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Tag / asam pedas

Being from a somewhat typical family in Penang, I’m no stranger to Nyonya style cooking, this is mostly due to the fact that Baba-Nyonya cuisine shares many similar recipes to Penang Hokkien dishes.

So when we were at Baba Nyonya Restaurant in Avenue K, I had certain expectations on what they should be able to cook up.

Baba Nyonya, Avenue K
Baba Nyonya, Avenue K, with my dining partners

The restaurant is located at the same level with the LRT station, with an interior decor that is pretty tastefully done, catering to mostly 2-4 people per table, though larger crowd can be arranged, to a certain extend.

Baba Nyonya restaurant at Avenue K, asam pedas, terung, chicken pongteh, and ayam masak merah rice set. What’s your choice for lunch/dinner? #kyeats #avenuek #halal #klcc @avenuekmy @baba.nyonya

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The menu offers quite a variety of dishes, with selections from individual noodle or “daily plates”, as well as ala-carte entries to be eaten with steamed rice with a group of your favorite buddies, which was what we mainly did when I find myself with a few colleagues at Baba Nyonya a couple weeks ago.

proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable
proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable

We sampled one single dish in the form of Ayam Masak Merah, and three shared lauk of terung belado (RM 16.90), chicken pongteh (RM 26.90), and asam fish pedas claypot (RM 35.90) over dinner.

The ayam masak merah is a dish you can enjoy over lunch and comes with loads of those sauce that has a good balance of sweet and spicy taste to it, there’s also a spring role to get you started.

terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot
terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot

Asam fish pedas claypot was our favorite among the three shared dishes. The fish retains some crunchiness while not overly fried, with the asam pedas broth brings forth a good kick, perfect when mixed with steamed rice.

The terung too was proper, soft, tender, and packed with flavor. However, we did agree that the chicken pongteh was pretty average, or perhaps just overshadowed by other offerings from Baba Nyonya during this session.

The experience at Baba Nyonya Avenue was certainly a positive one, I think I’ll be heading over for lunch one of these days to check out more of their individual dishes.

map to Avenue K

Address:
Baba Nyonya
Lot UC-1, Upper Concourse,
Avenue K,

156, Jalan Ampang, 
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS:  3.159257, 101.713610
Tel: 03 2181 5544
Web: www.babanyonya.co

Ikan Bakar is one of the type of local dish that has its name completely wrong. If you translate it to English, ikan = fish, bakar = burn (or grill if you stretch it). But instead of grilling on open fire, ikan bakar these days is more like frying on a flat pan with a sheet of banana leaf in between. Which is just the way we like it.

Kat Jat Ikan Bakar, Jalan Bellamy
Kak Jat Ikan Bakar, Jalan Bellamy 

A few months ago I wrote my first article on Jalan Bellamy’s ikan bakar stalls at Mak Alang, and while it was a pretty good experience, we only went there because the consensus best ikan bakar stall at the area – Kak Jat Ikan Bakar, was already packed to the brim. This time around, we made sure we’re early enough to get a table.

quite a good variety of other dishes as well as ikan bakar
quite a good variety of other dishes as well as ikan bakar

Like most ikan bakar places, Kak Jat also offers a variety of different other dishes ala nasi campur style. Grab a few of these, order some fish to go with, pick your sambal of choice, grab some rice, and you’re good to go.

the tilapia (on the right) was surprisingly awesome
the tilapia (on the right) was surprisingly awesome

As far as choice of fish goes, you get pari (stingray), kembung, terubok, tilapia, and more. I felt that the fish here was prepared with that extra umph to it, the skin seemed crispier with the marinate they have that is different from others.

I’m not a big tilapia fan, but if you’re at Kak Jat, do yourself a favor and order it, they are pretty special. The tilapia skin here is a chunk of coagulated spices & marinate in which we had no idea what they are made of, but so-so delicious! Give it a try!

asam pedas with stingray (bottom right) was one of my favorites
asam pedas with stingray (bottom right) was one of my favorites

On the side dishes, other than the usual ulam, I also really enjoyed the asam pedas (stingray with salted vegetable curry), I felt that their version here is almost as good as the one at Kampung Baru Man’s Cafe Asam Pedas.

And before I forget, the grilled squid here is definitely worth ordering as well.

makcik makcik agreed that this ikan bakar stall is the best
makcik makcik agreed that this ikan bakar stall is the best

Overall, we had a great lunch and a bucket of sweat, but it was worth it. If you’re heading to Jalan Bellamy for ikan bakar, this is the stall to check out.

map to ikan bakar at Jalan Bellamy

Address:
Kak Jat Ikan Bakar
Jalan Bellamy
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670

A few days before bulan puasa, we had several rounds of short lunch excursions, one of which was the famous asam pedas place at Man’s Cafe in Kampung Baru. Since Ramadan has passed, I thought it’s appropriate to write about this place as it is back in business for lunch again.

Update: Place has since moved down the road next to Akar Homestay

Man's cafe updated, Asam Pedas
updated pic of the new Man’s Cafe Asam Pedas

Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man's Cafe Selera Kampung
Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man’s Cafe Selera Kampung

Located at the “entrance” to Kampung Baru from Jalan Tun Razak as you turn into Jalan Raja Muda Musa, the little eatery is yet another zinc roofed structure that has seen better days as a residence. Dining tables with plastic chairs are scattered about the former porch and living room of the house, with a couple rows of delicious looking dishes presented at around the entrance.

ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more
ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more

Like most Malay mixed rice places, there’s a pretty good variety of choices here – starting from over half a dozen choices of ulam, to kari ikan, ayam goreng, several types of sambal (including tempoyak aka fermented durian), telur dadar, sambal chili, terung chili, and good mix of ikan bakar.

the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)
the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)

While those dishes we tried were all pretty good, the highlight of lunch was their signature dish – asam pedas. It is basically curry cooked with salted vegetable that’s not unlike the Chinese spicy vegetable (a good version can be found at Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Rice in Klang), but cooked with fish instead. It was sour, spicy, and absolutely intoxicating.

If you’re up for something that can jolt your senses, Man’s Asam Pedas cafe is one of those places to check out.

map to Man's Cafe asam pedas at Kampung Baru

Address:
Man’s Asam Pedas Cafe
Intersection of Jalan Raja Muda Musa
& Jalan Raja Uda
Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.165282,101.709029