Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Teochew Porridge

It was a raining afternoon and we wanted something warm and i thought of this teochew porridge.

I was there at about 11.45 am when they just opened. There was already a queue of about 6 people in the line and i decided to join in. Most of the customers seemed to be their regulars as they do know what to order. This was my first time eating there so i decided to follow suit.

I waited for about 10 minutes to place my order. I ordered 2 bowls of white porridge, a plate of braised meat, a platte of tau kwa and tau pork, a plate of minced meat with fermented beans as well as a plate of braised cabbage. All the dishes were for 2 pax. When done ordering, i left them with my table number then helped myself with the spoons and chopsticks. If you do not like porridge, they do have rice as an option as well. I only paid a total of $7.00 for all the dishes and the 2 bowls of porridge. 

All the dishes and the porridge were served by a nice auntie right after i seated down at my table.

The braised meat was very well-braised to give it the right texture and the flavor. It might looked rather fat but it did not taste too oily at all but rather soft and tender. The portion give was rather generous. 

The tua kwa and tau pok seemed to be a popular choice as almost every customer ordered it. Though it tasted just average but it went really went with the plain porridge. 

My favourite amongst all the dishes gotta be the mined meat cooked with fermented beans. It is a very homely dish, something that most families will cooked at home to go with the porridge. It was a little saltish if eat it on its own but the saltiness tasted just right when have it with porridge. And that dish alone was good enough to finish 2 bowls of porridge. My partner went back to get another bowl of porridge for 0.50 cents.

The braised cabbage was my another favourite and i had it all by myself as my partner does not like eating cabbage at all. The cabbage was well-braised to obtain the desired softness with a distinctive taste of dried shrimps. Some people like it if they prefer a crunchier version.

It was a satisfying lunch and i will definitely be back more often.

Strongly recommended.

Block 341 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 #01-13 SINGAPORE 560341.

West Lake



What are the greatest pleasures in your life? It can be a piece of delicious Kong Bak Pau for me. An enjoyment can be so simple. 

I have gotten a voucher for 10 pieces of these famous Kong Bak Pau. It stated in the voucher to call at least 2 days in advance for redemption. I decided to try my luck to call in the afternoon and exploring the possibilities of collecting it on that evening. My request was granted. That is a sign of good service. 

The restaurant was located amidst the shop houses. Everything is seemingly unchanged. The place looks it has stood still in time. The ambience, the decoration, the furniture and even the people working there reminded me those of the yesteryear. I really love the nostalgic feel.

Most of the waiters and waitresses are elderly Aunties and Uncles. I presented my voucher for their signature Kong Bak Bao and asked to wait for a bit while they packed it. It was served to me by a friendly Auntie. They packed the steamed buns and braised meat separately.

The well-braised meat has got a good balance of fat and lean meat to give it the sinful yet extremely delicious taste. Every piece of them was about the same thickness and size to be inserted in between the steamed buns and to be eaten together. Life is too short to worry about the calories of those fatty braised meat so i ended up had 4 pieces of the Long Bak Pau for dinner on that day. 

They have a few take-away outlets in some major shopping centres for Kong Bak Pau and other snacks.

This would be the place to be when i have a crazing for Kong Bak Pau next time. And, i will definitely be back for some of their highly recommended signature dishes too.

Block 4 Queen's Road #02-139 SINGAPORE 260004.

The Homely Taste

This cooked stall is a hidden gem in my neighborhood. There is always a constant long queue right at this stall during lunch and dinner. I wanted to try before but turned off by the long queue but i made up my mind to try it this time. I was there at about 7.30 pm and there was already a long queue of more than 10 people as expected. I queued and waited for about 10 minutes to order the foods and waited for another 15 minutes for the foods to be served to our table. 

The dishes that i ordered were Squids with Thai Chilli, Stir-fried Cabbage, Sweet & Sour Pork and Steamed Fish with 3 bowls of porridge for only $10.20. It is cheaper than we expected. I think that is most probably the reason to explain the constant long queue of customers. 

My favourite has got to be the Steamed Fish. Almost every table ordered it and some tables even ordered 2 or more. The fish was of an average sized and nicely steamed with salted vegetable. It tasted really fresh. The fish was tender and juicy with no fishy smell. 

Though Stir-fried cabbage is a simple but they cooked it quite well. They have gotten the texture of the cabbage just right.

The Steamed Squids with Thai Chilli was chosen over the braised meat and it has been proven to be a better choice. The thai chilli sauce a difference in this dish. 

The Sweet & Sour Pork is another must try dish. The pork used has gotten a good balance of fat and lean meat and well seasoned. They fried it well before stir-fried with the sweet & sour sauce together with ingredients like onion, pineapple and cucumber. 

There are fermented bean sauce and chilli sauce available for self-service. The saltiness of the fermented bean sauce complemented the Steamed Fish and plain porridge really went.

I really enjoyed the homely taste of these dishes with porridge. I will definitely be back soon.

Block 527 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 Cheng San Food Centre SINGAPORE 560527.

Hock Sin Kee

This stall moved from the already demolished Margaret Drive Hawker Centre to this food centre after the closure in February 2011. I used to stay in Holland area and always patronised Margaret Drive Food Centre regularly. 

It was an indescribable happiness to see this old signboard once more in its new location. I still recognised the old uncle and old auntie, the stall is solely manned by both of them. I chatted with the auntie for a bit then ordered fried rice and sweet & sour pork to be taken away for dinner at home later. 

This stall offers very old school style tze cha. Simple dishes are offered, cooked and served with a passion.

The fried rice and sweet & sour pork still warm when i gotten home. The fried rice at $4.00 was quite a generous serving. The portion was good enough to be shared amongst 2 adults. It simply stir-fried with bits of char siew, mixed vegetable and prawns. This might not be the best fried rice that i ever tasted but i can taste the amount of love in it. 

The sweet & sour pork were stir-fried with bits of carrots, onions, green pepper and tomato to give it the desired taste. It actually tasted like those dishes that you will get during those old school wedding dinners that used to hold at the void decks of the HDB flats a long time ago. The portion was of a generous portion as well. The pieces of pork were well-fried and mixed nicely with sweet & sour sauce, the sauce has gotten a good balance of sweetness and sourness. It went really went with the fried rice.

It was a very satisfied dinner that left me feeling warm and happy.

If you want a taste of old school style tze cha then you should give it a try before they retired or go missing again. Strongly recommended.

120 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-20 Alexandra Village Food Centre SINGAPORE 150120.