Bali Hai Seafood Market @ Gurney Drive


You won’t believe where I went to celebrate my last Valentine’s day. It wasn’t at any fancy Western restaurant nor a romantic candle light dinner. Partly because most of the restaurants in Penang were already fully booked a few days ahead. So, we decided to have a seafood feast at Bali Hai Seafood Market – a seafood restaurant along Gurney Drive. We thought that the money would be better spent on seafood than lamb or steaks. And boy, did we make a helluva good decision!

seafood meal

Before the showing the foods I ate, let me give you a tour of the seafoods Bali Hai has to offer.

bali hai restaurant

The restaurant is big and can sit a hundred people easily. Beside the restaurant is a transparent glass where you can see all the chefs preparing your food live.

bali hai aquariums

The selection of seafoods in Bali Hai is amazing. Each aquarium tank you see houses an individual seafood! Bali Hai certainly lives up to its tagline of “If it swims we have it”. I have seen some of the seafoods like spider Crab, snow Crab, geoduck on TV but I never imagined them being available in Penang.

spider crab

Spider Crab, which I have always seen on Japan and Taiwan food programmes. Their limbs are so long and meaty! They don’t come cheap too.. RM25/100gm.

emperor crab

The Emperor Crab, so huge!

meat crab

And the cheapest crab of the bunch – our very own local meat crabs. They seem so tiny to me after looking at those huge emperor and snow crabs lol.


OMG! Lobsters! OMG! Almost every table ordered cheese baked lobsters.. made me salivate like hell!

mantis prawn

These mantis prawns are so expensive because they are of the bigger sized species which have a lot more meat. A couple of these mantis prawns would be equivalent to the price of an emperor crab already.

fresh water prawn

Fresh Water Prawn – known as “Dai Tau Ha” in Cantonese. “Dai Tau Ha” is also used to describe someone being forgetful lol.

fish selection

Some of the fishes available. Honestly, I couldn’t identify any of them! Can you?


Ah, at least I know this one – grouper! I think it’d take at least 10 people to eat one grouper of this size.




These weird looking creatures which seem to have elephant trunks growing out of them are known as geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) Geoduck are actually clams native to the Pacific Coast. Apparently, it is highly regarded in Asia cuisines especially among the Chinese – almost same level as abalone. An eye opener for me.

kam hiong lala

Our first dish to arrive was Kam Heong Clams – RM12. It tasted good – spicy and fragrant but it was the cheap price that really surprised me.

salted egg crab

Then came the Salted Egg Crabs – RM35, there was only one crab. Bali Hai was generous with the salted eggs. You can see that they are fully covered with salted eggs which is a good thing. So far, this was the best salted egg crab I had.

seafood zhap choy

Since this is a seafood restaurant, Bali Hai’s zhap choy (RM15) is prepared using seafood too. The usual pork or chicken meat are substituted with squids and fish. And the fresh and sweet tasting fish meat made all the difference. I never thought zhap choy could taste sooo good!

tiger fish

Tiger fish is very difficult to find in Penang nowadays, especially the fresh (live) ones. It’s not even available in Bukit Tambun! So when I saw they have it here in Bali Hai, I ordered it immediately. Although tiger fish looks ugly and resembles nothing like tigers, it has one of the sweetest and most tender meat among fishes. It cost RM15.

bali hai seafood market

Our dinner cost RM90 inclusive of two fruit drinks, 5% government tax and 5% service tax. The food alone would cost RM77 only. I think it was reasonable considering that Bali Hai is located in Gurney Drive. To see more seafood Bali Hai has to offer, do read 24hr Mom’s dining experience. She had lobster sashimi and lobster yee mee, fuyoh!!

Leave a comment:


  1. Tiger Fish?? Never heard it before. I have not been to Bali Hai, … have not gotten a chance to visit. Normally it’s good to have a full table of gluttons to have seafood….

    vk: Hmm.. seems like quite a lot of people dunno about Tiger Fish.. it’s called “Hor Hu” in Hokkien.. ask for it next time if you’re in a seafood restaurant :) It’s a really tasty fish

  2. hi.. vkeong…

    what camera u use to snap a.. look so great on all the photo…

    among those seafood… there are some that I never eat and plan to have it at least once….

    geoduck and spider crab…….. finally I know it is there… relaxing in the aquarium waiting for me……

    Wait for me… I am coming…….

    Penang Tua Pui’s last blog post..Hawker Food: Bukit Jambul Pan Mee

  3. Nice intro, wish got chance to try coz seems expensive sia…

    Seems penang food still got update, haha..


    vk: Brother how are you lah? Still in Jabil or not..

  4. USA comment: Penang and Malaysia seem such a great place to visit. Hospitable people and now I know also great seafood. I am a crab, shrimp and oyster lover. But geoduck??? I would have to close my eyes to try. But if everyones says it is good, I am game. I thank my friend from Penang for letting me see this great restaurant.

    vk: Who is your Penang friend and how did you find this blog? :) You are right about Penang being a great destination.. cheap and affordable!

  5. Haha, sry for late reply… But still manages to reply you before end of year 2008…wakakaka….

    No more in Jabil d, work in hospital now…sianz

    Everytime duno where to eat mia time will come visit here 1st,

    Hehe support :D

  6. Hi, I’d like to offer you the Soft Shell Crabs (kepiting soka) derive from Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

    I’ll send them with frozen form just right on your resto. our crabs are export quality, don’t be hesitate to take our offer because we’ll give you the interesting price.

    If, any interesting come to you about our crabs, please send us e-mail soon.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank You

  7. Seems like Portsview in Kota Kinabalu. The big fish is called 龙趸. Perhaps they also have 苏眉 and 老鼠班. The prices are actually not that cheap. For Alaskan crabs, try Hakodate’s Asa-chi. Fishes yeah, KK is pretty cool. For fantastic variety, I would go for the giant restaurants in Southern China. West Malaysia used to be OK but has stagnated a lot versus other countries.

  8. The price of the Alaskan Spider Crab had shot up in sky. LOL…costing RM29++ per 100gsm. O.O

    but it is still nice anyway. =) Love the foods at there. Morning dim sum not bad too. =)

  9. Worst service in the world ~~~~
    Comment no acceptable and still in stubborn moment when sharing point of view.
    I still remember what she said :” All of you not came from PENANG, absolutely did not know what service here”.
    What kind of the RESTAURANT service there.


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