Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Sunday, 16 September 2018

San Lou Handmade Fish Balls 三楼.阿山自制手工鱼丸.辣沙 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

You know, I stumbled upon this San Lou fish ball stall at the old 3 storey flats in Stulang Darat 7 years ago. As I travel only on one stomach, I KIVed this stall for a future visit. Many things / distractions intervened and I forgot. Last night, buddy Kevin reminded me about this hand made fish ball stall. Finally, I tasted this well hidden gem, and gladly recommend it to you, 7 years late.

At the tiny stall, the little simple signboard says 阿山自制手工鱼丸.辣沙 Ah San Handmade Fish Balls & Laksa.

Owner 阿梅 Ah Mei's father-in-law founded the stall right here at the 3 storey flats over 40 years ago. She has been running the stall for over 20 years.

Ah San Fish Ball stall is located at the inside block of 3 storey flats at Stulang Darat, so it is not visible from the road. A hidden gem, literally.

Ah San Fish Ball is run right out of Ah Mei's family home. Most of the customers live in the 3 storey flats (the birth place of several JB food legends - a story I will tell on another day). It's a come as you are place - every body feels at home, I feel very comfortable here. I saw a grandpa and his grandson. I also saw former residents coming back on a Sunday morning for that familiar taste and camaraderie (kampung spirit).

I had a laksa since it is available only on Saturday and Sunday, and 10 fish balls which was the real reason I came here.

The laksa was served kosong i.e. just our choice of noodles and curry laksa. We added our choice of ingredients which were charged accordingly. I chose fried fish cake, squid tentacles, tofu and chili pepper stuffed with fish paste.

This might be called the Johor style of curry laksa - relatively light body made of pork and chicken bone stock with (not too much) fresh coconut milk. It tasted sweet with a mildly spicy aftertaste. I liked it. (If you are looking for the hae bee 虾米 or prawny crustacean savoury kind of curry laksa, this is not it.)

That small golden brown fried fish cake, what can I say? Shiok lah.

The tender, spongy, squeaky mouthfeel fried fish cake tasted savoury sweet of the fresh fish kind.

I liked everything here: the green chili pepper was fresh, so it was crunchy and juicy. The fish paste filling was naturally sweet. The tofu and its fish paste filling was just as nice. The squid tentacle was tender, crunchy and had that signature taste of dried squid.

Ah San's fish balls are among the best in Johor.

The clear watery light body soup was mildly savoury sweet.

Ah Mei makes the fish balls with minced Yellowtail tail fish meat 黄尾鱼. The fish ball surface was slightly rough, the size were all about the same but the shape was irregular as they were hand made. The texture was tender, springy and had a softy squeaky chewy mouthfeel to the bite. 

The fish tasted well balanced savoury sweet of the fresh fish kind. It was not salty and neither was it sugary sweet. Ah Mei uses no preservatives, so the fish balls must be eaten within 24 hours - never a problem with Ah San fish balls.

I bumped into Ah Chuan, owner of Ah Chuan fish soup stall in Taman Pelangi (one of JB's best). Ah Chuan grew up in these 3 storey flats. His mum still lives here, so he pays her a visit and gets his Ah San fish ball fix, which he grew up with.

I later found out from Ah Mei that Ah Chuan paid for my meal before he took his leave, so I don't know how much it costs. Thank you, pal 🙏

I like Ah San's fish balls and stuffed tofu / chili peppers so much that I ordered a second round to fill up any spare space in my stomach. These for RM7.50.

More of the same, more pleasure. Shiok lagi.

4-Star (out of 5).

👍 Ah San Handmade Fish Ball & Laksa stall 阿山自制手工鱼丸.辣沙 tucked away inside the Stulang Darat 3 storey flats is a favourite local hangout as they serve one of the best fish balls in Johor Bahru. My favourite is the fried fish cake. If you like authentic local foodie experiences away from well beaten tracks, you may like to give this little hidden gem a try.

A 1960s vintage children's playground at the 3 storey flats.

There were similar flats and a dove theme playground in Singapore's Dakota Crescent which had been demolished 👈 click

Three storey flat residents are served by a Chinese temple at their doorsteps.

Restaurant nameAh San Handmade Fish Ball & Laksa stall 阿山自制手工鱼丸.辣沙
Address: Jalan Stulang Darat (ground floor house unit at 3-storey flats facing inside), Johor Bahru 
GPS1°28'21.8"N 103°46'42.9"E 🌐 1.472715, 103.778580
Waze: Restoran Come & Eat Teochew Muay (Ah San is at the next block just inside)
Hours: 6:00am to 12:00 noon (closed on Monday)

Non Halal

Date visited: 16 Sep 2018

Follow for more good JB food

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.


  1. The guy who gave you the treat is Ah Chuan from his namesake Fish Soup Stall right ? The Chinese character on his shirt looks like Kim; but on second glance it is not :-)

  2. The cze char at the 三楼辣沙釀豆腐 nearby is also pretty good. Opens at night only, day time I think they sell yong tau fu, laksa. Can share Ah Kim Fish Soup's address? Thanks

    1. Thanks! Oh... it should be Ah Chuan (not Ah Kim). my mistake, my apologies. I have amended it. Ah Chuan's stall ->

      Address: Restoran Starfood Corner. 124-126, Jalan Sri Pelangi, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
      GPS: 1°28'42.8"N 103°46'32.9"E | 1.478543, 103.775805
      Tel: 017-7780087
      Hours: 8:00am to 1:00pm


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. All comments with genuine identities are published.