Sunday November 18, 2007
You won’t find obese wild canines at Fatty Tiger, only
pesticide-free greens and mouth-watering fish dishes.
WHEN two fishing enthusiasts, Joe Fong and Ben Lee, came
together to start their Fatty Tiger Restaurant in Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur, they came up with an interesting concept of restaurant
Fish to the fore: Chef Keong holding the Ikan Kelah
Merah. On the table are (clockwise from top right)
Ikan Tengalan, Ikan Patin, Ikan Jelawat and Ikan
For a start, it seems a funny thing why they chose to name
the restaurant Fatty Tiger when the canine found in the wild is
hardly known for being overweight.
But Lee says the concept of their restaurant is based on
their love for pesticide-free vegetables, like pucuk paku, and
animals, especially the fishes, that are found in the wild.
“The freshwater fish from the rivers are a lot tastier and
more nutritious by comparison.
“When we say this to fishing enthusiasts, they will know what
we mean, because they know how to appreciate the natural tastes
of the fish and the way we prepare the dishes.”
So, with Lee, the environment at Fatty Tiger Restaurant is
not that important.
“Our idea is to make this a fisherman’s outing, where our
customers can simply enjoy the best of what nature can offer,”
After all, as Lee puts it aptly: “The idea of the restaurant
came about when several fishing enthusiasts decided that they
would share the best of nature’s gifts from the rivers with
other fellow Malaysians.”
The cooking is simple but the dishes served here taste pretty
“It is because we want to bring out the natural taste of the
freshwater fish and other dishes served here,” explains Fong.
Tucking in: Ben Lee (left) and Joe Fong (right) with
a regular client, Calvin Ng, helping themselves to
the dishes at Fatty Tiger.
Instead of pork, they serve wild boar meat. And, for poultry,
the restaurant only uses kampung chicken, which is usually
steamed with herbs. There are also the steamed kampung chicken
eggs, prepared using special herbs to give it a special
Sixty per cent of the fish served as dishes here are bought
from the orang asli community, while another 15% come from other
Fong used to go fishing very often in the past but since the
restaurant started, he goes only once every fortnight.
“Each time we go out in our sampans, it’s for a few days at a
stretch,” he says.
Their favourite fishing spots include the Kenyir Lake,
Temenggong Lake, Pahang River, Rompin River and Perak River.
There is a wide selection of over 16 types of fish served here,
including Ikan Tapah, Ikan Tengalan, Haruan, Jelawat, Ketutu,
Gahak, Temoleh, Kerai, Bujuk, Sebarau, Baung and Patin.
Ikan Kerai (steamed)
For those who are afraid of fish bones, Fong recommends the
Ikan Patin, which has relatively fewer bones.
“It is very suitable for children,” he says.
The famous Patin fish, steamed and served with ginger, goes
for only RM45 a kilo.
“Patin fish has a natural sweet taste if served fresh,” says
Lee. “It is only when it is no longer fresh that you have to
Ikan Haruan is served with herbs and to prepare the dish, the
chef has to remove most of the bones.
For the other types of food, the cooking style is also based on
the kampung style.
Ikan Haruan (cooked with herbs)
“There is a number of ways, for example, for us to prepare
the dishes with the wild boar meat. We can serve it as curry
wild boar ribs cooked kampung style in clay pot, or with spring
onions, black pepper and a special sauce known only to the
kampung people,” Lee says.
“Then, there is the baby ribs stewed with herbs and ginger.
Its taste is natural, and you simply cannot resist it.”
Fatty Tiger Restaurant is located at Lot 12G, Ground Floor
(South Walk), CMC Centre, Jalan Cerdas, Taman Connaught, Cheras.
(Tel: 016-202 8572).
It is open daily, except Wednesdays, for lunch (noon-3pm) and
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