Johor Bahru has a few seafood restaurants on platforms over the water along the Johor Straits (facing Singapore) where Orang Asli chefs serve Chinese zhi char 煮炒 style dishes. Last evening, I finally visited Restoran Asli Makanan Laut Mutiara Biru near Taman Perling which had been on my "To Eat list" for a long time.
While waiting for our dishes to be served, I walked about the restaurant. It felt like a typical large Chinese zhi char seafood restaurant but on a wooden platform over the water. It's like an old large village house on stilts above the water - a bit weathered and tired but authentic and still charming, if you look pass the dinginess.
The 41 dish menu is on the wall - most of the Chinese tze char dishes are there. The Orang Asli staff knows the names of the dishes in Mandarin, so ordering is like at any Chinese run zhi char. Beer is available.
Floating fish farms dot the Johor Straits. The land on the horizon is Singapore's Lim Chu Kang.
We were here at low tide. This scene would be prettier at high tide. The tall buildings on the horizon are newly built Danga Bay area condominiums. The "sand dunes" looming behind the house is land reclamation in progress.
There were live fish, oysters and crabs.
My makan kakis from MST Transport which provides land transport between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Chit chatting during dinner, I was impressed by MST Transport's emphasis on the human touch to deliver their services with Integrity, Passion and Reliability.
Here are the dishes we had. We were there at 4pm before dinner time, but once the woks were fired up, the dishes come very quickly.
Crispy Fried Sotong 鹹蛋蘇東.
Butter Prawns 牛油蝦.
Sambal La La Clams 桑巴拉拉.
Cantonese Style Steamed Grouper 醬蒸石斑魚.
Thai Style Fried Chicken 泰式炸雞.
Egg Fuyong 芙蓉煎蛋.
Stir Fried Di Wang Chai 清炒帝王菜.
Stir Fried Baby Kai Lan 清炒菜膽.
Overall, the flavours were moderate to very salty. Greasy though not excessively oily. The ingredients were fresh except for the chicken which was probably frozen meat. The la la clams had a bit of fine gritty sand.
My favourite dishes of the evening were the butter prawns as the savoury sweet sauce was well balanced. The prawns were, however, a little overdone. I like the salted egg fried sotong - crispy outside but the meat was a bit chewy as it was slightly overcooked. The salted egg sauce tasted delicious. The Cantonese style steamed grouper was fresh and quite nicely done though the soy sauce lacked aroma and flavour (except for mild saltiness). The fried omelette was filled with cut onion, julienned carrot etc - quite tasty and flavoursome.
I will be back to this place and try those dishes which would not be too salty and greasy e.g. Indonesian curry prawns, Teochew steamed fish, clay pot drunken prawns, steamed prawns.
👉 The food wasn't exquisite but there were quite nice dishes like the butter prawns and steamed grouper. The restaurant was somewhat run down but I think it can still be quite nice during high tide and when there is a cooling sea breeze. The view is spotty with construction here and there, but the setting sun is still nice when it is orange like an egg yolk. Chinese style zhi char by Orang Asli chefs in a restaurant on stilts over gently sloshing water is a Johor Bahru experience some may like to tick off the bucket list. I have 😄 Prices are reasonable - our total bill was RM350 inclusive of a bottle of beer and pot of Chinese tea.
Other Orang Asli seafood in Johor Bahru ➤ Restoran Todak in Masai, Teo Orang Asli Seafood in Pasir Puteh.
Restaurant name: Restoran Asli Makanan Laut Mutiara Biru 阿士里海鲜村
Address: Kampung Orang Asli, Sungai Temon, Sungai Danga, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1°27'38.1"N 103°42'17.6"E 🌐 1.460577, 103.704886
Tel: 019 680 8274 (Aman), 016 721 9305 (Kanow)
Hours: 12:00 noon to 10:00pm (Tues closed)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 8 Oct 2018
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