Jom Ketam !!!

Back to my memoirs of Labuan life, yesterday I and a few of my SLB buddies decided to go out for dinner, and one of them suggested KFC. Good God in Heaven, WHY??!! I mean, considering we had a car and all, why not go somewhere far from our usual hotspots (i.e. Financial Park & town area). I suggested seafood (naturally) and lo & behold (I’ve been that a lot lately. I wonder why. “Lo & behold, it’s 5pm and time to go home. Lo & behold, I found that piece of sock that went missing since last century. Lo & behold, it’s time to shit. Etc, etc, etc. I’m just simply using for the sake of using it. Genius at work, obviously), anyway, a local buddy had a light bulb moment and we ended up in ‘Anjung Ketam’.

So where is this ‘Anjung Ketam’ restaurant you ask? I don’t have the slightest clue, mate. I asked the driver on the location, and all I got was some vague directions and heard ‘Tanjung Aru’ somewhere in between his sentences. Ring any bells? Not mine, nope. But I noticed its kinda near to the airport, so there you go, go crazy searching for this place, just don’t end up on the airway strip.

Upon arrival, the place just hits me with a sense of nostalgia. It’s similar to restaurants in Port Klang, where the eatery is on a wooden platform extended onto the sea, so the view as you guessed it, is mesmerizing. If you are lucky and arrive early, you will catch views of fishermen mending their nets and glimpses of their catches for the day, catches that would probably end up on your dining table if you are eating there. Hence, freshness is guaranteed.

Looking around the place and I noticed that this place is packed to the brim with customers. A chat with my local buddy and he mentioned that this place is so popular, it requires customers to place table bookings at least a few hours in advance, otherwise be prepared to wait for long periods. That being done will not even guarantee you getting a table; you will need to book ONE DAY in advance to be on the safe side!!! Blimey, it’s like Christmas Eve in KL everyday for this place.

I noticed the place is packed with locals (coz they speak with a certain dialect) and lots of ‘semenanjung’ people (coz they just can’t stop talking about comparisons between Labuan seafood and Semenanjung seafood), and also a few foreigners that successfully found their way to this place.

My local buddy, being the ‘happening’ and well-connected guys that he is, managed to convince them to give us a table and we ordered steamed crabs, curry crabs, ‘ikan bakar’, steam fish, and a few local fish dishes that I can’t remember the name. 30 minutes pass and lo & behold (here it is again) the food arrived and it looked…...ordinary. Hahahah. Maybe my expectations were WAY high considering that you need to book tables to eat here and all walks of life come here to eat y’know. No matter, good food ain’t about the looks right? I stuffed my mouth with my first bite of the curry crab and OMIGOD…it tasted…ordinary hahahah. Seriously ordinary. In fact, everything tasted ordinary except for the steamed crab, although plain, but it tasted yummy as any freshest crab would taste. But besides this, everything else was normal tasting dishes that you can get anywhere in KL really…

Later the local guy told me that why the steam crab tasted so good and the curry crab doesn’t is because they used crabs caught from the sea for the steam crab dish. As for the curry crab or any crab dishes that requires lots of cooking, they use crabs caught from land, swamps, lakes or whatever. And I told the local guy that as long as it’s not from some ‘lokang’ with a river of piss running though it, then it’s fine by me!!!

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to snap many photos, coz for one I didn’t bring my digital camera and two, I will look silly taking photos of food while eating coz remember, people from this part of the world aren’t used to blogging yet. But I really felt like needing just one shot of the food, just one. So, I sneakily pretended I was texting someone with my handphone and ‘curi-curi’ captured one photo:

Normal leh? Sadly, it is…

Spent the night chit-chatting and one of the SLB guys within our group who is also from KL agreed to what I said about the crabs being ‘so-so’, “the taste biasa sajalah, tapi bezanya ia memang fresh saja” (the taste is normal only, just the difference is that its really fresh). So there you have it, folks. Although this is just one of the many seafood outlets in Labuan, I’m sure there are other places that are better than this….perhaps?

Until next time.

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