Pioneer Seafood Restaurant: Nothing fishy

When it comes to having great seafood that’s affordable many would opt for a short getaway to neighboring Johor Bahru, especially with the rising exchange rate in our favor. However, until our visit, we didn’t know about Pioneer Seafood, nestled in the industrial district of Tuas, even though it’s been around since 1979.

We spoke to 75-year-old director and founder, Mr. Lee Choon Huat, an advocate of healthy eating, whose principles are reflected in the business. He stands firm on his belief in providing the best for customers—they abstain from serving farmed fish and only serve the catch-of-the-day that comes from Mr. Lee’s own contacts at the wet market in Pasir Panjang. He tries to keep prices low, so ditches the government and service tax for all of his customers. With every meal served, came a story of how the dish came about, including some trivia about the creatures.

You’ll have no complaints when it comes to the freshness of the ingredients here. The seafood we had was tasty (you can taste the sweetness of the steamed squid, without a need for sauce) and the condiments complimented each dish well. The crab meat was steamed along with egg white custard to bring out its natural flavor. We thoroughly enjoyed the garoupa fish, served with the restaurant’s signature nyonya assam sauce—a definite must-try for patrons. When we thought we’d already had more than we had bargained for, Lee decided to give us each a raw garoupa to take back home, along with a tub of their signature sauce.

We think this seafood joint is a hidden gem worth going to, if you’re fishing out for a healthy meal.

#02-01, Tuas Amenity Centre, 71 Pioneer Rd., 6863-3933,