Exploring Taman Johor Jaya (Teratai) on foot, we passed a few interesting food shops and stumbled upon Restoran Botak Handmade Fish Ball which we have not heard about before.
The shop was moderately busy on a sleepy Monday morning with a laid back crowd that looked like regulars from the neighbourhood. A peek at what the people were eating and the signs saying that these were handmade, convinced us to stop and eat here.
The boss, Mr Phang is originally from Seremban, Negri Sembilan. Mr Phang worked in Singapore as a renovation worker in the 1980s and moved to Johor Bahru about 20 years ago. Mr Phang sold his fish balls as a hawker for more than 10 years and opened his own shop in Johor Jaya five years ago.
From the beginning, Mr Phang hand makes the fish and pork balls from scratch everyday.
I ordered mee pok noodles 面薄. I always order mee pok when it is available :P
The mee pok noodles were competent. There was some spring and bite. The sauce had a nice aroma when I tossed the noodles but it dissipated quite fast, and was otherwise average.
The RM5 noodle set came with a bowl of fish balls, yong taufu and fried toufu skin.
Tasting the clear broth, it had moderate body and a slight savoury flavour. I like light subtle flavours :D
I was attracted to the chili sauce's bright red colour.
I remember Chef Stanley of Lazio once told me that hot chili has the effect of stinging the tongue and sensitising the taste buds to detect the subtler flavours.
I took a pinch of the home made chili sauce. It was refreshing and very spicy with garlicky notes. The chili
The fish ball was firm, springy and very fresh with a nice mild fish flavour. The hand made balls were not perfectly round unlike those factory made "ping pong" balls that pop MSG flavours.
The fish balls were made of these fresh yellow tail fish 番薯魚.
The blended fish and pork balls were softer and equally enjoyable.
This wrinkly brownish fish and pork ball was made by blending mackerel fish meat and pork mince, then deep fried. When I bit into the ball, the aroma trapped in the ball escaped and raised up my nose from inside my mouth. I like that aroma.
Fish and pork ball soup RM5
We love the fish and pork balls so much that we ordered another round to enjoy :D The clear broth made from water used in making the fish balls was tasty too.
Mr Phang also sells noodles with these deep fried leather jacket fish 鸡肉鱼. I shall be back to eat Mr Phang's fish balls and to try this fried fish next time.
Mr Phang's handmade fish ball shop, right beside the 7-11 shop.
Restauran name: Restoran Botak Handmade Fish Ball
Address: 36, Jalan Teratai 4, Taman Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru
Hours: Noodles from 6:00am to 3:00pm (Botak also sells rice dishes from 6:00am to 10:00pm)
Date visited: 3 Mar 2014
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