Bedok North Blk 85 – My Hawker Haunt

30 09 2010

Hawker food in Singapore never fails to delight me. Prissy gourmets may scorn at the thought of dining at such “low class” and humble settings but I for one am truly appreciative of their existence. There are few countries apart from from Singapore that can boast about being able to offer so many different cuisines under one roof at such affordable prices.

One of Singapore’s famous supper places may be seen in Bedok North Block 85 which operates till 2am – 3am each day. Having ended my mid-terms today was akin lifting a heavy burden off my shoulders, now I could focus on things that truly mattered. So, I did a 10km run (super proud of myself!) which I had been procrastinating to do for so very long and organized supper between S, MZ and myself (where the running comes to nought).

No matter which Bak Chor Mee(BCM) stall you patronise within the premises of Blk 85, they share a similar style which is slightly different from the Singapore norm. Instead of fried Wantons, Liver and Slice Pork, Blk 85’s signature BCK is the soupy version with lots of meatballs and minced pork(with a high pork fat:pork meat ratio). Of course, the dry version is available but your order will definitely be sticking out like a sore thumb.

2nd item on the agenda was the BBQ Chicken Wings. I think there are 2 or 3 chicken wing stalls so I can’t remember the name of the one I usually order from (I only know they charge $1.10/wing) but it’s one of my favourite BBQ Chicken Wing Stalls in Singapore, trumping all the BBQ chicken wing stalls from East Coast Park’s food centre. The wings aren’t just crisp, there’s a light smokey flavour as well which I have taken a fancy to.

Another finalist in my self-promulgated list of top food pickings, this time in the congee category. I think the stall is named Chai Chee Congee (or Porridge). I did the usual order of Pork Congee (add Egg). I love the congee here because it’s really smooth and the pork (both the sliced pork and meatballs) is really tender. The egg is also necessary for that addition “oomph”.

Another of my favourite congee stalls (whose name I can’t recall) is also located around the vicinity at Bedok Central’s Food Centre (the hawker centre nearest to Bedok Interchange). They serve an excellent whole piece of piping hot You Tiao with their Congee.

There are quite a few stalls here selling Carrot Cake and Orh Lua (Oyster Omelette), all of which I don’t find that fantastic, merely passable in the annals of hawker rankings. My favourite Carrot Cake stall still has to be Golden City Carrot Cake in Kopitalk at the junction between Changi Road and Telok Kurau Road while my recommendations for Oyster Omelette (Hokkien Style) would be Beng Thin Hook Kee Restaurant on 65 Chulia Street, #05-02 OCBC Centre.

After spamming so much oleaginous health hazards, what better way than to wash it all down with a freshly squeezed cup of Sugarcane with Lemon Juice.

In face of work or study stress, a scrumptious supper that isn’t too harsh on the wallet simply does wonders!

Bon Appetit!

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Tony Cafe

6 04 2010

Cheap and good, that’s what most Singaporeans desire right? And that was the picture D painted to me about Tony Cafe, a hidden gem located within The Adelphi @ City Hall. I tried Googling it but to no avail and was slightly distraught that no one else could paint a clearer picture for me. I ended up making a trip down personally and am glad I did, for Monday Lunch to be exact where they served their supposedly famous Fried Chicken Rice Set(only served on Mon, Wed & Sat).

Tony Cafe is actually an economic rice eatery(which I only discovered there and then)…and I know posting about an unassuming economic rice stall is a far cry from the epicurean experience but it seemed pretty popular with the lunch crowd, with hordes of primarily working individuals thronging the shop with a queue that snaked till the corridors of Adelphi’s second level. So it had to be good right? (AND IT BETTER BE SINCE THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WERE PROB GIVING ME WEIRD STARES THINKING I NEVER EAT ECONOMIC RICE BEFORE AS I WHIPPED OUT MY CAMERA!)

Initially, I was a bit turned off by the endless queue, but with 4 of the staff tripling up as scoopers/packers/cashiers, the 20 odd people in front of me were able to buy, pay and collect their nosh within 10min record time. Most customers order take aways due to the limited seating capacity made worse by the staggering lunch crowd(my group went over to Funan’s foodcourt with our takeaways too).

Almost everyone else I saw there ordered the Fried Chicken Rice($3) and I followed suit, adding some curry veg and potatoes($0.50 per veg side) as sides to aid digestion future bowel movements(too much info there). The great thing about Tony Cafe is that they bothered to separate the fried chicken from the chicken rice to prevent it from getting soggy, a nice touch there. And it worked! By the time I reached Funan, my fried chicken(consisting of 2 wings) was still crispy and very palatable with my chicken rice warm and fragrant, something I wouldn’t expect from any other economic rice stall. Oh yea, they do provide the standard chicken rice chili too!

 

With the high turnover, the food was fresh(especially the chicken which came piping hot just out of the fryer), tasty and definitely value for money. 2 things still puzzle me though. Firstly why doesn’t Tony Cafe sell their Fried Chicken Rice everyday and secondly why isn’t Tony Cafe Googlable? I wonder…

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

TONY CAFE

1 COLEMAN STREET, THE ADELPHI #02-23

TEL: +65 6336 7869





Meng Kitchen

4 04 2010

To the old non-foodie me at least, Bak Chor Mee was seen as uninspiring and tasting roughly the same everywhere (but that’s before I had the Bedok Blk 85 ones yummzz). It’s  just a meagre bowl of mince meat and noodles after all, isn’t it? However recently, several of my friends, all denizens of the Thomson area, swore in unison by Meng Kitchen’s Bak Chor Mee as the best BCM in Singapore. By their account, it is so good that paying visits to Meng Kitchen 2-3 times a week(which they do) is fully justified. This really piqued the foodie’s curiosity in me and thus a visit to Meng Kitchen was in the works.

From what I hear, the BCM here used to cost only $2.50 but in line with rising food costs, it is now priced at $3.50 though they now throw in a single prawn. What I find great about Meng Kitchen’s BCM is that they are generous with their ingredients(meatball, sliced pork, prawn, liver, mushroom and a heap of bak chor), the oodles of noodles are springy and nicely mixed with a dash of vinegar and chili. I would prefer the liver a little less cooked though(with that light pinkish tinge) and the Bak Chor a little more fatty though but that’s would be bordering on perfection. In any case, I was pretty contented with the BCM here. By the way, Meng Kitchen is open 24-hours which is great for night owls and hungry clubbers.

I did a light sampling of the other zi char style dishes served here but they were pretty forgettable in my humble opinion. The Braised Pig Trotters($5) was too tough and dry with a weak dilute soy base while the Deep Fried Dumplings($3) was rather mediore, what I used to get in my school canteen.

The BCM at Meng Kitchen is definitely more than decent (unlike the lacklustre side dishes) and I left the place a satisfied customer but it’s not great enough to leave me hankering for it with restless nights. Perhaps I should introduce my friends to Bedok Blk 85 or make them accompany me to Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee on Changi Road which I’m going to try out myself after hearing it’s also one of the best in Singapore.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

MENG KITCHEN

246B UPPER THOMSON ROAD, THOMSON GARDEN ESTATE





KOPITALK

2 04 2010

You know how the saying goes that the best things in life are free? Well, I beg to differ. The guy who said that probably hasn’t tried the Katong Laksa or Carrot Cake at Kopitalk, a small humble coffeeshop located at the junction between Changi Road and Telok Kurau Road. You can call me lucky, but I have been living just a stone’s throw away(literally) from here for the past 15 years, depending on the Laksa and Carrot Cake here for sustenance on occasion. Kudos to my dad in doing such a fine job of purchasing a domicile in such an ideal location!

  

Having undergone a recent renovation, most of it’s previous stalls still reside within Kopitalk, with the exception of the Zi Char stall which has now been taken over by Rajah’s Curry, a seemingly famous Indian stall plastered with the numerous articles featuring it but we shall cover more of that on another day. We must focus on today’s mission, the carrot cake and laksa!

Most people don’t know this but the Katong Laksa in Koptitalk is actually the orginal Katong Laksa(with authentic stall certificate from the 1980s)! I had only recently found out about this interesting fact after reading a post on this laksa stall by Dr Leslie Tay(aka ieatishootipost). Anyway, having eaten both this and the laksa now located at Katong, somehow I prefer the one here. The gravy boasts a rich and robust flavour from lots of coconut milk and the white noodles are intact with the right amount of chewiness. No Tau Pok(fried beancurd) is put in the laksa, only fresh prawns, cockles and fishcake. Yes, this will definitely satisfy your laksa cravings…

   

 Various food shows have rated Golden City Carrot Cake as the best carrot cake stall in Singapore and that is despite a slight fall in standards(from perhaps 10 years ago) after the uncle running the stall passed on. When I was there today, his son had taken over the family trade with his mum standing by. The most notable difference between this carrot cake and others is that lots of chye poh(preserved radish) and ikan bilis are fried in the carrot cake which enhances both the taste and smell. They do serve black carrot cake too but it’s not as popular as the white ones. Die die must try!

  

There is also a chicken rice stall within Kopitalk and what it dishes up is pretty average. If you do patronise it, stick to the white chicken instead of the roasted ones.   

So now we know, the best things in life actually come at an unostentatious charge of between $3-$5.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

KOPITALK COFFEESHOP (KATONG LAKSA, GOLDEN CITY CARROT CAKE)

1 TELOK KURAU ROAD

TEL: +65 6440 4585








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