Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Oh! For a barbecued Ikan Pari!!

Heng Kee barbecue seafood stall

The stall has arguably the best barbecued or grilled fish in town according to patrons who will swear by its quality. Ah Heng, as he is known to his customers, is a person who loves a beer or two with his regular customers. He is chatty but at times morose.

Ah Heng, the owner

The sambal that he uses to barbecue the fish and fry vegetables, mussels or clams, is ‘mo tak teng’ (meaning delicious) as the Cantonese speaking customers love to say. The most popular fish for barbecue is of course the ‘ikan pari’ or stingray. It seems that the fish is particularly suited for barbecue as it is not ‘fishy’ and the meat fleshy and juicy. Add a bit of lime juice to it and it is heavenly. The other fish commonly used for barbecue is the 'ikan kembong' or mackerel .

Fresh fish and squids for grilling

The fish is sliced through from the top all the way down on both sides and opened up to allow it to grill faster. A banana leaf is coated with some oil before the fish is put on it and is left to grill. 'Sambal' or homemade chilli sauce is later spread liberally over the fish and another banana leaf is placed on top of the fish before it is flipped over to grill. He has other vegetable side dishes which are quick fried with sambal. Squids are also available for customers who want to try different seafood.

Smaller mussels ready for quick frying

Clams and mussels are also quick fried with 'tao cheong' or bean paste and sambal. Quick frying retains the mussels’ or clams’ juiciness. Both clams and mussels can also be barbecued if so desired.

Heng Kee is the only stall that sells grilled seafood at the river side hawker centre. It is easily noticeable as the stall is located beside the busy Shahbandar road.


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