Hainan Orkid Tropica Curry Paste
Everywhere in our nation Malaysia, we found thousand of restaurants which presenting their curry fish head on respective recipes. Especially in the north, “Kedah” is the state with curry fish head as one of the local famous eatery favourites by visitors. Here in Alor Setar, we found to be recognised the “Hainan Orkid Tropica Cafe”, or H.O.T. in short, which having great response from the public on their home recipe curry fish head, as one of the best eating house in town year 2015.
The local originated Ah June who born in Alor Setar, Kedah year 1965 was the founder, together with his lovely wife Ms. Lee Siew Keng or known Win Win Lee (born 1971 in Penang) both are the initial owners of the well known “Hainan Orkid Tropica Cafe” introducing not only their curry fish head, but also various signature menus to the locals and visitors under a roof along Jalan Langgar.
Ah June who at his age of 50 years old currently, initially stepped into the f&b industry since his age of 12 years old in 1977 began as kitchen trainee in a chinese cuisine restaurant at Seberang Perak, Alor Setar for about 7 years. Then joined another restaurant in Alor Setar as chinese cuisine chef for about 3 years to further his exposure in the career.
The shop occupies the ground floor of a block of flats. Thanks to excellent ventilation, this open-air eatery is quite comfortable even during the heat of the day.
The signature dish of Hainan Orkid Tropica is Kari Kepala Ikan (咖哩鱼头). The restaurant uses wild caught fishes such as grouper. Actually, the restaurant uses the front half of the fish, not just the head. Although walk-ins are allowed, pre-ordering is highly recommended.
Kari Kepala Ikan (咖哩鱼头) is served in a large pan. Our fish head has a gross weight of 3.8 kilograms (3.5 kilograms after removing the gills). Despite the reddish color, the curry is not too spicy. In fact, it is rich in dairy milk and coconut milk. The fish head is cooked with eggplants (brinjals) and okra (lady’s fingers). Chopped shallots and scallions serve as garnishes. You can purchase our Fish Club fish head directly here
One of our side dishes is Sotong Goreng Tepung (咸蛋炸苏东). The squid rings are coated with light batter, making them extremely easy on the mouth. I feel that salted eggs are not spread evenly; it would be nicer if they were thoroughly mixed with batter.
Another recommended side dish is Tauhu Tumis (红烧豆腐). In this dish, egg tofu is braised with scallions, eggs and savory gravy. I think the amount of scallions used is excessive. I prefer tofu to take a more prominent role.
Moving on, I enjoy the crunchy mouthfeel of Taugeh (豆芽) as it does a great job in cleansing the palate after a heavy meal. The bean sprouts are cooked with scallions and salted fish.
Our meal for 10 people totals to RM290.80 including rice and drinks. Overall, the food is gratifying to my palate. In particular, I find the Kari Kepala Ikan scrumptious to the last morsel. If you ever come to this part of Alor Setar, you should really visit this fine eatery.
Address: Blok D-8A, Taman Setia Jaya, Jalan Langgar, 05460 Alor Setar, Kedah
Business hours: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 4:30pm-10:00pm, closed on Mondays