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Pekanbaru City - Riau - Indonesia

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Patin Fish Curry
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A. Overview

When you are visiting Pekanbaru City, the capital of Riau province, please do not forget to enjoy its special culinary food, namely Patin fish curry. This culinary has become an icon of the city nicknamed as the Sorcerer’s city. Therefore, almost every shop and restaurant in Pekanbaru City always provides Patin fish curry as its main menu.

When we examine closely, it makes sense why Patin fish (pangasius hipothalmus) and Baung fish (mystus nemurus) become the mainstay of culinary in Pekanbaru City. Geographically, Pekanbaru City is flanked by four major rivers consist of Siak River, Indragiri River, Kampar River, and Rokan River. The existence of these rivers allows Patin fish and Baung fish to live well. Moreover, this both fishes are the species of freshwater that usually lives in the pond or the river.

Although Patin fish curry is very famous in the city, but not all local residents like to consume it. Some people believe that Patin fish is their ancestor or part of their family. This relates to their popular folklore, which is the Legend of Patin fish, featured by Ivory Awang Gading, Dayang Kumunah, and Awangku Usop as its main characters.

B. Features

The peculiarity of Patin fish curry lies on its thick yellow sauce combined with pieces of big Patin fish. The typical smell of the fish mingled with the smell of spices really tempts the visitors to eat it immediately. The tenderness of meat and the absorption of spices melt in the tongue give more attraction to this culinary food.

Another thing that distinguishes Patin fish curry in Pekanbaru with the one found in other areas is the mixture of kincung flower (nicolaia speciosa/torch ginger). The flower is put into the curry and cooked until wilted. Besides giving the impression of fresh, the flower also serves as the flavor of the curry.

The menu usually served at lunch and dinner will be even more special when served with other companion menu on the table, such as sambal jengkol, boiled cassava leaves, salted fish, curry shrimp, and others. In addition, the typical drinks must be served too, such as of this area sipping drinks in between meals, such as Laksamana mengamuk, Lancang kuning, Air mata pengantin, or corn juice.

If we want to taste another flavors of Patin fish curry, a culinary food called Sampadeh patin fish (spicy acid) is also available to order. Different with Patin fish curry that feels sticky on the tongue as the thick yellow sauce, Sampadeh patin fish tastes spicy sour but fresh.

C. Location

When we are on Pekanbaru City, Riau province, we can easily find food stalls and restaurants that provide Patin fish curry, such as some area located in Arengka, Simpang Tiga (near to the Sultan Sharif Kasim Airport II), St. Sudirman, and Leighton Bridge (Siak Bridge I). 

D. Price

One portion of Patin fish curry is charged between IDR 35,000.00-40,000.00 (Nov 2007). (YP)

(Said/En-trans/29/11/11)

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