Seafood Dinner at Sepco Market, Kota Kinabalu
Seafood is expensive no matter which country you go. But we were lucky to have fresh yet affordable seafood here in Kota Kinabalu. There was a place called Sepco Market (only 5min from our hotel at Cititel Express) where it houses several seafood restaurants under one roof.
Walking around you see tanks filled with different types of live crab, fish, clams, prawns, you name it. Viv had been craving mantis prawns since Hong Kong but it was pretty pricey there. I remember it was about $80CDN for 3 mantis prawns that were probably 500-600 grams in weight. Here it was 13MYR/100 grams. We got a single one that was 400 grams and paid an equivalent of $17CDN for it.
We also picked up a couple of small flower crabs at 10MYR each (costs only 4MYR/100 grams). We had these same crabs when we were in Hong Kong when my cousin bought some in Sai Kung.
These restaurants also have their own individual indoor tables if you don't want to sit out in the open and be disturbed by mosquitos and the like. It had AC as well and doesn't cost extra so of course we'll take an inside table, duh! 😛
After an anxious 15-20min wait the dishes arrive. For the mantis prawn we just wanted it steamed with ginger and light soy sauce so we get to taste the natural freshness. Oh man, it was incredible! The texture is similar to lobster tail but more succulent. The flavour of the meat was sweet too. I think both of us could of had 3 of these each, easy. The mantis prawn is a must-have if you eat seafood in Kota Kinabalu.
Next up were the flower crabs. We had them cooked with garlic,green onions, and ginger. For a smaller crab the body was still quite meaty and claws were sweet. The shells were thin so you could easily crack them with your teeth.
Viv the happy camper.
The waitress praised their own homemade coconut pudding and told us we should try it. The best coconut pudding we've ever had! The texture was like tofu fa (tofu pudding) but it wasn't as fragile and didn't break apart as easily when you scoop it. After taking a spoonful, you start to get a melt-in-your-mouth sensation and then a sudden burst of fresh coconut juice overwhelms you. It's amazing how much liquid was locked up in the pudding. For 12MYR, it was worth every penny.
You know you've had a memorable meal when you have a feeling of absolute joy with every bite you took. This was one of those meals. Hopefully many more to come! 🙂