Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice - Since 1946 @ 71, Seng Poh Road (Across Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre) in Singapore

Tiong Bahru is a place I am quite familiar with but it never fails to surprise me with the trove of good food found in the neighbourhood. On the recommendation of my younger sister, I decided to check out Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice; a popular eatery with a history of over 70 years.

Reading that the queue can be insane, I purposely went on the tail-end of the lunch hour. My wait was only about twenty minutes although the stress came from the wait for a table which you have to secure yourself by standing menacingly next to diners who were about to finish their meal.

Publicity materials like newspaper articles, accolades etc attracted my attention and I was so looking forward to my meal. That is rare given that curry rice's main component is a carbohydrate which I have always wanted to reduce! 

Taken after I had made my order; as mine was for three persons, the friendly staff members would serve the dishes of food to our table later. As I was late in arriving, some of the items like deep fried prawns were already sold out. 

First thing on the table; the plates of plain rice drenched with the signature curry gravy said to be made over three days! Lazy people like me wouldn't even consider trying to make it myself. Too much time taken and it would be easier for me to just eat direct at the eatery. 

Mom with all our dishes displayed in front of her! I was thinking of ordering more; however, I would still want to leave some stomach space for desserts at the super near Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre.

Fried Egg
- its old school-ness (crispy edges, gooey yolk and black sauce) enticed me to order as it would be the perfect companion for the rice despite the fact that my mom would likely say she can probably fry me the same kind of egg at home! 

Cabbage
- I love soggy cabbage that still packed a crunch! This was not bad even though I thought it would benefit from a deeper flavour to make it more memorable. 

Squid
- seeing quite a number of diners ahead of me asking for me, I jumped on the bandwagon too! It was a fine piece of squid; solid without being rubbery! Even my mom, who wore dentures, was happy with the texture and flavour. 

Hainanese Pork Chop
- personally, I never quite like this traditional dish as they were often too thick for my liking and the taste was honestly unimpressive. This was different; the tomato-like gravy was tasty, the meat was sliced pretty thin and the batter didn't result in the cloying effect often encountered at other competitors! 

Mixing all the good stuff into the rice and having hell of a great time ingesting everything! Gravy was piquant and a tad spicy; absolutely delicious with the exception of one problem. It's insufficient and I was craving for much more to drench over parts of my white rice that had yet to turn orange! 

Slurp! Looking forward to my next visit! 

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Address
71 Seng Poh Rd, #01-49, 
Singapore 160071

Map
As above. 

Operating Hours
8.00 am to 2.45 pm
(Closed on Thursdays)

Pricing
Everything in the picture except for the mineral water; S$20.50 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Feng Taiwanese Food - Winner for Singapore Food Masters 2018 and 2019 @ Northpoint City Mall [Yishun, Singapore] #northpoint

Feng Food, offering Taiwanese cuisine, started operations at
Yishun's Northpoint City Mall for almost three years and I had never once patronized it until I started noticing, after the circuit breaker (to counter the spread of COVID-19), the queue outside the eatery. 

Finally got to arrange for an early lunch with my mom to check out the restaurant and the first things that caught my attention on the menu were the Singapore Food Masters logos! In the past when I still had a car, I would actually purposely seek out the nominated eateries listed on the annual Singapore Food Masters. 

With just two of us, I can't be too liberal with our order; hence, just five items of which two were beverages. I love such order list where the chef recommendation labels were clearly indicated next to the food / drink. 

Taiwanese Roselle Tea
and Brown Sugar Caramel Pearl Milk Tea - hot one for mom whereas I would continue to pretend to be the youngling craving for sweet stuff. No much to complain about the roselle tea which had a strong fruity sourness. My milk tea was bland in the beginning until I realized I forgot to stir up the brown sugar on the bottom! So delicious although some pearls were too hard; p.s. expect a sugar high. 

Hakka Style Braised Meat Rice
- nowadays, loroufan is something I can't resist not ordering whenever I am at a Taiwanese restaurant! Provided it's on the menu of course. 

From its appearance, there didn't seem to be any difference from the luroufan I had elsewhere although it's labelled as a hakka-style. A lot of expectations here for a winner of Singapore Food Masters 2018 and 2019.

It didn't impress as I always like my braised meat rice to veer on the sweeter side; the meat here was more savoury with a relatively stronger pork flavour. A pity as well that the preserved vegetables failed to work up an appetite, as they usually would. 

Moon Shape Prawn Cake
- I guess many people would wonder if this would be an equivalent to the Crispy Golden Prawn Pancake at Din Tai Feng when they saw it on the menu. It's incomparable as the one at Din Tai Feng is just epic! 

This one from Feng Food had other fillers like carrots and likely flour. And did you did realize that it's obviously not moon-shaped?! Nonetheless, there's one element that stood out from Din Tai Feng's version; the accompanying chilli dip which was chockablock full of garlic and sugar with a dash of vinegar! Darn, I think this chilli would go well with most things! 

Guan Mian Noodles Soup with Marinated Pork Chop
- I was keen to try both the interesting looking guan mian noodle (specialty of Taiwan's Tainan area) and the pork chop and this option gave me the best of both worlds! 

Now, this special noodle had a unique wavy shape and said to be handmade using traditional sun drying method with no added coloring and preservatives. To the untrained taste buds like mine, unfortunately, it tasted like mee hoon kueh and which is not the kind of noodles I like. Broth was also too light for my liking. 

Marinated pork chop was lightly seasoned even though the highlight was more the tenderness of the meat which was optimally fried without the toughness. And of course, they went so well with the chilli dip! p.s. I requested for extra from the service staff member, who happily obliged. 

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What we had were just a fraction of what were available on the menu and while I wasn't too impressed with the luroufan and the guanmian noodle (soup); the food were quite reasonably priced with good service. You bet I would be there soon, to check out other dishes! 

Address
930 Yishun Avenue 2, #B1-156, 
Northpoint City Mall (South Wing),
Singapore 769098

Facebook Page

Order List
As above. 

Pricing
Taiwanese Roselle Tea - S$3.00
Brown Sugar Caramel Pearl Milk Tea - S$3.90
Hakka Style Braised Meat Rice - S$9.00
Moon Shape Prawn Cake - S$11.00
Guan Mian Noodles Soup with Marinated Pork Chop - S$12.20
(Subject to GST. No Service Charge)

Dad's Birthday 2020

The pictures taken for my dad's birthday were long overdue as I couldn't decide for the longest time if I should share the pictures; reason being I was having intermittent fever and had to visit a doctor. 

However, it's a fact that my family members took my DSLR camera and shot a few photographs which would be obligatory for me to share in this blog, even if I am not the official photographer for this celebratory occasion.

I felt bad for missing out the cake-cutting by my dad but with the COVID-19 pandemic, I need to be extra careful as my parents' age group (both above 65) is considered the most vulnerable. 

Wishing my dad a happy birthday (i did that already on the actual day) and hope he remain fit and healthy for the longest time ever. Oh ya, also wish that the pandemic would be over soon so that I can bring him out for overseas vacations! 

As for me, I was instructed to take a swab test and within a day, my result was given via SMS. Negative! p.s. the swab test wasn't as horrifying as I thought. It's a bit of a discomfort but not as uncomfortable as the one I did for the nasal endoscopy.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Big, Crispy Roti Prata Kosong from Chindamani Indian Restaurant Outlet @ Serangoon North Block 151A [Singapore]

After
scrapping my car a few years ago, it became inconvenient for me to travel to places not served by an MRT station. Okay, I admit; laziness usually kicks in! Therefore, even though serangoon north was a place I visited often in the past, it had been at least five years since I last dropped by.

Many small animal lovers would know the area as there are plenty of pet shops and aquariums; there's even a specialized store for chinchillas! Want to get a parrot that cost a few thousand dollars? That's the place to go! 

Random picture of a beautiful feline outside one of the shops.

I am not going to talk about pets today as I have no intention to keep one at the moment. Instead, I got wind of a stall selling super crispy roti prata from a new colleague and its location caught me by surprise as the pet shop next to the coffee shop was my customer when I was working in the pet industry, and I don't remember seeing the stall on my weekly visits! 

Mystery solved; Chindamani Indian Restaurant was only opened from 2008 and my stint in pet industry for business to business was before then! Anyway, why the word restaurant when it's clearly a food stall in a coffeeshop?! Guess there are grand plans for expansion! 

Do expect a queue which is the norm for any good food in Singapore! Obviously knowing that, I planned my visit to after 2pm to avoid the lunch peak but there were others who think like me. :( 

Wait wasn't too torturing with only about 4-5 persons in front of me; I got my prata in about 10-15 minutes and my order comprised of three kosong (empty) and two egg pratas. Please be assured that I don't have the stomach to eat so many! 

Mine usually consisted of just one kosong and one egg. With sugar on the side as I have that weird habit of mixing sugar with curry for that sweetened curry kick. So far, I had yet to hear of anyone who is using the same style.

Kosong Prata - hear the cackling! It's ultra crispy and compared to many kosong pratas sold elsewhere, this bears the uniqueness of being slightly bigger than the egg prata! Don't assume it was just a layer of crisp like tissue prata though as you can still find a satisfying layer of fluffy underside that wasn't too doughy. 

Egg Prata
- in comparison, this was quite normal. I regretted not buying extra kosong even though that's already quite a bit of carbohydrates I was ingesting that day! 

Usually, I wouldn't comment much on the curry as it plays a role as a mere dip and too watery for my liking. This time, I felt the need to do so as the fish curry given was thick and flavourful.

I can totally understand my colleague's obsession with the roti pratas from this stall; it was one of the best kosong prata I had, with the enjoyable crispiness matched with the size of it. Should I revisit this weekend? 

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Address
Block 151A, Serangoon North Avenue 1, 
Within Zhi Yuan Coffee Shop (祭源咖啡), 
Singapore 551151

Map
As above.

Other Branches
As above.

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Roti Prata Kosong - S$1.20 each
Roti Prata Egg - S$1.80 each

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