I’ve frequently seen long snaking queue along Tan Quee Lan street outside the Xin Yuan Ji unit. While looking for food options on a late evening in Bugis, this place came to my mind – famous for charcoal fish head steamboat. We dropped by to try our luck and we were happy that there wasn’t any queue at around 9pm. While there isn’t a queue, the place was still pretty much occupied. I find the table size rather cramp to put the Fish Steamboat, other dishes, individual soup bowls and the ladles etc. The box-liked stool was also pretty uncomfortable. Seated almost shoulder to shoulder to the person next to me, there wasn’t any space to manoeuvre around especially when we need to scoop the ingredients from the Steamboat.
We had the small Red Snapper Fish Meat Steamboat ($40 or $50, can’t remember) and the prawn paste chicken wings. The fish was really fresh hence the flesh was succulent and firm. They were also pretty generous with the fish portion. I was impressed that I didn’t taste any fish bones in the meat! The soup was well-stocked with cabbage, tomatoes and tofu. The yam in the soup was also well-cooked to an ultra soft-mashy texture; we need to carefully scoop them out instead of using chopsticks. The prawn paste chicken wings were pretty standard, thou some people may like that it comprises all of mid-joints.
Although the fish was fresh, soup tasted lovely, I didn’t like the environment and seating. This reminds me, the place was horribly noisy! Despite sitting face-to-face, we can’t hold a conversation without a “Huh? Can’t hear you” in it….
Ok for a quick meal like a simple bowl of sliced fish bee hoon but not recommended for large groups or family meals.
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