Had a wonderful dinner in Ka-Soh in Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara in KL, this evening. For a Singaporean expat in KL, this was truly a taste of home!! 100% authentic and tasted every bit the same as what I used to have back home at its Amoy Street outlet in Singapore.
A bit on the history of Ka-Soh in Singapore. It first opened in the 1940s, then moved to Chin Chew Street in the 1960s, where it operated for a long time. As a little boy, I remembered how my Dad would bring tiffin-carrier containers to Ka-Soh's kerb-side push-cart on Chin Chew Street, for the street-hawker to fill with the most delicious rice noodles, soaked in savory, milky fish soup, and topped with fish fillets, pieces of fish-head, blanched "choy sum" and golden-fried pork lard.We usually had it for late-night supper, and it was truly my childhood comfort food.
The stall was referred to by their customers as "Ka-Soh" because the owner-chef, Tang Swee Kee, roped in his daughter-in-law to help him (the Cantonese term for daughter-in-law was "Ka-Soh").
I couldn't remember if "Ka-Soh", in her younger days, was an alluring beauty (thereby causing customers to refer to her when patronizing her father-in-law's famous stall) - coz by the time I was old enough to patronize "Ka-Soh" myself - then located in a small, dingy Chinese shophouse in Chin Chew Street during the 1980s - "Ka-Soh" was a mean, temperamental old crone who screeched and shouted at any customer who dared to cross her path. Yep, we endured her torrent of abuse, waited for up to 2 hours for a table (at least on 2 occasions for me) plus the hot, dingy environment, just for a taste of their famous fish-head noodles in soup and "har cheong kai" (deep-fried chicken which had been marinated in shrimp sauce).
Sometime in the mid-90s, Ka-Soh moved to its current Amoy Street, Singapore premises - bigger, brighter and (thank Gawd!) air-conditioned. Regional showbiz celebrities patronize this spot in droves, as evidenced from the dozens of photos pasted on the restaurant's walls: e.g. HK's Andy Lau and Jacky Cheung.
What we had in Ka-Soh's KL branch this evening:
- Fish-head noodles in soup - milky-rich, slight hint of Chinese cooking wine, strong gingery overtones. The white rice noodles (same sort as those used for "laksa") was perfect, with fried and blanched pieces of fish (fish-head plus fish slices) and "choy sum" vegetables. I was transported home to Singapore with every sip of the soup. Ah, bliss!
- "Har cheong kai" pieces were served hot & crisp - again, the original Singaporean flavors were exactly replicated here. Incredible!
- House special tofu, which were golden, crisp-fried morsels of seafood-tofu, served with a very strong chilli dip.
- Stir-fried Chinese lettuce with oyster sauce - which was light and flash-fried to preserve the freshness & crispness of the lettuce leaves.
- My fave dish here was surprisingly a dish I'd not had in Ka-Soh back in Singapore before: crisp-fried frogs' legs and golden-crisp slivers of ginger lightly covered with a sweet but very light syrupy sauce. Absolutely delicious and a revelation here!
Ka-Soh Fish Head Noodle & Seafood Restaurant
136 Jalan Kasah
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2093 7388
18 Jalan Delima, off Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2143 4434