It was the last day of the Deepavali week and at the very last minute, we decided to take a break away from home and go for a short drive out of the town to Sekinchan. Before that, we were considering several options for a quick, one day drive which included Sepang Gold Coast but Sekinchan which is famous for the lush green paddy field, fisherman village and great seafood restaurants seems to be a better place to go.
Read these first:-
- Personal Trip 101: Long Drive To East Coast Kuantan
- Personal Trip 101: On Long Pangkor Island Break Part 1
- Personal Trip 101: On Long Pangkor Island Break Part 2
- Kota Bahru Rush 2011: Craziest Thing 2011 – Part 1
A Bit About Sekinchan
Sekinchan is actually a well-known tourist spot in the state of Selangor with large tracts of paddy fields as its main attraction. We wanted to visit this place for a very time now and even had plans to cross over to smaller towns in Malaysia so that we can experience something different than the usual tourist spots. However, COVID19 and lockdowns have put a hold on our travel plans to drive around Malaysia for the time being.
Sekinchan is a small town located in Sabak Bernam, Selangor, Malaysia. It is located along the coastal Federal Route 5. The Chinese name of the town literally means “suitable for planting” in English.
Apart from being a lively fishing village, Sekinchan is one of the major rice-producing areas of Malaysia. The vast, well-irrigated and organized paddy fields around Sekinchan produce one of the highest yields of rice in the country.
Sekinchan is often visited for its fresh seafood. It also draws diners from Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh. There are some rice millers in the area where locally produced rice can be purchased.
Got Lost On The Way
Sekinchan is about 110 km from home and it will take about 2 hours drive and this is the first time we are venturing to this part of the state. So first thing first – head over to Google Map and map out the journey from home to Sekinchan town centre where we planned to take our lunch first before venturing out.
Just look at the “snake” which we did not expect after we missed our exit to the selected route to Sekinchan. It was a good thing that traffic was not that heavy but still we could not speed up as the roads were twisting unexpectedly. Occasionally huge trucks will pass by and we had to give way as the road is very narrow for both of us. Image source: Google Map
We have cut across 3 highways before dropping onto the old trunk road and it does like a long, tiring drive. Toll plazas were frequent but the toll charges were not so taxing and able to deduct from the eWallet balance. Just to ensure I did not miss any turns as it will not be easy to do quick u-turns on highways, I hooked the Google Map on my phone to the car’s Android screen. All went well until my son decided to start up Spotify and suddenly the phone froze. It must have overheated or gotten crazy.
By the time, we restarted the phone and got Google Map back online, we actually had missed the 2 turns off the highway so I had to take the next exit, not knowing that it will take us through one of the best jungle routes that we experienced.
Sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise when one misses the planned route and find oneself with another exciting route instead. We actually were happy in the end for missing the earlier turn from the highway. It would have been a different story if it has been night instead of the day. Image source: Google Street View
We saw plenty of monkeys on both sides of the road and even a Tapir Crossing signboard. Good thing we did not see any Elephant or Tiger crossing signboards. Somewhere in between, we passed by huge Sime Darby oil palm plantations. This of course added the hours into our driving time but the twisted road with lush jungle on both sides of the road somehow did not add any stress as the traffic was light. We hardly saw any cars until we reached small settlements.
Personally, I was worried that we would be late for lunch at a particular seafood restaurant in Sekinchan as I read in Google reviews that if one is late, one may not get a seat. Further, it is a holiday week so I do expect a crowd.
Best Marmite Chicken
Since Sekinchan is famous for its seafood, we had to have a seafood lunch but the question is where. Reviews at Google was not consistent as most of the restaurants have been closed due to COVID19 lockdown and only recently these restaurants have started to open up. At the same time, we did not go to a place where the prices would be exorbitant and the taste will suck.
After running through reviews at Google and also Facebook, I decided on the Hao Xiang Chi Seafood restaurant. It is located towards the backend of the town and nearer to the paddy fields. From the outside, the building looks posh but don’t be misled by the looks as the prices on their menu seem reasonable. Further, they have their own parking spaces which were shaded by the hot sun.
The banquet hall was large, well-spaced, clean and air-conditioned making our eating experience to be a great one. Don’t be misled with the posh exterior as I initially did before I probed further the reviews on the internet and also their website for the menu.
As we entered the large door into a large airconditioned hall, I was expected the hall to be full as it was way past lunchtime but to our surprise, we were the 2nd family to come for lunch. The manager at the front asked if we had made any reservation of which we confirmed we did not. Since there was no crowd, we were shown to our table. Our timing was good as soon after, the hall started to fill with Indian and Chinese groups coming for lunch.
The pork curry is one of the best to date – the gravy was thick which meant all the spices would taste great. I hate when restaurants water down their gravies and cause their curries to lose their great taste. There was a good portion of meat too in their serving for a small family. Sometimes some restaurants tend to put less meat and add more potatoes to make up for the portion.
As a tradition of having meals in Chinese restaurants, we will usually opt for hot or iced Chinese tea but this time, the manager suggested freshly made lime juice which is made in the restaurant itself. We took our time to review the menu and decided on something different. The manager suggested pork curry as it is on the special for the day and instead of the usual fish dish, we opted for salted egg shrimp and marmite chicken.
I had marmite chicken before but nothing beat the version that was served in this restaurant. This will top my choice of dishes to order the next time we are in this restaurant. It was sweet too, probably laced with honey but the sweetness was not overwhelming.
We did not opt for too many seafood-based dishes as the kids were not so hungry as they had a heavy breakfast on the way to Sekinchan. Besides the pork curry was already quite heavy and with 4 other dishes, we were struggling to finish it by end of our lunch. The taste of the dishes was indeed first class especially the marmite chicken which I think is laced with honey. By the way, you should check out this restaurant – its restrooms are as clean as 5-star hotels.
We had our lunch as planned and decided to head over to the paddy fields next. I was not sure about the final bill but I had enough cash just in case it went over my budget. After all, it was a treat for the whole family and this is the first time we are here in Sekinchan but it will not be the last as we still had a few more places we want to visit next. For 4 of us with 5 dishes, extra rice and fresh lime juice in an airconditioned hall only came to about RM100.00 which I consider as reasonable.
To be continued…