Of course, I could not just walk away from Chili Padi without a screaming hot claypot of their signature Ikan Assam Pedas. Translated as ‘sour spicy’ from Malay, this fish stew was all that and more. We wanted to order the fish head portion, but alas, they were out of that so we settled for a fillet instead ($16.80++).⠀

The fish used in the Ikan Assam Pedas is barramundi, which tends to be drier than most other fish. That works out perfectly, as you automatically spoon on more of that irresistible sour & spicy broth onto the fresh fish flesh. While the barramundi was commendably fresh, the only reason this is worth of being a signature dish is that bubbling broth.⠀

The tartness of the tamarind juice is the first thing to invade your palate, followed by the spicy heat of the chilies & spices in the broth. It’s almost like tom yum, but better, as there is a deeper and more fulfilling depth of flavour to this assam pedas. Salty, spicy, sour and utterly scintillating, the assam pedas compels you to keep going back for sips of that sapid broth amidst bites of fish. Plus, brinjal, ladyfingers and tomatoes are cooked in the brilliant broth as well, so it really is a complete, nutritious meal in a pot.⠀

While I’m sure that the assam pedas would be utterly world-beating with a fish head, the fish fillet portion was already undeniably sublime in its own right. While the assam pedas bubbles, get down to Chili Padi on the double and you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your troubles.