Malay Indonesian Cuisine is not something we have often in Malaysia; not because we do not like the cuisine but mainly because we are busy stuffing our stomachs with all the street food around Kuala Lumpur.
This time round, we made plans to visit this restaurant as we read pretty good reviews of this restaurant and we are a bunch of people who really do like our Indonesian cuisine as well.
The restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of Bangsar Shopping mall and is decorated like a modern stylish restaurant with a tinge of Indonesian identity with their menu and wall decorations.
This batik menu is so pretty and representative of the Indonesian culture.
With many notable awards like CNN Travel “KL Top 20 restaurant” and The Miele Guide “Asia Top 20 Restaurant” , Dancing Fish serves mostly barbequed, fried and curries cooked in the Malay-Indonesian style.
Once you are done with your orders, you will be served fried crackers and sambal belachan as a dipping chilli sauce. I can’t recall if this was complimentary but request for a top up was payable. The belachan provided was fantastic with a good pungent spicy sprimp taste and strong tangy flavours from the lime.
The chicken satay was served with another bowl of peanut dipping sauce. Unlike the usual satay, the ones here are huge in chunks with barely any fats. The spices used in marinating the satay was too over powering for me. I found the meat too dry due to the missing of the fats. The sauce was also not sweet like the usual satay sauce which we are used to but has a more savoury and sour taste.
The grilled squid serving was huge with it’s own recommended dipping chilli. As a belachan lover, I will try all kinds of belachan but this is somehow not something I liked. The chilli was a miss as there was no good shrimp flavours but instead a weird salty taste. Back to the squid, I felt that they were over done and on the verge of being too chewy. There were a few rings where I had to struggle to bite into them.
The highlight of the visit was the fried fish which is the famous dancing fish. The sauce provided was a dry chilli with onions, garlic, tomatoes and other spices. The sauce was very interesting with light heat and more of a sweet flavours.
The fish itself is like art; it is so thoroughly fried that the entire fish looks like it is dancing. There are 7 different kinds of sauces you can choose to be served with your fish; from mango salad, assam pedas gravy to homemade gulai of fermented durian,chillis and spices. We chose the Sambal Cobek Merah which was a good supplementary sauce. I say supplementary because the fish is so good to eat on it’s own without any sauce or sides. From the skin to the bones, the fish is fried to that perfect golden brown with every single part of the fish crispy to the bite. This dish totally compensated for the disappointment in the first 2 dishes.
The beverages served were pretty normal and the prices were acceptable from MYR 6 to MYR 10.
I ordered the bandung drink to see if they get the favourite Indonesian drink correct and I was disappointment as I found it too diluted and there was no fragrant from the rose water or the milk.
Overall in our visit, only the Dancing fish stood out as the winner dish, the rest were only ok but very close to being mediocre. That being said, we did not try their curries or other highlight dishes so I will not rate them all that bad. Will I return to Dancing fish? Probably not as I ended up having a slight sore throat from the meal so that made me wonder about the oil being used.
Address: Lot T120, 121 & 122 285, 3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 10 pm