Chinese Food

Chinese Food

Featuring Mui Kee Congee (Shaw Centre), Din Tai Fung (Raffles City), Tan Yu ([email protected]), Din Tai Fung (Wisma Atria), King Of Fried Rice (Golden Mile Tower), Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice (NEX), Kai Duck, Joy Luck Teahouse (ION Orchard), Wan Xing Mala Xiang Guo, Putien (Resorts World Sentosa)
Terence Ong
Terence Ong

Kam Kee HK Milk Tea ($3.50 -hot / $3.80 - cold). What makes a good HK milk tea is how it’s brewed. Essentially Celyon tea with full cream evaporated milk based on their secret recipe. My standard order will be cold/ 凍奶茶 with less sugar.

I had this twice. The first time didn’t taste as good as the second. I allude this to the person brewing the tea.

The humble Bo Lo/ Pineapple Bun (菠蘿包) is one that you can find in most bakeries in Hong Kong and overseas Chinatowns. Joy Luck Teahouse has brought in these bo lo buns from Kam Kee Cafe (金記冰室). And to quench your thirst, try the HK Milk Tea (奶茶).

Bo Lo Bun ($2/$2.80 with butter or luncheon meat). Golden brown in colour. Expect a crisp, crumbly, sugary crust that resembles like a pineapple but without any pineapples. The dough itself is extremely soft as they add water roux/ tangzhong (湯種) - heating flour and water to form a paste. I wonder if they add lard like it’s done traditionally though.

To enjoy the full cha chaan teng (茶餐廳) experience, add a slice of butter. Then you can have your Bo Lo Yau (菠蘿油).

Eating mala xiang guo (麻辣香锅) is perfect during the raining season. Wan Xing Ma La Xiang Guo place in the North East for supper that closes at 3am. They serve Sichuan dishes such as laziji (辣子鸡) and grilled fish (重庆烤鱼) too. All in air-conditioned comfort.

You can self-select from a wide spread of ingredients. So I got my usual sliced beef, lotus root, potato slices, flat beancurd skin (千张), kangkung, pork, enoki mushrooms, black fungus and luncheon meat among others. I like how they serve large intestines here too.

For my carbs, it’s the default instant noodles that’s used by every MLXG stall. Can someone tell me where can I buy the brand they use?

I didn’t take a lot for each ingredient but the bill for this came up to a whopping $23.30 for ONE person which was a bit of a ripoff. Perhaps I was paying the premium for air conditioned comfort.

The sauce itself was spicy, fragrant and a bit numbing cause I always request for more peppercorns (加麻). At least they didn’t add heaps of garlic.

With MLXG, enjoy your daily intake of oil, salt and MSG in one meal. If you must, you can always request for less oil and less salt.

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The rain today makes it great for a piping hot bowl of mala tang (麻辣烫). Don’t say bojio. But if you got time today, check out @yangguofu.sg - China’s largest mala tang chain with over 6,000 outlets worldwide.

Choose from an array of SIXTY ingredients at a flat rate of $2.88 per 100g. The ingredients are relatively fresh and you’ll be spoilt for choice. And the noodles are made in-house - there’s original egg, spinach, sweet potato and carrot to choose from.

You can choose either soup or dry (Mala Ban; 麻辣拌) version. The soup version is highly recommended as you can try the unique mala broth that uses beef stock as its base.

What’s unique is they add evaporated milk and sugar to the spicy mala soup. This helps to mask the otherwise spicy, numbing taste of dried chilli and peppercorn.

Even when I opted for extra spicy, it didn’t feel spicy enough for me and I managed to gulp down the soup. I regretted not asking for more peppercorn (加麻) as the numbing sensation was slightly lacking.

If you can’t take spicy, go for the tomato version. I haven’t tried it though.

Do get the sesame sauce dip too.

Germaphobes need not worry here. You take the tongs and steel bowl that’s sterilised in a cabinet.

I had the Peking duck salad hand roll ($5.80++ per roll; minimum order of 4) from Kai Duck. This is a fusion dish that’s good as a canapé of sorts to accompany your dim sum lunch.

The ducks here are from Ireland’s Silver Hill farm. It comes with a chunky slice of Peking duck, cucumber, lettuce and Japanese sesame dressing. The hand roll is a crunchy corn-based cracker with a layer of seaweed wrapped around it.

Fairly decent overall but the duck meat wasn’t as tender and juicy as I expected to be. The skin wasn’t as crispy as I was expecting to be, but passable. Nonetheless I’d recommend it if you’re not up for a whole Peking duck or want to have a sample of their signature dish.

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It’s no doubt that DTF’s xiao long bao (小笼包) remains very popular after 17 years’ existence in Singapore.

Each soup dumpling has 18 folds, no more, no less. So the consistency in the skin texture is there. The skin can be slightly thick at times, making it a little chewy. But if handled properly, it wouldn’t break at all and the precious gelatinous, collagen-rich soup can be savoured in one mouthful. It’d be nice if there could be a bit more salt or seasoning into the soup to give it a more well-rounded flavour.

Every dumpling is filled with chunky pieces of pork (there’s a chicken version available too, yuck). You can’t go wrong with it when you’re here as you’d know. Always a must order item regardless.

Looking for a cheap and good fried rice? Check out King of Fried Rice at Golden Mile. It resembles closely to Din Tai Fung’s version but at half the price.

There are four types available: Original, XO, Tom Yum, Mala. I had the pork chop fried rice ($6.80) and added tobiko for an additional $1. If pork chops aren’t your thing, there’s just plain egg fried rice and prawns available.

The fried rice is rather eggy and each grain was so fluffy. I love how the XO sauce gave a slightly spicy and umami taste to the fried rice. What stands out is the generous serving of fried pork chop was packed with flavour in every bite. I must say the meat being well-marinated, tender and juicy. It was a good choice to add the tobiko topping as it provided a crunchy texture to the dish. If it was in a more convenient location, I’d had it more often.

This was an absolutely delicious plate of fried rice. I’ll be back to try the other varieties.

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Claypot dishes are served in the evening in lieu of cheung fun. I had the beef with ginger and spring onion. It was pretty filled with flavour and is a perfect complement to the porridge to fill up your stomach. The beef was so tender and retained its flavour in the claypot. So fragrant and mouth watering. I’ll want to try the pork liver and frog leg next time.

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Feel like having Cantonese-style jook/ congee? Try Mui Kee, one of Hong Kong’s most famous congee places, in the heart of Orchard Road.

Had their signature parrot fish belly and century egg congee. The fish belly is cooked with the porridge over high heat although it contains bones. And I love how the century egg has a creamy centre, just like those you get in hing kong. Don’t forget to order some you tiao/ dough fritters to accompany your meal.

What makes the jook here special is the strong wok hei (charted) flavour. The texture of the congee is very consistent and smooth. You can’t feel the rice grains as it’s been smashed up into gruel. If Oliver Twist was served this every day, I’m sure he wouldn’t be complaining.

The humble sweet and sour pork is a favourite for many Chinese food lovers. Perhaps it’s one of the few dishes Westerners first encounter when having their first taste of Chinese cuisine.

Putien’s version uses lychee instead of pineapples (although I very much prefer pineapples) and is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. It comes with a medley of vegetables and the sauce is particularly sweet which probably comes from the lychees. I particularly enjoy how the batter is fried till crispy while the meat remains tender and juicy on the inside. There’s a good balance of meat and batter for the pork. For the health conscious, the meat is rather lean and contains little fat. It’s great but I won’t say it’s my favourite just yet.

Ipoh’s kai si hor fun (shredded chicken hor fun) is one of the city’s most famed dishes. Check out Moon De Moon, a favourite with Ipoheans.

This coffee shop is packed to the brim even when we visited on a Thursday morning. You got to wait for your food up to 45 minutes on some days. And the food sells out pretty fast.

So how did the food taste? You can’t go wrong with the kai si hor fun (RM 6.50). By looking at the orange hues of the broth, you can see a good amount of prawn heads went into there. As it’s actually a mixture of prawn and chicken stock, the broth was very rich and flavourful exuding a tinge of sweetness. No drop was left behind.

The kway teow was so smooth and velvety that I enjoyed it even more. The water in Ipoh indeed makes a difference to the texture.

Toppings wise there’s a few slices of soft and tender poached chicken, two slices of prawns, choy sum, spring onions and fried shallots. We did order a side of tauge (bean sprouts) since we were in Ipoh. The bean sprouts were plump and juicy unlike those that we eat back home which pales in comparison.

We also ordered a variety of fish balls (regular and Foochow fish varieties), tau kee (dried beancurd skin) and pork balls (pic 3; RM 1 each). These aren’t to be missed and make a good side to share with the table. The fish balls were fresh and springy and we could tell they were homemade. The meat balls are decent but it’s something that you could pass on.

It was a bummer that the dry curry mee was sold out by the time we went but I’ll be back here on my next trip to Ipoh

We opted for the limbo fish ($45.90) with green chillies and peppercorn which is the bestseller here. Despite looking fiery hot, it isn’t that spicy after all. I like to eat peppercorns as it gives that numbing effect and absolutely love this dish.

The camera always eats first. Instagram: @eaterries

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