Featuring Wang Family Kitchen, D'Penyetz (Downtown East), Li Yuan Mee Pok (Clementi)
Stella Chen
Stella Chen

My friend and I tried the signature beef pho and spicy beef pho. Both were just $6. Best pho I’ve had in Singapore and better even than the average-quality ones I had in Vietnam. (I’ve eaten at So Pho and the pho place in Beach Road that’s not Mrs Pho). Both phos have a certain aromatic, slightly sweet taste suggesting that the cook used authentic spices - I’ve not tasted this in other Sg phos. The signature broth has an intense beef flavour and the spicy will have you sweating (my spice tolerance is average). I especially liked the beef ball in the signature, which was very meaty and savoury, reminding me of a hamburger. Most likely handmade. Though the sliced beef in the spicy pho was average. Good portion size for both.

Hokkien mee lacked the seafoody flavour or wok hei needed to take it to the next level. It was just alright. Wet style, no squid or pork, only prawn fishcake and tau gei. Prawns are the pale tender kind you find in seafood hor fun. The char kway teow is also served with prawns which makes me question the authenticity.

Chicken was moist, juicy and tender with crispy crackly thin skin. Tempeh doesn’t have the bitter taste that some tempeh has. Their level 3 (normal) sambal is sweet, but I prefer the savoury or sour kind so didn’t like it. Spice level is indeed “normal”, you should be fine if you have an average spice tolerance. Everything was a bit oily, and other than chicken everything else in the Ayam penyet set was average.

Came here after reading good reviews online. It’s no longer a free-flow buffet but a set meal - they told us after we tried to order more portions. (They stopped the buffet a year ago due to COVID and haven’t updated their banner outside Hillview CC.)

Service was slow when we went on a Sunday evening. We reserved for 6.30, arrived at 6.40, were seated at 6.50 and got our food at 7.10. There’s only 3 of them in the family running the restaurant, so their manpower problems were evident. The delay was due to their manpower crunch, so definitely reserve and come at an off-peak timing if possible. (From the time we reached till the time we finished there was always a queue waiting outside, which only finally dissipated at 8pm.)

My favourite dishes were the chicken bulgogi, kelp, kimchi and mashed potato. The chicken was tasty and comforting, kelp was fresh and crunchy, kimchi was very mild compared to other kimchis (not strongly sour or spicy, which I found refreshing) and potato was creamy and slightly sweet but had nice chewy chunks. The dessert waffle was also nice. Very small portion but it had a mochi/tapioca cake-like chewy texture. Likely not made from wheat flour. All the dishes were above average, except that I found the omelette quite ordinary. The food is less salty and oily than usual restaurant food and more like homemade food.

Would come again to try the rotating menu, though I think the value for money has fallen now that it’s no longer free flow. As you can see they serve only a small portion of each dish, so you won’t have much of your favourites. Though we were still very full without extras.

Had the mushroom minced meat noodles with mee kia. Was disappointed as I was craving for a good bak chor mee, but this was more like a watered-down version of their Jap mee pok (which I’ve tried in previous visits). No vinegar or tomato sauce, instead the noodles tasted like lard and mushrooms. Even though I ordered dry there was a noticeable amount of soup in the bowl. The mee kia also seemed thicker than normal mee kia. Noodle texture could be more springy, was slightly too soft for my liking. $4 came with 2 pieces abalone, 2 meat balls (very firm which I liked, otherwise nothing special), sliced pork, a good amount of sliced mushrooms (sweet but also nothing special) and a bowl of soup (sweet and tasted like tau geh). Would only recommend this if you don’t like their Jap flavours but want to try something similar, or if you like lard-y mee pok.
Tried some from my friend’s Jap miso dry mee pok. The noodles were firm and the miso-garlic taste was good. The char siew wasn’t as good as previous visits though. It was a thick chewy slab of pork (size was good) but a bit tough and plain, didn’t taste any marinade. Don’t recall if it tasted different previously but I also don’t remember feeling so unimpressed by the char siew before.

The outlet is inside the Beauty World Shell petrol kiosk, which is beside the Bukit Timah hawker centre. Have been there twice and tried their honey milk tea with honey pearls and Cheezo oolong tea, both 0%. Both were excellent. The honey milk tea tastes like honey, not just sweet, and keeps the honey taste even at the end when all the ice is melting. The honey level is fixed but you can choose a sugar level in addition to the honey, mine was sweet even at 0%. It may be too sweet if you order sugar on top of the honey. The honey pearls were also excellent, soft and chewy and sweet.

Their Cheezo foam actually tastes like cheese, not just salty or fatty or oily. The oolong is bitter, which I like, and you can taste both the cheese and the tea even at the end when the ice is melting. Strongly recommend BBT fans to try if you are in the area. (They also have AMK and Serangoon outlets.) If not driving, you can walk from Beauty World MRT exit C or take a detour from the Rail Corridor (at least 15min walk one-way). I have recommended this to many friends. Three have tried it and they all liked it, with one commenting it is better than Koi (to which another friend caveated “for those who like Koi”.)

I previously tried Burnt Cones’ scamorza flavour and wasn’t impressed. I was hoping for a savoury, salty ice cream, instead it had a smoked flavour but was mostly sweet. The sweet and smoky flavours also didn’t go well together.

Recently visited them again for their 1st anniversary free cone giveaway and was much more impressed. The pistachio will satisfy anyone who likes that flavour. It started off bitter, then had a savoury rounded taste in the middle, and ended slightly sweet. Overall it tasted pungent and the sequence of bitter-savoury-sweet reminded me of eating real pistachios. I am neutral towards pistachios and pistachio ice cream - neither a fan nor a hater - but was impressed by this. Haven’t tried other pistachio ice creams before so can’t compare.

I also liked their milk ice cream. They offered it as “milk and cookies”, which means there’s two small Famous Amos choc chip cookies added on top of the ice cream. (At first I thought the ice cream had ground-up cookies inside.) It looks good, however I don’t think the cookies went well with the milk as they were very sweet compared to the ice cream and masked its flavour. Once I’d eaten the cookies I could appreciate the milk ice cream. It starts with a very savoury, full-bodied, almost cheesy taste, which lasts for a while then ends slightly sweet. Another reviewer found this flavour too sweet, I didn’t think so at all although I usually dislike sweet drinks or desserts (I usually get 0% for bubble tea). The sweetness is well balanced with the savoury taste of the milk and in fact it’s the latter taste that stood out to me. Dairy fans will enjoy this.

The cone didn’t impress me as much on this visit. I liked the thinness and crispiness, but taste-wise it reminded me of CNY love letters. They only had a special red cone for the 1st anniversary giveaway, so no burnt cones. I remembered liking their burnt cones from my first visit, however didn’t get to try those again.

Update: I tried the milk ice cream again in a cup and it tasted different. I think the temperature you eat it at affects the taste. Previously I was licking it from a cone, so I had smaller amounts from the warmer outside compared to digging out cold chunks from a cup. Would suggest licking it. When warm and melted this tastes like White Rabbit candy, which I don’t like.

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