KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — I have a love-hate relationship with fish and chips.
Even though I enjoy the British classic, I can only eat it in small doses.
This started when I entered university in the UK. Fridays meant fish and chips for dinner at my hall of residence. After a few months, I started to dread the dish (and Fridays)!
Eventually, I’d just skip dinner. It took me many years to get over that phobia.
When I got back to Malaysia, I started to crave fish and chips since it was scarce. Even if you spy it on the menu, it was usually soggy or dripping with oil.
In recent years, we have seen some British places serving good renditions. Some even serve it with the traditional mushy peas.
Hence when my friend raved about Blue Reef Fish & Chips, I was curious. Two visits later, I reckon I am hooked on their fish and chips.
The restaurant hails from Straits Quay in Penang where it serves their signature dish with a view of the marina. Apparently it has a solid reputation of serving the best fish and chips in Penang.
This Taman Tun Dr Ismail outlet opened its doors this July. And just like the Penang outlet, through word of mouth, it’s earned a reputation for its Traditional Fish and Chips.
It’s a choice of beer battered or breaded. If you skew towards the traditional, just go for the beer battered.
Next, just pick what type of fish you prefer. Five types of fish — tilapia, barramundi, snapper, grouper and halibut — are available. Prices range from RM28 for the tilapia to RM47 for the halibut.
Select from various types of fish, like this one using snapper as each type of fish gives a different taste and texture for your fish and chips.
The fish is served on a bed of fries and a salad. There’s their homemade tartar sauce, where you can get refills. You also have a bottle of malt vinegar on the table.
Your choice of fish matters. If you like a juicy, flaky texture for your fish, go for the halibut. It’s a heavenly combination — steaming hot flaky fish — crunchy, puffy batter.
What makes it unbeatable is that the golden beer battered fish isn’t greasy.
If your wallet will scream at you for indulging in the halibut, the grouper (RM45) is just a few steps below the preferred halibut in its flakiness. Or try the snapper (RM41) which has a firmer bite.
The chips or fries, like we call it here, are well executed too. Golden yellow and crunchy on the outside. It’s hard to just stop at one. I vow to only eat half portions of the chips but I end up breaking my own promise.
Luckily, there’s a refreshing salad on the side to make me feel a little less guilty.
The tartare sauce also helps to bring a creaminess to the whole deep fried ensemble.
Now, if you wish for more than just fish and chips, they do offer sharing platters. You can also add fried calamari, prawns and scallops too.
If you’re really hungry, share the Seafood Galore with its assortment of beer battered seafood with fries and salad.
The Seafood Galore combines all of their fried seafood in one platter. We tried this but unfortunately we didn’t find much happiness with the fried calamari, prawns and scallops.
The calamari is quite decent but the prawns and scallops are way too small so you end up with more batter than seafood. Just stick to the Traditional Fish and Chips.
Prices again are dependent on which fish is selected. This round, we tried the grouper fish for RM80.
There are also other choices for sharing platters: a whole grilled fish, cheese baked prawns, fried chicken cutlet, breaded calamari and quinoa salad.
As the fish and chips is rather substantial, you may wish to supplement your meal here with something light. Opt for their Farmed Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil. There’s two sizes: One is an appetiser size for RM15 while the other is RM30 for a meal portion.
For a light bite, the Farmed Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil will be a nice appetiser especially when it’s raining.
The soup is satisfying with its umami mushrooms and that hint of truffle oil. What I liked was how it was just the right balance of creaminess for my palate: Satisfying yet not overly rich.
There’s also light bites such as bruschetta and even Garlic Prawns in Marinara Sauce with House Bread (RM28). This I feel one can skip as the sauce tends to be a tad sourish and needs a bit more herbs and flavour. The prawns could be a little bigger for a better bite too. What’s lovely is the fluffy bread with the fine crust.
Skip the Garlic Prawns in Marinara Sauce with House Bread as it’s more like a tomato dip with a few small prawns inside it.
Their menu also offers salads, pasta, burgers and chicken dishes. There’s also pan grilled fish, if you’re avoiding deep fried food.
Find the eatery at the same row opposite the entrance to TTDI Market.
Blue Reef Fish & Chips, 37, Jalan Wan Kadir 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 11.30am to 10pm. Closed on Monday. Tel:011-33197127. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mybluereef/
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