Thursday, March 31, 2022

XLX Modern Tze Char @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre [Singapore] #yishunparkhawkercentre

Do you enjoy working from home? I sure do as I save more than two hours of commute and those extra time allows me to exercise and also to meet up for dinner with my family members who live in Yishun. 

In our most recent meetup, it was to Yishun Park Hawker Centre as I needed new materials for this blog! And the one I picked was XLX Modern Tze Char. Taking two stalls, it did a great job with its eye-catching signboard!

Deal breaker was the standee with a poster declaring a champion set meal consisting of salted egg chicken cube rice! I am nursing a craving as my favorite salted egg chicken rice stall, at Singapore Poly has ceased operation. :( 

Payment made, collected buzzer and in less than 10 minutes; the buzzer vibrated with excitement. This buzzer invention is amazing; I still remember the past when staff would deliver to your table and they were often known for their sharp memory. 

Here's my food; the XLX (kept thinking it's XXL) seafood white bee hoon and the salted egg chicken cube rice. I intended to try the XLX prawn cake but it wasn't available. 

XLX Seafood White Bee Hoon - I was glad I went for the one-person portion as it appeared to be way too much for us! Maybe a visual illusion, because it was also a lot soupier than the traditional one from You Huak Restaurant (Sembawang White Beehoon)

Frankly, I wasn't that impressed with the flavor; it was mild, not rich, and definitely didn't excite my palate. To be fair, it wasn't bad tasting; I might just have expected too much given that white bee hoon is quite a common staple nowadays, with fierce competition. 

Saving grace was that at S$7.50, portion was big, there were two pretty large prawns that were fresh and plenty of meaty clams. The health conscious me was also happy to find a lot of vegetables in the soup.

Salted Egg Chicken Cube Rice - I guess it was a set due to the accompanying side dishes; the omelette which was bland and vegetables that didn't have much taste except for a pinch of boring spiciness.  

Anyway, my main focus was the salted egg chicken cubes! It's so hard to find a decent one in Singapore although I don't really seek actively. Anyone has good recommendation can let me know! 

These could have been so much better. The batter was crispy, the meat was juicy but the main deciding ingredient, salted egg sauce, was not in tip top form. It was decent tasting yet lacked the addictive punch; didn't help as well that the sauce was quite little. 


Overall not that satisfied with both dishes even though what I had might not be a good representative for the whole stall as there are many other dishes on their menu.  

51 Yishun Avenue 11, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 
#01-28, Singapore 768867

As above.

XLX Seafood White Bee Hoon - S$7.50
Salted Egg Chicken Cube Rice - S$6.20
(inclusive of GST) 
(10% discount if you pay via Tuckshop App)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Japanese Curry Express @ Fortune Centre [Singapore]

Whenever a good friend suggests a meetup, I don't reject. But when I heard it was Fortune Centre, I was a bit hesitant as I had been heading there for meals quite often in recent months and wondered if it was an dining establishment I already reviewed; i.e. Atas Turkish KebabHerbivore.

It was an eatery on the third floor of the ageing shopping centre; a level that I had yet to visit. However, the name of the restaurant made me hesitate again as I am not a fan of traditional Japanese curry and Japanese Curry Express sounded like a place I would have nothing to fancy. 

And it appeared to be more like a neighborhood coffeeshop kind of setting with foldable tables and red plastic chairs; not really Japanese like. To be frank, I wasn't really expecting much from the food although given my age; I shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Come, let's pen down what we want to eat! As you can see, the restaurant has more than just Japanese curry! Service was actually not bad; not your usual Japanese etiquette but more localized and closer to home. 

Salmon Sashimi - my eyes almost popped out when I returned to my table after taking pictures of the signboard for Japanese Curry Express. I had never seen salmon sashimi being sliced so THICKLY. 

Fresh with an unmatched satisfaction! Why didn't other Japanese restaurants do the same thing?! This portion may cost S$14 for 5 slices, yet the happiness I derived from eating each humongous piece is so worth it! 

Chawanmushi Bowl - there's a reason why the dish had the word "bowl" added on the menu, because it wasn't your typical chawanmushi portion! This could easily feed two or three persons. 

Texture wise, it wasn't as moist until you reach to the bottom of the bowl and as far as taste is concerned, there was a touch of spiciness and it's weird to have the aroma of sesame oil. To me, it was above average for typical steamed egg but didn't make the cut for chawanmushi. 

Spider Maki - intention was to have ebi mango maki or ebi avocado maki but they had run out of mango and avocado; hence, we just choose the next one on the menu which was available.

Meat within was soft shell crabs; average tasting although I think it's weird to have spicy sauce and powder / flakes for Japanese maki. Spicy lovers might enjoy this better. 

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice
- it's funny to come to a restaurant with the word "curry" in its name and not having anything to do with curry. Therefore, despite not liking Japanese curry, I decided to go for pork katsu curry. It wasn't available for dinner so I had to make do with chicken katsu.

One reason why I didn't like Japanese curry is that they are usually too sweet. Not this one at Japanese Curry Express; the sweetness was manageable and the curry was aromatic with just a pinch of spiciness. Some reviewers said it tasted like daiso curry though! Chicken katsu was crusty with a moist, juicy middle. I wasn't disappointed, honestly. 


I couldn't forget the salmon sashimi and will be back very soon! Shall make it for lunch so that I can have a better chance for ebi mango maki or ebi avocado maki.

190 Middle Rd, #03-04, 
Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979

Operating Hours
(Lunch) Mondays - Saturdays: 11.30am till 2.00 pm
(Dinner) Mondays - Saturdays: 5.30pm till 8.00 pm
Sundays and Public Holidays - Closed

As above

Salmon Sashimi - S$14.00
Chawanmushi Bowl - S$13.00
Spider Maki - S$13.00 
Chicken Katsu Curry Rice - S$7.50

Additional Information
Cash payment only. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Ban Heng Nasi Lemak (万兴椰浆饭) @ Chong Pang Food Centre [Singapore] #chongpanghawkercentre

As a long time patron of Chong Pang hawker center, I have my regular stalls but would, sometimes, take the opportunity to observe the customers flow of other stalls and make a mental note to check it out in the future. 

One such stall was Ban Heng Nasi Lemak (万兴椰浆饭); with its signature green colored rice, I had encountered occasions for which the line can be pretty long although there is a relatively famous nasi lemak stall just two blocks away. 

What's most important in a nasi lemak for you? Aside from the rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, I would need chicken wing and fried egg. Sadly, eggs were sold out and I had to make do with Set 2, which had luncheon meat instead.

Covered with just a thin layer of batter, this was surprisingly good and tasted very much like comfortable, homemade, deep fried chicken wing marinated with simple seasonings. 

Pretty juicy too! 

Nothing much to say about luncheon meat, which tasted like your usual Maling brand. Despite having the flavor of coconut milk, the experience was marred with overly mushy rice. This was when the sambal chilli came in handy; it complemented the mushiness and piqued the taste buds with spiciness that had a  subtle sweetness. 

I should have ordered another chicken wing. 
So wasted, the sambal chilli.


Block 105, Yishun Ring Road, 
Chong Pang Hawker Centre, #01-133, 
Singapore 760105

As above.

As above

Set 2 - S$2.80

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Mongkok Dim Sum (旺角點心) @ Upper Thomson (Next to Springleaf MRT) [Singapore]

With the opening of Springleaf MRT station, it's a given that many people would take the opportunity to travel and try the many eateries in the neighborhood that used to be where I spent my childhood.

Shops come and go, and Mongkok Dim Sum (旺角點心) wasn't part of my childhood memory. Nonetheless, once the craving for dim sum kicked in, my brain remembers walking past a dim sum restaurant right after mookata at 泰好吃 - Thai Hao Chi, and hence, decided to check it out. 

Lady luck was on our side that day as the air-conditioned eatery was full shortly after we were seated, with a line forming 30 minutes later. Honestly, nothing much to write about the decorations. On an unrelated note, I was surprised that this Mongkok Dim Sum was a branch from its original shop at Geylang, which I knew had been there for more than 15 years! 

Order via the physical form and pass it to the staff member.

Condiment 'tray' consisting of chilli, pepper and soy sauce. What's the one you cannot do without? For me, it's definitely the chilli when it comes to dim sum, but it cannot be too spicy. 

Pu Er Tea - first thing to arrive on our table was tea. Costing S$1.30 per glass, you can top up with hot water at S$0.50 which I presume is per time. I found the pricing steep although my mom said it's not that expensive considering that most restaurants would likely charge us between S$2 and $6 per person. 

Pan Fried Carrot Cake - some foreign friends had asked me why our carrot cake doesn't contain carrots. Answer: we actually used radish which is called white carrot in Mandarin. Direct translation from an era when English wasn't widely spoken has resulted in this mistranslation. 

Whatever the case, I dislike dim sum carrot cake but this was impressive! It managed to attain a balance of two extremes; crisp on the outside and mushy soft on the insides, with pieces of flavor-enhancing meat. Definitely a must-order for anyone.

Deep Fried Mini Buns - I ordered wrongly as my mind was telling me to go for the ones with chilli crab sauce! No idea why my right hand eventually wrote down the item number with just buns, and no sauce. :(

By itself, the buns were pretty good with a middle that showed potential in soaking up sauce to make it better tasting! Guess I would have to make another trip down to confirm the above. p.s. I did attempt to add on a sauce, and was rejected.

Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimps
- while the rolls were normal, and frankly, a bit too thick in my opinion, the deal breaker was the incredibly light and tasty sauce. The chee cheong fun guru, Alex that is, loved this though.

Prawn Dumplings - first and foremost, I had to admit that whenever I eat har gow; I would remove the 'skin'. Therefore, my review should focus only on the prawn filling, which was crunchy and tasty! Not the best yet good enough to satisfy a craving.

Deep Fried Mango and Shrimp Roll - good as a snack even though my taste buds failed in discerning any mango flavor, despite the fact that the yellowish stuff should have come from the fruit. 

Beancurd Rolls with Shrimp and Pork - the filling was alright and I took more issue with the beancurd skin; it was chewy instead of crispy, and a tad salty.   

Mongkok Pork Dumplings - like the har gow, the siew mai would be good enough whenever the craving strikes; not the best I had. p.s. the best was from Hua Ting and it cost doubled the price of Mongkok Dim Sum. 

Steamed BBQ Pork Buns - I find it hard to resist char siew pao when I see it on the menu. It's starch heavy (bad news for those on starch-restricted diet) and not exactly a favorite among my family.

Thankfully, this wasn't bad with a soft texture and delicious filling! Problem is; my family still wasn't keen which means I had to be responsible for what I ordered. 

Premium Char Siew Rice with Onsen Egg
- another thing I can't resist ordering would be char siew rice, specifically when it came with a mouthwatering photo! 

As you can probably see, the char siew was beautifully charred and had a delicious, high fat ratio! Taste was delicious although it did get a bit salty towards the end. Maybe because I was supposed to have it with rice but I simply couldn't take in more due to the dim sum! 


Before and after. Food was generally above average, with the carrot cake counting as the best of the lot, but for the price we paid for; I will definitely be part to check out the rest of the items on the menu. For example, the custard bun, the scallop dumplings, the chilli crab sauce.

906P Upper Thomson Rd, 
Singapore 787110
(Exit 2 of Springleaf MRT station)

As above.

As above.

Pu Er Tea - S$1.30 
Pan Fried Carrot Cake - S$4.20
Deep Fried Mini Buns - S$4.00
Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimps - S$4.50
Prawn Dumplings - S$4.50
Deep Fried Mango and Shrimp Roll - S$4.50
Beancurd Rolls with Shrimp and Pork - S$4.20
Mongkok Pork Dumplings - S$4.20
Steamed BBQ Pork Buns - S$4.20
Premium Char Siew Rice with Onsen Egg - S$6.80
(Subject to GST, No Service Charge)