JB is famous as a playground for Singaporeans...a short drive North, cross the border, and suddenly everything is about 50% cheaper (including petrol). As a result, many Singaporeans flock to eat seafood, cze char and restaurant food.
San Low, a place somewhere near the Causeway at JB is one such place. On a typical evening, one sees many Singapore plated cars parked on the sides of the restaurant. The place was quite busy, patrons on almost every table...the staff buzzing.
We started off the meal with their famous San Low Char Bee Hoon.
This style is similar to the one I ate at JB Ah Meng. Bee hoon, infused with seafood stock, pan fried, egg, chives, prawns; flattened at the wok under high heat, and served. The Ah Meng version seemed to have a bit more flavour infused, perhaps due to better stock. While the San Low one is not nearly there in terms of flavour, it makes up in terms of the more springy texture of the noodles.
We also ordered a Sting Ray in Assam sauce:
This dish was quite special. Very fresh stingray, cut into nice steak slices, cooked in a piquant - salty, sour, spicy sauce. The stingray was fresh and fatty, especially just under the tender skin. And the meat was smooth, almost creamy texture, and very nice tasting. The smothering sauce provide a counterpoint which not only complemented the fish, but brought it to a separate whole level above. Very nice.
Even the tapiocal leaves in sambal belachan was nice:
A pet peeve of mine regarding the sambal sweet potato leaves dish is that somehow, store owners select very old leaves. The older leaves might be more flavourful, but they are less tender, and do not have the bite and succulent taste of younger leaves. San Low's serving that evening was excellent...nice young shoots, tenderly fried in a concoction of sambal and belachan. Excellent.
We also ordered a yam ring.
This is a fairly typical cze char dish. A cylinder made of yam is deep fried till a crisp crust envelopes the mashed yam insides. Within, the pot is filled with chicken, peppers, onions, prawns, French beans, carrots and the whole mixture is stir fried on the hot wok. Deep fried crispy vermilicili is used both as a garnish as well as to provide a neutral platform to taste the yam and insides. The San Low version is good, but not above average.
As the final dish, we decided to try the fried rice.
The fried rice looked very promising...each grain is individual, no clumping, each grain seemed to be coated with egg. The fragrance was exceptional. Bits of salted fish seemed embedded in the strategic positions within. On tasting, it confirms powerful wok hei, and wonderful fragrance and flavour. But it lacked salt. Easily fixed, though with a sprinkling of soy sauce. On second thoughts, perhaps salty fish sauce might worked better, but we were blissful with the soy sauce. As you chew the rice, each bite on the salted fish seems like a mini-explosion of flavour in your mouth. Fried rice paradise?...maybe...
San Low Seafood
Jalan Biru, Taman Pelangi,
80400 Johor Bahru.
07-332 3869 / 334 3623
Business Hour : 4.30pm - 1.00am
Latitude = 1°28'21"
Longitude = 103°46'29.7"
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