abah! come to dubai quick! i wanna take you to this fish place!
mr. khairul received a guest yesterday, and oh man - another mckk dude! it's bro hanif, class of '75, who was on transit from ghana back to malaysia. we took him to what is known to be the place to get 'the best fish' in dubai. and it's cheap! ramai malaysians dah makan sini and the review had been great and satisfactory!
it's the 'bu qtair cafeteria' situated in umm sequiem, the jumeirah beach area. one look at the place promised nothing possibly yummy - but remember the lessons i learned while in penang? the literally 'roadside' roti canai stall, and 'line clear nasi kandar' squeezed in between two old buildings - but both served fantastic food?
don't be fooled by the lack of proper lighting, or the simple plastic chairs and tables placed across the sandy 'floor'. this open air cafeteria offers 'grilled fish' (yang actually macam goreng je!) that is fresh, and served hot.
there is an old, seemingly abandoned dhow on the right and the awesome view of the majestic burj al-arab in a distance. the setting is set. the smell of salty sea breeze accompanied your dish, giving it a nice touch of dining by the beach.
a simple canteen-like setting greeted us as we walked into the small trailer slash cabin slash shack to make our order; with long tables and benches. i read in one blog that they waited for nearly half and hour for someone to take their order because they didn't know you're supposed to go inside and line up at the counter to pick and choose your fish.
well, now you know. nak order kena masuk dalam ye!
now, if you go on weekends, the line can trail to the outside and one probably had to wait for hours just to get to the ordering counter. we just had to wait for one group to make their order, and look, it's our turn!
jadi, datanglah weekdays!
there's no menu. line up and wait for your turn. just the catch of the day marinated in kerala spices to choose from. there were only two types of fish - the sherry and the black pomfret (jenahak ngan ikan bawal hitam).
"no white rice?" i asked radha who has been here numerous times. "no, and they don't entertain questions - do you have this do you have that. haha. it's like, here there's fish. and you eat it with parotha (roti canai) and we add fish curry. that's it. don't ask for anything else. they don't have anything else!" and we laughed over it.
the place is that simple. you come for fish, you get fish.
eh ape tadi? makan ikan bakar dengan roti canai? now, this is a first - even for the foodie-adventurous mr. khairul!
after just half an hour wait (maybe because of the less crowd on a wednesday) we got our order. two bawals and one other fish, served together with a plate of roti canai, salad (comprises of cut up cabbages, onion and lime slices) and a bowl of fish curry.
oh, ada kari ikan ok la. makan roti canai ngan kari ikan!
if you look at the fish, penyediaannya memang macam ikan goreng. there's nothing put on top (like the ikan bakar we have in malaysia) - like hot spicy gravy (sambal) or air asam lagi la jangan harap. jokingly (but being serious!) we vowed to bring a container of nasi putih, and kicap ngan cili potong cicah the next time we come!
so for the first time, i ate roti canai with ikan bakar yang sebenarnya macam ikan goreng. not bad! especially since kalo makan roti canai ngan kari ikan pun makan ngan ikan jugak sebenarnya!
and the fish may look like a mere ikan goreng but it's super fresh and the taste rich is spice! the white, soft flesh seemed to melt in your mouth accompanied by a hint of hot spice from the marinate sauce. mr. khairul and bro hanif really enjoyed their fill!
abah, i'm sure you'd take one whole fish and ratah sampai ke tulang too! i bet!
rahul, radha's boy is not much of a fish fan so he didn't eat anything. khaleef, who enjoyed his 'abang's' company very much choose not to eat too! kasi roti canai pun makan sikit je. the two boys spent the whole evening talking about ben10. hmmph!
the fish devoured.
the night savoured.
we'll come again - this time armed with air asam and nasi putih!