Having grown up in PJ Old Town, so near to PJ State (aka PJ New Town), South Pacific Seafood Restaurant is one of the few “tai chow” and seafood restaurant that I have frequented many many times. So many times that the owners and staffers recognise me.
Since I moved to KL town, I have not been coming to South Pacific as frequently as I’d like. Nevertheless, this is still one of my favourite seafood restaurants, hands down. Yes, even after frequenting Mei Keng Fatt Seafood Restaurant, which is now closer to me. When a friend suggested a birthday meal there recently, I got really excited and happy to get back to properly take pictures and promote this restaurant on my blog.
The restaurant is located behind HSBC Bank at PJ State. If you’re driving, you should come in through the old PJ State cinema, which is now converted to a Lotus Mamak. As the road is a one-way street, you’d need to turn right after the old cinema / mamak. You’d see South Pacific Seafood in front of you. Follow the road as it turns right and then turn left into the open space carpark.
What can I say here? Well, it’s one of those corner shop lot restaurant with an indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor can possibly only accommodate about 5 tables for 10 pax round tables. Majority of the seating would be out by the corridors or at the open space car park area.
Considering the restaurant is open for dinner up til supper, the open space car park area is usually where I will mostly get a table.
The “open” kitchen / cooking area
(Top Left) The staffers preparing the line up of vegetables. (Top Right) The live frogs in the aquarium, ready to be picked by diners. (Bottom Left) Their famous Penang chicken satay. (Bottom Right) The fish aquariums inside with a list of fresh catches and their pricing by weight.
Table setting is simple, classic, old school and typical.
Since this is as per any Chinese seafood restaurant you might find, the cutleries are the standard orange coloured plastic plates with regular spoon and knife. You can of course, opt for bowls with chopstick, if you so inclined. There’s a (very lazy) lazy susan in the middle of the table, atop the cigarette burnt red cloth on a wobbly wooden table with metal legs. Absolutely classic Malaysian dining.
Like any “tai chow’” or Chinese seafood restaurant, you get the classic dishes (chicken, beef, vege, tofu, egg) and all your favourite noodles (Hokkien Mee, Friend Bee Hoon, Cantonese Fried, Yee Mee, Loh Mee, etc). If you’re around the local Chinese, they would be able to help you order these main dishes at ease, without even having to glance at the menu.
The restaurant is non-halal. However, if you’re not particular, you can order some standard dishes like fried rice and noodle without pork.
We were there just prior to Chinese New Year, so Yee Sang was already being served.
The classic Salmon Yee Sang (Medium RM 48; Big RM 58)
Yee Sang toss for a prosperous Year of the Dragon!!!
Penang Chicken Satay (RM 2 per set of 10 sticks)
Their Penang Chicken Satay is famous. It comes without the peanut sauce, cause the sauce is actually included in the marinade of the satay. It comes with the usual ketupat (packed rice dumpling), cucumber and onions.
Fried Rice (price varies)
The usual staple of kwai-lo rice – Fried Rice, came with a load of sliced cabbage covering the top. The kwai-lo in the group had this, while the locals among us had white rice instead.
As we were there that night for a birthday celebration, we ordered the Longevity Noodle. This noodle dish is more of a traditional Chinese tradition to wish the birthday boy / girl long life. It’s very much like Cantonese Fried, where the noodle is cooked with a thick egg gravy of vegetables (cabbage and such) and seafood (prawn, squids) and usually some chicken or pork bits.
Black pepper venison
Mixed vegetables with foo chook
Of course, this is a seafood restaurant, so you might want to have a glance at the menu for their specialties.
Crabs, Lobsters, Frogs, Fish, Prawns…. *drool*
You can always speak to the “captain” or supervisor to get their recommendations on the fresh seafood of the day or their signature dishes. Be wary though, (as with most seafood places), they tend to recommend more expensive dishes. So ALWAYS ask about the pricing by weight, the average or approximate total weight and estimate the price based on the number of diners at your table.
What was funny in the menu, was the occasional bad Chinese spelling and/or translation. A friend with me that day, even spotted the text “Cooking Charges inclusive” in the menu price for the lobster dishes. LOL. Personally, I feel it only adds to the charm of the place. Ahhhh ~ typical of Chinese restaurants, no?
Steamed Lobster in Chinese Rice Wine
We ordered two different varieties of the steamed lobster – with Chinese Rice Wine and Steamed with Brand’s Essence of Chicken. Both were equal favourites on my table. It was so delicious that we saved the gravy to drink as soup (which got one of us drunk) and gravy for the white rice. Definitely one of the best dishes of the night.
Steamed Cod Fish
Considering the table had a mix of locals and kwai lo’s, we ordered a number of steamed seafood – which aren’t usually the kwai lo’s preference. They prefer deep fried stuff, y’know. But this steamed cod fish was awesome with a capital “A”. Another favourite among the table, the fish was perfectly cooked, with the fish literally slicing off easily and melting in your mouth.
This dish definitely vanished in seconds…
Kam Heong crabs
Unlike the usual Chilli Crab style of cooking, we got the other traditional style of Kam Heong crabs. It’s basically curry leaves with some other spices. South Pacific recommends Indonesian Crabs (RM 50 per kg) or Indonesian XL Crabs (RM 70 per kg) with a minimum order of 2 crabs per dish.
Butter Fried Crabs
If you’re familiar with Butter Prawns, this is basically the same style of cooking with crabs instead. I’m not perfectly sure how this is cooked, but it’s basically butter shreds deep fried in high heat. This is super unhealthy (almost like eating deep fried lard) but irresistibly delicious.
The giant hammer to crack your crabshells.
As with any crab dishes, the giant hammer is provided for you to bang on the crab shells. All a part of the fun in eating crabs – banging on the wobbly wooden table, making loads of noises and getting your hands (and sometimes your clothes) all dirty and crab-licious!
Note the shreds of fried butter? Yeah – those were also wiped clean as it was sprinkled with our rice. *chomp*
As with most of our Chinese seafood restaurant trips, we ordered way too much food. We had most of the dishes first and took a mid-meal break to digest. The crabs are usually served last among all the dishes. Still, we didn’t finish our food.
So, as usual, we tapau-ed (doggie bagged and take away) the bigger leftovers.
Depending on what dishes you order, and if you ordered a lot of seafood (price by weight), it could easily come up to between RM 20 to RM 50 per person for food. Drinks of course, depends on if you’ve got a lot of beer with your meal, or you’re sticking to fruit juices and chinese teas.
South Pacific Seafood Restaurant is definitely my favourite (back in my younger days and even today) Chinese seafood restaurant. Hands down.
If you know it as a good place more than a decade ago and wondering if it’s still any good. I have to say – YES… a million times YES. It’s evident with the growing amount of customers they have over the years. If you’re in PJ, looking for a great “tai chow” or seafood place, you can never go wrong with South Pacific.
Contact Information :
South Pacific Seafood Restaurant (Behind HSBC)
Address : 7 Jalan 52/16, PJ New Town (State), 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 (3) 7956 4221
Open Everynight 6pm –3am, Happy Hours: Before 7pm & After 11pm