Monday, February 28, 2022

Ah Five Hainanese Chicken Rice/Fried Rice/Porridge by 2nd-gen hawkers

Natalie and Lex, are the owners of this chicken rice stall in the coffee shop at Ang Mo Kio. Their father, Lee Tai Keng, founded the popular Five Star Chicken Rice about 6 decades ago before entering into a partnership and later on, selling its share and is no longer associated with the brand.

Natalie is behind the chopping board and Lex is taking care of the cooking process. The chickens used here are the free-range chicken usually known as Kampung Chicken, which is firmer and leaner. 

The menu consists of Half Chicken ($15) and Whole Chicken ($30) served with fragrance rice ($1) or porridge ($1). The regular portion of Chicken Rice is $5. Shredded Chicken Porridge ($3) is also available. There are also 1-Person-Set ($5) and 2-Person-Set ($10) for selection. Special Chicken Fried Rice ($7) is a unique dish that is not found elsewhere. The fried chicken rice consists of diced prawns with minced pork then topped with slices of the poached chicken. 

The chicken was perfectly chopped by the 29 years old Natalie. She held a Master of Intellectual Property and used to be in that line before learning the trade and opening this hawker stall with her brother. The accompanying condiments include the chilli, ginger paste, and dark soy sauce. The chilli went well with the poached chilli as it got a good balance of spiciness and tanginess. The chicken reminded me of those served by Kampong Chicken Rice at Upper Thomson Road as it is almost as good. This poached chicken is definitely amongst the better ones that I have tasted, it is done perfectly done to detain its tenderness and juiciness. Their father should be proud of them for mastering his techniques in bringing forth the perfectly done chicken and rice. 

Block 158 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 SINGAPORE 560158
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 2.30 pm (Monday to Friday) / 7.30 am to 3.30 pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Meng Meng Roasted Duck : Malaysia style roasted duck

This stall in a coffee shop at Ang Mo Kio is opened by the popular roasted duck chain in Malaysia. This is their first outlet in Singapore, opened on 29 October 2021 in partnership with a Singapore-based management consultancy company. Their original outlet in Johor Jaya was started in 2003 and there are 4 outlets in Johor Bahru, Malaysia now. 

The ducks are imported from Malaysia together with the marinades and sauces from their central kitchen in Johor Bahru. The ducks are roasted right at their stall in Ang Mo Kio. Other than their signature Dang Gui Roasted Duck, there are also Char Siew and Roasted Pork. 

ordered a whole duck for $45, the price is much higher as compared to their outlets in Johor Bahru. Their ducks are marinated in dang gui, also known as Chinese angelica root with other herbs. There was a slight taste of dang gui in the duck but the taste was slightly stronger in the accompanying sauce. The meat though not as flavorful but the tenderness and juiciness were detected. 

I tried during their opening phase and the demand was overwhelming then and their standard might be compromised at that time. It did not taste as good as compared to the Dan Xiao Er or even the popular Ya Wang Restoran in Johor Bahru. I did not get to try their outlets in Johor Bahru so not able to do a comparison. 

Block 721 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #01-2823 SINGAPORE 560721
Operating Hours: 11.30 am to 8.00 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Ah Keat Chicken Rice : by a young hawker

Lim Wei Keat, 27, is the owner of this newly opened chicken rice stall at Bukit Merah Central Food Centre in early January. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America on the campus in Singapore, training in Western cuisine. He decided to become a hawker rather than work in some fancy restaurants by enrolling in the Hawker's Development Programme by National Environment Agency (NEA). He started as an apprentice at Leong Hainanese Chicken Rice at Shunfu Mart Food Centre before venturing into his own stall. He is running the stall with his mother.

I decided to go with half of the chicken with the fragrance rice and a ramen egg. The usual chicken rice is priced at $4 per portion. The texture of the poached chicken was nicely done, still tender and juicy. I would not say that I liked the chilli sauce as it has a little too much ginger added that actually toned down the level of spiciness. And, it would be nicer if the ginger paste is provided for the chicken as the sauce is a little bland. They might want to consider packing the sauce for chicken separately for taking away. 

The rice has a slight fragrance of chicken broth and is not greasy. 

The ramen egg is not overcooked as it was still soft with a runny yolk.

am impressed as it is prepared by a young hawker that has only done it for close to 2 months. There is still much room for improvement, but overall, it is still worth trying if you happen to be near there for lunch.

163 Bukit Merah Central #02-35 Bukit Merah Central Food Centre SINGAPORE 150163
Operating Hours: 9.30 am to 3.00 pm (Mondays to Thursdays) 
/ 9.30 am to 1.00 pm (Fridays & Sundays) (Closed on Saturdays)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Cantonese Delights : Curry Fried Chicken Cutlet Noodle

I have not been dining out much during this period for personal reasons. This pretty much explained why I have not been updating this blog. So, I usually take away or order through delivery, and this Curry Fried Chicken Cutlet Noodle is amongst some of my usual favorites to have at home. This is from one of the popular stalls at Hong Lim Food Centre. There is usually a long queue at this stall, it started even before the stall is opened at 10.30 am. 

I ordered this quite often through a delivery service to avoid queuing there and having it delivered to the doorsteps. Much thought has been put in and packing it well for delivery. The fried chicken cutlet still has a slight crisp and is not soggy with a good portion of noodles and enough curry sauce to go with it. The curry is thick rather creamy and aromatic with mild spiciness. 

Block 531A Upper Cross Street #02-03 Hong Lim Food Centre SINGAPORE 051531
Operating Hours: 10.30 am to 2.00 pm (Closed on Saturdays & Sundays)

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Golden Pillow 933 : Curry Chicken in a loaf of Bread

They are the first to serve the curry chicken in a loaf of bread and it has been a well-known household brand since 1991. I only got to try the Curry Chicken Bun recently though they have been around for decades and I actually enjoyed it. 

I could tell that each loaf is freshly baked as it has the desired softness and it tasted fresh. The Nanyang style Curry that is based on their family recipe has a mild spiciness with a generous serving of chicken and potatoes in thick gravy. 

Other than the Curry Chicken Bun ($14.80), the other choices are Curry Fish Bun ($14.80), Curry Mutton Bun ($17.80), and also Curry Abalone Bun ($39.80).

1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 Enterprise One #05-11 SINGAPORE 415934
Opening Hours: 9.00 am to 9.00 pm (Daily)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Nudeles.4 : pasta dishes in food centre

This is a hawker stall started on 8 December 2021 at the popular Chinatown Complex Food Centre serving affordable pasta dishes by Clarence Chooi, 27. He got a Nitec course in Western Culinary Arts by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) before joining Jaan by Kirk Westaway and already closed Joel Robuchon Restaurant as an intern. This followed by working at Olivia, a Spanish restaurant for 2 years. 

His signature dishes are Lobster Bisque ($8) and Squid Ink Pasta ($8) together with Beef Bolognese ($6.50) and Carbonara ($8). I ordered the Lobster Bisque and Beef Bolognese to have it at home. 

Beef Bolognese came with Fusilli pasta and 2 pieces of meatballs. It got bits of minced beef in it but was a little too dry. The meatballs were tasty, it was deep-fried to give it a better texture. 

The Lobster Bisque consists of spaghetti with prawns, squid, clams, and mussels. The texture of spaghetti was cooked just right, tossed in the sauce with a distinct seafood flavor. When my dining companion tasted it, he jokingly said, "This tasted like angmo hae mee." I prefer it to be saucier though. 

Overall, it was not too bad but not too exciting as it could be better. 

335 Smith Street #02-034 Chinatown Complex Food Centre SINGAPORE
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Sukuraco : the Japan experience

Sukuraco ( is the premium Japanese subscription box service.  

It features 20 authentic and traditional sweets and teas each month, focusing on the unique beauty and culture of Japan. 

Each item featured in Sakuraco is sourced from small-scale, local makers to able experience a new journey through Japan each month. 

Each box comes with a professionally translated booklet so you will always know exactly what you are getting. This is the goal of Sukuraco to spread the love of Japanese culture across the world via the approachable medium of sweets and tea. 

Dried Persimmon Mochi. These beautifully soft mochi are inspired by the flavor of dried persimmon or hoshigaki, a Japanese tradition made by peeling persimmons, dipping them in hot sake, and then hanging them to dry.

Made with glutinous mochi rice flour, they are infused with the delicate flavor of this vibrantly orange fruit that is used as a new year's decoration before being enjoyed. 

Sencha infused Matcha. Made with originally grown green tea, this blend features rich matcha cultivated by Mount Fuji for a rich but not overly bitter flavor. The New Year's packaging is the perfect touch for celebrating holidays. 

Brwon Sugar Kuzumochi. Kuzomochi is a traditional dessert made from fermented wheat starch. This brown sugar version has a gentle sweetness that pairs perfectly with tea and is wrapped in beautiful New Year packaging. 

Cocoa Sable (top, left). This delicate cocoa butter sable is in the shape of a Japanese wild boar, or inoshihi. Inoshihi are respected for their courage, but are also a symbol of prosperity and tenacity. 

Butter Sable (below, left). This milk butter sable is inspired by the wild boar that live around Hakone, a beloved spa town in Kanagawa. This adorable cookie has a lovely rich butter flavor that is the perfect way to start the morning. 

Matcha Cookie (top, right). These delicate butter sandwich cookies are infused with rich matcha white chocolate filling. Wonderfully crisp, they melt in the mouth and feature the silhouette  of a young Japanese lady. 

Shirasu Pie (below, right). Shirasu are small, juvenile fish that feature heavily in traditional Japanese cuisine and are a local specialty in Kanagawa. This shirasu pie is made with rich buttery pastry that pairs perfectly with the delicate flavor of the fish. 

Plum and Shiso Snacks. These delightful rice snacks are infused with the classic flavor pairing of shiso (Japanese basil) and dried plum. Traditionally, many fruits and vegetables were dried or pickled after the harvest to keep them preserved during the long winter.

Chestnut Red Bean Bread. Chestnut is a traditional flavor in Japan and enjoyed throughout autumn and winter. The fluffy bread is made with panettone yeast for Italy and slowly fermented for a rich flavor with no preservative. 

Enoshima Tako Rice Cracker (left). Enoshima is a small island off the Shonan coast of Kanagawa that is famous for fresh seafood. Get a taste of the local delicacies with this octopus rice cracker, inspired by the food stands selling freshly grilled seafood.

Fresh Cream Baumkuchen (right). A popular breakfast or afternoon tea cake, this layered German cake is now more prevalent in Japan than in its native country. This version is made with fresh cream for a rich flavor and delicate texture. 

Soybean Mochi (top). Made with fragrant toasted soybeans from Tokachi Plain in Hokkaido. The soybeans are first kneaded into the dough, giving this senbei a soft texture that melts in your mouth. Lightly seasoned with salt, they are the perfect savory snack to pair with a cup of roasted green tea. 

Okoge Senbei (below). Inspired by the grilled rice balls or yaki onigiri, this senbei is made with rice cooked over an open flame and is then toasted and coated in soya sauce for a roasted and fragrant flavor. 

Berry Shortcake Rusk (right). Rusk is a popular tea snack in Japan made from a twice-baked baguette with sweet or savory flavoring. This vibrant version features a lovely swirl and the rich buttery flavors of a berry shortcake. Enjoy it with tea or coffee for the perfect afternoon snack.

Shonan Gold Citrus Jelly. This Sakuraco original jelly is made with shonan citrus fruit from Kanagawa prefecture. Also known as golden oranges, this unique citrus has a refreshing and bright flavor.

Sakura Petal Chopsticks. Crafted by Tanaka Hashi, which has been producing quality lacquered chopsticks since 1948. This beautiful set features the classic imagery of cherry blossoms in either red or blue. 

This is the way to experience Japan when still not allowed to travel there.