Hawker finds, Tzechars & wallet friendly eats

Hawker finds, Tzechars & wallet friendly eats

Deliciously sinful tzechar dishes, hawker finds and communal dining options for the masses
Chubby Cheeks
Chubby Cheeks

Having been disappointed by the sirloin don earlier, I told myself that this place doesnt a second chance for its beef offerings. Perhaps… other items are worth a try. So here I am, trying the Unagi don and unfortunately, once again disappointed. Again, as with the previous experience, presentation wise - the dish looked promising, with a chunky slice of unagi nicely glazed and flavoured, topped with an onsen egg by the side. This time, I did away with the rice and decided on a full salad based. I polished off the sides, saving the ‘best’ for the last. Unfortunately, a bite into the unagi left me disappointed. The quality wasn’t as what you’d expect in Japanese restaurants (some would say, you pay for what you get) - the meat were a tad dry on the insides. On the exterior, the skin was rubbery and chewy, it took effort to slice it with my fork and spoon, or even, to bite it off. Twice bitten, forever shy. Unfortunately not a place where I’d revisit for the steeper-than-usual hawker fare and less-than-expected quality.

Priced at $11/bowl, the sirloin don is definitely not your usual pocket-friendly hawker fare. Yet again, compared to Japanese dons in restaurants, this is a steal, with no added cost (gst/ service charge). Served with seasonal greens that vary from day-to-day, with the option of salad base/ rice/ soba base or a mix of either 2, this makes up for a rather balanced meal. Presentation wise, the dish looked rather appetising and promising, with a gooey onsen egg too! Unfortunately, my first bite into the sirloin was disappointing - it was rubbery and chewy in texture, definitely took time to chew. And yes, it definitely looked undercooked and a tad bloody. The greens were fresh, and tastes as expected in plain, raw form. There wasn’t much dressing (if any added, I coudlnt quite taste it). The salad base fared a lil’ better, with some tangy mayo drizzled atop but otherwise, again, this was nothing fantastic to shout about. While the dish was served with Japanese rice, it was perhaps the most authentic-looking as it gets. The ‘homemade’ gravy that was drizzled atop the rice was lacking in umami and looked rather bland - translucent, light brown. It tasted as bland as it looked.

Easily one of the more popular stalls at Market street hawker centre, with long queues during lunch hour. I joined the queue; having read the online reviews, I thought it might be worth a shot. Unfortunately, their take on lor mee didn’t quite wow me. Also possibly one of the less impressive lor mee I’ve tried (Tiong Bahru, Amoy Street/Whampoa). Perhaps I arrived at a bad timing - there weren’t much of noodles selections available and I ended up having a mix of beehoon and yellow noodles. Noodles aside, the fried fish was mediocre. The other accompaniments (eg. Fried balls) were bland and to be honest, I couldn’t quite figure out what they were. Was it meat balls? Or mildly seasoned Ngoh-hiang? It’s very much over-hyped!

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Founded tgt with maki-san’s founder, Wooshi serves signature rolls and DIY rolls at a highly affordable price. Ingredients were fresh and tasty! I noted a slight difference in the protein selections this time tho (2nd visit) - they no longer have smoked duck on their menu! Not sure if it’s just specific to the outlet at One North. But in any case, am happy with my rollicious lunch!

Psst: Wooshi’s DIY sushi rolls are way way way more affordable with Burpple beyond. Why go for maki-san (and pay maki san’s price) when you can have the same at half the price with Burpple beyond?

A Xi'An street specialty, this sandwich wrap resembles a scaled down, palm sized version of the murtabak. The crispy 'sandwich' reminds me of prata - execept that it wasnt fried with ghee (phew) but rather, baked in a wok/pan. The exterior was incredibly crispy that flakes fall off with each bite. They're many different fillings available. I had the signature pork, where the pork flakes were stewed in a blend of secret spices and mixed with crunch green capsicums. It looked kinda like tuna. The pork flakes were super tender and juicy - I appreciate how it doesnt reek of oil or gets overly salty - tho at some bites, you do realise you're biting into some bits of fats (negligible i would say!). At $4.90++, this is definitely an affordable lunch choice in the CBD area. The big eaters may consider to add-on a bowl of their signature suan la fen to complete the meal! You know this appeal to the office crowd from the long queue at lunch time and also... sightings of plenty Westerners in the queue!

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Do not aspect any wow factor. It’s indeed the typical neighbourhood hokkien mee, with decent chilli sauce and pork lard. It makes a decent choice to satisfy any Hokkien mee craving but definitely not the top choice considering the rather poor order management. It was a terribly long wait despite having pre-ordered on grab food. As it turned out, the stall doesnt start working on your order until you’ve appeared in-person for collection. What’s the pre-ordering system for then? A total wait of 40mins, not because the queue was particularly long due to the exceptional food but because it’s a breakdown of 20mins prep time (per grab app) + 20mins actual prep time (when you show up in person for collection)

a chance find around the Bukit Batok neighbourhood! Cheap, good, and incredibly generous with portion size. Food items are generally good but here’s featuring the jaw-droppingly amazing fries! Laden with an incredibly huge serving of pulled pork fries, mayo sauce and nacho cheese sauce. It could well be a meal in itself, if not for the fact that it’s too fattening and sinful 🙊

Slurrrpppppps! It’s not as famed as Amoy, Xin Mei Xiang, 178 Tiong bahru lor mee, but a good substitute if the famous lor mee stalls are too far away!

Addition for fish fritters comes with the choice of $1, $2 or $3. Featured here’s the $2 portion. Love how it doesn’t reek of bad oil and still remained crispy after 2-3 hours in the open!

Yet another great find from JP Kitchen! Perfect for communal meals. It comes with very spicy drumlets, Unagi and snow carb inari, as well as nacho cheese gyoza! Search them up online now!

Psst: They’re halal!

Highly recommending this premium Tako platter for communal meals! Who says you can only find Takos at Pasar malams? Who says catered food are boring? I came across the interesting Japanese-themed menu from JP Kitchen. Check out their website!

On the tako balls - I love the generous serving of bonito flakes. There’re different fillings to select from - octopus, prawn, hotdog etc. Toppings include nacho cheese sauce, toniko, signature sauce etc. This was well loved by the fam!

Psst: it does get a lil’ too filling and jelat if you’ve one too many!

Finally landed my hands on some of the delicious hehpiahs - adapted from a 👵🏼‘s recipe. Each piece was generously filled with some cabbage, silverfish, spring onions and prawn. I love the crisp! The consistency of the sizes could be further improved tho! It was a lil’ too doughy for some pieces. Also, it’d be great if they were fried to a lighter brown 🙂

Tip: The price per piece gets cheaper if you order more.

Support local and online now from the Hehpiahfamily! on Instagram!

Incredibly well smoked and marinated pulled-pork that’s generously loaded atop fries, nacho cheese and Mayo mix. This alone is a meal in itself but definitely less sinful as a shared side! Best part? It’s probably only 1/3 of the price restaurants would typically charge. Can’t believe this is only $5.50!!!

My chubby cheeks speak of my love in uncovering new bites & savouring ‘em all!

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