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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Food Review - Tiong Nam Fish Head Noodles


NameTiong Nam Fish Head Noodles/Bak Kut TehAddress & Location
Tiong Nam/PWTC
Food
Fish Head Noodles, Bak Kut Teh
Getting there
This place is stone’s throw away from PWTC, Legend Hotel and the Mall. It’s located at a prominent corner on Jalan Tiong Nam. As this place is located within the Tiong Nam enclave, it’s a little complicated to describe here because the entire area is riddled with multiple tiny lanes, in the same manner as what you would find if you traveled to a village (hence the nostalgic feel).
It can also be a little complicated to drive there despite having been there several times. Please refer to the map for the exact location.
Parking
Parking can be a hassle if you are competing wit the lunch crowd. If you get there before them, then there are lots of street-side parking spaces in the vicinity. There is also an open space parking lot conveniently located directly opposite the eatery.
Service
The service is quick and no fuss! The food comes rather quickly (unless you are caught in the lunch crowd which then changes things considerably – try to get there before 12.15pm)
Diners are given hot water in the standard plastic bowl to clean your cups and utensils.
Ambience
Tucked in a prominent corner within the Tiong Nam enclave, this is a typical traditional no-frills Chinese eatery – old, a little run down, but busy and gives you that nostalgic feel good buzz as it brings you back to the good old times you remember when you were growing up in more innocent times.
You will find the typical plastic/wooden round-top tables with multi-colored plastic chairs. It may not appeal to the younger Pappa Rich/Starbucks crowds but the jam packed crowds during lunch is testament to this place’s longevity!
Taste
The inclusion of seafood in the clay-pot fish head noodles is a big draw for the patrons! Although the taste is not as strong as the fish head noodles of Ho A One in Taman Desa (http://jmerb.blogspot.com/2009/05/food-review-ho-one-seafood-steamboat.html), you know that the food has all of its flavor from the seafood naturally. Despite my love for strongly flavored food, I still like the taste this place offers.
Vermicelli (the thin variety) is usually used for fish head noodles but here, they use the thicker variety of Vermicelli (Choe Mai Fun in Cantonese) instead. Hence, that itself provides a different dining experience altogether.
Unfortunately, not to say that it was bad but the Bak Kut Teh didn’t really leave an impression with me. I have had better and in many other places. So, there’s nothing really to shout about here.
Presentation
As this is a no-frills eatery, they have modest plastic bowls and dishes, except for the piping hot clay-pots where you food will be served. I have no complaints about the presentation and in fact find it rather endearing & charming.
Variety
The main crowd pullers are their signature dish – the clay-pot fish head noodles, and their clay-pot bak kut teh. Besides that, there isn’t really anything else that I have noticed diners ordering.

Value for Money
The food comes in generous portions. In fact, I have friends who tell me to order for less than the headcount (eg: 5 of you dine there but you only order for 4, or even 3!)
You will see large chunks of yam (yes, they use yam chunks in their clay-pot fish head noodles), fish-balls, tomato wedges, clams (La-la)
The food is most reasonably priced! Great value and a rare find in KL!
Overall
Good food, generous portions at great value! This place earns checks at all the right boxes! Try it out. You may be the next evangelist for this place. =)

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