Fried Kway Teow, by the dancing man.

Old Airport Road Food Centre is not only packed with a large variety of dishes, but a number of stalls that sell the same dish. So how do we know which stall is the better one? The first sign you look out for, is the sight of a long queue. So besides a recommendation, I also decided to try fried kway teow from this particular stall because of the long queue. While I was waiting in line, the next thing that grabbed my attention was the name of the stall: Lao Fu Zhi Fried Kway Teow. I may not understand the choice of name, but I think its a relatively good marketing strategy. Once I reached the end of the line, I realized that the man behind the wok is actually dancing, or bouncing to the clangs of a bustling kitchen. Not an everyday scene you catch in life.

One thing that I loved about was how my kway teow was smoking hot, and it was literally smoking. The taste was good and slightly sweet. In addition, the fragrance of the dish just invokes the senses. This is not the best I’ve tried but I will get this again at Old Airport Road Food Centre.

Fried Kway Teow
Lao Fu Zhi Fried Kway Teow
51 Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road Food Centre

Genki Sushi

This is not just a normal plate of salmon sushi. It is not whisked around in a conveyor belt nor delivered to you by foot. It is transported on an express train-look alike from the kitchen right to your table. Did I mention that you order your sushi from an iPad?

Like I said, this is not just a normal salmon sushi. The already seared salmon slices have butter-mayo cream smeared all over and dusted with black pepper flakes. The sweetness of the salmon slices is complemented wonderfully by the savoury and yet mayo-sweet but not-too-overwhelming butter cream. The slight peppery taste adds the finishing touch to this unique dish. This dish is highly recommended, especially for those that are often intimidated by raw fish slices.

Seared Salmon with Black Pepper S$2.30

No you’re not seeing double here. Same concept, but different meat. Instead of salmon, you can opt for crab meat as well. However, salmon is my pick out of the two as the sweetness provided the contrast against the savoury flavour of the butter-mayo cream.

Seared Crab with Black Pepper S$2.30

Whenever I look at the iPad, I have no idea what to pick and try out of the array of choices provided. The chefs must have heard my prayer for they included this dish into their menu. 3-in-1. The classic raw Salmon Nigiri. The tantalizing Seared Salmon with Black Pepper. Or the special Seared Salmon with Pollock Roe. I love how the freshness of the salmon slices is brought out by the perfect Japanese rice. If not for my best friend, I would have had the whole plate to myself.

Salmon Triple Flavour S$3.50

What is Japanese food without Sashimi? Nonetheless, I will never leave without trying salmon sashimi. Relatively more fresh and tasty than the cheaper ones available at Sakae, the sashimi is worth the price and still affordable.

Sashimi S$3.80

Another basic Japanese dish that I adore, Chawanmushi. With the crab meat please. This is one of the best Chawanmushi that I’ve tried so far. The crab meat is fresh, as compared to other restaurants that serve frozen crab meat. The steamed egg is soft and smooth.

Steamed Egg Custard with Crab Meat S$3.80

Fluffy Coconut Cream Cake

Marmalade Pantry

I used to watch the Food Network Channel where contestants compete in a massive cake-baking competition. Then I got extremely curious when coconut cake was one of the more popular flavour along with chocolate and lemon meringue. Coconut cake? I had to give it a try.The cake was remarkable. The butter cream was generous, rich in flavour and goes in tandem with both the sponge and the coconut shavings. The random cranberry bits surprises you with the occasional sweet and tangy twist. Did I mention that the sponge cake had the perfect moisture? Just when you think that the cake is already baked to perfection, you’re suddenly drawn to the line in the middle. Yes, that is custard cream. The final element of the cake that ties in so well with the entire masterpiece. Need I say more?

Fluffy Coconut Cream Cake (S$7.00)
The Marmalade Pantry
Ion Orchard

I say Katong, you say Laksa.

Another one of the lucky days that daddy treats me like a princess; fetches me from tuition and whisks me off for a good lunch. Armed with my DSLR, I was ready to face the legend of Katong, the Katong Laksa. Situated alongside East Coast Road, the stretch is now home to a myriad of eateries. There has been a debate regarding the origins and authenticity of the various “Katong Laksa” that popped up across the island. Regardless, I just want to eat some good laksa.

When it comes to laksa, it is pretty simple. You either love it or you don’t. But what is so special about Katong Laksa? Besides eating only with a spoon, the laksa gravy is the best that I’ve ever tried. It is bursting with flavour, no thanks to the coconut milk, laksa leaves and dried shrimp. The white thick noodles were cooked perfectly and provided a springy taste. They were also cut to a shorter length so that customers are able to scoop them up easily with the spoon. The shredded fishcakes and fresh prawns are perfect complement to the dish as they provide a contrasting texture to the noodles. I had no idea how addictive this dish could be until I found myself staring at the bottom of the bowl within a mere 10 minutes. For people who cannot really take too much of spiciness, this dish will be perfect for you.

328 Katong Laksa
51 East Coast Road
Singapore 428770

The Soya Beancurd Face-Off: Lao Ban vs 51

Long gone were the days when Soya Beancurd was scooped into a bowl and served with a layer of syrup. The tradition can still be found in the streets of Singapore along Rocher Road or Selegie. However, when you mention the word Soya Beancurd these days, Lao Ban will be the first to appear on many people’s minds. Ever since they opened a stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, it has triggered a “beancurd” war nationwide. But, before those who were initially clueless about Lao Ban, let me first do a face-off between Lao Ban Soya Beancurd and 51 Soya Bean. Then you decide again.

Before I could even take a spoon of Lao Ban, I had the experience of buying it. Be prepared to queue for more than 30 minutes during the peak period. Do not be annoyed when the customers in front of you order by the bulk. I only wanted one, so I got pretty pissed when people were ordering by the tens. Technically, there shouldn’t be a long queue to buy Soya Beancurd, because it has been pre-made. So why the long wait? The answer lies with the boss. The way he packs your beancurd or returns your change, it feels like he’s practising Taiji. Nonetheless, he lost precious points. When my spoon took the first break, I noticed a layer of beancurd skin at the top. That did not really score with me. But was it love at first bite for me? I loved the level of sweetness but I could distinctively notice the powdery texture for almost each mouthful. In result, the beancurd disintegrated in my mouth leaving a weird aftertaste, instead of melting. I am not impressed at all and I definitely do not understand the hype about Lao Ban.

Lao Ban Soya Beancurd
51 Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road Food Centre

51 Soya, who probably got their name from the road name, is situated just 2 stalls away from Lao Ban. This is indeed a dog-eat-dog world. And it was not a pretty sight when people are queuing endlessly for Lao Ban while the competitor is literally “hitting the flies”. I guess people do really need to know which is the better one. At the first break with the spoon, I loved how the texture was smooth on the surface. Or you could say that the dessert was entirely smooth as a whole. While the level of the sweetness was also suitable for me, what really set 51 Soya apart from Lao Ban was the texture once again. Smooth, homogenous, consistent, velvety. The beancurd literally melts in your mouth.

It is time that people stop jumping into the Lao Ban bandwagon because there is a queue. Try 51 Soya one day and you tell me what’s your verdict.

51 Soya Bean
51 Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road Food Centre

Chicken Chop, without the gravy.

Western BarbequeChicken Chop is usually not on the top of your list when you’re trying out food at famous food centres such as the one at Old Airport Road. So you can imagine the level of doubt I carried while I cut myself a piece to try. First of all, what struck me the most was the generous chunk of meat on the plate. Its thicker and bigger than almost every other chicken chops that I’ve tried. After I got over the initial shock, the next thing that I noticed was the absence of gravy sauce. But the taste tells it all. The marinade is infused so deeply into the meat that its homogenous throughout. That explains the lack of gravy. The flavour is good enough to blow you away. With traditional crinkle cut fries and baked beans, I’m definitely getting this dish again.

Chicken Chop ($5.50)
Western Barbeque
Old Airport Road Food Centre

Salmon never tasted better in a sandwich.

I have a thing for the fishy pinkish slices. Whenever they are in sight, I have this irresistible urge to try it. So getting this dish at the bakery wasn’t a surprise. Once again, nothing goes wrong with salmon. The savoury smoked taste of the fish was perfectly contrasted by the buttery and smooth cream cheese, that was lathered pretty generously. The speciality bun was so soft that it goes so well with its overflowing contents. The only downside of this dish would be the overzealous amount of rockets, which can be quite a mouthful. 

Speciality bun with salmon and cream cheese S$8.50
Tiong Bahru Bakery 
Raffles City

Pasta with a twist.

My friend brought me here boasting of its great and unique pasta. So I held pretty high expectations of my dinner that night. Fortunately, I was not disappointed when I tried this dish. First impression does matters so at the first bite, you can tell that this is nothing like your typical Italian pasta dish. The special java curry sauce is so flavourful and yet, not too overwhelming for your taste buds. The cream sauce, that carries a mixture of spice and herbs, smothers the linguine, making you crave for that extra spoonful every single time. It is important to take note that the portion was perfect for a girl or a dude with a small appetite. I would recommend you to try out this dish or other pasta variety on a weekday as the corner shop has really limited seats.

Seafood Java Curry Linguine (S$11.90)
Creation Cafe
100 Beach Road
#01-43 Shaw Leisure Gallery

Smoked Duck Baked Rice

Since I dislike milk, I was expecting the cheese to be too overwhelming halfway through the dish. But boy was I in for a surprise. The mozzarella cheese oozing over the rice was perfecto. And I loved how the rice was grain by grain and not clumped together. All these cheesiness could only get better with the thin slices of smoked duck. Not only does it complement the cheese and rice, but it does not make the dish too savoury for your taste buds. For a better gauge, I cleaned off every single grain from that plate. I was the only one who finished my dish. I’m sure that tells a lot. 

Smoked Duck Baked Rice
Jurong Point

Awfully Awsome.

I have no idea why but this is something that I cannot stop eating. The essence of dark chocolate within makes it absolutely impossible for you to be sick of the cocoa richness. The moisture of the cake is almost perfect, which is very rare in cupcakes these days. To top all these off, the dark chocolate butter-cream was velvety, creamy, consistent and thick.

Rich Chocolate Cupcake
Awfully Chocolate
Jurong Point