Chinese

Chinese

Featuring IKEA Restaurant (Alexandra), New Ubin Seafood (Hillview), Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice (Jalan Besar), Ellenborough Market Café, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Holland Village), Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice, Rasapura Masters, Chin Chin Eating House, Geylang Lorong 29 Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee, Tian Wai Tian Fishhead Steamboat (Serangoon)
Gladys Tan
Gladys Tan

It’s been a while since I had Sichuan-style skewers and we decided to try Panda BBQ (熊猫撸串) at 273 New Bridge Road. Boy was it a sinful dinner🤣! We ordered an array of skewers and dishes and it amounted to $85 for 3 pax.

There is a wide selection of skewers and they are pretty tasty! My favourites include BBQ chives, beef, chicken, pork intestine, mushroom and chicken skin. The seasoning for all the skewers is about the same and it does get quite salty after a while, so it’s good that we ordered a non-spicy dish like Handmade Wanton in Chicken Soup to balance things out.

Apart from the skewers, we also had BBQ eggplant and enoki mushroom. They are super fragrant and garlicky, but they are also swimming in oil😅 The oiliness did get to me after awhile, especially since we did not pair this with rice to cut the grease.

For carbs, we had Hot and Spicy Beef Noodles (麻辣牛肉面) and Clear Noodles in Spicy Sauce (川北凉粉). The beef noodle is quite flavourful but the beef is on the tougher side. The 凉粉 is a much welcomed cold appetiser amidst all the spicy dishes and the vinegar helps to cut through the strong flavours.

While the food is generally tasty, it can get quite salty, oily and jelak after a while, for me at least. If I were to return again, I will probably order a good mix of intense and milder dishes for better balance and if there is an option for lesser oil, my advice is to take it😛

We ordered Moon Shape Prawn Cake ($11) and although it doesn’t look like much, it’s unexpectedly good! The crispiness of the spring roll skin complements the tasty prawn and pork filling inside and it is served with a sweet and sour chilli sauce.

We had Fried Rice with Crispy Chicken Cutlet ($12.90). The chicken is well-marinated and it is very crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The fried rice is pretty fragrant and it reminds me of the fried rice from Din Tai Feng.

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The Sunrise Braised Meat Rice ($10) checks all the things I love in a good bowl of 滷肉飯: 1) the pork belly is flavourful, soft and has just the right amount of fats, 2) it goes very well with the short grain rice, preserved vegetables and braised egg, and 3) the “sunrise” version comes with a sunny side up and the runny yoke gives it an extra oomph. Definitely one of the better 滷肉飯 I have tried in Singapore!

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I have been wanting to try the Taiwanese-style shacha hotpot from Feima Stone Hotpot for the longest time ever:D We got the large hotpot ($21.90 for 5 pax) which came with 1 choice of meat. We topped it up with a Meat Lover Tray ($20) which included 3 portions of meat and ordered a variety of hotpot ingredients ranging from $3 - $9 per plate.

This hotpot is quite unlike other hotpots as the broth is prepared right before you on the table. The server first fry some onions, carrots, cuttlefish and meat with shacha sauce (aka 沙茶酱, which is an aromatic sauce made from oil, garlic, shallots, chilli, brill fish and dried shrimp) in the pot to extract the flavours, before adding broth to form the soup base. The shacha sauce is quite fragrant and the soup gets sweeter and more flavourful as more ingredients are added.

For meat, we chose pork belly, pork collar and chicken thigh, and they are very tender and delicious. There are also many hotpot ingredients to choose from and my favourites include Pocket with Fish Roe (福袋), Prawn Paste, Stuffed Mini Tofu Puff and the tofu that looks like a Mahjong tile. Hotpot aside, the other star of the show would have to be the Braised Pork Rice 卤肉饭 ($2.50) - it’s a perfect match with the shacha hotpot and it’s so good🤤

We ended dinner with complimentary ice cream kiaped from a vending machine - talk about completing the whole Taiwan experience👏🏻! In the end, the bill totalled to about $120 for 5 pax, which was mindblowingly affordable given the quality and how stuffed we were by the end of the meal. Glad to finally check this off my wish list!

The star of the night will have to be the Salt-Baked Whole Barramundi ($40) - the fish is incredibly soft and moist, and the tangy chilli sauce that is served on the side complements the natural sweetness of the fish.

Chef Joel’s BBQ Pork Cheek ($18) is a premium pork cheek char siew that is grilled to perfection. Unlike pork belly, there isn’t a distinct layer of fat but the meat remains succulent and moist with a nice char. Love the pairing of the char siew with a zingy Isaan-inspired sauce and refreshing achar as well!

Singapore Style Chilli Prawns ($22) feature fresh and crunchy prawns cooked in a chilli crab-inspired sauce. The sauce is spicy, sweet and savoury and it goes very well with rice and fried mantou ($0.50 per piece).

The Fried Chicken Wing ($4.50) is very juicy and the crispy fermented beancurd batter is packed with umami.

The Pan Fried Carrot Cake ($5) is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and topped with lots of fried garlic and dried shrimps, which reminds me of XO sauce. This is like a znged up version of the normal pan fried carrot cake!

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The Beef Noodle ($8.20) is really delicious - the springy egg noodles is tossed in lots of fried garlic and it is so fragrant! The flavourful beef brisket melts in your mouth but the rest of beef can be a little softer. Nonetheless, the taste is on point and this is definitely better than I expected.

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The Signature Lor Mee ($6) from Xin Mei Xiang is one of the best lor mee I ever had❤️ The noodles are coated in a thick gravy that is savoury and flavourful, and the chilli and garlic give it a robust punch. The vinegar cuts through the strong flavours and brings a nice balance to the dish.

However, what really sets this bowl of lor mee apart from the rest is the generous portion of pan-fried fish flakes - it is delicious and it goes so well with the gravy! Along with braised egg and braised pork, it makes a really hearty and comforting meal.

As someone who generally leans toward 重口味food, the lor mee from Xin Mei Xiang is definitely up my alley. The portion is very generous as well. Do note that it is usually quite busy during lunch time, so be prepared to queue and wait for a table - but having said that, it’s worth the wait!

Feed the yellowcarnivore @yellowcarnivoreeats

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