31.08.2018 @ Datuk Keramat
Friends outing, 9 pax @ RM179
Rating 4.5/5

Driving into the wet market situated right opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT station, you’ll be welcomed by a man who helps people with parking spaces. He blowed the whistle and pointed to available parking space.

The sight of grilled fish piling up was already an invitation.

Ikan kembung grilled to perfection
Haji Yusuf carefully wrapping fishes briefly soaked in tumeric water, with banana leaves
Grilled fish for customers
Piping hot grilled fish

As we sat down and order, I can’t help but to walk around observing the 6 stalls Mat Teh occupies. According to one of his staffs, Bob, Mat Teh started a humble beginning from only one stall and then expanded one after another to now six in the span of 25 years. Bob worked part time during his school days all the way until he is now a grown man.

Why Mat Teh? En. Hambali started as a tea maker at the stall, making only beverages. “Teh” means tea in Malay language, and “mamat” is a common name to call a guy. Therefore, Mat Teh.

Mat Teh Ikan Bakar business hours and phone numbers
Very reasonably priced

As you can see, pricing is very reasonable and the fishes were very decent in size and weight.

Fresh is the word. Although we were in a grilled fish stall, there was no stench of fishy smell

Mat Teh sources his supplies of fishes at the Pasar Borong (Wholesale Market) Selayang as early as 3 a.m. daily. His staff of ten, including him, cleans and processes about 100kg of fishes at wee hours in the morning to get his stall ready by 11 a.m. for his first customer.

Mat Teh soaks the fishes in a tumeric solution and wraps them in banana leaves
He places the fishes on a hot grill
A dollop of margerine which slowly melt to the fish being grilled
The aroma of the banana leaves as well as blobs of margarine added the kick
Apart from the tumeric solution, banana leaves and margarine seem to be the only needed “ingredients”
The fishes get turned at the right time for the right texture
Hoong Ling (right) laughing during a conversation with Mat Teh
Hands-on: Mat Teh even cuts and cleans the “ulam” himself

Rising from humble beginning, Mat Teh is very hands-on in his business which he said only started to pick up recently after a blogger made his story viral. It wasn’t all smooth at the beginning but his determination and perseverance made it.

Grilled Torpedo Scad (Cencaru) or Bob calls it Ikan Asrama – asrama means hostel. Apparently this is a common food for students in hostels
Steaming hot grilled stingray (Ikan Pari)
Grilled Barramundi (Ikan Siakap)
Look at the fresh creamy fish after peeling off its scales
Grilled Toli Shad (Ikan Terubuk)
“Ulam”, raw mixed vegetables which is good to go with sambal
Asam pedas is also a choice for customers

Nine of us to the feast, with rice and drinks cost us RM179, an average of about RM20 per person, satisfied and willing to be back.

There is nothing much to describe about his fishes other than FRESH – the best word. When a fish is fresh, cook it any way and it will taste superb. The creamy texture of the terubuk, that piping hot stingray and siakap had us all gazing only on our food, eating with our hands and spitting off fish bones. Chicken feet soup was a great add on.

Oh there’s also quite a variety of fruit juice to quench your thirst but the thick, flavourful soursop juice is to die for. Worth the RM4 per glass!

Mat Teh Ikan Bakar

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