For one who isn’t a fan of seafood, I was surprised by the copious amount of fish, prawns, clams and crabs I consumed in one sitting! Granted, it was almost 5pm and that we have yet to have a meal – weekend getaways in Batam are ruled by laziness! But in all the times I’ve indulged in the second love of my life (the first being travel, of course!), I have never succeeded in finishing my food, as far as greed pushed me.
Between the 2 of us, there was Chap Chye (mixed vegetables stew), Ikan Kerapu Tiga Rasa (Deep-fried Garoupa with sweet, sour & spicy sauce), Barbecued Clams, Chilli Crabs (one medium-sized & one small, both female crabs), Udang Goreng Mayonnaise (deep-fried prawns slathered with mayonnaise), and Steamed Gong Gong (sea snails). Steamed white rice was refillable and we had 2 servings each.
Now, the deal about this place is, you order the dishes and then you go get your ‘live’ catch. Naturally, I wasn’t the one to do this. Else, I won’t be able to eat anything on the table. Dishes arrived within 15 minutes of ordering, in batches, and everything was served within half an hour.
The Chap Chye was really tasty; the flesh of the Garoupa was springy and there wasn’t a hint of a ‘fishy’ taste; the clams, covered with sweet sauce, were plump and succulent; the gravy for the Chilli Crabs was a tad sweet for (cili-padi-loving) me but the dish was all right, on the overall, and the prawns were crispy through & through with the right amount of mayonnaise – no cloying feeling! Steamed Gong Gong is not up my alley; I tried one and it was chewy but tasteless.
Looking back at this photo, I can’t believe the 2 of us finished everything in an hour. Service staff did their job well, making sure we got everything we needed. About the lack of an ambience, I’d say, ‘let’s leave our pseudo-epicure selves at home and partake in a dining experience that’s free of any other expectations, except that of good food.’ I've enjoyed seafood dinners in neighbouring Bali, Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui but this meal at Golden Prawn 555 won me over! It was a satisfying meal that set us back for a reasonable SGD 80.
Getting there from Nongsa
From Batam View Beach Resort in Nongsa (where we stayed), the taxi ride to Golden Prawn (933 or 555) in Bengkong takes about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic. Taxis are expensive, from 360, 000 rupiah (about SGD 47) for a four-hour block, and the only way to get one is through the hotel front office. We decided on Golden Prawn 555 instead of Golden Prawn 933 upon arrival, because I read bad reviews of the latter. Our driver assured us later too that 555 is the better choice.
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