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Hawker/Kopitiam Eats

Hawker/Kopitiam Eats

As Singaporeans, we just love food, especially when it comes to our hawker/food court/kopitiam fare. A list featuring not only the conventional for the true local, but also for anyone looking for special finds as well.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Had been trying various stalls serving Appam at Tekka Centre of the late; had not really tried every single stall serving up the item yet but the ones here from Sky Lab Cooked Food is probably the one I like the most for now.

Ordering the Plain Appam and Cheese Appam, I really liked how the Appam here comes with a crisp edge and a fluffy and somewhat chewy interior, bearing a texture rather similar to the "honeycomb" esque texture of our local variant of Peanut Pancake, yet carrying a tinge of sourness that is iconic to the dish itself β€” a yogurt-like tartness that makes it somewhat like the Indian crossover between the said local pancake and European sourdough. The cheese variant comes smacked with a slice of processed cheese over the top for a hint of savouriness, but the plain one comes with a choice of cane sugar or brown sugar; opted for the latter which melts into the hot Appam and provides an earthy and rich, malty and cocoa-like sweetness that is really alluring. While there are some stalls that I have yet to try their Appams from all over the island, this is a spot I would return to for that comforting Appam that I know I would not be disappointed from.

2 Likes

Pretty much a hidden gem within the West; located deep within Jurong East at Toh Guan Food & Drinks Centre along Toh Guan Road at Blk 282A; a short distance away from IMM mall, En Ramen serves up different styles of ramen at pretty affordable prices β€” all well below $10.

While the more popular options would probably be their ramen offerings featuring Miso and Tonkotsu Shoyu broths, the Bonito broth offerings are a pretty option considering how they are not common finds especially at a stall in a coffeeshop. Really enjoyed the umami broth here; clean tasting and light, the broth is rather appetising without the richness of a typical Miso or Tonkotsu broth. Coming with ramen noodles that carries a bite, the ramen also comes with Cha Shu that carries a good meaty bite without the porky stench; pretty delicious and generously sliced. Adding the egg for an extra 50 cents, the egg comes with a molten yolk; no doubt falling a bit short of the more flavourful marinated eggs that some joints serve up, but still pretty on point considering the type of place it is. Given how the entire deal was, En Ramen is a spot we would certainly not mind having in our own neighbourhoods; good quality and wallet-friendly ramen β€” so much so that it's actually a good eat to have any day (this item is just $4.50 by default without the egg) β€” certainly somewhere which we would most likely return to especially if in the area.

4 Likes

Came across the new outpost of Penang Kitchen; with their very original shop space still located within Coronation Plaza along Bukit Timah, they had since opened a second space within Far East Plaza taking over the former premises of Tengawa Hokkaido White Curry (or some may be more familiar with the space being the kitchen area of Kra Pow in its previous shop space). Was really impressed with all the items that we had tried, from the Homemade Lo Bak Go (Carrot Cake) to their Penang Char Kway Teow and their Nasi Goreng Kampong Penang.

Being yet another item that is made in-house, the Homemade Penang Loh Bak comes with minced pork wrapped in beancurd sheets. Opting for the portion where 2 rolls are served, patrons can also pick the larger portion which comes with 3 rolls instead. Really liked how the beancurd skin wraps the minced pork so tightly; no loose bits of meat here nor would one find the beancurd skin unravelling and causing the whole Loh Bak to end up in a mess. We also enjoyed how savoury these were without being too greasy; carrying a good bite, these came with chestnuts within the filling for a crunch that gives it varying textures. Dipping them into both the chili and malt provided, my heart lies towards the latter for how the sweetness balances out the savoury flavours β€” a harmonious combination that would never turn out wrong. Whilst prices here are a little higher (closer to $10 for a main) as compared to the eateries at Level 1 or Level 5, Penang Kitchen still works well for a meal on budget in Orchard; most certainly a place I would return to again for more great Pennag fare.

8 Likes

From Xinghua Hometown Cuisine at Tai Ho Soon Coffeeshop at Tanjong Pagar Plaza. Had always been excited about new establishments serving up Xinghua/Putian style cuisine around so this was a place on the list for me when I chanced upon it on social media.

Essentially the same as other Stir-Fried Yam dishes served at other similar establishments, the Wang Wang Yam is easily my favourite dish here (then again, this dish scores pretty high in my heart usually) β€” the cubes of Yam comes pretty huge here; coming with crusted exterior, the yam is all fluffy inside and gives a pretty earthy note, while the malt coating on the exterior provides a sticky sweetness that matches so-ever well with the yam cubes for a umami note. A must order for myself at any Xinghua/Putian establishment, and certainly one of the better renditions of this dish I have ever had.

2 Likes

From Ah Hua Assam; one of the few stalls that had recently opened its doors at Chinatown Complex Food Centre which place an emphasis on dishes using Assam as a main ingredient β€” whilst an ingredient that is not a stranger to local tastebuds, it serves as an interesting concept with a strong focus.

Going for this item, one would get themselves rice that is drenched in a generous helping of Assam gravy, a serving of either Chap Chye or Curry Vegetable (we opted for the latter), and Omelette. We also went for an additional Ngoh Hiang at a top-up of $1.50. Going straight for the chicken leg, the chicken leg was reasonably tender and succulent; came pretty tart and a little spicy from the mix of Tamarind juice and sambal β€” the rice also drenched in a rather similar tasting gravy that was pretty bright, refreshing and gives the taste buds a slight spicy kick that should do fine with those who have moderate tolerance to spiciness. The curry vegetables were cooked till soft; pretty fragrant and carried the spices and coconut-y aroma well without being dilute, while the home-made Ngoh Hiang is well-packed with meat filling and chestnuts for a meaty crunch without crumbling into a mess. No doubt the presentation is a tad messy (not that I would have done any better, nor expected more considering this is off a Hawker stall), but somewhere to check out for those who really love Assam as an ingredient β€” a stall that is certainly unique and worth checking out for how they are pulling off Assam-based dishes fairly well.

8 Likes

Wasn't intending to dine here at the first place, but ended up here somehow after a failed attempt of having Dim Sum elsewhere. Must say that this was actually worth the detour (or even the trip); the Mee Pok here is well-executed considering the many elements that went into the bowl. Really liked how the noodles gave a good bite; pretty much "al-dente" whilst coming with a lot of goodies such as pig liver, pork slices, fried beancurd skin, minced pork and even clams for just $4.00. The sauce was great for the most part; a balance in between bring vinegary and spicy, while the clam is pretty fresh and a great addition. The inclusion of fried beancurd skin was a hit with me too; whilst being a replacement for the crispy pork lard, it's definitely less greasy than what it replaces β€” very delicious on its own. Would totally opt for the Signature Mee Pok next time; coming with even more goodies like scallops and prawn paste, it sounds pretty worth the price of $6.00 that it commands.

2 Likes

From Ashes Burnnit! at Golden Mile Food Centre, a Muslim-run stall which had recently moved into the unit that Burgs by Project Warung had previously occupied in the food centre.

Serving up affordable burgers, Mac & Cheese and Frossaints to the masses, the Classic Mac & Cheese here is pretty much a steal at S$5.00. Coming with their signature Mac & Cheese sauce, mix salad, garlic breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese, this would appease the younger folks and hipsters alike with its cheesiness β€” the sauce carries a flavour similar to that of nacho cheese sauce; the flavours more tuned down here so it does not get too jelak throughout the serving, while the macaroni provides a good chew. The melted mozzarella cheese atop helps to provide a oozy, stretchy and stringy texture, while the garlic breadcrumbs provide a slight crispness to the entire deal. The greens attempt to help to balance things out a little, giving a good break in between spoonfuls of the Classic Mac & Cheese β€” did not find it absolutely necessary to include the Goma dressing, but certainly good to have. A pretty decent item to consider sharing at the table for a light bite, or something to have individually for a decently-sized sinful treat at the hawker centre.

2 Likes

From the Japanese Tempura stall (Ten Ku Tei) at Kopitiam Compass One; quite surorised to find a Tempura specialty store to be hidden within the food court here offering various forms of Tempura dishes coupled with the choice of carbs (i.e. Udon, Spaghetti, Rice etc.).

While the main catch should most probably be the Golden Salted Egg Tendon here, the Tempura Teishoku (Kaisen) is essentially the most standard Tendon offering that other Tempura specialty stores usually offer. Coming loaded with Tempura pieces over a bed of Japanese Rice, it comes with elements such as sweet potato, baby corn, shrimp, pumpkin and others β€” much similarity to a usual Tendon. Priced at an affordable $7.50 inclusive of Chawanmushi and Miso Soup, the Tempura Teishoku (Kaisen) was pretty value-for-money considering how its actually of respectable quality. Sure, the Tempura pieces could be a little lighter in terms of its crispness, but the fried batter still provides a satisfying light crunch. Items like the pumpkin were soft to bite, though the sweet potato was a little too tough for our liking; coming off from the batter almost entirely while we sink our teeth in. That being said, the Shrimp was pretty stellar considering how it was rather fresh especially for this set-up. It's pretty impressive how the tempura pieces were not drenched in grease, though they do turn a little limp if left at the table for a while. Drizzled with a savoury Japanese sauce, the rice carries ample flavour to pair with the fried items as well. A pretty decent offering for its price at the food court; a convenient spot to have the Tendon fix that is of a respectable quality without breaking the bank.

2 Likes

Hadn't posted something quite like this in a long while so thought, why not? Just a pretty generic dish at the food court from the Japanese stall here β€” something that is pretty satisfying if one isn't too picky on what they get.

Essentially rather similar to the Kaki Fuyong of Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic which was all the rage back in the day; coming with a choice of either Teriyaki Chicken, Pork Chop, Salmon or Ebi, we opted for the Teriyaki Chicken which was all crisp on the exterior whilst juicy within. Drenched in a Teriyaki sauce, the Teriyaki sauce provided a savoury hint that compliments the thin layer of egg omelette beneath; all served atop the hotplate. Being the more souped up version of the Kaki Fuyong, this version comes with Nacho Cheese sauce drizzled above the omelette; something that will catch the attention of students and hipsters alike β€” that touch which is oh-so-sinful, but satisfying. Of course this isn't anywhere near authentically Japanese, but it certainly makes for something comforting and well-portioned for a convenient meal round the neighbourhood.

1 Like

Being a stall by the same folks behind the more well-known To-Ricos Guo Shi which had recently received their Michelin Bib Gourmand title in this year's listing, this is from To-Ricos Thai Kway Chap; also at Old Airport Road Food Centre, which focuses on Thai Kway Chap instead (much to the likes of Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap at Upper Serangoon Road; probably the first store in Singapore to focus on such an offering) .

While the Signature Thai Kwap Chap would be the one that comes with all the goodies including pig skin and innards, I opted for the Thai Kway Chap with Roasted Pork for I am not quite the innards type of guy and just happy to stick to big meats instead. Featuring simply rolled rice noodles in a broth and coming with Roasted Pork slices, the Thai Kway Chap with Roasted Pork was a decent eat; the broth being light and savoury with a slight peppery flavour while the rolled rice noodles were easy to eat whilst being springy and chewy β€” carried a good bite. The roast pork was more on the leaner side; gave a meaty bite while the skin still managed to retain some crispness despite absorbing the flavours of the broth. Patrons can add in condiments like peanuts, Thai Chili Powder and coriander which is made available at the side of the stall; the chili powder being rather spicy and providing the bowl with a great kick for those who would like their Thai Kway Chap to tingle their taste buds, while the coriander helps to provide a good contrast that breaks away the savoury notes of the broth. A good choice for a light eat for those who prefer items with a slightly cleaner flavour in general.

4 Likes

From 146 Timsum Handmade Bao at the above-mentioned coffeeshop at Blk 146 Potong Pasir Avenue 1. Having tried the Char Siew Pau some time back randomly when we walked past the stall, the Char Siew Pau still holds well to what we had remembered it to be. A fluffy bun with a skin of balanced thickness, the bun was not too thick nor too thin, whilst coming with a good portion of fillings within. Chunks of meat that are not too fatty nor lean are all drenched in a sweet and sticky sauce; the sauce being aptly sweet yet savoury, keeping the fillings from being overly dry β€” one of the nicer coffeeshop dimsum stall Paus out there.

1 Like

If there is one food item that is easiest to find in Sim Lim Square apart from the usual economical rice stalls, then it would be Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice.

A good alternative to Taste Good and The Rice Bowl's Buttermilk Chicken Rice (because its always so crowded during lunch hours), the Mini Wok stall at Broadway Food Court at the basement is also one that satisfies those cravings. Featuring chunks of fried chicken drenched in that creamy yet saltish sauce, it also carries a slight sweetness that helps to balance things out a little for that sweet-savoury note. Coming with crisp curry leaves and chili padi, these enhances those flavours even further by adding a contrast with its fragrance and mild spiciness. No doubt this version does not come with as much sauce as some other places does to allow one to just slather it all over the rice, nor does this variant feature actual chunks of salted egg, but this is a variant that does well enough to satisfy those cravings whenever it hits.

4 Likes

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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