Craving for some fresh seafood in the 30 - 40km radius of Bangi, we decided to head to Bagan Lalang, the world-renowned bird watcher's paradise and sleepy town off the coast of Sepang. The Bagan Lalang coastal area was a well-kept secret but when the Swiss Belhotel's Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas and Spa Resort (rates from RM500 onwards) opened at the Sepang Goldcoast Beach last year, the place has quickly gathered recognition as a tourist spot.
So be prepared for a packed beach and heavy traffic on weekends, public holidays and school breaks.
There are many restaurants along the beach, and each boasting fresh and cheap catches of the day. The trick is to find out that is tasty. Reading reviews from prior visitors to Senandung Malam, we decided to get there, and again, our group will be a large one consisting of 18 adults and children.
Contact: 013-384 9368 and 019-259 7356.
There are no specific method to make reservations. We managed to find and call a few contact numbers, but do not expect friendly greetings from the other side. Perhaps they are busy preparing the restaurant, as they open as early as 5.30 p.m. You should inform them of your entourage size and time of arrival. On busy periods, they might not be able to entertain you, if you plan to come after 8 p.m. You can also order the menu straightaway if you know what and how much to eat.
Our recommendation is to come early and enjoy the beach, then make your way to the restaurant as soon as they open.
Of course, seafood, and fresh too. As it is with other eateries of this type, you order at the counter where all the fishes, shrimp, prawns, squids, pepahat, clams and what-nots are. Make your choice, and then have them weighed and tell them how you want them prepared - fried, grilled, steamed, etc. All the items are fresh and are of satisfactory sizes.
But the downside was, the waiting time here was almost two hours. The queue was long, and at the beginning, there was only one person weighing, and taking and writing your orders.
Our advice here is to work together in your group - assign someone from your group to get a table, and someone else should just head straight to the ordering counter. And make sure to double check your order - they might get it wrong.
So for our group, we had bawal (grilled, but actually we ordered it masak 3 rasa - that's why we recommend you to double-check), pari (grilled), squid (fried), prawns (fried), clams (boiled), siakap (grilled), kailan ikan masin, rice and 3 jugs of sirap limau.
The grilled items were delicious and not over-burnt, and the sambal a bit too spicy but went well with the fishes. The fried squid and prawns, being fresh, was juicy and mouthwatering that they were the first items on the table to be wiped out. The fact that the seafood were fresh probably helped them being delicious as well.
As we said before, the staff aren't too friendly and they are extremely busy running around anyway. But, they will always try to find you a table and adequate enough to seat your group. Our tip is to grab someone, ask nicely, and they will surely help you out.
So was it worth the long drive and wait? Yes, the price certainly was, though not exactly cheap, but it is still one of the cheapest in the Klang Valley-vicinity area. The drive would be tolerable if you skip the highway and take the leisurely route through Bangi, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, and the small towns and villages along Sepang, Salak and Sungai Pelek. The long queue at the counter could be made less painful if you plan early and smartly, and of course you must have the patience for it.
We thoroughly recommend this restaurant if you crave for fresh seafood, a beach front restaurant and going in a large group. Eight and a half out of ten for Senandung Malam.