Tuesday, July 30, 2019

HoYeah Nasi Lemak in Ang Mo Kio

This is the new stall that opened on 17 July 2019, has replaced De Ar Western that was closed down recently, serving Nasi Lemak. We were there for lunch. The friendly owner asked, "With or without egg?" I replied, "2 Sets. Set 1 is with egg and Curry Chicken and the other is with Fried Chicken." The Fried Chicken Drumstick set is $4.50 and the Curry Chicken set with egg omelet is $5.00. There is also Fried Chicken Wing set is priced at $3.50 though. Every item is freshly made from scratch based on their recipes.  

My dining companion said, "It is not cheap particularly for the Fried Chicken Drumstick set. An option should be given to replace the hard-boiled egg with a fried egg." He said, "The rice has not much flavor though the texture is good." He then took a bite of the Fried Chicken Drumstick and said, "The flavor is very light, it will be nicer if it is saltier." It was served with steamed rice, its texture was fluffy with a slight hint of coconut taste.

The Fried Chicken, though mildly flavored but it was well-fried, it still retained its crispiness even after left it for a while. The rice was good but certain grains were slightly hard in the center. I also liked those chunks of cucumber, it still tasted crunchy and go well with the sambal chilli, a much better choice than those thinly sliced cucumbers. 

He also tried the Curry Chicken. He said, "The Curry Chicken is nice. I would have preferred to have it Curry Chicken than the Fried Chicken." He added, "The sambal chilli and curry chicken are nice." The sambal chilli is a little towards the sweet side though not as spicy but aromatic. There were bits of shredded onion in it with the taste of ikan belis. The Curry Chicken was pretty nice as well, the sauce was quite thick, fragrant and not too spicy but the chicken meat was a bit bland. 

It is simple and not fanciful, just like how Nasi Lemak was served in the past with just good sambal chilli and fragrant rice.

Block 158 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 SINGAPORE 560158
Operating Hours: 9.00 am to 8.30 pm (Daily)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sin Heng Kee Porridge in Ang Mo Kio

The popular Sin Heng Kee Porridge from Hougang has opened a stall in a coffee shop at Ang Mo Kio. I happened to be there on their opening day. When I stood in front of the stall, the stall assistant asked, "Have you eaten before?" I replied, "This is the same one from Hougang?" She pointed to an elderly lady seated at the table in front of the stall and said, "Do you recognize her? She is the cashier at Hougang." 

This is confirmed by Kash Chee according to Raymond Chua, a friend of Lian Huat Seafood that this is indeed the new stall though not directly managed by him. He is managing the outlets at Junction Nine and Chong Pang and the outlet at Junction Nine has since closed. They started their first outlet in Hougang then expanded to include Junction 9 and Chong Pang followed by this stall. The usual waiting time at Hougang is about 30 minutes or longer. My regular order is their Signature Porridge ($5.00) with egg ($0.50) or with You Tiao ($1.00). I was given a number tag and asked to take a seat.

The stall is currently managed by an elderly uncle. The Signature Porridge consists of a ton of ingredients like the meatballs, small intestine, liver, meatballs, sliced fish, sliced meat, and century egg topped with chopped spring onion and dried shallots. I stirred a little, to mix the egg with the porridge then added in the light soy sauce and a dash of pepper. It tasted like the classic Cantonese style porridge, the portion was generous and the texture was gooey, smooth with a light fragrance of sesame oil. This is one of the better ones around.

The lady at the stall has left quite an impression as she is particularly attentive. I handed her a $10 note and she used both hands to receive it. And, when she handing back the change, she placed it firmly in your palm especially those coins to make sure you would not drop it. I ever saw her talking to an elderly lady in a wheelchair. She went to her table to take the order, though the table is a distance from the stall. She stood close to her, bent a little, talking softly close to her ears and making suggestions to help decide on what she wants to eat. Such a service is so heartwarming. 

UPDATE: A friend shared about their porridge on 17 December 2020 and the link to this post is included there. Kash spotted it and he left messages on my Facebook even though I included an email on the blog for contact purposes. He sounded rather unpleasant there. He claimed in a FB post posted in a private group that this stall in Ang Mo Kio is started by the friends of his father. And, they only supply stocks to the stall on the condition that they do not use their signage. He also mentioned that they are separate entities and establishments. They did so as the in-charge of this stall in Ang Mo Kio refused to undergo the training. 

Block 122 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 SINGAPORE 560122
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 3.00 pm

Saturday, July 27, 2019

112 Economic Bee Hoon : another breakfast choice

I walked over to a coffee shop at Block 112 after having breakfast at Block 120 Bishan Street 12. I was told by a friend to try the Fried Horfun from this stall that serves economic bee hoon. I was there at about 11 am but there was no sight of the Fried Horfun so I asked, "Do you have the 炒河粉?" The friendly stall assistant replied, "Finished already. We usually have that at this time but it sold out early today." I said, "I was told that the 炒河粉 is special and nice, particularly so when it was freshly out of the wok." She smiled and replied, "That is quite popular amongst our customers as there seem to be no other stall is serving it." 

I decided to go with the Fried Bee Hoon, there were the white and the dark version for selection and I went with the dark. I added a piece of Fried Chicken Wing and a Fried Egg for $3.20. The lady asked, "Do you want chili?" She also asked, "Do you want to have some curry gravy over it?" I nodded.

The texture of the Fried Bee Hoon was a little softer as compared to the one in the other coffee shop at Block 120. It was probably so after soaked in the curry gravy. Though the Fried Chicken Wing was not particularly impressive, it was tastier than the one that I had earlier. The curry gravy was quite thick and aromatic, it actually went really well with the Fried Bee Hoon. I also prefer the chilli here, it was slightly sweeter with bits of ikan belis in it, it tasted like the chili for Nasi Lemak. 

I was told by the same friend that I should also try the Wanton Mee from the same coffee shop. I should make a trip there soon to do so. 

Block 112 Bishan Street 12 SINGAPORE 570112

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Bishan 120 Economic Bee Hoon : a breakfast choice

A friend told me about this stall, this was the only stall that opened in the quiet coffee shop when I went for an early lunch. I decided to have Fried Bee Hoon with Fried Chicken Wing and Ngor Hiang. I requested to have extra chilli to go along. The Fried Bee Hoon was nicely executed, flavorful and not too greasy, simple yet tasty. Fried bee hoon has always been a beloved local choice for breakfast. This humble noodle dish that consists of stir-fried vermicelli, commonly known as bee hoon as its main ingredient, is seemingly simple, it still requires the right cooking technique to cook it well. The Ngor Hiang was forgettable though and the Fried Chicken Wing failed to impress.

I left the plate on the table and walked over to the drink counter to order an Iced Coffee.  There was an Uncle stood beside the table when I returned. He said, in English, "There was a bird trying to eat your bee hoon and I came over to chase it away." I smiled and said, "Thank you." He then walked away and joined his friends at a table nearly. 

Block 120 Bishan Street 12 SINGAPORE 570120

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Xiang Wei Qing Economical Rice : homely meal

I was told by a friend that this economical rice stall is a new venture of Douglas Ng, the owner of Fishball Story. This is the new stall that replaced the previous stall after the renovation of that coffee shop. There are 3 coffee shops near the AMK 628 Food Centre, each coffee shop has an economical rice stall but none is as popular as the Nonya Curry Mixed Veg Rice (#01-58) stall in the food centre and I have been a regular customer there. 

I went with my dining companion for lunch on a weekday, the selection of their dishes was not too extensive. I wanted to try their Lemon Chicken but was told it is not available but only the choices of Curry Chicken and Fried Chicken. I decided to go with the Fried Chicken and I was asked to choose the part. The server suggested to take the thigh portion and he offered to cut it into smaller pieces. I wanted to try the Steamed Meat with Salted Fish together with Sweet & Sour Pork and Sambal Potato Leave with 2 plates of rice for $12.20. They were using some of the plates left by the previous stall. Everything was neatly arranged on a tray for self-service. I took notice of the Combi Oven right behind, this is not a common sight at such a hawker stall in the coffee shop. 

This was not the first time that I have tried their Fried Chicken. It was quite good this time, freshly fried and the skin still retained its crispiness though the meat was not as flavorful. Sometimes, it was slightly greasy when it was left for too long and did not taste as good. 

The Steamed Meat with Salted Fish was slightly disappointed. This is likely to be one of those dishes prepared using the combi oven at the stall. The meat was not as soft as I would like it, steamed with a small piece of salted fish and shredded ginger. 

The Sweet & Sour Pork tasted decent though not much of a surprise. Those pieces of pork were deep-fried before adding in the pineapple and cucumber followed by the sweet and sour sauce. It was not as saucy but with a balanced flavor. 

The Sambal Sweet Leaves tasted homely, it would definitely be nicer if it is spicier as its spiciness was a little too mild. 

Though not impressively good, it is good enough for a homely meal.

Block 630 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 SINGAPORE 560630

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Coffee Tribe : a cosy cafe in Ang Mo Kio

This cafe is located at 51 @ Ang Mo Kio, previously known as the Big Mac Centre, next to AMK Hub and near the popular Takagi Ramen. It is at the corner, could easily be missed out though the yellow signboard is quite prominent. Their menu is extensive, their signature Braised Chicken and Braised Pork Belly with Yam are amongst the most popular choices.

I came by twice to take away their Braised Pork Belly with Yam before asking my dining companion to have lunch there. I ordered Mee Siam ($3.90) and Braised Pork Belly ($5.50) for him, together with an Iced Coffee ($1.80). There seems to be a lunch promotion going on but the counter staff did not mention nor made a recommendation for the past few times when I was there.

Their Iced Coffee is affordably priced at $1.80, much more affordable as compared to the coffee by Toast Box which is at $2.70. My dining companion said, "It is actually quite cheap to pay $1.80 for such a big cup of Iced Coffee, the coffee shop is already charging $1.50 for a small cup."

Their Braised Pork with Yam is a personal favorite. Each bowl is consists of 3 to 4 pieces of braised meat served along with a handful of sweet corn, sliced cucumber, and a braised egg. It tasted like homecooked, though not the best, it is good enough. Those slices of pork belly were nicely braised to the desired softness and quite flavorful.

I tried the Mee Siam for the first time. I was told that the key ingredients to this seemingly simple dish are patience and love as those steps to cooking a good nonya Mee Siam are quite laborious. The gravy was quite thick and flavorful, topped with dried beancurd puffs, dried shallots, bean sprouts, chopped chive with a lime. It is usually less sweet and not as spicy with a slightly sourish taste, different from the Malay and even Indian style Mee Siam. I actually enjoyed the Mee Siam here.

I went back after this to take away their signature Braised Chicken and it was served with a boiled egg and not a braised egg together with 4 pieces of braised mid-wings. I did not like it as much and would actually prefer their Braised Pork Belly much more.

51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 #01-01A SINGAPORE 569922
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 10.00 pm (Daily)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

新建兴肉脞面 at Sin Ming

I came here to take away once to eat it at home. The overall taste was not too fascinating but rather pleasant. I decided to have it again after having the not too filling mee hoon kueh at the coffee shop next to it. It was lunchtime and most of the tables in that coffee shop have been taken up and most of the tables ordered the noodles from this stall. There were other customers waiting to order in front of the stall. I went with the bowl with add-in ingredients at $5.50 and added chicken feet for an additional $2.00. I was given a buzzer for collection later and I waited for about 10 minutes to do so.

This bowl consists of a good portion of mee pok with ingredients like braised trotter, braised mushroom, braised small intestine, braised chicken feet, minced meat, sliced meat, fishball and slices of fishcake. 

My dining companion took a mouthful and said, "It smells better than it tastes." He added, "Though not disappointing but not much of a surprise." I had agreed somewhat. The chicken feet and pork trotter would be nicer if it is slightly softer, those braised intestine were a little too chewy and not as flavorful. There was also not much sauce underneath the pile of noodles so it tasted a bit dry after tossing it. Though not the best amongst what I had eaten, it is good enough to satisfy a pang of hunger. 

It is getting harder to find a really good Bak Chor Mee these days. Somehow, I still prefer the traditional type with the liver as part of its ingredients. 

Block 22 Sin Ming Road SINGAPORE 570022
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 2.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Carrot Cake : the $2 fried carrot cake

This carrot cake stall was once the talk of the town for its $2 carrot cake. It has been in this quiet coffee shop for the longest time, manned by a middle-aged auntie, not the elderly auntie that was earlier spotted. Apparently, one of her reasons for keeping its price at $2 is there are many elderly folks living in this estate so it has to be affordable. Though the portion is smaller but good enough for its price. How many of such honest hawkers are still around? 

I added the black and the white to share with my dining companion. My auntie asked for my table number and she sent it over in just 5 minutes. My dining companion took a mouthful of the white carrot cake and said, "It tasted alright, tasty enough and good for $2." Those pieces of carrot cake were pan-fried for a slightly crisp texture before adding in the egg to fry together and added chopped spring onion when it was ready. 

The black one was pan-fried before adding in the egg then the sweet dark sauce and also topped with chopped spring onion. I tried both and actually prefer the white a little more. I came to take away a packet just other day and requested for extra chilli to be added, it was nice. 

Though it might not be one of the best, it is cheap and simple. Where else to get a plate of carrot cake for just $2? The popiah stall next to it is also owned by the same owner. 

Block 133 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 SINGAPORE 560133

Friday, July 12, 2019

Tony Cafe : fried chicken wings are just so so

My dining companion sent me a picture of the fried chicken wings rice from Tony Cafe just other day accompanied by texts stating, "I still prefer those from Victor's Chicken and the rice was mushy" and "You are not missing out".  Tony Cafe has been around since 2002, hidden at the quiet corner of The Adelphi at level 2. Shirley, the owner, took over the cafe about 19 years ago. She used to be working in the same building and got the news that the owner was letting go of the cafe and she decided to take over. 

The chicken wings are only available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, it is based on the same recipe as the now-defunct Corona Chicken. They serve meatball on Tuesdays and Hainanese pork chop on Thursdays. I did not see the chicken wings when I was there at 10.40 am so I asked, "Do you have chicken wings today?" The lady replied, "Yes." I added, "I am here especially for your chicken wings." There was no reply nor a smile so I did not take the conversation further. 

I decided to go with chicken rice though plain rice is available too and I added a fried egg with a portion of stir-fried brinjal for $4.80. The chicken wings were coated in a layer of light batter and beautifully fried to a golden brown. When tasted, though crispy but it was quite oily and also, it did not have much flavor. In my humble opinion, it is not as good as Victor Famous Chicken Wing and Hainanese Chicken Rice in a coffee shop at Veerasamy Road. I was expecting the standard of those chicken wings to be better thus feeling disappointed. Martin, a friend on Facebook went to Tony Cafe for their chicken wings just last week. He commented that it was very good, crispy and flavorful. He felt that it was slightly better than Victor's. The rice was not mushy as mentioned by my dining companion, the flavor was light and not greasy.

The queue started to form after 11.00 am and getting longer when I was leaving. 

1 Coleman Street #02-23 The Adelphi SINGAPORE 1798903
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (Mon to Fri) / 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Sat) (Closed on Sundays)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ah Lim : Mee Poh . Noodle Soup . Dumpling Soup

This stall is in the coffee shop at the junction of Jalan Tua Kong, along the East Coast Road is by the disciple from the original stall. The original Ah Lim is at Marine Parade, the stall is taken over by the son as the elderly Uncle has retired. There is a stall in the coffee shop at the corner of Simpang Bedok by the former helper and there is also a shop directly opposite, near the coffee shop, there are also other stalls in other parts of Singapore that has "Ah Lim" as part of their signboard. It is difficult to really tell whether are they actually related and the authenticity of the recipe used. 

I was there after 2 pm but the coffee shop was still crowded with most of the tables occupied. When ordering, I was told that the waiting time is quite long. I ordered the smallest portion of mee pok for $4. The auntie asked me for the table number and collected the payment. I waited for about 20 minutes before receiving it. 

It consists of a good portion of nicely cooked mee pok with fishballs, minced meat, slices of fish cake and lean meat. My dining companion said, "This is not bad but not the best that I have eaten." 

My dining companion said, "Do you know why I know this is a popular stall?" He pointed to those wooden clippers at the stall and said, "When you see those, that is a good sight." Though not too common, you still get to see those clippers at most of the Ah Lim's stalls. You do not see it often these days but it used to be a common practice at some of those older hawker stalls. My great grandfather used to run a noodle stall at Chia Keng as told by my Grandpa.

15 Upper East Coast Road SINGAPORE 455207
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 5.00 pm (Daily)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Yue Lai Xiang Delights at Sin Ming

Joy Yeo, 40, the owner, used to be working as a marketing specialist in printing house before started a hawker stall to serve Hakka style handmade noodle dishes. She first started in a food centre at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 then moved to Jurong West Hawker Centre for a short while before moving to Sin Ming AutoCity then to Block 22 Sin Ming Road recently. Jessie Lee, 62, her mother is helping out at the stall, too.

Their handmade noodles are different, other than the original noodles, there is also the flavored noddles in 4 different colors for different flavors, starting from blue pea, beetroot, spinach, and pumpkin for the ban mian, you mian and mee hoon kueh. Those doughs are made fresh daily. Everything is made from scratch there based on her recipes, from the noodles to the soup base after experimented with various ingredients. I ordered the blue pea mee hoon kueh and beetroot mee hoon kueh, $4.50 for soup and $5.50 for dry with the standard broth. There is also the Premium bowl, it is $7 for original noodles and $8 for flavored noodles.

I tried the blue pea mee hoon kueh first, it did not seem to have much flavor though the texture is slightly softer and smoother. It was served with crispy ikan bilis, sliced pork, minced pork, poached egg, and sayur mani greens, topped with the dried shallots. My dining companion agreed that those pieces of mee hoon kueh did not have a distinctive flavor. The house-made chilli sauce that made of chilli padi, lime juice, vinegar, and minced garlic is a good dipping sauce.

The broth is made up of dried sole fish, pork bones, sweet corn, ikan bilis and garlic without artificial flavoring and MSG. Those pieces of mee hoon kueh were hand-torn upon receiving orders. 

Then, I tried the beetroot mee hoon kueh, mixed it well with the sauce underneath. I could not taste any distinctive taste as well but it was cooked to al-dente for a slightly firmer texture as compared to the blue pea mee hoon kueh. The sambal chilli enhanced it with a richer and spicier flavor though not overly so. I prefer the dry version, the colored mee hoon kueh lends a lovely pinkish hue to the soup. 

It tasted simple with a homecooked feel. I would not mind eating again if I happen to be in the vicinity. 

Block 22 Sin Ming Road #01-224 Food Trail SINGAPORE 570022
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 4.30 pm (Daily)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Geylang Lorong 29 Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee at East Coast

This stall is located in a coffee shop along East Coast Road, their Fried Hokkien Mee is amongst one of the most recommended choices.  The menu also includes Fried Carrot Cake, Fried Oyster, and Fried Oyster Omelette. I was there for the first time on a Sunday for lunch. Despite the name, this stall is not originally from Geylang Lorong 29 even though the father of Alex See, the owner, started Swee Guan Hokkien Mee at Geylang Lorong 29 and is currently manned by his brothers.

There are 4 sizes for the Fried Hokkien Mee, the smallest portion at $6, followed by $10, $15 and $20. I ordered the smallest portion to share with my dining companion, it was delivered to our table within 5 minutes.

I squeezed the lime then mixed it well with the sambal chilli before partaking the first mouthful and I actually enjoyed it. The texture was gooey, moist and quite flavorful with ingredients like prawns, squid, and egg, fried well with a mixture of yellow noodles and thick bee hoon, accompanied by their homemade chilli. I did not exactly taste the wok flavor amidst it though. This was my first time eating it and it was good but I was told that their standard can be quite inconsistent. 

If I am to base on this particular experience to do a comparison, I would prefer this to the Fried Hokkien Mee by Swee Guan Hokkien Mee as the last experience there was not quite a memorable one. I remembered that the waiting time was quite long, the texture of their noodles was slightly drier with an unpleasant charcoal taste and I did not manage to finish it.

396E East Coast Road SINGAPORE 428994
Operating Hours: 11.45 am to 9.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)