I've suddenly developed a liking for steamed fish head with garlic at this particular stall at Chinatown Complex food centre. It's been around for years, but I haven't paid it any attention. Fine, it's next to The Good Beer Company and Smith Street Taps, so to have decent food near it is a huge draw. Never mind that it has no a/c. In the evenings, most of the stalls are closed in the area, generating less heat. :P
Said stall is Yang Ji 194 (养记). The owner-cook has been doing this for 30 over years, so while he's still steaming those fish heads, I'll be eating them. Not much MSG detected. Whatever MSG probably comes from the stall's special sauce made of preserved bean paste, light soy and of course, garlic. It's like a zi char place, so it serves up other dishes of vegetables, tofu, etc. I haven't eaten its other dishes because when the table ordered, they were kinda sodden in gravy and seemed too oily for my liking.
They use heads of Song fish (松鱼), which is a kind of Asian carp. I think locals call it the 'Big-Head' carp. It's a freshwater fish and can taste muddy. With the law of averages, I haven't gotten a muddy one from Yang Ji thus far. Whewww. Generally, I like fish, and can eat most of them with not much issues. My only criteria- they must be fresh enough with flesh still firm. Dinner for me will be one whole fish head with loads of chilli padi and soy sauce at the side. Not particularly inclined to share. :P
Yang Ji 194 (养记)
Block 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre
#02-57 (green zone) S050335
Opens from 6.30pm. Closed on Thursdays.