If you are in KL (Kuala Lumpur) and wish to have the best steamed fish head in town, check out at Cheras Flats Steamed Fish Head. Located along Jalan Ikan Emas in Cheras, this stall operates in front of a coffee shop on the ground floor of Seri Pulau Pinang Flats. The shop occupied easily 20 odds tables by road side but there is hardly find any empty table if you arrive at peak hour.
The one and only chef cum the boss of Cheras Flats Steamed Fish has 4 assistants to run the stall. One young gentleman of Indonesian origin is taking care of raw materials and physical stuff e.g. changing gas tank and another 3 ladies help with preparation, serving and taking order. The service is good and prompt but the bottle neck is time consumption to steam these fish heads. Nevertheless, it is worth the time spend waiting in exchange for an irresistible dish!
The chef applies a standard and accurate operationg procedure while steaming the fish head. In a row of a systematic paper orders queue, there is a unique object called stop watch. If you are first timer here, you might be wandering who is putting on an alarm clock to wake up in mid afternoon? Oh dear, it is actually the call indicating the steamed fish head is ready to be served!
Although this shop is well-known for the appealing steamed fish head, other side dishes like bean sprouts/cai xin/baby cabbage in oyster sauce and steam tofu are also served. In fact, they offer a complete lunch diet with fiber (vegetables), protein (fish/tofu) and carbohydrate (rice) as well.
While waiting, a good tips to pick up is the steaming skill. At the beginning, the cleaned cut fish head is washed with clean water before placing on a plate. It is then brought into a multiple layered steaming cooker. After the first half period, the fish head is taken out and access water accumulated while steaming is drained away. The next step is pouring the ‘secret’ sauce (I think it at least consisted of sesame oil, thin soy sauce and thick soy sauce) onto the half-steamed fish head, then garnish with plenty of striped fresh ginger and chili. These plates of fish head are then placed into the cooker again and steam to perfection.
Finally, the long waited steamed fish head arrived on our table. Its flesh was smooth and juicy. While the sauce is best to be taken with rice instead of by itself which can be a bit salty for my taste bud. Fish head is my all time favorite so this dish was a perfect lunch for me.
To recognize if the fish is fresh, munch the flesh and the friction between our teeth and the fish meat will produce a sticky sound or some called it elastic texture. Try it and you will know.
Cheras Flats Steamed Fish Head
Jalan Ikan Emas,
Cheras, Kuala Lumpur,
Operating hours: 11 am – 3pm daily (Close on Tuesday)
Location: Courtesy by Google Map, please click and zoom in: Cheras Flats Steamed Fish Head
Wah Yuen Restaurant (Beside RHB Bank)
Cheras 9th Mile Suntex Garden,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia