Chinese Charmers

Chinese Charmers

Even though the other countries of the world have so many tasty offerings, nothing hits the spot quite like sublime Chinese cuisine for this boy.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

This here Chili Crab Cake isn’t on @fattchoyeatinghouse regular menu but it should be. A pair of absolutely stuffed crab cakes are doused in an eggy chili gravy and topped with a sizeable spoonful of ikura (salmon roe). The crab cake is stuffed full of shredded crabmeat that smelled and tasted clean, and all that mildly seasoned crab flesh was wrapped in a tastefully thin layer of breading. However, the crab cakes were a little too close to getting burnt and it started to taste a little like it. ⠀

Fortunately, the chili gravy was there to salvage the situation with its egg-cellent egginess. This eggy chili gravy was more vinegary than usual, and it’s one of the sharper renditions of chili crab I’ve tried. It’s also subtly spicy & sweet with a decent dash of saltiness, and the thickness on the gravy ensures that it sticks to whatever you spread it on. The ikura provides delectable pops of briny savouriness, and enhances the flavours of the crab cake & gravy with its umami.⠀

Thanks for having us, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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Once you’ve had your fill of the carrot cake, cleanse your palate with some Wagyu Beef Noodles ($16++). Despite the lavish use of wagyu shabu shabu, this beef noodle is surprisingly simple and homely yet tasty. The house made beef broth reminds me of pho due to its heartily herbal flavours, and the broth manages to strike a balance between light and easy to imbibe and rich & savoury. It’s the perfect dish to cheer you up, as that delightful broth is made lavish by the inclusion of the thicker than usual wagyu shabu shabu. These wagyu beef slices were tremendously tender and felicitously fatty, injecting a marvellous meatiness into the bedazzling beef noodles.⠀

Thanks for hosting us, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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Carrot cake is a treasured hawker classic, so I was quite surprised to see it on the menu at @fattchoyeatinghouse. Their XO Carrot Cake ($15++) features cubes of radish stir fried with egg, beansprouts & eggs. Fatt Choy’s carrot cake is right up there with some of the best hawkers, as this eggy pile of deliciousness was full of wok hei, and seasoned superbly with the XO sauce & dark soy sauce. Due to the massive portion & the carrot cake being a tad oily, this is definitely a dish made for sharing.

Thanks for hosting us, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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The other veggie starter we had is the definition of ‘ugly delicious’. The Kou Shui Oyster Mushroom ($10++) is Fatt Choy’s vegetarian version of the beloved China classic kou shui ji, or poached chicken drowned in mala chili crisp. Fatt Choy’s rendition uses tempura oyster mushrooms doused in mala chili oil & chili crisp, and is every bit as delicious as its meaty counterpart. ⠀

The tempura batter is different from what we’re used to, as Fatt Choy’s kitchen crew have settled on a more watery batter to better suit the texture of the oyster mushrooms after extensive experimentation. It’s less crispy, but it certainly suits the softer texture of the mushrooms. The flavour comes from the house made chili oil dressing, which consists of a copious amount of Lao Gan Ma & mala chili oil. The result is a spicy, numbing and stunningly savoury sensation that will make even carnivores forgo meat for a meal there.⠀

Thanks for the invite, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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@fattchoyeatinghouse has a few superb vegetarian options when it comes to starters, and the Fried Silken Tofu & Omelette with Gochujang ($12++) is a mouthful both in name and in taste. Cubes of impossibly delicate tofu are coated in a thin batter and deep fried, and then stacked like a jiggly jenga tower on top of an omelette before getting drizzled with some gochujang sauce. ⠀

I don’t know how, but the silken tofu is almost molten in texture, and one wrong move would cause it to completely fall apart. The tremendously thin batter crust was equally fragile, but its crisp was in direct contrast to the softness of the tofu. The omelette was serviceable, and you can wrap a cube of tofu in a strip of omelette if you’re so inclined. Almost all the flavour is supplied by the gochujang sauce, which oddly tastes a lot like the sweet sauce you’d get with yong tau foo. It’s pretty delicious though, and even as a tofu hater, I still enjoyed this appetiser.

Thanks for the invite, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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The Kongsee might be gone, but it is certainly not forgotten as @fattchoyeatinghouse has taken over with many of the old hits on the menu. Yes, it’s still the same bossman @kevin._.ngan running the show. The Sichuan Dumplings ($8++ for a threesome) are back to smack your tastebuds with the marvellous mala sauce. The plump dumplings are filled with a meaty mix of minced pork & chives that are simply seasoned with salt, as the mala sauce does the heavy lifting. Spicy, numbing and stunningly savoury, the majestic mala is utterly titillating, and it was so addictive we had to request for a little saucer of just the mala alone.⠀

Although the Chili Oil Shrimp Wanton with Fish Roe ($18++) appealed to my textural sensibilities more with the snappy, bouncy shrimp paste filling, the Sichuan Dumplings had already spoiled it for any other appetiser after it. The shrimp dumplings were still delicious, but they simply weren’t the Sichuan Dumplings.⠀

Thanks for the invite, @kevin._.ngan & @fattchoyeatinghouse!

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(PARTIALLY SPONSORED) As a Cantonese guy I love my braised meats, and @thebraisedhouse speaks my comfort food language. They don’t just offer the usual braised pork belly, their menu options include shredded braised pork, braised chicken and smoked duck. We went with an order of The Braised House’s Signature Braised Chicken Bowl ($11.50 nett), Minced Pork Bowl ($8.80 nett), and a pair of Kong Bak Paus ($3.50 apiece).⠀

As for the Kong Bak Pau, it’s the classic crossover of decadence meeting simplicity. The soft, slightly chewy mantou buns are a blank slate for the fatty, supremely savoury kong bak (braised pork belly) to paint their ambrosial art on. The felicitously fatty pork belly, just like everything else, was stunningly savoury and so tremendously tender. These paus are incredibly sinful; my arteries were saying no but my heart was saying yes.⠀

For the quality and quantity of food served by the braised house, I reckon their prices are quite a bargain. I could see myself ordering another braised bowl again, that’s for sure. Thanks for organising this, @scalemicroinfluencers & @thebraisedhouse!

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I’ve always been partial to @souprestaurantsingapore, but I’d never consider dining alone there as it’s always been the restaurant for a fulfilling family dinner. Soup Restaurant knows this quite well, which is why they’ve started a new, no frills casual dining eatery called @littleteahousesg. It’s primarily focused on dim sum, but I was there for their Individual Rice Set.⠀

$9.90 before GST gets you a decently sized bowl of Black Bean Pork Ribs Rice, along with a serving of green leafy vegetables of your choice, and soy milk. The black bean pork ribs were a little too salty in certain parts, but overall the ribs were juicy, tender and profoundly flavourful, the perfect pairing with the superbly steamed white rice. The vegetable was served as a full portion, so for all my folks out there who desperately need a large dose of fibre, this is the meal deal for you.⠀

In the current climate of nine percent GST, nine ninety for a wholesome meal with a drink is quite the bargain.

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Considering how tremendous @tuckkeeson noodle offerings were, the fact that their side dishes were worthy of being side pieces to them is quite impressive. The Baby Octopus in Soy Sauce ($11.80 nett) was probably the most unexpected offering on Tuck Kee Son’s menu, and it was also my unexpected favourite. Most of the octopus was poached perfectly, and the base layer of flavour was a simple soya sauce. Nothing special, but the minute an octopus bit was dipped into the accompanying Thai inspired chili sauce, it morphed into an astoundingly addictive appetiser. Chewy, salty, spicy & sour in the way that only Thai cuisine can be, these tentacles will have you wrapped around them.⠀

Thank you so much for letting us sample your fantastic food @tuckkeeson, and thank you to @shiokafoodie for organising this tasting!⠀

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For something soupy & befitting the current rainy spell, 8Degrees’ Chitterling & Oyster Meesua ($7++) will do right by you. This is probably the most polarising thing on the menu, as both pig intestines & oysters are an acquired taste. However, I happen to enjoy both, and I definitely enjoyed this thick, delicious yet simple bowl of rice vermicelli. The chitterling/pig intestines are quite pungent, so a dash of black vinegar will help here. Additionally, you’re going to want to dip both the innards and the oysters into the scintillatingly spicy chili sauce 8Degrees makes in house. It’s garlicky, spicy and absolutely addictive, and it is a perfect pair with almost everything. Chitterlings, oysters, pork belly, fried chicken, you name it, it will pair.⠀

Speaking of pair, get a crisp scallion pancake ($5.20++) to pad out every meal. While I do wish there were more scallions in the pancake, there was no denying its crisp, doughy deliciousness. Also, get 15% off your meal at any of their 3 outlets with code ‘8DU15’! Thank you for the invite, @8degreesatsg & @scalemicroinfluencers!

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@8degreesatsg has been serving up tasty Taiwanese treats before it was cool, and they’re probably the pioneers of Taiwanese cuisine in Singapore. They have recently moved down the road from their original digs along Serangoon Road as the row of old shophouses have been redeveloped, and they are now at Lowland Road. In order to stay in business for so many years in Singapore’s insanely competitive F&B market, 8 Degrees clearly had to have gotten their cuisine right.⠀

Their Signature Pork Belly Rice (aka Lu Rou Fan, $6++), has recently undergone a slight recipe adjustment and uses Premium Taiwanese Soya Sauce. The result is a remarkably redolent bowl of chopped up braised pork belly over steaming hot white rice that is deceptively delicious. The colour isn’t particularly promising, but the rich & luscious braised pork belly is undeniably umami. My only gripe here is that the braised pork was so delicious it exacerbated the main problem: the lack of sauce spooned into the bowl. Still, it’s darn delish & well worth the six-ish dollars.⠀

Speaking of pair, get a crisp scallion pancake ($5.20++) to pad out every meal. While I do wish there were more scallions in the pancake, there was no denying its crisp, doughy deliciousness. Also, get 15% off your meal at any of their 3 outlets with code ‘8DU15’! Thank you for the invite, @8degreesatsg & @scalemicroinfluencers!

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@eat3bowlssg has always been a familiar name, but I’ve never had the opportunity to dine upon their food until they opened their newest outlet in Compass One. They serve up no frills Taiwanese fare at amazingly affordable prices, which explains the snaking queue at their restaurant. My patience was rewarded with a sizeable bowl of Braised Pork Rice, or Lu Rou Fan as it is called in Chinese, at a very affordable $6.30 nett. That’s right, no tax or service charge here!⠀

The price was already a thing to savour, and the sheer sumptuousness of this lu rou fan made it all the more enjoyable. Fatty pork belly is chopped up and stewed in a delicious soya sauce based stock, along with a fair few herbs. The pork belly imparts its fatty goodness to the stellar sauce, making it tremendously tasty and sticky from all the collagen that has leached out. The herbs complement the saltiness of the soy sauce so sublimely, and all of that is just pure flavour paradise. Better yet, Eat 3 Bowls is incredibly charitable with the sauce, liberally dousing each bowl of steamed short grain rice with this mouthwatering meat sauce.⠀

The lu rou fan does get a bit too luxurious to handle after a while, so order a White Radish Pork Ball Soup for $6.50 nett to alleviate the fatty, rich onslaught on your tastebuds. The subtly salty & sweet soup will gently wash off the fat from the lush lu rou fan, and the soft chunks of radish will finish cleansing your palette with its understated sweetness. The pork balls were regrettably rubbery, but at least they were tasty enough. Still, this comforting bowl of soup is definitely worth its place on your dinner table.⠀

With food this piquant at prices this delightful, you will definitely eat more than three bowls and still be able to afford it.

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