Unless you are a hard knocked angler, you might not even be aware that such a seafood restaurant as the Gertak Sanggul Fishing Stage existed at the far south-east end of the Penang island. A paradise amongst anglers who prefer to relax under the shady areas next to the man-made fishing pond rather than heading up the hilly path of the Gertak Sanggul’s secondary jungle to the jackpot angling destination, this place would always be their favorite fishing spot. You can try your angling luck by paying RM40 for 3 hours of hooking up fishes such as the red snapper (ang cho), sea bass (siakap) or mangrove jack (ang ka tia). Presently, there’s an ongoing jackpot of over RM3,000 for whomever that can capture the sole goliath grouper (long tan). An additional RM200 would be given for the return of the prize fish. Business hours would be from 9.00am until 1.00am.
The setting up of the restaurant is simple with just a few tables by the pond and a few more along the patio area. It was amazing that you can’t find any menu here as they would just cook up anything upon your request, even with the fish that you had just landed. Dishes could include any fried rice or noodles, ala carte dishes to preordered course dinner with cold plate (RM80) as starter.
As the few of us just dropped by impromptu, we tried out their ala carte dishes with rice. The first dish that arrived was their Steamed Thai Style Red Snapper (RM28). The fish was barely 500gms, thus we did not get much meat on this skinny fellow. Fortunately, the gravy with traces of onions, chopped garlic, button mushrooms, green pepper, tomatoes, tamarind and lemongrass was quite appetizing. It had the mild sourness and saltiness that could be just as good as the Wong Chau Jun sour fish vermicelli noodles down at Jalan Rangoon, Penang.
The next dish that was presented was the Marmite Chicken (RM10). All the crispy meat pieces were from a drumstick. The yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing, combined with some sprinkle of sugar, caramelized and stir fried with some chopped onions and curry leaves blended in real well with the deep fried chicken pieces. They were rather tasty except that I would prefer to have deboned ones instead.
Frankly speaking, the next dish which was the Kung Po Mantis Prawns (RM10), tasted quite similar to the Marmite Chicken as it also had some sugar added in rather than having the savory flavors as I had expected it to be. The dish had some chopped onions and dried chilies added in but there was not much spiciness in it as it lacked the more usage of dried chilies. Overall, the dish tasted quite nice with the crispiness from the batter infused mantis prawns but somehow this process drained the juiciness within the mantis prawns. I would recommend that you order either the former or the latter but not both due to the close similarity in taste.
You should try out the Sambal Asparagus (RM10). It was palatable as the dish had that nice fragrance from some toasted prawn paste (belacan). Not only was the dish less oily, the crunch from the asparagus and the freshness from the prawns were just right. I only wished the portion was a bit bigger.
The main highlight of the night was the Spicy Salted Egg Crabs (RM48). We had two huge and really fresh meat crabs stir fried in some curry based concoction together with salted duck eggs. The added curry leaves made the flavors from the dish even more irresistible. It had all the nice flavors but I found something missing from the dish. It was the significant amount of salted egg yolk bits. I guessed the chef would have used his bowl of pre-prepared salted eggs instead of providing one whole duck egg. What a joke! Moreover, the price of the dish had increased tremendously over a few months. It used to be around RM36 sometime last year. I actually don’t mind paying that amount if the crabs were filled with delicious but high cholesterol egg yolk~ 😛
Overall, this restaurant could be quite nice for a family outing after an evening stroll along the beautiful beaches of Gertak Sanggul. Price wise, it could be a bit high considering that I can get quite similar quality dishes nearer to the town area without driving all the way through the dark corners of the beach stretches. Moreover, the brewed beverages here were too diluted for my liking.
If you are coming from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area along Jalan Bayan Lepas towards the Penang International Airport, drive over the overhead bridge towards Teluk Kumbar. Drive on for around 6-7km and watch out for a big “Hai Boey Seafood” direction signboard on your left at a junction. Turn left into the junction which would also lead you towards Gertak Sanggul. Drive on until you see the “Hai Boey Seafood” signboard on your left. Drive all the way until the end of the road and watch out for the old signboard (Pusat Makanan Laut dan Memancing Ikan Gertak Sanggul Fishing Stage) on your right which is just before to a bus stop (Bus Route #308). Turn right into the sandy road and you would see the restaurant on the left. Make sure you visit this restaurant as early as possible (as at 6.00pm) or you might have to drive back under quite dimly lighted stretch of road home.
Name: GERTAK SANGGUL FISHING STAGE
Address: 388, MK 8, Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar, 11910 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 6.00pm-12.00am (Closed Wednesday)
Contact: 604-649 1812, 012-494 7322, 012-470 8989, 016-480 9109
GPS: 5.283129, 100.191296
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)