Tag / grilled fish
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.
Quán Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện 2
10 Nguyễn Thông, phường 7
District 3, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
GPS: 10.777475, 106.685398
Tel: +84 8 3930 0636
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.
Damansara City Mall,
Lot LG 18 Lower Ground,
6, Jalan Damanlela,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.146140, 101.661675
Tel: 03-2011 2912
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!
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai
No. 27, Jln Lengkuas B 16/B,
Ken Rimba, Seksyen 16,
40200 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.055502, 101.484363
Tel: 017-791 0197, 018-321 4519
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.
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.
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.
Restoran Kak Rose 911
No. 25, Jalan Satu
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.143901, 101.737293
Tel: 03-9281 2996
Penang is often know as the heaven of hawker foods, from char kuih teow to asam laksa, and kuih teow soup to nasi kandar. However, you don’t often hear people talk about ikan bakar, also sometimes known as ikan panggang as the locals like to call it, and that I think, is a grave mistake.
Here are top three different grilled fish places I think you should check out if you’re in Penang.
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
If you fancy a little drive to the southern end of the island, ikan bakar Adnan bin Hassan at Kampung Teluk Tempoyak is definitely a place worth checking out. There isn’t many choices of fish to choose from as they’re sourced from the local fishermen, but there are siakap, kerapu, jenahak, ikan merah, and bawah talang to go with prawns and crabs.
I also particularly like the way their fillet the fish with sambal on the inside for easy access to those tender and absolutely satisfying meat. Starting from RM 35 to about RM 50 per KG, these grilled fish isn’t heavy on the wallet either.
Just one thing, you gotta be quick to grab your share before your mates.
better get your share before your friends finish them all
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan
Medan Selera Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
11960 Bayan Lepas, Penang
GPS: 5.277330, 100.287968
Tel: 019-413 2572
Hours: 6pm – 11pm (Closed on Mondays)
Ikan Panggang stall at Song River, Gurney Drive
One of my favorite “kopitiam” ikan panggang (more appropriate since it’s not strictly grilled) stalls is the one at Song River, Gurney Drive. The fish is covered in a special sauce that has a strong presence of fermented beans, belacan, chili, and shallots. Together with the sambal, this makes for an excellent treat.
There’s always quite a selection of different fishes and squid, but my favorite is stingray since the meat soaks up the paste easily and there’s no fish bones to deal with.
The same restaurant also offers great chicken wings too.
full flavor with plenty of chilli and garlic
Song River Cafe
65 Persiaran Gurney,
GPS: 5.432392, 100.31738
Tel: 012-488 8275
Hours: dinner and supper
East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang
For those who love something slightly different than just fish, squid, or crabs, East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court is a place you must visit.
On top of the usual fish and squid, there are different types of shellfish and even vegetable for grilling. My favorite here would be their grilled scallops. Topped with garlic and spring onion, then grilled to perfection, this is an absolute must try for anyone who loves scallops. At RM 5 a pop, it’s quite reasonably priced as well.
Grilled brinjal is done with similar toppings and tasted fantastic, while the slightly spicy long bean might perhaps give you an illusion of having consumed enough vitamin C for the trip.
BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans
East Coast BBQ
Sungai Pinang Food Court
Jalan Sungai Pinang
Georgetown 11500 Penang
GPS: 5.400029, 100.325711
Tel: 04-281 0943
Hours: dinner and supper