Keith the owner of Eco Bed and Breakfast in Setia Tropika, tipped me off about Sin Huat Ikan Bakar 星發鐵板燒. "It's one of our favourites in JB" Keith shared.
I wasted no time on Keith's tip off as I am an avid fan of Ikan Bakar or spicy grilled fish ;-D
We got here at rustic Kampung Baru Pandan at around 6:30pm when Sin Huat just opened for business for the evening. The moment we stepped out of the car, we can smell the aroma of sizzling hae bee (dried shrimps) and chili in the air.
We can't wait to get our orders in for the spicy grilled seafood ;-D
Sin Huat Ikan Bakar is the stall at the far left corner of this kampung style food centre in rustic Kampung Baru Pandan, just off the Terbrau Highway (near the Pandan wholesale market).
The boss, Mr. Teh, was already hard at work. His nose was shielded from the pungent choking aroma by a chequered cloth mask.
Mr. Teh, had been running Sin Huat Ikan Bakar for over 20 years here in Kampung Pandan. He was extremely busy, from the moment the stall opens for business at 6:00pm till it closes at 11:00pm.
Some of the fresh seafood ready for customers' selection.
We ordered a stingray, squid with petai (sting beans) and La La (shellfish).
To me, a grilled stingray is a must have at Ikan Bakar stalls, because Ikan Bakar is about spicy grilled stingrays... yes?
At Sin Huat, the slab of stingray "wings" were smothered in a brownish red blanket of gritty oily sambal chili.
Sin Huat's grilled stingray was excellent. Mr. Teh's grilling skill was consummate.
The fish was very fresh. It's soft white flesh was filled with hot clear sweet juices. The savoury spicy sambal chili complemented the mild tasting wet stingray flesh very well.
Sin Huat makes their own sambal chili which is loaded with lots of hae bee (dried shrimps). Sin Huat's sambal chili was not overly spicy (just nice for my taste buds).
Two of my favourites things together on a banana leaf.
Sotong and petai (or squid and stink beans in English).
Very fresh sotong and petai. The squid was done just right and was best eaten freshly off the hot cast iron griddle when it was at it's most juicy and springy tender. The petai was crunchy like dense green guava with a slight bitter sweet flavour.
Sin Huat's La La is very popular and sells out rather early. So, if you are a La La fan, be there before 7:00pm ;-D
Sin Huat's La La was grilled with the same sambal chili sauce. The La La were soft chewy and the sambal chili clung to the insides of the shells. The shell fish were very fresh and well cleaned. There wasn't even the slightest trace of sand.
But, I won't rush for this like the others, as I prefer my La La to be done with watery gravy laced with Chinese cooking wine ;-D
Our bill including two plates of plain white rice came to RM47 (SGD18).
If I want to eat Ikan Bakar in JB, Sin Huat will be one of my top choices because the food is delicious and the stall has the added advantage of rustic kampung ambiance.
Sin Huat Ikan Bakar is at the "food centre" at the junction of Jalan Loo Hong Joon and Jalan Kam Kai Lin in Kampung Baru Pandan. Once you enter the side street (Jalan Loo Hong Joon) from Tebrau Highway, the food centre is about 500 metres inside. As you enter, you will see old shop houses/ coffee shops on your right. Sin Huat is at the small "food centre" at the right of the MCA branch.
I would like to come back to also try the other stalls at this food centre, like the zhi char stall, cold dessert stall, popiah, cuttlefish kangkong, and also the wanton mee stall.
Restaurant name: Sin Huat Ikan Bakar 星發鐵板燒
Address: Jalan Loo Hong Joon, Kampung Baru Pandan, Johor Bahru
Hours: 6:30pm to 11:00pm (closed on Sunday)
Date visited: 5 Mar 2015
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