Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant is not located in Holland Village. They were once at Holland V for more than 10 years (hence the name). They are now currently in a Dover Rise coffee shop, their home for the last 8 years or so. There is another outlet at Chinatown (Smith Street). The boss proudly claims to be the first in Singapore to use XO brandy in their fish head bee hoon. Although the XO fish head bee hoon is the signature dish, we discovered that Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant is more than a one-trick pony. They have a wide range of classic zi char (煮炒) dishes as well. They are well prepared and coupled with the pleasant coffee shop environment, we think it is easy to get hooked on these zi char classics.
We were treated to a feast of Singapore local zi char delights at Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant recently. There were too many dishes to individually record and recall. I did my best to remember some of the dishes.
The signature dish at Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant is of course the fish head bee hun. As to how they came up with at the idea to use XO brandy in the fish soup, it may be best to have the boss recall his experiment (hint: he used to sell XO brandy). It is a novel idea but not entirely surprising as brandy can be used to enhance the taste of shark’s fin soup.
What they have done is to use the meaty parts of the fish for the bee hun soup. The odd bits from the fish head are deep-fried in their special sauce and prepared as a separate dish. In terms of taste, the bee hun soup is creamy and has a gentle taste of fish. There was a hint of brandy but I am no expert on XO and cannot say if it is of the XO kind.
The stir fried sliced fish hor fun is as good, if not better than the soup version. Three main ingredients are used in this dish (san lao) – fish slices, bean sprouts and hor fun.
The deep-fried chicken nuggets with prawn paste (har chiong kai) are said to be another hot favourite at Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant. We can understand why. The prawn paste is moderate in flavour and not overpowering. The chicken was cooked just right.
We liked the prawn rolls (hae chor) as much as the chicken. Both of these make excellent companions for beer. This coffee shop (known as Dover Coffee Hub) is well stocked with beer which ranges from the usual Tiger and Guinness to some German brands as well.
Two other dishes that caught our attention were the salted egg prawns (picture above) and the yam nest (below). The prawns were prepared with salted egg flavour and coated with a light layer of fresh egg. The yam nest had thick chunks of robust tasting yams. Both these items can give those served at some prestigious Chinese restaurants a run for their money.
We were also served a variety of vegetables. All were good, with the fried sweet potato leaves (picture below) being singled out for being a tasty dish. The kai lan was so beautifully presented.
Overall, it seems like Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant is a good place for a quick meal or a celebration. One could easily go there for a quick bowl of noodles or for a serious dinner. In the case of the latter, I do not have the prices but they are within the typical tze char range of prices which means around $20 per head. Those with deeper pockets can treat their friends to crabs and seafood items which will bring up the budget considerably. You can see more details on the Tripadvisor page.
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant
Dover Coffee Hub
Blk 19A Dover Rise #01-05
Tel: 6778 3691
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog