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Local Hawker Dishes 🇸🇬

Local Hawker Dishes 🇸🇬

Featuring I want my noodle, Hai Xian Zhu Zhou (Ke Kou Mian), Xin Yuan Ji (Bugis), Blanco Court Prawn Noodle, Curry Times (Velocity), 13 Stages (Kallang Wave Mall), Ayer Rajah Food Centre (West Coast Drive), Dynasty Fried Porridge, Food Republic (Suntec City), Lao Zhong Zhong Eating House
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee
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From the Orchard Road Soup Guru stall:

As a newly launched dish, this stall sells a set for their Hakka lei cha with the option for a mini bowl of pork ribs soup (with various ingredient choices) for an additional $4 atop the base price of $6.50. You get a choice of brown rice, pumpkin rice or olive rice. I had the pumpkin rice and the wintermelon pork ribs soup.

I enjoyed the rice bowl after mixing all the ingredients together. It came with firm tofu, anchovies and a variety of chopped vegetables. The pumpkin rice was a fabulous choice with a good amount of soft pumpkin chunks. These provided a sweetness to the rice that contrasted nicely against the fried anchovies and sharp, almost wasabi-like taste of the vegetables. I didn’t pour in or drink much of the lei cha soup as it was bland despite its greenness.

As for the wintermelon with pork ribs soup, the two pork ribs I had were boneless, and were instead soft cartilages which I enjoyed. The meat wasn’t the most tender, but it was soft enough that it didn’t require much wrangling or chewing. Point to note that these pork ribs had lots of fat layered atop the meat. The wintermelon was well-cooked - in the sweet spot as it was soft and melt in your mouth, but didn’t distintegrate from overcooking. The soup was delicious as well.

Overall definitely not the best Hakka lei cha out there, considering that the thunder tea is an important element in this dish and this one was bland. However, I really really enjoyed the rice bowl - enough to make a revisit just for that.

I used to visit the Five Spice stall at the coffee shop near CCK bus interchange religiously as it’s great supper food for Westies and that has always been my benchmark for ngoh hiang, but Lao Zhong Zhong has knocked it completely out of the ball park with their ngoh hiang. I dare say that they don’t offer as wide a variety of ingredients as other ngoh hiang stalls do, but each piece is golden and worth a try for sure because they’re all fried to golden perfection. Crispy, but not dripping in oil! My favourites are the prawn fritter, ngoh hiang roll and the tofu. The tofu is some ho liao for sure - you can’t pick it yourself, they’ll only ask you if you want the tofu and the lup cheong when you pass them your plate. I’d say they’re both MUST ORDERS! The tofu is soft, sweet and pairs so well with the sauce. As for the lup cheong, I’m usually not a fan of Chinese sausage but the version here comes with more lean meat than fat meat and wasn’t too sweet or tough to chew! Genuinely enjoyed it. The coffee shop was packed even at 10pm, and I can see why because while the ngoh hiang is the star of the place, the other food stalls also serve up such delicious-looking food! I’ll be back for more ngoh hiang and to try the other stalls as well!

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From Soon Li Whitley Food Centre Pork Porridge stall:

This coffee shop is PACKED full of good food. Although we came for the ngoh hiang, we were so tempted to order everything else but settled on a steaming hot bowl of porridge to go with the fried fritters. I only realised after that the shop was named Pork Porridge so I probably should’ve gotten pork porridge instead, but I didn’t see it on the menu (only century egg porridge and sliced fish porridges on the signboard for some reason?). Anyway, the century egg lured me in and I have no regrets ordering this at all. The porridge takes a while to be served, but it comes piping hot! Don’t let the whiteness fool you, this bowl of porridge is full of flavour and doesn’t need any soy sauce to make it salty or flavourful. In fact, I was surprised to find salted egg inside the porridge as well! It was a really nice addition to the century egg. I think there was a whole century egg and half a salted egg in this porridge, very affordable at only $4 a bowl. I enjoyed the thinly sliced chicken meat as well, which was not at all stringy, and very tender and juicy. The taste of this porridge actually grows on you even more as you eat it, and Soon Li at Lao Zhong Zhong is definitely going to be a place I’ll put on my radar for porridge in the future, especially convenient because they cater to the late birdies as well. Perfect for a rainy day, late dinner or supper time!

When at Blanco Court, find a table and take note of the table number before placing your order at the cashier! Ordered the Jumbo Prawn & Pork Ribs noodle dry with kuay tiao and added on pig skin at $1. Service is quite fast, and we were quickly served with our bowls of mouth-wateringly good prawn noodles.

The jumbo prawns are really HUGE. In this combo, you get three halves of the prawns and four pieces of pork ribs. It helps that they’re sliced longitudinally so it’s easy to pry the meat out of the shell. Hidden under all that meat is a layer of damn good sambal chilli laying atop a bed of noodles and beansprouts. Upon mixing the chilli into the noodles, I saw only red - that was how generous they were with the chilli, and that’s great because it’s spicy, yet slightly sweet at the same time. It tasted like a fiery sambal chilli that gives you a real flavour kick in the mouth, with a mellower ketchup aftertaste to soothe the flames. So addictively good. Almost everything in this bowl was perfection. I loved the fresh jumbo prawns, the sambal-slick noodles, crunchy beansprouts, aromatic shallots, and the add-on pig skin. The only thing I felt could be improved was the pork ribs, which weren’t as tender or fall-off-the-bone as I would’ve liked, but weren’t dry or hard by any means.

Now, the prawn broth makes or breaks a prawn noodle dish, and Blanco Court serves up the thickest prawn broth I’ve ever seen or tasted. Seriously, the bowl of soup is so thick that it’s completely opaque. It’s packed full of prawn sweetness, and is hands down the best prawn noodle soup I’ve ever had. I used to eat Adam Road Prawn Noodles religiously but their standards have been quite inconsistent for a while, and their prawn broth has never remotely reached this level of thickness. Blanco Court Prawn Noodle has taken over the helm for where I’d go for my prawn noodle fix!

Sadly, the ngoh hiang stall was closed when we visited (probably due to the Vesak Day long weekend). I’m itching to revisit to eat these prawn noodles again with some ngoh hiang on the side!

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An Asian duck confit seasoned with special herbs and served with fresh egg noodles. The egg noodles here are all handmade fresh daily, and they do make some damn good noodles. The noodles are so QQ and springy, plus they are firm and never get soggy even after sitting in fragrant chilli and sesame oil. I enjoyed the duck confit, but it did taste a little bland on its own. Thankfully there’s some chilli paste provided with the duck platter. The tender duck meat is delicious when eaten with the flavourful noodles, and biting into the crispy skin on a spoonful of noodles and meat is amazing. I really enjoyed the deep fried vegetable-stuffed tau pok as well. The batter is done really well, not too thick, and fried to a perfect crispness. The vegetable stuffing completely fell out of one half of my tau pok, but it was still yummy to eat the battered tau pok! Also, the clear radish soup served with every bowl of noodles is worth a mention! The radish makes the soup very sweet, and it’s a great way to end off a hearty meal.

The soy egg in the bowl was an add-on, and unlike the noodles, it was a let down. The soy sauce flavouring wasn’t thick enough, so the egg just tasted unseasoned despite its brown appearance. The egg was soft on the inside, like a hanjuku egg, but the yolk was too overcooked to retain any runniness.

Five juicy meatballs in rich aromatic broth. Seriously this broth packs a huge flavour punch. The herbs remind me of five spice, and it’s such a hearty and warming bowl of soup. There’s some water chestnut cubes inside the soup, which are refreshing and add a crunch. The handmade meatballs are really really nice too. They’re seriously juicy, and not dry at all. Apart from making super good egg noodles, these people know how to make a mean bowl of meatball soup! Recommended!!!

From Mohamed Raihan Muslim stall:

Visited Ayer Rajah Food Centre for a late dinner. Most of the stalls left open were the mamak stalls and as we were sharing our plate of Indian Rojak, this diligent stall owner came to ask if we wanted to order anything else.

The maggi goreng was prepared quickly. The bright red noodles had broken into short strands after being tossed with cubed potatoes, beef, onions and egg, and they were a tad on the salty side. Not the best plate of maggi goreng, but good enough for a quick fix.

Broth is excellent and very flavourful. Even without the addition of milk, the soup is thick and cloudy. This bowl comes with fried fish which is fresh and tender. The fried fish is battered nicely, not too thick. If you can’t decide to go for fresh or fried fish, Xin Yuan Ji has got your back with the mixed fish soup that’s slightly more expensive but gets you the best of both worlds. Note that there’s a lot of sediments at the bottom of the bowl which are gritty and sandy so avoid disturbing the base while savouring the soup.

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Truly a comforting bowl of soup for a rainy day or when you’re under the weather. Each bowl is served piping hot, and even with my ailment-dulled senses, the cloudy fish soup was flavourful and sweet. Aside from the “fresh” fish slices (I’m not sure why they included the quotation marks in the menu), there’s also a few large cubes of silken tofu, bok choy and tomato. They’re generous with the fish which is indeed fresh - the flesh is tender and bouncy, plus they’re large and thick slices so you can really savour each piece! It’s yummy on its own, but I loved eating it dipped into the light soy sauce with chilli padi for an extra sweet, salty and spicy kick. As you reach the bottom of the bowl though, try to avoid disturbing the bottom as there’s a lot of sedimentation at the base. It’s gritty and sandy, probably some ground up crustaceans or shellfish that gives the soup it’s amazing aroma and flavour.

I’ve visited Beauty Nutritious Soup numerous times and love the pumpkin rice at this stall but the standard seems to be inconsistent. Today’s pumpkin rice was tasteless, and tasted almost like regular white rice. It’s still soft and has better texture than the regular white rice at this stall though (the white rice has a texture like plastic beads). Can’t complain for affordable Kopitiam food, and can only try my luck again next time.

Simple and a perfect addition to a bowl of steaming hot soup. The veggies are blanched just long enough so that they keep their crunchiness and texture. The oyster sauce is not that salty, but it’s good enough to impart some flavour to the vegetables. The best way to eat this is to load up on the aromatic shallots with each stalk to get maximum crunch, sweetness and flavour with each bite.

Ordering soups here can be a hit or miss depending on the day or time you visit. There are many factors that go into it - the people working that day, how long the soup has been boiling for, how long the meat has been boiling for, etc, that it’s quite inconsistent with each visit. Usually, I find the taste of the herbal chicken soup quite good anyway - although some days might be richer and more flavourful than others. The chicken is more inconsistent. Some days it’s fall off the bone tender, while on others, it’s tough and requires effort to extricate the meat. Today’s broth was not bad, probably a 6.5/10 based on all the times I’ve visited, and the chicken was a 6/10 which was not tender enough to pull off the bone with ease, but also not hard and dry as a rock.

Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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