Food: Best seafood restaurants & vegetarian restaurant in Batam, Indonesia

Batam, Indonesia, is a small island, a one-hour ferry ride from Singapore & south Malaysia, more often visited for cheap shopping, seafood, massages and for other types of physical pleasure. The city doesn’t have much sightseeing options and hence the popular excuse tourists (from Singapore & Malaysia) give is to go Batam is for shopping and cheap seafood.

Being an island in the much weaker Indonesian Rupiah currency, it’s natural for Batam to be a cheap seafood haven. Most tourists reside in the Harbour area of Batam. So did we; and explored the four most popular seafood restaurants in that area. There are good seafood restaurants in other (further away) parts of Batam too but I didn’t see much point paying 10$ SGD taxi fare extra to try a seafood place when our basic objective was to seek value for money. This is because the extra taxi fare (of 10$+10$ that you pay) automatically bloats your bill by 20$ SGD, when the average seafood restaurant bill for a family of 4 is never going to exceed 80$ in any part of Batam. Doesn’t make sense.

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In search..

This was our last month at Singapore. Hence for our, sixth and second last vacation of 2019, we chose Batam – a place, coincidentally, we never bothered to visit the past eleven years (when at Singapore)!! We never do any holidays less than three nights stay, as its never worth the packing, travelling, immigration hassles; hence stay at Batam for three absolute relaxing nights gave us the headroom (and stomach room) for trying out multiple restaurants.

We tried four seafood restaurants in the Harbour Bay area which are indeed the most popular ones – Harbour Bay Seafood, Wey Wey Seafood, D’Steam Live Seafood and Golden Prawn 933 seafood. In each of the four restaurants, we almost ordered the same set of dishes, to make a fair and just comparison – one crab dish, one whole fish dish, one small plate of prawns, one vegetarian dish and one medium seafood fried rice.

And for the sake of vegetarians (don’t be disheartened) we picked the best vegetarian restaurant in Batam too.

Nature Vegetarian Restaurant

For the sake of my vegetarian friends, I give them first preference in this blog. The best vegetarian restaurant in Batam is Nature Vegetarian Restaurant.

These are the dishes we tried.

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Chilli Potato

 

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Petai beans dishes (with ladyfinger, with eggplant)

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Spinach fry!

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Tom Yum noodles

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Lemon Mayonnaise 

# Ambience: 3.5/5 (Good enough for a romantic date, or one with friends or celebrate an occasion)

# Food taste and freshness: 5/5

# Food variety: 5/5 (Just be careful with the chilli marked items, they can be very spicy. Indonesians can eat real hot stuff, so better to pick dishes which don’t have the chilly symbol next to it ….. This coming from an Indian – yours truly- who is a spicy foodie. So yes, beware of the chilli marked dishes there.)

# Food portion size: 5/5

# Value for Money: 5/5 (Bill for four was 25 SGD)

# Can be clubbed with: Shopping at BCS Mall which is 5min walk away.

Wey Wey Seafood Restaurant

Since my blogs (and indeed entire life my advisory tone) has always been more towards the middle class and value for money stuff, I pick Wey Wey Restaurant more for its value for money component.

We ordered almost the same menu at all four seafood restaurants, there are pics of some of them.

img_2350Salted Egg Prawns (small size!)

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700gm Seabass/Snapper in Nonya curry

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Chilli Crab

# Ambience: 3.5/5 (Its next to the sea breeze with live music but is a crowded middle-class place – so expect cats, ordinary washrooms and some stench of seafood)

# Food taste and freshness: 5/5

# Food variety: 5/5 (No question the best tasting seafood place in Batam)

# Food portion size: 5/5 (The waiter actually cut down portion – from Medium to Small – saying it would be more. and yet we ended up packing home some leftovers)

# Value for Money: 5/5 (Absolutely bang for the buck and better than its competitors, Bill for 4 was 65 SGD)

# Can be clubbed with: Harbour Bay ferry terminal for your entry or departure from Batam as this place is just 5min walk away.

# Beware: Grab Taxi or other online Taxi cannot pick up customers from here. They can just drop you to the place, after that you need to either take a local taxi (who will try to fleece you for sure) or walk 500m to the exit gate of Harbour Bay area to get a Grab Taxi.

Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurant

This is the classiest best Seafood Place in Harbour Bay area Batam. With live music, nice seating and uncovered access to the sea breeze, this is the best seafood place to celebrate occasions. The food is great too but 15% costlier than Wey Wey.

We ordered almost the same menu at all four seafood restaurants, there are pics of some of them.

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The fish, the seafood fried rice, the prawn dish!

# Ambience: 4.5/5 (scores high on ambience and class)

# Food taste and freshness: 4/5 (Wey Wey scores higher on taste) 

# Food variety: 4/5 

# Food portion size: 4/5 

# Value for Money: 4.5/5 (Bill for 4 was 75 SGD)

# Can be clubbed with: Nothing… keep this as your occasion (birthday, anniversary) celebrating date! The Ferry terminal is 750m walk away though.

# Beware: Grab Taxi or other online Taxi cannot pick up customers from here. They can just drop you to the place, after that you need to either take a local taxi (who will try to fleece you for sure) or walk 1km to the exit gate of Harbour Bay area to get a Grab Taxi.

D’Steam Live Seafood Restaurant

D’Steam was located 300m walking from our apartment and also 500m from Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. Hence we will always recommend staying in one of our recommended 3bhk apartments where 6 adults can rest easy and it costs a fraction of a 4-star hotel room cost. We also arrange for pick up and drop from the terminal as well as return ferry tickets cheaper than anyone can give, So, all in all, we provide an end to end package. The accommodation also has a car with a driver who can be used (at a nominal fee to take around the city)…this facility is especially helpful when going places where Grab or Gojek Taxi cannot reach. 

D’Steam is a good ambience restaurant with good service and some quality dishes. The price point is between Wey Wey and Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurants.

We ordered almost the same menu at all four seafood restaurants, there are pics of some of them.
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Kangkong Belachan and Tamarind fry prawns

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Pernankan style Crab curry

# Ambience: 4/5 (scores high on ambience and class)

# Food taste and freshness: 5/5 (Their Pernakan Crab was the best we tasted on tour, Their organic chicken preparation costs 18$ for a full chicken and is very filling for five pax) 

# Food variety: 4/5 

# Food portion size: 5/5 

# Value for Money: 5/5 (Bill for 4 was 70 SGD)

# Can be clubbed with: Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall 

Golden Prawn 933 Seafood Restaurant

I will never recommend this restaurant despite its very strategic location. We had a bad experience and it is thanks to the waiters. I picked a 700gm crab and a 700gm fish but the waiter, Nanda, said he is from a poor family and said he will reduce the weight of the seafood in the bill if I tip him. I fell for the mischief, something I have never done before, regret and will never do again. I paid him a 10$ tip and he said the bill will show 400gm crab and 400gm fish while I will get the original weighted orders. Truth is when the dishes came it barely had a 300gm crab and a 300gm fish and we felt very cheated. Plus due to the complexity, I had entered in, I could not even complain to the management. The entire eating experience went downhill from thereon. I purposely blog this incident as I am never shy of speaking out the actual mistakes I make and will request readers to not fall for this trap. Actually, not bother coming here at all.

We ordered almost the same menu at all four seafood restaurants, there are pics of some of them.

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# Ambience: 5/5 (Scores extremely high on ambience as its surrounded by ponds and you feel like sitting amongst nature)

# Food taste and freshness: 1/5 (Food preparation is most oily amongst all the ones we tried and not good at all.) 

# Food variety: 1/5 

# Food portion size: 1/5 

# Value for Money: 2/5 (Bill for 4 was 50 SGD, but that’s not the point, the waiters ruin the experience with cheating on seafood sizes)

# Can be clubbed with: Golden City Go-Kart, Illusion and Belalang Adventure Park are all within 500m walking distances… a real full-day outing with kids can be done here. But I suggest not to eat here and instead return to Harbour Bay for your meals.

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Go Batam via us… for cheap seafood, good value for money accommodation, ferry tickets, transfers and even suggestions on best place to go for massages and more.

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