I'm once again in Bagan Samak for lunch. This time I've decided to sample something more "local" that has been established since 1994. The restaurant is tricky to find if you don't read Chinese as the English shop name is Hiang Sik as opposed to the direct translation of Dragon Door. Look out for the row of beautiful willow trees outside the restaurant to ease your search.
The restaurant was pretty empty as we arrived at 4pm for a late lunch.
They offer two menus - one features Chinese dishes while the other menu appears to be Thai inspired. We're not really in the mood for spicy food and opted for most of the Chinese dishes recommended by the owner.
While waiting for food, we're offered a complimentary plate of Kerabu to enjoy! Vermicelli, boneless chicken feet, fried pork rinds, long beans and onions were tossed in a tangy and spicy sauce. Refreshing and light, I'd have enjoyed this more if it wasn't so spicy - be warned if your spice tolerance is low!
As we were finishing up the Kerabu, our mains arrived.
Signature Steamed Wild Mystus (4.5/5)
At RM65/kilogram (RM5/kg cheaper than Kang's Freshwater Food), we're extremely happy with the fish. The flesh was beautifully firm and flaky, and there was zero "muddy" taste. However, their signature sauce was slightly too strong for my liking and it overpowered the natural flavours of the fish. I personally prefer a lighter sauce (e.g. HK style steam) that allows the fish to be the star of the show.
Sour Steamed Lala (4/5)
This Thai-style dish was refreshingly aromatic, tangy and spicy (thankfully, not as spicy as the Kerabu earlier). Their Lala was plump and fresh as well. Warning: might leave you with garlic breath.
Salted Egg Yolk Squid (4.5/5)
They managed to infuse just enough aroma from the chilli and curry leaves, resulting in a flavourful and luscious salted egg yolk sauce. The thick rings of squid were also perfectly cooked. I could eat two portions of this on my own!
Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Leaves (3/5)
While the vegetables were nice and crisp, the portion size was too small - we ended up ordering another plate!
Overall, I enjoyed the food and their warm service - felt like a homecooked meal with restaurant standards. Prices were also reasonable for the quality of ingredients used. The only downside would be the limited number of tables compared to larger restaurants in Bagan Samak. I'll be back to sample more dishes soon!
Sabbylicious Makan Rating
Food : 4/5
Price : 4.5/5
Environment : 4/5
Service : 4.5/5
Must order : Freshwater fish (be sure to ask for wild-caught), Salted Egg Yolk Squid
Operating Hours Open daily (12pm-9pm)
龙门河鲜 Bagan Samak 14,Jalan4, 34950 Bandar Baharu, Kedah