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Locally Good!

Locally Good!

Singapore's local good food!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua
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From Ramen Champion x Hokkaido Paradise at Changi Airport Terminal 3; Ramen Champion had since went through a revamp where all the stalls are consolidated into two sections; one serving up the ala-carte, Ramen, Japanese Curry and Donburi items, and the other serving up sweet toasts and Kakigori.

The Houjicha Kakigori was great; the ice perfuming of a roasted tea aroma whilst containing rice cake and jelly within for a chewy texture; the cream atop providing a light hint of sweetness while soy bean powder in the middle also provides a hint of nuttiness. A small jug of Kuromitsu also comes at the side for those who wish to add a hint of sweetness to enhance the flavours of the dessert.

Whilst that is being said about the food, crowd management and service was not the best; no signages indicating to queue and order before finding a seat meant that some patrons queued while some just streamed in to find seats as though it’s a food court. And then there’s the 45min wait for our Kakigori (that’s after re-joining the ordering queue where table-less patrons were queueing in line at a queue sealed off due to the eatery reaching maximum capacity) which was a tad unforgivable especially for a bowl of ice — with no staff warning us about the wait time. Very confusing (and unnecessary) indeed.

  • 2 Likes

Visited the newly-revamped Makansutra Gluttons Bay; the slab of chicken Chop is well-portioned at the price of $9 — juicy, tender and succulent with a smoky char apart from the savoury flavours from the skin, whilst drenched in a smooth, salted egg sauce and topped with crisp curry leaves. The garlic rice was fluffy and light; doesn’t feel overly carb-y whilst topped with shallots for more flavour and a crisp texture. Overall, a pretty decent item, though I wished the salted egg sauce could have come a little more gritty with bits of salted egg that could enhance the flavours of the dish a little more. Appreciate how they had provided pickles on the side though; cuts through all the heaviness of the dish and refreshes the tastebuds altogether.

  • 3 Likes

From Hideout Cafe by The Local Box; a new establishment from the folks behind The Local Box at Icon Village. Must say that the Soup Laksa with Soft Shell Crab is pretty well-balanced; not overly creamy but a good balance of both rempah spices and coconut milk — all accompanied with Mee Tai Mak for easy eating. The short noodles were slurpy yet chewy, whilst accompanied with fresh and plump shrimp and a reasonably fresh, Soft Shell Crab coated in a golden brown batter on the exterior that is crisp. $13.80 for a bowl of Laksa can be a little pricey, but the spot does make for an easy place to settle for some food whilst settling last minute Christmas shopping at Robinsons without exiting the building; not to mention this variant comes with Soft Shell Crab as well.

Was told about this new concept named Brown Sugar and decided to try it out; opened by the folks behind Living Botanica (yes, the bubble tea shop at MBLM), Brown Sugar serves up local breakfast and a small variety of Asian Delights for mains. Really liked this dish where the chewy and springy noodles ones doused in a savoury sauce that is perfumed with a truffle aroma; the drunken chicken may lack a whiff of alcoholic flavour, but otherwise, pretty tender, juicy and succulent. Lava egg was on point, with a molten yolk. Overall, pretty simple, yet delightful — comforting Asian Delights served in a cosy, hipster and air conditioned setting that works as a decent place for a short catch-up.

  • 3 Likes

Handmade Tortellini stuffed with Minced Meat, Whole Prawn. Available in both dry as well as soup forms, we opted for the variant that came with chicken broth; infused with Osmanthus, the soup was light and savoury with a clean finish. Really liked the Tortellini; noodles that were not too doughy yet held up well to the Tortellini’s heft. Whilst larger than a mouthful, the minced meat was tender and gave a good bite, while the whole prawn is a pretty generous portion though a little grainy; could be a little fresher but not particularly bothersome. An item would recommend to order when here.

  • 1 Like

Part of the Grain Bowl section of the menu at Miss Chinatown; a new bar which had taken over the former premises of now-defunct Lepark. Inspired from the local favourite of Hainanese Chicken Rice, this sees a healthier interpretation with Quinoa being served. Overall, pretty decent, though the Quinoa is missing of that distinct flavour of the rice of Hainanese Chicken Rice; admittedly something that is difficult to replicate considering how Quinoa is used a substitute. The chicken was decent, though could have been better being more succulent, juicy and tender, while the braised egg was seemingly flavourful though could have carried an extra oomph if served with a molten yolk. The chili did carry familiar flavours, but could do with an extra punch of spiciness and a little more zing from the calamansi. Whilst seemingly decent, some changes could have been created for a more lasting impression that would have brought this dish to another level.

  • 3 Likes

Had some time to check out this new cafe at The Sail @ Marina Bay; tried a few of their rice bowls available for lunch and was quite impressed with the Nonya Pork Don. Featuring elements such as Peranakan Stir-Fried Pork Belly in a Spicy Coconut Gravy, Onsen Egg, Takuan and Pickles, we liked how the slices of Pork Belly were tender and succulent; almost akin to Shabu Shabu-style Pork Belly that is cooked in a rich, Lemak gravy that is lightly spicy. Admittedly, we wouldn’t mind more gravy with the rice; the rice being a tad dry and could do with a sprinkle of furikake, but otherwise a pretty delicious (though pricey) rice bowl that’s good to have.

  • 3 Likes

Always enjoy seeing how hawkers expand into concepts past their hawker stalls — congrats to Ah Lock and Co. and Munchi from Yishun Park Hawker Centre which had expanded into Ah Lock & Co. at Tanjong Pagar Centre, serving up Ah Lock Tofu’s Hakka Tofu Rice Bowls and Munchi’s pancakes. Still as good as it was at Yishun Park Hawker Centre, especially those handmade meatballs and stuffed tofu; the latter all chunky and meaty whilst crisp and not too porky. All that with a mix of greens that provide a crunch and chew; a good play of textures all atop a bed of rice. Very delicious; now at convenient location in town for the office folks of the CBD — wishing them all the best for what has to come!

  • 6 Likes

From Lu Ding Ji’s second branch at Viva Business Park; the establishment serves up braised delights from braised rice and noodles to braised claypot dishes.

The Premium Kurobuta would appeal to those who prefer leaner cuts of pork, as opposed to their usual Pork Rice Bowl. The thinly-sliced Kurobuta was lean but tender, while the flavours of the braised liquid gave the slices of pork a hint of savouriness. The rice, drenched in braised gravy, was rich in flavour but not too thick; not overwhelmingly salty but with the flavours of the spices used being particularly prominent. The lava egg seals the deal; almost like a very well-executed onsen egg — molten yolk within that is absolutely delicious.

  • 1 Like

Really enjoyed this dish and the service here; the service staff told us upon order that this dish might be a little salty for some, but we were most certainly fine with it. Loved the softness of the Otah that came with bits of seafood for a good bite; admittedly could be a wee bit more moist but the flavours of rempah spices were pretty evident and came with a hint of spiciness that should be comfortable for those with a moderate tolerance to spiciness. The highlight would however be in the papaya salad beneath; tangy and zesty, it gives the relish provides a refreshing crunch that cuts the flavours of the Otah perfectly; even pretty amazing on its own!

  • 4 Likes

From the new Kim’s Prawn Mee Cafe at Sim Lim Square — serves various versions of fried Hokkien Mee, as well as some communal dishes and fried rice as well. Whilst the noodles come aptly wet with ample gravy which was also sufficiently thick; gooey and starchy, the dish felt that it could do being more umami — perhaps the lack of seafood in this variant is a factor as well. Otherwise, the noodles were slurpy, while the pork lard was crisp though I would have preferred it to be fried for longer. Absolutely loved the fried chicken cutlet though; crisp, tender and flavourful. Wouldn’t say it’s the best, but certainly something I don’t mind going for again if in the area. A little pricey at $6.80 though!

  • 1 Like

From this new establishment that sells Pau and a small variety of dim sum (Fan Choy, Lo Mai Kai and Siew Mai) all made in-house at Jalan Besar which primarily serves the takeaway crowd — dine-in is available, although only a single table meant for four and three counter seats are available. Don’t really fancy the mass-produced Lo Mai Kai that are found elsewhere, but the ones here are absolutely tasty — the chicken being meaty and tender without being overly sweet, whilst the glutinous rice was sticky but not too dense; sufficiently moist and absolutely flavourful. Wouldn’t mind having this again!

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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