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Motormouth From Ipoh

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kuala Perlis Medan Ikan Bakar

I'll skip Padang Besar post for time being, as I'm awaiting KYT's photos from his camera. I had to resort to plagiarism once in a while. =P
The endless rows of stalls at Medan Ikan Bakar, Kuala Perlis ; Selling (almost) the same stuff rendered decision-making a tougher choice than it already was ....
Since my previous post on Perlis skimped on FOOD (click HERE for my simple introduction to Perlis), I'd fast-forward a little, and skip to dinner instead. Previous night's experience at Medan Ikan Bakar (if that's even the place's name?) screamed T-R-A-G-E-D-Y (you can almost imagined the Bee Gees' quirky, screechy voice in that one).
But we were relentless. Or rather, the Malays were. We ain't a bunch of people who would surrender to bad food, and left Perlis with a sour taste in the mouth. So, we pushed our luck AGAIN, and proceeded to Kuala Perlis (a 20 mins ride from Kangar) for a taste of their famed Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish).

Batter-fried Squids with Sweet Chilli Sauce - Every table had at least one serving. Really!

It started to drizzle as soon as we arrived, thus sorry for no photos of the place. But it's very near to the Kuala Perlis jetty, which in turn is the pier for ferries departing to Pulau Langkawi. The area resembles a Medan Selera/Food Court style, with at least 10 stalls selling grilled fish, seafood, satay, and the typical Malay fare ie. Nasi Goreng, Nasi Daging Merah, Nasi Paprik etc.

Yes, if you're at lost on where to choose to park your derriere, go for the ones with the most customers. Can't go wrong. Or walk over to the stall and see for yourself the array of seafood on display in glass boxes, gauging their freshness and sizes.

Stir-fried Greens, Steamed Clams (La-la) with Ginger, Boiled Cockles, and Fried Egg with Chillies and Onions (Telur Dadar)

For some unavoidable reason, I had to coerce the others to find the nearest stall possible, before risking humiliation (=P). Therefore we picked Stall No 2, named Wanis Makanan Laut, with sizeable support from the masses.

We arrived in a group of 9, thus every order was duplicated to avoid untoward incidents, (FCOE tearing KYT's hair, for example). As this was our un-officially FIRST real meal throughout our stay, and potentially our LAST, we went all out when ordering.

Tom Yam Soup with Mixed Seafood and Chicken

The wait for our food was daunting. A good half an hour, if I'm not mistaken. What's worse was that, the weather was terrible that evening. It rained cats and dogs, splashing rainwater on every patron under the roof, and the icing on the cake had to be the leaking zinc roof. One table of customers was unlucky enough to be 'showered' by 'waterfalls', no thanks to the roof that gave way. Guess they had porridge instead of white rice. LOL.

We were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of mere drippings and minor splashing. Nothing that could break our spirits. And then arrived the deep fried squids. Not as crispy as I'd hoped for, and lacking in taste, but somehow the fresh and bouncy squids managed to win us over (or maybe the hungry souls in us were thankful for anything to fill our stomach) when paired with the sweet chilli sauce. No complaints. And serving them in the rattan basket was an authentic touch.

Grilled "Jenahak" (Sea Bass?) @ Rm3.50/100g

Their specialty of course, is their grilled fish. Pick from their selection of marine species, from fish to crabs and prawns to shellfish. We chose two large Jenahak (sea bass, or is that it?) to be grilled. The fish was fleshy, and bony as well, and the freshness pulled through, without any hint of unfavourable fishy taste/smell. However, the marinade was somehow lacklustre, rubbed on one half of the surface only. And the thickness of the fish was a challenge for the griller, and we were dismayed to find the other half of the fish slightly undercooked. A big no-no, as this is not sashimi we're talking bout here.

The other dish that was captivating include the Tom Yam Soup, with lots of squid and chicken meat, with heavy Thai influence. Slightly sweetish, but a very fiery undertone, you'll sweat buckets if you down gulps of them at one shot. The steamed clams with ginger was passable, not the biggest clams you could find, but thankfully fresh enough. And no, the manner of steaming is far from being on par with the Chinese's way of steaming with wine and superior stock.

Sambal Petai with Prawns

The crunchy and rather L-sized petai (stink beans) had me in stitches, as not even the Malays are fans of this dish. But me being a petai-fanatic since I was small, polished off more than the others combined. But KYT and Ms U were great assistants in this unenviable task. =)

The rest of the dishes were forgettable. Nothing that I've not tasted better versions in other Malay restaurants. Fortunately, the rain has stopped by the time we demolished everything in sight. Yes, EVEN the plate of raw greens with sambal (Ulam).

Total for 9 including white rice = RM168. Reasonable, but if there's ever a next visit, I'll probably choose another Ikan Bakar stall, OR a Chinese seafood restaurant.

And so we successfully controlled our guts on the way back .... Flatulence after the stinky (petai) culprits spells DISASTER in the form of POISONOUS GAS to the others !!!


Anonymous said...

wei.. not bad ma.. the seafood still can tahan... hehe...

frm the pic, the grilled fish looked tempting la.. but,too bad.. it's undercooked... wat a WASTE?? hehe

oh NO... PETAI, PETAI... pls dun come near ME!!! haha.. haiyo.. this 'poisonous gas' is reli unbearable.... hmmmmm.... =P

padang besar?? juz like normal pasar pagi/malam... nothing much special...

Shell (貝殼) said...

Grilled "Jenahak" looks nice ~~.drooling now^^

Anonymous said...

derriere - first time I heard of this french word for bottom..thanks I learn it from
J2kfm. haha.... Pity the fish waz a disappointment tho it appeared so nice from the pics...whee flatulence, stink in the car all the way back?

HairyBerry said...

agree! and queue up at the at stall with the longest line! hehehe...

"A big no-no, as this is not sashimi we're talking bout here."

this line really got me laughing this morning lar...haha!

Ciki said...

so now i know where to look for food in perlis!

Anonymous said...

Seldom come across such large size petai...but anyway not a great fan of it too.

ck lam

PureGlutton said...

Ahh... so it was a mediocre meal, eh? The pics looked yummy though! Oh dear, i pity those around you when those stink bombs are released, haha!

Little Inbox said...

ikan bakar is supposed to be well merinated, bakar till perfection, and serve with spicy and sour special made chili sauce. Wah, thinking about it, salivating liao.

Big Boys Oven said...

sounds like a great food adventure with a great ending!

J2Kfm said...

l-o-v-e justin : aiya, where's the love for some good ol' petai eh? cmon lah .... Malaysian's delicacy ma. Padang Besar not like Pasar pagi/mlm, but instead more like bazaar suited to Malay customers.

shell : looks are deceiving. :)

jencooks : LOL. flatulence and derriere in the same sentence. kinda gross eh?

nic : =P really ma ... imagine seeing those silvery lining in the flesh. fortunately not fishy smell.

cumi & ciki : yeah. Kuala Perlis is kinda popular. oh, and a fren recommended a Chinese seafood restaurant. lobster for RM80 each, or so he said. drool?

ck lam : I'm a huge fan of petai. crunchy, raw, pungent and stinky.

pureglutton : miles better than the previous night's. but still not one of the best grilled fish I've tasted.

little inbox : yeah! I'm attracted to Portuguese grilled fish more. those tangy and spicy sauce.

big boys oven : havent end yet though. hehe ... but more on the rest later.

mkia said...

if i'm not wrong, ikan 'jenahak' is Golden Snapper.

ur pics made me drool. to bad it's too far north for me here in Singapore... :((

J2Kfm said...

oh so it isn't sea bass or whatever I thought it is.

I am sure many states have the same ikan bakar. and better ones at that.

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