Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant in the idyllic seaside town of Teluk Kumbar seems to be the best-known secret among local Penang seafood lovers. You need to book ahead, and will even be advised by the restaurant staff who takes your table booking to reserve some dishes ahead to beat the long waiting time for your food to be served because of the enormous crowds - think 500-600 diners at any one time!
Located by a picturesque beach, the restaurant was huge, teeming with Penangites supping on black pepper crabs, large curried prawns, fresh fish cooked in claypots, etc.
Our dinner last night consisted of:
- Deep-fried aubergine balls with minced pork - highly-recommended by the restaurant staff to us: golf ball-sized deep-fried morsels, pretty tasty but greasier than I'd have preferred.
- Stir-fried long beans with shalllots, garlic and fish sauce. Tasty but, again, pretty greasy.
- Stir-fried clams with garlic, celery and fermented soybeans. Very fresh shellfish used here, Loved it.
- Tofu topped with seaweed, braised with maitake mushrooms and kai lan greens - quite a common dish in many Chinese restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia. Well-executed here nonetheless.
- Deep-fried black pomfret, with Thai green mango salad: very tasty here. Strong flavors from the fresh red chillis, lemongrass and raw onions used. Nice tang from the crisp green mango strips. The fish was fried so crisp, one can crunch through the bones, fins and all.
- Curried prawns served in a whole coconut: rich, milky and spicy preparation. Very fresh prawns.
- Stir-fried "Emperor noodles" with fresh shrimps. Nice al dente noodles, but one needs some "sambal belachan" chilli paste to spike up the flavors.
We missed the claypot fish and chilli crabs this time round - that'll warrant a return visit.
Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant (海尾海鲜).
29, MK9 Pasir Belanda
Teluk Kumbar, Bayan Lepas
tel: +6013-488 1114