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Dancing fish is rather easy to locate in Bangsar Shopping Centre’s new wing plus there is prominent sign in the front. There are minimal decorations but what is there – rattan lamps, shelves with large jars of keropok, wood accents – is tasteful. Its interior is pleasing to the eye, welcoming and quite cosy with warm lighting and a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Tables are just far apart enough that you can’t quite make out the conversation on the next table. Space and food are good for groups and families, also good for a casual date.
As soon as they are seated, guests are offered a starter of emping (crackers) with sambal terasi. The emping is crispy and the sambal is balanced and not too spicy.
The tahu telur (egg tofu) is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, a good juxtaposition of textures. The sauce is slightly tangy with the addition of peanuts, making for an interesting combination. The tahu on its own is bland, but when all the components are eaten together, the flavours and textures come together nicely.
The belimbing ikan masin is a fresh and crunchy salad with slightly tangy pieces of startfruit and crispy salt fish, given a little kick with the addition of bird’s eye chillies. The Javanese home style soup – clear and light, with a hint of peppery spice, and good amount of vegetables and chicken – is very comforting, definitely a home-style soup.
The star of the meal is no doubt the signature dancing fish with sambal terasi and kicap. The fish is crispy on the outside and light and soft on the inside. When coupled with the sambal terasi – a mixture of spicy chili padi, fresh and light tomatoes – and dark and light soy sauces, the flavour of the fish is elevated. The contrasting textures and tastes are very interesting.
Another favourite is the buntut belando enak (grilled oxtail). The meat is tender, falls off the bone and the fat melts in the mouth. The grill on the meat is excellent resulting in some caramelised and crispy parts – absolutely delicious.
The caramalised bananas with palm sugar and ice-cream is so very delicious. Two bananas are lightly grilled with palm sugar and the drizzled with palm sugar syrup. The bananas are soft on the inside, very slightly crispy on the outside and go well with the vanilla ice-cream. Also noteworthy are the lemongrass jelly pop pops – tiny transparent balls that pop when you bite into them to reveal a light lemongrass syrup inside. Very refreshing after a heavy meal.
No alcohol is served here but they have mocktails that are specially crafted for them by Monin. Two light and refreshing drinks are the pandan coconut with lime and lime with sour plum, both are good, as expected.
Service is good and quick, staff are attentive, pleasant, friendly. The waiters are ready to provide recommendations.