Palate Pleasers N Tummy Teasers

Comfort in a bowl of handmade noodles

October 6, 2008
Leave a Comment

Even the most adventurous and fussy of palates wish for something a little less complicated and fanciful every now and then. A blend of simple textures and flavours – the mark of comfort food, should never be underestimated. A remedy for the home-sick and plain sick alike, these are the foods that nourish the soul and help restore the balance of one’s gastrointestinal system. Ok, if what I’ve just said sounds too abstract to make sense out of, just know that comfort foods well, provide comfort :P

Which is why whenever I feel under-the-weather and in need of soupy healthy stuff, I pop by a particular stall for some ban mian (handmade noodles):

Mee Hoon Kuey

Ban Mian

Make no mistake, despite having a generous serving of greens and some pork slices in what appears to be a clear broth, this isn’t your typical ”healthy-tasting” fare. What sets this stall apart from many others is its broth, richly flavoured with the taste of garlic, pork and anchovies. A standard bowl ($3) comes with a poached egg, but you can choose not to have it (like I usually do) if you don’t like the idea of egg whites clouding up your broth.


NB: The coffee shop where this stall is located just completed an overhaul so expect the signboard to look slightly different. A taste-test post-renovations ascertained the quality remains unchanged, with the added bonus of a cleaner dining environment :)


Block 177, Toa Payoh Central

(Corner coffee shop diagonally across Toa Payoh Central Community Building)

Where to find cheap Japanese cuisine

August 28, 2008
Leave a Comment

And we’re not just talking cheap food, it has to be decent-tasting stuff at the very least. Craving a Jap bento set or some curry udon yet holding back cos’ of the dreaded +++ that raise your bill beyond belief? Well, now you can satisfy those cravings and still be light on your wallet :) If you happen to live near the western side of this sunny isle, there’s the option of hopping over to the canteen at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at NUS; the Japanese food sold there is tasty and at student-friendly prices naturally. If a “journey to the West” sounds best to you only when it’s with reference to a book title, sit up and keep the following name in memory - Mansaku. I’m not too sure what this means in Japanese or if it’s even Japanese, but I do know that it works out to be somewhere along the lines of “cheap & good Jap food” for me :P

                        Salmon Set

Their popular Salmon Set. And I can see why too – The salmon fillets were fresh and pan-fried just right, doused with a sweet-salty sauce. The side of freshly shredded cabbage provided an added crunch. My only complaint was that the rice was a bit lumpy that day, but that is a minor gripe. With a meal like this costing under $7, they really don’t leave you much room to nit-pick ;)


Business is so brisk that the owners, who used to operate both lunch and dinner shifts, need only open for lunch now. That means the stall is open from 11.30am till everything’s sold out (which usually doesn’t stretch beyond late afternoon) 8O Check out their Teriyaki Chicken set as well. The chicken is well-marinated, and the sauce fragrant without being overly salty like most teriyaki sauces used everywhere else.


#01-93 Golden Mile Food Centre (Beach Road)

What’s fish head bee hoon without the XO?

August 18, 2008
Leave a Comment

Ever since I tried the famed Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon, I shy away from the typical virgin types sold everywhere else. It just isn’t the same without the booze – the ‘kick’ is lost. And so it was that my friends and I headed back to satisfy our cravings, the root of which stemmed from a bottle of XO that a mutual friend had brought to a drinking session awhile back :P

                         XO Fish Meat Bee Hoon

(XO Fish Chunks Bee Hoon for 2 – $12)

We were too lazy to deal with bones from fish heads hence the order of their XO Fish Chunks Bee Hoon. No bones, just meaty chunks of fish laced with a teeny aftertaste of XO. The highlight is of course the broth – milky, thick and sweet with just that bit of XO, I guess this is what would warrant the term “shiok” :D Just in case you’re wondering why there’s only a pathetic bit of green peeking out from the corner, the veg were all buried at the base of the serving pot.

Another crowd favourite is their Prawn Paste Chicken ($8) or “Har Jiong Gai”:

                                    Prawn Paste Chicken

I found theirs to be average cos’ it wasn’t as fragrant and crispy as I would have liked. The meat was also a bit dry though they did a good job in ensuring the chicken pieces weren’t overly greasy. In other words, not worth travelling down for but you can consider ordering it if you’re already there for their fish head bee hoon :)

On a final note, I’ve heard and also personally felt that the standard of fish head bee hoon here has taken a dip (as compared to some years back); I haven’t been able to find a ‘replacement’ thus far so any recommendations on places serving great XO fish head bee hoon would be much appreciated! Just post them in the comments section below :)

Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon

Blk 46, Holland Drive #01-359

Mon-Fri: 11.30am-2pm, 5-11pm

Sat & Sun: noon-2.30pm

Local Breakfast Delights Part II

July 14, 2008
Leave a Comment

I knew I would be heading back to Hainan Garden Market and Food Centre sometime after my previous post on it, hence my decision to chronicle my foodie finds in parts :)

The following will be a review of what I had on 2 separate occasions:

                                      Economic BeeHoon

                                                      (Economic BeeHoon – $3)

Settled for Economic BeeHoon one morning after wandering around and feeling uninspired as to what to have. The familiar Hup Lee (#02-29) signboard caught my eye and remembering the fragrant, tasty beehoon from their outlet at Kovan Market and Food Centre, I decided to stick with what I thought would be the “safer choice”. I even ordered the exact same ingredients that I’d usually have at Kovan. Unfortunately, signboards were the only thing these 2 stalls had in common. The noodles/beehoon at this outlet were bland and insipid; both veg I had tasted uncooked and hard. Deep-fried chicken wing? Mediocre. Another experience to remind me yet again that I should start avoiding f&b frachises like the plague; unless of course you’re McDonalds. Wait a min, I don’t even like Uncle Ronald all that much :neutral: My best memory of him would be how my sis used to burst into tears when my parents tried to make her share his wooden bench for a picture :lol: I guess having bright red hair and thick lips on a white-as-sheet face doesn’t endear you to children much.

Anyhowz, lesson learnt – To avoid disappointment, stick to your tried-and-tested stall instead of being lured by their franchises. Trust me on this; I’ve experienced franchise screw-ups across everything from zi char stalls to chinese desserts and even Crystal Jade. It seems that franchises work best if the stuff you’re selling belongs to one of the following categories: 1) frozen food (e.g burger patties) or anything that doesn’t require the skill of a chef to whip up, 2) drinks ala Starbucks, 3) you don’t sell food.

Tried Mong Kok Noodles (#02-41) again and this time I went for their Wanton Noodle Soup ($3):

                      Wanton Noodle Soup

I thought it was average. Nothing to shout about, though I must add that people are willing to wait for an hour for this on weekends. They are very generous with their noodles, which look nice and springy though they don’t taste so. Their wantons are ordinary; I’ve had better. Worth a try if the waiting time doesn’t stretch beyond 30 minutes.

P.S. I’ve updated stall numbers and pictures in my previous post on this place :D

Hainan Garden Market and Food Centre

Block 105, Hougang Avenue 1

About author

The author does not say much about himself