Hock Lye Seafood, Penang

It was raining heavily just now and suddenly, the family is in the mood to eat seafood. So, I did a bit of Googling and read several Penang Bloggers’ blogs to find a new place to go. I stumbled upon Criz’s recommendation for Hock Lye Seafood. Then, New Kid on the Blog and Andrew of PenangFoodGalore also mentioned this place.

drunken tiger prawns
(drunken, live tiger prawns, RM35 for 500 grams – nice….)

So, we set off to hunt for this place, after I had jotted down what we are going to order and how to get there, based on the three blogs I linked above. Can you believe that throughout our meals, from around 5.30 pm till about 6.30 pm, we were the only table there? Times must be bad huh? It is only towards the end that three other tables were filled up.


Getting there is an experience because we hardly drive to this part of the island. Hock Lye is hidden amongst local cost flats and the Jelutong Expressway. You get scenic views of the mangrove area, see some nice new esplanade with new houses that costs above RM1 million and at the same time, stumbled on cheap low cost flats that look like pigeon holes. It is one big rojak of new housing areas, old, broken housing areas and lots of cheap low cost flats.

hock lye seafood

From the look of the area, you know this place enjoys brisk business because everything is big. Lots of tables, lots of parkings, lots of dishes, lots of fresh live fishes, prawns, shellfish, crabs in the tank and they serve drinks in jars.

fried noodle

We started the meal with Emperor Noodle which is thin, egg noodles fried with seafoods.

marmite chicken

The marmite chicken is good too because there is no overpowering taste of Marmite.

loong tan fish

We actually ate this horrible looking fish call ‘loong tan’ (dragon egg?). It is a very big fish and we had a 400 gram slice for RM32. The flesh is sweet and I love the fish skin. Since it is a big fish, it doesn’t have the ‘fish texture’ but taste like chicken. None of us like fish texture and only a few of my kids eat fish.

steamed fish

No, they didn’t kill the big fish to steam for us. The big one is for display only. The one we ate is reared in the sea off the island.

butter mantis prawns

With so many kids, each of them have their own favourite dish. Mine of course is the drunken prawns on the first photo. The tiger prawns, caught alive from the tank is so sweet when dunk into boiling wine soup. Too bad they didn’t prepare the live prawns on our table or you will get a video of prawns burning in hell. Hehehe.

Meanwhile, the above fried dish is the mantis prawns with cereal. We find the cereal too sweet and had told the owner. But my younger kids like the sweetish taste.

salted eggs crab

Our initial plan was to go out and eat crabs. However, after taking so many of the dishes, we were too full to finish our crabs. The crab is recommended by the lady boss. It is salted duck egg yolk with curry leaves and maybe some butter flavour. We tapau the crabs home and I shall savour it later.

After all the seafoods, there is no more space for vegetables. The total bill comes up to only RM166 which is rather cheap. I like Hock Lye because their cooking is rather ‘mild’ and you do not get jelak from all the seafoods. They also don’t give us those peanuts or cold towel, hence save us from paying for useless things we do not need.

Please head over to either one of the blogs mentioned to get the directions. Hubby took us for a ride to see the RM1 million homes by IJM so I totally have no recollection on how to get there.

Hock Lye phone is 2627524

Service is good too because we broke a glass and they didn’t make a fuss or charge us. Or maybe they did but we can’t read Mandarin so we wouldn’t know if it is billed to us. Well, service should be good because we were the only patron and I brought my DSLR there to ‘scare’ them to give us fresher seafoods. Hehehe. It works all the time. The DSLR trick to intimidate restaurants to give better services and fresher foods.

5 Replies to “Hock Lye Seafood, Penang”

  1. Hi Lilian,
    I read your blogs esp your food blogs regularly. They are very informative and entertaining too! Keep it up!
    I’m writing regarding your previous blog abt herbs. I know Jusco One Utama KL sells some of them (potted ones) and you can find packet of seeds too from some garden centres in kl. I am from Penang but live in the UK now and here you can get them easily. If you are really keen and have problems getting hold of the seeds, I could help by getting you some from the UK and passing them to you when I come back for CNY sometime this month.

  2. Loong Tan is actually the bigger version of grouper (koay kao/kerapu) when they grow up to more than 10kg (The best size for a grouper is below 1.5kg). No doubt the flesh would be tougher compared to the smaller ones, restaurants/hawkers would use them because they can earn more with the big meaty portions. 🙂

    I’m glad you managed to find your way there. It could be such a maze if you do not know the area well.

  3. criz – We asked the taukeh soh if it is koay kau but she said loong tan. Thanks for that info on the fish.

    plamabstract – Criz has explained, it is garoupa family.

    Mary – Hi Mary, so sorry I missed this comment. Thanks for your kind offer on the seeds. Someone is mailing me some from USA. But thanks again. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and hope you have a wonderful eating adventure back home.

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