Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Ah Chuan Fish Soup at Jalan Lumba Kuda in Johor Bahru
My friends know how I can have fish soup for weeks without feeling bored. I will even endure hour long queues standing in line for the best fish soup. Actually, I used to do that almost every week at my favourite fish soup stall in Ang Mo Kio, Singapore.
Ah Chuan's fish soup at Jalan Lumba Kuda was not love at the first mouthful of soup as its flavour tasted rather slight, especially when my benchmarks were pretty robust in flavour.
But strangely, I appreciate it more as the meal progresses. Enough for me to want to blog about it.
The boss Ah Chuan worked several years at another fish soup stall before saving enough money to strike out on his own about two years ago.
Ah Chuan Fish Soup is the small corner stall run by Ah Chuan and his younger brother at Shang Ji kopitiam. This is Ah Hoe the younger brother. Ah Chuan's stall is just beside Cathay (Tan Kee) laksa stall.
Ah Hoe making our pot of fish soup.
Our RM10 fish bee hoon soup served in a claypot.
A piece of black snapper meat. It's a lower grade fish than the more familiar red snapper. Still it is more tasty than sea bass and doesn't have that muddy taste that sea bass sometimes have. The meat was fresh, tender and tasted of natural sweetness. I counted about 7 or 8 pieces of similar sized fish meat in our claypot. (We can order higher grade fish like grouper which costs more.)
The springy handmade fish balls had a nice bite though they were not very bouncy. The skin is thin and firm while the inside is soft. Ah Chuan said his fish balls are 100% fish meat with nothing added. This probably accounts for the lack of ping pong bounciness as there is no starch added to Ah Chuan's fish balls. (I am always sceptical about ping pong style fish balls :P )
Ah Chuan's bee hoon was done just right - it still had a little bite and subtle stiffness which I like. I don't enjoy limp and soggy bee hoon :P
The soup was quite clear, the flavour was slight yet pleasant and it was not oily at all.
Ah Chuan uses only fish bones, chicken bones and anchovies to make his soup. Ah Chuan assured me that he uses no MSG and I believe him because I could taste the difference.
Ah Chuan adds a dash of ti poh made from grounded dried sole fish to give his fish soup a bit of essential savoury oomph.
Ah Chuan goes to the market everyday to buy his fish. Ah Chuan deals in only sea fish such as black and red snappers, and groupers. If there is no good fish for the day, Ah Chuan simply closes the stall for the day. So, you only get good fish, personally selected by Ah Chuan. Now, that is quality assurance.
Furthermore, Ah Chuan does not buy his fish in bulk. The small orange ice chest of fresh fish is all Ah Chuan buys and sells every business day.
Give Ah Chuan a try, if you are a fish soup lover.
Restaurant name: Ah Chuan Fish Soup (in Shang Ji kopitiam)
Address: 141, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Johor Bahru
Hours: 7:15am to 2:30pm (closed on Monday)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 2 Jul 2012
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