Monday, July 21

Hua Long Fish Head Steamboat

It is stressful to think about where to go for birthday meals but I know my family is always game for two things - steak and tze char.

A couple of weeks ago, my parents dapao-ed some stuff back from Hua Long Fish Head Steamboat and they were good enough to warrant a proper re-visit with the entire gang in tow.

Anyway, just to state upfront, the eatery is housed in a coffee shop with no air-conditioning. It might not be worth mentioning but it is a huge deal for my family as most of us would do whatever it takes to stay within the confines of an air-conditioned space. Thankfully, my family is willing to put up with the heat on special occasions.

Since it was a birthday lunch, we placed an advance order for the Lobster Combination platter (at market price but ours costs $118). It was quite the statement showpiece - very fitting of a birthday celebration whether you are 29 or 89. I love how they managed to re-construct the entire lobster with stir-fried butter lobster, prawn rolls, abalone slices with sweet chili sauce, seafood-stuffed beancurd and crabmeat omelette. Kitschy but amusing.

Ever fans of wasabi prawns, we had to try the Japanese Honeydew Wasabi Prawn Balls. Though the wasabi flavour was barely noticeable, the prawns were crunchy and there was a lingering sweetness from the honeydew and grapes.

I had tried the Signature Wok-fried White Beehoon as a takeaway dish and thought it fared better then. To me, the opeh leaf doesn’t serve any purpose unless you use it for takeaway as it amplifies the aroma of the dish. It is nonetheless a pleasant carb dish though I will try something else on my next visit.

One of the clear favourites was the Guinness Stout Pork Ribs made up tender chunks of saucy porky bites.

Well-battered and flavourful, the Salted Egg Calamari was also very well done. That said, I think I have been having too much Salted-Egg-Something lately and I need to get out of this “Salted Egg” arena soon…

I love love love fried rice so this XO Fried Rice with Bacon could do no wrong.

The Braised Herbal Duck with Sea Cucumbers was pretty good too. It was tender and fall-off-the-bone but the duck itself was hardly stringy. 

A dish that needs no introduction but well executed – Sambal Kang Kong.

At the end of the meal, we received a complimentary dessert. Granted it might have been poured out of a can, but we all appreciated a cooling dessert on that hot blistering afternoon.

Looking back, lunch was such an interesting experience. Located in the depths of Block 347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, we didn’t have a hard time finding it but the GPS was something we heavily relied on; we were the only table in the crowded food centre that had a champagne-gold tablecloth - which I'm told you will get if you make an advance reservation; and at the end of the meal, our super-duper friendly server offered to take a polaroid picture of us (odd but hilarious!).

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