Piquant dish: Umai are widely sold both in the wet market, cafes and seafood restaurants in and around Mukah town.
A VISIT to Mukah town is incomplete without sampling some of its seafood dishes.
The few eateries in this once quaint fishing village are known for their delectable dishes of fresh and affordable seafood.
Of all the dishes, the most popular
traditional Melanau delicacy is umai, a raw
fish salad prepared with thinly sliced onions, chillies, salt and lime juice, and consumed with sago pellets.
Umai are widely sold both in the wet
market, cafes and seafood restaurants.
A least known dish is the traditional Melanau-style grilled fish and prawn.
To sample this, head down to newly opened Buraqah Cafeteria which is located at Pukok Garden, Jalan Orang Kaya Setiaraja.
Stall operator Damian Laberi, 41, said his grilled fish and prawn was different from others as he did not use charcoal to roast or barbecue, but over burning firewood.
“I saw my late grandmother Nula Ulis grilling the fish and prawn that way. I do not have to marinate the fish and prawn with other ingredients or spices because they are so fresh and good to eat as they are.
“For the fish, after it is grilled it will be soaked in salt and MSG (monosodium glutamate) water for a few seconds to cool it down and give it some taste. The prawns need not to be soaked in the salt and MSG solution,” he said.
Damian, from Kampung Tellian Tengah, said the fish and prawn would be served with some soy sauce, chilli and lime, and eaten with sago pellets.
“It’s best to eat the fish and prawn with sago pellets instead of rice because the pellets somehow enhance the flavours and eating experience,” he said.
Damian’s stall is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7pm onwards, with the grilled fish sold between RM4 and RM7, while prawn from RM2 to RM5.
“I’m a postman and I’m running this stall out of interest, as well as to keep the traditional dish alive,” he added.