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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

From Gorilla Curry 猩猩咖喱, located at the 7 Stars Coffeeshop at Blk 323 Bukit Batok Street 33, which serves up Curry Rice as its primary focus.

Served without the curry by default, we requested for the curry to be drizzled over the top since the curry here is seemingly the highlight of the stall. Coming with elements almost akin to that of a Hainanese Curry Rice dish, the Singa-Taiwan Braised Pork Rice comes with Long Beans, Braised Pork Belly, and a sunny-side-up. The star of the show here is undeniably the Braised Pork Belly; beautifully braised, though may be a wee bit salty to some — liked how it delivers what it promised with its clear distinction of the three different layers here from the gelatinous skin, fatty meat and leaner parts which created a medley of textures that was pretty enjoyable. The beans helped to create a refreshing crunch, while the sunny side up was pretty pedestrian — lacked a molten yolk that most would prefer. That being said, the curry sauce was pretty essential to the entire experience — a pretty fragrant rendition that carries a slight coconut-y note which is pretty alluring. Would say this works fairly well especially for those living in the area — a pretty above average item that I would not mind having again.

From Imperial Fish within Food Junction at Junction 8; opened by the same folks behind 13 Stages, Imperial Fish is a new food court stall that serves up mainly steamed seabass and fried seabass with a variety of different sauces/toppings, as well as fish soup and seafood soup.

Going for something simple, the Soy Ginger Steamed Seabass requires a little bit of waiting time for its preparation but it’s pretty worth the wait — the steamed seabass itself comes in a fillet form so it is pretty easy to eat, while the flesh remains juicy and succulent. Topped with a soy ginger sauce, the sauce itself adds a light savouriness with the ginger providing a bright note — not only provides flavour to the otherwise plain fish, but also a great accompaniment to the rice itself. The dish comes with clams as well; personally felt that the addition is not quite necessary considering they do feel like a separate element on its own, but good to have considering it’s price point at $8.90 and were pretty fresh. Definitely something I would not mind having again if I were to be in the area again.

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From this relatively new stall which serves Pig Leg situated within Centuries Foodcourt within Viva Business Park at Chai Chee; the very same food court that also houses Burgs by Project Warung and 百年酿豆腐 Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu.

The Pig Leg Rice is pretty affordable here; $4.50 for a decently-sized portion that should be able to fill an average individual just about right. Really liked how this is almost akin to a good bowl of Braised Meat Rice aka 卤肉饭 with Pig Leg instead; the Pig Leg being immensely tender and succulent with the meat being juicy and did not require much chewing — all that with the gelatinous fatty parts that melts in the mouth. The meat also comes well-braised; savoury without any hint of undesirable stench that comes with certain pork dishes. Liked how the rice is also drizzled with ample sauce for a mellow savouriness, whilst keeping the rice moist without being overly wet, while the pickled vegetables helped to cut through that meatiness alongside the coriander, providing a good crunch. Enjoy the bowl with the Chili on the side; a zippy sauce that also carries sufficient heat that tingles the taste buds for those who are tolerable to moderate levels of spiciness. A dish that I would gladly go for again!

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Kinda sad that Donya had announced the closure of their Queen Street outlet this weekend, 15 March 2020 — their Salmon Mentaiko Don being one of my favourite items to have here.

Liked how this is so simple, yet so satisfying — a thick slab of crisp, fried salmon with an equally crisp skin that comes drenched in a generous amount of Mentaiko Mayo, torched before serving; always loved how the salmon comes with its moisture locked in, so ever succulent and juicy while the Mentaiko Mayo provides a umami flavour and slight smokiness, while the pearly, short-grain rice comes drenched with Teriyaki sauce for a savoury flavour. Really liked how affordable this is at $8.80; good enough for an occasional treat for lunch on a work day — a shame that they are shifting out of this ‘hood real soon.

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Rosti had always been a rare find in neighbourhood western cuisine stalls situated in a food court; probably only one out of two that I had chanced upon, though there could be more out there. Really liked how they serve different varieties of Rosti here, ranging from the Classic, to a Spicy and Cheesy variant as well.

Opted for the Cheesy Rosti; the Rosti here comes sufficiently thick, whilst crisp and golden brown on the exterior — the weaves of potato being tightly packed and giving a good bite without being particularly crispy. The Cheesy Rosti comes with melted cheese over the top; all oozy and stretchy — a crowd pleaser on its own and a plus that makes opting the cheesy variant more of a no-brained here for cheese lovers. The Chicken Chop on the side was also as satisfying; tender, juicy and succulent, it also comes slightly smoky, and the brown sauce helps to give it a complimenting savoury was that works out well altogether. All Rosti dishes come with coleslaw on the side; almost akin to that usually served at KFC with a slight milkiness that is milder than the one served by the colonel, whilst also chopped finer for better crunch.

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From the newly-opened Ng Kuan Chilli Pan Mee at Broadway Coffeeshop at Blk 760 Bedok Reservoir View just a short distance away from Bedok Reservoir MRT Station. They also do have another outlet situated in Tampines, and also another outlet opening soon at Upper Serangoon.

The Signature Ban Mian is the highlight here, and the Chicken Cutlet Ban Mian essentially adds a fried chicken cutlet to the Signature Ban Mian on the side. Giving everything a good mix, the Ban Mian here is pretty slippery and slurpy — being much a flavour bomb on its own with the molten egg yolk, chilli paste, Ikan Bilis, shallots and garlic chips lacing the noodles altogether. Especially like how umami the entire bowl is when everything is mixed together, not to mention how the Chili also provides a good kick that is pretty manageable for those with moderate tolerance to spiciness; the other elements also adding a crispness, providing textural contrast against the chewy noodles. The fried chicken cutlet came with a pretty thick batter and fried upon order; fairly decent, though best to consume while still hot as it may get a little tough after sitting around for a while. A pretty commendable bowl of Chilli Pan Mee here; something which I would not mind having again!

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From Ah Ter Bak Chor Mee’s newest outlet located at [email protected]; the stall being situated right beside Buta Kabayaki near one of the escalators leading into the food court.

While Ah Ter Bak Chor Mee is probably best known for their Fishball Bak Chor Mee, the Pork Cutlet Noodles is something I most certainly would order again. Not only does it come with the very same slurpy and springy noodles tossed in a savoury and moderately spicy sauce that laced around the noodles completely, the Pork Cutlet was simply to die for — the Hakka-style fried pork belly comes all crispy on the exterior but tender inside, and comes with an umami note from the fermented beancurd used in its marination process; something I truly love about Hakka-style fried pork belly. Only qualm for this dish would be pork lard; not quite crispy enough for my liking — that being said, an option I would go for again at this Food Republic!

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From the Taiwan Food stall at Koufu Enterprise One, which is a short walk away from Ubi MRT Station. Having opened for two months, the stall is run by a couple; the husband being in the F&B industry for 31 years, coming from Kaoshiung, Taiwan, having his experience working in various kitchens of multiple restaurants before opening his own stall here. Whilst offering quite a variety of bento options alongside a good selection of sides that are all freshly-prepared upon order (yes, sweet potato fries being fried only when one orders them).

The Braised Pork Rice is the most affordable item here at $3.50, and is one that I absolutely enjoyed being one of the better (if not the best) that I have ever come across. Claimed to be one of their best sellers, the portions are generous here; quite a fair bit of rice for the price, considering how Braised Pork Rice often come in smaller portions at the same price elsewhere. Coming with minced meat that comes with the braised sauce, the flavours are savoury, yet comes with a distinct note of spices such as cinnamon and a lingering hint of slight sweetness — very subtle, yet comforting without being too faint to detect, which works great with short grain rice that it comes with. The minced meat was delicious; a good balance of lean and fatty bits that created a meaty bite, yet carried some chewy bits that melts in the mouth. Simple as it sounds, but this is a bowl of finesse for a dish that many places tend to mess up. Really impressed with how the stall also keeps a secret menu, where regulars can quote them the names of various Taiwanese dishes and they may be able to whip up those items if the ingredients are available (the Sakura Ebi Fried Rice is actually pretty delicious too). A place I am likely to return to for more delicious Braised Pork Rice, and also to try more Taiwanese delicacies that may be a rare find elsewhere!

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From Rung Reuxng Thai Food; a newly-opened food court stall at Broadway Coffeeshop Sim Lim Square. Must say that this rendition of the classic Thai dish really left quite an impression — a generous portion of rice matched with just enough meat to go around; the stir-fried basil minced pork not only being savoury from the fish sauce, but also carried a medley of flavours such as that of the basil and the Chili for a spicy kick to tickle the taste buds. A pretty well-balanced mix of flavours overall, which makes this rendition a pretty palatable one — something which I would consider having again when I am here (which is pretty often anyway, I would say!).

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Headed down to Sembawang Mart the other day to try this new western food stall named Pui-Pui Western Delights that had recently opened its doors at the Koufu foodcourt there — apart from serving up pasta and meats like other western food stalls serve up, they also do serve up grain bowls and this molten lava cake as well; pretty interesting.

Thought the Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice-Cream here was actually pretty well-executed; almost that of one from a cafe that does it well — slightly crusty on the exterior, whilst featuring a rich and aptly sweet molten chocolate centre that oozes so eagerly as one pokes through the cake from the middle. Liked how they had seemingly placed a lot of thought by even adding a berry compote that helps to provide a zippy note to cut through the varying sweetness from the vanilla ice-cream and chocolate — very delicious, and something I would not be expecting from a food court stall serving up western cuisine indeed.

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From Linguine, situated at the Happy Hawkers food court at Blk 132 Jurong East Street 13 — a new hawker stalk that serves up a variety of pasta dishes using linguine as the only choice of noodles here.

Opted for one of their signature items on their menu; the Cheese Burger Pasta is essentially like a cheese burger in pasta form, coming with elements such as cheese, minced beef patty and mushroom. The pasta was done al-dente, carrying a good bite whilst laced with a sauce that carries a medley of meaty and cheesy notes; pretty savoury whilst also rather complimenting while one chews on the bits of minced meat. Otherwise, the mushrooms helped add a bouncy bite to the pasta, whilst adding an earthy note. An interesting twist to pasta, though probably also something that would be more suited for adventurous folks who would like to try something new and not too conventional.

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From King’s Taste; a new Western cuisine stall which had recently opened its doors at Viva Food Court in Vista Point just a short distance away from Woodlands South MRT Station. Offering quite an interesting selection of dishes, they also do serve up items such as Pork Baby Back Ribs, Angus Beef Short Ribs, and even Green Lips Mussels — dishes that are not particularly common in food court Western stalls.

Coming with two sides of our choice, we went for the French Fries and Onion Rings; both of which were well-fried given how they were crisp without being particularly greasy, though the fries were a little lukewarm. That being said, the Bacon Pork Belly was pretty much the highlight here — essentially the same as the thick cut bacon found on some “big breakfast” platters at some cafes, the savoury, chunky slice of bacon was juicy, tender and succulent; almost akin to that of a thick slab of ham, whilst coming with an Apple Cider glaze that provides a hint of boozy sweet-savouriness. The slices of green Apple helps to provide a juicy crunch and a slight zinginess to the dish, helping to cut through the meatiness whilst supporting the apple cider in terms of flavour. Something which I would not mind going for again — a stall I would certainly be revisiting considering the proximity for me.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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