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Cheap & Good

Comforting and wholesome fish soup from ABC Deji Fish Head Bee Hoon

My last 10 days of 2015, amid all the holiday cheer and merriment, were mostly spent nursing a cold.

It is hard to have an appetite when you have a blocked nose, scratchy throat and heavy head.

But this is when I usually turn to throat-soothing foods such as sliced fish bee hoon soup.

A bowl of hot fish soup, from ABC Deji Fish Head Bee Hoon at the ABC Brickworks Food Centre in Bukit Merah two weeks ago not only clears my airways, but also gives me renewed energy.

  • ABC DEJI FISH HEAD BEE HOON

  • Where: ABC Brickworks Food Centre, 01-48 Block 6, Jalan Bukit Merah

    Open: 10am to 8pm, closed on Sunday

    Rating: 3.5/5

The broth is good and satisfying.

I'm convinced my voice is less husky after eating it.

But just to be doubly sure that the soup is indeed flavourful, I head back to the stall a second time last week for another serving.

The flavour of the soup, now that I have recovered, turns out to be a lot better than I thought, being fairly robust, hearty and wholesome.

I also like that it is not fishy like some other versions.

The soup is served with fried ikan bilis, adding more flavour to the broth once the crispy anchovies soften.

The chilli sauce is piquant and aromatic too.

A bowl of sliced fish bee hoon soup costs $3.50. Fish soup with rice starts at $4 a serving.

Add-ons such as tofu and bittergourd cost an additional 50 cents a serving.

There is fried fish meat, sliced fish, or both, which is known as Double Fish (from $5 a bowl). It comes with slices of tomato, chye sim and napa cabbage.

I like the Double Fish option because you are immediately presented with two different textures.

The stall uses fresh seabass for the fried fish. It is coated in a light batter that soaks up the flavour of the broth, while the sliced fish is smooth, firm and clean tasting.

The stall owner did not say what type of fish he uses for the sliced fish, but it is thoroughly cooked, so there is no reason to worry about Group B Streptococcus bacteria and infections.

Remember to tell the stall owner not to add milk if you prefer your soup less cloudy.

Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 10, 2016, with the headline 'Cheap & Good Soothing fish soup'. Print Edition | Subscribe