Friday, 25 May 2018

Eating Sultan Fish or Why I Still Haven't Tried Zai Shun's Curry Fish Head ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been eating at Zai Shun Curry Fish Head in Jurong East (Singapore) for years, before the advent of blogs and social media. Every time, it was the steamed fish dishes that ate up our calorie budget and filled our stomach space - I have yet to try Zhai Shun's curry fish head 😂 This time it was no different.

I have blogged about Zai Shun before but we enjoyed our steamed fish lunch so much today that I felt compelled to blog about Singapore's King of Steamed Fish again (in my opinion lah....).

Zai Shun boss 王清枝 was in exuberant mood today. Actually, he is always cheerful 😄

王清枝 founded Zai Shun Curry Fish Head in 1981 to sell that popular iconic Singaporean dish. Zai Shun also serves traditional Teochew porridge with lots of side dishes. Zai Shun is still popular for these dishes today.

But, nowadays the Zai Shun brand is synonymous with good value, top quality steamed fish done superbly. With skills honed since he was a teen, Ah Ong 王清枝 had mastered the art of steaming fish. Couple this with his gift of mixing and blending sauces, Zai Shun is one of the top steamed fish places in Singapore.

But, I didn't intend to do any blogging today.... .

It was supposed to be an impromptu, casual, relaxing lunch with buddies but one pinch of flesh from this Mouse Grouper (Humpback Grouper 老鼠斑), and I put on my blogger hat instantly 😂 I just couldn't resist writing and telling you about this 😄

The tender juicy mouse grouper flesh was exquisitely sweet. The wild caught fish's natural flavour was complemented by the mildly savoury soy sauce and aromatic oil blend.

(Seasonal price. Today, it was $100/ kg.)

Next up was steamed Sultan Fish from Sarawak, Malaysia.

That's the thing about Zai Shun boss 王清枝. He loves to travel to hunt for new fish dishes and when he tasted wild caught Sultan Fish in Sarawak, he said he cannot not have it at Zai Shun. So, he arranged with local suppliers to have wild Sultan Fish air flown from Sarawak to Singapore.

The Sultan Fish flesh was tender, juicy, smooth and fruity sweet like a sweet pear. Sultan Fish is a river fish feeding on berries and fruits that fall into the river. The berries and fruits impart a unique fruity sweetness to the Sultan Fish flesh. There was no earthy taste at all even though it is a river fish. Sultan fish got its name because eating this fish was once the privilege of Royalty only.

Thanks to Zai Shun, now everyone can have Sultan Fish in Singapore's public housing heartland. (Seasonal price. Today, it was $100/ kg.)

The Sultan Fish belly reminded me of rich egg custard in texture and taste. The belly fat was juicy smooth and sweet.

Sultan Fish scales are edible and a coveted part of the fish.

It is hard to describe the Sultan Fish scales. It is like thin rubber candy but stiffer with a gentle crunch and only a subtle sweetness and calcium taste. You gotta try it for yourself to know what I mean. I ate a dozen of these scales.

Our third fish dish today, steamed wild caught Giant Grouper with fermented soy bean sauce. (This serving costs $50.)

The texture and flavour of Giant Grouper differs from the previous dishes, thus providing nice variety.

Giant Grouper flesh is tender though firmer than Mouse Grouper and Sultan Fish. GG skin is thicker than chicken skin and has a nice gentle crunch. 

GG flesh's natural flavour is sweet but not as sweet as MG and SF. Zai Shun has paired it with a mildly savoury fermented soy bean sauce laced with lard that accentuated the GG's natural sweetness.

We had a couple of side dishes. This squid with a savoury sweet peppery sauce was nice.

Zai Shun's fried eggs and bitter gourd with bits of salted egg. No bitter taste at all. Just crunch and sweetness, egginess and mild savouriness from the sauce and salted egg.

4-Stars (out of 5). If you are an intrepid foodie traveller visiting Singapore, willing to venture out of the city centre and away from the usual tourist attractions, give Zai Shun a call ☎ 65608594, book a ride and go eat where Singaporeans live and eat. After a meal at Zai Shun, you will go home with food memories and food stories you can tell for years to come. Your friends will be full of envy and admiration for what a smart foodie you are 😄

Paying twice or nearly triple the price in a downtown restaurant does not guarantee steamed fish of the same standard and quality as Zai Shun.

My previous post on Zai Shun 👈 click

P.S. When will I ever taste Zai Shun's curry fish head.... ?

Restaurant name: Zai Shun Curry Fish Head 载顺咖喱鱼头
Address: Blk 253, Jurong East Street 24, #01-205, Singapore 600253 
GPS: 1°20'36.7"N 103°44'13.7"E | 1.343532, 103.737126 
Waze: Jurong East Street 24 
Tel: 6560 8594 
Hours: 7:00am - 3:00pm (Weds off)  

Date visited: 25 May 2018  

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  1. Your statement in the above blog captioned below referred:
    "Sultan Fish is a river fish feeding on berries and fruits that fall into the river. The berries and fruits impart a unique fruity sweetness to the Sultan Fish flesh."

    There may have been a honest oversight.
    Although Sultan Fish or Hoven's carp (Leptobarbus hoevenii; Jelawat in Malay) can be found in both the Peninsula Malaya and Borneo Island, it is the wild Empurau (Tor tambroides; 忘不了 in Chinese) that has the unique taste from a diet of fruit that falls from trees into the rivers. Price:US $300–500/Kg.

    Irrespective of the above fact, I have tremendously enjoyed your articles and looks forward (on almost daily basis) to your new write-up. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Crawler. I will research more as I seldom eat these exotic fish. I shall double check with Ah Ong (Zai Shun boss). Appreciate you for pointing out :D

    2. Could you share the feedback from Zai Shun's owner? It would be interesting to learn what fish is it.
      Recent conversation with makan kaki from Sarawak tells taht there is another species of fresh water fish that feed on fruits, but its from the catfish family, similar to patin.


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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