Asian

Asian

Featuring Legendary Hong Kong, LeNu Chef Wai’s Noodle Bar (Bugis Junction), NOW Noodles +, Good Chance Popiah (Silat Avenue), Island Penang Kitchen, Traditional Penang Food (Kitchener Complex), Manhill Restaurant, Johore Ye Zhi Mei Hand Made Pau, Cod Fish Speciality House, Sin Hoe Huat Cafe (Kam Leng Hotel)
Michelle Kayla Tey
Michelle Kayla Tey

Go big or go home, they said. And big is definitely the way to go here, because big gets you a fat & fluffy bao dripping with juices. There's (half) an egg, mushrooms, Chinese waxed sausage, and chunks of chicken and pork in there. It's a little sweeter than the usual, but that's partly why I like it.

Apart from a variety of handmade baos like char siew, kong bak pau, red bean, etc, there are also interesting variations of dim sum such as the Century Egg Siew Mai ($1.80) in the background. Regular and salted egg versions also available. Tastes pretty decent, but definitely not the highlight here. Save your calories for the super big bao & more Jalan Besar eats instead.

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Wasn't quite feeling "meaty" that day, so I went for the Yellowtail Fish with Preserved Vegetable Noodles ($10.80), also available in pickled cabbage instead of preserved vegetables. Pretty tasty stuff. Served in their signature pork bone soup, it's like having tonkotsu ramen but with chunks of succulent fish instead. What's different is the addition of preserved vegetable (梅干菜), which gave the flavourful soup a complex, savoury depth.

If you need more to fill up that tummy, there are many tempting appetisers to choose from, such as Pork Wanton in Chilli Vinaigrette ($5.80), Long Jing Tea Lava Egg ($1.80) and Chilled Silken Tofu with Century Egg ($2.80). The latter two were refreshing appetite openers; the lava egg a molten version of Taiwan's signature tea leaves egg (茶叶蛋).

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That charred top sure looked pretty on picture, but sadly, fell short of expectations. Though the crust was fairly crisp, I wished the bun itself had the crispy grilled exterior and fluffy insides that I'm crazy about. The kaya was also way too sweet, even for a sugar fiend like I. 😖

That said, I wouldn't mind chilling out at this nostalgic-meets-grungy cafe, housed in the charmingly retro Kam Leng Hotel. Might return to try the enticing Mee Pok (served with poached egg), but will probably skip their toasts in future.

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This was from Malaysian Sidewalk Peddler, a humble little stall housed in Lavender MRT's Kopitiam, which erm, peddles Malaysian delights (mainly Ipoh, it seems). Items like Ipoh Hor Fun and Ipoh Prawn Noodles jostled for my attention, but I went for this nostalgic-sounding dish in the end. I can totally picture a peddler selling this from a tuk-tuk, in my own sepia-toned imagination.

Ok back to the verdict. This is somewhat similar to our local wanton mee, but there are some noticeable differences. The dark gravy was slightly thicker & sweeter, and goes well with their chilli; the charsiew were tender morsels of tastiness, and the noodles had more bite than the usual egg noodles, and didn't reek of "lye" at all. The wantons were more skin than meat, but some people like it that way. 🙃

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Not your normal chendol, but PENANG chendol gaiz. Love those huge red beans and non-processed pandan-scented "worms". Thankfully, the level of sweetness was just right, and it was nicely balanced with savouriness from coconut milk. Ask for more Gula Melaka if you need your saccharine boost.

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This bowl of Assam Laksa is as good as it gets in Singapore. It's definitely less pungent than the ones in Penang due to the restrained use of prawn paste, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. And that sacrilegious statement could be made only because this was so well-balanced in flavours, with the right amount of tartness, sweetness, and a lovely spicy kick to set your tastebuds tingling. The full-bodied, mackerel-rich broth clung nicely onto the chewy rice noodles, which were really unique, like a longer version of mee tai mak.

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Get the dry mee siam (so good) instead, or if laksa is more your thing, the dry laksa at Violet Oon Singapore still wins hands down. Points given for using fresh, non-frozen prawns tho. #burpple

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Now, this was the last to arrive, and was undisputedly the best of the lot. Like the feisty yet charming sister of the robust Dry Laksa, this Dry Mee Siam instantly won us over with its tangy flavours, perked up with tamarind and infused into the springy strands of beehoon. Simple, yet mouthwateringly good.

The Heng Hwa Soup Noodles was sold out when we were there at 6-ish for dinner, so we ended up ordering all three dry-style noodles, which might be an overkill, especially if you can't stomach that much spice.

This was something special; who would've thought that century egg could also work well with noodles? The creamy yolk formed the perfect foil for the chewy mee tai mak, stir-fried in a rempah redolent of spice and hae bee hiam. I liked that it carried a hint of smokiness, and had great textures and flavours from the generous smattering of ingredients – squid, mushrooms, egg, and spring onion.

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The best part of this was its flavourful rempah, packing a robustly spicy punch, but somehow let down by the limp, slightly overcooked noodles, which could also have benefited from a little wok hei. Get the dry mee siam (so good) instead, or if laksa is more your thing, the dry laksa at Violet Oon Singapore still wins hands down. Points given for using fresh, non-frozen prawns tho.

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So the mental note to try out this place has finally been realised. Honestly, I came with low expectations, but was proven so, so wrong by this unassuming spot. The broth's sweet prawn-y goodness was highly addictive; every sip seemed to unravel greater depth of flavours. It may have all the standard PPM ingredients in it, but the robust broth alone made the $5 oh-so-worth-it.

Targeting to return for the Penang char kway teow, Assam laksa, and Chendol next. Hopefully it'd be an equally good report!

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He satisfies my mouth with good things ❤️

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