Another specialty of southern part of Malaysia is none other than the asam pedas – chunks of fish immersed in bright red chillie gravy tinged with sourish tamarind sauce and lime juice. Batu Pahat town itself has plenty of warung serving this dishes and the last time I was back in hometown, I decided to scour for a few good ones. Truth to be told, none of the asam pedas in Batu Pahat fares badly because being a coastal town, we are seldom deprived of seawater fish supply.
Asam Pedas Mak Limah :
Mak Limah is my first tryout in my quest. At 11.30am the shop was already full to brink and we had to bustle around to get a seat. It is a self-serviced place and we had order from the counter but I really dislike the lack of queueing system here. The lady will just prepare food based on whoever’s voice that got into her ear, not who’s standing in front of the line. Sighhhh..
After I arrived at our table with prized asam pedas, that fault was easily overlooked, because the fish taste so fresh, hardly overcooked, it’s spicier than our usual one but the sourness is just kicking nice.
In case you are curious, (I think) the better way to savor asam pedas is to just dampen part of the rice, right before putting them into mouth. The conventional way of drenching the whole plate with gravy before eating, will cause the rice to go cold and puffed up because of the liquid.
As I ordered for fish head (ikan merah) hence the bill is on the higher side compared to others. Our meal for two, without any side dish made up to RM30.
Asam Pedas Mak Limah
Address : No. 3, Jalan Dato’ Tay Kim Peow, 83000 Batu Pahat.
GPS :1°51’08.1″N 102°55’31.0″E
Asam Pedas Pantai Laut :
Another surprising find in Batu Pahat is Asam Pedas Pantai Laut which is conveniently located near my in-laws’ home. Ikan merah were sold out so we went for ikan kembung which made CS frowned. He hates fish that has plenty of tiny bones.
Ikan Kembung is the type of fish that taste really bad and mushy texture whenever they slightly went past the ‘fresh’ line. However, Pantai Laut wowed us with the briny sweetness and still fibrous meat of ikan kembung. CS seemed to forget about his complain of the bones.
Rojak tauhu is a dish that comes hand-in-hand, like the sidekick of asam pedas in Batu Pahat. It is very different from the usual yellowish tauhu rojak. Generally, the tauhu are fried to crispy skin, added with raw beansprouts and cucumbers, then covered with black sauce made from soy sauce imbued with crushed birds eye chilies. Looks pretty harmless, right? Wait till you try its spiciness. The version at Pantai Laut has tempeh in it too and we love its crispiness.
Pantai Laut Asam Pedas
13, Jalan Mohd Salleh, Kampung Pegawai, 83000 Batu Pahat.
GPS : 1°50’52.5″N 102°55’52.3″E (the location in Google Map is not precise but it’s on the same road)
Yana Asam Pedas :
Yana is the most-mentioned asam pedas here having a few branches around the town. The business is as brisk Mak Limah so anyone arriving later than 1pm will expect to wait for empty seats. Ordering can be done via the waiter but the speedier way to pass your order is to just walk to the food counter. Service speed is not their virtue hence some customers ended up getting their food really fast while others waited (im)patiently.
We ordered for fish slice (isi ikan) ikan merah. The gravy is on the oilier side, more spicy than sourness.
Yana’s tauhu rojak wasn’t as good as Pantai Laut’s as the tauhu and are not crispy enough and the beansprouts are ‘limpy’.
Next time, I will skip the tauhu rojak and stick with the asam pedas.
Yana Asam Pedas
Jalan Shahbandar, 83000 Batu Pahat
Estimated GPS : 1°51’27.6″N 102°55’29.4″E
(Note: Please don’t use the Yana Asam Pedas shown in Google Map as that branch is permanently closed)