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Home / Chinese Cuisine / Whampoa Drive Xin Heng Feng Fish Head Steamboat
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Whampoa Drive Xin Heng Feng Fish Head Steamboat
By Alfred June 5, 2009
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(6 rated)
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Whampoa Drive Xin Heng Feng Fish Head Steamboat
Fast Facts
Fishhead Steamboat (鱼头炉)
Chinese Cuisine
Hawker Centre
Price Range:
S$11 - S$20
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Balestier (马里士他)
Food Centre:
Whampoa Drive Food Centre
Recommended For:
Reviewed by:

One of those food that I didn’t grew up eating and actually wondered how it taste like even up to 2 years ago is this thing called Fish Head Steamboat.

Ok, obviously you wouldn’t need to be very smart to figure that it is a steamboat but with fish head in it right? That’s one of the reasons why in the past I’ve never thought about wanting to go and eat this thing because I don’t know how to appreciate fish heads. I mean what’s so nice about the fish’s face, the eyes or the gelatin which are the only thing that is eatable on the head of a fish?

Other than steamboat, the other food I can think of that are made of fish head is the Fish Head Otah. Ok I’ve tried that before and really, instead of the delicious otah where I get chunks of fish meat wrapped in banana leaf, I get lots of ‘Unswallowable’ fish bones, so much so that I can’t really enjoy eating that Otah. So really, fish head is something that I try to avoid and I think it must be really delicious for people who loves chewing on bones but it’s just something I don’t know how to appreciate.

Now that is one of the reasons why I avoided Fish Head Steamboat all my life until something like 2 years ago, I was brought to this place called Xin Heng Feng Fishball Noodles to have a meal and it were to change my perception of this famous dish called Fishhead Steamboat that everyone had been enjoying and I had been avoiding. Ok if you’re guessing I typed the name of the stall wrongly, then you have guessed it wrong. That is indeed the name of the stall.

What’s happening here is that apparently this stall(they rent 2 stalls actually) at the Whampoa Drive Food Centre sells Fishball noodles by day and then sells Fishhead steamboat by night. And apparently they called themselves a Fishball Noodles instead. Now I’m not exactly sure if they are the same people selling from morning to night or if they’re even related. But what I can see is that this form of collaboration is really one of a kind. Let me tell you why.

If you’re wondering why certain Cze Char places in hawker centre are cheaper than say a Cze Char stall in Kopitiam or a small Cze Char restaurant, it’s because they operate from a single stall and hence their rental is a lot lower. The fact is a lot of hawker centres have stalls that only serve food up to after lunch time. So from that point onwards the hawker centre can be as quiet as a ghost town.

It’s where these Cze Char owners come into othe picture and take advantage of the many seats available in the entire hawker centre and operate a Cze Char stall there. Now the only disadvantage for them is that they have to make do with the size of the stall which is usually a lot smaller than one that they rent at a kopitiam. But that’s about it, there wouldn’t be any lesser customers, infact it can be easier to attract customers in such an environment because since their rental cost is low, they can keep prices low and that kind of setup can really bring down Cze Char business in kopitiams nearby. If you’re wondering how cheap, well it can go to as low as $5-$6 for a plate of Stir Fried KangKong.

Now that basically describe what this Xin Heng Feng Fishball Noodles is doing by selling Fishhead Steamboat at night at a hawker centre. So now you know why stalls like these are worth going to for meals.

Now I can’t really tell you whether Xin Heng Feng Fishball Noodles cum Fishhead Steamboat serves one of the best fishhead steamboat around because they’re the only one I’ve eaten. But indeed in my opinion, they’re quite good, so good that I don’t bother going to anywhere else if I want to eat fishhead steamboat. Ok for one, I think when we talk about steamboat, it’s the soup that is the most important and here, they have really a kickass soup. Everytime I was there, the soup really tasted like it’s been boiled with fishbones or whatever for a really really long time. So long that when it arrived on my table, it had this fantastic fish cum ‘chao tah’ aroma.

Fish meat: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Well surprisingly it does smelled a little like wok hei. Ok certain soup are really cooked this way and has a hint of that wok hei but I’m not sure about this one really, though I’m quite certain they uses some spices in it(I was told it is nutmeg). Anyway the soup is really really good and I can really just eat it with rice.

Of course a Fishhead steamboat is much more than the soup. Well I am really glad to say that this fishhead steamboat doesn’t really uses the fishhead only but all parts of the fish. During ordering, they’ll ask what fish you want and they have snapper, pomfret and carp which is also called song fish( ??). Ok so far from all my experiences only 1-2 times when I dined there, I was served more fishhead than the fish meat while 7-8 times I was served with plenty of fish meat so I believed that they actually used the whole fish. So it’s not really a fishhead steamboat but fish steamboat and I know that sounds bad for fishhead lovers but that sounded a good thing to me.

Fish spare parts: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Ok other than fishmeats, you get generous amount of yam pieces, generous amount of Chinese cabbage. With that, you get a few pieces of Tik Poh( Salted Dried Sole Fish) hiding in the soup and a few pieces of laver too. If you’re thinking that it sounded like an expensive meal, then let me tell you that we usually order the $20 steamboat and was always enough for 4 person. They have other authentic side dishes which they’ll bring to your table and you can decide what you want. From memory they have things like fish eggs, pork aspic, chai buay(salted veg) and braised chicken feet.

Vinegar and cut chilli: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

For fishhead steamboat, I have never ventured beyond this stall as I think the standard they’ve given me is quite high and hard to be exceeded. But of course I’ve heard a few other famous ones like Tian Wai Tian at Serangoon and Tian Tian Lai at Bedok but somehow I never bothered trying the rest because for me Xin Heng Feng Fishball cum Fishhead Steamboat had more than passed the test!

Price: Starts from $15

Recommendation: Preserved Veg( Has a lot of fantastic garlic flavour!)

Conclusion: They’re so good they can make me go back for more even when people were raving about others which were purportedly better.

Likes: Fantastic ‘wok hei’ flavour in the soup.

Dislikes: A little too salty.

Address Overall Rating

Xin Heng Feng Fishball Noodles (day) and Fishhead Steamboat (evening)
Blk 91 Whampoa Drive
Balestier Food Market

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 

6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 

7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Readers' Comment(s) : 5
Lim Boon Tiong says:

i am in the same boat as you…. hardly eat fish head steamboat.
the only place i go is TIAN WAI TIAN.. and no where else.

will sure drop by whampoa and try this steamboat.
for that price $15.. it is cheap as compared to other places…

now…. need to find a kaki to go makan wtth me. :)

Posted June 6, 2009
Alfred says:

Yes you mentioned about the tian wai tian. Apparently they’re also a Cze Char stall right? What are the die die must eat dishes there?

Posted June 6, 2009
Lim Boon Tiong says:

yes…. cze char stall and they are famous for their Fish Head Steamboat (white promfet and the red groupa).
also DIE DIE must try …

Tofu Prawn
Fried prawn sauce chicken
Sambal Kangkong

very fulfilling meal.

Posted June 6, 2009
Alfred says:

Is it expensive there?

Posted June 6, 2009
David says:

I love the fishball noodles from this stall. The meatball is very nice, i think they make themself. Soup also very nice.

Posted October 24, 2009
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