Hello everyone and welcome to the new Malaysia! If you’ve noticed that the left index finger of people in the video below seems to have a black stain, it was because this was taken just a couple days post election, the stain was from indelible ink used on voters. And yes, the government was changed in the most shocking and democratic fashion, a new beginning for the country after 61 years of single-coalition rule. This review marks the first entry post-new Malaysia.
Anyway, let’s get to Liang Li Grilled Fish.
Liang Li Ikan Bakar, at Pandamaran 168
Liang Li grilled fish is a small grilled fish, or commonly known as Ikan Bakar, stall in Klang that is ultra popular to the locals. But since it is located almost all the way to Port Klang area at Pandamaran, it is still relatively unknown to people outside of this bak kut teh birth place.
The stall opens at 5:30pm, and it is always wise to get there as early as possible, for after 6pm or so the queue can be quite long and often wait time can exceed one hour due to the fact that the operator only grills with a small cooking area and have everything made-to-order to ensure quality.
Liang Li Ikan Bakar, with yee mee on the side
For the seven of us, we ordered a couple pieces of stingray, a portion of squid, prawns, a barramundi (siakap), and cockles from Liang Li stall. Additionally, we also ordered fried yee mee and Hokkien mee from the “tai chao” stall, and a portion of oyster omelet from another stall.
barramundi, stingray, prawns, squid
All seafood except the cockles (bakar style) were marinated the same way, with a strong presence of kunyit and curry powder of sort over banana leaf. What really stands out here is how each piece is cooked just so to a really soft and tender texture with nothing being overcooked or under-cooked.
The balacan infused chili paste that is served with the grilled seafood was top notch as well. We were really happy with the quality here.
cockles, hokkien mee, oyster omelet
The noodles were competent dish as well, but I thought the oyster omelet was a bit of a disappointment, something I wouldn’t order again.
The meal came up to around RM 30 per pax, and I believe we will certainly return for more next time.
Liang Li Grilled Fish
Restoran Pandamaran 168
168, Jalan Chan Ah Choo, Pandamaran, Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.009372, 101.417521 Tel: 017-395 6257 Hours: 5:30 pm onwards
One of the reasons I’ve been to Vietnam 9 times prior to this trip was due to work. Back then, we were developing a pretty complicated web based program with a team of programmers based in Ho Chi Minh City, and the team lead for that project was none of ther than Trinh, a friendly local chap whom I’ve developed a friendship over the years.
Quán Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện is the name of the restaurant
So on this trip, I took the opportunity to catch up with Trinh again after not seeing each other on flesh for the past 9 years or so.
Haze and I was on a rented scooter, following Trinh on his bike heading to District 3 towards Quán Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện 2 restaurant for dinner involving fish. A place I have visited in my previous trip, courtesy of another Vietnamese colleague’s introduction. I actually consulted the same person for address, too bad she was not able to join us over the holiday season.
fish is as fresh as they come, they’re alive!
What we came here for was Keo fish, a type of freshwater goby/mudskipper measuring some half a feet or so (scientific name – pseudapocryptes elongatus). According to Trinh, this delicacy is only available in South Vietnam.
The fish is usually served in two different ways – grilled, or in soup.
The grilled version is served on a stick not entirely different from shishamo in Japanese cuisine, but of course with plenty of vege on the side, and some fish sauce based condiment on the side.
grilled keo fish vs steamboat version, Trinh & me
The soupy version though, came in a hotpot with even more vegetable and a side of vermicelli noodle as well. The texture is smooth and it also has a naturally sweet seafood flavor.
We didn’t know how fresh the fish were until Trinh ordered additional fishes when we ran out. They came to the table ALIVE! The waiter then carefully dump the live fish into the hotpot and close the lid real quick to spare us the death scene. A few minutes later, we were enjoying some of the sweetest and freshest seafood, the taste is not overly different from marble goby, in fact.
If you’re into some special type of seafood, this place would offer quite an experience.
P/S: I believe it was something below 300,000 VND for the three of us for this meal.
When it comes to foriegn cuisine, it is safe to say that the most popular of all out of South East Asia is that of our Northern neighbor – Thai. You can find a good bowl of tomyam most anywhere in the world.
For us in Malaysia, we had the good fortune of being able to indulge in some of the most authentic dishes Thailand has to offer thanks to our proximity and our shared history across the border.
Tigerlily at DC Mall
This tradition continues at Tigerlily, one of the latest Thai restaurants located at DC Mall, the new spanking shopping complex located at Damansara Height, and we were lucky enough to get invited to sample some of their dishes.
To properly prep for the restaurant, the local chefs were sent to Thailand to sample and learn about the different dishes from its origin so they can be recreated at this outfit. Don’t let the interior decoration and plating style fools you, what you get here is not far from what you’ll find in some of the old school Thai restaurants.
3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?
To start the night, we ordered their Thai iced tea & iced coffee with gula melaka (RM 6.90) which looked stunning, but for those who liked it old school, their traditional Thai iced tea (RM 4.60) would be the one to go for. For those who like it plain & soothing, perhaps a glass of lemongrass drink (RM 3.50) would do the trick.
fried calamari, lemongrass satey
There’s no alcohol served here (they’re in process of obtaining halal certification), but the fried calamari & lemongrass satey (RM 9.90 for 5) really begs for a cold one. We particularly like the zesty homemade sauce that is served together with the squid.
four angled beans, steamed otak otak
Another snack we ordered was the steamed otak-otak (RM 5.90), it came in an aluminium cup similar to those you’d find holding larmaikai, but instead of chicken you’d have seafood in classic Thai otak fillings. I thought it was decent, though if I have to choose between this and regular Penang style otak-otak, the latter would be my pick.
We then proceed to main dishes to go with rice and started out with the veges.
First was four angled beans with peanuts (RM 9.90), a juicy and crunchy affair that’s fitting to open up one’s appetite.
stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp
The stir fry kailan (RM 12.90) here is a simple dish that’s not out of place from any ‘tai-chao’ restaurants around town. My favorite though, would be the spicy eggplant with dry shrimp (RM 14.90), really rich, savory, and comes with a kick, steamed rice is really compulsory with this.
tomyum kung, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn
No Thai meal is complete without a good serving of tomyam, their tomyum kung (shrimp, RM 26.90) really packs a punch. You’d have to be a bit careful not to treat everything green here as scallions, for there are a lot of whole green chili padi in the mix, just the way a good bowl of tomyam should be.
The Thai red curry chicken (RM 15.90) is slightly less hardcore on the spicy scale, but it makes up for being creamy and flavorful. A decent interpretation of the dish in my opinion.
Then there’s the Thai green curry prawn (RM 26.90), served with generous amount of eggplant, this dish delivers a mix of seafood sweetness and the unique taste of green curry, I really enjoyed it (mostly cos eggplant is one of my favorite veges too.)
Thai grilled fish
The Thai grilled fish (RM 46.90) was our final main dish of the night, and would be for you anyone who orders it as Tigerlily makes this from scratch when you order and it takes the longest amount of time to prepare.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t particularly find the dish impressive, and not to the fault of the chef or how they prepare this. Tilapia is quite a bland tasting fish and I find this classic Thai preparation method did not sufficiently add enough flavor to the fish. It was okay, if you love this street style fish, you’d like it here, otherwise I’d probably give it a miss. My favorite Thai fish dish is still the steamed siakap (which they also serve)
mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol
Then of course, we proceed to desserts.
We sampled their mango sticky rice (RM 9.90), ice kacang (RM 11.90), tub tim crob (red ruby, RM 7.00), cendol (RM 4.90), and banana fritters with ice cream (RM 12.90).
With the exception of the banana fritters, every dessert looked like a piece of art, the presentation is really stunning! Thankfully, they do taste the part as well.
I like how the cendol, ABC, and red ruby all uses the really fine shaven ice (sort of like those Korean style desserts) which makes the sweetness melt in your mouth that much quicker. Careful not to get brain freeze though.
banana fritters & friends we were with at the session
If you haven’t find a reason to head to DC Mall, perhaps Tigerlily would be a good excuse.
Ever since we moved to KEN Rimba, we have had to drive out for most of our meals, until very recently – the famed Ana Ikan Bakar Petai opened a branch literally right outside at our doorstep here in Shah Alam.
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, now in Shah Alam
For the uninitiated, Ana Ikan Bakar Petai is a “brand” originated from Kuantan which also has a rather popular branch in Bangi. This is their 3rd outlet, occupying three shop lots, including upstairs & side walkway, a pretty big set up for the this otherwise pretty sleepy commercial area.
We’ve been to the place quite a few times since, it certainly is legit.
squid, prawns, crab, shellfish, and a variety of fish to choose from
At Ana Ikan Bakar, you get to choose from quite a variety of seafood – squid, lala, bamboo clams, prawns, blue crabs, sting ray, cencaru, siakap (barramundi), jenahak, garupa, and more. The price is per 100 gram (RM 3.50 – RM 7.00) is clearly stated on the display as well, so you know what you going to have to pay.
There are several cooking methods as well, with the most popular being bakar petai. If bakar isn’t what you want, you can have them masak cili, manis, halia, kicap, pedas, tiga rasa, asam pedas, lamprik, kerabu mangga, goreng kunyit, or steam limau, asam boi, or halia. Quite a number of permutations really.
pari & sotong with petai
On our first visit we had a ikan pari & sotong prepared the traditional bakar petai style. The fish was absolutely on point, super spicy with the hint of petai permeating from the sauce. As it is basically covered with the sauce, you really don’t need to have a separate condiment to go with. I also particularly like the texture of the fish here that is not overly cooked like many others.
all wrapped up in banana leaf, the only way!
The sotong bakar petai was pretty good too, but to be honest if you already have a bakar petai dish, it’s best to go with a different cooking method. On subsequent visits, we found out that the sotong is best deep fried, and they also serve very good ikan siakap steamed limau, with tiga rasa among their most popular orders as well.
keropok lekor, tomyam, lala, kailan ikan masin
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai serves more than just ikan bakar. There’s a full menu of traditional “goreng goreng” dishes. Their vegetable dishes are among the best I’ve had (try their kailan ikan masin), tomyam was good as well. There’s also other dishes such as various types of fried rice, meat, soup, etc.
Oh by the way, the lala is not worth ordering. Happy dining!
Ikan bakar, or grilled fish, is one of those quintessential Malaysian cuisine that isn’t often talk about. Today, lets look at three different places in Klang Valley is worth a visit if you have a stomach for this classic dish in the afternoon.
Do remember to order a big glass of ice cold drink to go with, cos it’s going to get hot.
Mat Teh Ikan Bakar, Dato’ Keramat
One of my favorite ikan bakar places is the little stall by the name of Mat Teh Ikan Bakar by Dato’ Keramat market, right across the Putra LRT station by the same name.
The stall gets pretty busy over lunch time, and with somewhat limited seats, it is imperative to get there early.
Mat Teh Ikan Bakar at Dato’ Keramat
The most popular fishes here are stingray and ikan kembung. The stingray runs from RM 14-16 per piece, but is big enough for sharing. What I also particularly love about this place is the good selection of ulam (raw vegetable) to go with the grilled fish.
Tips: order their mango juice.
Address: Mat Teh Ikan Bakar Dato’ Keramat Wet Market Opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT Jalan Dato’ Keramat GPS: 3.166079, 101.730992 Tel: 016-336 2123
Ikan Bakar Warong Fauziah near KLCC
Within walking distance of iconic KLCC, there’s a little hidden warong that many visitors or even tenants of this great building do not realize exists. Warong Fauziah is tucked behind Lembaga Getah and offers tasty authentic grilled fish alongside with a good variety of other dishes to go with steamed rice.
Stringray, cat fish, and ikan kembung are available here.
Address: Warong Kak Fauziah, behind Lembaga Getah Malaysia Jalan Ampang, KL GPS: 3.160088, 101.711941
Restaurant Rose 911, Negeri Sembilan cuisine
Thirdly, for a version of ikan bakar slightly different from the ordinary, check out Restaurant Rose 911 at Kampung Pandan.
While the fish is grilled with banana leaves like other versions, sambal is added to the fish prior to grilling, infusing the aroma of chilli right from the get go. This is perfect for those who loves it spicy.
Restaurant Rose 911 also serves authentic Negeri Sembilan cuisine with dishes that are laden with plenty of coconut milk and tumeric.
Address: Restoran Kak Rose 911 No. 25, Jalan Satu Kampung Pandan 55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.143901, 101.737293 Tel: 03-9281 2996