Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), Bukit Ho Swee

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), Bukit Ho Swee

We learnt about Jia Wang Cafe (4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, tel : +65 9362 6359) recently and wanted to see if we liked them enough to make them a go to for cze char. They're located at the ground floor of an old HDB block at Bukit Ho Swee. Has it's unique charm. The weather was cool and breezy when we were there twice, but what do you care about that.

The bunch of food below were the outcome of the two visits.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), sambal kangkong

Very competent stir fried sambal kang kong they did. I liked that the vegetables were stir fried with lard. So the main flavours came from both the lard and the dried shrimps. Good for returns.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), opeh leaf assam fish head

Assam fish head served on opeh leaf - apparently a signature dish from them. Again, very competently executed. There was a nice heat to the tamarind sauce - I thought I tasted ginger flower but I'm not sure. The lady's fingers were well cooked in spite of the colours and didn't have any of the slime. Fish was fresh, firm and tender. I don't know what fish this was but it's not the freshwater variety - meaning that it won't have any muddy taste that repels many people.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), garlic pork

This garlic pork dish is also another signature of theirs. While the name simply mentions garlic and pork, there's more to it. The meat which we think is sliced pork belly has been marinated in nam yu (南乳) - fermented bean curd for those of you who don't know what they are. It's deep fried with garlic and then drizzled with the sweet sauce that is normally the dip for hae cho (虾枣). 

So if you've skipped the previous paragraph, the flavour was a mixture from the nam yu, garlic and the sweetness of the hae cho sauce along with the fat from the pork belly. Sound good? You betcha. 

Two days later...

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), beans

This dish was called 'special beans'. I feel that the world special has many bad connotations but let's not go there. The Chinese name is 虾米小毛豆 which translates to French beans with dried shrimps - which is a much more accurate name as they mention the two main ingredients. This was nicely done. Liked the slighty sweet savouriness and umami from the dried shrimp bits/hae bee.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), sweet sour pork

Sweet and sour pork was okay. The fried meat were shaped like balls and didn't have a crusty exterior. Found the sauce addictive.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), kung bao prawns

Tried their kung bao prawns (宫保虾球). Pretty decent cze char standard for kung bao and the prawns had a nice fresh crunchiness. It's a little pricey at $20 for a few prawns.

Jia Wang Cafe (佳旺), Bukit Ho Swee

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