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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat 黄埔庆鱼头炉

Friends were mentioning that we should try some Fish Steamboat for the evening and we went through a list of popular eating places and decided that we should explore the shop house in Balestier as its has been popular and long standing in that area.

It was nearing dinner time and for walk-in customers we had to join the snaky long queue as we did not make any reservations.

See the Queue
While waiting for our tables, we were told to look into the menu and decide what to order. There were seats outside the restaurant to let customers rest while waiting, however the number of seats could not accommodate all the people that were waiting. Some of them have to stand on the pavement which is just next to the road and we find it quite dangerous, also blocking the pedestrians who were passing by us.

The Queue
We waited for quite sometimes and while watching both human and the traffic, we managed to catch the beautiful blue hour during that day.

Blue Hour
About an hour of wait, we finally got our table. Order taking was fast and soon, our dishes were up on the table.

Spinach has a well balanced with depth of flavour coming from the mixture of normal, century and salted eggs. I'm the one who usually love to grab some of the vegetable gravy with my rice but not in this case as it is more of diluted and too much water content in the dish.

Sauteed Spinach in Assorted Eggs
Har Cheong kai aka Prawn Paste Chicken's depth of flavour is there and it was marinated long enough with the fermented prawn paste. Wings were plump and crispy at its first bite, letting out its hot juicy flavours.

Prawn Paste Chicken - (Medium)
This was what we were attracted to Whampoa Keng. The steamboat stock was milky and tasted great. Ingredients include the chunks of fish, fried yam, cabbages, seaweed, herbs and hints of fried sole fish taste were spotted. Charcoal as left burning throughout the session in the middle of the pot.

Let's dig in
The entire eating area was cramp and servers have to be extremely careful not to knock over the hot steamboat into others. Not only that, the entire place was smoky with steam rising up from each table's hot pot.

Burning in the Charcoal
Their prices are on a steeper side if we were to compare the same meals to other Fish Head Steamboat. For that time taken for us to queue and grab a table, I would not mind exchange Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat for other eating places. However, taking a look at the crowd, it seems like big families with elderly were enjoy such dinner sessions. Perhaps this traditional name of Fish Head Steamboat already have a group of their die hard fans who love Whampoa Keng's style of preparing the Steamboat.

Rating: 3 / 5

Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat 黄埔庆鱼头炉
Location: 554/556 Balestier Road Singapore 329872

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May Veggie Home

This was my first experience having vegetarian meals and visiting 100% Vegan Eatery as an itinerary during my travel. A different approach and of course an eye opener to me enjoying people watching while immersing ourselves into the home cook vegan dishes. Thanks to our pal's recommendation, else the trip to May Veggie Home would not have materialized.

Maggie Vegan Cuisine
Diners came here not just by words of mouth. In fact May Veggie Home has been also feature in tripadvisor and HappyCow, thus the crowd would would not be just only locals but foreigners too. In terms of its location, they are easily accessible via BTS (Asok Station) or a stone throw away from the shopping mall Terminal 21.

Recommendation on Trip Advisor
There's a merchandise corner for healthy food and you can pick them home.

With such welcoming decorations in the corner, we find that the environment was rather cosy and unpretentious.

Good that the restaurant is environmental friendly as they are using paper straws. Both drinks were definitely refreshing to beat the hot weather. For Lemon Grass drinks, diner get to see the original lemon grass plant in the cup and we were all glad that they tasted great without being too sweet.

Iced Lemon Grass & Iced Thai Tea - 59 Baht Each
We started the appetizers with the Grilled Vegetarian Bacon. "Bacon" texture was almost there, crispy and produce a kind of smoky flavor, wrapping around the small bunch of enoki mushrooms. It would be perfect with this bacon were thinner.

Grilled Vegetarian Bacon - 149 Baht
I would comment that this Cauliflower Spicy Wing was an interesting creation. I would have think they were meat balls if we were not in a vegetarian eatery. It was actually made up of cauliflower, battered and deep fried then coated with some spicy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Though drenched under the sauce, the crispiness were still well kept.

Cauli-BON CHON - 129 Baht
Its hard not to order the staple Thai dishes when we are in Bangkok. Vegetarian Shrimp Tom Yum with Coconut Meat was served in an earthen pot, keeping the soup warm. Often I will order the clear Tom Yum Soup and will avoid the orange broth but definitely not for this. Coconut milk was sparingly used in the dish without compromising its taste.

Tom Yum Kung - 149 Baht (Small)
There were still some fiery kicks in between mouthful of sips and I love the fragrance of its lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and other ingredients. 

Plentiful of Ingredients
Pineapple Fried Rice was nicely presented in the fruit itself. The fried turmeric rice was topped with "Chinese Sausage", pineapple, raisin, cashew nuts and shredded soy "meat".

Kao-Pad-Sap-Pa-Rod - 220 Baht
This dish reminds me me of Larb Moo, one of my favourite Thai dishes. Nevertheless, the vegetarian version having fried Minced Tofu in Basil Sauce is also one of the better dishes we had ordered. The presence of basil fragrance and texture from the fried Tofu had already won our hearts.

Krapraow Tofu - 129 Baht
Phad Thai with Tofu just as the dish name suggested. It was nothing fanciful and quite decent as a noodle dish.

Phad Thai Tofu - 119 Baht
Also indicated as one of the gluten free dish on the menu. The stir fried Chinese Kale with "Veg Salted Fish" or "Tofu" was a heart warming dish. Vegetables were crunchy and the gravy together with the "Salted Fish" blends in well and lifted the taste of the dish.

Pad Ka Nah Pla Kem - 129 Baht
The greedy us could not stop looking at the menu and finally decided that we should order something from its Western Menu. Vegan Burger Bun was fragrant, soft and was home made. BBQ Shredded Soy Meat was sandwiched and topped with cashew nut cheese. Presentation had scored points here too with food items served on a cross section of a tree trunk. Besides the burger, platter was served with sides like salad, onion rings , cheesy dip and ketchup.

BBQ Cheese Burger - 249 Baht
The cold drinks we ordered from the start were just not enough for our dehydrating bodies. We had a pot of hot lemongrass too.

Hot Lemongrass - 69 Baht
Overall, the food was interesting and generally tastes good. However, the pet peeve were their service standards. Most of the time we had to wave frantically before grabbing their servers attention, it felt that they were looking at our direction yet not attending to us till we stand up and head towards the counter.

May Veggie Home
Location: 8/3 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Hualong Fishhead Steamboat 華龍魚頭爐

Hualong Fishhead Steamboat has been established since 2003 famous for its heartwarming fishhead charcoal steamboat and this is their 2nd branch in Bukit Batok. There were also featured on Channel 8's TV Program couple of years back.

Hua Long
Its hard not to give this a try when this is raved one of the best fishhead steamboat in Singapore and also their their specialty. Pledge themselves the using a top grade soup without having MSG added and having it sold out daily. Their secret recipe was said to be using old mother hen,  anchoives, yellow beans, rock sugar and many other ingredients slow cooking for hours under the charcoal fire.

Hualong Charcoal Steamboat
We enjoyed the smallest red snapper version of their charcoal steamboat pot. Other than snapper, Red Grouper and promfret option are also available for the choices of fish.

Red Snapper - $23.80 / $38.80 / $48.80
A small portion is good for 3-4 pax sharing with other side dishes order. Ingredients almost filled to the brim together with big chunks of fish. The soup tasted milky and with hints of fried sole fish. Simply yummy!

We got a few pieces of cross sections of the fish.

Cross Section of Fish Meat
Having something out of their printed menu. They called it "Ham Yu Fa Lam Pou" in the dialect. Sizzling hot delight of pork belly slices topped with salted fish and placed in the claypot makes the a hearty meal. The ginger, onions and slices of dried chilli makes the dish looked a fiery combination but it turned out that together with the tender slices of pork belly, dark soy sauce, its actually a mixture of savoury flavours. They only have this randomly on its special menu. There are other out of menu items too.

Belly with Salted Fish in Claypot  咸鱼花腩煲 - $12
Having Cze Char gave you more choice of how you want the dish to be done. Just like the omelette, there were a few variations to choose from. From plain egg, Fuyong, Shrimps, Onion, Bittergoud, minced meat or even Chinese sausage. We have the minced meat Omlette, it was fluffy and definitely

Minced Meat Omelette 煎蛋 - $9
Their Signature Wok fried Noodles comes with a selection of either Bee Hoon or Kway Teow. Noodles were moist and tasted different. It was said that their top-grade soup was added and permeates into them. Ingredients were plentiful and that includes tasty morsels of fish, squid, prawn, lala and meats. It made a great choice that we traded our white rice with this.

Signature Wok Fried White Bee Hoon 招牌特制百米粉 / 白果条 -  $7.50 / $10 / $15 / $20 
Whenever rainy day comes, it would be good to enjoy such warm steamboat over the cold weather. We do not need to travel far and queue for those very popular Charcoal Fishhead Steamboat in the City and we can just fall back on Hualong's dishes.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Hualong Fishhead Steamboat
Location: 155 Bukit Batok Street 11Singapore 650155

Friday, April 26, 2019

Soi Thai Kitchen

Lately, Soi Thai has been my frequently visited eatery. Having visited Soi Thai Kitchen in Tampines & Soi Thai Kitchen in Jurong West quite some years back, I'm glad that they are spreading the wings further creating more outlets offering more wallet-friendly authentic Thai Cuisine.

This is our all time favourite and with request of less spiciness so that we won't be swallowing down the chilli seeds. We prefer the clear version and customers can have the choice of chicken Tom Yam or Seafood Tom Yam Soup. 

Clear Tom Yam Soup 冬炎清汤 - $7
Mango Salad is one of the recommendations in the menu. Its appetizing and too we requested for the less spicier version. Shredded mango is tossed with the peanuts, fish sauce, coriander, carrot, onions and lime juice. It's quite addictive and make a great side dish.

Mango Salad 芒果沙拉 - $6
Their fishcakes come in a plate of four and is recommended to order especially if you have kids. Its fried and crispy at the exterior, different from the ones that most Thai Restaurant would serve. Fishcake is springy and great to go with their sweet chilli sauce.

Fish Cake 鱼饼 - $8
Beautifully served in star shape in pieces of 8, suitable for sharing if you are dining in group. 

Thai Pan Fried Prawn Pizza 泰式虾披萨 - $10
If you are looking to order greens from their menu, the Stir Fried Kai Lan is of excellent choice. It is fried together in minced garlic and oyster sauce with slices of carrot.

Stir Fried Kai Lan 芥蓝炒蚝油 - $7
We simply love the Premium Fried Pork Cheek as its roasted to perfection, crispy outside with crunchy edges and was not too dry. Meat was chewy and best combination if you dip them into the given chilli sauce.

Premium Fried Pork Cheek - $12
If you love the scent of basil, you may like to order this dish and pair along with rice. This is one of the popular ordered dishes among the diners especially if you are dining in a group and sharing dishes.

Basil Pork九层塔炒猪肉碎 - $7
Though Stir Fried Clams with Thai Chilli Sauce is a recommended dish on the menu, we did not find the dish anything out of the ordinary. It's spicy as indicated and the only thing is that the clams were fresh.

Stir Fried Clams with Thai Chilli Sauce泰式辣味啦啦 - $12
Squid rings are recommended as they are meaty and fresh. The lime juice together with the chili gravy had given a zesty sour yet sweet and spicy flavour to the dish.

Squid with Lime Sauce 辣椒柠檬墨鱼- $10
If you are going for individual portion, you can try ordering their Thai Fried Kway Tiao. The "Wok-Hei" together with the kiffir Lime had spelt a difference on the dish. Ingredients are simple slices of  carrot, chicken, Kailan and egg. 

Thai Fried Kway Tiao with Kai Lan 泰式炒粿条 - $6
A dish that you either like it or hate it. While I enjoy the fragrance of olive oil, I find that the dish is tastes great though it might looked plain without much ingredients.

Olive Fried Rice 橄榄炒饭 - $6
The soft sweet savoury pineapple fried rice was a spot on. Ingredients lend a good texture with chewy raisins, crunchy cashew nuts and fragrantly prepared together with meat floss.

Pineapple Rice 黄梨炒饭 - $6
We had Red Ruby dessert to complete our meal. Glad that dessert tasted alright without having overpowering coconut milk taste with sago. What's more, I love the crunchiness of the rubies.

Red Ruby 红宝石 - $3
The milk tea has subtle tea fragrant, not too strong and a good milk taste, likewise for the Ice Thai Green Tea, both level of sweetness is great.

Thai Iced Tea & Thai Ice Green Tea - $3 Each
Soi Thai Kitchen is serving authentic Thai Food at affordable pricing without GST charge. Basically that's the main reason why we are returning there so often! I guess its queue also tells us that its well-liked by many.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Soi Thai Kitchen
Location: JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1 #04-12 Singapore 609731

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Li Zai Ge Hui Rou Fan 李仔哥爌肉饭

We were given a few choices for lunch while leaving Qing Jing heading to the next destination, Tai Chung. Our Tour guide highly recommended this place as its quite popular in the area and had been there 40 over years.

Li Zai Ge operates from the morning till about 3pm in the afternoon, serving breakfast from 6am. This place is well liked by locals as well as tourists. During Weekends and Public Holidays, the entire place will be flocked with patrons.

Li Zai Ge Hui Rou Fan 李仔哥爌肉饭
We were quite lucky in the sense that the lunch crowd is over and we still get to reach the place before it closed. However, the cons were that quite a number of dishes were sold out and choices were limited.

Preparing to close for the day

While we were there, the staff were busying doing washing and cleaning its area. Nevertheless there are still 1 or 2 groups of customers ordering from them.

In the Stall
Menu was straight forward and not too complicated with 5 main items, 6 side dishes and 4 soup dishes for diners to choose from. Diners just have to indicate on the slip of paper to place order.

Ordering Menu
Some commented that for this price that we were paying, its actually equivalent to Taipei's pricing. Converting to Singapore Dollar, its about $3.50. Well, given the portion we would say its rather a standard pricing in terms of our living standard.

Pork Ribs retained a traditional braised taste. The method frying them before braising had lend a salty and crispy taste. Not to mentioned that the pork rib was a big and thick piece, covering up the entire bowl of rice. The braised sauce not only infiltrated the ribs, giving it moisture and makes the meat chewy. Definitely worth what we were paying for.

排骨饭 - 80 TWD
Although priced at 70 TWD maybe little steep for the local, she still draw a constant crowd daily till sold out. The signature dish that Li Zai Ge pride themselves with. Many may dislike pork belly due to its oiliness or greasiness but this pork belly has distinctive layers of lean meat and fat. Meat was braised till tenderness and a slight pull with chopsticks may have them disintegrated. That's why they made use of toothpick to keep the belly in its original state. Paring the meat with yellow pickles and cabbages, it completed the bowl of rice. Simple and tastes good!

Braised Pork Rice 爌肉饭 - 70 TWD
We have additional side items and of course when it comes to braised shop like this, I could not let my rice go plain without pairing with its braised sauce.

Braised Egg and Tau Gua - 10 TWD Each
Overall, I find that their standards are above average and living up to its name. For those who will be passing by Nantou to or from Qing Jing, do not forget to visit this place if you do not mind having braised meat rice.

Li Zai Ge Hui Rou Fan 李仔哥爌肉饭
Location: No. 326, Xinyi Road, Puli Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 545
                545 Puli, Taiwan