Not Your Usual Places

Not Your Usual Places

I like hunting for places that are not widely publicized, they could be newly opened or because they are ulu. Still, they can be surprisingly good too!
Miss Ha ~
Miss Ha ~

It is the chai tow kway or fried carrot cake we all know, except that this was made and served in slabs instead of how it’s usually cut into pieces. Wrapped within a layer of fried egg, the radish cake is also fried alongside some savoury preserved radish. Slightly oily, but this is definitely gonna load your carbs intake high yet bland on the tastebuds. Consider requesting for chili to inject some flavour.

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Say what, a $6 chendol? It’s a single portion too, by the way. Keep in mind the elevated hawker fare here are served at the touristy Clarke Quay. A usual shaved ice drenched with coconut milk, palm sugar and topped with kidney beans and green chendol. Excluding the fact that it’s pricey, I like that it wasn’t overwhelming with coconut milk but could also do with more palm sugar as it is indeed just that bit you see in the center of the shaved ice. Would say that the amount of kidney beans and green chendol were pretty generous.

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Of the sharing sides that we had, I would highly recommend the prawn paste chicken wings. Despite their unassuming looks, a bite into the crispy batter revealed how flavorful and juicy they were. The fermented prawn paste taste came through pretty strong but not overly fishy nor salty. Only downside, it’s pricey for $2.50 per piece of mid wing.

We also had the sambal sotong served on a hot plate with watery sambal chili like an acidic yet tomato gravy. Would have preferred the sambal to be of the usual thicker consistency and slightly more spicy. The sotong, though, was chewy and of reasonable portion.

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Awww, just look at that luscious egg yolk sitting right in the middle of the hor fun. Precisely the reason why we wanted to try this. Just like the CKT, flat rice noodles were stir fried in a savory sauce reduction with bean sprouts, chives and sliced onion, yet again missing the smoky wok hei. I stole a bite off the prime beef slices; how tough it was to tear them apart.

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Looking very much like its hawker version, Yum Sing serves this CKT that’s fried using flat rice noodles with Chinese sausages, chives, bean sprouts, sliced fish cake, eggs, prawns and cockles in a soy sauce mix. Surprisingly, I found quite a handful of small cockles in this single portion. Prawns were pretty fresh too. While the basic taste of the dish was on point, it was missing the crucial element - wok hei. Disappointment can be expected.

Dining at the newly opened @yum.sing by Putien felt like I traveled back in time with the neon lights, old-fashioned iron window grilles, and even a counter that looked like a pawn shop in place. Waves of nostalgia set in when I saw merry-go-round horses on the ceiling at the dining area with marble tables and rattan chairs, in front of the stage meant for live performances. Truly living up to the restaurant’s concept inspired by the New World Amusement Park.

Paying homage to true blue Singaporean cuisine, Yum Sing serves a variety of single portion hawker dishes at pretty affordable price on enamel plates. Additionally for it’s Hokkien Mee stir-fried with meat and seafood, one would be delighted to spot the traditional opeh leaf. I would usually look at how ‘wet’ a fried hokkien mee is; for this one, it was slightly wet but not drenched in the broth. My friend felt like it had a strong meaty taste, but I could do with stronger umaminess from a richer broth. While the sambal chilli packed a punch, it was also tangy.

Now this is no longer about fear factor, but erm, crocodile’s dick? Let’s just say the bunch that night was all out for some exotic food. Dishes like this fits just perfectly to the speakeasy theme of The Dragon Chamber, which really pushes diners out of the comfort zone.

A chicken and pork based herbal soup double-boiled for 6 hours, featuring the crocodile’s penis. Expectedly, everyone was looking forward to a piece of the dick. Honestly, there wasn’t much taste to it. Again a slimy texture, this time round reminded me of some fats. Soup base was lightly sweet, with some Chinese herbs. For first timers, I would recommend sharing.

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How often do you have crocodile served on the table? If you are an adventurous foodie, this one is not to be missed! I had my reservations but my curiosity got the better of.

The Singapore farmed crocodile foot braised in a thick herbal sauce, served on a bed of kale. With the sides lit-up around with fire, I applaud them for the dish presentation.

Now, the taste. Started off with the herbal sauce, which was quite salty actually. Slowly and carefully, I took a bite off the webbed-skin which was slimy, but would remind me to be one that’s collagen rich. Tore off the meat underneath; was I tasting some tender herbal braised chicken meat? A true surprise to find out crocodile meat would actually taste like some lightly-flavoured white meat.

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Ah my kind of restaurant! Housed on the upper floor of The Riverhouse located right at the heart of Clarke Quay, Mimi, or secret in Chinese, truly exudes a sense of mystery as you walk through their unassuming entrances. As I entered the restaurant with a chic interior, I could already feel the type of playfulness that I am expecting in their dishes. Enjoy also the serenity of the Singapore river at the roof terrace while overlooking the bustling drinking scene downstairs.

Say what? Chinese tapas! First time in my life. This saucy egg and crab affair presented in “Yin and Yang” is Mimi’s interpretation of a de-shelled chilli crab. The second place I have ever come across eating chili crab without having to dirty my hands. Chili crab sauce here had a fine balance between heat spicy and tanginess, with generous amount of sweet crab meat. In the other half with the egg white sauce, reminded me of a Chinese dish, 赛螃蟹. Instead of the fluffy egg, it was made into a simple starchy egg sauce, which brilliantly exhibited the crab meat’s freshness. So good that we couldn’t help but to mop up every single drop with those mini golden fried mantous. At least, my guests were pretty impressed.

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The Gindara Nabe was a mixture of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, glass noodles and fresh Gindara, or cod fish slices. Softly textured without having to worry about fishbones. Cooked in a shoyu soup stock which I thought would have been rather salty, but surprisingly not. Perfect dish for a rainy weather.

Private room dining reservation is also available with average spending per person of $60.

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Contrastingly to the Una Tama Don, the Oyako Don was rather sweet, perhaps slightly losing the overall balance. However the chicken thigh chunks were well marinated with soy sauce and cooked till tender. Would have preferred a good balance of sweet and saltiness, just like how a normal oyako don would be.

Expect larger-than-usual portions over at Chef Peter’s place. I’d probably have issues finishing a Don by myself if not for my friends. The Una Tama Don had slices of freshly grilled eel, blanketed along with egg and onion over a bed of fluffy Japanese rice. Taste of Dashi stock and Mirin sauce could be detected amidst the savouriness. Unlike the common unagi chunks, the slices here reminded me of how eels are usually cooked in Chinese cuisines instead, as what we know as 鱔魚.

Foodie for life <3

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