Legendary Hong Kong Restaurant @ Jurong Point

With the recent Singapore & Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble being put on hold, thoughts of travelling to Hong Kong for an authentic food trail just vanished into thin air.

Think of dining in Hong Kong, “Cha Chaan Teng” (literally meaning Tea Restaurant, 茶餐厅 in Cantonese) will immediately popped up on one’s mind. Outlets like Tsui Wah, So Good Cha Chaan Teng, Honolulu Café and many others that you may know of will surface.

Fret not, for those who are “stuck” here can still relive the same authentic cha chaan teng dining experience at Legendary Hong Kong Restaurant.

This restaurant is “hidden” along the vibrant “Mongkok” (旺角) district in the Western Region at Jurong Point, Singapore’s first Hong Kong themed shopping and dining street, and you will get to experience the rustic old Hong Kong ambience feel.

For that moment, you would have thought that you are right in the heart of Hong Kong!

Typical hallmark Hong Kong cuisine will include the Hong Kong styled roast meats, dim sum, polo bun, HK styled toasts, rice and noodles.

Custard Crust Bun with Butter (冰火菠萝包)

The Chinese name of Custard Crust Bun “Pineapple Bun” made a lot of people thought there is a pineapple in the bun which is not the case here as the crust of the bun looks like a pineapple and hence its name.

A piece of good quality butter is the perfect companion for a fresh from the oven custard crust bun. The ice cold butter and hot crispy bun creates the complicated combination of hot & cold, soft & hard, sweet & salty – a deadly concoction. 👍👍👍

The usual standard suspects of a dim sum menu as follows;

Sauteed Turnip Cake with XO Sauce
Steamed Chicken Claws & Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce

Enjoying the best of both worlds. 🙂

Rice Roll with Prawns & Chives
Congee with Shredded Pork & Century Egg

I love the smooth and gooey texture of the congee. Comes with a good serving portion size.

Glutinous Rice Bun with Cured Meat

This is one of my personal favourite item that I will always order whenever I dine here. Savoury glutinous rice wrapped with thin beancurd skin. Really power.

Piggy Bun with Egg Custard

As good as it tastes. Really adorable. Kawaii. 🙂

Braised Beef Brisket

Tenderly good and the braised gravy will go extremely well with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Braised Assorted Vegetables with Preserved Taro Sauce in Clay Pot

This is one dish which I find stand out. The preserved beancurd has a uniquely flavourful acquired taste that brings up this dish. Similar to nonya chap chye.

Wonton Noodle in Soup

A must order dish especially dining in Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng. Somehow, their noodles are just so smooth and springy in texture coupled with the savoury shrimp wonton. The soup too has a hint of the “raw” noodle taste that goes just right when consume as a package.

Sorrowful Romance Rice (黯然销魂饭)

I love this catchy dish name. Reminds me of an old movie dated back in 1996 “The God of Cookery (食神)” casted by Stephen Chow and Karen Mok. Basically, BBQ Pork & Sunny-side up Egg on Rice. However, the dish name just brings it to another level. 😃

The food quality is authentically flavoured and certainly able to handle your fix should your next craving for Hong Kong cuisine comes along.

One Kueh at a Time @ 230 Pandan Loop

Ever thought of a place that sells only soon kueh?

What exactly is Soon Kueh?

Soon Kueh is a popular Teochew snack, originally made using bamboo shoots, turnips, dried mushroom and dried shrimp for the umami flavour. Over time, this dish has been simplified without the bamboo shoots. Having said that, there are still stalls that sells soon kueh with bamboo shoots as main fillings.

Recently, I chanced upon a place that specializes and sells only soon kueh, One Kueh at a Time @ 230 Pandan Loop. Interestingly, this place is located off the beaten path in an industrial area instead of the usual shop in a neighbourhood centre.

Upon reaching the destination, you will come across the above guardhouse.

Once you go past the guardhouse, continue and walk towards the glass door as there is no signages to direct you to One Kueh at a Time.

At the glass door, press the automated door open button and tada….you are already in it before you knew it.

This is the interior after opening the glass door. It looks like a big kitchen with a nice cozy homely environment which exhibits a different feel from the outside.

The Menu

One Kueh at a Time offers fusion crafted soon kueh as can be seen from the menu.

Ticket Number

Immediately after placing order for your soon kuehs, you will be given a queue ticket after upfront payment made. Thereafter, you will just have to wait patiently for the soon kuehs to be served once ready.

Their soon kuehs are shaped like mandu, different from what we are used to seeing and importantly, visually inviting.

My personal favourite is still their classic flavoured soon kueh. Their soon kueh skin is the key differentiator in my opinion. The texture is thin, chewy, stretchy and nicely done. Similar to the traditional old-school crystal dumpling (古早味水晶包) which I have had. I must admit and agree that their soon kuehs are really champion as with the high price tag. 😯

This is definitely bringing soon kueh eating to a new level. If you are a true blue die-hard soon kueh fan, you got to experience it for yourself.

For me, experiencing it once for the sake of novelty is by far I will go. What about you?

Pink Candy @ Beauty World Centre

Ever since my last Korean dining experience at Ajumma’s, I kinda fell in love with Korean cuisines subconsciously. Hence, I have been paying more attention in looking out for other venue where I can find good and affordable Korean dishes.

Interestingly, I found one such dining outlet, Pink Candy Roof Top Garden on the 4th floor of Beauty World Centre. This is not a usual restaurant as it is a stall operated in the hawker centre.

You will be surprised to know that the food quality is of standard and prices are affordable too.

What makes this place unique is the roof top garden view at night time that gives it a nice alfresco feel.

Beautiful view from the roof top garden

Having said that, there is no prize in guessing what I will have next as these are the usual suspects from any Korean cuisine. 😊

Ginseng Chicken

The taste is pretty authentic and value for money. The chicken meat is fork tender and falls off easily from the bone. Not forgeting the flavourful kimchi banchan that serves along with it.

Beef Bibimbap

A simple all in one dish. Some serve using hot stones and this brings me back to Jeonju, often referred to as the Home of the Bibimbap where I had my first experience with this dish.

Cold Noodle

Certainly a great way to cool off on a hot and humid weather. Definitely brings back fond memories when I was first introduced to Jeju seasoned aster cold noodle.

Soft Seafood Tofu Soup

A great way to spice off on a cool evening. The strong flavoured seafood aroma simply whets your appetite and perfect with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Pork Cutlet with Rice

They are extremely generous with their pork cutlet serving. Can’t help but reminds me of the pork cutlet I had in Namsan Tonkatsu at the foot of N Seoul Tower.

Kimchi Fried Rice

A dish that can never go wrong whenever you are in doubt.

Gimbap

A typical Korean seaweed roll that is a well loved Korean street snack.

Spicy Rich Cake + Ramen

Sweet and mild spicy rabokki. Another form of common street snack.

Beef Bulgogi

A sweet based flavoured main dish that goes extremely well with a steaming bowl of white rice.

Korean Kimchi Ramen

My personal all-time favourite dish. A must eat item whenever I am in Korea.

Soy Sauce Chicken Wing

No Korean meal is complete without a fried chicken order. Somehow, Koreans are always champion when it comes to fried chicken.

Fried Dumpling

Most times the mandu that we seen is huge in size. In Pink Candy, it goes the unconventional way with size that are not commonly seen. The mandu still gives you the crunchy feel with each bite.

Overall, food quality is decent given the attractive price point. So, do not be surprised to find snaking queues forming when you are here and be prepared to brave the queue even at late dining hours. 😯

Is it worth the wait? Ermm… I will leave you to answer this question. 😉

Lim’s Fried Oyster @ Berseh Food Centre

What exactly is fried oyster? A.k.a Orh Jian or Orh Luak.

Orh Luak is simply cooked using batter, made with mixture of tapioca starch, all-purpose flour and sweet potato starch and added ingredients like eggs, fish sauce and importantly the star item, oyster. 😀

This is one of those traditional food item which you can find easily in hawker centre or neighbourhood coffee shop.

There are a lot of variations when it comes to Orh Luak. Some stall holders offers seafood items like prawns or squids as alternative ingredients whereas some prefer to have oyster omelette to avoid the gooey batter.

There is this particular stall located in Berseh Food Centre, Lim’s Fried Oyster that serves up tasty and well executed Orh Luak.

You may be pleased to know that the oysters served here is huge. You can’t miss it by its sheer XL size. 😀 Not forgetting the power chilli dipping sauce that gives it the extra punch too. This is without a doubt one of those stall that I will return to when I needed my Orh Luak fix.

So, what makes this stall unique?

To me, I believe the main differentiating factor lies with the batter and the control of the fire by the person cooking it.

If you have been to this stall, hope you find it worth your while to do so. If you have not, why not give it a try and see if it is as good as your favourite stall that you often patronizes.

Ajumma’s (아줌마) @ Funan

When it comes to Korean dining, I am extremely skeptical, particular and picky as I always felt that it is not easy to find one as authentic as the real stuff in South Korea.

I came across this interesting restaurant, Ajumma’s (specializing in Korean cuisine) in Funan. Immediately, I was drawn in to its kindred spirit (很有亲切感).

Why is this so?

Ajumma is a Korean word for a married, or middle-aged women. It is also referred (at times or sometimes) or translated to “auntie” in Korean. It literally gives one a sense of the intimacy feel.

At Ajumma’s, diners are given the homely cozy feel to a wide selection of authentic Korean dishes at wallet friendly prices.

Fluffy Steam Eggs

It is hard to pass on this Ajumma’s favourite – creamy, fluffy eggs with a light broth and topped with roasted sesame oil. The steam egg is really power, simple yet luscious. No wonder it is one of their highly recommended item on the menu.

Pork & Kimchi Dumplings

Fried pork and kimchi dumplings. You will never go wrong with their mandu. Always tasty.

Kimchi Pancake

The kimchi pancake is made to perfection, crisp from edge to edge, encapsulating a mix of savoury kimchi, sweet onions and chilli.

Fried Chicken & Crispy Toppoki with Sweet-Spicy Sauce

Crispy toppoki and crunchy boneless fried chicken coated in a tantalising sweet-spicy and nutty sauce. Somehow, Koreans are just great with fried chicken.

Jjajangmyeon

One of their new favourites on the menu, this bowl of springy noodles is accompanied with their special Jjajang sauce, a combination of tender pork collar, black bean paste, vegetables, all fried into an aromatic paste.

Army Base Stew

A hearty stew with real American SPAM, sausages, rice cakes, enoki mushroom, noodles, in a kimchi-anchovy broth and topped off with melted cheese & baked beans.

Sundubu Jjigae

Prawns, mussels and clams stewed in rich spicy broth, topped with delicate sundubu, smoked tomatoes and egg.

Signature Beef Kalbi

USDA Prime Beef – succulent, tender boneless ribs steeped in house marinade, tossed in a wok for a caramalised, smokey flavour.

Banchan

Comes with a bowl of rice and 4 side dishes.

Beef Bulgogi

Thinly sliced beef tenders marinated in signature bulgogi sauce and tossed in hot wok. Comes with rice and 4 banchan.

Crispy Samgyeopsal with creamy scrambled eggs & Soy-Yuja sauce

Crispy pork belly laid over creamy scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and rich with a flavoursome Yuja (Yuzu) soy sauce created specially by Ajumma’s.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Charred kimchi, prawns and roasted perilla seaweed. Topped with fried egg.

Hotteok

Honey pancakes – a Korean street snack that has a crispy fried bun exterior and a gooey honey cinammon center filling. Though nice but still no where in comparison to the authentic hand-made Hotteok that I had in Seoul.

Well, if your next craving for Korean cuisine comes along and wanted to enjoy a home cooked meal without burning a hole in your pocket, think no further & pop by Ajumma’s to have your fix settled.

Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu @ Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre

What is Yong Tau Fu (酿豆腐)?

Yong Tau Fu, literally means “Stuffed Beancurd” is a traditional Hakka Chinese cuisine where tofu is filled with ground meat mixture or fish paste.

You will see variation of the items including mushroom, chilli, bittergourd, egg plant and other types of vegetable. Some items are deep-fried while some are steamed.

Yong Tau Fu can be eaten either dry with a sauce or served as a soup dish. There is nothing fanciful here or any special culinary skills being put to the test as well.

Having said that, Yong Tau Fu is often seen as a form of comfort food and can be easily whipped up without much fanfare.

I have tried numerous stalls of Yong Tau Fu and there is this particular stall, Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu located in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre that really stands out.

The food pieces are generous at $0.70 per piece and I specifically loved their fried items over the steamed ones. They have a couple of signature fried items like hand-made meat ball, beancurd sheet, beancurd roll, etc..

What draws me further is none other than their umami flavoured soup base where the broth is cooked with yellow soy bean and ikan bilis. The soup base is naturally sweet and flavourful. Needless to say, their chilli and sweet dipping sauce also play an important role in this equation too. 👍

It is always without fail that I will ask for additional helping for the soup top-up each time I am there.

Do give it a try if you happen to be around the vicinity the next time round! Bon Appetit! 😉

Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kanai @ Great World

Since my last Okinawa trip, I have been craving for authentic Okinawan cuisine occasionally. It is by no means easy to find one with the exact authentic feel here.

I happen to find one such restaurant (Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kanai) in Great World and decided to try it out.

Stir fried bitter gourd with pork, Okinawan bean curd & Okinawan egg

Deep fried chicken

Green caviar seaweed with ponzu sauce

Okinawan soup noodle set meal

Simmered pork belly set meal

Ordered the usual traditional items above to gauge the standard. I must admit that the food is tasty and flavorful. This certainly can help you in getting your cravings fix settled for now whenever you feel like having an Okinawan meal. 😉

Una Una @ Suntec City

Yearning for a good unagi (grilled eel) meal? You may want to consider heading down to Una Una (a famed Japanese grilled eel chain) to have your fix.

I am extremely particular when it comes to unagi eating. So far, the best unagi experience I have ever had is in Nagoya, Japan. The eel is grilled into perfection coupled with the savoury sauce and most importantly you do not get the bony feel with each bite. My personal favourite is none other than the unagi hitsumabushi.

What is Hitsumabushi?

Hitsumabushi is Nagoya’s style of cooking freshwater eel and there are three ways to eat it. First, divide the bowl into portions. Enjoy the first portion on its own and relish the eel’s depth of flavour. Then for the second portion, add nori (seaweed), wasabi and spring onions to the Hokkaido rice and eel. For the third portion, add the clear dashi to the above mix. Enjoy Hisumabushi in your favourite way!

Unagi Hitsumabushi

They do offer alternative option of the Hitsumabushi other than the traditional version.

Kaisen Hitsumabushi

For those who enjoys unagi to the fullest, you should go for the double eel portion to satisfy your desired craving.

Unaju

Some sides to complete your meal…..

Unagi Roll

This sushi roll is not bad and worth trying.

Chuka Wakame

The edible seaweed is at most ok and certainly cannot be compared to the real stuff when you are in Japan.

Chawanmushi

The chawanmushi (steam egg custard) is pretty tasty and of some standard.

I must say that Una Una is by far the closest best alternative that I will go for if I ever needed a quick fix on unagi.

Unagi lovers, this is one place that you can consider.

The Curry Wok @ Coronation Arcade

Foodies looking for alternative Nyonya Food, here is another option for you to consider.

Curry Wok, a cozy home-feel family eatery located at Coronation Arcade is well known for its home-cooked traditional Teochew Nyonya Food.

It has been a long while since I last visited this eatery and am glad that I do so recently. Food is awesome with standard and certainly savoury. Here are some of my personal favourite dishes.

Ngoh Hiang

This home-made prawn and pork roll is really power. Deliciously good and goes well with the sweet dipping sauce. A must order dish (at least for me 😃), strictly no compromise each time I am here.

Otak Otak

This is one of their popular dish here. You get to see thick chunks of fish meat in their otak.

Nyonya Chap Chye

Another not to be missed dish. Their braised cabbage is cooked till perfection with ingredients like mushroom, black fungus, dried shrimps, carrot, vermicelli and tau kee. I love the soupy gravy and it goes extremely well with a plate of fragrant white rice.

Sayuh Lodeh

Mild spicy lover, you can go for their Sayur Lodeh (curry vegetable). Woh..this is good stuff. The crunchiness of the cabbage with the lemak gravy gives it a wow factor.

Sambal Brinjal & Ladies Fingers

For spice lover, you can try their sambal brinjal & ladies fingers. This definitely goes well with your plate of fragrant white rice. Simple yet flavorful.

Beef Rendang

Their beef rendang is cooked till tenderly soft until melts in the mouth type and not forgetting the savoury nyonya style rendang sauce that can blow you off too.

Hainanese Pork Chop

Interestingly, you will get to find Hainanese style Pork Chop in a Teochew Nyonya Food eatery as well. There are also a number of other interesting dishes too as I slowly unveil them. This is another heavenly dish if you enjoy the tomato-rish flavor sauce.

Kong Bak Pau

Look at that braised pork bun staring hard at you! How could you not pay attention to it! This chinese version braised pork burger has it all, the tenderlicious braised pork sandwiched with steam bun and the jucily braised sauce dripping out of it. You may also “flood” the sauce over your plate of white rice (which I often do). 😅

Sambal Belachan

Frankly, this is the star dish in my opinion. The sambal belachan chilli sauce is damn power. Simply appetizing! I can simply go over it with my white rice without dishes. This really brings back my childhood memories where at times I just had sambal belachan with rice as a meal.

Not sure whether you are salivating after reading. Well, you can always give this alternative option a consideration when your next nyonya meal cravings come along. 😉

Solid Char Siew Wanton Noodle

Speaking about wanton noodle, there are certainly a number of stalls that you can easily find from cheap and good to high end pricing.

Different strokes for different folks. Some like the noodle texture to be springy, some goes for the char siew taste while some focus on the gravy sauce. To me, definitely it would be ideal to find one that encompasses all of the above traits.

I tried many different variations of the wanton noodle islandwide and so far, the one stall that impresses me the most is none other than Fei Fei Roasted Noodle located in Yuhua Village Market Food Centre.

Their char siew is by far the most solid and champion with its thick honey glazed gravy and especially the charred portion that gives it the power umami taste. Their noodles are springy with the “QQ” texture coupled with the gravy sauce. Needless to say, it goes extremely well with their tasty soup base coupled with generous serving of the wanton (wrapped with meat and shrimp).

Having said that, it comes with a hefty “price”. You will need to brave the super long queue in order to enjoy this dish. Usually, it is a norm to queue at least 45 mins. Their stall hours are from 9.30am to about 12pm (closed on Sunday) or until the char siew sold out. From experience, their char siew usually sells out by 11am!

You may be pleased to know that you are able to buy their char siew on its own too. Per kg cost $36.

So, if you intend to try this out in future when you are near the vicinity, remember to come early. I am sure it will be worth your while to do so. No regrets for sure! 😉