26 March 2011

25-3-2011... Ziarah n Sekinchan ikan Bakar

Had been planning to visit my friends in Hulu Langat, but had to wait for Faizal to be on leave so that I ada teman. Faizal was well known in the housing area I used to live in.

First stop was the cake house. Got some cheesecake as buah tangan. Not a well known shop like Secret but the cheese cake here is still the melt-in-my-mouth kind. Faizal grabbed some buns for him and Faiz. Khairin couldn't tag along as she was working.

Arrived at Kak Yam's house. She greeted us and asked us in. I asked about Uwan (Kak Yam's mother) and she said, "you tak tahu ke? Uwan passed away on wednesday. I thought you know, hence the visit!". Oh dear, it seems that we were 3 days late. Uwan was a heavy smoker and only stopped smoking a few years back. The clogged up lungs couldn't hold up anymore.

Anyway, caught up with news around there. Whose kids have married. Who has granchildren now.. that sort of thing. Shocking news was, a friend of the same age has just recovered from a mild stroke. Gagaga..

Next we went to Puan R's house. I still call her Puan R, not kak.. Hehe.. She was working with the same company but she opt out due to her bad health. I used to pool rides with her since I didn't know how to drive then. Puan R suffers from rheumatoid athritis. In those days, she could hardly grasp the steering wheel or make sharp turns. Her fingers would swell up after steroid treatments at the hospital. Relief was only temporary and she had to make regular visits to the hospital. It was alright when all medical bills were covered by the company but when she quit, she decided to go for cheaper alternative treatments. Detoxing took some time and she lost alot of weight too. It got quite bad and soon she could hardly walk anymore. Then, it got worse when she too got a mild stroke and had to be admitted to hospital. Now she is bedridden. Hands and feet look like gnarled bits of tree branches. She has to start therapy soon. She has to sleep with some contraption strapped to her hands in an effort to straighten them. But her mind is still alive and active and she was chatting animatedly. I just sat there rubbing her arms and let her talk.

But, I had to run back as I had to fetch Khairin back from the shop, so we took leave.
Took a short rest and we were off to the much hyped Sekinchan Ikan Bakar. I saw where the Bangi branch is, on my way to Kajang the other day and after reading about it in the papers as well as watching JJCM (Jalan jalan cari makan), I decided to test out the food. If it any better, I dont need to go all the way to Melaka or JB for my ikan bakar fix.

Parking is a challenge as "downtown" is close by. Downtown is the equivalent of a flea market and it is only open at night into the early morning. After going around 3 times, I managed to squeeze into a spot near a hydrant. Strange that a car was parked in the parking lot in front of the hydrant. Isnt that illegal? There was very strong winds and I was afraid it was going to rain, so I made Faiz move the car nearer to the shop, while I stood guard in the new spot! (aci tak...bole main booking parking spot! Hahaha..)

We walked into the shop at the right time as there was still many empty tables. Sat down and was presented with a menu. The eager waiter helped with the order. Not much choices in the drinks department, I thought. They have the normal size, to the Super and up to the Super Duper sized glasses. Super being tankard size and super duper, the jug size. We were informed that only the Ulam and chicken soup was available. Belum apa2, banyak dah tak ada! So there is no kailan ikan masin or kangkung goreng belacan that we normally order with our ikan bakar. Hmm..said I wanted the nasi lemak WITH the ikan bakar. I also ordered some keropok to munch while waiting for the 'actual' food to arrive. I went to select the fish.

They were out of lala, and I am afraid to order the clams, so I chose a sotong (adalah panjang sejengkal) but it was so limp, that suddenly I understand why effeminated people are nicknamed 'sotong'. I dont take ikan pari anymore and I dislike ikan kembong (or ikan temenong as the northerners call them), so I avoided that too. We ended up selecting an ikan siakap and an ikan grot(?). Never had grot before! Never heard of it either! So off the fishes and sotong went, into the kitchen to be prepared and grilled. They only have grilled seafood, not cooked any other way. (Read: no crispy sotong salut tepung, no ikan 3 rasa, no sweet sour!). Their speciality being in the sauce they use to coat the fish before grilling.

Went back to the table and the keropok was already there. Keropok is nice (tak gatal bila di makan) but they gave the 'normal' chili sauce from the bottle. Laaa...they should at least provide the 'real' keropok sauce (of the east coast kind). The drinks came, and since I ordered laici kurang manis, it was just right.

And so the waiting started... People started coming in by the droves and soon all tables were taken up. The place was so very crowded. Hardly any space to move. A big family sat next to our table, and they ordered the nasi, NOT together with the fish. So the nasi was long gone and the fish hadn't arrive yet! They had to order more rice when the fish finally arrive later on. 

Waaa...soon it was like sitting in the fish market. It was so so noisy. Kids running around in the already sesak shop. Babies wailing away. Irritated kids making alot of noise. Food still hasn't reached the table! My kids were happy with the free wifi.

When it finally arrived..hmm..the nasi lemak is minuscule but they charge rm2.50. What comes in mind was Farid Kamil saying "nasi lemak 50sen" in the movie cuti-cuti cinta. Gamaknyer, ini lah size yang di maksudkan!! The limp sotong translated into shrunken size sotong rings! Rather rubbery. The ikan grot was tasteless even with the much touted sambal. Only the ikan siakap came out tops. They forgot to give us the dips and we had to ask from the busy busy waiters. There was kicap and lada potong, sambal belacan (watery version) and air asam. 

Finished the food quickly as we saw many people hovering around waiting for empty tables. Quite an uncomfortable feeling, having people watching you eat.

All that dented my pocket to the amount of RM96.20. They do take cards there. 
The limp sotong cost RM10.00, 
both the fishes was RM66.50 i.e. RM70 per kg (mahal kan?)
the nasi lemak was RM10.00 (RM2.50 each)
keropok was RM3.00 /basket
drinks totaled RM6.70 for laicy (sic!) ais, barli ais, horlick ais and teh 'o' ais.

Looks like I still have to go to malacca for ikan bakar. The sotong bakar and siakap bakar at Ayong in JB (Kg.Mohd Amin) is way way wayyyyy lagi sedap.  The sambal, tastier and spicier there too.