The signature dish here at Shui Sean 水仙 in Taman Daya, so eloquently stated by their logo, is their claypot catfish.
|This claypot catfish for 3 persons costs RM18|
When the pot of catfish arrived at the table, the sauce was still was bubbly hot and blowing steam. The fresh catfish is cut into large chunks and steaks and braised in a claypot with a spicy savoury sauce.
The flavour of the gooey caramelised sauce is a complex mix of sour, sweet, salty, spicy, hot and savoury. The braising sauce is made with red hot chili peppers, stalks of lemon grass, slices of ginger, onions, fermented black beans and many other spices and herbs. There is also a subtle trace of cooking wine, which I like.
The large chunks and steaks of fresh catfish have bone and skin on. The thick pieces of catfish are moist, juicy and tender. The catfish’s light tasting white meat absorbed the flavours of the spicy braising sauce very well.
The thin smooth scaleless skin of the young catfish was gelatinous and soft, adding texture to the dish. (For those worried about the perceived muddy taste of catfish, there was not even the slightest hint of it here.)
The robust spicy braising sauce whets one’s appetite and it complements the lighter flavours of pearly white rice, soft tofu and fresh choy sum (green vegetable) perfectly. I realised afterwards that I unconsciously ate more than my usual amount of rice ☻
The friendly lady owner does the cooking personally to ensure the highest quality dishes are delivered to the customer. Once again, the pride and hospitality of the eatery owners in Johor made me feel more like a guest than a customer.
Address: 4, Jalan Sagu 38,
Taman Daya, Johor Bahru
21 Feb 2012