Saturday, October 25, 2014

Empress Place Beef Kway Teow, Toa Payoh Central

We stumbled upon this stall while getting Thai food at Toa Payoh. This beef noodle stall is located in the very same coffee shop. I've long heard of the famed Empress Place beef noodles, but have never gotten a chance to try them. Certainly didn't know that they had opened a branch at Toa Payoh. This beef noodle stall by the way, from the point of its founding, forms part of the legacy of the more well known Hock Lam beef noodle business. Story can be Googled so I won't be going into the details here.

How was it? This was a bowl of their rice noodle with tendons. It was not bad. I think I liked this. From what I could detect, there was just their broth, sesame oil and some of their chilli sauce that flavoured the kuey teow. Which was really the main reason why I was keen to give them a go as it didn't come with the regular brown starchy gravy that Hainanese beef noodles are usually topped with. This one is apparently, Teochew styled beef rice noodles. Their stewed tendons were soft that you could just slurp them.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

More food from Jing Hua Restaurant (京华小吃)

Here's another visit to my current favourite guo tie shop and a look at the other stuff that they have on menu which we did not try previously.

These above are blanched bean sprouts topped with the minced meat bean sauce that they use for their zha jiang mian. Those sprouts were well timed in the hot water and cooked to the point where the raw edge was off while retaining a great deal of crunch. Good stuff.

We tried their (pan fried?) pancake stuffed with the same fillings for their guo tie. Crusty on the outside, juicy on the insides.

And then, a tasty spicy and sour soup. There wasn't so much heat from the chilli oil and the sour element seemed to taste like sour plum rather than vinegar. I kinda liked this.

That's a fried pancake filled with lotus seed paste, a departure from the common ones stuffed with red bean paste. While I generally don't quite appreciate thick pancake skins, this was actually not bad. The skin tasted like fried mochi.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pra Ram Thai Cuisine, Toa Payoh Central

This shop (179 Toa Payoh Central) was a good find.  It certainly inspired some confidence that the people running the place were all Thai serving up the common representation of their food as this country knows it. While I don't pretend to know what forms the range of authenticity for Thai food, it felt like it was a very good rendition as far as preparation went. I'm pretty sure that there's some nuances that cannot be replicated from perhaps a particular brand of fish sauce that cannot be gotten here or the quality of the pork that was used for the khao kha moo or type of mango for their som tam mamuang. One thing we knew for sure was that the pork that we had in Bangkok were a lot more tender and over there, they were certainly also less shy about having the rendered pork lard in their braising liquid than here did.

That being said, the food was very enjoyable. I especially liked the spikes of heat in the sour from the mango salad that paired up well with the aroma from the bits dried shrimp; we also felt that the olive fried rice was straight up comfort food. Notice the intensely yellow eggs that they have.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Honey pork roast from Keith Cracking Roast

I had previously mentioned Keith Crackling Roast in passing so here's a picture of their honey roast pork (or in my humble opinion, char siew). To put it in casual street terms, this stuff was pretty dope. It's caramelization without artificial coloring and their meat was fatty if not so juicy. Lots of sweet & savoury flavour from the charred exterior and the container of rich dipping sauce which really pushes those flavours to another level. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Smiths Fish and Chips, Balmoral Plaza

This was one of few succeeding outlet (271 Bukit Timah Road, #01-02 Balmoral Plaza, tel : +65 6737 9313) of Smith's Fish and Chips. They've done quite well for themselves that it seemed they have been opening themselves a new shop almost once a year since then.

I found out today that one can actually get fish without chips so it was a cod with beef & Guinness pie. The pie had a pretty soft and buttery crust. The crisp on the crust was so light it almost wasn't there. But the fillings were quite tasty. The cod was a decent fried fish as I remembered it.

These could be my first fried Mars bar. It was actually pretty good. The flavours got more pronounced as the insides melted in the heat from the fryer and the batter provided contrasting textures gooey innards.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chicken cutlet from No. 1 Western Food at Tanglin Halt

No. 1 Western Food (Blk 1A Commonwealth Drive, #01-13 Tanglin Halt Food Centre) is one of of two institutional Hainanese western food stalls at the Tanglin Halt Food Centre. British influenced Hainanese styled western food which we affectionately term as local western food here. A necessity borne from a bygone era that has endured with a legacy till this day. 

I've eaten on occasions over the years at the other stall. I'm not sure if I have ever at this. Their old school chicken cutlet that they do was actually rather tasty. The meat was tender and the golden brown breading was dry and crispy without retaining excessive grease. Ubiquitous canned baked beans and frozen crinkle cut fries to complete the works for that nostalgia. Don't think much of that sauce that they ladled over though.