Category Archives: Local Flavours

Albert Street Prawn Mee

Old Airport Road Food CentreI broke the rule. There was so much talk about this stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre that I had to try it. And boy am I glad I did. I found a prawn mee soup with the almost exact same flavour as the champion of prawn mee. The taste and the ‘oomph’ can be comparable to that of Jalan Sultan Prawn Mee. But unfortunately, the noodles failed to make the cut. Its such a shame that the soup is so packed with punch but yet cannot be paired with the less-than-perfect noodles. However, this dish still left me satisfied and contented. I never thought I would be able to find another good prawn mee out there.

Prawn Noodle S$4.00
Albert Street Prawn Noodle
51 Old Airport Road
#01-10
Old Airport Road Food Centre

 

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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
#01-12
Old Airport Road Food Centre

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
Singapore

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
Singapore

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

Updated: The Bak Kut Teh League.

Literally translates to Meat Bone Tea, Bak Kut Teh is a dish that consists of tender pork ribs simmered in a special soup concoction of various herbs and spices. Usually paired with rice, youtiao (fried dough strip) is also served along to dip into the peppery soup. Singapore is home to many variations of this popular local dish and you will never have a hard time looking for a stall in your vicinity. But, how do each stall fare on the Bak Kut Teh League? I’m on a quest to find out.

1. Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha

This is by far the best Bak Kut Teh that I’ve tried. The broth possesses a great touch of pepper and garlic. Most importantly for me,  the bak kut (Pork ribs) is so tender and soft that the meat just tears off from the bone easily. Be warned though, you will not stop dipping those lovely youtiaos (fried fritters) into the soup! It is that addictive. This place may be out of the way, but the trip is definitely worthwhile.

Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha
PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex
7 Keppel Road
7AM – 3PM, 6222-9610

2. Hong Ji Claypot Pork Rib Soup (NEW in the list)

Tucked away in the quiet and remote streets of Marsiling, a coffee shop buzzes with excitement. First you notice that people are loitering around tables, trying to wait for diners to finish. Then you notice that almost everyone has a clay pot and the distinctive green bowls and chopsticks on their tables. Fans of the Malaysian style BKT should really give this stall a try. If you’re not a fan, you could be won over by the herbal soup which is fragrant, full in flavour and soul-satisfying (Oh yes it was.).

Besides the fact that the soup is served and kept simmering hot in a claypot, the pork ribs are served in smaller pieces and easier to consumption. Not that it was difficult. You would be pleased at how easy the meat could be removed from the bone. From braised pig trotters to bean curd skin, the side dishes do not disappoint as well. This is one BKT that will give others a run for their money.

Hong Ji Claypot Pork Rib Soup
Blk 19, Marsiling Lane
#01-329
Singapore 730019
8am – 9pm, 90901855


3. Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh (Previously at 2.)

Daddy was feeling spontaneous that day and drove me out to try out this famous BKT in the central. Be ready to face parking woes as people do throng over to not only eat BKT but the duck as well. (will try it another time) The meat is relatively soft and comes off quite easily from the bone. The meat somehow tastes exceptionally well after being dipped in dark soya sauce in chopped red chilli. The soup may not have the “oomph” but still provides a peppery punch to your tongue. Definitely more room for improvement.

Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh
Blk 26 Sin Ming L
ane
#01-117 Midview City

7am-9pm 66841889

All-time favourite.

Every single time I’m at Old Town White Coffee, this is the only dish that I will order, besides the toast of course. One of the specialities in the chain outlet, this bowl of wholesome goodness just makes me beg for more. I can eat this almost everyday and never get sick of it. Its not about the bits of prawn or chicken chunks, but the light and sweet broth that is actually the vital key for this dish. The perfect combination for the bland flat rice noodles, you will find yourself lapping up every drop of the soup. I kid you not. If you have not tried this at Old Town, you have no idea what you’re missing out.

Chicken Ipoh Hor Fun
Old Town White Coffee

Best Prawn Mee in Singapore and JB. And some say Batam.

Image

I cannot remember when was the first time I ate this dish. I probably couldn’t pronounce my name yet. In my honest and biased opinion, this is the best prawn mee I’ve ever eaten. It is so good, I literally do not eat any other prawn noodles out there. The prawn soup is bursting with flavour especially coupled with egg noodles. Otherwise, you can eat with bee hoon for a more subtle taste. I’ve tried the prawn mee at Beach Road, it is no where near this standard man. Overall, try it if you’re around the area.

Just across the road of Kallang Station.

Jalan Sultan Prawn Mee S$5
2 Jalan Ayer