COCONUTS HOT SPOT — You can see them on every table: plates piled high with bright red salt-baked crabs. That’s the scene at Kali Little Restaurant and that’s the main reason why the crowd flocks to this unassuming restaurant tucked in the middle of Pandamaran.
It’s little more than an extended backyard which spills over to the verandah of its neighbor, a Chinese temple. Be sure to come early – before 7pm, the place will be packed to the rafters.
The baked crabs may look a bit plain as only salt is used to season them. The crabs are huge, each one weighing easily at least 600-700g. On certain days you can even get bigger ones, as heavy as 900g-1kg each!
The moment the top shell is removed, I can smell the unmistakable smokey aromas of the white-fleshed crustaceans. The salt-lined shells may taste a bit too salty at first but once you bite into the soft tender flesh, the saltiness seems to disintegrate into it, flavouring the crabs in the tastiest way!
The crabs are extremely fresh and I totally enjoy every bit of the succulent crabmeat, digging into all the crevices of the crabs.
Initially I had almost wanted to ask for some chilli dip for the crab but once I took the first mouthful of the sweet crabmeat, I understood why no chilli sauce was served. It just wasn’t necessary at all.
The crabs should just be enjoyed in its unadulterated serving. Prices fluctuate according to market rates, it can cost anything from RM75 per kg.
Next to the baked crabs, their Salt-baked Prawns are also extremely popular. Just like the crabs, the baked prawns look very plain. However, prepare yourself for the big flavours that explode in your mouth when you bite into them. Succulent, crunchy, juicy and very umami, these prawns are to die for.
I love their steamed fish here, particularly the Steamed Garoupa Teochew-style. The medium-sized fish (about 700g) is served in a big metal tray with its broth covering the fish. Salted vegetables (“kiam chye”), tomatoes, tofu and ginger are strewn generously over the fish. The broth is very tasty with just the right levels of tartness and moreish from the fresh garoupa.
The Clams in Superior Soup are served in a claypot with lots of ginger and chilli padi floating in the broth.
A word of caution here: do take your time with this as heat comes from more ways than one! The clams are slippery and chewy at the same time and the soup, despite its fire, is quite addictive.
Something that I never skip at Kali Little: their Lala Meehoon. The small variety of lala is used for this fried meehoon which is tossed with dark soya sauce and fried with lots of “wok hei”.
The strands of meehoon have a tinge of smokey caramelized flavor clinging to them – this is what probably makes this meehoon dish their signature noodles.
Kali Little Restaurant
89 Jalan 2
42000 Port Klang
Opening hours: 5.30pm-12.30am