Zhu Char Style Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant

Zhu Char Style Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant

Zhu Char Style Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant

Reasonably prized Zhu Char style Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant is a no-frills outlet popular for family dinners and weekend meals in Tg. Bungah, Penang

Did you know that Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant was originally located in Kedai Kopi Sin Eng Huat directly opposite the famous Penang Tg. Bungah Goreng Pisang stall. This Zhu Char restaurant (al fresco without frills, outdoor seat and no air-conditioning) is a popular dinner venue.

The prices are reasonable and many families would gather for weekend meals here.

We used to park at the back of the coffee shop when the area was a disused burnt down building full of undergrowth. The promise of good cheap seafood was a great pull factor. It was enough to walk back to the car in the dark after dinner. We were young and hardy back then.

I remember the first time we went, my friend, Karen ordered her favorites. Karen seemed to know everyone in the shop and we went into the kitchen where there was a rattan basket full of fresh fish, just caught earlier in the afternoon.

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Packed most days. We went on a weekday dinner with colleagues.

SIGNATURE DISHES

The first meal in a restaurant sets the tone and the order for other meals after that. We had fried fish, called in Hokkien, “Snuah Chooi”, tom yam prawn in a coconut shell, French bean, Kap Pah Mee Suah and Crab noodles.

After that meal whenever I returned to dine, the Kappa Mee Suah is the first thing I’ll order as it sells out pretty fast. The Kappa (clams) makes the vermicelli sweet and delicious.

Over the years, we added other favorites, the bitter gourd fried eggs, Guinness stout chicken and salt and pepper squids.

Kappa Mee Suah has a smooth silky texture and is flavourful with the fresh kappa, the richness of the eggs added in. Cooking with lard elevates this dish beautifully, it’s creamy and addictive.

Stir Fried Noodles with Crab

If you’re quick with eating crabs, then this yellow noodle dish is for you. As for me, I couldn’t handle eating crabs and the noodles fast enough before the noodles get soggy from the robust crab juices and full flavor. The crab flesh was juicy and sweet.

The popular Guinness stout chicken is sweet and tender. Very delicious.
The popular Guinness stout chicken is sweet and tender. Very delicious.

Guinness stout chicken

Guinness is a taste that grows on you. When cut pieces of chicken take a marinates in Guinness, the flavor is sweet and earthy. The reduced Guinness marinates coats the chicken pieces nicely. The chicken pieces are tender, juicy. The kids used to love this dish with the Kappa Mee Suah and still do.

Steamed “Pang Ngah” Sting Ray

Personally, I prefer sting ray either steamed or BBQ. For this dish, the lemon/lime juice, ginger-garlic, and minced red chili really give a great kick.

It’s tart, sweet, sour and spicy. Very appetizing and mouth-watering. Stingray is one of the easiest fish to eat as it only had a few large bones that can be easily picked out. The cartilage bones of young sting rays called “Pang Ngah” are edible, soft and chewy.

Tom Yam prawns in a coconut shell.

The Tom Yam prawns in coconut shell is a signature dish. The soup is made with coconut water.
The Tom Yam prawns in coconut shell is a signature dish. The soup is made with coconut water.

Part of the Tom Yam soup was served in the coconut shell, the balance was in a big bowl. The prawns are big and fresh.
Part of the Tom Yam soup was served in the coconut shell, the balance was in a big bowl. The prawns are big and fresh.

Kung Pow Mantis Prawns

This is a great combination of deep fried mantis prawns stir-fried with the light touch of Lea Perrins sauce (or other similar sauce)   onions, dried chilis and spring onions as the main ingredients.

Getting the right texture of crispy on the outside and soft and succulent flesh on the inside is not so easy to perfect. This mantis prawn dish is cooked a little dry with the prawn coated in Kung Poh sauce. Less than perfect or not, we did justice and cleaned the plate.

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French beans fried with  black soy sauce and “hare bee”

Whole baby French beans deep fried and cooked with black soy sauce and “hare bee”. The Hokkien in me says, “YES!!!”

Whole baby French beans deep fried and cooked with black soy sauce and “hare bee”. The Hokkien in me says, “YES!!!”
Whole baby French beans deep fried and cooked with black soy sauce and “hare bee”. The Hokkien in me says, “YES!!!”

Stir Fried Bittergourd with Egg 苦瓜炒蛋 

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The cuttlefish or sotong is fried coated with flour and sprinkled over with salt and pepper. Perfect addictive texture of crispy exterior and soft chewy hot cuttlefish bits. Goes very well with beer. Oh yes!
The cuttlefish or sotong is fried coated with flour and sprinkled over with salt and pepper. The perfect addictive texture of crispy exterior and soft chewy hot cuttlefish bits. Goes very well with beer. Oh yes!

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The restaurant serves all types of fresh seafood and shellfish prawns, crabs cooked in home style and the environment is homey. It’s almost like eating at someone’ kampong house!

SUNSHINE BAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
584-D, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang.
T: 012 – 473 7276 (Mr. Yap)
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM (closed on Tuesdays)

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