It would not be an understatement to say that Tian Wai Tian Fishhead Steamboat Restaurant has one of the worst service standard in the entire Singapore, but they also serve the best fish head steamboat and tse char in Singapore.
Back when my mom was still operating a dressmaking school, her school was located just beside Tian Wai Tian before she was forced to relocate due to the construction of the expressway.
The steamboat are all charcoal-grilled, hence the extremely long waiting time of even more than an hour during the peak dinner period.
To place order, one has to step into the kitchen and shout out to the lady boss there is are usually very hot-tempered and snappy. There’s no menu available. Apparently, if you don’t know what’s good, you don’t deserve to eat at this place.
They staff also has a tendency to serve the wrong order quite frequently. If it happens during your visit, my advise is to just go with it as getting them to change the dish may require a wait of another hour or so during the peak period.
Cleanliness is lacking too, with tables spilling to the back alleys, some even placed beside the gutters.
However, the food is heavenly and that’s what keeping regulars back, in spite of all the negative factors mentioned above.
Their signature dishes, other than the steamboat, are their prawn paste chicken, sambal cuttlefish kangkong, handmade ngoh hiong and oyster omelette. I remember they also used to serve delicious fish roes too when I was a young boy, don’t think they do so any more since I haven’t seen any one eating it during my recent visits.
The fish head steamboat comes with a healthy dose of greens, yam and some salted fish to flavour up the soup.
Usually when we dine there, either my sister or me will go there earlier to order, bringing a book along to read while waiting. When the first dish arrive, we will then call home and ask my parents to walk over.
Here’s their address if you are interested:
1382/1383 Serangoon Road
Tel: +65 6292 9982
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