Leong Hee Seafood

Special thanks to Leong Hee Seafood for extending this food review invitation.

Kedai Kopi 1997 (1997咖啡店) is a hawker center at Paya Terubong, just across the main road from Te Chang You Tiao Wang (特长油条王). At night, the place is converted to a seafood restaurant called Leong Hee Seafood (龙禧海鲜小馆).
Leong Hee has been operating as a Chinese wedding caterer for 38 years. It is just last year when it finally opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant for the general public. The restaurant's opening allows everyone to sample Leong Hee's signature banquet dishes without having to attend any wedding dinner. Besides serving Chinese banquet delicacies, the restaurant also specializes in seafood.
Leong Hee Seafood spans the width of two shops plus additional space on the side. Some of the larger tables are covered with red tablecloths and food turntables.
Teochew-Style Steamed Grouper (潮州蒸石斑鱼, RM100.00) is cooked in garlic and chili, giving the fish a combination of tangy and spicy flavors. Soft tofu and coriander are also served alongside the lovely grouper.
The claypot of Indian Curry Prawns (印度咖喱虾, RM38.00) is one of the restaurant's signature dishes. Using spices from the Indian subcontinent, the curry is quite spicy by Chinese standards. The 10 large shrimps in the curry are accompanied by eggplants (brinjals) and okra (lady's fingers). I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
Stewed Taro & Pork Belly (芋头扣肉, RM28.00) is another specialty at Leong Hee Seafood. Cooked in savory sauce, interleaving slices of pork belly and taro present an interesting assimilation of textures. This dish has reduced gravy in order to accentuate its savoriness.
Yin Yong Chicken (鸳鸯鸡, RM48.00) combines two cooking styles of chicken: boiled chicken (白斩鸡) and deep-fried chicken (炸鸡). Both versions are pretty good. The boiled chicken has reasonably smooth texture and is served with thick gravy and red chili peppers. Meanwhile, the deep-fried chicken is served in delectable sweet-spicy sauce that takes advantage of the chicken's crispiness.
Salted Egg Mantis Shrimps (咸蛋虾蛄, RM30.00) are coated in savory paste made from the yolks of salted duck eggs. Each piece of mantis shrimp delights my mouth with gratifying crispiness. In terms of taste, I feel that this dish is slightly sweeter than necessary; I personally prefer the yolks to take the center stage.
The next dish is Braised Golden Tofu In Abalone Sauce (鲍汁黄金豆腐, RM20.00). Flavored by savory gravy, the block of soft tofu is cut into bite-size cubes, and then showered with shrimp crumbs and chopped scallion.
Water Spinach With Chili (马来风光, RM18.00) is popular among locals because this vegetable is relatively inexpensive. The silky leaves are stir-fried in sambal (blended chili), belacan (shrimp paste), garlic and shrimps. I feel that this dish is too spicy for me; perhaps the chef went overboard in adding too much sambal.
Another vegetable dish served today is Stir-Fried Royale Chives With Bean Sprouts (清炒青龙菜豆芽, RM18.00). Royale chives are similar in appearance to garlic chives but are juicier.
Overall, the food at Leong Hee Seafood is quite satisfying. This is especially true for the signature dishes that its banquet menu is renowned for. Granted, the place does not provide customers with the comfort of air-conditioning. But at least the restaurant offers banquet-style food at substantially lower prices.
Name: Leong Hee Seafood (龙禧海鲜小馆)
Address: 1228-F, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-698-5617
Business hours: 5:30pm-10:30pm, closed on Wednesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Leongheeseafood
Coordinates: 5.39393 N, 100.27683 E
Directions: Drive northwards along Jalan Paya Terubong towards Air Itam. After the fire station, turn right at the next traffic lights. At the end of this road, turn left and drive further down. Leong Hee Seafood is located on the left. Street parking is available.

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