The whole trip was supposed to be about the hike up the hill, and the sunrise of course.
Well, for me Broga was more about the FOOD. And having heard so much about the “ikan bakar” after my last makan outing (Beggars Chicken in Ijok), I was just itching for any reason to go Broga. But before I can get my grubby hands on the fish, I had to actually hike up Broga Hill.. so here I am…
The sun rises really late these days. We only saw the first break of sun rays at 730am.
The air was really refreshingly chilly & the breeze envelopes you in such a comforting cooling cocoon. However, tranquility is elusive, for there were a crowd of like-minded hikers/photographers/groups of kids from some clubs etc..
Our crazy adventure started at the ungodly hour of 4am. 8 spontaneous bloggers/photographers convoyed in 2 cars from PJ to Semenyih. Half of them had not slept the entire night! As for me, I woke up at 315am, with barely 3 hours sleep, crawled out of bed and straight into the car. We reached the foot of Broga at 4.40am, fooled around for a bit & started our ascend at 5am. It was really dark, so torch lights are really a necessity if you ever attempt the hike at such an hour.
The hike wasn’t challenging at all for the fit but vice versa for the couch potatoes.
We set foot at the first peak at 540am. A total of 40mins hike, but that included a lot of stops in -between to check that the whole group is still together & etc. My estimation for the fit who runs up or hikes the whole way minus any rest would be around 25mins at most.
And at 540am, we took pictures of the moon instead!
The gang. Jeremy, Justin Hee, Nikolai, Harmonie, Augustine, FeeQ and KY.
After fooling around for 40 mins or so, we got restless and decided to attempt the hike to the next peak. There were a total of 3 peaks on Broga Hill but it is only the ascend to the first peak that could deservingly be described as a hike. From the first peak to the second, & then to the final peak is honestly merely a walk in the park.
630am at the final/third peak.
The path in between peaks. (this pic was taken at 830am).
Surprisingly I find descending the hill much more difficult then the ascend! I slipped and fell a few times, got bruised & cuts all over because the path was dry and sandy. One mis-step on the slippery sandy path & I went sliding down a few metres on my ass. Urghh!
Imagine my relief when I finally find myself on the foot of the hill. And at 9am, there were stalls selling food, fruits, Ipoh salted chicken, (LOL!) and ice cream!!
A bit research online revealed that Broga is a very small town. The town basically consisted of one main road. Take a leisure cruise along that road and you will find shoplots, restaurants, coffeeshops, etc. All of our food stops you read below are more or less on the same road! It’s just a matter of whether it is further up or down the street ;)
My targeted Ikan bakar place (Broga Recreational Fishing Park) wasn’t open til 11am so we decided to just chill at a nearby coffeeshop for drinks and some shelter.
This Restaurant Mui Far had the most customers, and the solitary wan tan mee stall here seems to be the reason. The same stall churns out kuey teow soup as well. Drinks were cheap, food were cheap, and we were a happy bunch!
Oh yea, my verdict on the food?
Small town flavours, simple & good but not spectacular. The chilli that was on the table was wonderfully fragrant with the presence of dried shrimps. Each serving of noodles were barely RM3. It would be a sin to complain really.
But our ultimate target was this.
Fresh, flappingly alive, straight out from the pond to the charcoals.
The above is their signature preparation in Chilli Padi sauce (RM18). And we asked for EXTRA HOT, as recommended by the coffee shop owner where we had our breakfast wan tan mee (you know what they say about following the local’s advice don’t you?).
Then we added another one which is prepared ala Tom Yum (RM14).
Needless to say, both fish were fresh, with sweet flaky flesh. The EXTRA HOT Chilli Padi sauce was our favourite! Though it set our tongue on fire, the potent fiery heat of the sauce was what made it good.
The Tom Yum one really paled in comparison as it tasted like some careless blend of tom yum paste. Sweetish with barely any sting, it was flat in flavour & I would have written this place off of a worthy visit if it wasn’t for the EXTRA HOT Chilli Padi Fish above.
We didn’t order any meat dishes since the very same dude who recommended the EXTRA HOT Chilli Padi Fish told us that it is the only dish worth stapling here. Anyhow, if we chose to come here again on this coming Sun, I’m game to try the dry chilli mutton ;)
The preparation of the fish is very very simple. As illustrated below, there is no secret marination, no prior secret “steps” taken before the fish is BBQ-ed over the charcoals. Each fish is cleaned, then cooked in foil with the chosen sauce of the customer. If there is any secret recipe, then it is all in the sauce (IMHO, I doubt it. The sauce tasted pretty one dimensional and simple).
BROGA Recreational Fishing Park:
Day off: Thursday
Open on Public Hols & Weekend
11am to 7pm.
GPS: N 02 55.834′
E 101 55.735′
Clockwise from top left:
The fish pond. The lavatory. The fishes, while they are still alive ;) . The place doubles up as home for the family.
More of a novelty thing, & doesn’t warrant a trip all the way from KL just for this. But if you happen to be in Broga, then why not? ;)
Next: More eats. The famous Broga Pan Mee & Uncle Lim Ice Kacang.
ps: Anyone who wants to join us this coming Sun, 21st Feb 2010??It will be fun! ;)