Talk about one of the “best” sliced fish food鱼片汤 In Singapore, and Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon may just come to mind.
Relocated in Dover Crescent since 2010, Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon did originate in Holland Village when it was started by a couple.
HOWEVER, reviews of this zi char place remains quite divided – there are those who love that milky fish soup added with XO, while others thought the dishes were average at best.
And there are several feedback on the snappy attitude.
Okay, I won’t say that service was anything close to friendly, just very functional as long you don’t ask them additional (unnecessary) questions.
The recommended dishes include Black Pepper Crabs, Teochew Pomfret, Butter Prawns, Pork Rib Deluxe, Chicken with Prawn Paste Sauce, Prawn Roll, XO Sauce Beancurd, Hong Kong Kailan and San Lao Horfun.
I suppose the must-try is the XO Fish Head Bee Hoon, priced at $8, $12, $15, $20, $25 to $30 (depending on the number of pax), consisting of thick bee hoon and chunks of fish.
The flavourful milky soup came from boiled fish bones, seasoned with ground black and white pepper, XO brandy, and rice wine, and simmered until thick.
There was a pleasure mildly cloudy texture and delicate sweet flavour.
The XO added some light undertones and didn’t overpower – the addition (with ginger slices) did have an effect of masking the fishy taste.
While the cu mi fen (thick vermicelli) was smooth, and fish slices to be thick and quite generous, they were strangely plain and lacking in flavours.
Did I expect more? From all that I have read, yes.
The other popular dish is the San Lau (“three-tossed”) Hor Fun ($6.00) wok-fried with chewy, thicker-than-others flat rice noodles, sliced fish, then tossed thrice.
Together with crunchy beansprouts and aromatic garlic bits, they are bound by a gooey sauce, a reduction of a flavour-packed fish broth. This dish was not bad for its sauce and tau-gay.
Not in the mood for fish? Go for chicken offerings like Har Cheong Gai ($9), the popular Singaporean fried chicken wing dish in a batter with fermented shrimp paste.
Some people may be sceptical due to the strangely paler batter colour compared to the average. I would say that while the outer layer was quite crisp, I wished there was a stronger prawn paste fragrance and succulence within.
A not-bad version, though not mind-blowing.
I suspect Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon has experienced better days. Comforting fish soup for any rainy, cooling days, but some hits and misses for the rest of the dishes.
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon
19A Dover Crescent, Singapore 131019
Tel: +65 6778 3691
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2pm; 5:00pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)