Heads or tails…

Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence for us…but not for me. Being over 60 years old, I am exempted but yes, I do abstain from meat though not just on this day but every Friday throughout the year…as far as I can.

I read somewhere that fasting does not mean one has to go without food completely, just two snacks and one small meal in the day but anyway, we usually have a bite of something light in the morning, a cracker or a toast or an egg perhaps and nothing for the rest of the day, no lunch, no 10 o’ clock or 4 o’ clock tea and in the evening, we would have dinner as usual.

That was what we did this year too and at sundown, we went here for dinner

Nice House

…After the somewhat prolonged service that afternoon, the ladies were in a rush to go to the washroom and so they did, leaving me to grab a tableΒ and place the orders.

The rule in the past was not to eat meat on Fridays but we could eat fish instead. Maybe that was because fish came easy then and meat was more of a luxury – some of us would recall those times when we only had meat once a year, Chinese New Year! Times sure have changed and these days, some fish may be worth its weight in gold…so it would not be much of a sacrifice to go for fish and seafood instead of meat, actually.

They had lajong and as my girl did not get to enjoy that the last time I took her to go and have some, I decided to order that without a second thought. I was asked to choose whether I wanted the head or the tail. Hmmmm…I would have loved the head but when it comes to fish, my girl prefers the tail so that was what we had in the end…

Nice House steamed lajong, tail 1

I was wondering why I was given the choice. Usually, it would be one slab of it, big enough to go round and I was thinking that perhaps, they had run out of all that was in between and all they had left was the head part and the tail part. When it was served, it looked like it was a very small one cut into two – hence, the head or the tail but it was no matter, as despite the size, there was a lot of it to eat (RM21.00)…

Nice House steamed lajong, tail 2

…and it was very fresh – so smooth, so soft and so sweet – and we sure enjoyed it to the max. My girl was never a fan of steamed fish before this so that was why we never ordered it whenever we ate out – she did not mind those served at banquets that she got to attend but no, she would never ask for it. She must have enjoyed it so much that night that it prompted her to remark that now, she could understand why there were people who would go out of their way in search of places that served very nice steamed fish.

For the vegetable dish, I asked for the midin (wild jungle fern), ching chao (RM8.00)…

Nice House midin, ching chao

…which was nice but I spotted some very very thin strips of ginger in it. Normally, I would use ginger when I fry the ferns with our traditional Foochow red wine but for ching chao, it would just be finely-chopped garlic. I guess there is no steadfast rule as to what goes where and when – to each his own.

Knowing how my girl loves sotong (squids), I ordered this big plate of salad sotong (RM10.00)…

Nice House salad sotong

…for her to enjoy and indeed, she did! In fact, she said that she liked that more than the very nice honey pepper prawns (RM12.00)…

Nice House honey pepper prawn balls

…that we also had.

That was supposed to be the “small meal” for the day and when I was ordering, I kept emphasising to the lady that I wanted everything very small, just enough for two…and she kept saying yes. I would say the servings would be enough for 4 or 5, at least. I wonder if one can order servings enough for one or not – otherwise, the next time around, I would have to drag along one or two other persons…and order enough for two. Anybody keen on tagging along? LOL!!!

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

20 thoughts on “Heads or tails…”

  1. lajong is another fish that i don’t think i’ve ever had … the flesh does look nice and smooth … and it’s not too bony with small, delicate bones in the flesh, right? πŸ™‚

    Did not know of it till very recently and I love it! No, no small bones unlike the celebrated wang poo liao – not worth eating, spend a fortune on the fish…and spend at least a few hundred ringgit more on the ENT specialist later.

  2. I prefer the tail too. The prices are reasonable. I like all the dishes you have ordered here. The honey pepper prawns look really good but there seemed to be too much mayo on the salad sotong. I prefer less mayo but still very good food.

    Very reasonable. Maybe that is why if you don’t go extra early and you do not book in advance, you may be asked to go some place else.

    I love that prawn dish here but my girl is not really fond of prawns as much, strange. She loves sotong! Their batter was really very nice, much nicer than a lot of other places serving the same. I am not fond of mayo – next time I would ask them to serve the sotong fritters and the mayo separately.

  3. All looks so good & love them heaps. I like how they do with the prawns, peeling off the skin so one does not need to dirty the hands. Midin & sotong looks like quite a big portion. Another wet morning in Kuching.

    Wet? How nice!!! So very hot here…and I am still coughing, a week already but thankfully, a bit better now. Have not been sleeping well at night because of it, and my missus also coughing away – hers worse! Will have to send my girl back to her school later today. 😦

    Midin was all right, regular size, but when the sotong was served, we were shocked. Soooooo much and all for RM10.00 only, so very cheap! Here, if you want prawns without shell, you order “hay kiew”, prawn balls and they’re nothing like fish balls – just prawns without shell, all curled up into a ball.

  4. Looks so nice and fresh!

    Yes, very fresh, so sweet. We sure enjoyed it to the max, eating it just like that – no need for soy or any sauce to come to the rescue.

  5. Large servings with low prices! What more can one ask for!

    …and everything here tastes great too! Less than AUD17.00 for 3 persons, real cheap, eh? πŸ˜€

  6. Never heard of lajong fish, but the fish looks fleshy.. My boys love white rice with fish, in that (sweet) soy sauce gravy..

    Just came to know about this fish not long ago, and anyway, I’m no good at fish. Soy sauce!!! Oh no!!!!! I will only resort to that when the fish is not fresh, so bland…so tasteless. Otherwise, it will all be just kicap taste – even the no-good fish will taste the same.

  7. Hahha..I didn’t really fast but what my pastor told us is that we don’t really have to fast on food. Fast on those things that affects our relationship with Jesus and spend more time on reading the bible.
    Some of these things could be Facebook, games and etc.

    Yes, these are all man-made rules. To me, it’s all about sacrifice and personally, I derive more pleasure from eating nice fish than meat – so giving up meat for fish is hardly penance…or for me, at least. No need to follow the old practices rigidly – go without something that would take a lot to give up…for one day, that would be better – yes, like Facebook, blogs… Here, in our church on Good Friday, they did not turn on the aircon (on purpose)…and it was such a very hot day, this heatwave – now, that was penance – hell on earth! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  8. I would love to join you!!

    We did not observe the fasting. Hehe. Maybe we should, next year.

    Right here waiting!!! No plans to drop by Sibu sometime? πŸ˜‰

  9. Serious big difference from last time, my mom also said the same thing, didn’t get to meat during normal days, maybe Chinese New Year but not always, because she has many siblings.

    People in the old days were very prudent, they lived simple lives, hardly ever ate out, reared and planted all their food. Some had to scrimp and save to have money to send home to their family back in China some more. You young people should realise how lucky you are now – in my time, I would consider myself luckier than my previous generations too but it was nothing like today.

  10. i’ve taken a liking to your honey peper prawn picture. Yum, other than my usual meat diet, I’m exploring seafood too already.

    If, by seafood, you mean fish, go right ahead. If you mean prawns, crabs, oysters and all, you’d better stick to meat.

  11. I like all the dishes you ordered. I used to be like Melissa too. I never appreciated steamed fish until much later in life. So did you all managed to finish the food since it was enough for 4 or 5 persons?

    Yes, we did! But I had to finish most of it, I think – the underaged ladies had to keep to their “small meal” for the day. For once, it is nice to be old. Hehehehehe!!!!

  12. My daughter is the total opposite she loves the head, in fact we both love it and fight for it when we have fish head meals.

    Best part of the fish, especially by the side where all the fatty oils of the fish would be, Omega 3. πŸ˜‰

  13. That is a Blessed Good Friday meal… scrumptious, all the dishes look so tempting… As for the fish, I could go either for the head, body and tail, bothall sections are fine with me… πŸ™‚ The fish looks very fresh and fleshy too!

    There’s something special about the flesh of the fish at the head, at the side – the part that would have been cleaned, and true fish lovers would go for that part though some may not be all that fond of the somewhat oily nature of the fish there, some fish worse than others. I love it!

  14. Note you had “tail” and “end” in one sentence. Pun intended?πŸ˜‰
    Have to admit we are of the same vintage; I remember as a kid it was such a special occasion when we slaughtered a chicken and made curry! Even invited the neighbours!

    Yes, my mum’s curry chicken was the star attraction, come Chinese New Year. She loved to use those old hens that had ceased laying eggs, old and tough and she would simmer till tender – seemed that that way, the flavours of the curry would go into the meat.

    Ummmm…no, it did not cross my mind. Just happened to type it like that – the tail end bit. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m a fish head person. The reason? I love to suck the eyes! I know, some ppl think it is gross. Even the boys got scared when they see me doing it but I really, really love sucking fish eye balls! LoL!

    All the meals here looks nice. I dont fancy ginger in stir fried vege. Only tolerated them during confinements.

    You sure are good at sucking things, eh? Muahahahahahaha!!!! I eat every bit of what’s in the head but I would leave the eyes behind. Ya, I always use finely chopped garlic for frying vegetables. I’m not a fan of ginger too – depends on the dishes and not too much. My missus loves to use A LOT in her cooking and I would fall sick after eating – too heaty for me. I’m hawt enough, no need for so much ginger. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  16. Lajong? First time heard about this fish. I am a fish person. I love steam fish. I think i grow up with eating a lot fish.

    Just heard of it not long ago, used to be just tapah…or the imported cod or snowfish. Nice, very much nicer than tapah. I googled and found out that it is more expensive than tapah. A lot nicer, I would say.

  17. RM 21 for that huge tail is a steal. I’ll be charged RM 8 and above for getting a miserable piece/slice of fish in KL chap fan stalls. I’ll usually opt for the head too, the head has nicer meat/fat/collagen while the tail part is leaner so I guess it depends on what kind of fish meat you like.

    I would prefer the head too but my girl is not thus inclined…so I would have to give in to her. πŸ˜‰

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