KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — When it comes to fish head noodles, the true test for an excellent bowl is a clear broth that is served with fresh fish.
Most importantly, it mustn’t have any funky smells, indicating that only the best catch has been used. My quest for an impressive version of this dish led me to this hidden stall in Pandan Indah.
Started back in 1994, this stall is operated by Yong Sau Kuen and her husband Teh Kim Mun. Previously in the construction business, Yong had taken over this food business from a Penangite who taught her how to make this version of fish head noodles minus any evaporated milk.
The business has moved several times since. it was located near Fajar supermarket but is now at this food court between the Dahlia Court and Kenari Court apartments. According to Yong, this is just a temporary spot, as they hope to relocate back to their original spot at the Jalan Pandan Indah 6/2 food court end of the year, once the renovation works are completed.
The clear broth served here is made from chicken bones and ikan bills, making it a pork-free version. The biggest draw is the fresh seafood served here — pomfret fish, prawns, sotong and freshwater tong san fish — which is sourced daily from the Taman Muda wet market.
The pomfret is brought in from Kuala Selangor. You will notice, she doesn’t use any fresh ginger or even rice wine, as there’s no need to mask any fishiness since it’s incredibly fresh.
She sprinkles a generous portion of chopped fried garlic (prepared by them) and in the soup, you find salted cabbage and fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks.
You’ll be surprised as the fried fish pieces remain incredibly crispy even though they have been in the broth for a short time. Yong explains to us that the trick is slow frying the fish pieces for at least half an hour.
She prefers to use freshwater tong san fish even though it requires work since it’s got a lot of bones. She uses only the body and tail portion. No fish heads are used!
Even her choice for pomfret fish has a reason… as it’s faster to cook when there’s a crowd. We’re happy with her choice as the fine texture and sweet taste of the pomfret fish is exceptional.
Her bestseller is the most basic version of her fish head noodles with fried fish pieces for RM9.50. Depending on your choice of toppings, it can go up to RM21.50 for prawns, sotong, pomfret fish and fried fish pieces.
There are a variety of noodles offered but go for the thick China noodles that don’t absorb the broth. She also offers the milk version, as per her customer’s request. According to her, they prefer the milk version as it’s more fragrant.
Back in 2007, the stall was selected by Carnation Evaporated Milk for a television show, as one of the best 14 stalls in Malaysia that use their product.
When slurping down your fish head noodles, don’t forget to ask for their explosive sambal belacan. Made by Yong, it’s the perfect drug for chilli addicts — burning your lips with a slight tang to its sauce, thanks to fresh calamansi juice.
Fish Head Mee Hoon Stall
Gerai No. 13
Food court, off Jalan Pandan Indah 6/1
Open: 11am to 9pm
Closed on Monday
You can Waze Fish Head Mee Hoon, Pandan Indah for directions. Otherwise, drive down Jalan Pandan Indah 6/1 and it’s the turning in between the apartments, opposite the entrance to the Cempaka LRT station.