Traditional Nan Hua Chong FishHead Steamboat: The 4th Generation at Kaki Bukit

1 week ago 34

The History of Fish Head Steamboat

If you have craving for Fish Head Steamboat, then the name Nan Hwa Chong would probably come to mind. It is not surprising, since they are the pioneers of the dish. It is quintessentially a Teochew dish but the style of presenting this fish soup in a steamboat is unique to Singapore as you won’t find it easily elsewhere.

The story of Fish Head Steamboat started in 1927 when Jessie Tan’s Great Grand Uncle started selling fish soup along Merchant Road. At the time, they were a stall within a coffee shop called Nan Hwa Chong, which is the name they carried over with them when they relocated.

Jessie’s father, Mr Tan Lek Chew, 72, affectionately known as “Ah Chew”, grew up in the restaurant. He was a tailor by vocation but started working for “lau gu” (ie Grand Uncle) in his early twenties and finally took over the restaurant in 1972. They subsequently moved to the basement food court of the Eminent Plaza in 1987 and then to their present location at North Bridge Road which was where I first met Ah Chew back in 2011.

Why is it called “Fish Head” Steamboat

You might be wondering why it is called “Fish Head” Steamboat when fish meat is usually served? Well, it is because, in the early days, Song Fish Head was used as the Teochews have a penchant for the head and other fiddly parts of the fish rather than the flesh which we consider too one-dimensional. In the old days, wild-caught Song Fish was available locally and didn’t have the muddy flavor that is sometimes found in the farmed variety which is common nowadays.

Tan Lek Chew and daugher, Jessie Tan with husband, Henry and son.

Into its 4th Generation

If you are based around the North Eastern part of Singapore, you will be glad to know that Jessie and her husband ha...

Read Entire Article