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FISHING FOR CUSTOMERS: Damai Seafood Village restaurant not only offers tasty seafood dishes, but also fishing in six ponds on its 11ha site
BE soothed by the rustic setting and kampung ambience as you walk into the Damai Seafood Village.
Located in Kampung Danga, Johor Baru, the restaurant, on a 11ha site, features six fishing ponds of various sizes, and a menu that offers more than 80 dishes.
Opened since 1998, its 39-year-old owner, Aziz Sadikin Mohd Mandak, took over the running of the restaurant from his elder sister who decided to work as a civil servant after running the business for two years.
It was then known as the Damai Fishermen Camp as the restaurant also offers fishing for anglers.
"I decided to change the name after I took over the business. Previously, I was working as a chef in a restaurant in Kluang that was run by a Chinese Muslim.
"That was where I learnt Chinese-style cooking. After I left Kluang, I continued to learn the art of Chinese cooking from other chefs," he said.
"When I was growing up in Gelang Patah, I developed a passion for cooking as my mother ran a food stall outside our house.
"My mother, who is now 61 years old, was the first person who taught me how to cook," he added.
Aziz now runs the business with his brother Mohd Sadikin, 40, also a chef at the restaurant.
"The restaurant has six chefs, two of whom are my brothers-in-law," said Aziz.
His wife, Nurul Izzah Bachok, 26, works as a cashier along with six members of her family.
Among the dishes on the menu are chilli crab, claypot tow foo, siapkap Sri Danga and butter prawns.
"Our fishing ponds are a huge hit with anglers, especially those from Singapore.
The latter are willing to pay as much as RM1,100 for six hours of pleasurable fishing.
"After that, they do not even get to take their fish home as we practise the 'catch and release' concept.
"We have a variety of fish sourced from Kukup.
"Some of the fish weigh between 10kg and 60kg.
"The price of fishing vary, as each pond is different.
"In some ponds, patrons can catch the fish and have it cooked in our restaurant according to their liking," he said.
The restaurant is open from noon to 2.30pm for lunch, and from 5.30pm to midnight for dinner.
On weekends, the opening hours are from noon to midnight.
However, for the month of Ramadan, the opening hours from 4pm to midnight daily, except on Fridays where the restaurant is open from 3pm to midnight.
For more information, call Aziz at 012-727 1678.