Sitiawan Food – Villa Seafood & Chai Chin Bak Kut TehApril 14, 2010 | 10,902 views
Back then, the four of us devoured everything in sight, from town to town, district to district, and from north, south, east to west of Perak.The sheer delight of travelling, sight-seeing and tasting local food while working was thrilling to say the very least.
At least, back then, work was never mundane, the higher authorities none too controlling nor annoying, and the many pleasant food discoveries along the way imbued us with a sense of pride and satisfaction in our job.
Villa Seafood Restaurant @ Kampung Cina, Sitiawan, Perak – Where Time Stops for Everyone …
And then, one by one, they started to leave. First TallGal, then FCOE. Leaving me and KYT fending for ourselves in this most hostile of environment. Mr Z joined in the fray soon after, the hand model holding the Ching Han Guan’s irresistible Lotus Paste with Meat Floss Biscuit. Slowly, the Makan Gang grew with the addition of two more members. (No nicks yet, I am too flustered with the state of things as of late).
“Pak Cheok Har” – Plain, steamed prawns with Ginger and Scallions.
Anyway, we were back in Sitiawan for a short stint last week. Initially planned for a meal at Michelin Star Restaurant on Jalan Lumut of Sitiawan, but the grandiose ambience, luxuriously chic-sounding name (yeah, MICHELIN STAR, dear readers!!!), and the eatery resembling more of a Chinese diner than a casual ‘Chu Char’ restaurant had us thinking twice before stepping in. To anybody who had dined there before, please send me your recommendations, the type of cuisine they serve, the prices, and whether it’s worth a visit?
And so, we ventured back to the same old, tried-and-tested Villa Seafood Restaurant in Kampung Cina of Sitiawan. I have written about this place once (click HERE for the review), back when FCOE and TallGal were still with us.
Marmite Chicken, Stir-fried “Choy Tum”, Or Chien (Oyster Omelette) and Fresh Fruits on the house.
In Kampung Cina of Sitiawan, there are two famous names when it comes to fresh seafood, and of course the highlight of the feast that sets them apart from the other seafood outlets; Toddy, or coconut flower wine. One was AMU Coconut Villa, while on the opposite side of the road, is Villa Seafood Restaurant. But strangely this time around, we did not see AMU but instead some other name replacing the signboard. Have they moved or changed management?
The gravy was thick, starchy and redolent with the taste of seafood. KYT’s nightmare …. LOL.
Dragging KYT along for the meal forced us to limit the orders for seafood. However awkward that may sound, as people usually go all the way to Sitiawan for the seafood alone. But he’s slowly adapting, for he took 2 prawns without any unpleasant tingling or itch. Higher threshold of allergy perhaps?
The lunch was satisfactory, capped off with a complimentary serving of cut papayas on ice. Instead of toddy, we had fresh coconut water instead. After all, we still had to work after lunch. Not really professional to be all flushed and tipsy while meeting your customers, no?
The meal came to RM68/USD19.40 for the four of us.
Address & Contact Numbers :
RESTORAN MAKANAN LAUT VILLA
No 119, Kg Cina, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak.
Telephone : 6019-574 5918. (Ling Kim Kwang)
Closed on Wednesdays.
BUT they’re relocating to a new outlet soon !!!
Here’s the address :
RESTORAN MAKANAN LAUT VILLA
No 384, Kg. Cina, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak.
Telephone : 6019-574 5918, 6012-469 8118 (Ling Kim Kwang)
Closed on Wednesdays.
Directions : Coming from Ipoh towards Lumut using the Lumut Highway, turn towards Sitiawan town when you see the signboard on your left. Go straight until you reach Sitiawan town, and a crossroad traffic lights, with KFC on your right. At this intersection, turn left and go straight. You’ll passed by 2 schools, and go further until you reach ACS Secondary School.Turn right at the next traffic lights after the school. Go straight until you reach another traffic lights, but go straight this time. You will reach Villa Seafood Restaurant on your right.
For the new location, just go straight from the older location. Once you reach an intersection, take a left and after 1km, you will see the new outlet on your left.
A clear, peppery broth greets you at Chai Chin in Sitiawan, specializing in their Teochew style of Bak Kut Teh, and steamed fish heads.
Now what if you’re one who’s allergic to seafood (many, many folds worse than KYT) and seeking for some other cuisines in Sitiawan instead? Of course you will not resort to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut, nor a bowl of refreshing James’ Cendol can satiate your hunger. So you give up and travel all the way back to Ipoh for food?
Nah, you can try some authentic Foo Chow cuisine (Bei King and Happy seem to be good choices, as is Lido, but I have yet to try the latter), or go for Bak Kut Teh along Jalan Haji Mohd Ali (the road leading to Kampung Acheh – turn RIGHT at the KFC intersection if you’re coming from Ayer Tawar-Ipoh’s direction).
Not as robust as the Klang’s version, but with a peppery tinge, and more diluted. Even the sliced pork was not the darker, braised for hours version.
Passing by Chai Chin Restaurant one afternoon, while coming from Kampung Acheh’s direction towards Sitiawan town, we were surprised at the LARGE signboard fronting the main road (scroll to the end of this post for the shot), and the immense crowd that afternoon. So we walked in, half expecting to be served with ‘Chu Char’ dishes, but instead was greeted with the enticing aroma of herbs and spices. And claypots, with bottled condiments such as soy sauce, dark soy sauce and containers with chopped ‘cili padi’ and minced garlic.
And this could only mean one thing; BAK KUT TEH’s IN THE HOUSE !!!!
Notice the chopped scallions, and drizzles of dark soy sauce on the rice? Different from the fried shallots and dark soy sauce combination of Klang’s.
The Bak Kut Teh as Chai Chin’s was not the average Hokkien’s version, like the one in Klang. Of course, even in Klang you can find a myriad of BKT, from traditional BKT in bowls to claypot version as well as the intensely-flavoured dry version. Read my post on Klang’s Bak Kut Teh to further confuse/tantalize yourself.
Instead, Chai Chin serves the Teochew Bak Kut Teh, in a much lighter and clearer broth. The soup tasted peppery with a mild herbal hint, and generously garnished with chopped scallions. The slices of pork (we had the half lean-half fat portion only) looked rather bland and pale, but went well with the side dip of soy sauce + dark soy sauce + cili padi + garlic. We had to forego the idea of sampling their other signature dish of Steamed Fish Head. We glanced at the servings of fish heads on the other tables, and were astonished at the gigantic portions. Definitely meant to be shared, don’t order recklessly!
The meal came to RM33.00/USD9.40 for the three of us.
The attention-catching signboard of Chai Chin Restaurant fronting the main road of Jalan Haji Mohd Ali
Address & Contact :
CHAI CHIN RESTAURANT – BAK KUT TEH & FISH HEAD
75, Taman Aman Muhibbah,
Jalan Haji Mohd Ali,
32000 Sitiawan, Perak.
Telephone : 6012-461 2383, 6012-599 3456.
Directions : From the intersection traffic lights in Sitiawan town, with KFC on your right, take a RIGHT turn towards Kg Acheh. Going straight will take you to Seri Manjung/Lumut, while left will take you to Kg Koh/Kg Cina. Chai Chin Restaurant is situated on your LEFT, before you reach Caltex Petrol Station on your right.