Monday, August 29, 2016

Ong Yong Lee Eating House : Must Try Chye Por Hor Fun

Came here to this zichar stall to check out the Chye Poh Hor Fun and indeed it did not disappoint at all! On the contrary, it actually exceeded my expectations with the fiery breath of wok hei that lingered in the dish right till the end. Be it the Kway Teow, the eggs, or even the squid, it's not difficult to spot black charred marks on them and these are the best bits of this dish. 

The Chye Por are diced so finely that you can't really pick them up by sight...but you know they are there when they pop occasionally with their intense savouriness on your palates. No need for green chilli or red chilli, the original taste is the best.

But if you can't afford the least bit of heat from chilli padi like my little sister, do stay away from the red "nasty" bits in the plate. 

Before you get to excited and shout out "Chye Por Hor Fun" straightaway before looking at the menu, this dish is called Double Treasure Dry Hor Fun 双宝干河 and the smallest order starts from $5. But they are flexible in adjusting the size/price according to the no. of pax and our order for 5 pax came to $15--sufficient to fill you up if you are still sharing other dishes. 

We pointed to the Lala ($10) from the picture menu which looked similar to JB Ah Meng's garlic chilli lala but it turned out to be  a chilli crab version. Bright and enticingly looking it may seemed, the red gloopy sauce was too sweet even by chilli crab standards. We naturally complied when the staff asked if we wanted to have some deep fried mantou to go along with it. Nonetheless, the clams were meaty and fresh. 

The Sambal Sweet Potato Leaves ($8) was decent as well without any major mistakes. I am always on the lookout for Prawn paste chicken ($8) whenever I go for any zichar and the version here is indisputably good. Even my little sister who seldom eat chicken, wolf down 3 wings in a shot. The wings boasted a super crunchy shell but the interior wasn't not dry at all. It had a good balance of flavor without being overly salty. 
Another thing which caught our attention was the rice crispies that was actually coated with curry powder--a clever substitute to lettuce as the latter tends to release water aka 出水 and dampen the dish. Once I start having a spoonful, there was no return. So fragrant, moreish and amazingly not oily at all. Back in my mind, I knew this is damn heaty but I couldn't stop. In the end, I cleared the other plate of Rice Krispies used for the deep fried mantou as well. 
Going back to the star dish, we felt it was better than Poh's version @ Empress Road. The latter is more like a carrot cake made with kway teow and has a higher ratio of egg. The plate from Ong Yong Lee lacked the pork lard but I did not miss it because the wok hei made up for the aroma easily. Most importantly, it did not leave a greasy mouthfeel and the taste was just right. 

Service was friendly and courteous, even though we were busy combatting those irky houseflies that kept hovering on our food. My dad found the food here quite normal, even though the rest of the family disagreed with him (as usual, he's the picky eater for Chinese food at home). Ee-fu mian, fish head steamboat, chye por Neng....I need to make a revisit next time. 

We spent $42 for 5.

Ong Yong Lee Seafood (inside Ong Yong Lee Eating House)
Blk 151, Bishan Street 11
Singapore 570151
Daily 5pm-11pm

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Un Grain : Smallest Cake in Tokyo and probably, Japan


I stood in dismay in front of 20 columns of entremets not because they are smaller than my palm, but because they cost as much as ¥470 -- the price that can fetch you a very decent cake even from average patisseries. 
Pronounced as " un-gran", this classy boutique in Aoyama is headed by Chef Kanai Fuyumi who used to worked at 1-star Paris restaurant Le Chiberta, which is part of a 3-star Michelin group. Compared to most pastry chef, this chef looked very young and smiley as you can see him working behind the transparent glass window of the kitchen. 

And indeed, he is considered quite young at 38 to run his own show at this latest venture (opened in late 2015) by Yoku Moku. I am a loyal fan of Yoku Moku buttery cigares rolls but I was surprised to learn that Ungrain was connected to Yoku Moku because I would not associate any high-end sophisticated sweets coming from Yoku Moku. 

But yet Ungrain is one exact case of an expensive, refined cakes boutiques that actually boast style over substance. Don't get me wrong, the cakes are not extremely bad, but their quality and size simply do not justify their price tag. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ajoomma Korean Dessert Cafe @ Holland Village : Fresh Fruity Bingsu!


With the persistent heat in Singapore all-year round, the demand for Korean bingsus (shaved ice dessert) doesn't seem to fade as  cafes specializing in them continue to open in the heartlands. Opened in June this year, Ajoomma is the latest to join the scene in Holland Village, serving bingsu, toasts and buttermilk waffles. It doesn't belong to any franchise in Korea and you won't find any Ajoomma (aunties) serving Bingsu here (though I wish it would be nice to have Ajoommas instead of young chaps)
The presentation of Bingsu does not vary much from the others; the shaved ice is dusted with powder of certain flavor or syrup and served with ice cream. But what stands out here is the freshness of ingredients. 
Our favourite was none other than the Mango Bingsu ($18.90), a gorgeous summer delight of shaved ice, mango coulis sauce, generous fresh mangos, pomelo and mango sherbet. Unlike the red beans in the matcha/black sesame counterparts, digestive crumbs are embedded beneath the ice, making them close to a mango cheesecake. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lao Chao Zhou 老潮州 @ Ghim Moh : Satay Bee Hoon and Mee Siam

Contrary to its name, Lao Chao Zhou does not sell teochew porridge or cuisine. Instead, it sells satay bee hoon, a dish that I love but not commonly available at hawker centers in Singapore because I heard that a lot of work is required to make the sauce. 
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