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Featuring The Coconut Club, Garçons (Essen at The Pinnacle), Authentic Mun Chee Kee King of Pig's Organ Soup, Mr Wholly, Manna Story (Plaza Singapura), Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh, 5 Senses (Bedok Point), Hawkerman, Yentafo Kruengsonge (Cathay Cineleisure Orchard), LeNu Taiwan Beef Noodle Bar (Bugis Junction)
Jayson Yeo
Jayson Yeo
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Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle ($10)
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It’s been decades since I revisited Chiew Kee Noodle House which serves up rows and rows of delectable perfectly braised chicken hanging in the glass window. The lunch crowd wasn’t overwhelming so thank goodness. We ordered soy sauce chicken for 2 pax and 2 plates of noodles. Lesson learnt, in future, order half chicken instead ($14) so that you get the full works of the chicken parts. Our plate of chicken for 2 pax comprised mainly breast meat instead of a good mix of parts.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns ($5.30)
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Since day one, these pillowy buns with a chewy interior and a crusty top filled with honeyed pork filling from @thwsingapore always had me reaching out for a 2nd helping. Something so seemingly simple can be so deeply gratifying.
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Special mention also to that sinfully addictive braised chicken feet with abalone sauce ($5). The chicken feet is so well braised and fully infusing that umami abalone goodness without turning its texture overly mushy. Even the accompanying beancurd skin is a delight to slurp up with the sauce.

Musclemen, Dry Tossed Ramen ($9.90)
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Quite pleasantly surprised and impressed with @cookmee_ ‘s offerings. Tried the Musclemen and opted for the hebi-hiam chilli version topped with salted egg fried chicken with add on roast beef slices (+$4). The hebi hiam was fragrant and added a huge flavour boost to the noodles. The salted egg chicken was a tad overcooked so tasted slightly tough. Thankfully, the sliced roast beef was cooked just right and had a tender bite and a good meaty flavour, totally not what I was expecting at this price point. For $4, there were 3 giant slices of that roast beef which was great for sharing! The other bowl we had was the Char Siew Pork. Generous serving of about 6 slices of tender melt-in-your mouth char siew pork belly. Topped with an onsen egg, both bowls made for a delicious and hearty lunch. Both of us added a bowl of collagen soup ($3.50ea). This was super value as you could still pick 5 ingredients to be added to the soup.

Fried Taro Dumplings ($5.50)
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Seasonal item @thwsingapore not available at all branches so I’m always delighted to see this available at the branch I am visiting. There have been several versions of this taro dumplings from Tim Ho Wan with the best being the one with chilli crab filling. These taro dumplings were instead filled with curry-esque flavoured pork slices. Overall, I would always order this for its fragrant and flaky yam pastry shell.

Salmon Nasi Lemak ($8.90)
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$8.90 seemed like a steal for a plate of nasi lemak served at a hipster coffeeshop, especially when it serves up unusual ingredients such as salmon and baby squid. I was rather skeptical when picking my choice from the option of prawns, baby squid and a salmon fillet for my protein. I picked the most unusual option to give it a shot. The slab of salmon was rather generous and topped with a mildly spicy sambal sauce but if there’s one thing that really bothers me about salmon, it’s about overcooked salmon. @MrWholly ‘s salmon fillet was tough as a new pair of leather shoes and tasted rather dry. The served rice was also not at least lukewarm. The piece of scrambled egg resembled those found int $1.50 nasi lemak packets. The only silver lining in the dish was the abundance of crispy anchovies. For the same price, you would probably get more bang for your buck at the nearby nasi padang eateries.

Pomfret Steamboat ($35/medium)
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It has been a long while since I revisited my favourite steamboat place at Tian Wai Tian fishhead steamboat. Whilst they have several branches, it’d be best to visit the main branch at the corner along Serangoon road. Prices have stayed low over the years thankfully while not compromising on taste. My preference of fish is always the pomfret for its silky smooth flesh and you will find generous slices in the steamboat kept piping hot by traditional charcoal. What’s great here is unlike other eateries serving up fishhead steamboat, TWT’s steamboat is packed with actual fish meat and not just the bones from the head. Trying to dine here on weekends will probably lead to frustration from the wait time so it’s best to try your luck either on weekdays or go early on weekends.

Tofu Prawn ($13)
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A must order at almost every table at Tian Wai Tian fishhead steamboat would be their tofu prawn. The gravy is extremely thick and eggy and full of umami flavours oozing out from all those prawn heads. The silken tofu is first fried before being simmered in the delicious gravy that will be drizzling all over everyone’s rice bowl. The prawns though not always carrying that springy texture is still a delight biting into while savouring the burst of juice from the flesh.

Oyako Don ($12.80)
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For quick lunch time fix in the cbd area, @yatagarasu72 serves up lunchtime don sets which will not burn holes in pockets! This Oyaku don or Japanese style chicken rice topped is topped with a copious amount of egg and that all inviting runny egg yolk that just made the entire bowl of rice delish. The chicken pieces however were a little bland and needed rescuing by the 7-spice powder condiment provided. The Karaage don on the other hand was much tastier especially with the freshly fried chicken thigh pieces.

Osaka Style Ramen ($10)
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Newly opened hipster foodcourt @Fomosg located along Sultan Gate is a collection of notable eateries like Poke Doke, Kani Mochi and while this Osaka Style Ramen from Zamza is relatively unknown, it is actually brought about by the people behind Jimotaya. I had high hopes for this bowl of economically priced japanese favourite especially since Zamza’s selling proposition is to be a cut above in terms of quality, taste and value.
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Breaking down the ramen bowl, there was fresh chinese cabbage giving the bowl a strange crunchy element, 4 slices of charsiew which was probably half the size of usual char siew slices and tasted rather bland, wakame and a soft boiled egg doing a rather poor impersonation of an onsen egg which had been badly sliced and contains a half ripen yolk. The broth was hailed to be using ONLY imported Japanese Shio and carried a fanciful name such as “Osaka Style Tori Kuriya ‘Clear’ Shio Broth” but it’s ultimately all about the flavour regardless of the origin of the salt used and my verdict was that the broth tasted disappointingly briny with neither aromatics nor layers of flavour.

Coffee Pork Ribs ($8)
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This dish is almost always on my order sheet at Tian Wai Tian. Unlike most other places’ pork ribs which would be laden with bones and little meat, it is always a pleasure to find that most of the ribs here are 90% meat and have minimal bones. The flesh has been marinated deeply with that coffee flavour reminiscent of Kopiko with a slightly caramelized exterior providing a sticky and moist texture for the meat. This small plate had at least 8 pieces of ribs!

Chicken Rice Delux Set ($7.20)
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@XinLongXing is apparently a chicken rice shop as stated on the front of their menu. I order the Deluxe Single Set since it came with a side portion of bean sprouts and chinese radish soup. Seems pretty worth the price for the entire set. The plate of chicken rice even came with an additional piece of fried fish ball (?) as an extra side. I would strongly recommend opting for the other dishes as the chicken rice definitely lagged behind in flavour and tasted ordinary. I was pretty disappointed when my plate of chicken breast was served without any of the chicken skin (not that I would consume all of it). I couldn’t even tell whether my chicken was roasted or the hainanese white version. Rice also tasted rather bland.

Mui Fan ($6)
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One of the charming things about @SanukKitchen would be how the chef still believes in no shortcuts and doing everything the traditional way. This is my first time having muifan which is so detailed that even the rice is first fried to infuse wok-hei in it. The rice grains were all tossed and slightly charred and you can only imagine it went so well with the seafood gravy. Most tze char places these days just dump the freshly prepared gravy onto a bed of white rice which was why I was quite mesmerized by this dish.
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Whilst Saunk Kitchen may be inaccessible for some, it was good to know that the chef was working with the times to do deliveries under Food Panda with plans to start his own delivery services so that everyone can still enjoy tzechar done the traditional way.

About Jayson Yeo

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