>> Oct 18, 2010
King of the Rajan River, the Malaysian Mahseer (Tor tambroides), better known as the Empurau by locals is a highly priced fish by diners. A direct translation 忘不了 (its Mandarin name) can be summed up by one word - Unforgettable. Whether or the fish got its name from its taste or its price tag, still remains a mystery among many diners.
This fish has actually been successfully cultivated throughout Malaysia. Breeding this fish is extremely difficult as it requires a rocky bottom and a very large pump to simulate the running river in the wild. Water pH level as well as a cool temperature is require to get the fish in the 'mood' for mating. This fish can grow up to 30kilos. However, their growth rate is extremely slow, which is quite similar to their distant cousin, the Red Mahseer (Kelah Merah).
The wild Empurau, thrive on 'Buah Kepayang', a type of fruit found by the river bank. This is probably the reason the fish has a very unique and special taste compared to other fish. Some diners claim the Empurau taste different depending on the location the fish was caught at. The Empurau should only be consumed once it grows above 3kg, or its meat would not have firmed up, leaving it mushy to the taste.
It is extremely challenging even for professional anglers to catch the Empurau by hook and line as they have a tendency to throw off hooks. To make matters worst, the quantity of this fish in the wild has been depleting in the recent years due to its high demands from diners.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to taste this rare fish at River Fish Restaurant ( 九和鱼餐馆).
The remaining of the fish scales that could be removed from the steamed segment of the fish was deep fried with salt and pepper.
Frankly, I personally feel that no fish could never be worth that much, no matter how good it tastes. My suspicions were correct after tasting it. My only conclusion was the fish was so highly priced due to its rarity. It is true, the fish taste better than other fish, but I don't think it justifies its hefty RM700 per kilo tag.
Note: I do not encourage the consumption of endangered fish from the wild. Please do not flame me for eating the fish above.
The pictures below will sum up some other other dishes we had that night.
Winter Melon Soup with the Head of a Giant Grouper
I didn't bother snapping the some of the similar dishes I had on my previous visit. Do check out what I thought of this place on my previous visit.
Click here for my other review on River Fish Restaurant at Damansara Kim.
All in all, I doubt I will want to eat this fish again. I still feel that the price tag does not justify its taste. RM700 can get you good food at lots of other places.
*Opinions expressed are solely based on my personal experience
Map to River Fish Restaurant (Damansara) Sdn. Bhd. 九和鱼
17, Jalan SS20/11,
47400 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
Telephone number: 03 7727 8029
Fax number: 03 7727 8019