Monday, 28 January 2019

Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodles

Everyone in Hong Lim knows this is the most contentious dish in the Hawker Centre - Curry Chicken Noodles. Who was first, who is better? Personally I believe they both have their own characters. 

On the first floor is Heng Kee, older residents here tell me that they have the longer heritage of the two. And the queue is always longer here. But I have learnt that this is because the chef is more particular about the preparation of each bowl. I'm told that the ceramic pot which he mixes the ingredients together has not been washed for 30 years! Similar to those of braised pork stalls. Which means every time he tops up the pot, he needs to wait for the temperature to homogenise. 

So meticulous he is, that even for each bowl, every step is carefully calculated - right down to the time he soaks the freshly chopped Chicken in the curry before plating, synchronised with the blanching of the noodles to prevent overcooking them. 

He shared that the secret is in the chilli. (I keep this secret with me for now. ) This is what lends the bowl its deeper colour as opposed to Ah Heng upstairs. A richer deeper umami flavour - perhaps a reason why chef Ah Huat draws a fair share of Japanese fans. 

Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodles
Hong Lim Food Centre. #01-58

Opening Hours: Mon - Sat (11am to 3pm) Closed Sun & PH

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Real Food - Vegan in the City

Mushroom and Turmeric Risotto - 12.8 
This is one of the most flavourful I have had. A local familiar curry like taste with small vegetables to create a filling mouthful. Not a Michelin dish for sure, but a simple hearty meal with frozen vegetables. 

Mushroom Carbonara 13.8
It was quite tasty with lots of Mushrooms but the cheese that they sprinkle on top is vegan. Meaning that it is made from a “nutritional yeast”. 

Organic Belachan Fried Rice
It wasn’t too bad, but I certainly did not get any belachan taste at all. In fact what was really overpowering was the Sesame Oil. And I really am unsure of why they had to chuck a bunch of purple cabbage on my fried rice. 

Signature Steamed Dumplings drizzled in Olive Oil and Tamari - 10.8
There were really light, and actually very similar to a Soon Kueh. 

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Nan Xiang Roast Pork and Char Siew

For the first time in my life the Char Siew is fattier than the Sio Ba!

I had written about the Roast Chicken awhile back, this time to try the Char Siew and Sio Ba rice.

When I saw that there wasn't a queue, I knew I had to seize the opportunity! Everyone in the line seem to be ordering the same dish - Char Siew Sio Ba rice. You get to choose if you want the Chicken Rice as a base. 

The roast pork belly is sliced thinly so that you get a manageable bite savouring all of its elements: the crispy skin, the firm fatty layer, and the salted lean bottom. Leaves you wanting for more. The barbeque roast pork @ Char Siew, is one of the best I every had! They used the premium pork collar to create this meat, whilst others would use a cheaper lean cut. Look at it, the char presented to the customer is minimal and not overwhelming. The fatty portion is insane but it is firm and blended into the tendons of the collar. 

I wore a smile to myself the whole time I was wolfing this down. 

Da Dong Prawn Mee

Heard about this next Gen stall that boasts a solid bowl of prawn noodles. So glad to see educated, well mannered youth taking over a humble enterprise, aiming only to please their customers! 

Tasting the soup, I was surprised that it had such a strong garlic taste. It brought a good deal of depth, but an attempt to balance it out with rock sugar might have been slightly too much. Nonetheless the strong Prawn flavour is maintained. 

The noodles has a different texture to the factory made ones, they're more springy. You don't get as thick as a sambal as elsewhere, hence it tends to come off as a bit light, almost lacking that kick. The pork lard could be fried better and it will be much tastier. The lean pork slices are tender, and the prawns are fresh and plump.

A better deconstruction of the ingredients will make it amazing 

Da Dong Prawn Mee
354 Joo Chiat Road,
Opening hours 9am to 3pm


Seasonal Oyster | grapefruit shrub, peach kosho 

House-poached Octopus | squid ink risotto, salted egg sauce, tobiko 

Pork Jowl Char Siew | tellin clam, homemade vadouvan, lentils 

Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawns | watermelon gazpacho, achiote wooster oil, radish +5

Sustainable Catch | yuzu mole verde, barley, fish fumet +8

Morsels’ Signature Tiramiso | milo, diplomatico aƱejo rum +5