There’s a Chinese restaurant on the street behind my dad’s apartment block in Kuala Lumpur that serves some of the best crab you’ll find, well, anywhere. Each time I visit my dad here, he tells me about this restaurant and promises to take me. Each time, we never quite make it there. It’s become a running joke. Today, five years later, I finally made it. And it was well worth the wait.
Restoran Green View is your typical Chinese seafood joint. Outside there are tanks of water in which fish and crustaceans swim about happily, unaware of their ultimate destination – on the plates of hungry diners – and crates of crab, wrestling with the rope which binds their threatening claws. Inside, it’s a simple set-up of white washed walls, tiled floors, metal chairs, round tables topped with a plain cloth and plastic tableware. Here, the food does the talking.
A word of wisdom – don’t go straight in for the crab. It’s fiddly business and trying to pry a tiny morsel of meat from the end of a claw on a rumbling stomach will be mightily frustrating. Fill up on other dishes first and save the crab until the end, as if a very special dessert.
While the crab has the spotlight here, everything on the menu is incredibly tasty, perfectly executed and well presented – even if on plastic plates!
Get your greens in with the kai lan – a leafy green often referred to as Chinese broccoli/kale – which is fried with garlic and topped with its shredded leaf, deep fried with more garlic to a crisp candy floss. Search for the nuggets of whole garlic with have been roasted until mellow and sticky-sweet.
One of my favourite Chinese vegetables, lotus root, features in a fantastic mixed veg dish, lightly stir-fried with sugar snap peas, carrot, waxy wood ear mushrooms, soft macadamia nuts and a touch of sugar – fresh and crunchy.
While the meat dishes are great, it would be criminal not to order fish in a seafood restaurant. You’ll be spoilt for choice, from the crisp butterflied prawns fried in crisp threads of salted egg floss and flecked with vibrant red chilli and emerald Thai basil leaves. The steamed cod, piled with strands of ginger and fresh coriander, sat in a pool of sour-sweet ginger sauce, is stunning – succulent white meat and balanced flavours.
And finally, the main event. The crab is steamed until sunset orange, then finished with your sauce of choice, of which there are many. Fiery chilli is a popular choice, as is the salted egg yolk – a popular flavouring for both sweet and savoury dishes in Malaysia. It’s made with salted egg yolks, butter, cream and sugar, cooked together to form a paste, to which chilli and Thai basil were added for this dish, to give the crab some peps. The rounded, malty, distinctive shellfish taste of the crab paired beautifully with the sweet-salty-fragrant sauce. Battling with the shell (which, despite bashing frantically with a mallet with all my might, I had to ask the waitress to crush for me) to pry out an egg-cup size portion of precious meat was worth the effort – and actually, a lot of fun!… But not a great choice for a date. 🙂
Restoran Green View
T: +60 3-7958 1076
Open 11:00 – 23:00 daily