Johor Bahru

Ikan Bakar Tampin 驰名淡边铁板烧鱼, Johor: Fresh BBQ Seafood

A 5-minute drive from KSL City Mall, Ikan Bakar Tampin is a popular BBQ seafood restaurant in a residential district. “Ikan” means fish and “bakar” means grilled or BBQ, so clearly bbq fish is popular dish here and we didn’t order it.

The restaurant is situated at a residential district so parking is a problem. We parked some distance away and walked here. So perhaps if you have old people or kids, it is not convenient. At the restaurant, there is the al fresco area and the indoors (which has no air con anyway).  They also have balonglong juice, so if it’s something you have not tried before, it’s a good idea to try it here.

Ordering is a little tricky for first-timers like us because there is no menu. I don’t really like places with no menu especially when I’m in a foreign land because it seems likely that we may be tokchop carrot head, cheated.

This is how you order: you can go and choose your own seafood. But we weren’t informed that we could choose our own, so we just ordered the dishes and they chose for us.

There is a signboard showing 8 of their specialities:
1. sambal sotong
2. white pepper crab
3. scallion broiled fish
4. sambal noodles
5. portuguese fish
6. sambal ikan pari
7. original taste shrimp (crayfish)
8. lala fried ginger.

We waited for about 40 minutes for the food to arrive. And they serve the food once they cook it, so the dishes come out at uneven timing (no #flatlay). No sure if we are hungry, the food is quite delicious, even the potato leaves stir-fried with garlic (RM16). It’s just crunchy enough and umami with (I supposed) stock.

One of my regrets is that I ordered two sambal dishes. They use the same sambal for their dishes, so ordering one dish should be enough. On the other hand, the sambal is different from elsewhere. When it arrives, it has a smelly-sock stench, but eating it, it’s delicious; there is just the slightest tinge of bitterness before giving way to a sweet spiciness. I can’t take spicy food, but I can eat this sambal, which people who like extreme spice may think this mild.

Between the sambal sotong (RM37) and sambal stingray (RM28), which they call Pari or 魔鬼鱼, we could not decide which was better. The sotong was cooked just right, nicely chewy, whereas the stingray is moist and very fresh. Perhaps instead of regretting ordering two sambal dishes, I should have ordered an extra dish, the grilled fish which we didn’t try.

We ordered 8 hae-poh crayfish (RM88) and they automatically gave us 4 big and 4 small ones. Maybe we should have specified we wanted all big. The crayfish is simply bbq. It is a tad dry, but it’s sweet and fresh.

The lala (RM24) is stir-fried with ginger, and the sauce is so fantastically sweet you’ll want to suck on the shells.

We paid RM211 for five persons. It does seem like a reasonable price, but that is 3 times the price we paid for lunch at Johor. I can see why some Malaysians say it is expensive.

Ikan Bakar Tampin 驰名淡边铁板烧鱼
94, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad 55183 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
tel: +60-89674489217
5pm-12am, closed Tue & Wed

Food: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Decor: 7/10
Service: 7/10

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Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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