fish head

I remember having really good fish head in 2005. I was working in Kuching at that time and one of our partners brought us to the famous Chan Sau Lin fish head during a business trip here. As luck would have it, we went to the very same place yesterday.

chan sau lin

It’s now moved from Jalan Chan Sau Lin No 3 (thus the Cantonese moniker) to Jalan Chan Sau Lin No 5. The place is huge, with a semi-outdoor (meaning it’s ventilated but covered) court and an air-conditioned area.

tai sam lou

This is what’s left of the famous hot and sweltering fish head at Tai Sam Lou with the famous tree – a faded photo. The tree stump is apparently still there.

chicken steamed

I don’t go around to these parts pretty often and a lot of people say that the fish head has deteriorated. They do serve a pretty mediocre plate of pak cham kai (steamed chicken).

curry fishhead

We ordered two fish heads – one is the curry version which I didn’t like at all. The curry gravy overpowered the fish. I like my fish to be as close to natural as possible.

fermented soy fish

The other one we had was the fermented soy sauce fish head. This is delicious! The way it’s cooked left the fish head relatively unmolested and there’s bird’s eye chili on top to add that additional zap to the palate. Succulent and tender, it left me digging into the head for stray pieces of fish.

me fishhead

Here’s a cheesy shot of me. The new place is at Jalan Lima off Jalan Chan Sau Lin in Sungai Besi. Don’t ask me for the GPS coordinates coz I broke my phone in Phuket but you can call 017-224 2133 for Hoi. I gleaned all that from the card I took from the place.

Lunch cost us RM 99 for four people, including a dish of bean sprouts I didn’t bother to take. ;)

meng curry fish head

I was in Penang a couple of days ago and met up with Cheryl and Kah Wheng for dinner. They brought me to Sin Kim San at Macalister Road for a really good curry fish head meal.

sin kim san

Sin Kim San Cafe is this sprawling coffee shop with a wide range of stalls offering everything from monitor lizard soup to peh pah duck. There’s another coffee shop beside it which you can order from too.

curry fish head penang

The curry fish head stall is rather well known among the locals. You can opt for fish slices instead of a fish head and there several other seafood items like squid, prawns and catfish on offer. It’s cooked Chinese style with a really spicy kick ass gravy.

bbq chicken wings sin kim san

We also had an order of the BBQ chicken wings. Cheryl mentioned that this stall used to be manned by a dude with Goku hair but that night, an elderly man took his place. No idea whether it’s the same owner – I put forth the theory that it could be the dad but then again I’m not from Penang so I wouldn’t know for sure. Heh.

bbq chicken wings

The BBQ chicken wings is pretty good too – it’s glazed with honey and the BBQ process doesn’t toughen the meat. In fact, it’s quite tender and juicy.

curry fish head

However, the curry fish head is the highlight of the meal. The prawns we added on came partially de-shelled and there’s also tomatoes and pieces of okra inside. It’s topped with mint leaves and what I really like about it is the fact that it doesn’t have tofu products or other nonsense like that. smirk

sin kim san curry fish head

It’s served in a plastic bowl and our combination costs RM 33 for two. I would prefer using a claypot so it retains the heat but other than that I have no complains. The gravy is superb – thick, sweet and flavorful to the point that you can eat an entire plate of rice with just that.

sin kim san dinner

Penang is wonderful – it’s really a place where good food can be found in every corner. I’ve been there a lot of times and I still haven’t eaten all it has to offer. Hell, I’m half tempted to move there. :)

jb famous curry fish head

There is a Chinese style curry fish head place in JB that seems to be VERY popular among the locals. Kam Long Restaurant serves curry fish head and curry fish head only. It’s their flagship, signature dish and…the only item on the menu. ;) I have heard about the prodigious queues forming just to get a taste of this very dish and I was very keen to check it out.

kam leong restaurant

The funniest thing I heard (which I didn’t get the first time) was from Lainey bff who told me – DON’T WRITE ABOUT IT. Geddit? I didn’t the first (or second time) either. smirk

curry fish head

Anyway, it just so happens that I was reading The Dead Cockroach’s review of the place the day before we were heading down. We drove along Jalan Wong Ah Fook twice and still couldn’t find the place so we stopped and asked for directions several times.

fish head

Okay, the problem with this place is that you can’t exactly see the Kam Leong Restaurant signboard while you’re driving. It’s obscured by some pull down canvas shutters to keep the sun out. It’s actually not hard to find – you just have to drive down from the BEGINNING of Jalan Wong Ah Fook and stop at the first traffic light.

queue

You’ll be able to see the queue of people outside the humble restaurant – just cross the road to join in.

curry fish head prep

It should be noted that the queue is not strictly first-come-first-serve. The small size of the restaurant and the limited seating arrangements allowed us (a group of two) to share a table with other people while if you’re in a larger posse, you might have to wait longer until a table clears.

steaming curry fish head

Well, since there’s only one thing to order, we went for the famous curry fish head for two people. It’s RM 18 inclusive of rice and you best be able to read Chinese coz there are no other languages on the menu. In fact, there is no menu, save for a small signboard beside the industrious kitchen.

kam leong curry fish head

I have to admit, the Chinese style curry fish head is very good. Lainey finished her rice, which is quite uncommon and I loved the curry sauce. They put in a lot of vegetables too – okra, long beans, tofu and so on but the fish head is the centerpiece and it does not disappoint.

hb lainey

The flesh of the fish is tender and juicy and the curry sauce complements the fresh fish head very well. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough fish meat to go around so if you’re feeling particularly hungry, order +1 people more than your group. :)

Anyway, I’m heading to JB again in a couple of hours despite just coming back early this week. Heh! We were in JB for Freedom. There’s another one this Saturday right in KL so don’t miss it! I’ll be going to the Freedom in Penang at the end of the month too!

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