Wok & Roll

Wok & Roll

Rockin' zhi char places that you need to hunt down right now!
Jason Wong
Jason Wong

Originally cheap and trashy street food from Hong Kong sold out of push carts, these noodles have become a well-known staple at many eateries on that island, with even elevated versions at restaurants. This is my first time hearing about cart noodles, so I jumped at the chance to try it after reading that there was a place in my neighbourhood selling this niche dish.

Essentially the noodle version of “cai fan”, customers pick and choose from a variety of ingredients to add to their noodles, of which there is also of a choice of 4-5 types.

Might have gone a little overboard with my toppings because I wanted to try as much as possible, and had mushroom, kang kong, braised egg, braised pork belly, curry fish ball, and tau pok topping my bowl. Individually the ingredients don’t stand out and the soup was generic, but it’s great for people who like variety and it’ll definitely fill hungry bellies.

Taste: 2.5/5

1 Like

Taking my breath away is the seductive smokiness of the "dragon's breath" emanating from this piping hot plate of fried "rat's tail" noodles from this Ipoh-famous eatery run by a third generation son. Each slippery strand is eminently glossy with a salty, savoury sauce, and accompanied by pieces of tender pork, plump prawns and vegetables, which as a whole was so supremely tasty that I slurped it all down posthaste. The portion's a little small for the price though, and I left wanting more.

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Heritage Chinese restaurant Hua Yu Wee has been in operation for decades in a 1920's-style bungalow that used to be by the sea before land reclamation, and is the last of its kind along Upper East Coast Road. Serving familiar comfort food, they are known for their tze char and seafood dishes such as chilli crab and coffee pork ribs. The latter is winningly fragrant, with a sweet tanginess and a hint of bitterness from the coffee. Each piece of tender pork is well-coated in the sticky sauce that makes it so addictive and a perfect companion with rice.

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

While I'm not into this traditional Teochew dessert because of how heavy it sits in the stomach, I can still respect how well-made it is. the comforting richness of the sweet and silky yam paste enriched with lard and the aroma of pandan will surely please its fans.

Taste: 3.5/5

Nothing like wobbly glaciers of chilled jelly snowed over in shaved ice to finish off a tze char meal and cleanse the palate. I appreciate that they go light on the sugar here as well.

Taste: 3/5

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Smoky and umami, the crunchy sambal kang kong was coated in a dry-style sambal specked with dried shrimp. The basics here are done well.

Taste: 3.5/5

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An off-menu item, the fatty hunks of meat were easy eating, although I prefer mine to be more charred and less sweet. Pleasant enough, but there are more notable items on the menu.

Taste: 3/5

A perennial presence at Chinese wedding banquets and a favourite of mine, the version here is slippery smooth and saucy, with generously large slices of mushroom for added texture. It may be a simple dish, but one I enjoyed a lot.

Taste: 3.5/5

The real deal, full of fermented funk and shrimpy succulence. Crispy on the outside and juicy within, they use all the chicken parts here, not just the wings and drummettes. Come for their famous beef horfun, but stay for the prawn paste chicken.

Taste: 4/5

1 Like

This old school coffee shop at the crossroads of Balestier and Novena is a hidden gem, dishing out simple yet flavour-packed tze char dishes. Abandon ye all notions of healthy eating here, for this fried rice is cancer-level smoky, greasy and salty enough to raise your blood pressure by 50 points. Delightfully sinful, the fluffy grains of rice are chockful of tender beef slices and crunchy beansprouts, and I absolutely recommend topping it up with an oozy, crispy fried egg.

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Jin Wee is very much an old school coffeeshop that's probably been in existence long before I was born. They specialise in tze char, but don't expect anything mind-blowing. What you will get is wholesome, home-cooked tasting dishes that are easy on the wok-hei as well as salt.

We enjoyed this simple omelette. It was light, fluffy and punctuated by small bursts of salty savouriness from the luncheon meat bits.

#BurppleTakeaways

Taste: 3/5

2 Likes

As far as Kung Pao chicken goes, this one was very average and priced on the high side for the portion size. There was a little sauce, minimal heat, no cashews and the chicken was not tough, but neither was it succulent.

Taste: 2.5/5

2 Likes

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