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Scary fish with heads in restaurants

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BedokAmerican
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Scary fish with heads in restaurants

Postby BedokAmerican » Sun, 24 Mar 2013 2:14 pm

Sorry if this sounds stupid, but here goes ......

I've come to realize it's normal for fish and prawns to be served in Singapore restaurants with heads on them, which I find creepy and still haven't got used to.

Looking at menus is still shocking when there's a photo of a fish with its head on. I have to cover up the photos, but at least the photo is there so people ordering it know what they're getting.

Now, when eating beef, the cow's head and snout aren't poking out. When eating chicken, there's no beak and head either.

Maybe I'm missing something here. What's the allure of a fish looking back at you as you're about to eat it?

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 24 Mar 2013 2:37 pm

Fish head curry? It's a delicacy it seems, based on the cost.

It's just a different culture, that's all. Plenty of unpalatable things exist to various cultures.

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Re: Scary fish with heads in restaurants

Postby QRM » Sun, 24 Mar 2013 5:22 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:What's the allure of a fish looking back at you as you're about to eat it?


That way you know its really fish meat.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 24 Mar 2013 5:47 pm

Go to a good Chinese Restaurant and order Barbecued Suckling Pig. You get the whole pig. Ears, Snout, Tongue head and all. Nothing fishy there.

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Re: Scary fish with heads in restaurants

Postby Sergei82 » Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:12 am

BedokAmerican wrote:What's the allure of a fish looking back at you as you're about to eat it?

And how about choosing fish that is still alive in a fishtank and asking to kill it? Often see people here looking hungrily at fishtanks and salivating. I prefer not to see an animal alive before I eat it.

And how about other seafood? Why prawns and mollusks always come with shell? Most of that "sea food" is not edible! After you peel it and spit out what's not edible, there is nothing left for eating. I always catch up with meat or fish elsewhere after I visited such a Chinese restaurant with one of my friends/colleagues...

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Re: Scary fish with heads in restaurants

Postby maneo » Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:35 am

BedokAmerican wrote:What's the allure of a fish looking back at you as you're about to eat it?


You shouldn't take it personal that the fish is looking at you.
8-)

With the head on we can see that it's fresh and can give the best part, the cheek, to whomever is special at he table.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 11:51 am

Ok, I thought heads on fish were bad. But I saw something worse this weekend: I was walking past a Spanish restaurant and saw a picture of an entire pig (I guess it's a suckling pig SMS mentioned) as a menu item. Gross, gross, gross. This cooked pig was laying on its belly, legs & arms spread out and head poking up. I got grossed out.

I don't think I'll ever complain about heads on fish again after seeing that.

Sorry if I sound like an uncultured moron.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 12:10 pm

Welcome to Asia. Have you been to Bangkok, Thailand yet to try the barbequed/deepfried locust complete with head & legs and abdomen with all the creamy greenish innards still in tact? :lol:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 12:14 pm

Interesting enough, if you are from the East or West coast of the US, have you ever eaten steamed crabs ala Chesapeake Bay style or Main lobster in New England or for that matter Dungeoness crab in San Fran? All are thrown in the pot or steamer alive.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 1:26 pm

This raises several issues, cultural and practical.

In no particular order:

- As noted above, fish-cheeks are perhaps the sweetest part of many larger 'round-fish'.

- With prawns/shrimp/lobster/crab etc, cooking with the shells on is both practical, but it also stops the meat drying out (same reason you'll find skinless cod etc cooked in batter - it achieves the same). Yes it requires a little effort from the diner, but the result will be much nicer. So you have to ask yourself, what is more important; quality of dining experience, or convenience? [More or less the same rationale applies to the choice of boned, skinless chicken breast vs bone-in skin-on chicken breast. I've also known plenty of people who refuse to eat any meat with any colour off a roast chicken - silly as the coloured meat has the best flavour and texture!

- Suckling pig. I'm not sure why you find it 'gross'. What I do know though, is that a material element of people wish, or need to, dissociate what they're eating with having come from a living thing (which a natural extension of, for many people, seems to be vegetarianism (often dressed-up as some higher noble moral virtue)). Might this be contributing to the issue?

p.s. Think yourself lucky. In the place I've just move here from. If you choose a fish dish at a restaurant, they'd bring it around whole, raw, and on a platter, for you to you check the freshness prior to them cooking it. That is a reflection of confidence in the quality of their ingredients, and is a noble virtue.
- I'd suggest avoiding visiting China. I've walked into restaurants there where the live mammals they serve are in stacks of cages, lining the entranceway.

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Postby Wd40 » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 2:57 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Ok, I thought heads on fish were bad. But I saw something worse this weekend: I was walking past a Spanish restaurant and saw a picture of an entire pig (I guess it's a suckling pig SMS mentioned) as a menu item. Gross, gross, gross. This cooked pig was laying on its belly, legs & arms spread out and head poking up. I got grossed out.

I don't think I'll ever complain about heads on fish again after seeing that.

Sorry if I sound like an uncultured moron.


Thats Spanish and Portuguese culture I guess. When we lived in Goa, they have this carnival and I have seen then marching with Pig Heads.

Apparently Pig knuckles are also a delicacy for them.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 3:06 pm

I could go to NTUC right now and buy tins of pigs trotter. It helpfully has an illustrative picture on the label.*

The definition of 'gross' is subjective. One man's meat, another man's poison, as they say :)



* http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qkZKryA_au0/U ... G_2168.JPG

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Postby nakatago » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 5:26 pm


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Postby JR8 » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 5:54 pm

Had that when over in the PH. More like Mmm than Hmm! :D

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 13 Oct 2013 6:15 pm

nakatago wrote:hmmm...


That wasn't very nice! I love it in the 'peens during the lechon festival. I love Lechon! (but it don't love me cause I eat tooo much! :cool:


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