Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lau Hong Ser Rojak : the famous Rojak at Dunman Food Centre

Mr Lim, Khai Ngee, 56, is the owner of this unassuming hawker stall in this food centre. I have heard a lot about his Rojak. Some even said this is the best Rojak in Singapore and the waiting time could be at least an hour. Mr Lim is passionate and insists on using only the best and freshest ingredients. He still crushed and toasted the peanuts and not using those done in the factory just like most of the other stalls out there. He sources the best prawn paste from Penang and dried cuttlefish from Argentina. And, he is still making his own chilli paste.

I was there near 5.00 pm and seated somewhere near the stall, waiting for the signboard to be lighted up. He started exactly at 5.00 pm and I thought I was the first customer but there was already an order ahead of me. I waited. He looked up when he spotted me and asked for my order. I decided to go with a $2.00 portion. The prices are $2, $3, $4, $5 and $6 for Rojak with an option to add Fried Bean Curd for 0.30 cents, a piece of You Tiao for $1.40 and Century Egg for $1.00. There is also the option to add Dried Cuttlefish for $2, $3, $4, $5 and $6. He asked me to come back later. I waited at the empty table right in front of his stall. I observed how he diligently toasting those You Tiao and Tua Pok over the charcoal fire right at the corner of his stall. Then, he meticulously cut it up and mixed with other ingredients like turnip, pineapple, cucumber and even bean sprouts with the prawn paste. He works on it like a masterpiece. He even insists on doing so amidst a long queue in front of his stall. He brought it over to my table when it was done and he said thank you in Hokkien when I handed him the payment. 


The sauce is thick and its fragrance has been further enhanced by the chunky peanut sauce. The You Tiao and Tau Pok were nicely grilled for a light crispiness with a smoky aroma. This is definitely amongst the best Rojak in Singapore. They do accept calling in to place the orders in advance which contributed to an even longer waiting time but the wait is worthwhile though. 

If you are staying in Ang Mo Kio, there is a noteworthy rojak at the first coffee shop of Block 347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, just a stone's throw from AMK Hub and is near the Ang Mo Kio MRT. This Uncle has been there for the past 15 years. He is equally passionately in serving the best Rojak, he is also painstakingly toasting the You Tiao and Tau Pok. If you requested for an extra level of spiciness, he has a special type of extra spicy chilli paste just for it.


LAU HONG SER ROJAK
281 Onan Road #02-14 Dunman Food Centre SINGAPORE 424661
Operating Hours: 5.00 pm to 1.30 am (Closed on Sundays)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bull Market Noodle Bar : Traditional Beef Noodle at Lucky Plaza

I was their only customer at 11.30 am. The owner was there with his wife and their sons, it is not difficult to tell that he is a family-oriented man. I was telling him that I got to know about his shop on Facebook. I said, "It seems not too many know about your shop." He said, "Only people like you will get to know about." It is, in fact, a little unusual to find such a shop amidst of the others in Lucky Plaza. And, I asked, "Why did you choose to set up a shop in Lucky Plaza?" He said, "The rental here is the cheapest in the whole of Orchard Road."

As it mentioned on their website that their recipe is created by a veteran chef Daniel Tan and it has been handed down from generation to generation since the 1970s, it is in the good hand of the third generation now.


I decided to go with the Bull Market value meal. I did not know the actual name of this value meal at that time. I was telling the friendly owner that I want the set that is with sliced beef and beef balls. I was asked to take a seat.

There are 3 different value meals for selection: Triple Bull ($8.50) with stewed beef shanks, beef tripes and beef tendons, Bull Market ($9.50) with Beef Steak, Bulletto ($8.50) with beef balls and The Big Bull ($16.00) with stewed beef, beef tripes, beef tendons, beef steak and beef brisket. There is a current promotion and these value meals are served at a reduced prices, Triple Bull at $6.50, Bull Market at $7.50, Bulletto at $6.50 and The Big Bull at $12.50. Each value meal is served along with a bowl of soup that consists of 3 pieces of beef balls with a choice of drink from the dispenser.


It consists of a good portion of thick bee hoon served in groovy braised sauce with a few slices of lightly blanched beef that were slightly overcooked thus its texture was a little too chewy for my liking. Those sliced beef are referred to as 'beef steak' in the description on their menu, though slightly too thin but it was quite big pieces. Those beef balls which are likely to be factory made did not taste too memorable but the soup has a distinct beefy flavour.


When I was done eating, Enoch, 4, the oldest of his boys approached me and asked, "Have you finished?" I nodded. He then started to clear the bowls and brought them to the counter. Before I left, I asked, "Your beef balls are handmade or factory made?" And, he replied, "The volume is too big so it is not possible to handmade." Then I said, "Your price is comparable to the Cuppage Beef Noodle but they serve it with very small pieces of beef that I could hardly taste it, unlike those that are served in your beef noodle." Then, I said, "The meat was slightly tough though." He nodded then said, "Do come back more often." He was preparing the orders for delivery at that time. 


BULL MARKET NOODLE BAR
304 Orchard Road #02-54 Lucky Plaza SINGAPORE 268863
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (Daily)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wet Market Zi Char : KL Hokkien Mee & San Lou Bee Hoon

This Zi Char stall has been around in this food centre for quite a while and I have only taken notice when I came across pictures of their dishes posted in a particular group on Facebook. I came to check it out on a Saturday for dinner and most of the tables were already taken at that time, these customers ordered from the 2 popular stalls that are serving Western and Penang dishes. When approaching this Zi Char stall, I was greeted by a friendly auntie. She asked, "What do you want to eat?". I did not bother to go through their menu as I have already decided on what to eat. I went ahead to order their KL Hokkien Mee and San Lou Bee Hoon for $14, which is more expensive that I have expected as such dishes are usually priced in between $5 to $6 at most Zi Char places.


I am a big fan of KL Hokkien Mee but it is difficult to find a particular one that is as good as what I had eaten in Kuala Lumper. My current favourite has been the one from Lin Da Qiang, a Zi Char stall at Smith Street Food Centre in Chinatown. The standard of this one here is pretty close though not quite as good. They are using KL style thick fat noodles and cooked it with ingredients like cabbage, slices of fish cake and lean meat with a handful of fried pork lard added to bring forth the flavour. 


San Lou Bee Hoon is also known Chao Ta Bee Hoon, this is a popular dish made famous in San Low Seafood Restaurant at Johor Bahru. JB Ah Meng serves the most popular version in Singapore followed by Yong Kee Seafood Restaurant. This dish is not too commonly available here.


After stir-fried, the bee hoon is further pressed onto the sizzling wok using a spatula to slightly charred it for the desired crispiness and also to absorb the intense wok flavour. It is served along with ingredients like slices of lean meat and fish cake, prawns and veggies underneath. I enjoyed it.



WET MARKET
Block 711 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #01-3501 S11 Food Centre SINGAPORE 560711
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Every Thing Good Roasted Rice Noodle House ( 128 Want To Eat )

There are 2 coffee shops on this block and this stall is located at the first coffee shop nearer to Thomson Road, it has only been around for slightly more than a month. They are still using the old signboard left behind by the previous owner. Their stall name is supposed to be "128 Want To Eat" and not "Every Thing Good Roasted Rice Noodle House". A few of my friends on Facebook came by and tried it, they actually think pretty highly of the roasted chicken and soya sauce chicken. An FB friend even commented that their soya sauce chicken is as good as the Michelin-starred one. It got me to be really curious and so I decided to try it out. 

I was their only customer when I visited during lunch on a weekday. The owner is originated from Ipoh and he is running a one-man-show at this stall. I decided to go with roasted chicken drumstick and braised soya sauce egg with rice for $4.00, which is affordable. It was served along with some plain looking achar which I left it untouched. It did not serve with a bowl of soup. The owner was extremely polite and he even asked whether do I need a receipt when making payment. I was asked to help myself with the chilli sauce at the side table in front of the stall. 


The rice was served plain without sauce. I was not given an option to choose so I guess it is their default way of serving it. It was quite a challenge to eat it this way as the rice was rather dry which I ended up not finishing it. The charcoal roasted chicken is not as impressive as my FB friends claimed to be, though tender but not as flavorful as expected, it was just average. I did not particularly like it. The chilli was much spicer than most chicken rice stalls and with little ginger taste. 


I applaud the entrepreneurial efforts behind it but the taste is really not quite there yet. I would be curious to try their soya sauce chicken as I wonder whether it is really as good as that Michelin-starred version as my FB friend claimed to be. But, it might not be possible though as the owner has expressed his intention in giving up this stall by the end of April.


EVERY THING GOOD ROASTED RICE NOODLE HOUSE
(128 WANT TO EAT)
Block 23 Sin Ming Road SINGAPORE 570023
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 7.30 pm

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nawra Fine Food : Mee Rebus with Fried Sotong

This stall started on 10 December 2016 in Chong Boon Food Centre is from the same guys that served the famous Nasi Ayam in Yishun Central since 1994 as stated on their Facebook though there is no indication the exact location of the stall name of this famous Nasi Ayam. It also mentioned right there that they "wanted to revolutionise our favourite local dishes but still maintain the taste that Singaporeans love".

I was there on a Sunday during lunch and there was no queue. I decided to go with Mee Rebus Rangup at $5.00 and there is also Mee Rebus Tulang at $5.00 and the usual Mee Rebus at $3.00 on their menu. Sotong Rangup is served as side dish for $3.00 if you want an extra portion. The meaning of 'rangup' in English is crunchy, those fried Sotong pieces have a nice crunchiness and not greasy, too. The well-seasoned gravy was not too starchy but still managed to coat every strand of noodle well. It is also served along with a whole boiled egg then garnished with cut green chillies and sambal chilli to serve. The sambal chilli has a mild spiciness with a hint of sweetness. This might not be the best Mee Rebus in Ang Mo Kio but it is worth a try if you happen to be there. 


I also ordered Nasi Lemak Sotong at $6.50. There is the original Nasi Lemak at $3.00. Their rice is steamed over water rather than cooked in the water using a rice cooker. This is the traditional way of cooking Nasi Lemak which not many is doing it right now, the other one is Nasi Kukus at Selegie, near Little India MRT station. Such a method of cooking resulted in a more grainer bite and more fragrant. It was served with a whole piece of fried Sotong that was chopped into slices and sprinkled with spicy dried chilli powder together with a fried egg and a handful of ikan belis with sambal chilli by the side. The level of spiciness of the sambal chilli is not to be unestimated. 


The service was attentive and friendly.


NARWA FINE FOOD
Block 453 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 #01-01 Chong Boon Food Centre SINGAPORE 560453
Operating Hours: 9.00 am to 3.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Hakka Yong Tau Fu Stall : handmade based on a home recipe

This stall has been around for the longest time and is one of the popular stalls in this food centre, serving traditional Hakka style Yong Tau Fu using a home recipe. I used to visit this stall quite often when working and staying near here. The queue is usually quite long during lunch as well as weekends and they usually sold out before 1.30 pm. Some of the items were already gone when I was there at 12.30 pm and it only left a few choices when I went back later to take away. 


You are expected to choose your items first before joining the queue. When it is your turn, you handed the bowl to that assistant and telling her your preferences. You will be given a number and you are expected to hang around the area to wait for that number to be called in about 15 minutes or so.


Most of the items like egg, pig's intestine, brinjal, beancurd, fishball, yam and others are freshly fried to give it a slight crisp. Each item is freshly made and is stuffed with minced meat or fish paste. Some of the unique items that you should try are the fried pig's small intestine, fried tau pok with minced meat, lotus root with fish paste and fried meat roll, these are my usual favourites. Each of this handmade item is reasonably priced at 0.60 cents and it is served along with a bowl of lightly flavoured soup if you have it dry. There are bits of nicely fried garlic added to the soup for that extra flavour. You could choose to have it with bee hoon or rice for 0.50 cents. It is served separately on a plate then garnished with chopped coriander and white pepper to serve. 



THE HAKKA YONG TAU FU STALL
Block 20 Ghim Moh Road #01-25 Ghim Moh Food Centre SINGAPORE 270020
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 2.00 pm (Daily)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Woodlands Centre Road Food Centre : time to say Goodbye

The decades-old Woodlands Town Centre is a border town for people passing through to Malaysia or to Singapore, though it may have lost its appeal after the relocation of Woodlands Bus Interchange in 1996. The sleepy Woodlands Centre Road Food Centre is still serving as a pit stop for travellers on both sides of causeway who yearns for a good value meal but it is going to be gone soon as the site has been acquired for the expansion of the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Now, it is time to rediscover this once bustling Woodlands Centre Road Food Centre to uncover those hidden gems before its relocation to Woodlands Street 12, which is about 10 minutes away, next to Woodlands Swimming Complex and beside the Woodlands Sports Hall.

NOVENA FISH SOUP  (#02-22)
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm (Closed on Saturdays)

This stall is manned by a friendly Uncle and is serving the Double Fish Bee Hoon Soup ($4/$5) which I ordered, it consists of boiled and fried fish with thick been hoon. You have the option to choose whether to add milk to your soup. There is also Sliced Fish Porridge ($3/$4), Seafood Soup ($4/$5), Fish Head Bee Hoon Soup ($4/$5) and Sesame Oil Chicken ($4) on their menu.


YAN JI SEAFOOD SOUP (#02-11)
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 8.30 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Yan Ji Seafood Soup has been around for more than 30 years. Their main outlet is at this food centre with a branch at Marsiling Lane. The prices for the seafood soup range from the normal one at $6 and $8 to those with crayfish or fish maw at $10 and $12, they also serve Braised Pork's Trotter at $7.00. Rice is available at 0.50 cents per bowl. The outlet is usually crowded during lunch and weekends, the waiting time could be as long as 45 minutes or even longer.


XIA MAN HERBAL SOUP (#02-26)
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm (Closed on Alternate Fridays)

This Herbal Duck Soup for just $5, is the popular item on their menu. It consists of a whole duck drumstick served in a bowl of intensified herbal soup. It has a distinctive taste of Chinese Angelica Root that is also known as Dang Gui. It must have been boiled for many hours for that intensive flavour and also for that perfectly cooked meat that was tender and not oily. Their Braised Pork Trotter ($4.50) is equally popular and sold out fast too.


MEI HANDMADE HAKKA YONG TAU FOO (#02-29)
Operating Hours: 3.00 am to 8.30 pm (Daily)

The stall owner if an elderly Uncle in his 60s and he is running this stall with his wife for the past 8 years in this food centre. Though no queue but there is always a constant flow of customers. It is not difficult to tell from those odd and uneven shapes that most of the items are handmade daily as early as 3.00 am before they start. Their steamed and fried meatballs are the must-try items there. 


HUA LI FRIED CARROT CAKE (#02-34)
Operating Hours: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

This stall serves the white and the black fried carrot cake at $2.50, $3 and $4 and there is also fried oyster at $4, $6 and $8. Most of their customers will go for their fried carrot cake, both the white and the black version are equally popular. I have tried both and I would prefer the black carrot cake a bit more, particularly with extra chilli and preserved radish added. 



YE LAI XIANG LAKSA (#02-36)
Operating Hours: 3.00 am to 3.00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Their Laksa is the popular item on their menu. It has an intense flavour of coconut milk that brought forth its creaminess and with the addition of dried shrimps to enhance its taste. It was served with slices of fishcake and tau pok together with a few cockles and a handful of bean sprouts. Though added with sambal chilli but its level of spiciness was still rather mild. Other than Laksa, they do serve Lor Mee, Prawn Mee and Fish Ball Mee too. The smaller portion for Laksa and Lor Mee is $3.00 and $3.50, the Lor Mee and Fish Ball Mee is $2.50 and $3.00.


AHSIA FOOD STALL (#02-76)
Operating Hours: 4.00 am to 10.00 am (Daily)

This is one of the stalls that are strongly recommended in this food centre. They are also likely to be the only stall that is serving their prata with special sardine gravy. When I was there for the first time at about 10.30 am, they have already sold out. Their plain prata costs 0.90 cents per piece and their sardine gravy is 0.60 cents. The sardine gravy has got a small chunk of sardine in it, it was a little spicy and slightly sweet likely from the tomato puree added. It tasted quite special though not particularly memorable.


LIAN XIANG SHU SHI (#02-38A)
Operating Hours: 5.00 am to 2.00 pm (Closed on Sundays)

This stall has a rather old signboard, a simple one with just their name on it. They are serving Fried Kway Teow at $2.50/$3.00 and Fried Hokkien Mee at $4.00. The smallest portion of Fried Kway Teow consists of evenly fried kway teow and yellow noodles served along with a few pieces of thinly sliced Chinese sausages, cockles, eggs and a few stalks of green together with a handful of beansprouts. It tasted simple and it is more savoury than sweet, though chilli was added but I could hardly taste it. The texture of kway teow and yellow noodles was just right, not overly soft nor too greasy.


JING JING (#02-07)
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 4.00 pm (Closed on Saturdays)

You could try the snacks from this stall while waiting for your order from Yan Kee Seafood Soup to be ready. Some of the most popular choices are fried carrot cake, spring roll, curry puff, goreng pisang and also their tapioca balls. The most interesting item to try is their tapioca balls that serve 3 balls on a stick. 


FU YUAN SUGARCANE DRINK (#02-37)
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 7.00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Roselle Drink at just $1 is a must-order at this stall. This drink is known to have certain health benefits and it is also a refreshing thirst quencher. They also serve Logan Drink, Barley Drink, Lime Juice, Sugarcane Juice and also their special Cheng Tng that is served in a disposable tall plastic cup with the usual ingredients like sweet potato, barley, sago balls, dried longan and ginkgo seeds. 


WOODLANDS ROAD CENTRE FOOD CENTRE
Block 4A Woodlands Centre Road Singapore 731005

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ding Hao Yong Tau Fu : Good Hakka style Yong Tau Fu, Must-try!

This shop is nestled amongst the others in this housing estate, it is located near the end of Block 304 after passing by 3 coffee shops just to get there and it has been around for more than a year. The owner inherited a secret recipe from Ya Rong Yong Tau Fu in Johor Bahru, Malaysia for Yong Tau Fu as mentioned on their Facebook page. They serve it the Hakka style with specially marinated minced pork together with a small proportion of fish paste instead of with just the fish paste like the Cantonese style that is commonly available. 


They minced the pork by themselves and to maintain its freshness, they added in the ice cubes in the blending process. Those pieces of Yong Tau Fu are handmade daily just 2 hours before their opening and are available at 0.60 cents per piece. You could choose to have it with soup or dry or with the curry sauce, they even have it with bean paste or go with the chee cheong fun or try their house special, the stir-fry Yong Tau Foo. There are different versions of stir-fry Yong Tau Foo like Kapitan Yong Tau Foo, Gan Xiang Yong Tau Foo, Sweet & Sour Yong Tau Foo, Marmite Yong Tau Foo, Gong Bao Yong Tau Foo, Lemon Yong Tau Foo, Rendang Yong Tau Foo and Thai Sauce Yong Tau Foo. And, their broth is simmered using prime ribs and mushroom. 




The number on the receipt will be called out when it is ready for collection which is not as effective. It happened when I heard my number was called by the lady serving at the counter. When I was at the counter, another customer thought it should be his order as he heard it wrongly. 



Apparently, they actually mixed up the order. We ordered 2 portions, the first portion is to go with the curry sauce and thick bee hoon, the second portion is to go with chee cheong fun and minced meat sauce but they mixed it up.


The Curry Yong Tau Fu is a popular item on their menu. The curry gravy was not too thick nor too diluted with a comforting level of spiciness. It went well with the thick bee hoon and also those pieces of Yong Tau Fu. The highlight has to be the fresh-tasting handmade Yong Tau Fu items and every piece of it is equally enjoyable. 


The minced meat gravy though looked uninterestingly but it was quite tasty and not overly saltish. It somewhat reminded me of Jason Niang Dou Fu at Beach Road and if you are a fan of that particular Yong Tau Fu then you would also enjoy this one, too.


The Uncle that manned the counter came over to clear the table next to us and he asked, "How was it?" I said, " I liked it. I could actually taste a mixture of minced meat and fish paste." He then said, "We added in to give it a bite of fish taste." And, I said, "The location is not very good though" which he agreed and said, "Most people would not walk all the way to the end and they will usually miss our shop." Before he walked away and he said, "Do come back more often since you liked it."

They strive to bring their customers a unique and pleasant dining experience by offering variety on their menu as stated on their card. They have a royalty card programme for their regular customers and a stamp is received for every $5.00 spent and to accumulate 8 stamps in exchange for a free set meal. 


This Yong Tau Fu is quite similar to the famous Hakka Yong Tau Foo at Ghim Moh Food Centre, both are good but in a different style. Nonetheless, this is worth a try. 


DING HAO YONG TAU FU
Block 304 Ubi Avenue 1 #01-85 SINGAPORE 400304
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 9.30 pm (Closed on Public Holidays)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ming Ji Clam Prawn Mee : with canned razor clams

The stall owner is an elderly couple. The Auntie might not be the friendlier and she is also not too smiley. She often randomly asked whether are you sitting nearby and if so, she will offer to bring it over or else it is self-service. Prawn Mee is the only item on their menu, you could choose to have it dry or in the soup, for $3 or $4 and you could also choose to have it with their canned razor clams for $4 or $5. There are a few types of noodles like the usual mee pok or mee kia, kway teow and also the yellow noodles for selection.

This stall is closed most of the times. I asked the Auntie once, "When is the usual off-day?" And, she replied, "Indefinitely". I said, "It is usually closed when I was here for lunch." She replied, "We usually sold out quite early." I guess that must be the reason why it was always closed when I was there for lunch. It was also mostly closed even I made an effort to be there early.


I was their only customer at 11 am, I ordered directly with the Uncle as Auntie was not there but seated at the table in front of their stall. I went with the $5 portion of dry mee kia and requested for an extra amount of chilli added. This is unlike the others that usually serve it with pork ribs. Here, they include the canned razor clams as part of the ingredients together with slices of fishcake and lean meat together with peeled halved prawns, it is served along with a bowl of soup that has a mild prawn flavour. 


It is a bowl of hearty and no-frills Prawn Mee that I am always looking forward to eating it again.


MING JI CLAM PRAWN MEE
590 Upper Thomson Road #01-05 Sembawang Hill Food Centre SINGAPORE 574419
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 1.00 pm

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh : the decades old handmade Chwee Kueh

This is probably one of the rare few that is still making their chwee kueh on site as most of the stalls are selling those that are factory-made. The owner of this 57 years old famous stall is an elderly Uncle that started when he was 8 years old helping his mother selling chwee kueh on a pushcart near Alexandra Hospital in 1959. After all these years, he is still diligently doing so together with his wife, they passionately mixing the rice flour with water then pouring the mixture into those 1500 aluminium moulds in the early morning to steam it and they are doing it every day. They are still doing it the traditional way that has been passed down. Everything is made fresh, from the chwee kueh to the cai poh and their chilli, with no MSG added.


There is a minimum order of 4 pieces at $1.40 and to have it pack separately from the ingredients, you will have to order 20 pieces at $7.00 and pay an additional of 0.20 cents. Their chwee kueh is softer than the others out there. Apparently, it is not just by mixing rice flour with water and steaming it but takes years of experiences to perfect it. Their cai poh (preserved radish) tasted different from the others, it is done based on a traditional recipe using ingredients like garlic, pork lard and cai poh. It is not added with sugar thus it did not have the sweet taste and also, slightly saltier. However, the spiciness of the chilli has added flavour. 


Somehow, you might not get used to this traditional taste if you prefer a sweeter cai poh like those at Jian Bo or Bedok Chwee Kueh. Nonetheless, this is one of the remaining traditionally handmade chwee kueh stalls around and how much longer would they be around?


GHIM MOH CHWEE KUEH
Block 20 Ghim Moh Road #01-54 Ghim Moh Food Centre SINGAPORE 270020
Operating Hours: 6.15 am to 6.30 pm (Daily)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pasta & Donburi by Kenny : just so-so

Pasta & Donburi by Kenny is one of the newest stalls in this food centre that has re-opened after renovation about a year ago. This stall is helmed by Kenny Hew, 32, a new generation hawker who used to work as a chef in Western and Japanese fine-dining restaurants for about 12 years. He is serving Italian and Japanese cuisines consisting a combination of pasta and Japanese rice bowls known as Donburi, there are a total of 9 dishes on the menu, priced from $5.00 to $7.50. His stall is located right next to his father-in-law's stall, the famous Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh that has been around for 57 years.

While standing there and deciding what to order, I asked, "What do you recommend?". The assistant there replied, "Each has its own fan." I decided to go with Fried Chicken & Mushroom Pasta with Tomato Sauce ($6.50) and Chicken Donburi ($6.50) which I paid after ordering. There is an LCD panel but I have not been issued a number for collection so I just waited there. When collecting it, I was telling the assistant, "My friend tried it and he liked the pasta." Kenny overheard and he replied, "Thank you." He said, "Everything is made from scratch including those sauces." There is also no MSG added.


Fried Chicken & Mushroom Pasta with Tomato Sauce which comprises a good portion of spaghetti with a piece of deep-fried crumbed chicken cutlet with mushroom slices in tomato sauce then garnished with chopped parsley with some vegetable that tasted like spinach. The spaghetti was cooked just right. The chicken cutlet was done well to have a slight crispiness on its surface and still moist within. I did not like it as much as expected, in fact, I would prefer what I have tasted at Grill & Pasta in Sembawang Hill Food Centre for the same price. 


The Chicken Donburi is the Japanese rice bowl that consists of a piece of deep-fried crumbed chicken cutlet that is sliced into strips then served with shredded onions and eggs in dashi-based sauce on Japanese short-grain rice along with a bowl of Miso soup. It was garnished with chopped spring onions and sesame seeds. The portion was generous but not the best tasting as Konomi Zen, the Japanese food stall at the food centre in Ang Mo Kio is serving a better version at a cheaper price. 

Miso Carbonara with Onsen Egg ($7.00) seems to be highly recommended from those reviews online and I am interested to try it if I happen to be there again. 


PASTA & DONBURI by KENNY
20 Ghim Moh Raod #01-53 Ghim Moh Food Centre SINGAPORE 
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 2.30 pm (Monday)
11.00 am to 2.30 pm / 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mariners' Corner Restaurant & Steak House : Oxtail Stew is a must-try

Time has come to a standstill at this decades-old steak house. It opened in 1984 and is serving traditional Anglo-Hainanese cuisine. This is one of the remaining, the others are the Ship Restaurant and Shashlik Restaurant, in an ambience that reminiscent of the popular steakhouses from late 1970. There are posters of James Dean and Elvis Presley on their wall to bring you back to the yesteryear and a perfect trip down memory lane.

If you are there, look out for their daily set lunches which are available on the weekdays and weekends. The prices are different, though, it is slightly more expensive on the weekends. The set lunches for the weekends include their signature Hainanese Oxtail Stew ($18.50) and Sirloin Steak with Black Pepper Sauce ($18.50) which I ordered. Each set includes Soup of the Day, Garlic Bread, Today's Dessert with Coffee or Tea and also free-flow from the Salad Bar.


The choices though limited but it tasted fresh at the old-fashioned salad bar that resembled the one at Ponderosa. 


The Soup of the Day was Cream of Chicken Soup served along with a piece of garlic bread. The croutons were from the Salad Bar. 


Their signature Hainanese Oxtail Stew was served in a claypot, which helped to keep its warm till the last bit. It came with quite a few chunks of tail meat in the braising sauce that was slowly cooked to the desired consistency. This rich, oozy oxtail stew is a classic comfy food, it is filling and also delicious. It is as good as the one that is served by Shashlik Restaurant and is better than Werner's Oven.



It was served with mashed potato and poached vegetables. The mashed potato did not have much of the buttery taste, it was a bit plain if eaten on its own and it did not go too well with the stew. I would rather that they serve it with garlic bread. 


Sirloin Steak with Black Pepper Sauce was served on an old-school hotplate that you do not get to see it often these days. The nicely grilled Sirloin Steak was placed on a pile of shredded onion, served with potato wedges and poached long beans with carrots. There is an option to add a piece of baked potato for $1.50.



Coffee or Tea is included in the set and it was served along with a piece of butter cake. The butter cake has an old-school taste, like those that homemade by our mothers or even grandmothers, it was slightly dry but with a nice eggy taste. 



This is a place for a good lunch or dinner, it is hearty, warm and no-frill.


MARINERS' CORNER RESTAURANT & STEAK HOUSE
120 Cantonment Road #01-02 SINGAPORE 089760
Operating Hours: 8.15 am to 10.15 am /11.30 am to 3.00 pm / 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm (Daily)