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Chinese

Chinese

Featuring ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre, Nan Hwa Chong Fish Head Steamboat Corner, Ah Hua Teochew Fishball Noodle, TungLok Signatures (Changi City Point), Ding Tele, Quan Ji (Amoy Street Food Centre), Island Penang Kitchen, Western Barbeque (Old Airport Road Food Centre), Zheng Yi Hainanese Beef Noodles, Eat At Taipei (Kallang Wave Mall)
Benjamin Sim
Benjamin Sim

My mom loves beef noodles. She’s a beef ball person tho, that being easier to chew and all. This place is steeped in tradition! The Coffeeshop housing the stall itself has been around since I was schooling in St. Andrew’s Junior School. That’s a good 26 years back boy! Most people pick the dry version because it’s more flavourful. The peanuts give interesting texture and add a nutty profile to the gravy. You won’t find undissolved starch in this gravy. The soup version is comforting for a rainy day- I can taste the depth of flavour (radish!) and it’s not the least salty or MSG-y. $7 seems pricy but IMO it’s #worth.

The Signature Fried Pork Belly ($15 medium) (招牌南乳花肉) was a fixture on every table so we had to order it. It was not greasy at all. The omelette (芙蓉蛋- $8) was forgettable so we regretted not getting prawn paste chicken wings. Get 3-4 dishes together with your fishboat and that feeds 5pax. The servings aren’t the largest. Overall decent tze char fair. Call in advance to reserve.

This place prides itself as being the oldest fish head steamboat restaurant in Singapore. They have Garoupa and Pomfret as more expensive options. The $50 pot feeds 4-5 pax. Order all your veg (Napa cabbage and Tang-O) including the must-have fried yam (pro-tip: smash it in the pot to thicken the stock!) the stock is rich with a 酸菜tang. This place is crowded even on a Wednesday night so you’d better call in early to reserve. On weekends there’s always a throng. Food is served fast a-la-tze char style. Fish is fresh, but some people may feel that this Is some expensive fish soup. Get the side character dishes and even out the cost! Came to about $23/ pax with 3 other dishes.

We know the Chinese invented gunpowder. But they probably invented the first bar-bite as well. The small portion comes in a HUGE plate. Because of the sheer volume of fried chilli on it. Three levels of spice for the curious or sadomasochist. This is 麻more than 辣. Look at the crates of 雪白and青岛 around and you know is legit. Opens till 1-2am so is a different kind of supper spot. My go-to 川菜馆 atm. Edit- the branch at Middle Road has closed. This is the one at 9 Selegie Road (S) 18009

At the far end of ABC Brickworks Food Centre is this Hokkien Mee stall run by an old couple. The Uncle does the hard work but the Auntie is the resident food nazi! You got to keep to her unwritten rules or she’ll unleash the kraken on you. 1) Queue for your food in FRONT of the stall. 2) Don’t skimp on the self-service pork lard. 3) Don’t touch the Chilli (this is Auntie’s exclusive domain). Also please let yourself have at least the medium ($5) serving to make the trip worth your while.

The last quarter of the year sees more rain in Singapore. If you are looking to stoke the fire in your bellies with grease, spice and soup, this beacon of joy in Upper Serangoon (Kovan) hits many spots. The dishes shown are some popular side-characters: Signature Steamed Pork Soup Buns 招牌小笼包 ($5.40) was not as soupy as we’d have liked. I’d pass that by for their signature 生煎包. The Oriental Wonton with black vinegar & chilli oil 红油抄手($7.20) balances sour and spice, but is at most a 小辣for the mala fans out there. If you are looking for a Shanghainese version of fried carrot cake then you can try the Deep Fried Glutinous Rice with Shrimp ($4). It’s crispy, shrimpy and umami, and gives your choppers a workout.

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Take a bone-in pork chop, bread it, and fry it! This is all fat-on-fat action. Definitely One of the better sides to get at 鼎特乐! All their fried dishes are prepared a la minute, so you can expect a crispy (Panko?) exterior any time, all the time. Share this amongst 3 pax and you can still hope for a paiseh piece.

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Kovan is the beating heart of Upper Serangoon’s supper scene! That stretch of eateries cantered around Mee Sek Coffee Shop is the life of the after-8 party. Ding Tele 鼎特乐is a bastion of difference in Chicken Hotpot (鸡煲) territory. Their signature 生煎包should come with a burn warning- beware the 100 degrees celsius mouthful of broth wrapped in that fluffy/crispy package! I daresay there’s more liquid in one 生煎包than a 小笼包 from 鼎台风 🤭. Just ask the crowd of ubiquitously Chinese people around. This place is legit!

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Quan Ji is the king of the hill for tze char at Amoy Street Hawker Centre. The Saturday night dinner crowd attests to that. No one else would go back to their CBD lunch spot on a weekend unless the food was good. The menu is limited but one needs to have FOCUS to do well in life. You cannot sell good tao huey and expect to do good ice kacang. Something’s gotta give. The San Lor Hor Fun had discernible wok hei, although the sauce was nothing to shout about. They were generous with the fish slices tho! Har Cheong Gai was competent, but I would have liked it better if they used parts from the whole chicken instead of just the mid-joints. Cheap & Good! Comes up to less than $20 per pax if you come in a group of 3-4.

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This is an off-menu item that everyone orders. Why is it off-menu? Cos the menu is just what’s shown on their signboard lol. No worries if you don’t know what to eat here. Everyone around you in Amoy Street Hawker Centre is eating the same thing. So point discreetly to the neighbouring tables and the auntie will know what you want! If you eat this by itself, it will satiate 2pax. But who does that for tze char dinner? This is ample for 3-4 (I daresay even 5) pax if you order the other dishes at Quan Ji. I mean that’s the whole point of tze char right?

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I asked my Grabhitch passenger for dinner recommendations at Old Airport Road Food Center. She said that there was a western hawker stall selling the BOMB western food. At 8:00PM there were at least 3-5 pax waiting around for their dinner dapao! Regulars swear that the price has increased from yester-years. Fact still is that you get a chunk of meat, crinkle-cut fries and coleslaw at a price-point lower than Astons (oops)! The gravy is balanced- not cloyingly sweet or mouth-parchingly salty. OG!

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Lu Rou Fan is comfort food 101. There’s some spice (star anise?) in the braising sauce here. It’s not your straight-up soya sauce base. I’m not a huge fan of chains and franchises but if you’re looking for homely food in Kallang Wave Mall this is stick-to-ribs good. The beverages here can get a tad pricey, but if you have this for lunch you’ll already be on your way to a massive food coma.

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I can eat Nasi Lemak 3 times a day for a month.

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