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Monday, January 17, 2022

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧

Updated September 2021 and January 2022

Marching into Phase 2 of the Heightened Alert, we were not allowed to dine in at the eating places and there we are ordering food to our doorsteps. Upon receiving the orders, I'm quite pleased that they are actually using disposable bio-degradable bowls.

Disposable Bowl
Disposable Bowl

If not for the attractive discount on food panda, I would have probably taken away the food on my own. The order comprised of Wanton Noodle and 3 Meat Rice.

Orders from Lai Fa Ba
My Order

There is solely Wanton and Noodles if you choose this option. This is an Hong Kong style order, if you are looking for Char Siew in the noodles, we have to be specific and order their Char Siew Wanton Noodles. The sauce and the chilli were packed separately and I poured it in to toss together with my noodles.

Wanton Noodles (云吞面)
Wanton Noodles (云吞面) - $4.50 (Small)

The 3 Wantons were packed together in the bowl of soup. The soup was topped with spring onions and tasted decent.

Wantons In Soup
Wantons In Soup

Besides the 3 dumplings in the soup given, the noodle comes with a piece of fried wanton too.

Fried Dumpling
Fried Dumpling

To my surprise the 3 kinds of meat rice were commendable. As they pride themselves on their homemade roasted pork, I would say that they did it well. The layers of meat, skin and fats are significant. The Thin crackling skin and the underlying juicy meat with the smoky flavours were quite different.  On the other hand, the soy chicken was tender and consist of robust flavours. Char Siew meat was lean. The set comes with half a braised egg and chopped cucumbers. The difference in price between the large and the small portion is $2.

3 Meat Rice (三拼饭)
3 Meat Rice (三拼饭) - $10.50 (Large)

I'm impressed by the quality of meat and I will make a return for their food.

Updated September 2021 & January 2022

While the covid measures had been changing frequently, from 5 to 2 pax dining in then to 2 pax to 5 pax dining in, these repetitive cycles made diners and restaurants/eateries adapt to the changes quickly.

Finally, I have visited Lai Fa Ba and the trip down was worth it. It's more of a personal touch than having food sent in my footsteps as we get to interact and understand from the shop owner their history to their preparation of food.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
Entrance of Lai Fa Ba

The Interior looks simple with stools and foldable tables but the old school theme of the floor had caught my attention.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
Eating Area

The display of old school Formica tables, milo tins, Ovaltine tins, metal plates, tinkat, saloon equipment and magazines had kind of make me time travel back into the past.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧

The Coca Cola lovers will be interested in this corner. There was an assortment of Coca Cola bottles displayed in the old school cabinets.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
Coca Cola

Even the signage of Ovaltine is in Mandarin and looks so old and rusty.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
Ovaltine's Benefits in Mandarin

Though not all on the wall are familiar to me, I'm glad that these decorations do give the magic of a layback feel.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
Does these look familiar to you?

Let's take a look at the rice and noodle dishes in a combination with their Wood-Fired Roasted meat.

Menu of Lai Fa Ba 来發吧

Though we are using the buzzer to alert us when our orders are ready, their friendly crews had actually served their food up to our table.

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧

Here are some of the orders during dining in.

Orders @ Lai Fa Ba 来發吧

With a variety of items on the item, what would you like to order?

Roasted Duck Noodles
Roasted Duck Noodles, anyone?

Sugar Cane Drinks are freshly squeezed on the spot and sealed. The colour of the drink looks bright and refreshing.

Sugar Cane Drink
Sugar Cane Drink - $2 Each

With the combination of sauces tossed in the noodle, especially with the use of their secret sambal based sauce, I would comment that each strand of noodle coated has a tinge of spice in every bite. On top of that, the tiny bits of lard had complement the noodles well. The smoky rich flavours of the roasted meat were distinctively aromatic. The premium meat, "Bu Jian Tian 不见天 ” (Meat ) was said to be used in their Char Siew Meat. Upon ordering, customers get to decide if they want lean or fatty char siew meat. If you are adventurous and do not mind the additional calories, fatty meat is of good choice as the fats literally melt in your mouth. Not to forget about the onsen egg was part of the bowl too.

Char Siew Wanton Noodle 叉烧云吞面
Char Siew Wanton Noodle 叉烧云吞面 - $9.90

If you just want to have Char Siew with noodles, they do provide this popular Char Siew Bu Jian Tian 不见天 ” option. You get to choose if you want a mixture of Lean & Fat meat, all fat meat or all lean meat.

Char Siew Noodles 叉烧面
Char Siew Noodles 叉烧面 - $6.90

Here's a mixture of lean and fat Char Siew in a bowl.

Char Siew Noodles 叉烧面
Char Siew Noodles 叉烧面 - $6.90


The distinct Layer of Lean and Fat Meat
The distinct Layer of Lean and Fat Meat

Roasted Duck Noodle is one of their signatures too. Priding themselves for freshly homemade roasted meat, the roasted duck meat too has distinctive aromatic smoky flavours. The meat was not gamy and in fact, went very well with the combination of springy noodles too. As for the soup, it is not the usual clear soup but its colour was chalky and has hints of salted fish taste.

Roasted Duck Noodle 烧鸭面
Roasted Duck Noodle 烧鸭面 - $7.90

Can't decide which noodle or rice to take while you have limited stomach space? You may want to order combos meat and enjoy the varieties.

Roasted Duck Rice adds Char Siew
Roasted Duck Rice adds Char Siew -  $7.90 + $4

These wings caught us by surprise for they are comparable to what we have personally rated the best Har Cheong Gai (Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun). The outermost layer of wings was shattering thin and comes with a crispy crust. The juicy and bursting with the umami flavours in the mouth are to die for.

Har Cheong Gai 虾酱鸡
Har Cheong Gai 虾酱鸡 - $8.90

The taste of fresh ingredients is used constituting to this bowl of shrimp dumplings using ingredients such as black fungus, shrimp, minced meat, water chestnut and spring onions.

Shrimp Dumpling Soup 虾饺汤
Shrimp Dumpling Soup 虾饺汤 - $9.90

The dumplings were plump and beautifully shaped, accompanied by some greens in the soup. 

Shrimp Dumpling Soup 虾饺汤
Spot the ingredients

After understanding from the owner, Lai Fa Ba was previously located in Chinatown, The Scarlet Hotel. As the rental lease was due, they had recently shifted to Bukit Batok. Due to the covid situation with dining in affected, resulting in the increase of takeaway food, the team had actually brainstormed ways to keep the noodles and food fresh in the packaging. That explained their hard work had paid off as I was drawn to the freshness of their food when I first tried it during food delivery.

In conclusion, if you are keen on quality roasted meat and do not mind spending a bit more on food, Lai Fa Ba will be a good choice.

Rating: 3.25 / 5

Lai Fa Ba 来發吧
71 Bukit Batok Crescent, #02-02 Prestige Centre, Singapore 658071

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