10 October 2013

Lobster Galore at Sg. Rengit, Pengarang, JB

Hubby and I love seafood. And for me, lobster especially. Unfortunately, price of lobster is exorbitant ridiculous costly in Singapore, so we hardly eat lobster or dine at seafood restaurants here. When Hubby went fishing at Tanjong Pinang in Indonesia a few months ago, he found that lobsters there are priced much lower and he boasted about the lobster feast he had -_- Well, I don't think I would want to go fishing so had to hold that thought about lobster feasting at Tanjong Pinang.

Then recently, he told me that there's a town in Johor Bahru that specialises in lobster dishes, specifically Sungai Rengit, Pengarang, about 20-30 mins away from Desaru. Hey hey, what have we been missing all this while huh? We venture to JB once in a while to indulge in seafood, but this is the first time we heard of this lobster village. Die die have to go!

So we sneaked off to JB for our lobster feast during one Saturday late afternoon in August. The journey from Tuas checkpoint to Desaru took about 1.5hrs, and from there another 20-30 mins to reach the sleepy fishing village of Sungai Rengit.

This is the Sungai Johor Bridge, an expressway bridge across Johor River on the Senai-Desaru Expressway. It used to take about 2.5 hrs to drive from Senai to Desaru and since the bridge is opened in 2011, the travel time is shortened to about an hour.


A tell tale sign that we have arrived at the lobster village at Sungai Rengit, the lobster sculpture-mascot!

This is something interesting as different towns in Malaysia have their own mascots to symbolise the specialty of that particular town.

From our search on johorkaki.blogspot.com, there are about 8 seafood restaurants that feature lobsters in their menu.

For our very first visit, we decided to go for Restoran You Kees. According to Johor Kaki, You Kee is popular among the locals with a more competitive price, as compared to its next-door neighbour Jade Garden which is the biggest and most popular seafood restaurant in Pengarang and slightly higher price.

The restaurant certainly looks humble as compared to Jade Garden (see below). But we believe that since this place is highly patronised by locals, means that it's good right?

Seeing the lobster made me salivate already!

Appetizer made of dumpling/wanton skin. Crispy, slightly sweet and very fragrant.

Stir fry veggies (奶白) with shredded dried scallops. Very nicely done, fresh and crunchy.

The highlight of our meal, butter fried lobster the signature dish of You Kees. The lobsters used were slightly smaller in size. The idea is to put the whole piece of the lobster meat into the mouth and let the flavours of the succulent lobster meat burst with the rich buttery taste of the crispy crust. So good! I think there were about 8 pieces (4 lobsters) on the plate and I couldn't help but feel disappointed when we cleared all within minutes.

Hubby insisted on ordering black pepper crab. Unfortunately the crab meat was a little disappointed, quite limp and not succulent. However, the pepper sauce was quite delicious.

Overall, we felt quite satisfied with our first lobster meal at Pengarang, just that it was not quite enough to appease our appetite (and don't bother with crabs) :p.

Ever since our first lobster feast in August, we kept thinking about going back to Pengarang to try the other restaurants. But the almost 2hr drive is pretty daunting, imagine driving 4hrs to eat lobster, worth it?

So on Children's Day holiday, we decided to bring dear son to Desaru for a night's stay and there, the perfect excuse to go Pengarang for our lobsters again! Haha :p

This time, we decided to go for Jade Garden, it is afterall the most famous restaurant in Pengarang.

What caught our eyes immediately were the tanks and tanks of lobsters of different sizes! We knew we have come to the right place.

Fried egg with prawn. This was ordered specially for dear son the egg monster.

Signature tofu dish. The tofu was very crispy on the outside and melt-in-the-mouth inside. Sauce was really fragrant too.

The obligatory stir fried kailan in garlic.

Now, the star of the show. Lobster in superior broth 上湯龙虾! Yes, one lobster for each of us! The lobster meat was very crunchy, sweet and succulent. The sauce was very rich, buttery, sweet with a hint of chinese herbs. Seriously heavenly!!!

A big mouth of indulgence for me!

After finishing our servings of lobster, both of us looked at each other and giggled. It wouldn't hurt to have another lobster right??? After all, we have came all the way here!

So we asked for recommendation and the staff recommended us this Lobster cooked in Italian sauce 香草龙虾. And this dish totally blew our mind away, simply orgasmic! I mean we were already feeling quite full, you know diminishing marginal returns? This, still made us went gaga. All I could say was, it was so so so good. The sauce was simply to-die-for. Saltish, buttery, sticky with alluring aroma of mixed italian herbs and basil. The size of the lobsters were slightly smaller but it was just perfect to go with this sauce.

Totally satisfying meal! We are already missing the lobsters! While we were dining, we saw several other dishes by other diners which looked absolutely yummy as well.

Gosh, should we return to Jade Garden for our next hunt, or try the other 6 restaurants. Can't decide!!!


  1. Hi,

    Wonder how much did u pay for both restaurant ? Looks good...


  2. Hi Ling,
    We paid about RM200-230 for both meals. For Jade Garden, the lobster is RM140 per kg - for the superior broth dish, the lobsters weighed 750g hence the dish cost RM105. - for the italian sauce dish, the lobsters weighed about 500g, hence cost RM72.

  3. Hi, my friends and i (4 person) will like to visit on 1st Jan. We cannot drive and we cannot ride bikes also, how is it best for us to travel to this lobster village?

  4. Hi Chris,
    I guess you may have to sign up for those day trips with travel agencies.

  5. To Chris, I'm not sure if you eventually managed to find your way over to Sungai Rengit, but there's actually bumboat services at Changi Point, about $10/pax, however, the return from Pengarang jetty to Changi stops from about 4pm, so try to book a hotel in advance. Please note that though we call them hotels, they may only be worth 1 or 2 stars. There's recently a new spa that opened next to the seafood restaurants which is quite nice, and open till late, so if you ever go, you can hop over.

  6. The bumboat services at Changi Point, are now @ $11/pax