Hadn’t been to Ban Kok restaurant for sometime, so it was a surprise that while making our way to the table that a man approached us and asked ‘ do you want to order ikan bakar ?’ , during previous visits, i don’t think ikan bakar was on Ban Kok menu , anyway, we declined the offer.
There was a ‘money tree’ next to our table with RM50, RM10, RM5 and RM1 notes for ‘leaves’ , hmmmm…that tree was probably worth ~ RM250. This ‘tree’ is a donation for the Kathina ceremony for the nearby Budhist/Thai temple. Interested diners can stick the bank notes onto the branches.
I extracted the info below , about the Kathina Ceremony from a leaflet published by the Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society :
The rain retreats of the monks ( vassana kala) ends on the full-moon day of October.During the vassana retreat that lasted for 3 months, the months had served the community of followers in various ways such as giving sermons, teaching the Dhamma, meditation, counseling and many other ways. The monks end the retreat by performing a Monastic Diciplinary Act ( vinaya kamma) called the Pavarana. After this, the monks are free to leave the place where the retreat were held.
Before they leave, it is the custom of the devotees to hold a farewell ceremony for the monks. This is called the Kathina Ceremony. During the ceremony, many gifts are offered to the monks as well ad gifts for the upkeep of the monastery.
The donations include , robes for the monks, various usable articles such as cups, plates, cutlery, sheets, blankets, towels, lamps, lights, consumable items such as rice, sugar, milk powder, medication.
Back to food..
We ordered Kangkong belacan, but what arrived at our table was fried kangkong (RM10) , since we were pretty easy-going people that are extremely hungry, we accepted the dish. The batter was crunchy, but there were too much of batter and less kangkong.
Next was the Bangsuan fish ( RM27), it was only half a fish ( maybe we didn’t look that hungry ?), generous topping of cashew nuts, limes, onions, chili padi and parsley , but the gravy did not have enough umpppmm…the fiery sweet, sour taste didn’t quite hit the mark.
The waitress suggested stew duck, a new addition to the menu, so she claims, the duck was said to be stewed and then fried. We asked for a small serving ( RM12) . The meat was dry and it was difficult to getthe meat off the bones. i think it’s more like fried duck than stewed duck. As there weren’t enough to go around the table, I only get to chew on part of the throat. The gravy was tasty though.
We ordered Curry Crabs (RM27) , the crabs were accompanied by onions, eggs and spring onions, initially it taste a bit too curry-powderish but after getting use to the taste, it wasn’t too bad. The crabs were pretty meaty and fresh. And when you dig into the shells, you will be rewarded with crab eggs..yummm.
Overall, I would say an average meal and I must say that I have had better meals at Ban Kok, partly could be due to the dishes that we ordered which was not something we would normally order like – Kheng Som fish, Jam fish ( fish in salad) ,kangkong belacan, ayam bakar.