Taste the Oriental

Taste the Oriental

Rich and diverse Chinese cuisines of various regional styles and varieties
Jessica Chew
Jessica Chew

The tomato noodle soup was a simple bowl of instant noodles, sliced beef, canned tomatoes, and a wide variety choice of side such as fried / scrambled eggs, cheese, luncheon meat, sausage, hash brown, etc. The tomato broth was rich and thick with the tangy-ness and sweetness of the tomatoes; and my side of runny fried egg added a touch of creaminess.

This was a fragrant bowl that delivers a burst of robust flavours. A Penang specialty, the rich and tarty broth tasted authentic with a good blend of sweet, spicy, and sour flavours that opens up the palate. It was served with hae ko (fermented shrimp paste) with a kaleidoscope of ingredients, and even the thick rice noodles used was imported directly from Malaysia. 

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Wong Fu Fu is SG first Taiwanese muslim-friendly hot plate eatery with a mini buffet spread and a DIY bubble tea bar.
For each hot plate main, it comes sizzling hot with a sunny-side up egg and your choice of carbs (white rice, egg fried rice, udon, or spaghetti). And top it with your preferred sauce - brown, mushroom, black pepper or tomato sauce. The Taiwan Fried Chicken ($25.90) is a top favourite as it's crispy and juicy and seasoned with the all-so-familiar spicy powder.

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This bowl of pao fan looks seemingly average until I started scooping beneath the broth. It was loaded with white rice, fried puffed rice, fried fish slices and shredded deep-fried egg floss. The broth was not as flavourfully thick and rich as others I've had. It was lighter, not too oily and had a natural sweetness and savouriness to it. Overall a warm and comforting bowl to have at a more pocket-friendly price, with delightful element of crunch-ness from the fried puffed rice.

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The Hainanese Curry Chicken Drumstick Set ($9.80) is an uptake interpretation of the locale Hainanese curry rice. It has rice drenched in moderately thick, light and fragrant curry that was mildly spicy and subtly sweet. Completed with a curry chicken drumstick, chap chye with fish maw, steamed egg with green beans, tempeh and crackers, it was a good ol' plate of curry rice that packed a ton of flavour and simply indulgent. A highlight is its house-made chilli that gave it a spicy punch.

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A seasonal menu item for an 'Ox-cellent' reunion, these mini burgs were stuffed with chicken, prawn and rice cakes; and had thick slices of lotus root used as "bread buns". Interesting concept as it was light in comparison to burger sliders, but it tasted a tad dry and could do with more depth in its flavour.

The short ribs were fork tender that they ripped apart effortlessly and the chunks of beef tendons were delicious and packed full of flavour (and collagen) with the sweet-savoury sauce.

A chef recommendation was this bowl of fried rice made with Japanese rice tossed in sugar peas, egg and a special in-house made XO sauce; and topped with lumps of blue swimmer crab and a generous serving of tobiko. I felt that the rice had a wok hey flavour to it, and the crab meat was sweet that contrasted well with the salty tobiko to give the dish a nice balance.

A healthier version with the use of Japanese brown rice that added a taste of toasted nuttiness and I could smell the aroma of garlic. The rice was tossed with a generous amount of egg, shiitake mushroom and seaweed; and it came topped with fried crispy beancurd skins. Fragrant and garlicky, I recommend to have it with some cut chillies that elevated the taste with a spicy kick. Plus point: not as oily like the usual fried rice.

Mini hotpot that was simple, fuss-free and pretty much DIY. Nested in a small store, each set meal ($8.90) comes with your choice of broth, carb, meat and four other items. The tom yum broth was tasty though not very robust in flavour and the portion size was average. But on the whole, it was an affordable and comforting lunch for a rainy afternoon.

A simple, light and flavourful chicken soup prepared in a claypot dish that might come across as bland if you prefer bold flavours. The soup was served with a plate of beansprouts with a mildly-spicy szechuan sauce to toss the meat in, which turned it into a delicious mala dish and the chicken pieces were really tender.

The fish was served piping hot off the charcoal grill as steam could be seen when the fish was cut. Marinated with a variety of spices, the fish had a smokey taste with spicy and sour notes that gave a right amount of kick. Best to eat it once served to enjoy the crispy texture of the skin together with the fluffy flesh.

Celebrating tastebuds. Follow me on IG @wheretastebudsspeak for more reviews.

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