Sunday, March 22, 2009


21 March 2009

J.B. AH MENG Fried Fish Head Kitchen
No. 2 Lorong 23 Geylang
(a stall in New Good Food Coffee Shop)
Singapore 388353
Tel: 67412677
Opening Hours: 5.00pm - 3.30am

Ever since Ya Kwang Dai Pai Dong of Geylang Lorong 37 has ceased operation in Singapore because the owners, ex-steward and stewardess have moved on to Perth since end of last year (they will be setting shop in Perth soon and you will have fly there to get that unique cooking styled fare), this is the first time I am travelling to Geylang again for good food.

It's amazingly and overwhelmingly crowded on a Saturday night and Geylang is buzzing with activities after nine. The side streets and coffee shops are booming and overspilling with people that there is certainly no signs of any economic downturn. However, to those who knows Geylang, infamous for the red light area, there is the other draw of Geylang that is the good food found here as more and more stalls, restaurants starts to sprout and mushroom around here.

JB Ah Heng has to be discovered along Geylang Lorong 23. You have to walk through the "thickening" crowds as you find you way there. It is a cze char stall in a coffeeshop and awkwardly facing a side lane instead, an unlikely place to dream that good food exists here. I could not find JB Ah Heng at first because there is no written signboard in English but as we walked through the tables filled with diners and spreaded over the backlane, most tables were not without the famous Three Storey Bee Hoon or "San Lou" Bee Hoon, a signature dish.

This is definitely not a place to bring families with children and I too was as uncomfortable here given the different crowd you get around here, mostly with "Chinese fairladies" escorting their male partners engaging in chitchats. I wonder if I should just do take-away or dine there with some discomfort and unease, yet to walk away from the piping hot food once it is cooked is unwise. As the seats are full, we were asked to join a table of 2 men with accompanying ladies dressed with plunging necklines so a good thing to do is just focus on your food, at least.

However, you will be in for a real treat as the dishes served is very savoury that will satisfy any foodie's tastebuds with their unique Malaysian styled fares. In fact, the cooking is quite ingenious that require some special techniques and cooking skills of the chef to bring out the flavour of each dish.

Three Storey Bee Hoon is a JB dish and it's name is popularised by the story that the chef threw the fried beehoon from the third storey down and it falls flat on the plate, hence creating a very very flat bee hoon serving that you get here too. The bee hoon top layer has very good "wok hei" "chaota" and beneath it all you will find the treasures of green chye sim, small prawns and cuttlefish are locked therein. The "sum lou" bee hoon as it is called is very "Q" or springy and the dish is certainly very delicious, not oily, light and tasty indeed.

The stall is very media shy as both the supervisor and waitress refused to reveal and shed light on any information adding only the owner is seldom here. I could not find out more but he wasnt rude just no revelation whatsoever.

See how flat and chaota the Three Storey Bee Hoon is?

My second dish is stir Fried Tempura Brinjal with potato, dried chilli, red chilli and capsicum. I could hardly make up the brinjal (in fact the guy across us pointed out to us that this is brinjal) as it is like a mock meat with some crunchy parts that gives a bony feeling when you bite and yet the softer part of the brinjal is coated with tempura that makes up the meat. No it's just brinjal and the brilliant coating and frying are done in steps that gives this dish a thumbs up and the potato particularly blends very well for this light dish. Wonderful dish indeed.




CK Lam said...

This is my first time coming across the "sum lou" bee hoon. Very interesting!

Life for Beginners said...

What? No pics of them plunging necklines? :P

Seriously though, kudos to you for braving discomfort and unease to bring us this piping hot review! :D

CUMI & CIKI said...

what is this 'chaota' ..?!

J2Kfm said...

hahaha .... of all places, in the notorious Geylang.

its been some time since i've been to Spore lah ... aiyo.

backStreetGluttons said...

Have no fear , next time we will specially request for the BP Fairlady to escort us in Geylang and to tell us one more time about that 3 storey bee hoon and that shop with the dark secrets dowan to be revealed just yet, OK ?
TQ in advance

JENCOOKS said...

- Someone can start eg "swimming bee hon" and create a story there?

- Story about "Plunging" Bee Hoon from 3storey high lah not plunging necklines! heheh

Chaota is hokkien for burnt

- after Hanoi, it's Singapore...

-Gosh wonder if it is the food you are interested! Hear from you when you all are coming....dont sulk if there is discomfort for a palatable meal.

JENCOOKS previous posts

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