Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holland V X.O. Fish Bee Hoon

We braved the rain tonight from Buona Vista MRT. Of all the after office hours in the past week, it just had to rain tonight when I planned to have dinner out instead of working overtime. I don't really remember the name of the stall or the coffee shop but it's generally known as that famous XO fish bee hoon place at Holland Village. Tonight was exceptionally crowded because of the downpour and it took a damn while to find seats. But I suppose you can say that it was worth the trouble.

All these trouble was actually for the Sum Lou Hor Fun which we thought was rather good. I don't know how many places that sells X.O. fish bee hoon is around, but this isn't the only one. Or for that matter, if this particular store uses milk for the soup or it's simply fish bones that make the soup milky. I'm not really concerned since I like the milky flavors and as long as it tastes good, doesn't matter so much to me.

The stall here is popular for the X.O. infused soup which adds a noticeable pleasant fragrance to the soup. It's probably just a dash of the liquor though. With fresh chunks of fish, you do get a delicious soup noodle which makes it really a distinguished dish. The goodness is in the milky flavor of the fish soup (with a hint of liquor) which really does a fantastic job of warming you up especially on a rainy evening.

As I said earlier, what we really wanted was the Sum Lou Hor Fun. I'm not sure if I spelled that right, but it sounds like that. It uses three main ingredients which are sliced fish, hor fun (flat rice noodles) and bean sprouts. This place removes the heads and tails of the bean sprout which tells of some of the tedious effort of preparation.

The hor fun dish is mostly white, generally giving the impression that it could be bland. That is however not the case with these. There is a good portioning of the three main ingredients which means that there is a generous amount of firm yet tender slices of fish. The hor fun comes in really long strips, of a suitable thickness and well mixed with the savory sauce.The flavors in the sauce is balanced by the excellently timed bean sprouts which are cooked yet sufficiently, retaining a lot of fresh crunchiness.

We also ordered a portion of the prawn paste chicken which is also for some reasons, always sold in these stores.

Honestly the prawn paste chicken was just decent. I've aversion towards fried chicken and if I have to eat them, I try not to think about all the grease and fat I'm ingesting. The prawn paste here lacks punch although the chicken scores some points in being crispy and light on the batter. I would think that I can give this a pass the next time I'm at this particular store.

All things considered, it was worth the effort getting slightly drenched for this dinner. The damage, inclusive of a teh-C and a kopi came up to $21.50 for two. Now, that wasn't too hard on the pockets. In fact, it probably feeds one more person if not for us being such pigs.

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