Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seafood in Kuala Lumpur

Istana Bambu - A Halal Seafood Restaurant in KL

My husband is a big fan of seafood and we always try to try out the local seafood in the places that we visited. But, we have been staying in Kuala Lumpur and eating out for the past two years and the only seafood restaurants in Kuala Lumpur that we have visited are : Aroma Ikan Bakar at Pantai Jeram, Suraya Seafood at Kampung Baru and Bangsar Seafood at Bangsar. 

We love Aroma Ikan Bakar at Jeram, it's just that it's too far out, whereas Suraya Seafood at Kampung Baru is in town and we always dislike getting stuck in the KL traffic jam. Bangsar Seafood Restaurant in my honest opinion tasted average and overpriced. 

Where can we find delicious food in Kuala Lumpur? Which restaurant serves the best halal seafood in Kuala Lumpur? On our way back from Zoo Negara recently, we passed by a seafood restaurant signboard "Istana Bambu", hmmm.. sounds interesting. Since, we were ravenous after the Zoo Negara trip, we decided to give it a shot. 

The Bamboo Gazebos
Istana Bambu's Surau

It was drizzling when we got there, but I absolutely loved the decor and ambience, it felt like you are stepping back in time, during the kampung days inside an Istana, yup.. it's definitely aptly named. The seafood restaurant is spacious and you have a choice of sitting on the standard table and chairs of our time or sitting down cross-legged on their many Bamboo gazebos. There are also koi ponds at the entryway leading to the restaurant dining area, which are great for my boys to entertain themselves while we wait for the food to come. Surau area is also provided and the toilets are romantically lit and very clean (maybe because I came in immediately after the cleaner finished his work?)  

We ordered sweet and spicy crabs, butter prawns, kangkung belacan and sup tulang. Drinks were starfruit juice, lychee drink and kedondong asamboi juice. The crabs serving was huge, I think there were 4 crabs and they were very fleshy, soft and yummy. Butter prawns was creamy and delicious but I think it would taste nicer if the prawns were a bit crispier. The kangkung belacan looked fiery but  was actually  not spicy at all, tasted nice but a bit drenched in oil. Sup tulang was mild and fair, would be nice if they added carrots in. Oh well, but then again I am comparing the sup tulang to the Indonesian's version, which isn't exactly a fair comparison because Indonesian's are expert in preparing Sup Tulang. Starfruit Juice was delectable although they used mature starfruit hence the yellow color instead of young green starfruit. Kedondong Asam Boi was just an impulse order, I've never tasted that drink before but I was pleasantly surprised, if you like sourish drinks, you should try this one out. 

Sweet and Spicy Crabs
Butter Prawns
Sup Tulang

Kedondong Asam Boi, Starfruit Juice and Lychee Drink

It was a lovely seafood dinner at Istana Bambu and we would definitely go back again for special occasions when families or friends visit us in Kuala Lumpur but not for frequent dining though, I find the price to be a bit on the high side, though not as overpriced as Bangsar Seafood. 

Istana Bambu is at Lot 841-842 , Jalan Hulu Kelang, Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor Darul Ehsan. 
Map of Istana Bambu is:
Map from www.istanabambu.com.my