin is crispy while the flesh still retains some chew and juice. Though different, it did remind me of those small square pieces of roasted suckling pig. I like this.

Steamed-Catfish--Johor

Steamed catfish is one of my favourite dishes and I will order one whenever it is available. Honbin's steamed catfish is made with wild caught river fish. Very sweet and bouncy white flesh, with not even the slightest hint of muddiness.

Turtle-Soup-Johor

Hongbin's herbal turtle soup is made with wild caught terrapin from the rivers near Kota Tinggi.

Turtle-Soup

The clean tasting broth is clear and light with herbal and ginseng flavours and aroma. (Note: This is not the murky, full bodied, umami savoury style of broth commonly served in Singapore.)

Turtle-Soup-Johor

The meat and gelatinous parts of the turtle tasted mildly sweet and had mouth feel somewhere between fish and chicken.

Braised-Catfish
Braised-Catfish

We also had Honbin's braised catfish which is made from live fish. The large chunks of tender catfish were braised in a mildly flavoured savoury sauce. I love chewing the chunks of soft meat, skin and fat of the catfish.

Lala-Seafood

Sally is proud of this lala shellfish stir fried with fried garlic and shallots. Savoury garlic and shallot bits blended with natural flavours of chewy bouncy lala.

The total bill including a pot of tea and rice came to RM140 nett for 6 adults, which I thought was very reasonable.

Overall, I found the ingredients fresh and the dishes well executed. Honbin's dishes use less robust flavourings (like sauces) and rely more on the ingredients' natural flavours. I like Honbin because over time I learnt to better appreciate the original flavours of ingredients.

For wild caught ingredients, it is best to give Sally a call at +6012-797-7231 or +6019-754-7930 to find out what is available before proceeding to Honbin.

Restaurant name: Honbin Seafood Restaurant 宏运海鲜
Address: 2, Jalan Permas 1/3, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Masai, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/ZB51M
GPS: 1.517583,103.821069
Hours: 3:00pm to 1:00am
Non Halal

Date visited: 28 Nov 2013

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12 comments:

  1. Again you are tempting me to go to Johore!. Steamed WILD catfish and games foods!.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been here many times and supported them since their old place. Nice food, you'll be satisfied with the food and willing to pay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I will be visiting regularly too :D

      Delete
  3. Hey there, please try out :-
    Hainanese Chicken Rice shop 伦记海南鸡饭 @Tmn Daya and also
    Nasi Lemak Kukus @ Tmn Molek area near Allianz Bank at night

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK sure. Thanks for your suggestions.

      Delete
  4. Hello:) the owner of this shop asked me a favour to inform you that their operation time is from 3pm to 1.30am.. Wish that you can kindly rectify it. Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have amended the timings. Thanks for pointing out.

      Delete
  5. whats the price??? will they simply slaughter if they see u r not locals ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The price is reasonable. As mentioned in my post, we paid RM140 for our meal (6 persons). I have met the owners only once and felt comfortable with them. You may want to discuss and agree on price with the boss before cooking, to address your concerns. Thank you.

      Delete
  6. The freshwater turtles (terrapins) in Malaysia are endangered. Just because they are unscrupulous savages who sell and offer them in restaurants does not mean they are not endangered. In third world countries, CITES laws are not enforced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the reduxtion in numbers is due more to habitat loss and environmental changes tgan animal consumption. I think in another 20 years time, even the moth that flies into your house is endangered.

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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