Pandan Lake Seafood Village,
Pandan Lake Club,
28, Jalan Perdana 3/8,
Cheras 55300, Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours: Mon - Fri lunch
from 11.00am to 2.30pm,
weekend and public holidays
lunch from 9.00am to 2.30pm and
daily dinner from 6.00pm to 10.00pm.
MANY would raise more than an eyebrow when told that the usual selling price for an Empurau fish is about RM700 per kilogramme but for fish lovers, the price may well be worth it as explained by Pandan Lake Seafood Village owner James Wong.
“The Empurau can only be caught in the Rejang river in Sarawak and no where else in Malaysia. It isn’t easy to catch and it eats fruits that fall into the river,” Wong said.
“I’ve been told many times by customers that the Empurau’s flesh is very smooth and tastes very fresh,” Wong said.
He added that other restaurants that served the fish might have imported it from Indonesia and the taste was not as good as the one from Malaysia.
“The rivers in Indonesia where this fish is caught are clear and one can easily see the fish from the surface, Wong said.
“River fish are actually tastier than sea fish.
“This is because the river water is constantly moving, providing a healthier environment and the fish eat mostly fruits or prey on other smaller fishes,” he said.
Sea fish, on the other hand, according to Wong, were exposed to all kinds of pollution and fish reared in ponds are not as tasty as river fish.
His restaurant specialises in river fish and is now offering the Empurau at RM550 per kilo and the Temoleh, the sixth most expensive river fish on its menu, at RM130 per kilo.
“The promotion will only last as long as we have stock of these fish,” Wong said, adding that most other fish commonly served in Chinese restaurants were also available.
“When we prepare big fishes, we are also able to provide the customer with a small special side dish of fried fish scales from the fish they are consuming.
“Smaller fish scales are too small for us to prepare,” Wong said, adding that generally fish took four to five years to grow to weigh 2kg.
Other than the fish dishes, the restaurant also provides items, all of which focus on “wild” and fresh ingredients.
“The ingredients, particularly the chicken, are very tough and by slow-cooking it for four hours, the meat will be tender enough to be eaten,” Lu said, adding that the restaurant also served wild boar knuckles and fish maw.
Another interesting dish served is the mixed vegetable dish that features bite-sized pieces of fish paste wedged between two lotus roots.
Another restaurant favourite is the rice with diced waxed duck, something different compared with the usual slices of duck arranged neatly atop the rice.