We were invited for lunch at Sungai Petani but it came as no surprise when Mr Tan, our host, requested that we hop into his car to go to a seafood restaurant that is located elsewhere.
Mr Tan is a foodie and he knows all the little nooks and corners in Kedah that serve the most amazing and delicious dishes.
After half-an-hour of meandering through padi-fields and small kampungs where villagers seem to be holding kenduris (parties) at every turn, we arrived at Tanjung Dawai, a small fishing village on the coast of Kedah.
The first thing Mrs Tan did was to head for the little jetties to buy prawns. Unfortunately there were no prawns in the catch that day so she bought crabs instead.
Meanwhile we took photos like any good tourist would.
The beach. In the backgroud is one of the many jetties where the fishermen land their catch.
Some fishermen preparing to go out to sea. Across the sea is Pantai Merdeka, the first beach Hubby visited when he was growing up in Alor Setar.
One of the rare times when we have someone to take a photo of us together.
While we were at the small jetty we also saw how the people made salted fish.
Hmmm, this part of the process doesn't look very hygienic to me
Then we headed over to Chooi Peng Seafood for lunch.
Our lunch. Clockwise from top left corner: Sea Cat Fish & Shark Curry, Crispy Battered Squid, Prawns Steamed with Egg White, Baked Jumbo Mantis Shrimp, Sea Crab in Spicy Gravy and Steamed Sting Ray
We ended up with a combo hai t'hor sart (sea cat fish) and shark curry because both were so fresh that the host could not decide on which to choose for the dish. So he did what any dedicated foodie would do, take both!
That's the sea cat fish meat on top and the shark meat below. I like that the sea cat fish doesn't have the muddy smell normally associated with cat fish.
The squids and prawns were not outstanding but the baked (not sure but they looked baked to me) mantis shrimps were really fantastic.
Live mantis shrimps in the aquarium
Look at that! That's how big the shrimps were and they were packed with plenty of sinfully delicious roe. You would have thought that
I was holding a sausage roll.
The sea crab is not a flower crab. It looks like a normal mud crab but it is found in the sea bed. Its meat is 'springier' than those of the mud crab. Its shell is also thinner so I could eat it with my fork and spoon!
Unfortunately there was only one sea crab left :( I wouldn't mind more of the crabs.
Finally, there's a steamed sting-ray that tasted better than it looked.
Their specialty is seafood so the fried yau mak was lacklustre (hence no photo). But we were told that the proprietor-cum-cook has a signature dish that he prepares with egg-plant. Must try that on our next visit.
See, it was so good that we were already planning a return visit before we even left the place.
On the way back we visited the Archeological Museum at the Bujang Valley. It was soooo terribly hot that I came back with a headache. We were crazy to walk in the hot sun without an umbrella or hat.
That's me with Mr & Mrs Tan. We even climbed steps in the hot afternoon sun. Crazy or not?
Hubby standing at the reconstructed site of one of the ancient Indian temples. Notice how colour coordinated he is with all the surrounding greenery.
We saw mangosteens for sale by the road-side and we just had to stop to buy some.
Hubby choosing mangosteens. He's the fruit expert in our family.
See the white flesh! Simply irresistible!
No thanks! We don't eat petai or stink beans.
At Sungai Petani we said farewell to our hosts. Reluctant to leave SP, we went to Secret Recipe for tea before leaving for Penang.
This is a rare occasion. Hubby normally doesn't frequent places like Secret Recipe or Starbucks. He's more of a kopi tiam guy.
We have already received a request from Bee Yoong in UK to bring them there the next time they are back in Malaysia.
So see you again Tanjung Dawai!