I felt it was time for a good meal today. So I invited 2 friends to join me for lunch in Chinatown. There are a number of fantastic eateries and restaurants in Chinatown but I was just yearning for one restaurant, which I have not been there more than a year. And this is the Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun (Bee Hoon) Restaurant located at 8 Smith Street. Smith Street is a highly recommended food street in Chinatown, Singapore
Our lunch was a simple food fare for three: XO fish head noodle, deep fried prawn roll and stir-fried bean sprout with salted fish. These were more than enough to fill our stomachs and I gladly helped to finish the leftover.
It took a while before the large bowl of XO fish head noodle was served and I helped my friends to fill up their bowls to the brim. Like an eager beaver, I picked up strands of the thick white bee hoon (noodles), soaked in the highly fortified calcium fish broth, onto the table spoon before I placed the devilish red hot chilli cuts in the centre of the spoon, and served the spoonful of delight to my mouth-watering taste buds.
It was awesome. As slippery as the snakehead fish, the noodles slipped down the throat after a few bites; moisture of milky broth and cognac teased the olfactory senses, and the devil’s red cut simply froze the time, and numbed the moment of heavenly satisfaction. The vegetables added a light crunch. Although the fish slices were chunky, the texture was soft. And the collagen-rich thick fish skin went well with the fish flakes. Finally, I enjoyed slurping the piping-hot calcium fortified fish broth to end the first bowl of gastronomic delights. After two to three bowls of the temperature-hot wonderful soup, I was almost drenched in my perspiration.
I wonder how one can refuse the painstaking effort of the discerning chef who boils the bones of the snakeheads over a long time until the broth turns milky in order to serve the best to the diners? I cannot refuse. If you see cans of evaporated milk in some other stalls serving the so-called milky fish head noodles, it is a quick fix to a minute-boiled soup. This alternative meal is definitely far from good from the original broth but it does fill your hunger. Finally, a generous serving of cognac brings the fresh fish sweetness to an unexpected new twist of taste. Alcoholic steam is released when the soup boils. So, there is no excuse for any wrong doings after drinking the soup.
The prawn roll with sour plum sauce dip and the fried bean sprout with salted fish make a good accompaniment to the XO fish head noodles.
It has been a while since my last visit more than a year ago. The food was just as good since its first day of business. It is a consistent effort which continues to bring back its regular customers, time after time.
It is a worthy visit for a reasonably good treat: enjoy the quality and not the quantity so that there is always a reason to go back again for other good dishes.Block 46 Holland Drive #01-359 Tel: 67783691 Open daily from 11.30am to 2pm, and from 5pm to 11pm. 8 Smith Street