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Penang Place

Published August 30, 2017 by piggie

Penang Place first started in Jurong East, and has since moved on to Fusionopolis before settling now at Suntec City. My friend and I saw a new tenant in Suntec City and decided to give it a try over a busy lunch hour. Although there was no queue and with spare tables available, we were warned by the waiter it could take about 30 minutes if we were to order a la carte. Sure, no issue.

We ordered Penang-Style Mee Goreng and their famous Penang Char Kway Teow, intending to share among us. Eventually, our order were served within 10 minutes, which really surprised us, prompting us to wonder whether they pre-fried the noodles and probably re-fried it with ingredients upon ordering. But that’s just speculation, and is not important as long as the dishes taste great. Fair statement?

Penang-Style Mee Goreng, $10.90++

Their Mee Goreng was served just shortly before the Kway Teow, it has a fragrance of wok hei and nicely presented with lime, cuttlefish, potatoes, tofu, prawn fritters, egg. The sweetness is perfectly done and overall, quite appetising! On a whole, of course, their ingredients are better than most hawker fare one can find.

Penang Char Kway Teow, $10.90++

The Kway Teow was only served briefly after the Mee Goreng, understandably, the appearance is a bit less flamboyant, but given the fact that it once earned “the best Penang Char Kway Teow in town” from Business Times, I expected it to taste better, even if just moderately. Reasonable? However, despite the presence of prawns, squids, eggs, bean sprouts, both me and my dining partner felt it lacked cohesion, it looks stale, and it tastes stale, which is why I suspect might be because the noodles were pre-fried, but lost the texture after been left luke warm for sometime. Their Mee Goreng at least has the sauce to cover it. But the Kway Teow tasted slightly dry. I had tried Penang Char Kway Teow in Penang which I chanced upon, from an ordinary coffee shop, not even a famous stall, it tasted much better, not to mention cheaper. OK, fine, I understand the absence of lard just so our Muslim friends can also enjoy it, or probably using less oil for a healthier meal. However, allow me to share a hard truth, that their competitor along the same stretch offers the same dish cheaper and better, no lard too! And I had actually blogged about that last year. I really wonder what made the Business Times correspondent declared this “the best Penang Char Kway Teow in town”. Very very far from it. Either their standard dropped, or possibly the correspondent had never tried good Penang Char Kway Teow before. Or maybe just my luck, we encountered a trainee chef? Another possibility is that they had taken from the buffet pot and re-presented it on a platter. I know I’m bold, but this is at best, mere average, I hope they improve their standard if they want to continue using that tagline.

By the way, they serve buffet too!

Penang Place
3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City Mall, West Wing
#02-314/315/316
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 64677003
Website: http://www.penangplace.com/
Email: catering@penangplace.com

Opening Hours:
11:30hr – 14:30hr,
18:00hr – 21:30hr

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大華豬肉粿條麵

Published March 1, 2017 by piggie

taihwa-p_20170219_135416這家大華豬肉粿條麵對於新加坡人來説,應該無須多加介紹了,尤其在其入選2016年米其林指南之後,更可算是新加坡頂級的B級美食了。即便在其入選之前,在非繁忙時段我前往光顧也須要排上近半小時的隊,現在更加不必說,這次在周末用餐時段前往,排了近1小時,還看到老外、韓國人等,令我好奇的是,他們知道該怎麽訂餐嗎?因爲雖然攤位名稱為豬肉粿條麵,但其實他們的經典是新加坡所謂的肉脞麵,多爲所謂的麵薄(Mee Pok)及麵仔(Mee Kia),而且多爲乾麵爲主,反倒很少見人叫粿條麵。

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每碗麵大概等上3分鐘,但一般上每個人最少叫兩碗,算算看要等多久?

我每次前來都是叫乾麵,自從1、2年前光顧過之後,現在最低價錢調高$1,感覺上麵條的份量也比以前少了。以前叫$4還吃得飽,現在$5吃了還覺得肚子餓。口感方面,麵條不是自制的,不過頭家經驗豐富,麵條燙得恰到好處,加上豬肉、豬腰、肉碎、肉丸、扁魚片、適量的醋與醬汁後,口感非常豐富,在新加坡是很難找到這麽令人滿足的口感,即便是老闆的親戚。

説到這裏,據聞早年在大坡吊橋頭營業的大華豬肉粿條麵是由三兄弟合作的(其歷史可以追溯到1932年,不過70年代之前的我就不曉得了),頭手就是現在大華豬肉粿條麵的老闆,三兄弟中的老二。後來因爲某些因素,三兄弟分了家,老三後來輾轉在珊頓大道、到現在所在的芳林巴刹與熟食中心同樣售賣肉脞麵,招牌名稱為⌈大華肉脞麵⌋,而且名氣也不小。至於老大,據説當年僅是從旁協助,并未親自烹煮,但幾年前老大的兒子在怡豐城另起灶爐,在未經二叔同意之下沿用昔日的招牌(至於水準…我朋友吃過後搖搖頭,我也就無意嘗試了),後來兩家人甚至對簿公堂。所以現在大華豬肉粿條麵的官方網站强調“獨一無二,毫無分行”。

也許我去的時段不對,但今時今日,已經很難見到昔日頭家親自掌厨了,不過對我來説,大華豬肉粿條麵的水準沒明顯的差別。這次光顧,就是頭家的兒子掌厨。

吊橋頭大華豬肉粿條麵 Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Block 466 Crawford Lane #01-12
Singapore 190465
Website: http://www.taihwa.com.sg/

營業時間:
每天 09:30hr ~ 21:00hr
每月第一個及第三個周一休息

天翼海鲜 One Ocean Restaurant

Published November 7, 2016 by piggie

早几年天翼海鲜在新加坡晚间报章的曝光率很高,还请出本地资深演员陈树承“背书”,但是我瞄了下地址,躲在大巴窑工业区一堆修车行里边…没车不方便啦。前些时候,因缘巧合得到天翼海鲜的餐券,上网搜集资料时才发现,一众网上美食家的介绍都过气了,因为天翼海鲜已于今年年初搬去了万里(好像更远噢…O.o”),如果贸贸然过去旧址的话,会发现那儿有家「新天翼海鲜」,不知情者会以为与旧东家有些关系,但我上官网查却没发现有分店的资料,而且据闻口碑与水准都相形失色。

虽然说新址位于万里,更贴切地说,应该算是兀兰路(Woodlands Road)旁(搭公车的话,大路边有楼梯口直上就是),昇松集团的货仓隔壁街的工业大厦就对了,兜了个圈,还是选在工业区啊!不过,也许正因如此,才能将价格维持在低于一般餐馆的水平。但餐馆藏在小山坡上,从经过的大道連招牌都沒見着,实在不容易发现,若非熟客或有心要找,还真难找上门。

餐馆新址躲在工业大厦的地面层停车场的尽头,旁边有家食阁,里面也有煮炒摊,原来食阁也是隶属餐馆附属经营的,简单来说餐馆头家早年就是靠煮炒摊起家,因为口碑好,而慢慢发展起来。而餐馆卖的,大概都是从隔壁煮炒摊统一烹煮的,在我看来,就是在原食阁面积拨出一部分作为餐馆,当然有隔间,装潢还是有着餐馆应有的簡單用餐气氛。

当下即刻介绍我点的美食!

翡翠豆腐,$12+(小)

翡翠豆腐,$12+(小)

没听过翡翠豆腐这名堂,一问之下,得知是豆腐炒些菜类的,没想一试之下口感还真棒!虽然没有肉丝提味,但淋上高汤后,着实为原本淡而无味的豆腐生色不少,豆腐上层还有层青色粉状物,不晓得是不是海苔粉,整体感觉润滑爽口。

黑加仑煎猪扒,$15(小)

黑加仑煎猪扒,$15+(小)

黑加仑煎猪扒是餐馆拿手名菜,在去骨猪排上淋上黑加仑子汁,撒些蒜蓉,提升口感。遗憾的是,生菜有些腐烂,不知厨师有没有发觉?

四大天王,$12(小)

四大天王,$12+(小)

我由于很少吃菜类,这道四大天王中使用的菜色只认得茄子与长豆,厨师再以巴拉煎炒透,辣味是到家了,但不晓得是不是不小心撒了过多盐,吃起来偏咸,好在有一大壶铁观音茶滤口(3 x $1.50)。

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海鲜豆腐汤,$12+(大)

这道海鲜豆腐汤其实是最先上桌的,所以在品尝其他菜肴之前可以先在其他菜色改变味蕾之前尝尝海鲜汤的滋味。好些餐馆为了提味纷纷在汤里撒下大量味精,但天翼的海鲜汤则香甜,不会过咸,汤里的佐料有墨鱼、生鱼片、鲜虾、草菇、白灵菇等,与我当天点的菜色口味配合得相得益彰!老实说,3人份的话,这汤的分量略嫌过多(或者应该叫中碗的),尤其是有叫茶水的话更不在话下。

埋单的时候,3菜1汤,3碗白饭加1壶茶,加上服务费才$63.35(无消费税),可说是一般煮炒摊的价钱。当下Groupon有50%的礼券优惠,不过有人数条件,3人以上的话可以考虑,详情可上其官网Facebook浏览。

第二回

短短的一星期之内,再次回到天翼海鮮,由於不想重複,這次點的菜色口感就出色多了!

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鐵板豆腐,$12+(小)

其實上回點的翡翠豆腐與這道鐵板豆腐口感各有千秋,前者主要以清淡爲主,這道鐵板豆腐則因加入鷄蛋,在高湯煎炒下,口感更有層次,也較爲開胃。

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時蔬扒松菇,$12+(小)

這道時蔬扒松菇,雖然沒有肉類入味,可是在各色菇類競相爭艷下,口感卻又顯得相得益彰,再加上炸得厚實的腐竹,亦是很入味的一道菜。

sam_1983-%e9%bb%91%e5%95%a4%e9%85%92%e6%8e%92%e9%aa%a8

黑啤酒排骨,$15+(小)

黑啤酒排骨與咖啡排骨其實沒在天翼海鮮的菜單内,是聽聞餐館的領班提到的,可能是菜單印好后才開發出的菜色吧!雖然名爲黑啤酒排骨,但吃起來完全沒有啤酒味,微苦帶甜的綿密口感,讓人吃得津津有味。

另外,我又叫了海鮮湯,因爲與上回的重複,就不再綴筆介紹了。

天翼海鲜 One Ocean Restaurant
7 Mandai Link #01-06, Mandai Connection
Singapore 728653
Tel: +65 62563973
官网: http://www.oneocean.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/One-Ocean-Seafood-401499773290483/
每天营业: 11.00am – 2.30pm, 5.00pm – 10.30pm

Qi Ji

Published June 24, 2016 by piggie
Laksa (Cockles + Prawn), $5.20

Laksa (Cockles + Prawn), $5.20

This ain’t the first time I try Qi Ji, but let me start this post with their Laksa. They have two prices for Laksa, the first, $4.20, comes without prawn, just the standard cockles along with tau pok, fish cakes, egg, and what I believe to be shredded chives. The second is what I ordered here, $5.20 with added prawns.

I won’t say $5.20 is cheap, hence I expected some quality here. Notably, the ingredients here is considerably sumptuous as compare to many food court or hawker center stalls elsewhere, and we also need to factor in the costly rental in the locations they settled. The spicy broth is at least delightful, as with the comprehensive quantity and quality of the ingredients present, with the prawns used being relatively large ones. For such price, it’s more worth than what you can get from Toastbox and Heavenly Wang. The former was mediocre with their quality, the latter is so pathetic that I don’t even want to blog about it. All three franchise are selling their laksa about the same price.

Qiji_Popiah-IMG_7880

Popiah, $2.80 (with prawns)

Qi Ji’s popiah is their signature dish. Their ingredients include ‘homemade’ sweet and chili sauces, garlic, lettuce, bean sprouts, crispy bits, egg, prawn, parsley and turnip. When I first tried them after a one-hour drive home, I feel the finished item lacked cohesive character. It’s like eating all those ingredients by themselves, and I believe the main flaw is their ‘homemade’ sweet sauce. However, when I eventually beat their lunch queue and eat on the spot, it tastes very much better. I suspect their sweet sauce dried up after a while and somewhat rendered the popiah’s bland in taste. In addition, whoever behind that counter preparing your popiah makes a significant difference too! Anyway, I can’t emphasise enough how I hate the term ‘homemade’ is misused. It’s their own recipe, ok fine, but was it made in any of their staffs’ home or at the premise itself? No. Anyway, the popiah I bought comes with prawns. For $2.80, you get to choose whether you want prawn or chicken filling. There’s a plain version (neither prawn nor chicken) which cost just $2.20.

qiji_mee_rebus

Mee Rebus Deluxe, $5.80

Qi Ji has two versions of Mee Rebus, the conventional one selling at $4, while their deluxe version costing another $1.80 more. You probably won’t see the chicken cutlet and deep fried fish cake on the conventional version, for that, the price may look somewhat expensive. However, that doesn’t take away how great their noodles taste. Their gravy wasn’t as thick as I’ve tried elsewhere, but the calamasi fragrance was powerful, making it overall a very appetising meal. I don’t usually find the chicken cutlet and fish cake tasty, but complementing their mee rebus, I found the chemistry works to a tee!

Updates:

Qi Ji has since upgraded their Laksa menu, there are no more cockles, replacing with clams. And they are now serving brown rice mee hoon (thick vermicelli) with their Laksa (option: noodle) instead. With that healthy upgrades, a price rise of mere 10⊄ is more than reasonable.

PappaRich

Published June 6, 2016 by piggie

PappaRichI have heard about PappaRich for sometime, but never tried until now. They are a restaurant franchise from the other side of the causeway and I always believe that I can get cheaper Malaysian cuisine elsewhere rather than paying premium prices at their restaurants here. It’s hard to argue about that, but the fact is, PappaRich has a vast collection of Malaysian delights consolidated under one roof, and it’s a convenient choice for our Muslim friends pampering their taste buds with their love ones as well as for visitors from other countries to have a glimpse what most Malaysian cuisines are about, minus anything that do with pork of course.

Pappa Prawn Mee, S$10.90++

Pappa Prawn Mee, S$10.90++

I won’t pretend their Prawn Mee is wonderful, but it’s decent nonetheless. With shredded chicken, 4 pieces of big prawns, hard boiled egg, bean sprouts, and water spinach. The soup is moderately sweet, but a good prawn broth usually comes richer.

Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken, S$10.90++

Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken, S$10.90++

The Kuay Teow soup came with flat rice noodle, spring onions, chives, and bean sprouts. I’m not a great fan of their chicken broth Kuay Teow Soup, which is light, and unremarkable for that price if not for the accompanying steamed chicken. Their steamed chicken is simply outstanding and deserves ranking among the best steamed chicken in Singapore! The meat are tender, oily, and taste marvelous with the soy sauce. PappaRich do serves steamed chicken with rice in their menu, and I suggest for those who like to try their steamed chicken to go along with rice. I will probably try it in my subsequent visit.

2nd Visit

Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Prawns & Chicken Slices, $9.90++

Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Prawns & Chicken Slices, $9.90++

This dish is quite similar to that of Ipoh Kuay Teow Soup with Steamed Chicken above, same bland soup, but with the addition of chicken slices and prawns. However, given a choice though, I’d still prefer one that comes along with the steamed chicken, because the nicely marinated chicken managed to bring the taste up by a small level.

Pappa Char Kuay Teow, $9.90++

Pappa Char Kuay Teow, $9.90++

This wok-fried flat noodles include 4 prawns, egg, cockles, chives, and bean sprouts. On its look, it certainly is attractive, and many diners ordered this dish while I was there. Indeed, it tastes good, probably the closest it can go to the real thing without the use of lard. However, it’s a healthier choice, and this remains the best order I had there!

Hill Street Fried Kway Teow

Published May 31, 2016 by piggie

Hill_Street-20160527_153403

It has been more than a decade since I last patronise them at their Hill Street premise (hence the name), and I don’t know how many times have they shifted ever since. Their current location at Bedok South is not really a convenient location for me to ‘stop over’ for a bite, as it’s some distance away from MRT station. However, it seems destine I’m returning after a long decade, as I have some business to do at a nearby industry park, I simply walk over specifically for it!

I was there around 3.15pm on a weekday, that kind of time when most hawkers will be sneaking for a break in-between hectic meal hours, and one naturally don’t expect a long queue there. Not for this stall. There was a queue of around 8 patrons before me, and I ended up queueing for roughly 20 minutes. Good thing I have my iPad.

With prices from $3.50 nowadays, I can’t say it’s cheap for hawker center food (having said that, there’s a hike in cockle price recently though), especially the surrounding are residential area and industrial park. However, the quality is there, though I can’t tell whether it’s as good as before. The ingredients consist of sliced sausage, cockles, egg, all in adequate portion, unlike many other hawker stall’s chay kway teow these days where they simply drop sausage totally or merely having an unmeaningful quantity. Hill Street Fried Kway Teow has a very delicate balance of oil and taste, along with just the right degree of sweetness which render their Kway Teow one of the best in Singapore, and rightly so. I guess that somewhat justify their price.

Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
Block 16 Bedok South Road #01-41
Bedok South Market and Food Centre
Singapore 460016
Tel: +65 90421312

 

Eighteen Chefs

Published October 27, 2015 by piggie

I have to confess I was a bit swayed by negative reviews online before going Eighteen Chefs, notably the Roy Chuang saga at their The Cathay franchise last year, though surprisingly, Eighteen Chefs popularity seemed to surge immediately after the fracas, if only for a while. I came across other common feedback too, such as ridiculously long serving time, ignorant waiters/waitresses, mediocre food etc, amidst the occasional positive ones. And I can’t say I was not influenced in a way when I stepped into their outlet in Eastpoint Mall on a Saturday noon.

But are things all really that bad?

Before I start, a little history about Eighteen Chefs: Allow me to derive the story from BBC. This is a restaurant chain founded by ex-convict Benny Se Teo, who named it Eighteen after the gang his late father belonged to, in the hope that it would help inspire delinquents to turn over a new leaf. Benny is not shy about his past, and has previously worked in Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant Fifteen, where he learned the trade of running a kitchen which is also a social enterprise at the same time, and subsequently brought over the concept to Singapore. However, not all his staffs are ex-convicts, only about 50% of them now, because he encountered problems while having 90% of his staffs being ex-convicts in the early days of his entrepreneurship.

Right, I have spent a little long than usual because I found it meaningful to elaborate. Let’s quickly get down to the point!

We were promptly brought to our table in a half-filled restaurant during an early Saturday noon. The waitress passed us the menu and an order slip, which we were suppose to fill in our order and present it to the cashier, payment on the spot, and the waitress will serve us the food when they are ready. You can help yourself to plain water and sauces at a dedicated corner. Not much service rendered there, but then again, we are not paying any service charge. The prices indicated in their menu is already inclusive of GST.

By the time we got back to our table, the restaurant was already full. A little more than 5 minutes later, our food was served.

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Sambal Prawn Rice Set, $12.80

To be frank, the rice is too little for me, however, the prawns and green are quite generous, even the sunny side up was great, nowhere near the burned bottom as encountered by some online reviewers. The prawns are exceptionally fresh, and the sambal truly packs a punch, it has enough fragrance and spiciness.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Rice set, $8.80

Sweet and Sour Chicken Rice Set, $9.80

Cucumber, green peas, and onion slices really brings out the favour of the tender chicken ball.

Overall, I would have rated their food as above average, anything better, I probably would have to find them in a high class restaurant.

I’m glad my experience is very different from most of those reviews I came across on The Cathay, Cineleisure, and Ang Mo Kio branches. But seriously, Eighteen Chefs has 9 franchises to date, and the amount of diners I saw is a sign of justification things aren’t as bad as I first thought.