Okay, okay I’ve not been to EVERY country; maybe not the world’s but Bali’s freshest seafood.
Why did the crabs cross the road?
Because they are fresh.
As a seafood lover who has seafood allergy (yes, sucks for me), I am a little concerned with what I put in my mouth. Or not. Well… Sometimes. I think my allergy is mild; at most, I have one or two bumps on my face or lips. My worst experience was at my BFF’s wedding. Yes, I was one of the three bridesmaids. Sucks for me (part two). It was my worst attack. I hope that’s the first and the last. There were bumps all over, not an inch of my skin was spared – my underarms, in between my buttcheeks, everywhere. It got to the point where I can’t open my eyes; I had difficulty breathing and had to be given two japs, because one didn’t work after a few minutes! I was prepared to live with that bloated face for the rest of my life. Thinking it was the end, I was prepared to die. It was THAT bad. After two japs and a few pills, the bumps began to deflate. I recovered fully only after a week.
Every time we recall that day, my partner would say, “I was really afraid if that’s our last day together”. Looking back, I’m glad he didn’t show any signs of panic. Well not that I can see with those ballooned eyelids. He was emotionally strong (or pretended to be); held me with his manly arms (those protruding veins turn me on man!) and became my eyes when I couldn’t see, literally. He said everyone was looking at me. Duh. I looked like a monster, or like Mom said – alien. That woman is a fan of aliens, so I guess while she’s terribly worried, she was half proud and excited that I looked like one.
Anyway, this blog isn’t about allergy. It’s a reminiscence of the FRESHEST seafood I’ve ever had. Back then, I didn’t think of blogging about my travelogues. I only write them in my diary. So here I am blogging about past travel journeys, slowly but surely. At times I think I’m cheating, posting 2009 stories in 2013 but heck, it’s my blog anyway and I want to document my journeys for my great, great, great grandchildren.
If you think the freshest seafood are the ones where restaurants display an array of live animals in their algae-infested fish tanks, you’re wrong. They might be fresh, but not the freshest. My allergy attack will not happen if the seafood is fresh. While I always try to eat fresh ones, there’s no guarantee that the restaurants really fish the animals from their tanks. Except in Oriental Chinese Food & Sea Food.
Unlike some restaurants where the crabs are on the brink of crossing over to the other side where animals are angels, the crabs in Oriental Chinese Food & Sea Food literally crossed the road! They reminded me of the fishes escaping the dentist’s office in Finding Nemo.
After my friend and I chose two crabs, the guys from the restaurant weighed them. Then the funny thing happened. One second they’re on the weighing scale, the next, we witnessed three men chasing after two crabs!
It was hilarious! While waiting for dinner to be served, we talked to the waiters. Shortly, all our dishes came. Remember at that point, I didn’t think of blogging about these? Hence there are no pictures. Buuuuuuut I have some… Of the aftermath, haha!
Look at how much we eat! In Singapore, these will burn our pockets! And ourselves.
Two crabs in two great dishes – black pepper and Padang sauce. Padang is an Indonesian dish, well it tasted like the famous Singapore’s Chilli Crab. We had clams, stingray, beef (yes not seafood), squids, etc.
The chef came out of the kitchen, and he went “What?! I cooked all those dishes for only three people?!” As usual, being the
chatty friendly person that I am, I started a conversation. A great one.
Friends and I applauded him for his wonderful skills. This petite guy in his 20s cooked all those nine dishes! When I asked where he learnt cooking and how he started, my jaws dropped. He learnt cooking in Singapore! My homeland! He came all the way from Java to be a kitchen assistant in a restaurant, he didn’t even cook. All he did was preparing the ingredients, mainly cutting and chopping.
So how exactly did he learn? He observed and memorised. Because he lived upstairs, just above the restaurant, there wasn’t any way he could try cooking. I’m guessing there’s no kitchen. Well, he gets food anyway. So when did he cook? He went to Batam (an Indonesian island just minutes away from Singapore by ferry) to do so. Critical of his own cooking, he decided they were not as good as the restaurant’s, so he went back to Singapore and worked for a few more months. Satisfied, he went to Batam and did another experiment. It worked. The dishes he cooked tasted exactly like the restaurant’s. He went to Bali to work and tadaaa. No wonder, the crab in Padang sauce tasted so much like Singapore’s Chilli Crab. Look at how happy I was:
The guy in white with colourful tattos is the chef. Why didn’t I take a picture with him! Anyway, I love the place so much that I returned months ago. Sadly, he left to work in another country. Food’s still great though. Will blog about it another time.
This is the – not so much – damage done:
Supper for 3 = 6 drinks * 9 dishes
IDR515,000 / SGD66 / USD52
Really, really, really cheap.
Time for me to award stars! It would have been a 10/10 but the fact that our crabs ran across the road, made me wonder – Were the workers not trained enough to handle live animals? Other than that, the location is superb (along Jalan Pantai Kuta, very easy to spot a food court with many stalls selling seafood). The staffs are friendly, price is good and the food’s great, what more can I ask for?
Oriental Chinese Food & Sea Food
Kuta Food Court
Jalan Pantai Kuta