Monday, November 21, 2016

Sumo Big Prawn : Not recommended

This stall has been the talk of the town after a stall owner of a relatively famous prawn noodle shared it on her facebook. Some food bloggers went to try, they recommended and shared it on the social media. And then, the queue started to form and the waiting time is getting longer to about 45 minutes or even longer. Desmond is running the stall with his wife and his partner, his mother is there to help out at times. He used to be helping his father running a hawker stall in the food centre for a while prior to starting this stall.

The stall started in early September and it was really quiet during their first month, it was even so during the lunch and dinner. The cheapest item on their menu is Prawn Bee Hoon Soup for $5 but it is usually sold out by noon or earlier. This followed by the Sumo Big Prawn Bee Hoon Soup at $8 then the Crayfish Bee Hoon Soup at $13 and the Lobster Bee Hoon Soup is priced at $18.90 using the Asia lobsters, it will be replaced by the Columbia lobsters whenever it is out of stock and it will be at $24.90. These lobsters are not fresh but frozen lobsters and they are also using frozen cooked white clam, they are freshly cooked though. Their prawns are supposedly sourced from a fishmonger in the wet market at the food centre.

I was there near 5 pm, just right after their lunch break. The queue was not too long at that time but they were quite slow and it somehow jammed up the queue. I waited for about 25 minutes to order and another 10 minutes to receive it. Though some customers in front of me have ordered the Lobster Bee Hoon Soup but i decided to just have it with crayfish, this was so after reading some negative reviews that it was often overcooked and its texture was tough and bland. I have also ordered the Sumo Big Prawn Bee Hoon Soup.

I tried the Sumo Prawn Bee Hoon Soup first, it consists of 4 pieces of big prawns with quite a handful of clams. I was expecting it to be better but the broth was a little diluted with an artificial sweetness and a little greasy. I was told that they are also using margarine as a cheaper alternative rather than the butter to flavor the broth. The prawns were relatively fresh and quite big though, they even made an effort to remove part of the shell so much easier to eat. They managed to cook those white clams to the right texture. 

The Crayfish Bee Hoon Soup came with 3 pieces of crayfish that have been chopped into halves and serving together with the clams. The broth tasted better with more flavor as compared to the Sumo Big Prawn Bee Hoon Soup but it was equally greasy with a slight hint of garlic. Those crayfishes were cooked just right.

If i am to compare the values, the Crayfish Bee Hoon Soup is definitely of a better value as compared to the Lobster Bee Hoon Soup but the Sumo Big Prawn Bee Hoon Soup is more worth it as it is served with 4 pieces of relatively fresh big prawns at just $8.

Block 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 #01-72 AMK 628 Food Centre SINGAPORE 560628
Operating Hours: 9.30 am to 4.00 pm / 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Market Street Teochew Kway Teow Mee : A popular breakfast choice

This was one of the stalls that has a constant queue when i was there at about 10.30 am. Most of these customers seemed to be the regulars of this stall that offers Teochew style Minced Meat Fshball Noodle. This is amongst one of those stalls that is serving breakfast as it starts at 6.00 am. 

I joined the queue and waited for about 10 minutes before i got to order. I decided to go with the larger portion of mee pok at $4.00 even though there is a smaller portion at just $3.00. As usual, i requested to have extra amount of chill added. There are also other choices of noodles like mee tai mak, bee hoon, kway teow, mee kia and the yellow noodles. There is also Dumpling Noodle at $4.00 and $5.00 available for selection.

The nicely cooked mee pok was tossed in chilli, garlic, lard and also dash of vinegar. It served together with a bowl of lightly flavored soup that has fishballs, sliced fishcake, minced pork, sliced pork and liver in it. 

The overall taste was nice but i would have prefer the other popular noodle stall at level 3.

50 Market Street #02-38 Market Street Food Centre SINGAPORE 048940
Operating Hours: 6.00 am to 2.00 pm (Monday to Friday)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Papa Jones Bar-B-Q and Grill : No-frill western food at affordable prices

This unassuming western food stall is in a coffee shop, directly opposite Serangoon Stadium, along Yio Chu Kang Road. The owner, Chef Jackson Tan, used to work at Hog's Breath Cafe and Shangrila Hotel. They offer an extensive menu from Pasta dishes to the Grilled Chicken Chop, Grilled Pork Chop, Fish & Chips, Fried Breaded Chicken Cutlet, Fried Breaded Fish to Steak as well as Braised Lamb Shank.

The Ribeye Steak is priced at $15.90, you could choose amongst the Black Pepper Sauce, the BBQ Sauce, the Mushroom Sauce and Garlic Merlot Butter. I went with the choice of Garlic Merlot Butter and requested to have it done at medium. I also ordered the Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Fish for $7.50 and a Soup of the Day at just $1.00. I paid and a pager was given. 

Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Fish was ready first. It was sent to our table by the female assistant, she said, "This is ready so sent over first". The pager was buzzed a few minutes later to pick up the rest.

It consists of a piece of fried breaded fish that is served with tartar sauce and a piece of fried breaded chicken cutlet with garlic butter together with fries, coleslaw and blanched broccoli. Both were nicely fried and not greasy, it went well with both sauces. 

The quality of the beef is quite good for that price but it was quite a thin slice of meat and a corner of it was slightly overcooked but the other part was alright though. You do not usually come across steak serving with garlic butter from western food stalls in coffee shop or hawker centre. There was bits of garlic after the butter melted down. It was served with fries, coleslaw and buttered sweet corn. 

The Soup of the Day is only for $1.00. It was quite a deal as it tasted good.

I am interested to come back for their grilled Chicken Chop and also to try the Lamb Shank. This is a perfect place for a no-frill but good quality western food at affordable prices.

Block 214 Serangoon Avenue 4 #01-88 SINGAPORE 550214
Operating Hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm / 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm (Daily)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tian Fu Fried Bee Hoon : Economic Choice for Breakfast and Lunch

I visited this food centre for quite a few times during the past few weeks and i took notice of the long queue at this stall when is near or during lunch. Most of these customers seemed to be the office workers in those high-rise buildings nearby. It got me to wonder what actually made these customers join the queue? This seems to be the only stall in this food centre that is serving economic fried bee hoon, kway teow and mee, this might also be one of the reasons contributing to the constant queue. They serve it with common side dishes like like fish cake, ngor hiang, luncheon meat, otak, taiwanese sausage and fried chicken wing.

I was there slightly after 10 am and there was just another customer in front of me. He ordered a plate of fried bee hoon with fried chicken wing together and other sides. I did not want to order the fried chicken wing initially but changed my mind as i expected it to be good.

When it was my turn to order, i went for the combination of fried kway teow and fried mee with a fried chicken wing, a fried egg and ngor hiang, the auntie added in some cabbage too. All these for just $3.10. I would think it is reasonably cheap particularly in a food centre at Central Business District (CBD) area. The fried chicken wing is $1.30, the fried egg is 0.60 cents, ngor hiang is 0.50 cents, the fried kway teow and fried mee is $1.00, it is all listed on the price list displayed at the front of their stall. 

I liked the fried kway teow and fried mee, though quite simple but it was nicely cooked to just the right flavor and texture. The fried egg was done perfectly to still have a soft egg yolk. The ngor hiang tasted just normal but those stir-fried cabbage was cooked well. I did not like the fried chicken wing though, it was coated in a thick layer of batter and slightly over-fried, it ended up to be quite dry and slightly hard. It was served with chilli and the sweet sauce tasted like the type for chee cheong fun. 

Other than fried bee hoon, fried kway teow and fried mee, they do offer century egg porridge and chicken porridge at $1.00 and $1.50 for taking away. They also serve set meal at $2.60 that is including the choice of noodles with default sides like fried chicken wing, fried egg and tau kwa. 

50 Market Street #02-29 Market Street Food Centre SINGAPORE 048940
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 2.00 pm (Monday to Friday)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

GRUB at Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park : A Quiet Birthday Lunch

I went on my birthday to have lunch by myself. I have always been wanting to dine there since their opening in May 2013. The cafe is located in the midst of the park and not too far from Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1. When i was walking towards the door, a service staff spotted me and she opened the door and held it for me then i was ushered to be seated, menu was presented right after.  There were only another 2 occupied tables at that time, it was an ideal place for a quiet birthday lunch.

Another service staff came over with a glass of iced water while i was still looking at the menu and deciding what to eat. 

I decided to go with the crispy Fish Burger for $14.00 and added $2 for Iced Honey Lime Juice drink then changed the fries to Mentaiko Fries for $3.

The Iced Honey Lime Juice was served right after, it is basically a glass of honey water with slices of lime added to infusing flavor. 

Crispy Fish Burger is one of their signature dishes that are really popular. It consists of a big piece of nicely fried breaded fish fillet, it was crispy on the surface and still moist within. The fluffy and soft burger buns are sourced from a local bakery. 

It was served with chilli sauce, tartar sauce and mentaiko aioli, the same one that is served with their mentaiko fries. 

This was my first time eating mentaiko fries. The thick cut fries were served with the mentaiko aioli garnished with a few shredded nori seaweed. I have never like those truffle scented fries but the mentaiko fries are simply addictive, the combination was unexpectedly delighful which i really enjoyed.

510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park 1) SINGAPORE 569983
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 3.00 pm / 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Ya Long Bay Cze Cha : Crispy Horfun

This cze cha stall is in a coffee shop nestled underneath one of those HDB blocks in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 and they have been around for a few months but still, not too many know about their existence as mentioned by the Auntie that served us. She recommended that we should try their signature dishes like La La Crispy Hor Fun and Supreme Pork Ribs as well as the special Chicken on Fire, which requires an advance booking. This is supposed to be a old-school dish that not many eateries are still doing it now.

We ordered their signature crispy horfun but instead of serving with La La, we decided to have it with Seafood at $8.00 for the smallest portion. We also ordered the smallest portion of KL Hokkien Mee for $6.00. 

The Seafood Crispy Horfun came first, it was quite a big portion and is enough to be shared amongst 2 pax. As it was served in a bowl and what you got to see was a pile of crispy stuff that actually looked like some fried crackers. 

I picked up a piece and tasted it then i realised it was the fried version of the hor fun as its name indicates. It was my first time tasting it and i find it to be quite interesting. I tried to soak it in the gravy to let it soften up a bit and tried it again, it has a little bit more flavor as compared to eating it on its own. And, below that pile of crispy hor fun was the usual braised hor fun serving with ingredients like sliced fish and prawns. 

The KL Hokkien Mee was served in the same type of bowl too, it was the thick noodle that is used to cook this dish with ingredients like sotong, prawns and sliced fish. It tasted good though not the best that i have eaten so far.

YALONG BAY 亚龙湾地道小厨
Block 443 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 Street 43 SINGAPORE 560443
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm / 5.00 pm to 10.30 pm 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Teck Kee Cooked Food : Simple Goodness

Kebun Baru Food Centre is located near Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and not too far from the Ang Mo Kio Bishan Park. There are a few popular stalls in this food stall and this stall is one of them. There used to be another stall selling similar items but closed it down quite a while ago. There is always a queue and the queue usually longer when during lunch. Most of their regular customers will go for the sheng mian, which they specially order from the factory. Its texture is different from most noodles as it is springier, and it would not clump together even after left it for a while and it is usually sold out quite early. That is the reason why i usually ended up ordering their dry version of kway teow with extra chilli added. Each bowl starts from $3.00 to $3.50, and it is $4.00 if with extra ingredients. Pork Porridge is available too, at just $3.00.

It is simple homely taste with fresh ingredients used and little MSG is added. The stock is lightly flavored, i would have prefer the soup from the other stall that has closed down. It did not quite taste like Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Mushroom Noodle) though is quite similar. The ingredients like minced meat, lean meat, pork liver, fishcake and fish balls are served in the soup and not with the noodles. Most customers would just go for the soup version but the younger customers would actually prefer the dry one.  

It is a hearty choice for breakfast and even for lunch, it is definitely worth the time to queuing up.

Block 226H Ang Mo Kio Street 22 #01-23 Kebun Baru Food Centre SINGAPORE 560226
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 2.00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Western Co : Back with their Melted Raclette Cheese Dishes

UPDATE: [7 November 2016]: I took notice of the recent accident of the bad customer service encountered by a certain someone in this eatery. Their service might not be the friendliest that i ever encountered but i think we should be given them a chance and not to condemn them on the social media so soon. They have a business to run and doing it in Singapore is extremely difficult.

They used to be in a coffee shop at Foch Road but closed it down on 28 September 2016 just about 2 months after they started. They returned on 29 October 2016 in a shop along Trywhitt Road, near the Jalan Besar Stadium, just a stone's away from the City Square Mall. It all happened within just a month. It is started by Larissa Yang, 23, she studied a degree hospitality in Switzerland a few years ago then worked in France before returning to Singapore and started a cafe but eventually shut it down due to the high rental. Other than some changes to their menu, they have also starting to accepting reservation.

I made a reservation 2 days before as i was expecting long queues but it was unexpectedly quiet and there were still a few empty tables at 1.30 pm on a Sunday, the second day since their re-opening.

They were the first hawker stall that started using raclette cheese in their dishes. They import their raclette cheese directly from Switzerland for their specially created raclette cheese-topped dishes that attracted really long queue when they were still at the coffee shop in Foch Road. The closed it down and citing manpower shortage as the main issue as they did not anticipate and could not quite handle the crowd then. They used to serve about 300 servings of their raclette-topped dishes daily then. 

We ordered their signature Ying Yang Combo Fish & Chips ($14.90) and Chicky Burger ($15.90) to go with their canned soda drinks at $2.00 each. It was served to the table in about 15 minutes, the Fish & Chips came first then followed by the burger. 

Ying Yang Combo Fish & Chips, it consists of bamboo charcoal battered fish and their classic battered fish served with their homemade salted egg sauce and chilli crab sauce. It is served with 2 choices of their side dishes, the choices are fries, home made slaw, fresh mesclun salad and mash potato but the mash potato was not available on that day so i opted for fries and coleslaw. There is an option to top it with raclette cheese for $5.

The fish fillets were quite a massive piece, it was lightly battered then fried to perfection to give it a layer of crispiness but still retained its moist texture within. 

The coleslaw has a refreshing sourish taste which i liked. The fries were nice too, it still tasted crispy even after left it for a while. 

The chilli crab sauce has a comforting spiciness and savory in taste. Their salted egg yolk sauce is also made fresh daily, it has a distinct salted egg taste. Both sauces went well with the fried fish fillets. If i am going to compare this with the other famous Fish & Chips that is also served with chilli crab sauce and salted egg sauce, i would think this one fared much better in term of taste for the fish and sauces, its portion is more filling as well. 

Chicky Burger came with a piece of fried chicken thigh serves in between the artisanal charcoal buns with lettuce, tomato, house sauce and raclette cheese. They sourced their buns from an artisanal bakery. The well-marinated fried chicken patty was a really big piece and fried to perfection then topped with the gooey melted raclette cheese. The raclette cheese was first melted then scraped onto the fried chicken patty. 

Their prices are excluded the GST and service charge thus made it more affordable and it is also served in quite a big portion so it is definitely value for money. And, this might be amongst one of the cheapest places to enjoy raclette-topped dishes. 

35 Trywhitt Road SINGAPORE 207536
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 10.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)