Friday, September 14, 2018

Por Kee Eating House - Popular Tze Char Place in the Heart of Singapore @ Tiong Bahru [Singapore] #porkeetzechar #tiongbahrufood

You can never go hungry in Singapore and there are few zones in the little red dot where i constantly stuffed myself crazy whenever i am in the area; one of which is Tiong Bahru.

Aside from the famous Tiong Bahru hawker centre, the neighbourhood also counts a few reputable cafes (like Drips Bakery) and Galicier Confectionary (you would love its ondeh ondeh) as its residents!

Tiong Bahru is well-known as a hipster area and i guess the younger generation might not even be aware of this tze char restaurant that's just a stone throw from Tiong Bahru hawker centre.

Called Por Kee Eating House (sounded just like porky); it has air-conditioned seating although it would be hard for you to find seating when night falls given the limited tables (about nine). I recalled walking past a few years ago and remember how crowded the whole place was!

TAKE NOTE - i think it's important for me to share with you a company policy early in this post as a number of diners have expressed their frustrations over the mandatory charge of S$2 per person (including kids) for Chinese tea / water and wet tissue.

The notice was pasted on the cover of every menu and it's hard to miss the white piece of paper with words on a red menu. I mean, we can always say that it's bullshit and the restaurant has no right to charge us; point is, we can always step out and go to another dining establishment.

Anyway, we didn't leave and continued to deliberate on what dishes to order from the menu (which was in fact a nondescript plastic file with pockets). 

Pickles - more like the typical acar and tasted not too bad. It wasn't part of the mandatory charge and you would be required to fork out S$3.00 for it.  Let's now start with our ordered dishes!

Fried Beef Hor Fun - strongly recommended by online reviewers, this didn't disappoint with slices of tender beef that would not result in excessive chewing and each bite was full of the delectable wok-hei flavour!

Homemade Beancurd - with mushrooms and strips of sea cucumber, it was priced rather steeply at S$18.00 and if not for the fact that Jovyn needs beancurd, i wouldn't have ordered it if i wasn't with her.

It was surprisingly not bad and i love the texture difference when i bit through its tougher skin to reveal almost a silky soft inside that's tastier than most of the other beancurds i had. Jovyn obviously relished it!

Green Dragon Vegetables - ever since we had the green dragon vegetables at JB Ah Meng in Geylang, my family couldn't help but order it whenever we see it on a menu. Pity, it wasn't as memorable as the ones from JB Ah Meng; while refreshing, they dish was overly salty and stir fried with too much garlic.

Live Cereal Prawns -  when you have kids, you would know some dishes are inevitable; like the cereal prawns where kids would scoop up the fragrantly fried cereal, mix in to their plain rice and willingly finish up everything.

Unlike other tze char place, the prawns were coated nicely with the cereals and fried to a nice crisp! It was a joy even to eat the cereal-coated shells and it was a double bonus to find the prawns so fresh to the taste and bite!

Their freshness was attested by the ease for which we separated the meat from the shell; that's the difference between live prawns and dead prawns.

Joyvn playing around with the edible flowers used to adorn the cereal prawn dish. When i was younger, these flowers were common displays on dishes for banquets and even on cakes!

Sweet Sour Pork - now, if you like old-school gulurou; i bet you would be addicted with the sweet sour pork at Por Kee; each 'nugget' was like little bundle of crispiness that wasn't heavily drenched by the sauce. The sauce could make or break the dish and this, thankfully, had that optimal balance of sweetness and sourness.

Crispy Butter Crab - note the word crispy as it wouldn't be as creamy as the one at Seafood Paradise; taste was okay as i still prefer the wetter version. Nevertheless, we were impressed with the freshness of the crab; no wonder each kilogram was so pricey!

Chilli Crab - with a mix of sourness, spiciness and the flavor of tomato attacking my taste buds, this was better than the crispy butter crab in my opinion even though it was a tad too spicy for my liking.

Fried Buns - a must-have accessory with chilli crabs (or any crabs with a sauce); this was one of the better fried buns in the market with pillowy-soft insides. I wouldn't term them as the best as that's reserved for the fried buns at Forture Seafood!

Champagne Short Ribs - reason why this was placed at the last should be known to those who read my blog; the dish is either unforgettably good or terribly bad. It's the former and i tell you; i would swallow my saliva whenever i recall how delicious they were!

Tender, moist and covered with a layer of appetizing sauce that's like a sweeter version of marmite sauce; the glazed ribs were lip-smacking good and i believe i would be satisfied with just a bowl of plain rice with a plate of champagne short ribs! Do keep in mind that the texture could be too fatty for health conscious individuals.

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Family photo!

To be honest, we thoroughly enjoyed the food although the price was on the high side for tze-char food. To be fair to the operator, the seafood were fresh and in Singapore, fresh seafood does command a premium price tag.

Some online reviewers had complained about the service in Por Kee which was kind of a surprise as we didn't encounter any rude staff; Jovyn was even given a free box of potato crisp crackers from one of the employees! Maybe it helps to patronize the restaurant during lunch? 

Location
69 Seng Poh Ln, #01-02,
Singapore 160069

Map

As above.

Operating Hours
Lunch - 11.30 am till 2.30 pm
Dinner - 5.30 pm till 11.30 pm
(Closed on Mondays) 

Website

Pricing
Fried Beef Hor Fun (M) - S$12.00
Homemade Beancurd (M) - S$20.00
Green Dragon Vegetables (M) - S$18.00
Live Cereal Prawns (M) - S$33.00
Sweet Sour Pork (M) - S$18.00
Crabs - S$80 a kilogram
Fried Buns - S$1.20 each
Champagne Short Ribs (M) - SS$33
(No Service Charge and Inclusive of GST)

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