Kepala Ikan Asam Pedas Botak

botak asam fish head

Botak assam fish head is one of the more popular fish head places in JB. It’s different from the famous Kam Leong fish head at Jalan Wong Ah Fook – Botak asam fish head is spicy and sour, while Kam Leong’s is cooked in a more traditional Chinese style curry.

Botak asam fish head is their signature dish, but a lot of people order the deep fried fish head too.

botak johor

The proper name for the place is actually Kedai Makanan Jadi Baru (Botak). I heard that the name originates from the proprietor’s hairstyle – he’s bald. Thus, people started calling the place Botak (bald) asam fish head. It occupies two shop lots side by side and prior to their expansion, the queue for it is legendary too. In fact, it’s still very full when we went – almost all the tables are occupied!

botak restaurant

Behold! This is the huge claypot of asam fish head that we had for lunch. This portion is for five (5) people and it has okra, tofu and other miscellaneous vegetables. We opted for the fish slices instead of the fish head – I reckon the fish head will taste even better.

botak lunch

I noticed that they make a pretty good omelet too and one of the things that you must not miss is their otak-otak.

botak otak otak

The otak-otak from Botak (rhymes, doesn’t it) is simply delicious! It comes wrapped in banana leaves and when you open it up, a waft of steam rises, accompanied by the aroma of fresh fish and spices. This chunk of otak-otak is STUFFED with fresh fish flakes. It’s one of the most amazing otak-otak I’ve ever had – it’s spiced just right and 80% of the jellied contents is made of fish! Delectable.

botak asam fish

I wouldn’t compare Botak asam fish head and Kam Leong fish head side by side – it’s two different dishes. I like the spiciness of the asam fish in Botak – it leaves a nice sour aftertaste, and you can practically see the chili flakes on the fish. It’s amazing. I love asam and I can see why the perfect combination of spiciness and sour notes has people flocking in droves to Botak asam fish head.

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18 thoughts on “Kepala Ikan Asam Pedas Botak”

  1. HB, I every time a SouthEast Asian Restaurant opened up I always look for otak otak. No luck still in San Francisco, So with recipe from web I try to make it at home. Taste not sure it is true to Malaysian otak otak but I guese good enough. My cousin who live here now not sure also she from Singapore.

    • I think you have to go to Malaysian restaurants for otak otak.

      You might have some luck with Singaporean ones too.

      You can try making it at home too, that would be interesting. Good luck Vickie! 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s one of the best otak-otak I’ve ever had.

      It’s STUFFED full of fresh fish, definately a must try in JB.

      They make the best otak-otak and surprisingly, the best otak-otak I had was in Botak. 🙂

    • Heh! Yeah, it was hard to write it when I haven’t had dinner myself. 😉

      I simply love the otak otak – the best dish in Botak, IMHO, not the asam fish.

  2. Personally, I prefer assam to curry…but without the ladies’ fingers. Don’t mind brinjal in it though… Yum! Oooooo….I love otak otak!!! I wonder if they have any good ones in KL – bought some at roadside stall at Klang Lama sometime ago…not worth the calories. 🙁

    • Same here! I prefer asam laksa to regular laksa too!

      I’m not a big fan of veggies but I don’t mind either lady’s fingers or brinjals…

      …and the otak otak is the best!

      It’s better than any I’ve ever had in KL. JB makes the best otak otak, and this is fresh.

      It’s not mass produced like some of the chain otak otak places, this one is lovingly made, I’m craving for it more than anything! 🙂

  3. which part of jb its located as i dont mind to give it a try…i did show my fren ur post he did ask me whre isit located too… 😉

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know where this place is located. 😡

      Sorry mate, we were driven around for this trip and I don’t know where it is.


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