Sunday, September 30, 2012

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

Cheng Ji (成记), fish head

There's a number of Chinese cooked food stall cloistered at a section of Chinatown 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 $13. A few of them seemed to have staked their claim to fame by either having appeared on the newspaper or television locally at some time (should one even trust those?).

Here's one from Cheng 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.

What's common for these steamed fish heads is that one does not only just get fish heads. The dish actually include a generous portion of meat that makes about a quarter to a third of the entire fish. I would have loved for these steamed fish heads to have been done using a salt water fish instead, but the plum and ginger sauce does help mask some of those muddy earthy flavour. I daresay what gets people coming for the steamed fish heads was the freshness of ingredients which might have been a result of a very fast turn over in business for these stalls; which in turn is because of the quality ingredients. Virtuous cycle.
Cheng Ji (成记), prawn paste chicken wings

A very decently fried and fat juicy mid wings they serve with no excessive oil found soaked in their crispy batter. This must have meant that they have fried them in really hot oil? Unfortunately these were also suppose to be prawn paste chicken wings and the flavours from that prawn paste was lacking. Everything else was perfect, especially with a squeeze of lime that added a refreshing zing.

Cheng Ji (成记), cuttlefish kang kong

Like the wings above, the belachan on their kang kong cuttlefish was really mild. Would have liked them more if the sauce had a more robust flavour.

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