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Tuesday, 15 May 2007

My favourite Ikan Bakar in Klang Valley

Ikan Bakar Bellamy

When we talk about ikan bakar (barbecued fish) in the Klang Valley, it is usually prepared in two ways; firstly marinated in spicy sauce and then griddled on pans covered with banana leaves, with additional sauce basted on the barbecued fish (is this really barbecuing or frying eh?). The taste is delicious with the basted sauce highlighting the taste of the fish but the best way to enjoy this preparation is to substitute fish with calamari. This way of cooking is popularly done at Ikan Bakar Bellamy where there are four shops that is popularly visited during meals. Previously my favorite shop was Seri Melaka, but lately their preparation has lost their tastiness or oomph while the price has increased. That is the usual result of having been featured on TV, as they tend to neglect their standards. The next time I go to Bellamy, I will visit their neighbour at the far end coz I noticed that the shop that used to be the least visited by crowds has seen increased clientele, so there must have improved and have something great there. Nevertheless there is another location that prepares barbecued fish in this way that I feel tastes as great but is only available seasonally during the fasting period, that is at the Desa Tasik Ramahan Bazaar. This barbecued fish is named as 'ikan bakar serai' as the marinade is basically prepared with lemongrass, green chillies and tumeric leaves that has been pounded together. This differs from the Bellamy marinade that I have mentioned is made from spices like tumeric powder, cili powder, curry powder etc. Thus the taste is different and more piquant, and the best fish for this sort of barbecue is ikan pari or skate in English.

Pari Bakar Pak Din
Nonetheless even though such marinated barbecued fish taste delicious, I've always suspected the fish is not as fresh as plainly grilled fish, the second way fish are barbecued locally. Here the fish is only marinated with a salt and tumeric mix before being grilled on charcoal.
But is is essential in this method of preparation that the tamarind based Asam sauce used as a dip be flavourful and the best I have tasted to date is at Ikan Bakar Pak Din at Tangling. The asam dip sauce here is really powerful tasting. When having barbecued fish this way, I usually pour the sauce directly on top the fish, the best way of having it.
Other than Ikan bakar Pak Din, there is another nice ikan bakar place at pandan indah, ASBA stall. My friend aku si Joei introduced me to the place and their asam sauce is quite flavourful also. However for a lunch place nearer to my office, the ikan bakar at BSN food court BSN is also acceptable. Since the place has other sauces like cut chilli in soya sauce and Kelantanese fish sauce or budu as accompaniment to their ikan bakar, I personally like to mix all these sauces and pour over the fish. Utterly delicious I tell you.

Ikan Bakar ASBA

For something further away, I like the Jaring Restaurant at Sunway...really best but the place is a little bit too crowded and you have to Q to find a place to sit....but the best thing here is I can indulge in grilled fish eggs in their sacs... very high cholesterol but what the heck you only live once right....below is a photo of the place, and as you can see another interesting reason is the wide choice of dishes that is available that you can be at a lost to what to choose.

The wide array of dishes at Jaring

Lastly there are other ways to prepare ikan bakar that is wrapped either ala Portuguese or in banana leaves. But to me this is not really ikan bakar but more like baked fish even though in Malay the literal translation is the same, but lets talk about this at another time

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