I used to be so ready -- preparing itineraries months before a trip. However, I wasn't able to do so for our weekend getaway for two reasons:
a) work was t-o-x-i-c
b) the trip was basically a spur of the moment, "let's get out of Singapore" kind of thing.
I was telling my sister Pan about it and she just told me to be a bit more spontaneous for once in my life. Well, I tried...I really did till 2 days before the trip I woke up panicking that we might be wasting time with no idea where to go and what to do. Then finally, I caved and starting researching like mad. Of course, I had to create a list of restaurants to try bearing in mind that we only have 2 full days in Batam = 4 full meals (not counting breakfast as we planned to sleep longer everyday).
After researching through countless of blogs and even TripAdvisor, I happily went to Batam with a short list on hand. So to answer the question "What to do in Batam?", answer #1 is to eat seafood...lots and lots of seafood.
Coming from Singapore where seafood is quite pricey so we normally would just stick to buying fresh Tilapia, bottled Sardines/Tuna/Salmon or Frozen Shrimps so as not to kill our budget. It's a different case in Batam where you can eat all the seafood to your heart's desire. This reminds me so much of living in the Philippines where our seafood is abundant that I admit I used to take for granted of before.
We got to the restaurant a little past 12 and were so surprised that it was empty. Not a single customer was there! We thought the restaurant was closed when the server waved at us and ushered us in. Okay.... is this really one of the best seafood restaurants in town?
Here's what we had for lunch that day:
We got half a kilo of grilled squid brushed with spicy sauce. It was very tasty and I really liked the perfectly grilled texture of the squid. Not rubbery nor too mushy at all. Paul enjoyed this very much and since it was a bit spicy, it will further whet your appetite to have more rice.
I'm such a visual person! The moment I saw this on the menu, I excitedly pointed this out to Paul. Of course, he was telling me that we have a lot of Salted Egg Prawns in Singapore so why would I have this in Indonesia. Then again, wife won and got her way. :)
I have to be honest though that this somehow fell short of my expectations. The prawns where a bit tiny and it wasn't thoroughly coated in salted egg that we could hardly detect the flavor. It somehow tasted like a Camaron Rebosado with something deep-fried with chopped chili padi sprinkled on top. It was good but not great. *sigh* Must have listened to the husband.
To go with our seafood dishes, we had a plate of Seafood Fried Rice. I think we could have gotten a bowl of plain rice each but come on, we're in Indonesia so Nasi Goreng it is! No regrets there I it was really yummy and they were very generous with the mix of seafood too.
We had a simple yet truly filling lunch while enjoying the beautiful view of the sea. It's just so weird that the restaurant was really empty that even after we're done with lunch, no one else came to dine at Harbour Bay. I really wonder why. Service was good and efficient which we were happy about.
Should I find myself in Batam again, I'll surely be back.
Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurant is located at Komplek Harbour Bay No.R 08, Jln. Duyung Sei Jodoh, Batu Ampar - Batam 29461 Batam – Indonesia.