Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Lao Jiang Superior Soup (老江一品汤) @ Punggol Oasis Terraces [Singapore]

What happen when you visit a neighbourhood mall for the first time without any inkling on what to have for lunch? For me, I relied on my mom who usually prefers soupy stuff and it's a no brainer that Lao Jiang Superior Soup (老江一品汤) managed to tug her heartstrings! 

Options were pretty comprehensive for such a small outlet, with about 11 different kind of soups. As expected, there's a higher chance for us to order those dishes with the "chef recommended" logo. Let's cut to the chase and review what we had.

Fried Spice Pork Belly - for some people, the taste of nan ru (fermented beancurd) can be repulsive and while I am not that extreme; it's not a dish I would order if I am ever dining out on my own as a strong flavour can turn me off.

Thankfully, the nan ru pork belly from Lao Jiang Superior Soup had a good flavour that didn't taste heavy of fermented beancurd. In addition, it was juicy (given the high fat content from pork belly) and had a crispy, thin-crust bite! 

Lao Jiang Soup - thinking this would be a signature soup despite the lack of a chef recommended logo, we went ahead with our order. In a nutshell, it was similar to a simple, light and unfanciful bowl of kway teow soup you can get from other noodle stalls. 

Signature Superior Soup
- as the first item on the menu when you flip to the second page, with key information that the broth was boiled for over four hours, it's hard not to give this a try. And my family did by requesting for two servings; one with rice and the other with dry mee pok. 

The broth was extremely flavourful although I can't help but notice the resemblance with Yu Pan Dry Noodle (御品幹撈面) which had a number of stalls spread across Singapore. Even though Lao Jiang's version included two prawns and two relatively large pieces of fish maw, it's quite hard to stomach the significantly higher price of S$9.50 a bowl; it didn't help that I am not that big of a fish maw fan.

I love mee pok and would make a point to request for it so long it's available and I am not packing it for takeaway as the texture would change. Strange that in spite of having the noodle in the store, its texture felt as though I had requested for takeaway with a thicker, heavier feel that's unpalatable. Pity though as the pieces of crispy pork lard were amazing! 

Double Boiled Chicken Essence Soup - with the abilities to "combat fatigue, strengthen immune system and boost muscle growth",  it's the kind of soup that would appeal to my elderly mother! To show that the operator was true to its words on the use of chicken essence, a pack would be torn with its contents poured into your soup right in front of you! 

This kind of reminded me of XO bee hoon and I often joked with my friends that I would bring a bottle of XO myself whenever we feel that the taste of XO was too weak! Maybe we can do the same with chicken soup; just prepared one or two bottles of Brand's essence chicken.

Taste wise, it had that intense, nutritional flavour (guess it's the result of the chicken essence) with a noticeable ginger taste and I can imagine how shiok it would be to have this on a cold, rainy day! Red dates were soft yet retained a sweetness that complemented perfectly with the soup. Chicken was juicy but it's likely cooked separately; we knew because this was actually our second bowl as the chicken in the first bowl was cold, as if it was just taken out from the fridge. 

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Address
681 Punggol Dr, #01-42/43, 
Oasis Terraces, Singapore 821669

Map
As above. 

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/laojiangsuperiorsoup

Pricing
Fried Spice Pork Belly - S$8.00
Lao Jiang Soup - S$6.00
Signature Superior Soup - S$9.50
Double Boiled Chicken Essence Soup - S$14.00
(Inclusive of GST)

Monday, January 25, 2021

Slippery Floor Due to Broken Bottle of Olive Oil @ Yishun Northpoint City Mall [Singapore]

It's a route not unfamiliar for me and I instinctively whipped out my mobile phone to check out the newsfeed on facebook while walking from Northpoint basement passage to the connected Yishun bus interchange, to collect some plastic containers from my friend and also pass him a small pack of Florentine cookies that I just baked.

Before my mind could register what happened, I was already lying on the floor with a broken pack of cookies, and my mobile phone flung two meters away from me. There was some light yellowish liquid and a plastic bag. Darn, did someone just drop a bag of drink or something!? 

As my friend had already arrived, I quickly picked myself up and met him in less than a minute. That's when I realized I was bleeding with a cut across my knee. It didn't hurt much though and my friend kindly passed me some antiseptic wipes to clean up the blood. 

I would need to go back the same route to return home and took a closer look at the spot where I slipped. It wasn't a pack of drink that broke; what I found within the bag was a shattered bottle of olive oil! Now, I really have to count my lucky stars but it wasn't happiness flying in my brain; it was pure rage! 


The pieces of glass were everywhere and I was incensed that the person who broke the bottle of olive oil didn't even take the basic responsibility to contact housekeeping to clean up the mess! There are so many elderlies living in Yishun and the slippery floor could result in serious injuries (hip displacement etc) or even death. Not to mention the glass shards that could cut them too! 

Yes, I escaped pretty unscathed but I am not going to just walk away and think it's the mall's job to ensure they clean up! Okay, technically I did walk away but more to find housekeeping; eventually, I found the mall's contact and informed the guy who picked up the phone to quickly activate manpower to clean up the area. 

Maybe it was bad luck when one got injured as mine continued with a cut to my thumb when I was removing the skin from a persimmon earlier this evening, using a peeler. Alright, it's just me and my butterfingers. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Hoe Fried Hokkien Mee (和炒福建虾面) @ North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre (Near Lavender MRT Station) [Singapore] #northbridgeroadhawkercentre

I tried to undertake a bit of research before checking out a hawker centre I have never patronized before; this would enable me to roughly plan out what to eat beforehand and help cut some time in deliberating which stall to order from! 

With a review rating of 4.5 on Google, I was half expecting a queue at Hoe Hokkien Mee but on second thought; who would have hokkien mee at 9.00 am?! Regardless, I am happy I didn't have to wait long. 

Generous plate of hokkien mee at S$4.00 a plate.

Aside from having a higher proportion of thick bee hoon (as opposed to yellow noodles in other places), there were also slices of pork belly, in addition to your typical prawns, eggs and squids. To be me, the squid can definitely be removed as they were tasteless! 

Slurping good; it was flavourful and rich of the sweet prawn stock that I always find irresistible in a good plate of hokkien mee. While good on its own, I do enjoy the chilli as it added an addictive layer of contrasting sourness, spiciness that made every spoonful into the mouth, an heavenly experience.

Burp! 

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Address
861 North Bridge Rd, #01-93, 
North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre, 
Singapore 198783
(Near Lavender MRT Station)

Map
As above.

Operating Hours
9.00 am to 6.30 pm
(Closed on Sundays)

Facebook Page

Pricing
Hokkien Mee - Minimum S$4.00 a plate

Friday, January 22, 2021

Tian Yi Desserts (天義) - Signature Mixed Green Bean and Red Bean Soup @ North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre (Near Lavender MRT Station) [Singapore] #northbridgeroadhawkercentre

I started using my kitchen a lot more during the circuit breaker (CB) last year and one item I constantly made was green bean soup as the recipe is simple with a pretty fast process.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I was at North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre; the signboard of Tian Yi Desserts (天義) caught my attention as their signature was green bean soup and red bean soup! Now, I am intrigued as to how different could their soup could be and decided to order a bowl of their signature mixed green bean and red bean soup. 

The photograph above didn't do it justice as there was a noticeable half shade of green and half shade of red when I was at the hot dessert stall but my unstable juggling back to my table had mixed them up.:(

Featuring an interesting flavour combining both green and red bean soup which you could easily replicate at home, the highlight was really the sheer amount of ingredients that went into the soup, other than the necessary green beans and red beans. Visually, I saw dry longan, orange peels, sago, pearls, barley and lotus seeds! 

Nice, nutritional and generous; I bet this hot dessert would be a hot favourite among the older generations. For me, it's just too much ingredients and coming from a guy who likes more soup than green beans in his homemade green bean soup, this is just not my cup of tea.

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Address
861 North Bridge Rd, #01-112,
North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre, 
Singapore 198783

Map
As above. 

Operating Hours
9.10 am to 3.30 pm
(Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Signature Mixed Green Bean and Red Bean Soup - S$2.00

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Traditional Local Singaporean Breakfast @ An Old School Coffee Shop - Heap Seng Leong 協勝隆 (Near Lavender MRT Station) [Singapore]

Singapore's real estate has always been hot property and with the country being a free economy; many shops that existed in the past are now taken over by businesses with greater consumer demand and /or ability to generate a higher profit yield. 

One of the victims is those traditional coffee shops; some were renovated to be air-conditioned with specially curated interior design in order to justify a significantly higher price on their menu whereas many others had been converted to restaurants / cafes etc. 

Heap Seng Leong is one of those that continued to survive in the cut-throat food and beverage industry. And it's amazing how the operator manages to keep the decoration unchanged throughout the years! In my childhood memories, coffee shops generally had the same messy look as Heap Seng Leong! 

Step in to see how time had apparently stopped at the coffee shop; the use of glass containers to keep biscuits and snacks. And who uses abacus nowadays?! Did you also notice the coin-operated payphone on the left?

Seeing how old school it was; I guess it's appropriate for me to order a traditional, local Singaporean breakfast that comprised firstly of a cup of kopi gao and soft boiled eggs. Latter was a bin too thin for my liking although Alex loved the coffee aroma from his kopi. Soft boiled eggs turned out fine; no complaint about them.

I am more excited to try the toasted bread which didn't look like the conventional ones we get nowadays which would be thinner with a crispier crust. 

For someone who always love his toasted bread with a crunchier texture, I was surprised to find myself liking this thicker yet fluffier version! The crisp was really just a thin layer and the insides remained warm and soft. 

Of course, both the delicious brown kaya and butter played an equally important role and you would notice an unmistakable aroma that could only have come from toasting the bread on a charcoal grill.  

Generally satisfied, even though I still had misgiving over my coffee. I read from the web that the coffee shop is renowned for its butter coffee (Kopi Gu You); guess I would have to check it out on my next visit! 

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Address
10 North Bridge Road, 
#01-5109, Singapore 190010

Map
As above.

Pricing

Two Kopis, soft-boiled eggs & toast - S$4.40

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Char Siew Rice from Yong Kee H.K Roasted Duck Stall (鏞记香港烧腊) @ Redhill Food Centre [Singapore] #redhillhawkercentre

My mind was set; I am going to have the roasted chicken rice from 
Rong Ji Traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice stall. However, my eyes kept veering towards the above stall near our table; Yong Kee H.K Roasted Duck, and it's not roasted duck that attracted our attention.

I was captivated by the strings of gooey red char siew and the temptation eventually caved in! Right after chicken rice and pancakes from Granny's Pancake, I got myself a plate of char siew rice, with half the rice portion that would shared with my mom! 

The dark colored rice surprised me and I was expecting this would be some unusual carbohydrates that would make me regret making the decision to reduce my rice. Turned out the grains were dry and it didn't have any special taste to it; I still need the sauce to enhance the palatability. 

Char siew had a nice charred exterior but it's the lean kind that diners with a healthier palate might enjoy. I found the texture to be a bit on the hard side and while they were not gross tasting; it's unfortunately not something I would return for. 

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Address 
Block 85, Redhill Lane, #01-44, 
Redhill Food Centre, 
Singapore 150085

Map
As above.

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Char Siew Rice - S$3.00 a plate 

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