I had blogged about this place in March 2005 at my Penang Faces blog. I have some photos from different angles and wish to share with readers. One of Malaysiabest reader had written to me about her coming visit to Penang and her interest in going to this seafood place.
We have several names for this place as it has been around for decades. I think I had been eating there for like 30 years already! Locally, we call it Hai Choo Hooi (Sea Pearl Garden) or Tua Pek Kong temple.
Tua Pek Kong is a deity favoured by many Chinese (of Taoist faith) homes as a ‘general’ protector of the family. Each year, on the eve of the 15th day of Chinese New Year, a ceremony call ‘chia hoay’ or inviting fire will be held at this temple. The worshippers will burn the joss-sticks and they predict the economy of the state of Penang based on the flames. Big flames = good business.
When the tsunami hit Penang in December 2004, this seafood place was badly damaged. Therefore, they are building a barrier to break the waves, as can be seen from the stretch of rocks out to the sea. Sometimes during high tide (i.e. when there is a full moon), the waves break at the shore, splashing water everywhere.
However, this old watch tower or lighthouse stands strong by the sea. It gives this seafood place some ancient feel. There are other old ruins around the place. If you go there for seafood, do check out the pavillion. My family had fished there before. We even caught a garoupa before.
Ok, get ready to drool….
The standard baked salted prawns. You know what? The price they charged last year (from my previous blog) is still the same. Good to know that prices do not increase.
Mudcrab with roe. Packed with solid roe and sweet flesh.
A huge wooden hammer like those use by the majistrates. 🙂
Don’t expect any fancy way of cooking the prawns and crabs. They come in only ONE way. Baked. 🙂 But the nice thing is you do not have to wait long because they have prepared them in advance as the place is usually very packed and it will take almost an hour just to bake crabs. BTW, fresh crabs are best enjoyed baked.
There are other stalls selling other kind of foods. But I only go for crabs and prawns each time. So, I do not know if the fried lala, grilled fish, satay and etc is good. However, I boycot the fried beehoon because it is very costly and doesn’t taste nice at all. RM12 for two person portion is double the price elsewhere.
Next time you are in Penang, ask for direction to this place. It is in Tanjong Tokong. Turn in from the traffic light where the low cost ‘fishermen’ flats are.