Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hao Lai Ke 好莱客 : by an ex-Din Tai Feng chef

This unassuming stall is run by a chef that used to work with Din Tai Feng, a Taiwanese chain restaurant. It is located in a coffee shop within walking distance from Bedok MRT station. The queue was unexpectedly long on a Sunday during lunch but I still joined in the queue nonetheless and waited for about 40 minutes before ordering. The signature Pork Chop Fried Rice of Din Tai Feng is also available right here at just $6, much cheaper and they named it Pork Ribs Fried Rice instead and it is a must-order right here. I also ordered the Dan Dan Noodle ($4.50) and Fried Dumplings ($5 for 10 pieces). The items under the Fried Noodle were not available on that day. 

I was given a buzzer and waited for about 15 minutes before the Fried Dumplings were ready. I went back a few minutes later to collect the Pork Ribs Fried Rice and the extra portion of Pork Ribs, waited another few minutes for the Dan Dan Noodle. 

The Fried Dumplings is not on their menu. I tried looking for it initially but did not find it there. It was featured in a poster on the counter though. Those fried dumplings were quite tasty.

The Pork Ribs Fried Rice looks identical to that of Din Tai Feng. My dining companion had a mouthful and said, "They are using the short grain rice, a slightly more expensive choice." The short grain rice is also known as Pearl Rice, its texture is more starchy. He said, "The fried rice is very good, it has a noticeable eggy taste. The pork chop is not as flavorful though there was a hint of black pepper. Maybe the long queue affected its standard? The texture is soft and tender though." The pork chop is slightly thinner and lesser egg is used to cook the dish but still rather good value in comparison. 

I ordered an extra portion of Pork Chop at $4.

The Dan Dan Noodle (担担面) is their signature dish. The handmade noodles served with braised minced meat garnished with grounded peanuts, chopped spring onions, and lettuce. Though the color of the soup was fiery red, it did not taste too spicy, there was a slight sourish though. My dining companion that has little tolerance to spicy foods took a mouthful too. The noodles were cooked just right, though soft but still retained its chewiness.

I would likely be back to try the other dishes only if the queue is shorter.

Block 204 Bedok North Street 1 #01-393 SINGAPORE 460204
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 2.00 pm / 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Daily)