16 Jalan Leban
Singapore 577554

(open in Google Maps)

Sunday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Monday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Tuesday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Wednesday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Thursday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Friday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

Saturday:
11:30am - 02:30pm
06:00pm - 10:00pm

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Reviews

From the Burpple community

This time we ordered their Hakka style noodle. The noodle is Al dente, not too oily or too sweet, good match to other dishes.
💰$10 (small)
📍Plum Village Restaurant.
16 Jalan Leban

1 Like

Plum Village’s Salt Baked Chicken definitely didn’t miss, even though I eventually found out that the chicken isn’t actually baked in salt anymore. To be fair to Plum Village, baking every chicken in salt just isn’t practical considering how many of these birds fly out of their kitchen on the daily.⠀

Instead, it’s generously seasoned with sand ginger powder and salt before being steamed, and this simple yet strangely sapid dish is superbly satisfying. The chicken is acceptably moist even at the breasts, and the sand ginger powder and salt have penetrated so deeply that every last meaty morsel is remarkably flavoursome. Heck, even the drippings rendered from the chicken are so savoury that it functions as a sauce of sorts.⠀

Sand ginger is actually dried & ground Kaempferia galangal, and it has a distinctly peppery flavour with only a mild note of ginger. This makes Plum Village’s (not) Salt Baked Chicken even more unique, as the sand ginger infuses the poultry with a distinct & unforgettably ambrosial flavour. It’s a simple dish, but it’s quite unbeatable especially with lots of rice on standby.

Unlike other red rice wine chicken, Plum Village’s rendition is a broth containing chicken chunks in a claypot as opposed to chicken chunks in sauce. The broth is basically just rice wine boiled with some herbs, and it’s a strangely sweet & mildly herbal concoction.⠀

As we all know, chicken is bland by default, so it assuming the sweet flavour of the broth is rather odd. As expected, the poached breast meat was dry, but you’re supposed to eat it with the broth so it isn’t really an issue.⠀

What really gets my goat here is just how incomplete this dish seems to be. They need to add something else to accompany the chicken, like carrots or radishes, and to give the sweet broth some weightiness. Right now, it feels like you’re eating sweet chicken that’s submerged in sweet and vaguely alcoholic water. Yes, Hakka food tends to be simple, but this one was far, far too simple.

My experience with Hakka cuisine is limited to yong tau foo & thunder tea rice, so when I got an opportunity to sample authentic & traditional Hakka cuisine I couldn’t pass it up. Plum Village is reputed to be the oldest Hakka restaurant in Singapore, so they must be doing the cuisine justice. And if this plate of 算盘仔 (abacus seeds) is anything to go by, justice has been served.⠀

Of course, ‘abacus seeds’ are NOT the seeds of an abacus (bruh), but they are balls of rice flour & yam kneaded & rolled into the shape of one of those moving thingies on an abacus, which are known as seeds. These are rather rare in Singapore, and as such I will readily admit to this being the first time in my life that I’ve eaten abacus seeds. The most accurate way to describe this Hakka delicacy is to liken it to mochi but less gummy and slightly more dense.⠀

It’s steamed, so it’s healthy but on the bland side by itself. However, Plum Village take the steamed 算盘仔 and stir-fries it with garlic, seasoned minced pork, chunks of yam and what seem to be dried shrimp. The mince adds a satisfying bulkiness to the dish with the meatiness, and the seasoning rubs off excellently on the abacus seeds. The garlic adds its mustard-y, almost nutty & subtly sweet qualities, while the dried shrimp are there for that final touch of deep umami. The yam adds even more sweetness and a slight textural variance to the dish.⠀

For $9++, this deceptively simple sounding dish is dazzlingly delicious, and is ludicrously easy to eat too much of. No, eating these won’t improve your math, but they will multiply your happiness.

1 Like

Very nice gesture, it's not v sweet and it's somewhat different from the normal red bean soups in hawkers

Overall, really homely cooking so manage your expectations. Given the location(it's super ulu) it's really not something I'll travel for. Only the mustard leaf pork was a stunner

It's alright, the savoury bits were fine and what's special is their abacus beads are basically just yam balls, extremely soft instead of the usual chewy stuff. Decent but raveworthy, more homely than anything

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