After the disastrous deep fried ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret) that we had on Wednesday, when we went out for lunch yesterday (Friday), I was determined to find a good place where they would know exactly how to go about it and do it right! No, it wasn’t difficult at all – most of the Chinese restaurants and chu-char (cook and fry) shops and stalls here can do it perfectly without over-frying the fish till it is so very hard and dry, looking like what my friend, Irene, in Kuching describes those at the Malay nasi campur places – like tree bark!!!
We had not been here before so this was the first time we had their sweet and sour black pomfret…
Gosh! That plate was HUGE and yes, it certainly looked VERY impressive.
It sure was fried to perfection, nice & crusty on the outside but still so very soft and sweet on the inside…
I guess the fish must be fresh in order than one would be able to get it like that – no way would you be able to do that with the phak hong cheap frozen till fossilised ones sold at the supermarkets! Speaking from experience, I bought TWO a long long time ago when EVERISE had a branch here in Sibu. The first one that I fried disintegrated right before my very eyes and the second one was so smelly that I simply had to throw everything away. I never bought any of those horrendous supermarket fish ever again after that!
Incidentally, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that the guy behind this lovely work of art was of ethnic descent – an Iban man, not Chinese! He was working at this restaurant for years and years before the guy called it a day and when he wanted to reopen his business here, he asked if he could join him there. The guy however, advised him to venture out independently on his own and so he did! It sure looks like he is doing o.k. at his present location…
…after all those years working for the man.
As a matter of fact, if you go to the small towns like Selangau, you will see all the Iban guys doing all the cooking in the kitchen and yes, they can do it so well. I am very sure everybody can do it very well if they put their hearts to it and learn how to do it correctly and not stick to the ways they have been doing it all these years.
We also had this ang sio tofu dish…
…and the cangkok manis fried with egg…
…for our lunch and the total came up to only RM57.00, inclusive of rice for three, slightly cheaper than if we were to go for the same elsewhere.
Incidentally, he also sells chap fan (mixed rice)…
…and the first one on the list looked like a Menu Rahmah for vegetarians, 3 vegetables for RM5.00. There were quite a number of customers going for the mixed rice, so much so that I did not see a lot left. I guess it was not doing too shabbily as well.
Well, it was a Friday in Lent, our no-meat day so we refrained from ordering anything with meat. That was why there were a few things that we used to love at the old place but could not order today. Another time perhaps!
WANG KE LAI (2.291628, 111.834169) is located at Lorong Mahsuri 2, off Jalan Mahsuri (opposite Bateras Supermarket).
5 thoughts on “Doin’ it right…”
All the dishes you had are very much to my liking. I have also encountered the same bad experience as you once quite sometime ago. Mine was not from Supermarket but from a fish stall at Stutong Market. The fish looks so fresh with big eyes glaring at you…😄. I was told by the young Malay man that it was fresh “leng kong” fish. Do you ever heard of this word from your fishmonger?. If I right, “leng kong” fishes are fresh and good fish but the next day when I fried it, omg!!!… it has a horrible smell. I had to throw it away too. Later, I was told by my friend that the fishes they sell are from Indonesia.
Never in my life will I buy from him again.
Oh dear! I heard the expression before but I don’t know what it means, same thing with phak hong, just that I must not order or buy.
I had such bad experience when buying fishes from supermarkets in the past. Smelly!!! So I never bought from supermarket again.
Best avoided! I know of some switching off the electricity at night so the freezers are off! Imagine that happening every day!
I totally understand the frustration of getting a fish that’s over-fried and dry. It’s great that you were able to find a place that did it right and the sweet and sour black pomfret looks absolutely delicious! I agree that fresh fish makes all the difference in achieving that perfect crispy yet tender texture.
I suppose if the fish is not too fresh, a solution would be to fry it till hard and crispy/crusty. Eating that with a very nice chili dip will make up for its lack of sweetness.