Eating “exotic meats” of any kind may seem squeamish to many. I happen to fall into this category too. When I got the invitation to try some crocodile cuisine, to be honest, I was hesitant to go. But then curiosity got the better of me and I decided to join a group of foodies to check out Krocies Seafood Restaurant located in the quieter part of SS2, Petaling Jaya.
There we met Aires Lim, owner and director of Krocies Seafood Restaurant who explained to us that consuming crocodile meat is no less scary or frightening as consuming ostrich meat, for example. The crocodile meat in his restaurant comes from legal crocodile farms in Sandakan, Tuaran and Langkawi. Those farms have been in operation for 50 years… the crocodiles are farmed for their skin – “crocodile leather” which is exported while the meat are then frozen, packed and sent to restaurants specialising in crocodile cuisine. Crocodile meat is widely consumed in Australia, Thailand, South Africa and speciality restaurants in the USA.
Croc Meat with Ginger & Spring Onions
According to Aires Lim, the crocodile meat served in his restaurant is from the “salt water” breed of crocodiles, prevalent only in Malaysia and Australia. In the farms, these crocodiles are fed with fish and chicken. Comparing on 100g basis, crocodile meat has the highest protein content and the lowest fat and is very high in calcium and Vitamin B1. The Chinese believe that consuming crocodile meat helps cure some illnesses connected with the respiratory system, eg asthma and coughs.
Croc Meat Combination
Depending on the method of cooking, crocodile meat can taste like a cross between chicken and crab or pork and chicken. Yes, it does sound a bit confusing but if you are game to try something exotic, perhaps crocodile cuisine would tickle your fancy.
Braised Croc Palm with Sea Cucumber
Krocies’ range of crocodile dishes is pretty extensive. There’s the 3-Variety BBQ (RM35), Braised Croc Palm with Sea Cucumbers (RM120), Croc Meat with Ginger and Spring Onions (RM15), Croc Tongue with Garlic (RM25), Tofu Croc Meat with Fish Maw (RM25). The most prized item on the croc menu must surely be the Croc Head Soup (RM350) – a delicacy that takes 12 hours to prepare through 3 different double-boiling processes. Only some Chinese herbs are added and it’s not even necessary to add salt to it as the flavours of the croc meat and herbs all work together resulting in a tasty broth.
Croc Tongue with Garlic
Tofu Croc Meat with Fish Maw
Croc Head Herbal Soup
From the above dishes, you can discern that crocodile meat is quite versatile – you can stir-fry, braise, deep-fry, and boil it… most of the styles engaged in Chinese cooking, except for steaming. Due to the hardier texture of the meat, I guess steaming is not advisable.
The Chinese believe crocodile meat, boiled together with certain herbs will help cure asthma. Packets of these concoctions are available for sale in the restaurant. Other than that, frozen croc meat, croc ribs, croc tail and other parts are also available for sale for those who want to cook at home. For enquiries on this, please contact Andrew 012-3233728 (KL & Penang) and Jimmy 012-7870087 (Johor Bahru).
Krocies Seafood Restaurant does serve other “ordinary” dishes like chicken, pork and seafood too. So, if you are adventurous and game to try out some less conventional cuisine, go ahead and check this out.
Krocies Seafood Restaurant
40 Jalan SS2/10
47300 Petaling Jaya