When I told one of my friends that I'd be going to KL, she immediately asked me if I liked ikan bakar (lit. grilled fish) and mentioned Pak Din as I nodded my head. Apparently, Pak Din's ikan bakar is popular among not only the locals, but also tourists alike. It may be a bit difficult to find the place if you're not taking a taxi, but since I managed to walk to the place with a piece of map, it should be manageable. Okay, I need to admit that I forgot to take note of the prices, so I'm relying on my memory as I quote the prices below.
Ikan Kembong Bakar RM 7.00 (~S$2.90)
Known as Indian mackerel in English, the ikan kembong was terrific with its slightly crispy outside. The firm and juicy flesh was indicative of the quality and freshness of the fish. While the fish itself was lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and turmeric, the sauce was bursting with flavours. With fresh tamarind juice as the base of the sauce, mixed with chilli padi (lit. bird's eye chili), tomatoes and shallots, the sweet, sour and spicy sensation was unbeatable. Pika's advice: Be careful of the chilli padi as they're chopped into small pieces! I accidentally bit on one, and my tongue burned like hell!
Sotong Bakar RM 10.00 (~S$4.10)
Laden with the same sauce, the grilled squid wasn't as tasty as the mackerel, but it was awesome nonetheless. The squid was tender and not chewy, and it had lots of eggs. Oh, yes, the sauce really went well with a plate of steamed rice.
Nasi dan Lauk RM 4.00 (~S$1.65)
It's a bit difficult for me to give a score here, so I'll skip that part. Also, I have no idea how they count the price. Anyway, I chose three items to go with the rice: fried tempe (lit. fermented soya bean cake), cassava leaves (I have no idea what they're called in Malay, but they're called daun singkong in Bahasa) and cabbage with assorted stuff as seen in the photo. They tasted alright, but somehow tempe in Indonesia tastes better.
Taste: 8/10Ambience: 6/10
Well, there's nothing much to talk about service since you just have to point the stuff you'd like to have with the rice, then go to the back of the stall to choose the grilled items, and they'll be brought to your table quickly. Ambience isn't that great since you're dining in an open space (with mosquitoes) under an overhead tent, but the constant fragrance that comes from the grilling process is delightful. By the way, Pak Din is a very friendly person :)
Ikan Bakar Pak Din
Kompleks Makan Tanglin, Gerai No. 5
(Mon-Sat: 7.00am - 3.00pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,