With the success of Hammer Bay Seafood next to the Gold Coast Resort Condominium, Bayan Lepas, Penang, more and more of such beachside seafood sheds wannabes have started to mushroom along the coastal highway nearby the inhabited beach areas of Bayan Mutiara near to the jetty to Pulau Jerejak, Penang. How successful are those “I donno if it’s legal to set up there” stalls? One such place would be the Bahtera Santai Seafood & Ikan Bakar stall, with romantic settings, dim lights and under the canopy type of dining ambience with a panoramic view of the Penang Bridge.
The stall would serve lots of fresh seafood obtained from fresh daily catches of the local fishermen.
Now come to the part of taste, price and attitude of the staff. I have been quite lenient and frank about food quality of the Penang’s food industry, regardless of whichever type of cuisine, but whatever being served here were way beyond my expectation. On top of that, the serving system was rather chaotic with our second order of drinks never came at all. Let’s just have a look at the Mee Hailam (RM4.00). As for price wise, it was at normal market rate. As for taste wise, I would advise you to get some health insurance, just in case you have kidney problem resulting from too much of the food here. The “lye water” enriched yellow noodles with some vegetables combined with the barely traceable small chunks of chicken meat were practically swimming in a pool of fishy stench salt water. What pondered me was the presence of the fishy taste when there were not even any traces of seafood inside the dish. The Fried Salted Fish Rice (RM4.00) was another disastrous dish. They were using the cheapest salted fish (mackerel/ikan kembong), without even deep frying the flesh. The whole plate of fried rice was overpowered by the salty and fishy salted fish chunks. The Deep Fried Squids in Batter (RM23) tasted quite fine although they were a bit “over-battered”. Well, you’ll never get them wrong with the easily available “KFC frying flour” and Thai chili sauce. However, I was fumed over the price! How could 3 six inches squids cost as much as RM23? Even those famous Malay seafood places, such as the Hammer Bay Seafood is charging merely RM5 per plate. Are they trying to slash our throat just because we were not locals there? I did asked the cashier if the price charged was for the whole list of items ordered and she just ignored me and continuing calculating the bill. What an attitude! After passing me the bill, I kept asking at least 3 times if the amount charged was right and she nodded. Well, all the proof of the squid sizes and bills are displayed below. Do I need to say more?
It would be easier to reach the restaurant if use the Jelutong/Bayan Lepas Expressway. Just follow the direction towards Queensbay Mall. Drive on until you see an overhead pass when nearing the mall. Watch out for a signboard (as shown below) to Pulau Jererak Resort & Spa. Turn left into the road and drive until the T-junction. Just turn left and drive a bit more and you will see the beach stall on your right.
Name: BAHTERA SANTAI SEAFOOD & IKAN BAKAR
Address: Bayan Mutiara, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 1.00am
GPS: 5.344851, 100.312126
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 4/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)