A few days ago, Saucer and I came home really late and hungry. We decided to just drive out and try a new restaurant that appealed to us that night. Staying in Puchong, food outlets are aplenty and it was just a matter of preference for us. We initially wanted to have Northern Indian cuisine but failed to find any around Bandar Puteri area, but we passed by a huge corner shop lot with the signboard “Sekinchan Ikan Bakar” that was blaring with lights and had quite a sizable crowd. It was then that we decided to have grilled fish, or ‘ikan bakar’ for dinner. Once I got down from the car, the unmistakable smell of grilled fish filled the air around me – smoky and strong. I almost wanted to change my mind since I didn’t want to be covered with the smell of fumes, but my hungry stomach gave in.
Old-fashioned lighting on the ceilings
The place was huge, occupying the corner lot of the shop-house, and extends to the outdoor compounds covered with makeshift tents. I decided to sit indoors since it was slightly cooler with fans above us, but the smoky smell was undoubtedly stronger since the grilling of fish was done inside.
“Please order at the fish counter”
Once we got in, I realized that service was quite poor. There were many waiters around but no one bothered to show us around. We just sat on an available table and wondered what to do next. Still no one came. The label on the table said “Sila buat pesanan di kaunter ikan” which meant “Please order at the fish counter” in Malay. I suppose they thought this notice would suffice in telling us what to do. But still, where was the ‘fish counter’? This was when we observed what other customers did so Saucer proceeded to the counter located on the left of the shop.
Ordering at the fish counter on the left
There were choices of raw squid, prawns, different types of fish, clams and other seafood available on the counter, and we had to choose the ones we wanted to be grilled. Just next to the counter on the table there were some fish crackers and raw vegetables (ulam) for sale. Not sure of what the procedure was, Saucer took a plate of Ulam and brought it back to our table. I’m telling you, the service left much to be desired.
Ulam /Raw vegetables (RM2)
Variety of chili sauce and soya sauce
While waiting for the grilled fish to arrive, our growling stomachs couldn’t stand the hunger and we took a packet of ‘Nasi Lemak’ from the counter to be shared. Packed in banana leaf, the rice came in a small portion with a smaller portion of sambal. There was no coconut cream (santan) flavour to the rice and the sambal was just too little to be spread around the rice. Definitely not the best of nasi lemak but I guess we were just looking for something to fill the tummy.
Nasi Lemak (RM2)
Small portion of rice and sambal – overpriced?
Soon, our Grilled Mackerel (Ikan Kembung) arrived, drenched in a sour, spicy and slightly sweet sauce. The gravy was almost like an assam curry gravy, very appetizing and flavourful, but the same could not be said about the fish. Being grilled, I was expecting the fish to have some charred bits on the surface, or at least some crispy edges like how normal grilled/BBQ fish would have. But there was none of those. Perhaps in an attempt to rush their orders, the fish was not grilled for a long enough time, losing its oomph. It tasted more like steamed fish to us. I ended up being more interested in the assam gravy than the fish itself.
Grilled Mackerel / Ikan Kembung (RM10)
We also ordered a plate of Grilled Lala Clams, also served with the same kind of assam gravy. I would actually rate the lala clams slightly better than the grilled fish, because the clams were quite huge and all of them had meat inside. I had to, however, discount some points because some of the clams were not properly cleaned and there was a visible sign of mud in some of the clam shells. Not a nice sight to behold, really. Again, I was actually more interested in the soupy and savoury gravy than the clams itself. I should have just ordered a bowl of the gravy to go with my rice.
Grilled Lala Clams (RM10 for 500gram)
The worst of the lot though, was the piece of Fried Chicken (Ayam Goreng Berempah) that we had. We were given a piece of the chicken wing, chopped into several small pieces, with more bones in sight than meat. The meat was dry and, horror of all horrors – cold! It felt like eating chicken cooked from yesterday, and I immediately regretted this order. This small plate of what they deem as fried chicken set us back a whopping RM7!
Fried Chicken (RM7) – Cold and dry meat
Interior of Sekinchan Ikan Bakar restaurant
Being fairly new in the area of Puchong, as well as the only grilled fish restaurant around, this place still gets a reasonable crowd. If the patrons are not picky when it comes to service, and they don’t order the exorbitantly-priced fried chicken, this place is here to stay. The meal for 2 came up to RM33 (without drinks) and we were not even satisfied.
Sekinchan Ikan Bakar at Bandar Puteri Puchong
Restoran Sekinchan Ikan Bakar Puchong (Halal) – Next to Giant Puchong
2G Jalan Puteri 1-8,
Tel no: +6016-919 3424
GPS Coordinates: 3.025585, 101.619811