Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Singapore, a melting pot of culture, serves up a wide selection of cuisines to satisfy our taste buds. Never go hungry again.
Julius Lim
Julius Lim

Located under a block in the neighbourhood of Ang Mo Kio, Bánh Mì Sài Gòn is the viral Vietnamese baguette sandwich shop that was covered in many media channels since last year. Their number 1 best seller, the Bánh Mì Chà Lųa is packed with cold cuts that there is more meat than bread. The mammoth sandwich weighs a substantial weight and you will get the meat sweats from eating it. Despite the generous portion of meats, the flavour is still nicely balanced with the spring onion oil.

Popular bak kut teh restaurant chain, Song Fa, has opened Song Fa Signatures offering modern Teochew dishes, inspired from the family’s cherished heirloom recipes. One such dish is the Nourishing Pig’s Stomach with Chicken Soup, a collagen rich soul-comforting soup with springy pig’s stomach and chicken pieces, that is the unanimous favourite around the table. Other dishes include the Silky Steamed Egg Tofu and Traditional Teochew Style Steamed Flounder Fish, both perfect to go alongside some rice. If you are craving for their bak kut teh, fret not as there will be the Signature Prime Rib Bak Kut Teh in the menu.

Fried chicken is life. This dish is so iconic that almost every country has their versions of it. Everywhere you go, there is always a fried chicken you can fall back on if you want some comfort food.

This is my first time trying Yardbird Singapore’s Chicken & Waffles which comes with 5 huge pieces of chicken that will be good for 2 pax sharing. The marination has seeped into the meat, making it very flavourful from each bite, and you can pair it with the honey hot sauce, classic American style. To go with the chicken, it comes with cheddar waffle with bourbon maple syrup and to cleanse your palate, there are cubes of chilled spiced watermelon. If you are there with a bigger group, there is also the whole bird option.

Red Lantern Restaurant offers a good variety of stir fry dishes and being our first time there, we tried four dishes starting with the Braised Abalone Fish Maw Pot which came bubbling hot in a thick umami sauce that is great to drizzle over rice followed by the Red Wine Pork Ribs which has a smoky fragrance. I especially love the Dual Taste Kailan which has both the crispy and blanched version in a single dish, and rounding off the meal is the Fortune Fried Rice that contains crabmeat, prawn and topped with tobiko.

Besides their insanely good chendol, you have to try the Chee Cheong Fun with Cai Po at Yat Ka Yan. The silky smooth steamed rolls topped with the savoury shallot oil and cai po, with a side of sambal is just a match made in heaven. Finish it with a bowl of icy chendol that needs no further introduction.

In fact, this is one of the best traditional toasts that you can get today. The bread has been toasted till crispy, and sandwiched between is butter and the homemade kaya jam. The proportion of filling and bread is amazingly balanced that you will get a burst of the kaya from each bite, and at just $2 per portion, this is almost a steal.

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Inside this nondescript plaza lies a bustling eatery that recently was trending on social media for their kaya butter toast and it is called Bao Er Cafe. I shall talk about their kaya butter toast in a separate post and the focus today shall be on their Fried Hokkien Mee, from the same folks behind Prawnography. The hokkien Mee is in between the dry and wet version, which is the best of both worlds as it has the quintessential wok hei and the slurpy goodness. Usual suspects of a good hokkien mee is inside, from the sotong to pork belly and spring onions. The pork lard was not as crispy as I hoped it would be, but it is forgiven considering how each slurp of the noodle is so satisfying.

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What will your #LastMealOnEarth be if the world is ending in a few hours’ time? For @mattleave, it’s a specific order at Jollibee, the 2 pcs Chickenjoy Meal with both sides being the rice and finished with the pineapple juice. I got the same combination (almost) except the pineapple juice as it was sold out and the meal was super satisfying.

For starters, it was my first time having the rice as a side, and eating it with the gravy is just the perfect complement. If the Chickenjoy is Batman, then the gravy will be Robin and rice will be Alfred, they all go hand-in-hand together. Most of you should have eaten Chickenjoy before so I do not need to explain much except that it is one of the best fast food fried chickens now.

This is a new series where people share with me on what would their last meal on earth be if the world is ending in a few hours’ time. Do drop in the comments section if you would like to share your desired last meal on earth and I might go do a food review of it. It will be helpful if you can share details such as 1) dish name and 2) where I can get it in Singapore.

Available for lunch and dinner from now to 31 August at White Rose Cafe in York Hotel Singapore, you can now enjoy these hawker favourites that originated from Kuala Lumpur and Klang. My favourite from the four has got to be the Claypot Lao Shu Fen as the piping hot stir fried mee tai mak has the wok hei aroma and the addition of the egg before serving gives it a nice creamy texture. The other claypots include the Tai Lok Mee, Bak Kut Teh and Chicken Rice, which I will also recommend the tai lok mee for the rich and savoury flavour known the dark soy sauce mixture that latches onto the noodle well. Each claypot order also comes with an Air Mata Kucing, a herbal drink made from boiled monk fruit, dried longan and winter melon sugar.

For my first post on #LastMealOnEarth, my good brother @adibeevince shared with me a nasi lemak place called Kitchenman located at CT Hub 2. I ordered the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah Leg and it ticks all the checkboxes of what a nasi lemak should taste. The coconut rice was fluffy and has the nice richness while the sambal was more on the spicier side which I actually prefer. The spiced fried chicken was juicy and flavourful with the aromatics. You can really go into a food coma after finishing this plate.

I am starting a new series where people share with me on what would their last meal on earth be if the world is ending in a few hours’ time. Do drop in the comments section if you would like to share your desired last meal on earth and I might go do a food review of it. It will be helpful if you can share details such as 1) dish name and 2) where I can get it in Singapore.

The famed New Station Snack Bar in Far East Plaza has opened a similar concept called New Station Rice Bar in Fortune Centre. The highly popular Salted Egg Pork Rice is also available here, and if my memory serves me correctly, the short grain rice used at this new outlet is of a higher quality. The creamy salted egg sauce is still as tasty and the pork is tender and fried well.

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After the opening of the first outlet at Funan Mall, Godmama has finally opened the second outlet in the East at Parkway Parade. We were invited to the media tasting to try out their signatures and new menu items for the outlet. Recommended dishes to order include the signature Nasi Ulam, a classic Nyonya herb and spice rice with other 10 ingredients, and to go alongside the rich dish include the Pork Jowl Buah Keluak that is cooked to a tender soft texture, Sambal Udang Petai and Ikan Masak Nanas, an appetising dish of grilled barramundi cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce with pineapple. If you need carbs, the Godmama’s Dry Laksa is a modern interpretation of the classic dish and you have to end your meal with the Pulut Hitam Panna Cotta and Sticky Red Date Pudding.

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"The best souvenir from travelling is to bring home a memorable food experience" #aworldtoeat

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