We were on our way to Malacca, Malaysia to shoot the Malacca Straits Mosque but before that, we needed some foreign exchange and lunch. Steven said let’s go to Woodlands Centre a stone’s throw away from the immigration checkpoint, “There’s a great fish & seafood soup stall in the hawker centre that you may like”. Immediately, my mind recalled a post by Tony Johor Kaki. This dish was also replicated at home by Andrew who was kind enough to gave me some when he cooked them almost two years ago! I was getting excited now that I was about to taste the real McCoy!
When we reached there, Steven ordered one for me. Although he claimed this soup was famous (thus equating to great in my thought) he was not going to eat it. I wonder why? Something’s fishy going on here.
Steven came back with his food and two cups of sugarcane drinks. He ate his Charsiu Siew Yoke Fan without event but professed that it was good when I asked him two days later.
After several minutes, my miserly-looking seafood soup came. There was a bit of mixed up during the order. We had seen other diners having seafood like prawns, crayfish and scallops (on half shell) filled to the brim of their bowls. Steven must have thought the menu is the same and that the different pricing are for S, M, L portions.
I took a sip of the broth first. Boom! The murky broth got my attention. It was rich with full-bodied umami sweet and savoury notes. I remembered Tony said that one of the key ingredients in Yan Ji’s seafood broth is the sun-dried Hokkaido scallops. I thought I detected gritty bits of tee poh fish in it, too! Tee poh fish is sun-dried flat fish that is usually added to minced pork or stock; it imparts a savoury sweetness to the dishes. Looking at those meat balls made me optimistic about my lunch! They looked nothing like the dreaded factory-made meat balls which I loathed. There were other chopped ingredients (i.e. mushrooms) and indeed, these balls were very yummy. The slices of dory fish were smooth and tasty. Although prawns are not my choice seafood, these were fresh and succulent!
It’s been a long time since I ate anything good enough to rave about in a post. Lunch at Yan Ji Wei Wei Seafood Soup 炎记威威食品 was so impressive that I told Steven, “This is one meal I would come back for” even if I have to travel 20km for it! Next round, I shall have the crayfish scallop version and yes, with lots more meat balls, too!
Yan Ji Wei Wei Seafood Soup 炎记威威食品
Address: Woodlands Centre Road Food Centre
Blk 4A, Stall #02-11
Hours: 11:00am to 4:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Branch: BroadWay Coffeeshop
Blk 19, Marsiling Lane.
Happy eating and bonding