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Sep 6, 2013 09:22 AM

ISO Fish Head Curry

So, I have fish head on the mind. I'm sure I'll be directed to the few Malay/Singaporean restaurants I'm already aware of but I've never had fish head curry at Secret Recipe or Lion City or Asian Delights. Anyone have a preference for where to go for fish head curry? Maybe a bengali restaurant too?

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  1. Asian Delights gets my vote for restaurant.

    Are you wanting any other recs (not a restaurant)?

    6 Replies
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      Is Asian Delights the former Blue Ginger?

      1. re: twinwillow

        Yes, but IMO they are nothing alike.

        1. re: foiegras

          foie is that in a good way or in a bad?

          I have been hearing that most people believe that the food has slipped a bit at Asian Delights. I have had quite a few of their offereings and I think they are consistent to where they were at Blue Ginger. They do offer Thai dishes and while most of those aren't very good there are some standouts.

          What do you believe has changed at Asian Delights over Blue Ginger?

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            Well ... I am in the slippage camp. The first time I went to Blue Ginger I had a buffet that was kind of the greatest hits of the menu. After that I went back and ordered from the menu several times, always enjoyed it. And I still miss their sweet and sour fish ...

            Recently had another buffet at Asian Delights, and had I not seen the owner myself, I wouldn't have believed the two restaurants were related in any way.

            There was one dish I enjoyed, eggplant and okra ... the okra was really great. Everything else I tried was nothing special.

            I made a significant effort to arrange my schedule to be in Plano to do this, and I definitely thought it wasn't worthwhile ... except that I wanted to go & I did, so that's crossed off my list.

            If it were anywhere close to me I might get some recommendations for specific dishes & try again ... but I know there is good Asian food between here & there :)

            1. re: foiegras

              I guess I will just have to figure out how to get your information and go back when we know the owner is there and preparing the meal. I have been dissapointed only in dishes that are from the Thai menu and ones that I probably shouldn't have ordered in the first place, mango shrimp.

              Was that eggplant and okra dish with sambol or belancan?

              You are correct there are some really great places especially in N. Fort Worth off Beach and 820 (Muang Lao).

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                Don't know on the eggplant and okra ... I recognized that it had turmeric in it, and I don't really know much more than that. I don't mind eating outside my areas of expertise, but it does make it hard to talk about it later ...

                I think you may be right about the difference being in who's preparing the food. I remember the owners made that first buffet.

    2. Throw in another vote for Asian Delights here. Really enjoyed the curry dishes especially the one with the crispy duck.

      1. Just had the fish head curry today from Asian Delight. It was not at all what I was expecting and it wasn't very good. They served a chopped up fish head in what seemed to be a massaman curry. The curry was bland which was the main problem. So, the "ISO" continues...

        4 Replies
        1. re: demigodh

          Do you think that a full head would have been more preferable? What do you mean the curry was bland? Did it need more fish sauce, palm sugar, more of any particular spice that you prefer? Did you want it very spicy?

          Do you ask for the former owner of Blue Ginger? I feel that if you ask him for a specific dish he lets the cook know what it is exactly that you want. I think sometimes there is a translation mishap between the waitstaff, customer and the cook.

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            I did not ask for the owner but might for future dishes as there are many I had in Singapore/Malaysia that I would love to have again. The fish head curry is on the menu though so no translation mishap.

            A whole fish head would definitely have been preferable. It's more fun and it would remind me of what I had. By bland I really do mean bland. I should caveat by saying I don't generally care for masaman or sweeter curries in the first place BUT this one had little flavor beyond oil and coconut milk. I don't think fish sauce is appropriate in this type of curry. Palm sugar, if they use it, is always great (i know I said i don't like sweeter curries but palm sugar is awesome). And there's not really one spice it needed more of, it just needed more of whatever spice they use, or less water, or cooked longer, or more salt, and probably all of the above.

            I agree though that there isn't much, if any, dropoff from blue ginger. I also had the hokkien mee today and that was good as always.

            1. re: demigodh

              I understand the fish head is on the menu, but if you ask for the whole head not chopped is where I think you would lose the translation. Also if you had a complaint about the curry (in your case for example) is another instance where I could see things not going well for the diner.

              You need that fish sauce! That gives the sauce the round umami flavor and accounts for the salt component of just about every curry. Most Americans don't care for the smell and taste of fish sauce so most places cover it with copious amounts of palm sugar or ganulated sugar

              If I were cooking this dish and thinking of the spices in the dish and if it would be better to cook the curry gravy ahead of time with fish bones/fish broth and park it. Maybe even refrigerate the gravy overnight to let the flavors marry. That would be ideal for the dish. Another added bonus that I know they dont do is to grill the fish head and then let it sit in the gravy for a while. Yes I do have Thai/Singaporean curry dreamsat night on how to improve dishes.

              I am not a fan of sweet curries and in fact I like the sour ones (Gaeng Som) the best.

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                I also love fish sauce. I even love the super funky vietnamese raw shrimp paste that comes with bun rieu; I have a jar of it at home. However, I don't quite agree that it is important to every curry. For Thai curries, yes. However, I don't believe most Indian or South Asian (not Southeast) curries incorporate fish sauce. Fish head curry, while a national dish of Singapore, has Indian roots.

                All that said, when I got home last night and re-heated the curry for dinner, I agreed with your advice and figured fish sauce would be a good addition, and it was. Made all the difference in the world.

        2. The fish head curry at Asian delights does not really compare to Blue ginger garden. It is good, but not great. Secret recipe is only good if the owner is there and then only on the weekends. My last visit the food was just not good.

          I don't remember fish head current at Lion City, but it's been a while. Their other dishes are good.