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Seafood Fest, Bukit Tambun, Penang

Bukit Tambun, Penang

Bukit Tambun–a quaint and small fishing village about 30-45 minutes across from Penang Island–is a seafood lover paradise. While Penang is blessed with a wide array of great seafood eateries, many Penangites often drive across the Penang Bridge to look for the best, freshest, and cheapest offerings. The answer is simple: sitting by a kuala (the river mouth where it meets the sea), Bukit Tambun is blessed with countless seafood restaurants dotting its main street and these restaurants offer loads of fresh bounties of the sea.

Bukit Tambun, Penang

While I have tried out quite a few seafood restaurants at Bukit Tambun, my favorite is Gee Seng Seafood Restaurant at the end of the main strip. There are a few reasons I love it: 1) It’s one of the two restaurants floating on the river at Bukit Tambun, 2) There are many varieties to choose from, 3) The price is darn cheap, and 4) Last but not least, the taste of the seafood dishes are always heavenly.

I went there with my best friend and my niece tonight and here are the pictures of our catch.

Steamed Scallops, Bukit Tambun

Steamed Scallops, Bukit Tambun

A plateful of fresh scallops on the half shell; steamed with only soy sauce, garlic, bird’s eye chilies and shredded garlic, these sweeties are just RM11.00 or US$3.00. Now, I can’t even buy fake scallops with that money in the States!

Tom Yam Stingray, Bukit Tambun

Tom Yam Stingray. Rasa Malaysia certified jilatable (lickylicious). It was so good I almost ate the soft bones of the stingray wings. Sour, spicy, and downright addictive, this is not the typical Tom Yam. A must have.

Mantis Prawns, Bukit Tambun

These somewhat scary looking sea creatures are called Mantis Prawns. They are not the best looking seafood around and look like centipedes, but the flesh is sweet with a great texture.

Mantis Prawns, Bukit Tambun

Above is the picture of the mantis prawn after you peel off the shell. In Penang, the best Hokkien Mee vendor tops his divine prawn noodles soup with these killer mantis prawns.

Nestum Prawns, Bukit Tambun

Nestum Prawns. The crunchy bits (Nestum corn meal) were a tad too sweet and the aromatic curry leaves were missing in action. However, it was still a great dish considering the price was just RM14.00 or US$4.00.

Kam Heong Clams, Bukit Tambun

As a die-hard clam lover, I had to have my clam-du-jour. Stir-fried clams “kam heong” (savory and aromatic) style was a mere RM7.00 or US2.00. Can you say “bargain?

Baked Crabs, Bukit Tambun

Baked mud crabs. This was the only dish that was disappointing; not that the chef didn’t know how to bake them, but they were too small for my taste. I love my crabs big, fat, and fleshy.

Chicken Satays, Bukit Tambun

To wrap up the meal, I ordered some chicken satays from the hawker beside the restaurant. Perfectly charred and juicy with a tint of turmeric and lemongrass, they had me wanting for more.

Total damage of the meal (fresh coconut drinks and rice included) was only RM95.20 or US$27.00 for 3 people. With all these seafood sitting happy in my stomach, I think I will have a good night of sleep tonight.

Restaurant Makanan Laut Gee Seng/Gee Seng Seafood Restaurant
860 Bagan Bukit Tambun
14110 Simpang Ampat
Tel: 04-588-7220

Click here to view my photo album of Bukit Tambun. I love Bukit Tambun as it has a lot of character and very original. Wait no more, hop on a plane, car, train, or bus and visit Penang now; as much to offer and yet so cheap.

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40 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Claude-Olivier

    Look great !!! I have not been there then I was in Penang…too bad..but I should say that fish is not my favorite plate ;-)


  2. Rasa Malaysia

    Claude – Born and raised in an island, it’s hard not to love seafood. I had seafood every day at our family’s dining table…I can’t think of many Penang people who don’t like seafood. Hehe.

  3. tigerfish

    It’s really darm and dirt cheap! OMG! The steamed scallops, fish and clams are either kiam kiam luak luak or sour sour luak luak. Just the way you like it huh? :D
    Are the prawns named Mantis Prawns coz shell-on, it looks like Praying Mantis ya? It does look scary though. How was it cooked, with ginger?

  4. Wandering Chopsticks

    Oh man, with a menu like that, no wonder you have no cravings for red meat. I wish I could lick my computer screen.

  5. Gazard

    Mouth-watering blog, thanks for teaching me about the Mantis Prawn. I wasn’t know how it is called in English. In mandarin, we call it wet-pant prawn, haha, I don’t know where the name come from.

  6. Jackson

    i heard of this famous seafood eatery place in Penang. Ans this is the fisrt time i saw such a yummy seafood meal in the blog. The mantin prawn look so good. Its hard to find a big mantin prawn as in most of the time, they will fried it to make ” He Gor”. Hw’s the crab taste like if dun compare bout the size???

  7. Tummythoz

    Aiyo, keep saying cheap-cheap-cheap. In USD maybe. For locals there, it’s not. Don’t spoil market-lar. Haha, obviously I go there often. =P

    gazard, about the wet pants part, it’s because when these prawns are dragged from the sea, they are hung on lines/crossbeams on boats to allow the water within to drip. The drips/water flow will sometimes last until the boats reach the jetty. Hence they are known as ‘pissing prawns’ too.

  8. Kok

    Drop by to say hi. Hop here from wmw’s. The seafood seems so delicious to me especially the stingray. I miss the stingray back in Malaysia!:P Oh yea, never see Mantis Prawn before. Should try and look out for that when I’m in Malaysia later.

  9. Chris

    Jesus Christ, I didn’t know there’s such a place in Penang.

    The clams are making me hungry, not forgetting the nestum prawns too.

  10. Melting Wok

    woman !! eat more of tt mantis prawns, here they sell for USD20/lbs :( sob sob aiyo..I want those scallops !!!

  11. Rasa Malaysia

    WMW – yeah scary looking but don’t be “geng” as they are not as “geng” as Team BSG lah!!!

    Malaykid – aiyo, I wish I could but I will go to Beijing for a week before heading back to the OC. They will all be busuk, but never mind, I cook for you and MW the next time we party, okay? I even bought Nestum prawns mix. Muahahahaha!!!!

    Tiga – yes, all every luak luak sui sui damn shiokalicious and jitable. You must come with me the next time – Penang Culinary Tour…anyone wants to sign up? I will be the tour guide? Cheap & fun, Rasa Malaysia certified fresh!

    Wandering Chopsticks – Now only you know! With food like that, meat is the last thing on my culinary mind. :P

    Al – It’s very worth driving up for…just make sure you starve yourself silly until next week. ;)

    Gazard – right on, they are so good and worth wetting pants for…LOL!

    Hey Precious – you should talk to Unkaleong and get yourself a lifetime supply of Kleenex. :P

    Jackson – these mantis prawns were on steroid, HUGE! Regarding mud crabs, I have to confess that ever since I discovered Dungenese and other meaty crab, I no longer fancy our own mud crabs as much. Taste wise, I think mud crabs are more heong (香), but too little isi inside lah.

    Babe – oooh, you have been to this restaurant before…very cool. You must you must bring your folks. No excuse. Dang it, your razor clams looked so jitable! They didn’t have them when I was there…

    Tummy – really ar…not cheap in Penang terms? Aiyo, no wonder my friend told me “shhh shhh shhh” don’t keep saying “cheap cheap cheap” in front of the owner.” Sorry sorry, market already ter-spoilt by me!!

    Kok – welcome and thanks for your first comment. Stingrays are good…mantis prawns too. You must try!

    Chris – there are a lot more places that you don’t know in Penang. Want to sign up my Rasa Malaysia Penang Culinary Tour? Limited seats only, first come first serve…quick quick pre-register!

    Rosa – yeah, my tummy is very lucky. Two more days to eat before I pack up for my next stop…

    MW – aiyoyo woman, so good until the juice of the mantis prawns “terburst” all over my shirt…I was not very graceful I must say…but they were too juicy (and sexy) for my shirt.

  12. nuclear

    hey, if u want to get big fat juicy crabs, u can try da seafood restaurant which is floadin on da water.. da crab ther is also very nice.. ^^ but sorry i cant remember wut’s da name of da restaurant. but if u ask da residents in Bukit Tambun.. they’ll know.. =)

  13. Kok

    I don’t think there’s any Mantis Prawn back in a East Malaysia (Miri, Sarawak). Maybe it’s only available in Penang? I would love to try it if there’s a chance.

  14. tekko

    seems a lot of people dunno about this place, so in case they visit the wrong place next time, BUKIT TAMBUN IS NOT IN PENANG ISLAND ;-)

    btw, seafood here is always fresh and good!

  15. boo_licious

    Awww, everything looks good. Must take up my friend’s offer for the drive to Penang soon then we can stop by and eat at this place before hopping over to the island for more goodies.

  16. Mina

    Yumm…just looking at the photos is making me hungry. An it’s so inexpensive! I haven’t been to Malaysia for over 10 years…I think I must visit soon.

  17. Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

    Yummm it all looks good. Haven’t been back to Tambun in sometime. Might be time to pay a visit. But must go with friends. Otherwise can’t eat too many varities.


  18. Nate 2.0

    The scallops make my mouth drop but the stingray makes the drool come out! I am interested in trying those Nestum Prawns but yeah, I’d hope they put curry leaves in mine.

    Sign me up for the PCT!

  19. lucia

    yep bkt tambun had is a most popular, favourite seafood haunt for penangites that offer cheap prices and great variety of food.

    another fav. seafood haunt in the mainland too is at bagan lallang. here, it is famous for its small little chicken and its er… the name just escape me this moment… that milky white wine… something todak? tokai? (it will come back later… the name i mean).

    btw, i love mantis prawns! seldom get to eat it anyway as it is not cheap. yes, the hokkien mee stall in macalister road, corner of rangoon road is famous for using mantis prawns!

  20. team BSG

    great seafood post !
    of course if u bring out the full arsenal of octopussy, king crab, eels,needle clams,muscle fishes,etc lala Chong is many oceans away !

  21. Chubbypanda

    Hooray! I’ve been waiting for this!

    On a sad note, I was at New Shanghai during its closing night. China Garden gone too.

  22. The Expedited Writer

    By featuring Gee Seng at Bukit Tambun, you’ve truly brought tears into my eyes!

    Every year, after we’re done visiting for CNY in Penang my family and I would go for a seafood feast at Gee Seng. Sigh… i am yearning to go back there now and I love, love, love their seafood! I want to go back to Malaysia! UGhh..

    Damn it, now i sound like a petulant child :P

    Oh if you do go back there, do try their Too Booh Swnee…it’s like freshly steamed baby octopuses and when you dip them into their chili garlic sauce…Mmh! It’s heavenly!

  23. Audrey Cooks

    Haven’t try Tambun seafood before but looks so mouth-watering delicious! I remember having the scallops like that in Tanjung Aru, KK. Hmmm yummy!

  24. lyn

    i remember the first time that i went there
    the traffic jam doubled with the uneven and narrow roads made the experience HORRENDOUS!

  25. Ming_the_Merciless

    The mantis prawn does looks scary. But I’ve seen them at the fish market.

    The scallops and ray dishes look yummy.

  26. mae

    Wow. Looks like heaven for any food enthusiast like me… :)

    One question. Why didn’t you take me with you on this trip?

    The photos are so drool-worthy.


  27. Keropok Man

    i remember bht tambun. hmmm must find time to go up there again.

    but it was dark when we went there. now don’t know how to go. friends drove us from penang there and back, we just slept all the way! haha..

  28. vkeong

    If you happen to return to Bkt Tambun for seafood, do try “Mantis Shrimp Village” seafood restaurant

    The “jiu pai” mantis prawn fried in carlsberg is very good

    And best of all the seafood is really cheap

  29. Wow….yummmmmmmmmmy. Will visit Tambun next week . Anyone can advise if I don’t drive, any public transport beside taxi can bring me there? Try not to take a taxi becozzzzzzz…… should know. No meter.

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