Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Shu Heng Bi Tak Mak : the Malaysia-style noodles

We were there slightly after 11 am and there was just another customer in front, but the queue was slowly forming after we joined it. This stall opened on 23 December 2020 but gaining popularity. This stall specializes in serving mee tai mak. There are a few choices on their menu, namely, Pork Leg Noodle ($5.50), Mushroom Pork Mince Noodle ($3/$4), Johor Bi Tai Mak ($3/$4) and Fishnall Pork Mince Soup ($3/$4). 

I was told about this stall but I have not been making an effort to come by as I am not really a fan of bee tai mak. When it was my turn to order, I said, "I want a dry one and a soup one." I ended up ordering Mushroom Pork Mince Noodle for both. I took at the menu again and realised the soup version is likely to be the Johor Bi Tai Mak so I asked, "Can I change the soup one to Johor Bi Tai Mak." The friendly stall owner said, "I have already added in the lard, the original version is without it."

The soup version is quite common in Malaysia. The thickened soup one was a bit starchy with ingredients like bits of mushroom, dried shrimps and minced meat then topped with chopped onion as well fried shallots.  It did not sound or look much but it is comforting. 

The dry version is clearly a popular choice there. The dry one is served with braised minced meat, mushroom bits, slices of fish cake, and fishball together with crispy lard and chilli. 

My dining companion took a mouthful of the dry one and said, "It has a tanginess that I do not like. I prefer the soup one much more."

We were surprised that the light of their signboard went off before 12 pm to indicate that they have sold out. 

226H Ang Mo Kio Street 22 Keban Bahru Food Centre #01-25 SINGAPORE 568226
Operating Hours: 7.00 am to 1.00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Wing Liao Lor : good Nasi Lemak

Jacelyn Lim, 30, started the stall with Kenny Lim, 60+, her father. Jacelyn was a former flight attendant from Singapore before joining the insurance industry and his father was a veteran chef with 20 years of experience. This stall is about 2-month-old with an eye-catching stall name. When I told the stall name to my dining companion, his first reaction was, "Huh?" before realizing it is their stall name. 

He went to queue for about 20 minutes and came back with their basic Nasi Lemak set for $3.50. He said, "The queue is not that long but they ran out of rice so they took the orders first and kept us waiting there." 

It came with a piece of chicken wing, an egg, and ikan belis with a slice of cucumber.  The wolk of the suuny-side-up egg was slightly overcooked. The fluffiness of the rice was just right with a distinct coconut flavor. The fried chicken wing was perfectly fried to achieve the desired crispiness. It was flavorful with a hint of turmeric. The sambal chilli was a little on the sweet side. Overall, this is one of the better Nasi Lemak.

I asked, "How is this comparable to the Spice n Rice at Amoy Street Food Centre?" My dining companion said, "This is definitely better in value. I can order 2 plates of this at $3.50 each rather than paying $7.90 for just 1 portion." He continued to say, "This chicken wing is nicely marinaded and crispy."

531A Upper Cross Street #02-28 Hong Lim Food Centre SINGAPORE
Operating Hours: 8.30 am to 6.00 pm (Monday to Saturday)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Eddy's : hawker style Duck Confit and Laksa Spaghetti

I remember Chef Eddy Wan. He used to run Rustic Bistro at China Street but closed down. I visited the cafe in June 2015 and was quite impressed with the food. 

I am glad that he is back to helm this hawker stall at Hong Lim Food Centre, nestled at a corner on the upper floor and serving affordable Fusion Western cuisine. He is running it with his wife. Duck Confit ($10) to serve with Aglio Olio Spaghetti or Mashed Potato is one of the popular choices on the menu. The next choice is Chicken Chop with Laksa Spaghetti or Aglio Olio Spaghetti ($8.50),  Mashed Potato or French Fries ($8). Other choices on the menu are Grilled Salmon ($10),  Beef Burger ($10), Chicken Pomodoro Pasta ($7.50), Mala Shrimp Spaghetti ($7.50), and Chicken Alfredo Pasta ($7.50). There is also a selection of rice bowls, Unagi Teriyaki ($10), Chicken Chop ($8), Duck Confit ($10), and Grilled Salmon ($10). 

I decided to go with Duck Confit with Mashed Potato and Chicken Chop with Laksa Spaghetti. I was told they will shout when it is ready for collection. There was an empty table right in front of the stall so waited there for close to 10 minutes when Eddy signaled it was ready. The queue got longer during lunch. 

Duck Confit is not commonly found in food centre. Mad Charcoal has Duck Confit on its menu. This dish also used to be served by Immanuel French Kitchen in a coffee shop.  I kind of expected the skin of Duck Confit to be crispier but it was not so, the meat was desirably tender though and it tasted flavorful. 

The Chicken Chop with Laksa Spaghetti is nicely done and flavorsome. The sauce though a little runny but creamy, coated the spaghetti well and the level of spiciness is manageable. I enjoyed it, this is better than the other Laksa Spaghetti that I have eaten and it is quite addictive. 

The Chicken Chop was nicely grilled and still retained its tenderness, served with a bit of dried shrimp.

My dining companion after tasted both dishes, said, "I would prefer the Chicken Chop with Laksa Spaghetti, will likely to order again when I am in this food centre." He continued to say, "The Duck Confit is not bad but is not particularly memorable as I have tasted better one."

Block 531A Upper Cross Street #02-52 Hong Lim Food Centre SINGAPORE 051531
Operating Hours: 10.30 am to 7.00 pm (Monday to Friday)

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spice n Rice : worth the hype?

We went on a Sunday to have lunch and that was probably the last Sunday that they will stay open. They have recently announced on their Facebook (FB) that they will close on Sunday from then on. We were one of the few customers waiting to order at the stall, it was not as crowded as expected. 

The owners, Vincent Wong, 31, and Javin Goh, 35, started experimenting with dishes at home during the Circuit Breaker. Vincent used to be an Internal Bank Auditor and Javin was a Corporate Banking Relationship Manager before venturing into the hawker trade serving Nasi Lemak. The Nasi Lemak is created based on the recipe originated from the grandmother of Vincent using spices and herbals to flavor the marinades of the chicken as well as the sambal chilli with no MSG added. 

There are only 3 options on their menu, the Nasi Lemak set with Classic Fried Chicken ($7.90) or the Butter Chicken ($7.90) with basmati coconut rice. The other is Salmon with Barkey Pilaf ($9.90). I wanted to order a set with Classic Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak and a set with Butter Chicken Nasi Lemak but was told that only the Classic Fried Chicken was available on that Sunday. I ordered 2 sets for $7.90 each. I was asked to choose between the fully cooked egg and the half-cooked egg. The set was not presented on the plate but in a take-away box even for eating there. 

The star is the fried chicken, it was fried well to the desired crispiness and still tender, with a distinct flavor of turmeric and lemongrass. My dining companion said, "Why did they choose to use basmati rice? It tasted a little too dry and not much coconut flavor." I did not finish the rice. He also said, "The price is still on the high side for such a dish in hawker centre even with that whole chicken leg." The spiciness of sambal is rather mild with a slight sweetness and a little watery. It was served with pineapple mint salsa and a handful of ikan belis.

Overall, it is pretty forgettable. It might have to do with my expectations based on those rave reviews.

7 Maxwell Road #01-15 Amoy Street Food Centre SINGAPORE 069111
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 2.30 pm (Monday to Friday) / 10.00 am to 2.30 pm (Saturday)