Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Carving Board : Good Taste & Best Value

This is one of the top 5 western food stalls that i have featured in my article on Makansutra quite recently. It started by Gary Lum of the defunct The Soup Bar at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre and they have been around since January 2015. There are the only stall operating in that coffee shop in the evening. I was told that the queue can be really long after 6.30 pm on weekdays and after 5.30 pm on the weekends. 

I visited on a Saturday and joined in the queue at about 6 pm and i only managed to order at 7.15 pm. It was served pretty fast after the order is made. It might not be the best queuing system as you have to physically queue up to wait to order. Most of the tables were occupied with customers that have their friends or family members in the queue. The long queue itself is a good indication of the anticipated waiting time and it also served as a discouragement if you are rushing for time.

As it was my pre-birthday dinner, we went for the Mix Grill at $17.00, the Curry Burger at $9.50 and the Calamari Rings at $4.50. The canned soft drink is at $1.40 each. There is no service charge nor GST added to it. 

I enjoyed their Calamari Rings that served with their special Curry Mayo sauce, it still tasted crispy after left it for a while though the texture of the squid ring in it was a bit too chewy to my liking. 

Their signature Curry Burger tasted surprisingly good. It consists of a piece of juicy beef patty with a pineapple ring, a slice of bacon together with lettuce and tomato nicely complemented by Curry Mayo sauce. It came along with a good amount of fries as side. It tasted quite similar to the Curry Mayo sauce that served with their Calamari Rings. 

The Mix Grill consists of a piece of Chicken Chop, Beef Steak, Sausage with a portion of Garden Salad, a piece of Toast and choice of 1 side dish and sauce for just $17.00. The Chicken Chop and Beef Steak were nicely done to the desired texture and went perfectly with the Rosemary Brown Sauce. The Sauteed Potatoes was a tasty and filling side dish to go with this platter. 

This is definitely a good choice if you like to have a taste of everything or to share it with a friend. I would come back this and i will come early this time to avoid the long queue and waiting time. 

Block 252 Jurong East Street 24 #01-107 SINGAPORE 600252
Operating Hours: 5.00 pm to 10.30 pm (Tuesday to Sunday) (Closed on Mondays)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chai Chee Noodle Village at Ang Mo Kio : Not Recommended

If you are a fan of Bak Chor Mee then you would probably heard of Chai Chee Mushroom Bak Chor Mee that first started right opposite Chai Chee Industrial Estate in 1999. They grew from a hawker stall to more than 20 stalls at one time before it started to close down one after another.

They started a stall in Ang Mo Kio quite recently and I was told that the this particular stall is personally helmed by the boss but he was not there when i dropped by. It was cooked by a friendly Auntie instead. You could choose to have $4.00, $5.00 or $6.00 portion and i opted for the $5.00. As i was the only customer then, i was served immediately and gotten my bowl of Bak Chor Mee right after.

For $5.00, the portion of noodles was a bit too little with 5 pieces of meatballs, 2 pieces of pork's liver, 2 pieces of lean meat, few slices of braised mushroom and a handful of minced meat. Honestly, it did not quite justify and definitely not worth the $5.00 paid. I could get better tasting and better value Bak Chor Mee for that amount. And, if i am going to compare this to Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodle at Serangoon Garden Food Centre, i would prefer Seng Kee's to this any time. 

I requested for an extra amount of chilli to be added and the level of spiciness was slightly overwhelmed but it does add flavor to the noodles. The right amount of vinegar complemented the taste pretty well too.

As a big fan of Bak Chor Mee, this particular bowl did not manage to impress me and i would not recommend it. If for $2.50 or even $3.00 is considered to be good value but definitely not for $5.00 as this was just a mediocre bowl of Bak Chor Mee in rather small portion with little ingredients.

Block 727 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 SINGAPORE 560727
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 9.00 pm (Daily)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ann Hoo Teochew Porridge : Cheap & Comforting Fare

I have met a group of residents staying in Ang Mo Kio quite recently and we ended up talking about food choices in this area. This is one of the stalls that is strongly recommended and this is quite well expected as this is a rather famous Teochew porridge in this part of Singapore. I had eaten at this stall  a few times before and i enjoyed it. 

I was there at about 1 pm on a weekday and there was a queue about 6 people at at that time. I joined in the queue quickly and waited for about 15 minutes to order. This stall is well-known for their affordable yet fresh tasting steamed fish dishes so it is definitely a must-order. The next must-order item has to be their handmade fishcake then followed by my usual favourites like braised cabbage and sliced pork in soya & sesame sauce with preserved pickles. And, i usually ordered an extra bowl of porridge to go with the dishes. I was expected to give the table number and go right back to wait for it to be delivered and then paid.

I could not quite believe that all these dishes together with 2 bowl of porridges only cost $13.80. 

The average-sized red snapper was steamed with bits of carrots, preserved vegetable and tomato to bring out its natural sweetness and freshness. It tasted even better if eaten with their fermented bean sauce. Such a steamed fish is usually expected to cost much more but i was told it is only in between $6 to $7 when placing order.

Their braised cabbage is an usual favourite that i would order. Though simple tasting but it reminded me of my late Grandpa as this is a homely dish that he used to cook when i stayed with him. Their braised cabbage is amongst one of the better ones that i ever tasted. They managed to cook it just right to give it a slight crunch and lightly flavored with bits of dried shrimps added to enhance the taste.

Their steamed fish cake is a popular choice and almost every table there ordered it. It was moulded from the fish paste with bits of chilli and chopped spring onions added before they steamed it. It went really well with their special chilli.

Another regular choice has to be their sliced pork cooked with soya and sesame sauce together with preserved pickles. This is a perfect dish to go with the plain porridge and i usually poured the sauce into the porridge to flavor it. I absolutely enjoyed this comforting taste.

Their constant long queues are the good indication of their popularity. You should try it if you happen to be this food centre. 

Block 527 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 #01-126/127 Cheng San Food Centre SINGAPORE 560527
Operating Hours: 9.00 to 10.00 pm (Saturday to Thursday) (Closed on Fridays)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

That missing something

October is my birthday month.

This is going to be the first birthday without my Grandpa and Grandma. There is still this lingering emptiness that i could not quite overcome. Grandma was hospitalised during this time of last year even so she kept reminding herself to remember to give me a red packet for my birthday. This used to be a birthday tradition in our family for decades and that red packet was the last one from her.

This is going to be the first of such birthday and more to come.