Sunday, June 30, 2013

Minced Meat Fishball Noodle - 發記肉脞魚圓面 @ Kovan Hawker Centre

Frequent patrons of Kovan 209 food centre would have noticed the existence of three minced meat fishball noodle stalls in close proximity. 

That should not come as a surprise (it's common to find competitors setting up shop selling similar food whenever there is an extremely popular one close by anyway) except for one very interesting phenomenon; all three boasted a queue! 

Like many people who are unprepared when face with numerous options, i am flustered as to which to choose! My sister, a veteran customer of the hawker centre, faithfully suggested 發記. She added: "this one very lavish with pork lards"! 

No picture on pork lard since you can find plenty of them in my recent postings. Look closer into the above picture and i bet the hawk in you can still spot pieces of them. 

Anyway, I shall zoom into the fishballs which were listed prominently on the signboard - really nothing to scream about as the texture was more alike to fish cakes. Minced meat wise, it would be fairer to assess it as a whole package with the other ingredients.

Noodles - they were not too dry, not too soggy and generally well received by my mom and me. So far, it didn't appear that i was exceptionally enjoying my food. 

Truth is; i love their tasty combination of flavours arising from generous servings of pork lard, minced meat, fishballs, fish cakes, braised mushrooms, noodles and meat balls! 

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Location
209 Hougang Street 21, #01-05, 
Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre

Price
Minced Meat Fishball Noodle - S$3.50 a bowl 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Eng's Noodle House - Char Siew Wanton Mee & Signature Super Hot Chilli [榮高叉燒雲吞麵] @ 287 Tanjong Katong Road

Having digested so many servings of wanton noodles from hawker stalls all over Singapore, i thought i have seen them all and eaten them all. By right, there should not be any more palatal surprise.

Once again, it's never good to be too conceited, especially when it comes to food where recipe improvement is a continuous effort that never seems to end! And with this statement, let's direct the post today to Eng's Noodle House along the often congested Tanjong Katong road.

Avid readers of the Straits Times might find the name familiar; the death of its founder, Mr Ng Ba Eng, was actually reported in the news recently. The fact that it was newsworthy implied so much on the popularity and status of the man and his wanton noodles. 

Not to forget; his super hot chilli sauce! I was given prior warnings by the Kon-Tan couple and damn were they right! 

The sauce might have deceived many poor innocent diners with its orange, mayonnaise like colour; a small drop on my tongue elicited an unbearable spicy sensation that was immediately followed by the dilation of sweat pores on my head! 

Always get ready your cold drinks before you attempt to take the chilli. Note - the advice is for weak chilli takers like myself as I am fully aware that there are many insane chilli lovers in Singapore.

Fried Wantan
Let's start with the food now. Served fresh from the frying wok, these delightful pieces of dumplings were a joy to have, particularly with mayonnaise! 

Boiled Wanton
It's not the first time i have mentioned that i prefer the chunkier shui jiao (水饺) over the much tinier wanton dumpling. However, i have to admit these boiled wantons were too delicious to ignore; the minced pork had a very addictive flavour and the meat proportion was also higher, resulting in a more satisfying bite. 

Boiled Vegetables 
Fresh, green, crunchy and somewhat healthy - this is as far as i can describe for something that i generally have not much interest in. 

Wantan Mee
The main star didn't disappoint! In my honest opinion, i thought this could have given the expensive wanton noodles (Kok Kee) from Lavender Food Square a run for their money. I had them plain without chilli or tomato sauce and thought there were hints of the same exceptional essence also used by Kok Kee

There was a key bias that would skew the rating, at least for my case. The free flow pork lards and mind you, they were not of poor, factory made quality! 

It made perfect sense to sprinkle loads of pork lard on to the al dente noodles! Such action should never be seen by my father who would switch on his nagging button to torment us on the merits of healthy eating. I should also add that in comparison to Kok Kee, the char siew was way better in terms of smokiness, flavour and chao-ta-ness!  

Very contented. 
^_^

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Location
No 287, Tanjong Katong Road
[there is a punggol nasi lemak right opposite]

Map
As above
[red star]

Opening Hours
11am till 9pm
[Close on alternate Mondays]

Ordering Form [Menu]
As above. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Funny Toilet Message for the Men @ Malacca

For ladies who have never stepped into the men's room and yet wonder where the stink is coming from; i can tell you the answer straight away. 

The failure by most men in aiming correctly when using the urinals! 

Knowing negative reinforcement would not work (cutting the problematic tool off is not an option in the legal sense) , i have noted that it has become increasingly popular for operators to install humorous quotes to drive their message. 

Our aim is to make our toilet clean. 
Your 'AIM' is our main concern.

Simple and to the point.
*like*

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jovyn - Her Reluctance to Attend Playgroup!

Just like any child, the time would eventually come for them to attend school where they would begin the lifetime journey to gain necessary knowledge and learn essential social skill together with strangers.

Jovyn, the little brat, is no exception. 

Initiating the newbies to a fixed schedule away from family members and home is always difficult and Jovyn, being especially close to her grandmother (my mother), is terribly resistant when it is time for her to attend the merely two-hour playgroup. 

As i did not see Jovyn in action, it's hard for me to visualise the actual situation! I was unfortunate to fall sick on Tuesday and i figured that since i am on the way to get some healthy fish porridge, i might as well accompany both of them to school.

Everything appeared fine, at least in the beginning.

Until it suddenly dawned on Jovyn's two years brain the she was indeed going to school!! That's when the tantrums started; screaming "no, no, no" with tears streaming down her fatty cheeks!

She has also mastered the incredible art of the resistant koala; holding tightly to my poor mom! 

That's not all - she has also taken to vomiting over my mom whenever she knows that crying is getting her nowhere! Gross.... obviously not an experience i would like to go through.

So for those who still think she is angelic, think again. 
The family is looking forward to the terrifying threes.

*a big big sigh*

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Calanthe Art Cafe where You can Try Coffee from All of Malaysia's 13 States @ Jalan Hang Kasturi [Near Jonker Street], Melaka

The rage in Singapore food scene nowadays is cafes and you can find them in many shapes, various forms offering a wide array of desserts, finger food and fusion cuisine. 

Such adoration is not just limited to the little red dot; as true blue Singaporeans, the Gang of Four does seek out nice cafes overseas where we can further add on to the relaxation of being away from the bustle of Singapore life. 

One such cafe we visited in Malacca was Calanthe Art Cafe. Ranked number four out of a hundred and ninety nine restaurants in Malacca on Tripadvisor.com, the name itself evoked images of decorative art pieces that would not be easily understood by commoners like me. 

By the grace of god, the surrounding was not as artsy fartsy as expected. Instead, i was so reminded of the 1980s when i was still a little boy living in one of the last few villages on mainland Singapore. 

The retro wooden sofa set was signature of that period and i still remember that every few months, my parents would make it a point to wash the coverings and sun the sponge cushions. 

Television then was bulky and required effort from more than one person to haul it from one place to another! Known as CRT (cathode ray tube) television, the one above doesn't even come with remote control; changing the channels meant rotating a dial button (usually e biggest one beside the screen). 

To me, i thought the entire concept brings forward a great sense of character and nostalgia to the cafe. I could be biased as i am a person who enjoys history and it feels good to reminisce my childhood days. 

Given the ranking on tripadvisor, the place was strangely quiet on a Saturday night. I am not sure if it was the late timing that we arrived or that the cafe appeared to be too hot and stuffy, especially the area behind the main counter where more seats were available. 

Surprise, surprise! I am not going to talk about the food in this cafe as my stomach was heavily stuffed by the time i stepped into Calanthe. What i could manage at that point of time was only a cup of coffee. 

From the outside of the cafe, the sign stating "Malaysia 13 States' Coffees" was much more noticeable than the actual signboard indicating "Calanthe Cafe"; hence implying the priority and importance of the coffees.

My cup of coffee. With thirteen choices, it's hard to reach a decision! Eventually, i reverted back to what i have always loved and i strongly believed most Singaporeans would choose the same as i did. 

White coffee from the state of Perak - i can't say it was fantastic even though personally, i preferred it over 'Old Town' for its reduced sugar, nicer fragrance and a more delicate smoothness. 

Wish to try all 13 states' coffees and yet worry that your stomach would be unable to take all the caffeine? Get one of the above boxes and slowly savour them, one at a time, in the comfort of your own home! 

Those who are not interested in Asian coffee may be pleased to know that there are special "ang moh" coffee too. 

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Location
11, Jalan Hang Kasturi

Website 

Opening Hours
Refer to website

Sunday, June 23, 2013

S99 Seafood - A Truly Sandy Butter Crab @ Chong Pang [Yishun]

A promise was made to my mom a few YEARS ago to bring her to a reputable seafood place for dinner but it was delayed until last week because i took it for granted that it was just a 10-minute stroll from home! 

The lucky star was shining on me. The stall (which is a more appropriate term) had actually moved house and i was totally unaware about this until my mom happened to hear it from her friend. The communicative power of aunties can never be underestimated!

Anyway, it has been a while since i last posted an entry on Singapore food. Do sit back and enjoy the pictures! For those who are reading this late at night, don't blame me for activating your "craving" button. 

Sambal Kang Kong
参巴蕹菜
One word would be sufficient to describe this; perfect! It had just the right amount of spiciness that tingled my taste buds without resulting in them being numbed to any other taste. Most importantly, how could i even resist those humongous pieces of crispy pork lard partially hidden in the green vegetables?!?! 

Si Chuan Fish Head
四川魚頭
Featured on national television as one of the must-haves when you go to S99, the tender fish head was described as having a powerful infusion of chilli that was hot yet tastefully addictive. 

The fish meat was tender alright although i would attribute it to freshness rather than the absolute skill of the chef. The dish was surrounded with a crazily spicy aroma when served and you could see from the eyes of my mom and Joyce that they were expecting something extraordinary from the chilli. 

It was nothing amazing. Even i, a pretty weak chilli eater, found the spiciness to be too mild for my liking.

Hakka Beancurd 
客家豆腐
I always find it hard to have a beancurd dish that has smooth, great tasting homemade beancurd perfectly complemented with an equally tasty sauce. It's often one way or the other. The above was the rare exception!

Beancurd Roll
豆腐卷
This came strongly recommended by the waitress and did not disappoint despite my initial skepticism. The first surprise was when i saw the crispy outlook that was a far cry from the usual!

As i sank my teeth into the rectangular shaped roll, the second surprise set in; the interior paste was generously filled with prawns, rendering it much more delicious than other similar deep fried items. Note; this is not your conventional beancurd roll dish and lack that special flavour bestowed upon beancurd skin. Not that i am complaining.

Crab with Bee Hoon
螃蟹米粉
Definitely not your typical crab beehoon served in a round claypot and filled up with milky white broth, this also came endorsed by the waitress even though in this case, we were sorely disappointed.

It could have performed much better separately. The bee hoon didn't manage to absorb the crab essence which would have made a big jump in differentiating itself from normal tze char bee hoon.

Golden Sand Butter Crab
金沙奶油螃蟹
As far as golden sand crab is concerned, this should be classified as the epitome for the sandy like texture that could have been mistaken for real sand sourced from the nearby Sembawang beach!

Crab was a bit small and contributed to meat that was too dry. Nothing beats having a big, juicy crab claw for true satisfaction.

Sandiness and size of crab aside, it was the sweet buttery flavour that got the whole family hooked! After we were done with the pathetic crustacean, it was simply whacking the yummy sand with plain white rice!

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Location
Block 101, Yishun Avenue 5,
#01-101 (Yummy 101 Coffeeshop)

Price
Sambal Kang Kong - S$6
Si Chuan Fish Head - S$21
Hakka Beancurd - S$9
Beancurd Roll - S$10
Crab with Bee Hoon - S$36
Golden Sand Butter Crab - S$36

Menu
As above.

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