Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Thousand Dollar Fish

Last Friday, my friend called me and invited me try this special fish from Sarawak. My usual response is like "What so special about this fish?!!" and he told me it's a rare fish and I should try it. And so I went.

You see, I'm not really a fish person. I can't differentiate between a patin or a siakap. The only thing I can tell is - that's not a shark! Usually I just eat whatever fish that is served to me but of course I hate small fishes or those with lots of tiny bones. I'll tell you why - when I was young, I got choked by fish bones many times and I could still remember the old tales where I should swallow lots of rice after that to get rid of the bones that choked me. After that I got paranoid of fishes for some years.


The claypot sharksfin soup that is put to boil bowl by bowl in front of us and then fresh and juicy beansprouts is added into the pot.


The tender and juicy wagyu beef steak.

Actually I was just there to try the fish but ended up eating the full course dinner which ended after 7 or 8 courses later with a big pot of "sang har loh mee"! You should have seen that pot. It was humongous! And that was my first time having loh mee for dessert!


Steamed Empurau

This is the highlight of the dinner. We had the "empurau" (Tar Trambroides) or in mandarin they called it the "wang bu liau" (unforgettable). After tasting the fish and knowing how much it cost, I can understand why the name "unforgettable" is derived. The empurau is the most sought after freshwater fish in Sarawak and it's exotic because of its natural habitat which is in the swift, clear, rocky-bottomed streams, in a up-land zone of the river system.

It was certainly a special fish as its meat is tender and smooth. On the palate, the meat had some berries like taste. A quick google reveals that the natural food of the fish is parts of plants, leaves, fruits and flowers. No wonder the meat tasted so good. The fish is best to be steamed. I never know the prices of fish and I thought the most expensive fish I've ever eaten was the "Sultan fish" but no... This unforgettable can leave you RM1000 poorer per kilogram. I almost choked! Do you know I can buy a new phone with a kg of that fish?!!

You can also read about it in Rubberseeds' post about this "Golden Fish".

That's a little education on fish for the weekend. I learnt a new fish!

23 comments:

Dylan said...

pay rm1000 just to eat a fish? yikes!!
these fishermen are rich bastards!

metalpanda said...

wow, super expensive~~ but i m sure its super nice also. haha

suituapui said...

It's only RM250-300 a kilo here...and I don't think that one's big enough to cost RM1,000...but then probably that's the going price over there. The "semah" that a fellow-blogger gave me is cheaper...RM150 a kilo, equally nice and less bones! I wouldn't wanna buy any though - too expensive, like eating gold!

cibol said...

Per kilo maybe not la but maybe 1 ekor can fetch thousands of ringgit and I kid you not, can ask suituapui. They caught a big one I forgot how heavy the thing was but the restaurant owner bought it for RM8k.It was published in the newspaper. Believe it or Not?

Kimmy said...

Anyone wanna join venture in being a fisherman? I'm so going to quit my job now.

foongpc said...

I can't afford to eat such an expensive fish! Can go Tenji 20 times and eat my favourite codfish! Haha!

Btw, congrats, you are first commenter on my blog today. Your picture is now on my blog : )

M-Knight said...

recently in Sibu a restaurant owner bought a RM1400 fish it was very big. It was a headlines in every newspaper.

-eiling- said...

Dylan: Fisherman don't earn that much. Restaurants will hike up the prices.

Metalpanda: It's nice!

STP: But I was eating with the restaurant owners and they say the prices can go up to RM1000/kg here.

Cibol: Maybe it depends on which restaurant. If there's a demand for it, it can fetch a good price here.

Kimmy: Haha... so fast?!!

Foongpc: I rather buy a new handphone! Lol.. I looked like part of your post!

KY said...

for RM1k per kg that fish is actually quite ugly. lol

-eiling- said...

KY: Didn't know you appreciate the beauty of an edible fish!

Huai Bin said...

I love this fish. Often ordered by people entertaining clients in Sibu just so they can boast how much it costs, it tastes pretty good to be honest. Best served like your photo - steamed with soy sauce. :)

Anonymous said...

Find local Chinese restaurants tend to over rate and over price rare fresh water fish, and most restaurants over cooked steam fish. From your photo, suspect the soy sauce used was not pure.

Kimmy said...

Yeah flying on the next plane to Sarawak LoL, with a price like that it's even more profitable selling gold.

Anonymous said...

salmon is probably the most expensive one i have ever eaten.what is that big fish that the japanese hunt in the pacific, so that they can have the raw fish? it must be tuna, i think (not the whale or shark)

if some one asks you to cut a bit of fresh to sell for 10k, would you do so? may be not the visible part, such as at the butt (tastes less good).

-eiling- said...

M-Knight: RM1400? Is that supposed to be very expensive?

Huai Bin: Yeah..only business man could afford it. Not employees like me.

Anon: I wouldn't know. Am no expert in soy sauce.

Kimmy: Good luck!

Anon: No I wouldn't do it. You would have to kill me first.

Cath J said...

RM1k??????????? jeez.....

Anonymous said...

By weight, Japanese Fugu fish is more expensive.

-eiling- said...

Cath J: Yeah in some places.

Anon: I see. I really have no idea.

Philip said...

Our gang had one recently,costing Rm2650. It is around Rm400-450 per kg.It is also called "Minister fish" as many, if not most of this fish is meant to "please" the ministers, both at state and federal level. Haha, I can supply you at Rm 600/kg!

-eiling- said...

Philip: Wow, since when you became a fish supplier? Does RM600 includes transportation and cooking preparation?!

Philip said...

Eiling, I have the supply/suppliers. Seriously, if you have buyers, we can work out something.Only those between 2-3 kg is considered good.

Myhorng said...

i think got priceless fish

Ang Kong Hu (Hokkien)

-eiling- said...

Philip: Ooh... I can ask my restaurant owner friends.

Horng: Is it? I don't know. I only buy cheap and dead fishes.

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