Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zai Shun Curry Fish Head at Jurong East - Forget Me Not Fish 忘不了鱼, The Mystical Fish of the West With Video

Steamed fish has always been a Chinese favorite and  very often, the most expensive component on a menu in restaurants and zhe char places alike.

Yet, I was almost dumbfounded when I was told that there was a fish in a Jurong East coffeeshop that was selling steamed fish going for more than $100 a kilogram.

This particular fish is a very unique fish that was revealed by the owner only as "Forget Me Not" fish 忘不了鱼. Well, for sure, the price was unforgettable.

Forget Me Not Fish 忘不了鱼 Uncooked

Looking at the various boxes of fresh fish at this joint, there was a lot of many varieties of fish that was both visually tempting and appealing. The Forget Me Not Fish, though, seemed almost inconspicuous by comparison.

I was told that this was a freshwater fish that feeds on fruits like cherries to give it a very special and sweet flavor. Beyond that, the almost mystical background of this fish had me altogether curious.

Forget Me Not Fish 忘不了鱼 Steamed

Rather than further indulging my curiosity, the owner finally presented the dish in its fully cooked glory. On first sight, it seemed like any other steamed fish.

Bathed in a light soya base, and lightly garnished with ginger strands and spring onion, it looked light and refreshing.

However, when I put one mouthful of this mystic fish into my mouth, I then realised why it was called Forget Me Not Fish. The taste was unbelievably superb!

Tender but not mushy, the meat was just perfectly firm and had this delicate texture about it. The flavor was incredibly fresh and had a hint of gentle sweetness about it.

Balanced nicely with the savory but light soy broth, and the slight kick for the scallions and the ginger, this is one fish bite to always remember. Forget this fish not indeed!

Sambal Sotong

Lest you think that there is only fish and fish heads that are worth savoring, there are indeed many other great food in this Teochew porridge stall. Yes, the mainstay is porridge Teochew style with a wide selection of dishes to choose from.

The sambal sotong, in particular, was very good. Not chewy, with just enough bite and an aromatic sambal sauce that was nicely balanced to pair with the squid.

Shark Cartilage

The shark cartilage was equally impressive. Cut up into chunks, and eating the starchy and jelly like substance of the bones, this was beautifully cooked with a savory and delectable sauce to go along. Very high in collagen levels too.

Bitter Gourd with Salted Egg

Another dish that you should savor here is this beautifully balanced bitter gourd fried with salted egg. The saltiness of the eggs took away the bitterness of the vegetables exquitely and never bordered on being too salty at the same time.

Giant Blue Fish

Besides the unforgettable Forget Me Not Fish, there was also this gigantic blue fish. I was told it was called Su Mei fish, and seemed that only the head was used for cooking with curry. I did not have the chance to try this, but again, it was just visually amazing!

The owner with Kenry and Chan Wai

The owner was obviously very excited to share with one and all his fish delicacies and we were fortunate enough to be part of a group that included our venerable Master of Tea, Kenry Peh and also a very notable and popular food journalist from Hong Kong, Mr Chan Wai.

In all, I must admit, this was one of my most fascinating gastronomic experiences thus far, and to be doing it at Jurong East was not something I would have anticipated. I encourage one and all to check this out, but just take note of the fish prices.

Blk 253 Jurong East St 24, 
#01-205 First Cooked Food Point

Written, filmed, edited and directed by Silverchef Productions.
Shot and edited entirely on Apple's Iphone 4 in Yuhua Market.
No forget me not fish was harmed in the shooting of this video.
"Autumn Harvet" written and performed by Ian Low and Goh Soo Rong.


  1. My hubby would probably die for this fish! He's a fish fanatic. LOL! Thks for introducing us to this place & the dishes look great! It's indeed a priceless experience!

  2. That delicious Forget-Me-Not fish we ate weighed about 1kg and anyone can easily guess the price of that fish.

  3. Zai Shun hawker stall at Jurong East has been in business more than 25 years!!
    I ate there quite often from 1984-1989 when I lived in Jurong East.
    I loved their food and ate at the stall very often. When I mention my 'favourite stall' in Singapore, my wife knows which one I refer to :)

  4. how much is 忘不了??