30A Sai Kung Tai Street, Sai Kung
Tel: 5499 7344
Open: noon-10pm, Wednesday to Monday
Cuisine: seafood and Indonesian/Malaysian
Price: HK$250 not including drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant is in a quiet part of Sai Kung, so dining alfresco is recommended, although there will be the odd car trying to squeeze into the narrow road it's on, and the open drain outside can be off-putting. The decor inside is basic but clean. Expect to eat in front of a television.
Pros: service is friendly, fuss-free and in English, if required. An English-language menu is also available. This restaurant, which specialises in Nanyang-style cuisine (Indonesian and Malaysian food, among others), offers a menu not available elsewhere in Sai Kung. Among the customers on a recent Saturday evening were a couple and their cat, which sat on a stool at their table.
Cons: the 'grilled shell' (scallops) was served last, although we'd ordered them as appetisers. Flavours weren't 100 per cent Indonesian or Malaysian. The grilled pomfret (HK$98) was overcooked.
Recommended dishes: the satay chicken (HK$11 a stick) came with a delicious medium-hot peanut sauce but without ketupat (rice cakes), which would have been useful to wipe the dipping-bowl clean. The spicy fried crab (HK$280) was worth the mess for its sweet flesh with a chilli kick. Take wet wipes with you if you plan to order the dish. Scallops in the shell (HK$25 each), flavoured generously with garlic, were as good as any you'd find in the busy seafood restaurants on the waterfront. We also enjoyed the water spinach (HK$68), which, unlike some bland varieties served elsewhere, came boldly flavoured with salted fish.
What else? Cuisine Raja serves kaya - a sweet, custard-like spread made of eggs and coconut milk flavoured with pandan leaves - on toast. Nyonya fusion Chinese-Malay dishes are available, including a sweet potato dessert.