Food-at-Large

Food-at-Large

Featuring Kau Kee Restaurant 九記牛腩, Singkoba (Telok Ayer), Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園, Small's, Foodie Market Place, Lam's Noodle House (Teck Chye Terrace), Jiak Mee, Hangzhou, China, Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee, Boon Kee Dessert
The Hungry Fatty
The Hungry Fatty

Union Farm initially started off as a chicken farm in Toh Guan Road and began serving their signature paper-wrapped chicken in the 1960s. It eventually gave up chicken farming and concentrated on their fledging f&b business in the 1970s.

Owing to its ulu location, I never got to try their food at their kampung style eating house before it closed in 2017 after their landlord took back the land. They have since opened a hawker stall in Jurong which focuses on their signature paper-wrapped chicken.

Each piece of chicken is marinated for several days with their family recipe, painstakingly hand-wrapped and before they are deep-fried. The end result is a tender, juicy and subtly sweet piece of chicken leg lying in a pool of its sweet aromatic juices.

Despite the subtle flavours, I really enjoyed the chee pow kai. Yes, it's rather expensive because each bite size chunk of chicken leg causes nearly $3. It is also rather tedious because they only take advance (and limited) orders for their chicken and it is still rather out of the way in Jurong. That said, you can only imagine the effort taken to hand wrap each piece of chicken to seal the juices in without using a staple.

Chee pow kai is a dish you don't usually find readily available in Singapore these days so do show them some love and make an advance order if you plan to be in Jurong.

PSA When I spoke to the owner in April, he told me that he was closing the stall in early May due to health. He shared that he was going to take at least a month off to recover from surgery and is not sure if he's going to continue with the business. However, his landlord was going to keep the stall available for him. I have not heard anything since so do check if they are still in business before heading down and remember, advance orders are required!

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Our favourite dish was undoubtedly the fresh steam bamboo clams. The clams come with a nice heap of glass noodles and are topped with soy sauce, sesame oil and fried garlic.

There is only one right way to do eat this - simply slurp it all up!

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The crispy chicken was everyone's favourite dish during our recent lunch visit.

The chicken was juicy, tender and well marinated and the skin shattering crisp. That said, we ordered half chicken and you can see how small it was...

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Ji Xian is a old school 大排档 style restaurant that serves both HK dimsum and seafood tzichar.

Their food is quite decent. I quite like their egg hor fun with prawns which was silky smooth and savoury. The rice noodles could use a bit more wokhei and tbh I was kinda expecting a little more ingredients considering the price!

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For lunch, I would usually go for Bold Thai's red curry pork with rice set lunch.

The pork is soft and tender and I love the creamy and savoury red curry gravy over rice. My only complaint is that the red curry though is a tad salty. I understand from the manager that this is typical of Northern Thai style of curry but it can get rather jelat even for someone with a heavy tasting palate like me. I do recommend getting the Thai milk tea add-on to help 'cleanse' the palate. The portions are also on the small side (a small soup bowl size...).

Bold Thai has revamped their set lunch options recently. There are now more choices across a range of prices. I still find their food a little salty and heavy on the palate but it is good value for lunch!

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Located in the basement of Capitol Piazza, Bold Thai is a modern Thai gastrobar which is fast becoming popular amongst the office crowd for its affordable and fuss free lunch set.

We checked them out when they first opened in February. For $12.90, you get a choice of mains and a glass of Thai milk tea.

Miss K is a fan of their pad thai tang hoon. The glass noodles were sweet and savoury and the prawns plump and juicy. The portions though were on the small side but perfect for a work lunch!

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This unassuming stall in Sims Drive Food Centre attracts a long line for its green chilli chicken rice. Yes, you read this correctly: green chilli chicken rice!

Interestingly, they serve light and fluffy basmati rice instead of jasmine rice or chicken rice. Each plate is then topped with a deep fried chicken thigh coated with their signature green chilli. They also provide a fiery red chilli on the side to go with the rice.

I liked that they used basmati rice which has a nutty flavour. The fried chicken is tender and nicely marinated but it's the green chilli that gives this dish a different level of complexity - spicy, tangy and sweet all in one. I personally felt that it was rather spicy on its own so those who cannot manage spicy food, please do not be too gungho with the red chilli!

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Josh's Grill also serves a interesting version of fish and chips.

My tastebuds have been rather weird post-Covid but there is a strange but nice banana flavour to the batter and the fish. Miss K says it tastes like pineapple or mango to her but needless to say, the fish must have been soaked in a fruit-based marinade.

It might sound rather strange but we actually quite enjoyed this!

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Josh's Grill is a newish chain of casual diners that serves comfort Western food at decent prices.

We like their signature char-grilled chicken chop ($10.90) which comes with a choice of sauces and 2 sides. We love that they also serve you with a warm butter bun whilst you wait for your order.

The chicken chop looks relatively small but is actually rather thick and hefty. Using a thick cut is actually better because the chicken will be tender and juicy but takes longer to cook through.

Josh's Grill also has an interesting array of hot and cold sides. We like their French fries which have been double fried for a really crispy crust and their coleslaw which comes topped with raisins and some almonds.

Josh's Grill falls into a nice sweet spot between hawker food and cafe fare. For a little extra, you get to dine in aircon with comfortable seating, better quality food and some extra perks like a hot butter bun!

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Kovan Scrambled Egg Rice also has various seafood options such as the fried fish cutlet.

Each bowl usually comes with not less than 5 pieces of fried fish cutlets! The fish is decent but I personally prefer their animal protein options!

Kovan Scrambled Egg Rice is unfortunately shifting to Block 335, Hougang Avenue 7 at the end of June 2024. According to the 老板, this is due to an increase of their monthly rent to *gasp* $7k. The stall assistant who usually helms the stove has also left and there is an obvious drop in the quality of their food in the last 2 weeks. I will drop by to support them but hopefully they do maintain their quality and affordability in their new location!

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Kovan Scrambled Egg Rice also has a few "premium" options available. For an extra $1, you get to choose oysters, mala pork or beef with your scrambled egg rice bowls.

I have only tried the beef option. I like that their beef comes in slices which are neither too thin (tasteless and dry) or too thick (tough). Like the fried chicken cutlet, it is nicely marinated and cooked to order. Tender, juicy and piping hot, I would gladly pay for the premium bowl!

For those who like a peppery kick, I will recommend mixing in their mala chilli which comes in a dry, flaky rub form. It is not too spicy and adds flavours to the beef!

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I was seriously entertaining thoughts of gatekeeping this stall because I am a big fan of their food and having it nearly every other week since they opened at the end of last year.

The premise is simple: A bowl of rice topped with sweet, creamy and fluffy egg omelette and your choice of protein and finished with a drizzle of a teriyaki-soy sauce blend and mala chilli sauce on the side.

The obvious question is how does this compare to the OG Danlao? Besides being slightly cheaper, I actually prefer this over Danlao due to the stronger flavours. Their signature fried chicken is well marinated and salty, savory and flavourful. I also love that they give very generous portions. In a takeout container, the scrambled eggs layer is always thicker than the rice layer and they definitely do not sting on their proteins!

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Forever hungry and always a fatty.

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