Friday, April 27, 2018

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles : the best instant ramen

I was in Japan for 2 weeks and have eaten bowls of ramen from different parts of Japan, that including bowls of instant ramen that are readily available at the convenience stores and supermarkets. I did not think much of this instant ramen from Tsuta, the world's first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant when I came across at 7-Eleven. I have eaten at their original outlet at Sugamo in Tokyo and also their outlet in Singapore which I felt the standard here is not on par with that in Japan. 

It consists of a piece of dehydrated chashu, preserved bamboo shoots, chopped scallions and fragrance oil.  The highlight was the lightly flavored soup, the truffle taste was mellower as compared to what they served in the restaurants. The noodles were still firm with a slight chewiness. The dehydrated chashu and the bamboo shoots were surprisingly good. 

I would not say this is as good as compared to what they served in their original shop in Sugama at Tokyo but it is kind of close. This is, in my humble opinion, the best instant ramen, in fact, much better than the instant version of Ippudo and Nakiryu that I have tried too. It was so good that I have decided to blog about it. It will be good if this can be found in Singapore too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Song Kee Kway Teow Noodle Soup at Toa Payoh

This is one of the other Song Kee on our shore and this particular one is related to the other Song Kee along Upper Serangoon Road and also that one at Thomson Plaza. They are not directly related to the other Song Kee in Joo Chiat and Bishan. There is also another Song Kee in Ang Mo Kio operates by the daughter of Mr Chua Keok Sip, the father of the 3 brothers who run the Song Kee in Joo Chiat and Bishan. 

This particular stall has been around for about 16 years in this food centre. The option on menu is straightforward, the dry one at $3.50 or $4.50 and the soup at $3.50. They used to serve fish dumplings but no longer do so now. I ordered the $4.50 portion, opted to go with kway teow and requested for an extra amount of chilli to be added. It consists of a piece of tau pok stuffed with fish paste, meatball, fishballs, and slices of fishcake.  

Having tried the other Song Kee, I would not consider this is the best amongst of them. The sambal chilli tasted quite familiar and it added flavor when mixed with the nicely cooked kway teow. It is not particularly spicy though, a little oily but still acceptable. I did not find those handmade fishballs to be any special, same with the meatball and stuffed tau pok, it was still quite enjoyable nonetheless.

75 Toa Payoh Lorong 5 #01-20 SINGAPORE 310075
Operating Hours: 10.30 am to 12.00 am (Closed on alternate Wednesdays)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ming Nam Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle at Tiong Bahru Food Centre

This stall has been in this food centre for a long while and when Ah Leng, the owner, took over from his father, the business was declining. He participated in the "Buzzing Hawker" (抢摊大行动) series that was aired on Channel 8 years ago. A mentor chef was assigned to help the stall that eventually revived their business and it has been doing well since then. Apparently, most of those stalls that participated in that TV show were already closed and this stall is likely to be the only surviving one. There is usually a queue during lunch. They serve Prawn Noodle ($3.00/$4.00), Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle ($4.50/$5.50) and Pig Tail Soup ($4.00/$5.00). I have been patronizing on quite a regular basis and their standard has been consistent so far. 

There was still a few people in the queue after 2 pm on a weekday. I waited for a few minutes before ordering and I decided to go with the bigger portion of Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle. 

It consists of a good portion of noodles with 3 pieces of prawns as well as pork ribs together with a handful of Kang Kong and bean sprouts then garnished with crispy fried lard. I will usually request for an extra amount to be added and the friendly owner usually obliged. It was served along with a bowl of tasty soup that has a concentrated flavor of prawn. I was amazed that the prawns were de-shelled, left with just the head and the tail parts. Most stalls would not be bothered to do it as it can be quite laborious and definitely time-consuming. The pork ribs were also nicely cooked to the desired tenderness. 

While eating, one of the elderly aunties sharing the table asked, "This looks really good. Which stall did you order it from?" I pointed to the corner and said, "That one, right at the corner". It is not the taste of the noodles but the politeness of the owner that has actually left an impression. He actually made an effort to say "Thank You". That might be one of the likely reasons to keep his customers return. 

30 Seng Poh Road #02-31 Tiong Bahru Food Centre SINGAPORE 168898
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 3.00 pm / 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lao Li Pig's Viscera Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle

This is one of the popular stalls in this food centre that often has a queue, particularly during lunch. Most of the customers go for their signature Viscera Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle and that is my usual order too. I will go for the large portion at $4.50 and added $1.00 for pork liver. There are also choices to add the small intestines and kidneys as well as meatballs to the noodle. There are fried lard and red-cut chilli available for self-service. 

The noodles were nicely cooked with a handful of bean sprouts and garnished with fried shallots. It did not have much sauce underneath that pile of noodles. The fried lards were a bit too soggy and oily to bring forth the flavor when added to the noodles. 

The lightly flavored soup was served with ingredients like prawns, pork ribs, prawns and a generous amount of pork liver. The ingredients tasted quite fresh.

The pork ribs were cooked to the right texture, soft and not too chewy. 

Those thinly sliced pork liver were slightly undercooked so as not becoming tough when soaked in the hot soup for too long. 

Other than this stall, Teo Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodle is another must-try in this food centre that often has a long queue. 

137 Tampines Street 11 #01-43 Tampines Round Market & Food Centre SINGAPORE 
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 2.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bang Bang Mushroom Bak Chor Mee at Geylang Bahru Food Centre

There were a few people waited in the queue in front of this stall when I was walking around the food centre on a Sunday looking for a lunch option. I joined in the queue and waited for about 5 minutes before ordering. I decided to go with the Pig's Trotter Minced Meat Noodle listed at item 4 on their menu. I went with the smaller portion at $5 and the larger portion is at $6. 

My order was served in just a while and its presentation looked rather promising. I tossed it well and was eager to have the first mouthful. The noodles were cooked well but it was mild tasting with a slight hint of vinegar. Other than the braised pig's trotter, it was also served with ingredients like sliced fish cake, lean meat, minced meat, meatball, braised mushroom. When I looked closely at those pieces of pig's trotter, there were pesky little hairs on most of part of it. That was quite a turnoff and I left it untouched.  

If I do go back, I would just go for the Mushroom Bak Chor Mee which is supposedly their signature. 

69 Geylang Bahru #01-25 Geylang Bahru Food Centre SINGAPORE 330069
Operating Hours: 6.00 am to 8.00 pm