Ocean Seafood Village Restaurant @ Kota Kinabalu – Live Seafood Tanks!

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I just remembered these photos taken during my trip to Kota Kinabalu. It was a seafood dinner me and SL took together with KampungBoyCityGal at Ocean Village Seafood Restaurant (海王城海鮮村).
But before I continue, first let me just say that the food wasn’t spectacular and the price was very expensive, mainly because the restaurant is to cater to tourists mostly. I don’t think any Sabahan with the right mind would want to dine there and get chopped like us lol.

ocean-seafood-village

Then again, this post isn’t really about the food nor the prices. It’s about visiting perhaps one of the largest and most awesome seafood restaurant with the most live seafood on display in Malaysia. If you thought Bali Hai‘s display of seafood was impressive, wait till you see Ocean Seafood Village’s.

big-prawn-statue

A large prawn statue greets the customers at the entrance of Ocean Seafood Village Restaurant.

live-seafood-tanks'

Once we stepped into the restaurant, instead of making orders we made way to the live seafood area like kids who couldn’t wait to go to the playground. Our jaws literally dropped looking at the arrays of aquarium tanks housing the countless live seafood ranging from prawns to clams and fish.
The front rows mainly housed live prawns, mantis prawns at the middle, fishes at the back and clams on the side with crabs crawling around on the ground.

tiger-prawns

These red colored tiger prawns price increase ten bucks for every upsize: RM20 each for small, RM30 for medium and RM40 for large. Pricey? Oh yes, certainly. But do keep in mind that even the smallest prawns are at least twice the length of an average adult’s finger.


lobsters

Huge lobsters. This is definitely too rich for my blood.

mantis-prawns-in-bottle

Most of the mantis prawns we seen at Sabah are kept in separate plastic bottles to prevent them from fighting and killing each other.

mantis-prawns

Besides spotting black stripes, Sabah’s mantis prawns are also much bigger than what the Peninsular counterpart.

choose-mantis-prawn

At Ocean Seafood Village Restaurant, customers are allowed to hand pick their seafood. So what you picked is what you are going to eat later.

live-mud-crabs

I have never seen such huge mud crabs before, their sizes are comparable to the Sri Lankan crabs. But Sri Lankan crabs do have larger claws.

live-seafood-aquarium

After spending close to an hour touring and taking photos of the live aquarium tanks, we finally got the exciting feeling calmed down a little and proceeded to make our orders. Eating time!

seafood-dinner

The dishes we ordered include a clam, two types of tiger prawns, about 2kg of crabs and a veggie.

ginger-onion-sar-bak

The ‘Sar Bak‘ (沙白) which translates to ‘White Sand’ is a type of clam, which is unique to Sabah. Costing at RM20/kg, ‘Sar Bak’ clams have whiter and thicker shells and packs more flesh compared to the normal ones. The flesh is juicy and sweet in its natural taste so not much seasoning is required to cook it.
Unfortunately the chef was too liberal at the salt and the dish turned out too salty – so salty we had to send it back. Luckily it was much better the second time around and we were not charged for the first plate.

soy-sauce-tiger-prawn

We picked 2 medium and 2 large sized tiger prawns to be prepared in two different ways. One of them was Stir Fried Tiger Prawns with Soy Sauce. The freshness coupled with the sweet flavor of the tiger prawns’ succulent flesh made it really easy for us to love it.

butter-cheese-prawns

But ultimately we preferred the Butter and Cheese Tiger Prawns for the deliciously creamy and savory sauce.

kam-heong-crab

The Kam Heong Crab was so-so, nothing fantastic but the meaty crabs did give the dish some points. Even so, I felt it was still better than the overcooked Sweet and Sour Crab we had at Luyang.

sambal-sabah-vegetable

This kangkung like veggie is called ‘Sabah Choy‘, literally translated into Sabah Vegetable. It has a crunchy stem with very little leaves. We had it fried Sambal Belacan style but the chef did a bad job at cooking it. I think we only took a few mouthfuls before deciding to totally abandon the dish lol.

coconut-jelly

For desserts we had Coconut Jelly, priced at RM10 each. Expensive stuff but well worth trying because it is not commonly available anywhere. Plus, they were delicious treats.

seafood-restaurant

To give you a picture of how big Ocean Village Restaurant is.. imagine this as only 1/6 of the restaurant’s full seating capacity. Then add the live seafood section, humongous right?
Anyway, our seafood dinner cost RM250+ in total, it was the most expensive meal we had throughout our trip to Kota Kinabalu. I’d be either too rich or crazy to call that cheap but given the eye opening experience that would remain in my memory for a long long time, so it’s worth trying at least once.
Ocean Seafood Village is located somewhere at the outskirts of the city, easily recognized as the ‘big seafood restaurant’ next to Promenade Hotel. I am still amazed by the fact that all four of us reached the restaurant on foot, all the way from our guest house!

Ocean Seafood Village Restaurant
Jalan Promenade Hotel,
88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah
Contact No: 088-26 4701

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