Owen Restaurant (Turf City)

Turf City was where horses used to run but years ago they moved to the suburbs and what used to be a grand race track where punters and ladies in big hats used to hang out, is now kind of a dump. I knew they converted the building into a string of restaurants and shops but I never imagined it to be what it is today.

When we got there, I was befuddled by the rows and rows of cars until I realised it was also a used car mart. I drove down the quiet road wondering where they hid the restaurants, following the unhelpful signs that hinted at where the restaurants might be. We almost missed the car park as we suddenly realised we were driving past “GOOD BYE! COME BACK AGAIN” signs, did an illegal U-turn and parked at the outdoor car park.

Trying to find the restaurant itself was another thing altogether. We got lost again as we went up the wrong elevators twice. The area was a hybrid of abandoned building and construction, so I wasn’t sure if they were trying to tear it down or build something up. When I finally went up the last elevator along the building, I found myself facing rows of fish tanks and containers.

The variety of live seafood available here was tremendous. You don’t just get your run of the mill Sri Lankan crabs, you get your Alaskan crab, mud crab, snow crab, crab crab. There were Canadian lobsters, Scotland blue lobsters, local lobsters. It was like the United Nations of seafood.

After getting our table, we went to the tanks to tell the staff what we wanted. They grabbed the seafood for us, weighed it and charged us accordingly. As 3 restaurants share the same live stock, you have to approach the right staff of the restaurant you’re sitting at. Once you’ve picked your live food, they will check with you how you’d prefer it prepared.

This is what live abalone looks like. I’ve only ever encountered abalone with mushroom and spinach served with oyster sauce so when I saw these little sluggers clinging onto the sides of the tank I got really grossed out. The meat that you eat is the pink stuff you’re looking at. There’s a layer of shell on top of it with little feelers on the circumference of the shell. They look like circular slugs. Mmm slugs.

This is a canadian (?) geoduck. It’s the Penis of the Sea.

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From tank to plate. Canadian lobster with baked cheese.

 

Drunken prawns that I never got to eat at my wedding.

Oysters with baked cheese.

Lala with sambal. Steamed sea bass with superior soy sauce (the only way to eat it).

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and the reason why we’re all here, CRABS. Steamed crab with Chinese wine. Fried crab with salted egg yolk. The steam crab was alright, I wasn’t very impressed but I liked the salted egg crab a lot. They were generous with the serving of egg yolk that covered the entire crab.

The best part about the whole thing? the prices of seafood is 40-50% off market price. It’s like the DFS of seafood! We ordered 7 dishes for 4 people and the lady who took our orders still asked if we wanted to add vegetables.

Between Owen restaurant and Ah Yat Seafood next door, my friend recommended this place because the salted egg crab was their specialty and they did their seafood better. Ah Yat was more of the other types of non-seafood chinese food.

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