Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lunch at Yuhua Village Food Centre







This stall has recently featured in a food programme that aired just about a week or so ago. I kind expected the queue to be long but never did i expect it to be so extremely long. I was there at about 11.55 am and started to queue. I counted. It has got about 20+ customer queuing in front so i kinda estimated to be about 30 minutes. I waited. There were still 5 customers right in front of me at about 15 minutes later. I only managed to order at about 1 pm. Some customers came to take away many packets of rice and noodle. I guess that would be the main reason of such a long waiting time though the queue might not seemed to be as long. 

When it was my turn, i was told that roasted meat have already sold out.

So, i decided to go with the wanton noodle for $3. The well-marinated char siew nicely roasted to give it eh beautifully caramelised dark red color with a slightly charred surface. It has got a good mixture of the fat and the lean part of meat to give it the desirable tenderness with just the right balance of sweet and salty taste.

The noodle has got a noticeable springiness and it tasted nice after mixed in with the chilli.

A bowl of soup with 2 pieces of wanton came along with the noodle. The wantons were of a slightly better than average size. It has got a good amount of minced meat and prawn filling. I could actually see and taste the prawn in it. It tasted wonderfully fresh. The soup tasted light with a slight peppery taste.

When i went back to take the picture of the stall at 1.15 pm, the stall was about to close. They left their last few plates of noodles and gone is the long queue too. They were already sold out before their usual closing time at 2 pm.

So, is it worth the queue? i seriously doubt so. The taste of their wanton noodle is good but not exceptionally outstanding. I am rather certain i would not queue another hour just to taste it again.

I would be delightful to eat it again only if the queue is short with reasonable amount of waiting time. 












The stall is originated from the already demolished Margaret Drive Food Centre. It is supposed to be the same but not quite. The original stall owner decided to retire and his son has since taken over part of the business. The son has a stall at Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre making the popiah skins. The father decided to pass the other part of business to an old friend. This old friend used to run a braised duck rice and noodle stall in Margaret Drive Food Centre. As the old friend is catching up with age, he decided to close its braised duck rice and noodle stall as it required too much efforts in running the stall and he could no longer cope with it. 

This good friend is guided by the original owner to start this stall in this food centre and using the same stall name to continue the popiah business.

The price has been raised to $1.30. I was there during the supposedly busy lunch time but the business of this stall seemed to be quite slow. I was the other customer right there. The stall was manned by the elderly uncle solely. The uncle was a little slow in assembling the ingredients, wrapping and cutting the popiah. 

I waited for less than 5 minutes to order and to get it. It was served placing on a disposable plate. Those plastic plates are for order of 2 pieces and more.

Though the skin is supposedly to be handmade but it turned out to be quite dry. The owner may not be doing a good job in keeping the skins moist. The turnip filling tasted bland. The amount of beansprouts was not as generous as it used to be so it kinda compromised on its texture. It did not have a distinctive taste though there were other ingredients like boiled egg and grounded peanuts added. The chilli did not taste as good as before too.

I followed the original stall when they first started in an old coffee shop then moved to the already demolished food centre. I was quite a fan for at least a decade long.

Sadly, i am a fan no more after this particular experience. 

Though this is not a bad tasting popiah but it just did not taste as good as it used to be of yesteryear. 

 

This stall did not only serves freshly squeezed fruit juices but also the ready made pineapple drink for only 0.80 cents. The color looked a bit light so i kind expecting it to taste a little diluted but it turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. It definitely tasted much nicer than expected. The level of sweetness was pretty well-balanced with just the right amount of ice cubes to keep it chilled without further diluting its taste.

It has got a handful pineapple bits in the drink too.

This pineapple drink is definitely value for the money.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons


I made an effort to come slightly earlier as i expected the queue to be long since this is the latest most talked about Ramen place. This is the newest outlet by the Celebrity Chef Keisuke Takeda. This 56 seaters outlet located just a stone's throw away from Bugis MRT station nestled amidst those pre-war shop houses. 

It was a beautiful Monday morning, i came at about 11.15 am though their official opening hours is from 11.30 am onward. I was their first customer on that very day.

A friendly waiter opened the door and greeted me 'Good Morning' at 11.30 am. I was then ushered to my seat and presented with the menu and the order chit pretty quickly.

The decor somewhat reminded me of those cosy ramen shops in Japan. It is simply decorated using the four reasons as theme. And, i seated in the Autumn section.

There are only 5 types of ramen on their menu, namely: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and King. 

The difference between each bowl of ramen is the toppings.

The Spring Ramen ($11.90) is served minced Basil and grated Pamersan Cheese.

The Summer Ramen ($13.90) features spicy miso minced meat with Sichuan and Cayenne Peppers.

The Autumn Ramen ($12.90) has got 3 different types of mushrooms in it.

The Winter ($10.90). The simplest of all. It is served in the rich pork broth.

The King ($13.90) has got the stir-fried pork with ginger in it. 

I wanted the Summer Special. It is a bowl of spicy ramen priced at $13.90 + $4 to have all the toppings including the onsen egg. You can add $1 for the seaweed or $2 for just the flavored egg.

The friendly waitress was right beside me when i was deciding whether to have the taste of soup at normal or strong. She advised it would be better to have it as normal as it might be quite salty if strong is selected.

The thickness of soup, the done-ness of the noodle and the amount of oil to be added can be customised. 




I remember to tell the waiting staff that i have seen their facebook page in exchange of the Green Tea Cola ($3.80) for free. This drink is served exclusively right at their outlets. It apparently has more cola taste than the green tea. It tasted distinctly refreshing. 



After submitted the order chit, another waiter served the iced water together with the white and black sesame seeds in wooden motar and pestle. While waiting for the ramen to be served, this is a good way to keep oneself busy. It was quite an enjoyment to slowly grinding the sesame seeds to the slightly powdery texture.

There are a good range of condiments available to enhance the taste of your ramen in accordance to one's liking. I personally would only go for their beansprouts. 



My Summer Special served in 10 minutes. It has got all the toppings including the seaweed, flavored egg, stir-fried pork, black fungus and pork chasyu. To start, the ball of spicy miso minced meat is to be mixed in nicely into the broth to give it a pretty red color. The level of spiciness is rather minimum and comforting. I expected it to be spicier though. The flavored egg has got it just right to give it the orangey color with a soft but not running egg yolk. The stir-fried pork slices and chasyu have done well to give it the desirable chewiness and texture. 



Did you see the steam escaping from the noodle? They served their ramen piping hot, just the right temperature to enjoy the ramen slowly. 



My lunch partner ordered the Spring Ramen served in a pretty Cherry Blossom bowl. He actually quite enjoyed the unique combination of Basil and Cheese. The cheese taste is not overwhelming but just right to enhance the overall taste. 


The seasoned beansprouts have got a rather slight crunchiness that directly enhanced the texture of the ramen. This enhancement added a healthier touch to it. 






We paid a total of $37.45 for the Summer Special Ramen and the Spring Ramen. The price is inclusive of GST and Service Charge. There is a little tip box right at the Cashier's Counter. You can show your appreciation by giving a little tip if you like their attentiveness and friendly service.

That comforting bowl of ramen made me happy and i will certainly be back for the rest. 

RAMEN KEISUKE TONKOTSU KING FOUR SEASONS
158 Rochor Road Bugis Village SINGAPORE 188433.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

B.K.T. by Kong Kee


I was there on a Saturday. This place is conveniently located in between the Raffles Place MRT and Chinatown MRT stations. 


The eatery is quite spacious and rather quiet on that day. There were just other 2 tables occupied then.


The service was a bit laid back on that day as there was just 2 service staff members on duty in the dinning area. The menu was presented rather quickly upon seated. I then penned down my orders on the order chit after browed through the menu. I then walked to the service counter with the order chit after waited for a bit. I handled the order chit to the staff then proceeded to wait at the table.  


The canned drink served first. It then followed by the Klang style Bak Kut Teh for $6.80. A substantial portion was served in the claypot. 


It has got about 4 pieces of a mixture of meaty and not so meaty pork ribs in the claypot. The pork ribs were cooked nicely to derive at the right softness to give it the desirable tenderness and chewiness. I could taste the rather light herbal flavor in the meat.  The same taste was detected from the soup as well. Though we did not order the Teochew style Bak Kut Teh, a bowl of the soup was given but the taste was a tad too peppery to my liking. It was a right decision for not ordering it. 


The salted vegetable for $2.00 came next. The leafy portion of the salted vegetable was given. The dried chilli added to enhance its taste though not contributed to raise its level of spiciness. The salted vegetable is definitely a good choice to give the meal a healthy touch. 





The dry version of Bak Kut Teh for $12.00 came last. A good amount of pork ribs and pork belly were cooked with the dried chilli and cuttlefish till the soup dried up. The waitress used the spoon to stir the dish a bit when she placed it on the table. I tried both meats but much prefer the pork belly to the pork ribs. The pork belly has got just the right balance of fat and the lean meat to give it the desired softness without causing it to be overly oily. This dish is definitely the MUST ORDER right here to go with rice that served at $1.00 per plate. The rice garnished with a handful of dried shallot when served. 





There is an on-going promotion of 10% off the total bill if paid by credit cards from Maybank.


The total bill is exclusive of GST and Service Charge.


It was an enjoyable lunch.

 B. K. T. by KONG KEE
19 & 20 China Street 
Far East Square
SINGAPORE 049561.