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Aug 21, 2007 02:16 PM

ISO: Sambal Stingray in Chinatown

Help!! A family friend visiting from DC is having a huge craving for Malaysian style bbqed stingray smothered in hot chili paste (aka sambal). Unfortunately, I've not ordered this from any Manhattan Malaysian restaurants and am not sure who serves it.
Thank you so much whoever that's going to respond to this!

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  1. 've had it at Nyonya, but its not very good, it was a big stingray, but the meat was dryer than it should be and the sauce was kind of weak

    1. Fatty Crab has SKATE in sambal.... -- Maybe you could call them and ask? 212.352.3590

      1. haven't been there in years, but assam stingray at Sanur was pretty good.

        6 Replies
        1. re: welle

          I actually did end up at Sanur last night but did not get the assam stingray because my friend really had his heart set on the bbqed version. We however did enjoy our curry fishhead, chicken rice and sambal kangkong very much.
          In case anyone was searching for the bbqed version of sambal stingray/skate, I called jaya, sanur, new malaysia and skyway to no avail. Don't like nonya nor penang, and the only place who knew what I was looking for and gave me a definitive positive was restaurant Malaysia out in Flushing. Theirs is good btw...

          1. re: xigua

            Hi xigua,

            Was the Chicken Rice your ordered the Hainanese Chinese Rice? How was the taste? Do you mind giving a little review on the dishes you ordered? I have been to Sanur and never ordered the dishes you had!

            1. re: kobetobiko

              Sure! The chicken rice was indeed Hainanese chicken rice. We shared a half chicken, which was poached pretty well and came with bowls of rice cooked in chicken broth, some garlic, ginger and when in singapore, pandan leaf (not sure whether they added that here). I liked the rice, it was flavorful and al dente, not mushy as could be.They also served the chicken with minced ginger, although the chili sauce is not the usual garlicky type you find in singapore.
              I liked the curry fish head a lot. Its a head of a large fish (not sure what type) cooked in very coconuty curry and plenty of okra and eggplant. A little too coconutty perhaps but pretty decent and those veggies happen to be my favorite.
              Sanur's sambal kangkong is awesome, a lot of wok-fire, soft but not too overcooked. Kangkong re: is a popular and plentiful in most SE Asia countries and in Malaysia/Singapore we fry it with pungent fermented shrimp paste called sambal belacan.
              We also ate Hokkien fried noodles (thick udon like noodles panfried with lard, shrimp, squid, veggies in thick brown sauce), which is not as good as the one my dad makes but decent enough. Ask them for the pickled green chilies to cut through the grease.
              Re: randumbposter. It is indeed banana leaf stingray and I was at the new indonesia malaysian restaurant (also called sanur). They didn't have that version, just the assam one, which I'm sure is fine too. Next time.

              1. re: xigua

                Hi xigua,

                Thanks for your wonderful review. I love Hainanese chicken rice! It is so hard to find a good version of it, so next time I will give it a try at Sanur. I also like curry fish head but have never had a version with okra, and that sounds very interesting! I had kangkong before, I just didn't know that it is called kangkong, and it is one of my favorite dishes in Malaysian restaurants.

                You know, I may just order everything you ordered in my next visit to Sanur! Thanks again for your review!

                1. re: xigua

                  Yeah, xigua, thanks for a thorough review. I usually get staples at Sanur - bah kuh teh soup, assam shrip and curry stew. Next time, I'll try the stuff you had. Have you had their assam dishes as well? Do you mind giving a primer what good assam and good sambal sauces should be? I never had good sambal dishes, couple of times I tried at other restaurants, they pretty much used a sweet chili sauce from a bottle, so I'm wary of ordering sambal dishes. Sanur's assam sauce is pretty pungent as well, but I guess they use a different pungent agent not the shrimp paste? TIA. It's very good, btw, they use plenty of okra and eggplant as well (okra when in season, out of season they substitute with long greenbean-like chinese vegetable).

                  1. re: welle

                    Unfortunately I'm a lot better at eating than at describing the tastes...
                    Belachan is a really pungent disk of fermented shrimp that you can make into a dipping sauce (aka sambal belachan) or you can mix it up with more dried shrimp and fry up in kang kung belachan. The aroma is key, and belachan is not the only contributor. You need adequate amounts of extra minced dried shrimp (in hokkien we call it hay bee hiam) fried up with the sambal belachan and fresh chili to get the distinctive stench. I had it again at New Malaysia last weekend and Sanur's version is much better in terms of aroma.
                    Assam is pungent in a different way because it employs not belachan but tamarind, so its at once sweet, sour and spicy with chilis. You'll find versions of Assam fish, shrimp (all seafood, no chicken or other meats for some reason) and assam laksa, which is thick rice noodles, and a lot of sardines/tuna, raw onions in an assam based-soup... Haven't really eaten tt much assam dishes in new york so can't opine on who's the best.
                    Hope this helps!

          2. I have seen stingray dish at Jaya and Singapore Cafe, though I have not ordered them so I can attest to the taste.

            1. Is this the same dish as the stingray wrapped in banana leaf or is it something else ? The stingray is smothered in chili sauce and wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked.

              I have had it at penang on elizabeth and the underground new indonesia malayasian on either doyers or pell. The fish didn't come out dry or funky tasting. I thought they were tasty but not addictively tasty.