Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice (實美芽菜雞飯), Bukit Gombak

We came to Shi Mei (371 Bukit Batok Street 31) to try their sesame chicken rice. What was that you ask? That would be their fried roasted chicken crusted with sesame seeds. Even though we knew that this stall was pretty popular, we hadn't expected the lengthy post lunch queue. Fortunately that line moved along pretty quickly. 

The sesame chicken was pretty good. The meat was much more tender than the dry looks suggested and had nicely browned skin which was also more crisp than I had imagined. On top of that, there was a layer of nutty flavour from all those sesame seed. That was the first thing that set them apart from regular roasted chicken. The other was the sweet sauce the bird was served with which tasted like those that are used for chee cheong fun.

These guys also did a pretty garlicky chicken rice which I liked and thought was tasty enough to eat on its own. Greasy and savoury. Ultimately, I too did enjoyed it equally if not more with their also garlicky and lime-y chilli that packed some heat. Nicely done there.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Chix Hot Chicken, Jalan Pisang

This was a relatively new shop (1 Jalan Pisang) that did Nashville styled hot chicken. A first for us if you didn't consider Meatsmith. While our popular crowdsourced web encyclopedia did mention that one of the two key ingredients used is lard, it was obvious that lard wasn't used here because Chix Hot Chicken is a Muslim owned restaurant. I read that these guys have done some work researching and have imported Ghost Peppers, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Carolina Reapers to be used as part of their dry rub recipe. Oooo....exotic.

The slaw and fries came first. Slaw was relatively simple but nice. Couldn't put my finger to the spice that they had but I kept thinking cumin. Fries were pretty good. Portions were however puny.

There were these soul sliders which were their hot chicken sliders. Not bad. Sloppily build but pretty tasty combination which I thought needed more pickles and less of that mayo thingy. There's already flavours going on and too much mayo simply became pointless and self defeating.

We didn't get any of the spicy birds this time round but we had a regular buttermilk chicken with a spice rub of their design which was already slightly spicy, sending rivulets of sweat down my scalp. It's not bad. The chicken was tender but not as tender as Arnold's for sure. The brining was also not on par with the brining that Clinton Street Baking Company does. But this one wasn't as expensive as well. Not sure what was that sambal/dip thing on the side was but I liked it.

Nothing like a milk shake to temper all the heat? I don't alway agree with that. But we did like their extra thick vanilla shake. Pretty satisfying after the fried chicken.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Wong po lou meen from Quan Ji

Came across this wong po lou meen by Quan Ji on social media. That name translated into 'yellow cloth blanched noodles' in Cantonese. Curiosity piqued even though we kinda knew what it was and how it might taste like. There's option for sang meen, lou meen or mai fan for this dish. This was the blanched egg noodle option. There wasn't much flavouring on those noodles so it was great with their cut chilli (green one was spicy). Shrimps were fresh and full of bite. Not bad at all.

My additional two cents was that since lard was tossed with those noodles, they should've considered using enough because the flavours were barely there. If there were what some claimed to be a pretty generous use of lard, something clearly is wrong with that lard they were using. Those fried bits weren't particularly fragrant too. So while this was a nice noodle dish it was also some ways to being outstanding.

Kentucky Grilled Chicken

I've never been a good customer to old man Sanders and curiosity got the better of me this time because for the first time, it wasn't fried chicken. Did anyone noticed that the box said prepared fresh? So nothing else must be fresh or otherwise they would have mentioned it.

Here's that supposed signature grilled chicken. The box mentioned that they're cooked in store but I didn't notice any grills in any KFCs anywhere. It looked more roasted/baked than grilled. Tasted like those that you could get in Cold Storage/NTUC. But those Cold Storage chickens cost less than this for a whole roasted bird so are effectively better value for the dollar. 

There's a slightly spicy and slightly sweet seasoning of sorts. The meat was not hard, just a little stiff. But it's KFC. If they were any good, it would not have become the case where all their competitors are better than them. How did this product that did not even exist months ago suddenly become a signature? These guys must have English as poor as everyone else's.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mui Kee Congee (妹記), Shaw Centre

I've never heard of Mui Kee (#01-12 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6737 2422) before it was announced on the news that Les Amis would be partnering up with them to establish a branch of their congee shop here. Trust Les Amis to come up with a pricey congee shop. Anyways, curiosity got the better of us and here we were.

Porridge was okay. Not sure why these fellas are generating such crowds but I suppose novelty would be one of the reasons. I wouldn't queue for it though. The congee I had became watery pretty quickly. It had a sweetness from the scallops. I was thinking that they might have had consistency along the lines of Zhen Zhen but these were not as gloopy. This particular bowl was not worth what we paid for.

What was impressive was the threadfin belly bowl that featured thick slices of scorched belly meat. We were informed that it was one of their signature congee and those came with wok hei. Yes, that smoky aroma was definitely infused into the congee. I'd come back just for that.

We had some dishes on the side. Drunken chicken was not bad, but then again, it's not bad in many places. So not a selling point.

This however was. Thick sliced kanpachi done up like Chinese yu sang. The fish used was of good quality with a superb dressing that included soy sauce, sesame oil and a squeeze of lime.

While the food was generally good, one had to be the obvious weakest link. The fried crullers which were a little too greasy and too dense. Not very good at soaking up the congee. Didn't like these.

I'd eat their fried bean curd skins again anytime.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles (舌尖尖兰州牛肉面), Tiong Bahru Plaza

A new Chinese noodle shop (#02-107/108, Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road) from Lanzhou has sprung up at Tiong Bahru Plaza in the unit where Baba Wins' used to be featuring pulled noodles - apparently a dish from the Muslim Chinese that's been passed on since the Tang Dynasty. These guys are also a member of the Lanzhou Beef Noodle Industry Association which they seemed to be proud of. 

We tried a couple of bowls and thought that they were pretty good. One could choose from a variety of noodle type they had to offer for each of those bowls and there were some options for customization. Their flat noodles had a very good bite where you could tell that they were freshly made while the broth had a beefy savoury flavour coupled with some spices. Vinegar was great with the dry noodle option which had chilli that seemed more flavourful than the ones you could help yourself with on the tables. I found it odd that their chilli didn't pack much heat at all though. I'm definitely coming back again.