With his Bukittinggi heritage and grilling forte, Bang Themmy decided to embark on a warung venture a few years ago by serving grilled fish unlike any other and not just that, he invites his guests to sample the traditional Minangnese cuisine like we often find in Padang restaurants!
Ikan Bakar Nila Khas Padang Bang Themmy or Ikan Bakar Bang Themmy is a grilled fish shack but in a different way. Yes, we often find grilled fish hawkers mostly around nighttime and basically they serve just a few types of fish, grilled, and then served with sambal kecap or simple sweet soybean sauce and bird-eye chilies.
However, Bang Themmy does it differently and even much better. Firstly, he concentrates on only one type of fish and for that he chose ikan nila or tilapia, specifically from the rapid streams of Subang in West Java. The rapid current is believed to develop the big bones inside the fish, making it easy for us to devour it completely, unlike the common carp (ikan mas) that has smaller bones all over its body.
Secondly, Bang Themmy has devised a new way to make the fish even tastier and he concocted Padangnese yellow sauce that consists of garlic, shallot, turmeric, galangal, ginger, chilies, coconut milk, and other specific ingredients. He smears the yellow sauce during the grilling process and while Bang Themmy’s grilling technique may appear easy but he does it carefully to maintain the right moisture. Afterwards, he serves the fish with traditional lado mudo (green sambal made from green chilies), making it even more flavorful.
It’s a guaranteed squeaky clean plate for everyone who savors this beauty and I will always ask for more of those scrumptiously thick bumbu kuning and I’ll even use the Padangnese phrase for asking for seconds, “Tambo ciek!” (or “One more dish please!”) at times.
Additionally, Bang Themmy also serves the grilled chicken as the substitute for the fish. If you’re lucky, he has more surprises that you have to try such as the super spicy gulai itiak lado mudo (duck with green chilies), pucuak ubi tigo jam (steamed cassava leaves with a lot of spices and fish cooked for three hours – if with firewood), and traditional delicacies like ayam pop or dendeng paru.
That is, ladies and gentlemen, an unlikely beautiful scene found only in a humble, clean shack run by a really skillful and modest man alongside his lovely wife.
IKAN BAKAR NILA KHAS PADANG BANG THEMMY
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Terusan Jakarta no. 280 (hawkers area), Bandung – Indonesia
Mon – Sat, 12pm – 10pm
Spend: IDR 25,000 – IDR 50,000 / person
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE May 2014 edition
Download it for free here via SCOOP!
Photos by: Dennie Benedict