Sunday, May 09, 2021

So Good Char Chan Tang - A Hong Kong Style Cafe @ 111 Somerset [Orchard, Singapore]

I love the Somerset area along Orchard Road as it's not as crowded as the main Orchard area and I can find plenty of good stores like Don Don Donki, Tokyu Hands, Decathlon (housed in the former Metro premises in Centrepoint) etc. 

However, there's one shopping mall that I often overlooked; 111 Somerset, also known as Triple One Somerset. Recently, I decided to revisit the small mall and one particular shop caught my attention. 

So Good Char Chan Tang - there's always a queue and while I am not a huge fan of Hong Kong food, except for dim sum; I thought it might still be worth a try and arranged to have a late lunch one Saturday, hoping for a shorter queue at about 3.30 pm.

There was still a line but we were third in the queue and only waited about 15 minutes to get into the nondescript cafe. One thing to note, the staff would pass you the menus while in the queue and I would suggest you look through and decide what to have as the first thing you do upon entering is to order at the self-ordering kiosk.

Hot Coffee - I should have known better and requested for milk tea, for which Hong Kong is famous for. This cup of coffee was the westernized with milk kind that was bitter and required a sachet of sugar for the sweetness. Absolutely not my cup of tea and a literal letdown as the first cup of coffee for the day.

Honey Char Siew Noodles - looking for something substantial to fill the tummy and aside from char siew, you may consider other options like roast duck, soy sauce chicken or steamed chicken.

Noodles were the rubber-band kind that clumped up although taste wise, surprisingly appetizing. Portion was a bit small as I finished up the noodles in three mouthfuls! 

Given my experience with char siew in Hong Kong, I really shouldn't have opted for char siew. It was meaty, not as fatty and the slightly charred bits failed to the taste. Why why why. 

Chee Cheong Fun with Shrimp - the prawns were fresh with a nice, tasty crunch. Only problem was the rice rolls; they were a tad thick. As a veteran of chee cheong fun, Alex shared the same sentiment.

French Toast - when it comes to French toast, my benchmark was the one in Kim Gary. It's a pity that they have closed down their only branch in Singapore and it's not like we can travel to Malaysia anytime soon due to the pandemic.

To be frank, the texture of the egg covered toasts was fine. Just that you need that sugary syrup to up the sweetness; if not, it's actually quite bland and I would likely be better off having our local style toast with kaya.

Hong Kong Style Plain Rice Roll - don't ask me why I ordered this as we already had in mind the chee cheong fun with prawns. Anyway, it was plain chee cheong fun drizzled with two types of sauce and topped with sesame seeds. 

That brown sauce was like a diluted version of peanut sauce, albeit as a whole, there was a tinge of saltiness. I found the combination refreshing; just need to cut down on the salt, and maybe add in a bit of fried shallots for extra aroma and flavour. 

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Maybe I didn't order the right thing as given what I had so far; the food didn't elicit that "so good" tagline in my brain and were more average in my opinion. From my discussion with friends who had been to their original cafe at Midview City (Sin Ming), it appeared that affordability appeared to be the common theme. 

Address
111 Somerset Rd, #01-17, 
TripleOne Somerset, 
Singapore 238164

Map
As above. 

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Hot Coffee - S$2.20
Honey Char Siew Noodles - S$6.00
Chee Cheong Fun with Shrimp - S$4.80
French Toast - S$3.50
Hong Kong Style Plain Rice Roll - S$3.00
(Inclusive of GST)

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