Saturday, 9 September 2017

Special Memorable Seafood at Jia Siang Cafe Balik Pulau Penang 家香茶室 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Jia Siang Cafe 家香茶室 (actually a zhi char place) is a special type of seafood experience. It's at a small fishing village in Balik Pulau, Penang. We buy our own fresh seafood straight off the small boats and Jia Siang Cafe cooks it for us and serves it for a reasonable fee. I came here twice during my week long trip to Penang 😄

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Jia Siang Cafe (is in Pulau Betong) right at the banks of Sungai Pulau Betung just beside this little vehicle bridge over the river.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

By the afternoon, the fishermen have unloaded their night's catch and are preparing their nets for the next fishing trip to the Straits of Malacca.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

As you walk along the jetty, you will see monitor lizards which have grown fat feeding on discarded fish from the boats. The large reptiles sun themselves on the banks and slither away nonchalantly as humans approach.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

At the jetty, there are a few fish mongers selling seafood straight off the boats.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Locals come here to buy super fresh seafood for lunch and dinner. What's available depends on the night's catch. Every day it is different.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

There were live wild caught Grouper fish today.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Ikan Kurau (Threadfin fish) still stiff with mortis rigor (meaning these fish were caught less than 12 hours ago at most).

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Live wild caught tiger prawns.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

The fish's eyes so bright, it was like they were looking at me through fish tanks.

Don't worry about fishy smells associated with fish markets. There is none here. The fish are so fresh, there is neither fishy smell nor chemical smell of preservatives.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Buy your seafood and walk 20 paces to Jia Siang Cafe (which is actually a zhi char 煮炒 shop). Spartan furnishings, under a flat zinc roof but still comfortable despite the blazing mid day sun and no air conditioning.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Hand your seafood to the chefs at Jia Siang and they will gut, clean and cook the fish for you.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

The cooking techniques are relatively simple like steam and stir fry, deep fry but hey.... with seafood this fresh I don't want anyone to mess with it with fanciful gimmicks. I just want to taste the seafood's natural goodness 😄

Jia Siang charges RM10 to RM20+ per dish depending on the cooking method. (But, you have to bring your own fish lah.)

(Jia Siang Cafe also stock their own fresh seafood just like any seafood restaurant, but getting from the restaurant after driving all the way to a fishing village...., where got fun..., right?) 

Here's what we had over two days. I enjoyed everything (except the mantis prawns).

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Steamed Grouper fish.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Steamed white Pomfret.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Steamed tiger prawns and very sweet flower crabs.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Steamed Ikan Kurau or Threadfin.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Our second steamed Grouper with extra Grouper fish belly added.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Steamed mantis prawns. A bit disappointed with these, as the flesh was somehow mushy..... .

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Deep fried Ikan Kambung (Chub Mackerel).

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Deep fried Grouper fish blanketed with a Thai style sweet spicy sourish sauce.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Deep fried Ikan Kurau.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Golden brown crisp outside while still tender and juicy inside, as Kurau is a thick meaty fish.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Sambal sotong (squid).

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

After so much meat, some simple crunchy juicy fresh greens are welcome.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

The humble kang kong with sambal balacan chili is one of my favourite dishes.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

While you are here, get at least one mug of fresh pure nutmeg juice, the signature Penang drink. Nutmeg has it's own unique taste and may not be for everyone. But, on both visits, I had two rounds. Love it 😄

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

4-Star (out of 5). If you are visiting Penang and is tired of the usual tourist fare in Georgetown, take the one hour drive down south to Jia Siang Cafe 家香茶室 in Balik Pulau. Experience a bit of fishing village life and taste seafood straight off the boat for a fraction of Georgetown prices. It's a foodie travel story you will be telling for years to come.

Jia-Siang-Cafe-Balik-Pulau-Penang-家香茶室

Restaurant name: Jia Siang Cafe 家香茶室
Address: 321, Mk 7, Pulau Betong, Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
GPS:  5°18'21.9"N 100°11'41.4"E | 5.306085, 100.194845
Tel: 019 746 8465 | 013 516 8361
Hours: 12:00 noon to 7:00pm (Alternate Monday off)

Non Halal

Date: 2 Sep 2017

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...