IF YOU can find a makan place that serves sang yee fun (snakehead or haruan noodles), trust it to be a good find.
Some time back, K.Y. Lau, my father-in-law mentioned a place in SS20, Petaling Jaya.
“Eh Sam, you should try out this place la. They serve beehoon ikan haruan.”
Since this place is located near my workplace, I decided to give it a try.
To be fair in gathering opinions on this shop, I rounded up my makan buddies Eddie Chua and Jacobus Raj.
Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty, here is an interesting story about the SS20 fish head noodle shop.
The owner had started out as a soya bean drink seller in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and was successful in her business.
Later, she also sold kuih and soya bean drinks from a van servicing the Petaling Jaya area.
As a matter of fact, the SS20 fish head noodles stall is a well-known makan place.
Soo Ewe Jin, a colleague of mine also mentioned this place and recommended me to try it out.
And with haruan as the main draw, Eddie, Jacobus and I wasted no time in securing a table at the shop’s air-conditioned outlet in Damansara Kim.
As the lunch crowd was making a beeline to this makan place, we placed our orders.
The choices were Soong yee (Asian carp) head noodles or Beehoon Ikan Haruan.
We settled for the haruan that comes in fillet and you can choose to have it either plain or deep-fried or both.
For grading purposes, I used restoran Ting Ting in Muar, Johor’s sang yue mai fun (beehoon ikan Haruan) as a benchmark.
When our noodles were served, I was delighted with the large and generous portions.
The haruan fillet was huge and I suspected that the giant snakehead (ikan toman) or genus channa micropeltes was used.
Toman fillets are chunky and this particular fish is also called “Haruan Singapore”.
Although the toman is not as fine-textured and sweet tasting as the haruan, it is a preferred fish for fish head noodles.
And at RM10.40 a bowl, it’s nowhere compared with what I had in Muar, Johor where real haruan was served.
Eddie, who is an avid angler, was also disappointed with the overall quality of the sang yee fun.
In terms of technicality, I must say that the shop was wrong in claiming the noodles as haruan beehoon.
And for the record, there are at least five known channidae species (snakeheads) in Peninsular Malaysia — namely: the haruan, toman, bujuk, jaloi (mui fah pan, toman bunga, kerandang) and the dwarf snakehead (channa gachua).
Since my buddy Eddie had decided to pick up the tab, he actually asked the owner of the shop on the type of snakehead used.
“Eh boss, you cook toman ah? I also fish la, can I supply you some stock ah?,” Eddie joked.
To my surprise, the owner actually acknowledged that he used toman instead of haruan for the noodles.
Jokes aside, there is nothing wrong with consuming toman beehoon.
It is just that real haruan is scarce these days and even if they were sourced from a reputable fish farm, the taste and texture cannot be compared with those that are harvested from the wild.
SS20 fish head noodles shop (GPS N 03 08 122, E 101 37 767) is located in Damansara Kim and opens daily to cater for the lunch and dinner crowd.