Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old Farm City Park Seafood Restaurant

Frankly, I'm reluctant to tell you about this restaurant. They aren't getting the local crowds as much as they do the tourists who are there mostly because the location is so convenient, smack in town right in front of the DBKK town council building and next door to the new Horizon Hotel. I'm possessive about this place because I don't want it to turn into another Welcome Seafood Restaurant. I rated Welcome Restaurant in Bundusan very highly about 5 years ago but now they've become so popular that it's hard to drop by without a reservation. I've also seen rats running around because that's a warehouse area. Welcome's Asia City outlet is just as jam-packed. I ate there in early January and it was an unpleasant dining experience. I just don't get why Chinese focus on food only and not on the whole dining thing. Surely we've come further than eating just for survival? There were so many people at Welcome that the tables were placed all along the sidewalk, next to the road. The seating took forever, the food took forever (tasted what they were: mass-cooked and crappy), the bill took forever and the place was littered with used tissues and unidentifiable water and noise, not just from the customers but also from the waiters who were clearly overwhelmed by the chaos.

I was told that the food's good at Old Farm City Park Seafood Restaurant (gosh, decide which one's more important, 'City' or 'Park' or 'Old Farm' or 'Seafood" and cut customers some wordy slack), formerly Old Farm Restaurant in Foh San, and the prices lower (RM28 per kg live prawns) than most other seafood restaurants but when we drove by the back, it looked rather shabby especially since there was a public toilet attached to the building. We left and went to a new seafood restaurant in Hilltop that was better housed but the food was embarrassing and I was sorry I brought some visitors from Melbourne there.

One night during the CNY period, when we were all tired of heavy meat dishes, we went to OFCPSR ("Hey, let's go eat at Old Farm City Park Seafood Restaurant tonight!"--gosh) for congee. Congee is comfort food to most Chinese especially when appetite's down or when having a food hangover. Sorry no photos of the congee and seafood feast because I didn't think the place would be good enough and so I didn't bring a camera. 

B was right. I think OFCPSR serves the best congee in KK. Their congee was light, fresh and tasty without the salty sweetness of msg which is so prevalent in that other famous place in Old Foh San. I just can't go to that other congee place anymore: the floor is carpeted with dirty tissues, the tables are so tight food has to be passed over your head. Worst of all, the congee comes in cold clumps sometimes and after eating, my mouth feels dry and my lips smack of msg. The only snag about OFCPSR is that they don't serve pork and so the best congee combination of pork and century eggs is not available. The closest you get to that is chicken and century eggs. I like their fish congee (but wish there's more fish slices) but some friends from Hong Kong and China love their crabs congee. HK congee is the best so if HKgers give their thumbs up, you know you are at the right place. However, the consistency of the congee can vary so you should tell the waitress if you don't want your congee too thick.

There's no tax or service charge, believe it or not, and parking is easy too. This place is right in front of DBKK, next to the gas station next to the new Horizon Hotel. A Malay food stall operates under the same roof and I'm going for nasi kerabu next time I'm there. Hub and I have been back to OFCPSR five times since we first ate there 3 weeks ago. They should give me a loyalty card or something.

Old Farm City Park Seafood Restaurant (someone tell them!)
Near Anzec Memorial, Jalan Tugu,
Kota Kinabalu
Opening hours: 11 am to 2 am.

Medium pot of congee, RM15/USD5.00. Large (RM20) is a lot bigger.

Half kg of salt and pepper soft shelled crabs, RM30/USD9.80. The soft-shelled crabs were live, not frozen, and were plump but didn't have roe. If there's roe and the batter is thinner, this can be a close second to Hyatt Kinabalu's soft-shelled crabs.

HK style dry fry beef and flat rice noodles, something hard to find in this town. This was quite the best version I've had in KK. RM8/USD2.60 for a single portion.

This was very ordinary, boiled beef slices with bean sprouts, RM12/USD4.00.

Small portion of sha cha claypot fish head and belly, RM18/USD5.90, excellent.


Michelle Chin said...

I can never cook congee like this until i discovered the multi purpose japanese rice cooker.


i love congee and i agree that congee does help with food hangovers or more like food coma. :D

the lunch guy said...

the crabs look divine. here at the hotel we batter fry the crabs and then use them instead of chicken with cashew nuts.

they are also great batter-fried and served on a butter-grilled bun with tartar sauce and coleslaw.

Restaurants Dublin said...

These dishes seems to be extra ordinary delicious. I've never visited this restaurant but now I will go there asap. Great dishes.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these commenters who raved about Old Farm were rewarded in some ways to pull in naive unsuspecting customers like me. My husband and I took 2 West Malaysian friends to Old Farm at City Park. A plate of 5 pieces of prawns smothered in a version of thai chili sauce caused RM25++. When I complained at the counter, the boss lady said it was big prawns. I told her it was medium sized. Then she said it was deep sea. Come on, I live in Sabah. I know my prawns. A small plate of frittered squid cost RM20. I could get it at much less than that elsewhere. Kangkong belacan is RM16. Ridiculous. I will never go there again. I felt embarrassed at the poor and expensive offering, with friends around.

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