DO YOU know that there are more than one cheen yee thau (steamed fish head) stalls in Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Chan Sow Lin?
As a matter of fact, there are so many makan places that claim that they originated from this part of the city, it’s hard to tell who is who.
For starters, the Chan Sow Lin neighbourhood is a light and medium industrial area.
It is located off Jalan Sungai Besi, south of the city centre.
Some time back, I mentioned about a wantan mee stall which shared its business premises with a car accessory workshop and when it comes to steamed fish head, Jalan Chan Sow Lin is a well-known landmark.
That said, I set out on a lunchtime adventure with my buddy Eddie Chua who said that when he started out as a cub reporter, he used to makan in the area.
“Eh, you know ah, last time ah, I came here and tried out the kepala ikan, it was quite good. But I can’t remember exactly where the stall is,” he said.
Before I go further, there are lots and lots of bloggers including “foodies” who have given some good reviews about Jalan Chan Sow Lin’s makan places.
Seeing is believing and if you do a Google search, there’ll be plenty of surprises.
Okay, so having worked up a good appetite, we jumped into our vehicle and drove all the way from Section 16 in Petaling Jaya to Sungai Besi.
We had GPS navigation but the geographical information was outdated and the said stall had moved.
While we frantically searched for the makan place, I remembered what Michelle, my wife said.
“Aiyah! You all ah! Typical males ah.. Don’t want to open your mouths and ask…”
That thought lingered in my mind and it took a while for me to sum up some courage to ask.
So, we came across a workshop employee and grilled him for some information.
“Ah, this stall ah, moved already la. You try Jalan Tiga, it’s there,” said the mechanic.
With the instruction given, we got to Restoran Bamboo Inn in Jalan Lima.
The giveaway was a banner hung in front of the stall which reads: “Steamed fish head”.
With our rumbling tummies, we decided to give this place a try.
I ordered a plate of sang cheong (small intestines fried with dried shrimps), fan shue yeep (sweet potato leaves) and the chieu phai cheeng soong yee thau (steamed carp head).
Before I go into grading the quality of the food served at this outlet, here’s some information, the Asian carp reared for food in the southern states of the US is considered a pest and invader species.
Okay, so, how good is the steamed fish head?
I would say that the spicy soya paste sauce which was blasted with lard and chee yau char (pork cracklings) made the Bamboo Inn makan trip a memorable experience.
This steamed dish scored a 7 out of 10 on the Samoscale and when the bill came, we paid RM46 for three dishes which puts the steamed fish head at RM22-RM25 a piece.
The sang cheong was also good, but this stall’s fried vegetable needs some improvement.
Bamboo Inn (GPS N 03 06 903, E 101 42 795) is located at the very end of Jalan Lima and opens daily for lunch. If you get lost trying to find this place, better ask because it’s well-known.
There is another fish head place in Jalan Tiga which is said to be the “original” stall, so, here’s more excuse to make another trip to Jalan Chan Sow Lin.