Fish Head Curry...a delicacy only found in this region, and interestingly, only seemed to be enjoyed by the locals here. I have difficulty persuading my German friends to try. Only one did try, and he found it not to his liking. But it remains a firm favourite of the locals in Singapore and Malaysia.
I seldom eat Fish Head Curry outside...as my mom cooks a mean one at home. The fish she would use would be ultra fresh, and the cooking done in the traditional peranakan way...with thick coconut gravy, and the fish head cooked in the curry. Not steamed, then placed in a claypot with gravy which was cooked elsewhere, ladelled over.
It was a delight to discover this little place in Johor Bahru, as introduced by Tony of Johor Kaki. The day he introduced the dish to my buddy and I, we had just eaten. So we returned at a later date to sample the delights.
When we arrived, it was only 11:30am, and a queue had already formed outside the shop.
The shop only sells fish head curry. No side dishes. Only options are to add vegetables and to add tau kee (bean curd sticks). We ordered a medium (for 3 pax), with additional vegetables and tau kee.
The intent is to put the tau kee into the curry, to absorb the flavour. I tried it on its own...looks very crispy, but not really so. The taste is mildly of yellow beans as it ought to be.
The fish was served in the claypot it was cooked in...and cooked a la minute. So it will take a good 10m or so before the dish is served. Orders are taken when one is still in the queue, so I gather it took about 15-20m for the fish to cook.
The fish head was reasonably fresh....actually very fresh. There is a slight taste of fishiness on the gelatinous parts, but the fish is probably fresher than almost all commercially available fish heads I have eaten in Singapore. The curry was mildly spicy, mildy coconuty. But very fragrant and nice.
The vegetables, a little unusual for fish head curry, included cabbage, tomatoes. And it went very well with the tau kee.
Certainly one of the best fish head curries I have eaten in a commercial establishment. And better than any served in the shops in Singapore. Worth a journey to just go to JB and eat.
Kam Long Restaurant
Jalan Wong Ah Fook
GPS: 1.459763, 103.764549
Monday to Sunday 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Non Halal - No Pork, No Lard
Kam Long Restaurant