We have never been to Hai Ong , but heard that it’s famous for seafood dishes, so we decide to give it a try. It was 6:30pm and we were the first patron for the day- stepping into a eatery where empty tables greet you is always eerie. The lights were switched on when we arrived at our table. From the eye contacts, everyone is sending out the same signals..’are we sure we are having dinner here ?’ , we decided to be brave and stay put
A lady (with a rather not too friendly look and tone of voice ) came to our table and ask us for our order, We ordered crabs, fried brinjals ( again), steamed fish, venison and chicken.
Lady who took order then proceed to the cooking station ( at the front of the shop ) and started to chop and cut some stuff on the chopping board and later she was seen busy with the wok, oh, then we forgave her for being sulky, she was overworked ! A young chap ( pleasant and friendly ) came to take our order for the drinks and we ordered : logan + winter melon, lime+ sour plum and barley.
The KumHeong Crabs was the first dish to arrive which was interesting as crabs are normally the last few dishes to be served, anyway, anytime is a good time to have your hands dirty eating crabs ! This was pretty good, the thick and fragrant kumheong sauce was dosed with lotsa spring onions and the crabs were very meaty.
Having the crabs first was very messy as we spend too much time eating this and start to neglect other dishes that arrive and not to mention having to clean messy hands. The Chew Chow steamed garoupa was next – the gravy was overly sweet and consensus around the table that the sauce taste a bit funny , I was still busy wrestling with the crabs to notice it. Luckily the fish was fresh.
By this time, the restaurant was starting to fill up and soon all the tables are taken up and lady was demoted to assistant cook as the ‘real’ cook has arrived ( no wonder she is sulky, we were too early and she has to do the cook’s work and hmm..maybe that is why the fish taste funny ?) and also glad to say that young pleasant chap had taken over the duty of taking orders from the tables.
The lemon chicken followed, the chicken was fried and the lemon /plum sauce poured on it, the sauce was tasty and the chicken was tender and as the portion was a bit small ( upon our request), the plate was emptied pretty quickly.
The venison with spring onions and ginger was something built for jaw exercises, the meat was very tough and most of us gave up on this after one bite, but yours truly plod on with the chewing , strong jaws highly energized like the Energizer rabbit
When the fried brinjal arrived, we felt that we might have been conned, for the brinjals were overshadowed by the many many middle sized prawns. This dish was ultra spicy and glad to report – ultra tasty, there were purple and green brinjals , chili padis and the star -the prawns. This was a very good brinjal dish.
Overall- an ok meal, although the bill ( for Kelantan restaurant standard, was on the high side) , breakdown of the meal
Crabs ( 850g) RM38.30, Fish ( 600g) – RM29, brinjal RM9 ( phewww..i thought we would be overcharged for this ), venison RM12, Chicken RM12, plus drinks and rice for 5 pax, the total was RM107.70.
Hai Ong Seafood Restaurant
Jalan Sultan Ibrahim,
15050 Kota Baru
Tel : 09 747 6920