Sunday, September 30, 2012

$13 steamed fish head at Chinatown Food Centre and others...

There's a number of these Chinese cooked food stall cloistered at a section of the food centre selling steamed song fish (a freshwater carp) head in a lard bolstered hot sauce of fermented beans, ginger and plum for a very affordable sum of $13. All of them seem to have staked their claim to fame by either having appeared on the newspaper or television locally sometime (should one even trust those?).

Here's one from Chen Ji (Blk 335 Smith St, #02-190, Chinatown Complex Food Centre), a stall that is located one just one fruit juice stall away from what seems to be a competitor, An Ji which I've eaten at once before.

The common trait for the steamed fish heads served in this cloister of competition is that one does not only just get fish heads.  The servings actually include a generous portion of meat that makes about a quarter to a third of the entire fish itself. I would have loved for these to have been done using a salt water fish instead, but the plum and ginger sauce does really help mask some of those muddy, earthy flavors of the carp. What really works here (gets people coming) for the steamed fish heads was the freshness of ingredients that was a result of a very fast turn over in business for these stalls.


A very decently fried up and fat juicy mid wings they serve with no excessive oil found soaked in their crispy batter or otherwise. This meant that they have fried them in really hot oil eh? It was a little unfortunate that these were actually suppose to be prawn paste chicken wings and the flavors of that paste was lacking. Everything else about them was perfect, especially with a squeeze of lime that added a refreshing dimension.

Like the wings above, the belachan on their kang kong cuttlefish was really mild. I'm sure this would have been great in my books if the sauce was done with a more robust flavour.

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