Sunday, November 29, 2020

Authentic Chai Chee Bak Chor Mee : based on a 97 years old recipe

We decided to drop by when happened to be in the vicinity. Mr Tan Poh Chye, 65, was there, he used to run Tian Nan Xing Minced Pork Noodle, a hawker stall at Block 511 Bedok North before he handed it to his son and retired. His grandfather started the trade in 1923 before handed it to his father, then to him and he passed it to his son. It has been around 97 years and they are still using the same recipe. As reported in this article, he met David Tan, the owner of this coffee shop and also a fan of his Bak Chor Mee. He was encouraged by him to set up this hawker stall to pass down his skills. 

The menu consists of the soup version ($3, $4, $5) and the dry version ($4, $5, $6). I ordered the $5 portion of Mee Pok Soup and $5 portion of Kway Teow Dry. I was recommended to try their Fried Dumplings (8 pieces at $4), they called it 满载而归 as it is served in a boat-shaped bowl. I paid and given a buzzer for collection later. 

My dining companion tasted the Mee Pok Soup and said, "It tasted like the typical Chai Chee Bak Chor Mee and of the same standard." He continued to say, "The meat dumplings are good though the meatballs are pretty average. The pork bone  broth is quite tasty." 

The Kway Teow did not leave an impression. It tasted just average and the sauce did not quite stand out. Those pieces of fried lard were over-fried and it has got a slightly burnt taste. I will just stick to the soup version if I do come back. 

My dining companion took a piece of the fried dumplings and said, "This fried wanton tasted different from the soup one. It did not have the taste of dried sole fish. I wonder why they did not use the same dumpling for deep-frying." Those fried wantons were served with a dipping sauce, I could tell it is a mixture of mayonnaise and something else. My dining companion said, "It could be Sriracha Chilli Sauce and Mayonnaise." I only found out later that it was a mixture of mayonnaise and mala sauce. The dumpling is the same as the 2 pieces of fried dumplings that were served with the Kway Teow though of a different shape. 

We were curious enough to try the Salt Baked Kampang Chicken ($22.90). They do not make them and it happened to be their first day selling it. There is an indication on the banner that it is "Singapore Best Salt Baked Kampang Chicken".

When eating it, my dining companion said, "The breast part is small which is a telltale sign of a Kampang chicken." It was wrapped in 2 layers of baking paper, the first layer was quite burnt.  

The meat was firm with a distinct herbal-ish taste and a slight saltishness. I did not eat enough of Salt Baked Chicken to know whether is this indeed the best in Singapore but I quite enjoyed the taste. 

Do drop by to give your support if you happen to be in this part of Singapore. 

Block 83 Macpherson Lane #01-263 SINGAPORE 360083
Operating Hours: 8.30 am to 8.00 pm (Daily)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Really Something : Taiwanese Egg Fried Rice & Braised Meat Rice

This is a relatively new stall at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre, serving Taiwanese cuisine. The owner has a distinctive Taiwanese accent. Their stall name is quite catching, it is "Really Something" and is 非同小可 in Chinese. The first time when we were here, they ran out of rice and the next batch was only ready in 30 minutes. We did not wait but decided to come back again for it. We were there on a Sunday and there was no office crowd like the first time. We decided to go with the Fried Chicken Cutlet Egg Fried Rice ($4.80) and Braised Pork Rice ($3.00). There are also other dishes like Shrimp Egg Fried Rice ($4.80), Chiayi Chicken Rice ($3.00), Fragrant Chicken Egg Fried Rice ($4.80), and Egg Fried Rice ($3.00) on their menu. 

The waiting time was a short one as we were the only customers at that time. We waited there for it to be ready. The Braised Pork Rice was ready first. The rice was fried on the spot followed by deep-frying the pork cutlet. 

I tried the Fried Chicken Cutlet Egg Fried Rice first. The Chicken Cutlet though crispy but lacking flavor. The rice had a notable fluffiness but the eggy taste was not intense and a little bland.  My dining companion said, "The texture of the rice is very fluffy though not as flavorful as I liked it." He also said, "The portion is good for its affordable price." 

I enjoyed the Braised Pork Rice, though it might not be as good as what I had tasted in Taiwan, it is decent enough. The texture of those braised pork chunks was tender and quite flavorful accompanied by a nicely braised egg and salted vegetable with rice. Pearl rice is used for a softer and sticky texture. 

This stall is really something different, worth a try if you happen to be in this food centre. 

335 Smith Street #02-207 Chinatown Complex Food Centre SINGAPORE 050335
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (Closed on Mondays & Thursdays)