One of my favourite places to eat in Kuala Lumpur is at the huge hawker-style restaurant called Ikan Bakar Pak Lang, in Kampung Baru. It’s got to be among the busiest restaurants in the entire city, with constant queues that never seem to dwindle. In the middle of the open-air dining room is a huge spread of trays filled with food that you help yourself to, buffet-style. While there are around 50 different dishes, including varieties of curries, salads, grills and fried foods, the dish I always gravitate to is their ikan bakar, or grilled fish. This is no ordinary grilled fish, however; first it’s slathered in a thick paste fragrant with lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, turmeric and chilli. Then it is wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked. As the fish grills, that fantastic paste fills the air with spicy fumes and the banana leaf scorches, giving off a lovely fragrance of its own and infusing the fish with wonderful flavours. In Malaysia they cook fish we might be unfamiliar with, but this dish translates perfectly to a backyard barbecue, using any white, firm-fleshed whole fish you prefer. They also use herbs that are only available in Asia, so I have suggested some more common herbs in this recipe.