Restoran Kim Mah

Special thanks to Restoran Kim Mah for extending this food review invitation.

Seberang Perai is home to many reputable yet affordable seafood restaurants. Tonight's foodie journey brings me to Restoran Kim Mah (金马海鲜饭店) at Bukit Tambun, within a short distance from the highway exit.
Restoran Kim Mah is one of the long-timers in the southern part of Seberang Perai. It is associated to many similar-named seafood restaurants, which is operated by relatives of the proprietor.

The main dining section of the restaurant is open-air. There is sufficient room for 60 large tables with comfortable spacing, making Restoran Kim Mah a viable venue for large events. In addition, there is also an air-conditioned section which can accommodate 150 people. Karaoke entertainment is available for customers.
Restoran Kim Mah is famed for its invention of Braised Abalone & Mushrooms (双鲍豆根), an iconic dish which has since been imitated by other restaurants in the area. "Double abalone" refers to the use of actual abalones (鲍鱼) and abalone slices (鲍鱼片). Other delicacies are black mushrooms (香菇) and oyster mushroom (鲍菇), both are essential to impart savory flavors. Ginkgo seeds (白果) provide natural sweetness, while fried bean curd skin (腐竹) presents an appetizing crisp. Savory flavors of this prized dish is balanced by refreshing ones of broccoli and carrots.
Another signature dish here is Hot Pot Fish Head With Taro (鱼头芋头火锅). The soup is satisfying indeed, having both savoriness of meat stock and starchy sensation of taro. Chopped scallion and fried onions provide appetizing aroma especially when the dish is served hot.
The choice of fish is barramundi (siakap, 尖吻鲈), which I think is a great choice given the type of soup. Fish slices have been fried beforehand such that they do not break up while being cooked in boiling soup.
Soft bean curd (滑豆腐) and fried bean curd skin (腐竹) are to be added after the soup has boiled. This is because the former is too delicate and disintegrates quickly, while the latter should not be soaked for too long until it loses its crispiness.
Yet another delicacy tonight is Curry Shark (咖哩黑翅). Served with okra (lady's fingers), blacktip reef shark (黑翼鲨) takes the center stage of this savory treat. This cartilaginous fish is named after distinctive black tips on its fins. This shark is usually not targeted by fisheries, but often comes as a bycatch from coastal waters.
The flesh of blacktip reef shark is similar that of ray. Tissue layers come in distinctive bundles that tear off easily from the cartilage. While the flesh is not particularly unique, the liver is exquisite indeed. Soft and buttery, the shark's liver has similar texture as foie gras.
As for shellfish, Asam Prawns (亚三虾) uses large shrimps with juicy flesh within the thick shell. My personal favorite part of a shrimp is the "brain matter" just under its head, which is yolk-like and very creamy. The shrimps are coated with thick tamarind-based sauce to give pleasant tanginess.
Another highlight during tonight's dinner are Sea Snails (刺螺). Although I have enjoyed such shellfish before, it is uncommon to see them in such large sizes. The sea snails have been cooked in boiling water. To enjoy this dish, one uses a toothpick to chisel the tip of the flesh just inside the shell. If done correctly, the entire piece of flesh comes out intact. Although chili sauce is provide, I prefer to enjoy eating sea snails on their own.
Meanwhile, Steamed Clams With Lime (酸柑蒸拉拉) is a fiery treat indeed. Clams are braised with chopped garlic and chili, while lime juice is used to provide appetizing acidic taste. Go easy with this dish because the seasoning can be quite pungent and tongue-numbing for the unprepared.
Salted Egg Crabs (咸蛋螃蟹) is cooked with savory paste made from salted egg. Personally, I feel that the paste is on the saltier side. It helps to tone down the level of saltiness by using less-salty eggs, or use more crumbs to reduce the concentration of eggs. Although meat under the fat pincers are most enjoyable, I also fancy the yellowish roe within its carapace.
Last but not least, a plate of Fried Noodles (炒面条) is meant to fill up any remaining space in our stomach, which I think is nonexistent at this point of time. Eggs, fried onions and scallion are used in this noodles dish.
Tonight's meal is meant for 8 to 10 persons, and costs around RM400.00 overall. However, portions of several dishes, such as Salted Egg Crabs, have been deliberately reduced as there are only 6 diners tonight. If you are looking for nice seafood at Bukit Tambun, Restoran Kim Mah is the right place to satisfy your cravings.

Name: Restoran Kim Mah (金马海鲜饭店)
Address: Lot 419, MK 14, Jalan Bukit Tambun, 14110 Simpang Ampat, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-588-9506
Business hours: 11:00am-11:00pm
Website: N/A
Coordinates: 5.27145 N, 100.45270 E
Directions: Traveling southbound along North-South Expressway (Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan), take exit 158 towards Bukit Tambun. After the toll plaza, turn right and drive for approximately 800 meters till you reach a crossroad. Turn left and find Restoran Kim Mah immediately on the left. There are lots of parking spaces at the front and back of the restaurant.


  1. i will bring along my family to take dinner soon!;) thanks for your info indeed!