[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人 资料 Sub-editor 郑大人]
Been there. Done that. What’s next? Okay, so you may be one the most well-travelled person in town, but for those of you that have supposedly done everything and have nothing left on your bucket list nearer to home (hmmm, ours just gets longer every year?), may we humbly suggest tucking into one the freshest seafood around, with magnificent all-round views of the sea and an idyllic getaway all rolled into one?
It doesn’t get further than a 3-minute boat ride from Teluk Sengat Jetty, and only 90-minute drive from Johor Bahru city centre to Poseidon Oyster Bay Resort, Johor’s first floating oyster farm cum bio-tourism destination.
Following the directions given by Waze, we were pleasantly surprised by the wide roads and how smooth our journey along the old Kota Tinggi road has become, given the rarity that would have us travelling this route. Before we knew it, we were already making a right turn towards Teluk Sengat, with our subsequent ferry shuttle only a phone call and a few minutes boat ride away after arriving at the jetty’s car park.
- 60-minute by car from Senai International Airport via Senai–Desaru Expressway
- 4-hour by car from Kuala Lumpur via North-South Expressway
- 1.5-hour by car from JB City Centre via Senai-Desaru Expressway
- 30-minute by car, pick up from Belungkor Ferry Terminal via Singapore’s Changi Point
Our shuttle boat ride from the jetty to the not too distant Poseidon Oysterbay Resort took approximately 3 minutes, but we counted almost 6 big birds taking to the skies from start to finish – an astonishing average about 2 planes per minute. To our amazement, we were actually only a few moments away by flight from one of the world’s busiest airport, if the GPS coordinates on our phone were to be believed. What a case of so far and yet so close in our attempt to escape the mundane, but with the assurance that we are not entirely cut off from the outside world. And thank goodness the short boat ride itself doesn’t allow us to get any more sea-sick than homesick too! Phew…
PS: Room accommodation is based on a minimum 2 to stay, and all rates per head include transport from Teluk Sengat Jetty, afternoon tea, dinner, breakfast and applicable taxes. Accommodation for children under the age of 6 is free while those between age 7 to 12 stay at half price. A minimum of 16 pax is required to book the entire resort and preferably with 2-month advanced notice, with all payment by cash only. For reservations, kindly contact: +6019-2699 566.
Sitting a mere 1 km off the coast from Teluk Sengat village, one of the main highlights at Poseidon Oysterbay Resort is their high-grade oysters produced in their eco-farm, namely Belon tw and Gillardeau tw since opening their shells (we mean doors actually) to the public in May early this year.
PS: Besides the Belon (King oyster), Gillardeau (Queen oyster) and the Fine de Claire oyster making up the famous three oyster species in France, other famous oysters around the world include Kumamoto oyster in Japan, Blue Point Olympia oyster in the Long Island (US), Coffin Bay, Sydney Rock and Tasmania Gigas oyster in Australia, Bluff oyster in New Zealand, Irish Premium oyster, Tsarskaya oyster in Russia, Fanny Bay oyster in Canada and etc.
A warm reception awaits
Built on stilts just above the sea, Poseidon Oysterbay Resort is built almost entirely by Chengal Wood, the number one most sought-after solid hardwood in Malaysia. The floating resort boasts 2 floors, with the ground level housing an oyster bar and a semi-open dining area, while a total of 8 air-conditioned rooms are located on the upper floor, with each room featuring a private balcony overlooking the Johor river. Shoes are not allowed throughout the resort, but with such comfort and a touch of opulence from the “premium” wood flooring, our feet aren’t really complaining LOL!
PS: Parental supervision is advised for young children at all times, while pets are not allowed on board. Attention is also recommended for visitors with special needs, and prior arrangement can be made for boat itineraries.
Floating garden by the sea
Located offshore, we were guaranteed of sea breeze all the time without having to bear the slightest heat from the sun. With the vast sea in plain view, we can even feel the rickety resort gently rock with the waves at times. Adorned with sofa seats and tables with simple fittings, overhanging greens and activity space aplenty, we can have a go at fishing, play a game of mahjong or simply bask on the deck and catch the sun setting while deciding what to do next.
The origin of Poseidon
As a tribute to the god of the sea, the floating resort was named after Poseidon, the brother of Zeus and Hades, and one of the twelve Olympian deities In Greek mythology. Often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses, the symbol was evident and can be easily spotted at the semi-open dining area.
「Belon 100」resort accommodation
Continuing the “oyster-themed” throughout the resort, all eight air-conditioned rooms were inspired and named after their resort’s specialty. We were anxious to check out the place where we would be spending the night, and true to what we have seen online, our room named Belon 100 was actually immaculate and adequate with our basic needs of semi-modern sanitation and cleanliness all met. The room was spacious and took our party of four with no problem at all, and comes with an adjoining toilet, and a private balcony overlooking the Senai-Desaru bridge and sunset over the Johor river. Just about everything here was made out of wood, so we could hear the swishing of the waves, as well as our neighbours chattering next door, or the TV beneath the floorboards from the living hall 🙂
The toilet was semi-modern with running water in the tap and shower with hot water and sharing the same overview from the adjoining balcony, but rest assured, our privacy was still ensured LOL! The toilet bowl had a flush, but the waste didn’t seem to empty out into the sea beneath us, we swore we never did catch sight of any solid waste nor tissue paper floating anywhere. Believe us! Even the toiletries were well provided, barring our own personal grooming set of course!
The afternoon tea is highly anticipated, as the seafood bee hoon with Taiwanese-style fried oysters and fries served as a reasonable staple. The resort certainly did not skimp on the amount of prawns and squids in this dish either, with free-flow tea and coffee making our first meal onboard a very fulfilling affair indeed. The cold beverages and beers from the nearby chiller are chargeable, though…
“Free and easy” is the order here, any time of the day where we are free to let our minds (and body) wander, or simply sink into one of the many cosy sofas for some quiet reading or play out a few boards and card games. Remember to say Hi to the faithful “guardians” around the place who are extremely well-trained and friendly, but they could pack a huge bite when the situation calls for it. Still, this was a welcome piece of mind while we chill…
Tuck into a seafood fiesta
If you think our afternoon tea was gratifying, wait till you check out the dinner spread that awaited us as we made our way to the semi-open dining area. There were another two families of 6 that had come to stay at the resort and therefore our meal was more satisfying (at least we thought) than the usual steamboat and BBQ affair when it comes to the weekend or full house.
The resort serves really fresh catches from the sea, as well as a host of delicious home-cooked food. Their gloriously fragrant aroma alone had us impatient to hoe into it with wild abandon, winning a unanimous thumbs up from the table without realising that there’s more to come…
Meet the stars of Poseidon!
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the “royalties” for the evening and definitely the star of the show. Once brought to the table, the luscious King and Queen of oysters were exactly what we had expected, pleasantly chewy and reminiscent of the ethereal ocean.
Belon oyster, also known as “The European Flat Oyster” is one of the rarest and most expensive, having originated from the Belon River in France, and noted for its firm flesh and light, nutty flavour. On the other hand, Gillardeau oyster is generally referred to as the “Queen of Oysters” and oval in shape with a deep cavity, giving it a unique appearance and has uncommonly juicy taste, rich, creamy flavour and pleasant lingering aftertaste.
PS: Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with weak digestion should refrain from consuming raw oysters, while those who have experienced discomfort in the past or are eating raw oysters for the first time should also exercise caution.
Waking up to a brand new day
The Early bird catches the worm, here the early risers get to take in the spectacular sunrise (weather dependant) and all the actions happening on the oyster farm from 7.30am onwards, so we would not want miss nature and people at work here for anything.
Working with nature
Hailing from Kaohsiung in native Taiwan and a veteran in the fish food industry prior to setting up the farm in 2011, Mr Louis Ting is the pioneer of this open water net-open aquaculture farm in South Asia, which promotes the co-culture of fish, phytoplankton and shellfish to improve the overall biophysical sustainability of the surrounding waters. Having recovered from nasopharyngeal cancer as a result of working and commuting tirelessly for many years throughout Asia, Mr Ting decided to take a step back and chanced upon the site along Johor river to begin a new chapter of his life, and Johor’s growing bio-tourism.
Much of the credit for the transformation of Teluk Sengat from a rural seaside village to a growing tourism cum cultivation operation goes to Mr Ting and his team at Poseidon Oysterbay Resort, with the farming methods also giving some much-needed help back to the environment. Oysters are filter feeders, which naturally absorb anything present in their surrounding water. According to the staff, each oyster is capable of filtering up to 150 litres of water daily, and the effect is evident with the surrounding mangroves now showing signs of a new life of late.
A labour of love
Traditionally, oysters were scraped or tonged off the bottom of a body of water from oyster beds, but are now cultivated using more sustainable and socially acceptable practice. Half the farmers’ time is spent cleaning, while the other half is devoted to the harvest. But even harvesting requires a substantial measure of cleaning to prepare the oysters for the market. Those lifeless or undersized ones called “grow backs” will eventually be put back and returned to the sea.
PS: Safe and hygiene are the order of the farm as Poseidon Oysterbay Resort’s oyster production use UV, O3 and advanced filter system to maintain its high standards and is in compliance with the stringent Japanese and EU requirements.
Oyster porridge breakfast
Our final breakfast and most important meal of the day may look simplistic, but it’s enough to instantly brighten up our day (no matter the occasion). The fish and oysters are plump and fresh, with a subtle sweetness that combines well with the porridge to give a well-seasoned bowl of happiness. For those who might be suffering from the seafood overdose, there’s always the usual favourites of mee siam, nasi lemak, kaya toasts and sunny side ups to satiate your regular cravings. Needless to say, this makes for a great finale to our short getaway, and we wonder, why must all good things come to an end so soon…
Time to say goodbye
Suffice to say, our trip to Poseidon Oysterbay Resort was more than just a meal, but also a good break away from civilisation (we still get reception on our phone though). Any fresher and you’ll have to catch it yourself!
At last, a visit to South Asia’s first open water net-open oyster farm in Johor.
√ Been there.
Feasting on two of the world’s rarest and most expensive oysters in one go.
√ Done that.
Taking in the sights and spending a night out in the middle of Johor river.
√ What’s next?
Have the entire resort all to ourselves, while getting high on even more Belon and Gillardeau oysters for the upcoming lunar festival!
Poseidon Oysterbay Resort
📍 J222, Teluk Sengat, 81900 Ayer Tawar, Johor
📞 +6019-2699 566 / +6019-7911 518 (By appointment)