Last weekend I had the best seafood feast ever.
There's no fancy sauces, there's no fancy styles of cooking, and there's no fancy presentation. The dishes are just cooked using the simplest methods like steaming, but these simple methods bring out the best in seafood. And that's what make it so much better than restaurant-cooked seafood dishes. And what's even better? They are MSG-free!
Still not convinced it's the best? Follow me... I'll show you all the mouth-watering photos...
The place that I went to is a Kelong. Kelong is a Malay word used to describe a form of offshore platform built mainly with wood. I went down to a Kelong a very long time ago, when I was still very young, so I can't really remember much. All I remembered is the toilet. The toilet that does not need to be flushed because... you just do your business directly into the sea. Haha.
The Kelong that I went to was still in Singapore. I'm not sure if it's the only Kelong still present in Singapore, but I'm sure in a few more decades, all the Kelongs will slowly disappear due to rapid urbanization. So that's why you must go down to a Kelong now while you still can!
My friends own this Yacht chartering service (sorry, not available anymore!). So it was a great journey down to the Kelong travelling on her yacht, because we can sun-tan, sing karaoke and even play mahjong! And they provide a lot of charter services, for both corporate and private functions, such as birthday parties, fishing trips, water sports etc.
We boarded the yacht at ONE°15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove and were treated to a lovely view of the newly built condo The Oceanfront. A small harbour has been built at the front of the condo for people to “park” their yachts there.
Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.
It was an hour ride to the Kelong and by the time we reached there, we were famished.
A view of the "backyard" of the Kelong
They are already cooking when we got there!
The first dish was steamed flower crabs with ginger and chilli. It may not sound appetising or look delicious. But looks can be deceiving, isn’t it? The seafood they used was so fresh, that the crabs were so sweet and full of flavour. Some people don’t like flower crabs because they are small in size and may not have a lot of meat in them. That may be true, but they serve so many of these flower crabs that made me a very, very satisfied girl.
The fish came, and it was all gone in a flash. I only ate a little bit because I was too preoccupied with eating crabs (you see, it is difficult eat my way through the crabs because of my braces, but they are too yummy to resist eating them d:). The fish, of course, is uber fresh and is steamed very simply, bringing out the full flavours in the fish.
The third dish is deep-fried chicken balls. It is home-made using minced chicken meat, water chestnuts and some other small ingredients. The water chestnuts provide a little crunch in these deep-fried yummy-licious little things and the sauce that accompanied the dish is a sour-plum sauce, which makes it even tastier.
Next came the prawns. See how red and huge they are? ‘Nuff said.
The next dish is not seafood related, but is still delicious nonetheless. It’s Asam Chicken that’s been cooked to perfection with lady fingers and brinjal. The chicken they used is Kampong Chicken, so the meat is tender, unlike those chickens from commercial chicken farms. Looking at this picture just makes me salivate.
Sambal kang kung! I’m very lousy at eating spicy dishes, but this dish just made me go back for more even though it’s really spicy such that my whole mouth was numbed after eating it. I think they made the sambal themselves (like, why wouldn’t they?)
The mee goreng was really good too. There was crab meat in the mee goring. No no, not those commercial crab meat, it’s the real deal. Spicy, but good stuff.
Clams, the serving is generous and it’s spicy. But it’s so good that I just happily eat away. The way they cook the clams is very special. Instead of frying all the clams at one go and leave the guests to pick out the dead clams, they pick out the clams first, cooking only live clams. They say that dead clams will leave the dish a bitter taste if cooked together with live clams, that's why they are first picked out before cooking. Cool huh?
The next dish is chap chye, fried vegetables with fresh prawns and sotong. There must always be a balance in every meal, right? It’s a good way to bring the whole feast to a slow close.
Have you eaten oyster omelette before? This is not oyster omelette, but crab meat omelette. It’s not the normal western type omelette, as starch is mixed into the egg batter, giving it a thicker consistency. It is a very, very sinful treat. But it’s good.
Are you now convinced that it's good? I just can't wait to go back there again!
If you are interested in the contact of the Kelong, do drop me a contact here for the details!
Update 4 Dec 2014: My friend no longer operates the yacht services, so sorry about it! However, the kelong owner will provide transport from the ferry terminal to the kelong.
And we all love that place! (: