I love writing on a full tummy. It makes me more critical about food. When I’m starved, all food is the same to me and the thought of it makes me happy heh. Right now, I’m full on fish. Fish that I made myself.
While having my home-made fish creation, it struck me how I somehow enjoy Lahori home-made fish a lot more than the other types of fish I’ve tried. Two other fish dishes come to mind that I got the chance to try in the recent past. Yes, I’m critical about food when I’m full but I’m still a little biased towards Lahore. Still, decide for yourself which one of the fish dishes below you’d prefer over the others.
Pla Tod Makham at Lemongrass, Dubai
I had the chance of going out specially for fish with my brother during my visit to Dubai in January. I love fish but am not as big a fan to know of the good places for having fish and my brother made the decision. It was Lemongrass near Lamcy. For a moment I was about to change my mind as Lemongrass was right next to BBQ Delight, a desi restaurant that houses Behari Kabab too but my bro insisted and here I was surrounded by weird fishy smells but in an aesthetically pleasing seating area that made me feel special.
Cutting it short, I ordered the Pla Tod Makham on their Seafood menu (after having some AMAZING Tom Yam soup that had really juicy prawns in it ahhh). I settled for Pla Tod Makham because it was Kingfish. Pakistanis are used to having kingfish a lot. It’s called Surmayee here and is pretty popular among kids too because their ‘fillets’ here usually have just the one big bone in the middle that can be easily pulled out.
My reaction on finishing my fish? I wanted to run away. The tamarind was too, TOO strong and killed any ‘sweet and sour’ taste that I would have expected the fish to have. It was served with boiled veggies that tasted like nothing and were covered by this ball-bearing like fiery green pepper that I DARE you try. I DOUBLE DARE YOU MOTHERF… okay I love Pulp Fiction.
I guess I just ordered the wrong fish. I should have gone for the more subtle Pla Neung Manao which is Red snapper steamed with lemon, chilli and garlic. My bro ordered that. It looked amazing, smelled amazing and TASTED amazing when I tried it. Or maybe it did because I’d just had the worst fish in recent memory. Ahh well. Dh. 44 down the sea heh.
Hammour Fillet with Chips at London Fish & Chips, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai
This was during my January visit too during an obscure window-shopping hangout with my bro at Ibn Battuta. We decided to dine at the food court where we could both choose whatever we want to have. He settled for the safer KFC and I decided to try London Fish & Chips. Unfortunately.
I ordered the Hammour Fillet with Chips. I don’t have much to write about it, seriously. It was the blandest fish EVER. And that’s probably an understatement. I’ve never had battered fish that doesn’t taste like any identifiable food. I’ve had better Fish & Chips at Espresso in Lahore! And that’s saying something.
Do NOT try their Hammour. EVER. Go for something else. It’ll probably be better than ANYTHING related to Hammour that this outlet is dealing with. And don’t expect a lot from their chips too.
My Lahori Fried Fish, Lahore
On my last visit to Metro, I bought a few fillets of Queenfish. It’s a tradition in Lahore that one should have fish only during the months that have the letter ‘R’ in them. That leaves May, June, July and August out of the question. There are loads of superstitions surrounding having fish during these months. A post on that later I guess? Damn we’ve made fish R-rated here. =(
Well I decided I’ll have some fish before the R-rated doom hits us and I still have memories of my fish experience in Dubai telling me not to. So I fried the fish myself. I smothered two fillets of queenfish with red-pepper seeds (yes), added some salt and squeezed a lemon over them. That’s it. Then I fried them until they stopped looking like fish fillets. That’s the Lahori way of frying fish. Overcook it until it has no chances of coming back to life heh. And that’s what I did.
I still have the smell of my beautiful fish fillets on my fingers as I type this. It’s wonderful. The red-pepper and lemon were AMAZING. Over-cooked as the fish was, it still tasted pretty amazing with some home-made Choprri hui Roti (buttered Roti. If you don’t know what Roti is, well, umm. Bah.)
That’s my post on my experience with fish. If you’re not a Gora and have had desi fish all your life, do not even TRY something else. You won’t like it. And you’ll end up cursing the fooding places and writing blogs about them.