THE craving for a bowl of steaming hot fish head noodles to jump-start my morning comes about occasionally, as I have liked this dish from young.
It is the same with my father, a typical Sabahan who likes eating fish.
By chance, we discovered a restaurant in the Klang Valley that serves what we think is one of the best fish head noodles around.
The unassuming Restoran Xin Wong Xing is run by couple Loo Kong Hee, 48, and Yang Chan Lan, 47.
The eatery, which has been around for eight years, is always filled with diners whenever we head there for brunch.
We usually place an order for the signature dish – prawn and fish head noodles with milk for sharing as the portion is huge.
Although this bowl of noodles costs slightly higher at RM25, it is definitely value for money as it is loaded with deep-fried dace (ling yu) as well as a jumbo prawn.
Generous amounts of spring onion, onion, tomato, preserved mustard and ginger lends flavour to the broth that has thick mee hoon in it.
The prawn, which is the star of the dish, is succulent and has a firm texture.
Each bowl of fish head noodles is served with sambal belacan on the side.
Loo said the seafood for the fish head noodles was delivered fresh by their supplier daily.
The sambal belacan is made with his own recipe where bird’s eye chilli, belacan, shallot, garlic and lime juice are blended together.
“Most of my customers love the sambal belacan very much and they always ask for more,” Loo shared.
What I like most is the thick, milky broth.
The broth is like an explosion of flavours with every sip offering a faint hint of hua diao wine, sweetness and freshness of the prawn, and a tinge of saltiness from the preserved mustard.
“When it comes to making fish head noodles, both hua diao wine and milk play very important roles in enhancing the flavour of the broth.
“Usually, it would take me at least three to four hours to simmer the broth using ingredients like jicama, chicken and pig bones.
“A dash of milk is added as a finishing touch to the broth,” said Loo, noting that the milk should not be heated for too long because it would affect the taste of the broth.
Besides the prawn and fish head noodles, the eatery also offers a variety of fish head noodles with or without milk, such as dace fish head noodles (RM12), fish paste and fish head noodles (RM13.50), and fish paste noodles (RM9).
Customers can also upsize any of the above with an extra RM1.
Loo expressed gratitude for his customers for their loyal support.
“It was not peaches and cream when I first started selling fish head noodles as my business was not doing well, and the maximum number of bowls I sold per day was only 10.
“But under the guidance of a friend, I have been able to improve the dish bit by bit throughout the years.
“Having operated my business here all these years, the greatest gift I get is receiving positive feedback and continuous support from customers,” he said.
The restaurant is crowded during lunch hours and on weekends, so it might take some time for them to prepare your meal if you are there during that time.
Restoran Xin Wong Xing, which is open from 8am to 2pm, is located at A-G-1, Red Ruby Shop Apartment, Jalan Indah 2/4, Taman Universiti Indah, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.
The eatery is closed every Wednesday.
For details, call 012-654 9468 (Ah Hee) and 012-340 7573 (Yang).
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.