Anyway, I never knew about the Fishhead steamboat at the time. Tian Wai Tian started selling their Fishhead steamboat there in the early eighties so they were newbies when I was in school. Fast forward 20 odd years later and Tian Wai Tian now controls a Steamboat empire with a few branches around the island. But those who are familiar with the original shop will tell you that the steamboat here is still the best! And why not? The original Lau Ban Niang who started it when she was a young lady is still at the shop keeping an eye on everything.
So if it is classic Teochew Fish Head Steamboat you are after, this is it and it is about as good as it gets. The soup has got lots of body, plenty of savoury sole(fish), fish is fresh and they are served in charcoal aluminium steamboat pots that are as old as the shop. Just about the only thing missing that night was Tang Orh (Chrysanthemum leaves). Not sure if it is because they ran out that night, but I consider Tang Orh an essential ingredient for a good fish head steamboat. 4.5/5
Aside from the Steamboat and the Hae Chor, the other dishes which we tried were pretty ordinary. The Har Cheong Gai is crispy and fresh simply because it was freshly fried. It is a good deep fried chicken wings, but as a Har Cheong Gai, the flavour just wasn’t pungent enough. 3.5/5. You’d be better off not ordering the Pai Gu Wang as it was limp and insipid. 3/5. I did notice a lot of tables ordering Tofu Prawns which I will definitely order the next time I visit.
Great place if you are looking for a great Fish head Steamboat! However, there are hits and misses amongst the Cze Char dishes, so you’ll need to choose carefully.