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Locally Good!

Locally Good!

Singapore's local good food!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua
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Thick Cut Cha Shu, Braised Mushroom, Minced Pork, Spring Salsa, Pickles, Furikake, Soy Marinated Egg.

From one of the lesser heard dining establishments at the revamped Funan; The Pops Cafe, opened by the same folks behind The Populus Food & Coffee Co. at Neil Road. Serving up wraps and rice bowls, this was the Deluxe version which comes with the Soy Marinated Egg. Almost akin to a cross breed of a Mazesoba and Lu Rou Fan but served in a rice bowl format, the Pops 'Cha Shu' was no doubt comforting and satisfying; the Thick Cut Cha Shu being fatty, juicy, soft and tender; almost melt-in-the-mouth whilst carrying a savoury flavour without a porky stench — possibly prepared through the sous-vide method. The minced pork provides some bite, adding texture yet complimenting all that meatiness while the spring salsa and pickled cucumbers add a crunch and a refreshing zing that cuts through the meatiness. Soy Marinated Egg was no doubt a crowd pleaser with its molten egg whilst carrying a light hint of savoury flavour from the marination. A pretty satisfying and comforting bowl that we pretty much enjoyed.


Fried Tau Pok with meat stuffings, Dried Oyster Pork Balls, Shiitake Mushroom with Pork, Meatballs.

From Carbon& at Aperia Mall; predominantly a bar that serves craft beer on tap alongside burgers and bar bites for dinner, whilst also offering rice bowls during lunch hours. An interesting take on bar bites considering how they serve up items with a local element, the most outstanding item here is undoubtedly the Pork Meatballs; crisp on the exterior, juicy within whilst carrying a good bite without being too synthetic or tough to chew — the Pork Meatballs were undeniably flavourful and well-executed, and something which we could not get enough of. The other items were pretty good too, carrying quite a good portion of meat to provide a good balance of flavour; the Fried Tau Pok having a soft bite with meat stuffed in the middle, while the Dried Oyster Pork Balls was the softest of the lot; the pork being slightly more dominant to the masses. The Shiitake Mushroom with Pork Meatballs are pretty interesting; carrying that firm bite that the mushrooms have, the item carries a great chew with the slight earthiness of the mushrooms complimenting the meat stuffings. Dip the items into the housemade chili for a spicy kick akin to that of the chili usually served with Hainanese Chicken Rice. A pretty innovative take on using local fare for a bar bite.


Returned back to Ah Lock & Co. to get my hands on their Hakka Karni Bowl. Created for the meat lovers, the Hakka Karni Bowl features all the different types of meats available at Ah Lock & Co., from Hakka Pork, to Hakka Meatballs and their all-time favourite Hakka Tofu less the greens served atop the same short-grained rice as all the other rice bowls that they have to offer. Having enjoyed the meats in the Hakka Tofu Bowl and Hakka Pork Bowl, the Hakka Karni Bowl was certainly satiating with fried silken tofu that is stuffed with pork for a meaty bite, juicy Hakka Meatballs which were crisp on the exterior and easy to chew within, and the Hakka Pork that comes with a bite without being too porky or tough to bite, whilst also being crisp on the exterior. Still prefer the Hakka Tofu Bowl overall; the Manicai and the other greens provide a good break amidst all the meatiness that gives a better contrast of flavours (aside from being that signature dish of theirs since Day One at Yishun Park Hawker Centre as Ah Lock Tofu), but the Hakka Karni Bowl would certainly do well for those who just simply wants to go for the meat and can't really be bothered about their vegetables; a meat lover's dream!


1 Shrimp Paste Wing, Aromatic Rice. Added a sunny side-up for this order for $0.50 extra. Finally got round to visit Ah Tan Wings' newest outlet at Maxwell Food Centre; a location that most would find more convenient than their very first branch at Yishun Park Hawker Centre. Being the most basic set without, there is no doubt that the wings were still as good as they were at their original location; fried upon order, its crisp, juicy, tender and incredibly umami. Sunny side-up comes with an oozy egg yolk, while the rice comes with a slight savouriness that was not too overpowering, and goes well with that zippy chili on the side that provides a good spicy kick. Pretty affordable as well, given how this is well-sized for an individual with an average appetite for $3.50 without the egg; something that would work out well for everyone in the area.


From Curry Hero, a new Hainanese Curry Rice establishment that had recently opened its doors at the basement of KINEX (formerly OneKM Mall).

Went for the Beer Battered Fish Curry which came with a giant fish fillet; not sure about the beer battered part considering how it seemed to be coated with Panko crumbs instead. Not a fan of the fish fillet; served stone cold considering how it was left unheated in the display shelf for a long time, the fish fillet was oddly crisp but that strange temperature contrast with the warm curry was not up my palette. The sunny-side-up was also not quite convincing too; solid egg yolk and also served stone cold, though the curry was sufficiently thick and flavourful. Braised sauce was oddly added on after the drizzling of the curry sauce; opposite from the usual style that other establishments serve. Not too pricey, but probably something I don't really want to go for again considering how I left half of the fish fillet untouched.


House Made Capellini Pasta, Chicken Wanton, Dried Shrimps, Chili, Lava Egg, Kale, Salmon Roe.

Went all out at 63 Paragon a while ago; tried the Char Siew Noodles which comes at a hefty S$25.00++ on the menu to check out what it is all about.

Incorporating their own style of fusion into local cuisine, the Char Siew Noodles here marries western cooking techniques into our local everyday fare with their own creative input. Starting with the noodles, the house made Capellini comes tossed with an umami sauce which featured pork lard and dried shrimp amongst other ingredients; a little softer than you usual egg noodles with less springiness and bite, though perhaps more suited for local taste buds considering how most would prefer softer noodles here. Moving on to the Char Siew, the Char Siew features pork belly that is all tender and melt-in-the-mouth; mostly fatty but disintegrates in the mouth without much need of a chew — the exterior being coated with a sweet and sticky glaze that comes with a slight crisp as well which was pretty flavourful and gave it a bit of texture. Preferred the Chicken Wantons in the soup than the fried one plated atop the noodles; the former carrying a more savoury flavour within the soup, while the skin was silken and smooth without being too thick nor thin; the fried version, whilst fried till golden-brown and crisp on the outside, tasted a little bland for me. The Wanton were well-filled, but interestingly included chicken soft bones (?) for a crunch that mimics that of water chestnuts included in dumplings. Onsen egg came with a molten yolk inside, while the Salmon Roe adds that umami popping sensation for more texture.

Wouldn't say I would pay $25.00++ again on Char Siew Noodles; the price tag is rather hefty despite the efforts going into this bowl, but definitely did not mind giving this a try.


From Freshly Made Hong Kong Style Zhu Chang Fen that had recently opened at Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre; the second branch of the same stall located at Old Airport Road Food Centre.

Really liked the smooth and silky Hong Kong-style Cheong Fun which wasn't too thick nor too thin that is doused in light soy sauce for flavour, whilst it encases fresh prawns that carried its natural sweetness for a bite. Considering how its pretty close to where I usually would be, this is one thing I am pretty sure I would return just to have, especially as a light tea time treat or for a light breakfast!


From 老派 云吞仔 Wanton Kia's latest outpost at Blk 83 Marine Parade Central; the name is not particularly new in the F&B scene, considering their first outlet is located at Esplanade Xchange beside the food court.

Served in the same style as the two Eng's and Wanton Fu, 老派 云吞仔 Wanton Kia also provides free-flow pork lard and their Devil Hot Chili sauce at the table for patrons. The same sort of broader noodles used for this particular style of Wanton Noodles is also used here, providing a slightly more 'al-dente' bite than the usual egg noodles. Char Siew is lean, but for the most part, generic, while Wanton were decently filled with enough meat and with silky skin that was not too thick. The pork lard is crisp, though could have been less dry and more flavourful; the Devil Hot Chili is punchy and in-the-face spicy — definitely a challenge even for those with high tolerance for spiciness given how it just simply burns and tongue and lips with just a few blobs. Yet another worthy contender to this style of Wanton Noodle.

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From The Rice Table at Sim Lim Square, which had recently went through a revamp with a new management.

Thought their Cereal Chicken Rice does not taste much of the same as before, but the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice does make for a decent alternative for the crowded Taste Good just a few doors away. Tossed in salted egg yolk sauce, the chunks of chicken were well-sized with enough bite while the salted egg sauce was not too overwhelming, just saltish enough without being too rich or sweet. Curry leaves are added for a bit of crispness and aroma, but thought there could be more chili padi for more flavour. Sunny side-up lacks the ooziness of a liquid yolk however, being fully-cooked within. Overall, a Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice dish that is of a respectable grade that makes for a decent dining choice here even despite having more well-known neighbours around them.


Cha Siu had been one of the dishes that I had consistently loved throughout my entire lifetime, and I certainly would not mind travelling for a good one.

Really enjoyed the Malaysia-style Cha Siu at You Kee XO Restaurant; the Cha Siu here is simply melt-in-the-mouth awesome with all that gelatinous fat that is incredibly tender without much of a need to chew, whilst coming with a sweet, crusted exterior that carries a slight char. Pretty well-executed, and something that I would not mind travelling for just to have; pretty sinful but worth all that guilt.


Perhaps it was my lack of appreciation for this item when I was younger, seeing it as the lesser sibling of the actual Western pork chop; with only just a handful of places serving up the Hainanese Pork Chop, I find myself trying to hit up the place just to have a taste of the nostalgia. That starchy tomato-based sauce that carries a slight tang, the crisp biscuit crumb battered pork chop that carried a crunch with tender, moist meat within that does not require a bite, and those soft, fluffy, thick-cut fries that are a tad limp — all of those on the plate here reminds me of the days where such dishes are a more common find in hawker centres. Some things, I guess we would only appreciate when we age; and I am glad that I still managed to have a taste of that here with this dish served here that replicates all of those feels to a tee.


Dropped by Ah Lock & Co. the other day so I could try one of the latest dishes on their menu. Previously only serving rice bowls, Ah Lock & Co. now also serves up a Hakka Mee Sua on the menu to give patrons a wider variety of items to choose from, especially for those who enjoy having soup noodles.

Here, the Hakka Mee Sua comes with the essentials such as their handmade stuffed tofu pieces, as well as their handmade meatballs. Whilst being enjoyable in dry form being all crisp with a good bite in the rice bowl version, the soup version makes it easier chew; not necessarily soggy but definitely softer and carries seemingly different vibes even though being essentially the same from the ones served with the rice bowl. The broth itself is light but umami; pretty comforting with notes of garlic while the noodles are surprisingly "al-dente" carrying a bite rather than being soft and chewy. Yet another item that impresses at Ah Lock & Co.; certainly something I would crave for again some other day!


Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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