Pecal Lele at Dapoer Dago - crunchy fried catfish that comes with a tasty pecal sauce.
Food Trail finds the best beef soup in town and crispy deep-fried catfish at a TTDI eatery.
I kept coming across stalls selling pecal lele (deep-fried catfish with vegetable rojak on the side) during a cycling trip from Dumai to Pekanbaru, Indonesia.
My adventure-cycling buddy Mohd Radzi Md Nor introduced me to the dish when we arrived in Pekanbaru after completing a 210km-journey from Dumai.
There, I got my first taste of pecal lele and learned to appreciate the dish as it was pretty good.
That was in June this year and back in my workplace, my colleague Zieman mentioned a makan place in Taman Tun Dr Ismail near Lorong Rahim Kajai 13.
The place is called Dapoer Dago (N 3°09’14.7”, E 101°37’21.0”) and specialises in a la carte Indonesian food from Sumatera. Pecal lele is on their menu.
“Eh Sam, engkau cuba la makan kat tempat tu, dia orang ada lima jenis soto,” she recommended.
I wasn’t interested in soto, but when Zieman told me that the restaurant also prepared pecal lele, I wasted no time in giving it a try.
I brought along Zakri “Billy” Baharuddin, my trustworthy kaki melantak (eating companion) to give the dishes a try.
There, we ordered the soto betawi (RM6.90), sop rawon (RM7.90) and pecal lele (RM6.90) while Billy had the ayam bakar (RM7.90).
Since it takes a while to prepare the dishes, we quenched our thirst with a bottle of Sosro Teh Botol (RM4).
These are sold at 4,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (RM1.08) in Indonesia and they are a treat if you love chilled tea.
I found the soto betawi to be rather strong-tasting (they used cow’s lung as the main ingredient) and my first impression of having soto is that the dish came with noodles or rice.
The soto betawi is served plain and needs some getting used to.