8pm. Church service ended. Growling tummy. Drizzling rain. Cool weather. Given all these conditions, I did not even hesitate one bit when my friends suggested we walk from Star Vista to further down the road at Dover Crescent for some comforting hot Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun. Just a short 10 mins walk away, I can still endure the hunger and walk the distance lah. Actually it can be quite romantic to walk in the rain.. except that I'm the "lamp post" lol. Oops, I digressed! Let's quickly get to the fish head bee hun before I faint of hunger :p
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun was first established and made a name for themselves at Holland Village before relocating to the current location at Dover Crescent. Famed for their signature XO fish head bee hun, it's not surprising to see patrons still drawn to them to get a fix of this soup-based noodle dish. The saying "Where the good food are, that's where people will go", couldn't be more true. Almost every table at the packed coffeeshop can be seen burying their heads into a bowl or waiting for their order like us.
The wait seemed forever when we're hungry until our order of XO Fish Head Bee Hun ($7) and XO Fish Meat Bee Hun ($12 for 2 pax) is finally served. The orange bowl brightened up an otherwise insipid looking chalky bee hun soup, but those in the know, will know this dish stands out for its flavor and not appearance. Our noses were the first to intoxicate itself in the heady aroma of XO, a brandy which was generously infused into the broth! Slices of ginger balanced out the flavors and none of the unpleasant fishy smell was present. What we tasted was a soup that was deliciously rich, creamy and sweet, but I suspect MSG was added. I love sucking every bit of flesh out of the fried fish head. Very fresh and yummy! The thick rice vermicelli soaked up all the wonderful essence, every spoonful brought me into a state of gastronomic bliss. Please let me be wrong about the MSG.
If you do not like the taste of XO, you can order your fish bee hun without it. If you like all different parts - fish head, fried fish pieces, fresh fish slices - , don't try to be funny like me by trying to "upsize" and order everything into one bowl. You will be told off by the guy at the cashier, "No! We don't do it like that one!". You have been warned first.
We also ordered Har Cheong Gai ($8) and Sweet Potato Leaves ($8). How can I missed out ordering har cheong gai aka prawn paste fried chicken lol! The chicken wings were wonderfully permeated with the distinctively pungent, yet addictive smell of shrimp paste. Its meat was so juicy and encased in a layer of amazing crispiness! A squeeze of lime and a dip into the accompanying chilli sauce enhanced the taste of this perfectly deep-fried goodness to another level. This is a must-order!
It is often said, and proven right, that hunger is the best condiment but I think I will still find the Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun enjoyable even when I'm not famished. My friends said standard has dropped though. I can't contribute my two cents worth on this as I have not patronize it at its previous location before. To me, it's a dish that is simple and satisfying. What is it to you? Do share your thoughts with me too :)
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun
Address: Blk 19A Dover Crescent, #01-05, Singapore 131019
Contact: +65 67783691