Saturday, November 03, 2007

Mencari Bagan Lalang: A Recollection Of Actual Events.

Today, I thought I'll give you, the reader, a treat. I will provide you the pleasure of reading a blog entry that is a recollection of an actual event instead of subjecting you to another one of my mindfuck obscure blog entries.

Bagan Lalang is a beach I used to go to when I was in primary school. I remember going there for the first time when I was 11 on a boy scout camping trip where I stepped onto a bonfire of burning ember barefoot. It was a nice little beach then, nothing but a couple of shops in a little fishing village.

Last week, acting on a whim, over cake and coffee, I suggested to PQ to go look for Bagan Lalang. I have no idea where it is, It's been more than 10 years since I was last there... So today, we decided to wing it. After a few missed turns and nook and cranies, we find ourselves in Bagan Lalang.

Needless to say, it is now bastardized beyond recognition. But then again, I am not here to romantisize old notions so I'll stop here. We bought a kite... a Doraemon shaped kite for 10 ringgit and decided to send it up the sky. Strangely our Doraemon has a 'B' marked on its front pocket. Shouldn't there be a 'D' instead? I wonder if what we're flying up in the sky is really a Doraemon... maybe it's really a 'Boraemon'. The latter is a possibility since one can say that it is not a very accurate visual representation of a Doraemon. It also boggles my mind that Doraemon should be flying up in the air without a propeller on top on his head.

Oh well... how long can we keep a Boraemon up in the air? Kite flying is exciting in the first 10 minutes, but once it is up in the air, how long can it maintain its entertainment value. Once we lost our wind (no pun intended), we decided to call it quits and go beach hopping to Morib (which is about 40 kilometers away) instead.

On the way to Morib, we saw a signboard that says Tanjung Sepat. I was once told that you can find kick ass seafood in Tanjung Sepat, so we decided to make a diversion and check it out. It was not even 6 pm when we got there... The jetty streches out to the sea where fishing boats are parked as they sway to the gentle beating of the waves. We walked to the end of the jetty with a bag of fish crackers and watched the local people stare at the ocean.

There was a little restaurant, 'Ocen Restaurant' (no, I did not spell wrongly, they did) that looked like it was good... me and PQ thought maybe we can eat dinner there. Alas, the little hand is only a little over 6. We had lunch at 3 pm, after that we had cendol, a pack of Mamee, and a bag of fish crackers... Dinner at that time seemed like an impossibility.

With 'Ocen Restaurant' in mind, we drove off to Morib, faithful to our beach hopping agenda.

Morib was well... another beach. I had an ice cream cone. There was a man who was sweeping the beach with a metal detector. We'd like to believe that he's seeking buried treasures, but I reckon he's probably seeking metal bits to sell off as scrap metal. The sun set, we left.

Back to 'Ocen Restaurant' in Tanjung Sepat.

caveat emptor : since I'm already blogging about real events, I reckon maybe I should jump on the food blogging bandwagon too. Extra bonus! I will be a food blogger today, and I promise that my range of adjectives will go beyond 'delicious', 'tasty', and 'it was OK'. Woooohooo, slow down them bandwagon, I'm jumping on now.

So yeah... Ocen Restaurant... this is what we ordered.

Me and PQ, flabbergasted at the amount of food we ordered, contemplated our ability to eat everything. We decided to take away the crabs if we can't finish it.

Bollocks! We finished everything... Yes, it was that good. That and also because we are pigs.

Numero Uno. The 'Kong Po Sotong'. This is ultra fresh sotong. It has to be fresh since this restaurant is like right next to a jetty parked with fishing vessels. God, the squid bounces right off your teeth as you bite it, and yet its not hard and chewy in a way where you'll never get it down. Maybe chewy is not the right word to use... I would actually say that it is crunchy. However, some may say that for 'Kong Po', it is a tad mild and is not as tasty as it should be. In this case, calling it 'mild' would be inappropriate... I'd rather say that it's subtle. For squid as fresh as this, it would be a waste to drown it in flavours. In that way, I feel that the flavour managed to gently carry the squid through in its culinary journey. 'Really Tasty' is sometimes good, but I believe it takes a cook with real finesse to be able to blend flavours in a subtle manner and simply tease the palate.

Tous. The 'Tra La La', named so because I can't remember what it is actually called. Another fine example of how a simple dish when cooked properly and without pretense, can be most pleasing to the tastebuds. No frills required for this dish, just fresh clams, ginger, chili, chinese cooking wine, and etcetera. What's more pleasing was there was not a hint of that irratating taste of soil that one so often finds in la la.

Tres. The 'Kam Heung Crab'. This has got to be the most intensely flavoured dish of the night. Some may say that cooking really fresh crabs a 'la 'Kam Heung' is a real waste of fresh crabs since 'plain steamed' would be much more appropriate. On any other day, I'd agree with you, but after sinking my teeth into this, I'd beg to differ. I am throughly amazed at how, despite the intense flavours, I can still taste the freshness of the meat inside it. Earlier talks of packing some crabs home was thrown into the ocean the moment we digged in. What take-away?

Qua. The 'Kangkung Belachan'. Do I really need to review this? It is Kangkung Belachan. Any restaurant that serves such good food is expected to fry up fantastic vegetable dishes. If this is actually bad, I'd be really disappointed with the entire establishment, but I'm a happy camper.

PQ's pile.

My pile.

And a coconut each to wash down all that goodness. Bliss.

The bill. RM 69.20 (21 USD) for a meal that could easily been enough for 3 people. Absurd.

Since we can't attend Panda Head Curry?'s reunion gig (woe to me! woe to me!), we listened to Panda Head Curry? as we drived home in the darkness instead.

ps: this entry is dedicated to PQ. Couldn't ask for a better person to go running around in circles with.


PQ said...

Ooo, you forgot to do the foodie blogger thing by giving the address of the place:
Ocen Seafood Restaurant
Lot 109, Jalan Laut, 42800 Tanjong Sepat, Kuala Langat, Selangor
(It's near the RHB bank and the jetty)
Tel: 03-3197 4443

Thank you chi! It was total fun! We really makan sampai the perut want to pau char...

chi too said...

how can i forget that... I am so not cut up to be a foodie blogger. I also realized that I forgot to talk about the ambience.

The ambience was... well... I like the wind blowing in my face.