Hong Kong Delicacies

Hong Kong Delicacies

While Hong Kong largely serves Chinese food, Hong Kong cuisine has their own unique take that separates themselves from the typical Chinese fare.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Have been making quite a number of trips to the area because had been needing to run some errands there — Friends Cafe is one of the new establishments located at The Brooks I which I had been wanting to check out for quite some time; situated within walking distance to Springleaf MRT Station and Springleaf Nature Park, the Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng is actually affiliated to Wong Chiew Restaurant — an establishment best known for their roast meats and dim sums that is just right across the same road being closer towards the junction of Sembawang Road and Mandai Road.

While they do offer quite a good variety of mains which includes items such as Charsiew Spaghetti/Macaroni (using char siew from Wong Chiew Restaurant), Luncheon Meat Noodles with Egg and Satay Sliced Beef Noodles etc., we went for the French Toast since we weren’t intending to have something too heavy here. Being an item listed on the “Snacks” section of the menu, the French Toast is sized just about right for a single diner as a breakfast item on its own, or can be shared with multiple patrons at the table being a starter/appetiser. Coming all fried with the frizzy edges as one would have expected, the French Toast comes with a knob of butter over the top and peanut butter slathered in between — the folks here serve the French Toast without any maple syrup drizzled over the toast; however, they do provide an entire bottle of maple syrup on the side to allow patrons to drizzle to their heart’s content. More of a comforting item that was difficult to go wrong, we felt that the French Toast here was pretty decent being slightly crisp on the outside, while the insides of the bread still maintained it’s fluffiness and retained its moistness; not overly dry here. The knob of butter does provide a slight hint of saltishness that worked well with the maple syrup for a sweet-savoury note, while there was ample peanut butter being spread throughout the entire toast for a evident and consistent nutty note throughout the entire dish.

Gone were the days where this was an ulu spot that never really saw any tenants moving into the shop units; The Brooks I and II is now well-filled with F&B tenants such as Daruma Tavern, Nicher and Yim Poong Kitchen — all of which are fairly new additions that would serve the residents around the area well. Whilst we have yet to try many of the items that Friends Cafe has to offer, there is no doubt how the addition of a new HK Char Chaan Teng would further provide those in the area a different option to dine at. I guess we would be back to try the other items some time again another time.

Had been making trips back to the office lately since it was needed, and the revamped 9 Penang Road building that had replaced Park Mall is a place that I would definitely have to pass by on the way home — noticed how the hoardings of Pi Food had came down, and saw how there seem to be diners seated in the establishment enjoying their food, and that’s how we found ourselves making a visit to Pi Food for lunch on the weekend.

Without much information to rely on (they do not seem to have any social media pages, and very little photos of their food seem to be around online) and also bearing a name which is not quite indicative of the type of cuisine that they serve, we only found that they were a Hong Kong Cha Chaan Tang (i.e. HK-style tea room) with a bar concept that also serves bar grub and western fare during dinner service. Found ourselves going for the Char Siew & Scrambled Egg Fried Rice with Housemade XO Sauce — on one hand because we wanted to try out the mains, but yet also wanting to try out their roast meats since we were at an establishment serving up Hong Kong cuisine.

If anything, we felt that the scrambled eggs and Char Siew played it pretty well here — the portion size also being pretty generous as well. We very much liked how the Char Siew seems to have used the cuts from the shoulder — thick cuts of meat that carried quite a good bite; came with a good proportion of lean meat and fat that gave it a good chew, whilst coming all flavourful from the honey used in its preparation process, which also flavours up the rice beneath. The scrambled eggs were silky, soft and runny — pretty satisfying, whilst being topped with their housemade XO sauce. That being said, the only letdown here is seemingly the rice itself; while the name of the dish seem to have implied that fried rice would be served, the item came with simply white rice — a mismatch from the description in its name, thus feeling it was missing the point totally.

Whilst the Char Siew & Scrambled Egg Fried Rice with Housemade XO Sauce was missing the point with the fried rice, we found the other items to be pretty decent — the Five Spice Beef Tripe Noodles were pretty comforting to say the least. Pi Food does serve as a spot that serves up comforting and familiar Hong Kong cuisine to the masses, with an alternative offering of Western food for the post-work wind-down for dinner service. Perhaps it would be better if they could pay more attention to the finer details — such as that involving the serving of white rice over fried rice; something that would work towards their favour in the long run.

Have seen some posts on Instagram lately about Egglette & Dessert — one of the new additions to the Rochor area near the office which serves up Hong Kong-style egglettes, desserts, and beverages, and thought that it was something that I would not mind checking out since it was an area which I was pretty familiar with anyway.

Offering egglettes served in four different flavours (i.e. original, chocolate, brown sugar or dark choco bits), Egglette & Dessert also offers patrons with the choice of adding a scoop of ice-cream to their order of the egglettes. Given how we have already had ice-cream prior to making the visit to Egglette & Dessert, we found ourselves ordering the Egglette with Dark Choco Bits as-is. Whilst we have tried quite a number of egglettes previously, the one from Egglette & Dessert was pretty well-executed — the bubbles here are plush and fluffy, whilst the flatter areas surrounding the bubbles were crisp. The bits of melted chocolate chips made for a slightly gooey, chocolatey sweetness that were actually good on its own, but also could have went well with the milkier ice-cream flavours which they have in-stock such as the Vanilla Bean ice-cream flavour.

Having tried the egglette here, this is probably the best one could get when it comes to having egglettes and Hong Kong-style milk tea; the pandemic has pretty much made us appreciate how we can travel around the world using our tongues instead of being physically there. Liked how Egglette & Dessert also attempts to bring those Hong Kong vibes into the shop space it occupies; the walls being adorned by wallpapers that features the various signages one can find in Hong Kong, including replicas of the signages found in MTR and KCR train stations in Hong Kong. A spot worth checking out for those who are looking for a slice of Hong Kong to be experienced in Singapore; also somewhere that would work well as a casual dessert hangout in this area of town.

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Have been visiting Legendary Hong Kong on-and-off for quite a number of years ever since they had opened their doors at Jurong Point — have always found myself ordering the same few dishes off the menu (the Thick Rice Roll with Deep-Fried Shrimp Rolls is an absolute favourite of mine here), and so we thought it would be good to switch things up a little during our most recent visit there.

A dish inspired from Stephen Chow’s movie, God of Cookery (食神), the dish had since been the subject of being replicated at other establishments (it does seem that Shang Social at Jewel Changi Airport serves up the same dish or even at the comfort of home — a humble dish that features BBQ Pork & Sunny-side up Egg on Rice. This is nothing short of being the quintessential dish that represents Hong Kong cuisine, being a simple yet wholesome affair with meat, egg, vegetables and rice all in a single bowl. Unlike the BBQ Pork that is often served at roast meat stalls, the BBQ Pork that is served with the Sorrowful Romance Rice is of an extremely thick cut — perhaps the thickest I have ever came across this far considering how chunky each slice was. Despite its sheer size, each piece comes with a good proportion of lean to fatty meat; seemingly using cuts that are significantly less fatty than the pork belly so each morsel of meat comes all fibrous yet tender and juicy with a good bite that requires some chew — all that without being gelatinous, which some may not prefer. The BBQ Pork here also seems to focus more on the meatiness itself, being more meaty in terms of flavour than actually carrying a sweetness from the honey glaze often used for Char Siu in the roasting process, though the BBQ Pork did not carry any undesirable porky stench. The greens do provide some crunch for a more wholesome feel and a variance in texture, while the sunny-side up comes with a molten yolk that bursts of its golden goodness when poked; toss it up with the rice which is drizzled in light soy sauce for a slight saltish, yet creamier consistency that binds all the elements together.

Whilst the BBQ Pork is immensely shiok in this one for meat lovers, this is probably a dish I would consider more for sharing — the thick cut of BBQ Pork does feel pretty heavy and jelak quite quickly, and would probably appeal to me more if I were to be hungrier than what I felt during the day of visit. That being said, I do appreciate how Legendary Hong Kong had pretty much taken a dish out of a movie and adapted it to their menu — something that I actually am much of a sucker for. A pretty comforting dish which I am most certainly ordering again if I am looking for a real meaty treat.

It seems that Jalan Besar is the new enclave for dim sum of the late, especially with the opening of Sum Dim Sum 心点心 which is located in between Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant and Dim Sum Haus, across the street from Berseh Food Centre. Serving up a variety of dim sum prepared via several cooking methods, congee, noodles and rice offerings amongst a few others, the Signature Crispy Pork Bun is one of the few must-orders here that is especially deserving of its signature status.

Looking almost akin to a similar item offered by a certain Michelin-starred restaurant that have opened multiple locations in Singapore, the Signature Crispy Pork Bun here comes with a slightly green hue. Seemingly infused with Pandan, the buns here come crusted on the exterior, and whiffs of an aromatic buttery fragrance with hint of Pandan. Sinking our teeth into the bun, the crust crumbles down neatly without being causing a mess on the table, while the insides reveal the Char Siew filling. Packed with a decent portion of meat, the Char Siew comes with a mix of fatty and lean meat for a balanced texture that is melt-in-the-mouth, yet carrying some bite; all that while the Char Siew sauce was a good sweet-savoury mix that is sufficiently thick in consistency and flavourful. Pretty impressed with what this new dim sum joint has to offer, with other items such as Hong Kong Signature Curry that features cuttlefish and pig skin — a considerably rare find in Singapore as well for those who are looking to try something new. A place I would certainly return back for more!

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Checked out the new Fong Sou Bing Sat at Blk 131 Jurong Gateway Road, situated just at the HDB estate right beside JCube the other day which is essentially a Hong Kong Char Chaan Teng that serves up cart noodles, macaroni soup, French Toast, Bolo Bun and Skewers alongside neighbourhood bakery-esque breads — a slightly more limited menu for its soft launch as compared to the menu to be served when they are officially opened.

Served in the classic style, the French Toast is simple yet satisfying — just two slices of bread dipped into egg batter and fried with peanut butter spread in between, the bread comes lightly crisp on the exterior, while the creamy peanut butter provides a nutty flavour profile against the sweetness of the honey and savouriness of the knob of butter that gives the Hong Kong-style French Toast its signature flavour that we are familiar with. Liked how they seemed to have taken care of the details here by serving up the knob of butter over ice; keeps the butter solid just in case the patrons decide to have it as a dessert item after the meal despite it being served up almost simultaneously with the other dishes. Would not mind having this on a idyllic weekend whilst hanging out with a friend and sipping on some authentic Hong Kong-style Milk Coffee.

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From So Good Char Chaan Teng, which has just opened a new outlet at 111Somerset.

Went for the Shrimp Dumpling Noodles which was pretty decent — whilst the dumplings aren't the most generously packed around, the dumplings were smooth and silken on the exterior, while filled with an entire shrimp with other ingredients within. Apart from that, the noodles were springy; a little alkaline but easily fixed with the dried chili that introduces a fiery kick that tingles the taste buds apart from being savoury. Not a fan of the huge stalk of vegetables that it comes served with, and the place is certainly not meant to be for folks who are looking for long catch-ups given the claustrophobic environment and self-service nature; that being said, still a convenient location for a meal in town with affordable prices overall.

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Visited Ho Fook Hei Soya Sauce Chicken at Great World City; was spoilt by the various m meat options so we ended up with this even despite ordering the Individual Specialty Rose Soya Sauce Chicken that came with noodles.

Between the two meats we opted for, we preferred the Honey Glaze Barbeque Sauce Pork Belly — the meat being a balance of both fatty and leaner parts that create a meaty bite whilst being tender and reasonably juicy; all glazed in a sticky, thick sauce dense is not too sweet. On the contrary, the Traditional Roast Duck felt rather pedestrian; savoury but lacking a crisp skin, while the cuts were seemingly messier as well though thoughtfully de-boned for easier consumption.

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A collaboration between Fatboys the Burger Bar (opened by local DJs, the “Muttons”) and Roast Paradise, Fook Kin’s Roasted meat and char siew platter stays true and consistent to the ones from Roast Paradise that we are so familiar with. The caramelised char siew was incredibly succulent and juicy; fatty meat with a sweet, crusted exterior that is absolutely melt-in-the-mouth, while the siew Yoke comes with substantial bite and a crisp, crackling skin without being too porky — pretty much the same as what one would get at Roast Paradise. While the addition of mustard is a classic combination with the roast pork, the char siew sauce on the side felt a tad sweet when had together with the char siew; better to be had together with the rice instead. Still as good as ever!

5 Likes

Braved the queue for an hour and a half past their official opening hour on their opening day to give them a try. While the Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk would work well as a sharing item across the table, this would be substantial enough for a light bite just for one. Liked how crisp the buttered bun was, while it comes lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and thousand island accompanying the pork chop in between. Liked how the pork chop was reasonably juicy, tender and had crisp edges without carrying a porky stench, while the pickles give it a zesty crunch and the thousand island providing a creamy richness to the entire item. While most Pork Chop Buns fail to create much of an impression by the end of the meal, Tsui Wah’s is done with a certain level of finesse that makes it rather memorable.

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While the noodles turned a wee bit clumpy after sitting at the table for a while and carried a light alkaline taste, the Shrimp Wanton Noodles were still pretty satisfying — the lightly savoury sauce helps to cover up some of that alkaline flavour for the noodles, while the shrimp wantons were plump and fresh, encasing an entire shrimp that carried its own natural sweetness and a bite as well

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Used to buy the Deep Fried Chicken Wings with Prawn Paste at the Crystal Jade My Bread outlets a couple of years ago when they carried the item in the display shelf at the counter (do they still sell them like that?), so this was an item that we made a point to order at the table when we made our visit to Dim Sum Inc by Crystal Jade. Crisp batter, tender meat that is all succulent and juicy with and evident savoury and umami flavour from the Prawn Paste, the mid joints were pretty enjoyable overall, especially given how they were served piping hot.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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