Thursday, 5 January 2012

Restoran CM 阿明 in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru


Behind their non-descript, plain looking, rather unimaginative signboard is one of JB’s favourite restaurants.


CM restaurant 阿明 is always noisily filled to capacity with regular customers during lunch. No need for fancy signboards or expensive advertising – just word of mouth draws a steady stream of fans and converts to CM.

CM specialises in Teochew styled fish dishes and one of their hot favourites is their stir fried fish. You can choose meat, head, stomach or opt for a combination of all three. 

My favourite is stir fried fish head.

The fish head is chopped into small chunks and then stir fried in oil using high heat with dried chillies, ginger, spring onions and fermented soy bean paste. The resulting dish is pungent and yet the fish meat encased in the head bones that shield it from the searing wok - is still tender, moist and fresh.

Despite the threatening looking dried chillies and pungent assault on our nose and eyes, the fried fish meat is only gently spicy.

The tasty fish meat and bones seduces and then conquer your taste buds with its alternating gentle and forceful flavours - sweet tender meat and heavily flavoured sauce. 

This superb fried fish head costs RM18. (Jan 2012)

After enjoying JB’s favourite restaurants, I realised that their essential “secret” is really no secret at all. The “secret” is in using the freshest ingredients and to use the most intense heat to seal in the fish's natural freshness and flavour. This eliminates the need to use excessive salt, sugar and MSG to artificially boost the food’s flavour and taste. Of course, the quality of the dish also depends on the artistry of the chef.

After learning to appreciate fresh food prepared with high heat by artists, it is hard to be satisfied with food assembled by barely trained kitchen hands with processed ingredients and chemical boosters.


Back at CM after more than a year. 

Nothing much has changed. Same full house during lunch and the people even looked like those I saw early last year! The same service staff, with the same poker faced expressions :)

Ordered an Ikan Merah fish head steamed Teochew style (RM56). Just simple, clean, fresh and naturally sweet fish. 


Also had simple sweet potato leaves stir fried in sambal belacan (RM7.00). Nicely done as you can see from the picture. The crunchy texture and the juices of the leaves are sealed in by skillful wok work.

I will be back at CM!

Restaurant name: Restaurant CM 阿明
Address: 21, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.481685, 103.774479
Hours: Daily (Closed on Sundays)
Non Halal

Date visited: 3 Jan 2012, 2 July 2013

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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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