信记牛肉面 Xin Ji Beef Noodle – Hougang, Singapore


Alright this was something I promised to review yesterday. Chanced upon this stall cos I was there for brekkie and picked mum up. A little rare to find Beef Noodle specialty stalls in neighbourhood coffee shops. Managed to speak to the boss cos I was the first customer and he mentioned that his soup base is using only pure beef and bones. True enough he scooped up and showed me. And it tasted like it too cos usually with MSG or the flavoured powder, I’ll get thirsty after half an hour. A hidden gem indeed.

Rating: 4.5/5.

Taste: Soup was really nice but not overly rich which usually is caused by adding those pre-mixes. The tendons were to die for! So soft and tender! Beef brisket could use a little more time as I prefer mine to be more tender. Tripe was shioks along with other items. Chilli wise they had chinchalok which I thought was pretty detailed. Thumbs up for the effort!

Portion: Pretty ok.

Price: $8. Not cheap but all clean foods are not cheap anyways haha!

Service: Self-service.

Ambience: Renovated coffee shop.

RTE: Yes I would return to eat!

Location: 309 Hougang Avenue 5 Goh Lim Hua Eating House

https://www.facebook.com/%E4%BF%A1%E8%A8%98-%E7%89%9B%E8%82%89%E9%BA%B5-Xin-Ji-Beef-Noodles-167617357301392/

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Haji Daliman Korner – HarbourFront, Singapore


Another #sglegendaryhawker. My go to place for Gado Gado, an Indonesian style salad. Now managed by a young chap but food quality is still there. I’ve included another new informative tab on calories per serving, for my friends who are also watching their food intake!

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: Still loving how the peanut sauce blends nicely with the lontong/bean sprouts/tofu and fish keropok! Shioks!

Portion: Good size

Price: $3

Service: Self-service

Ambience: Hawker Centre

RTE: Whenever around the area!

Calories: 660

Location: #01-33 Seah Im Food Centre (Opp Harbourfront Centre)

Deanna’s Kitchen – Toa Payoh, Singapore


I first came to know Denise through Instagram and she told me about her plans to set up a Prawn Noodle stall and some more a halal one! I thought the idea was interesting and told her I’ll definitely be there when she opens.

So today is the day she started her dream. And as promised, I was there to lend her my support. See my reviews below and please support young hawkerprenuers and support local!

Congrats on your opening!!!
Prawn Noodles with Crayfish $12.50
Denise fries her own shallots, which makes a whole lot of difference to the taste!
Cray cray cray crayfish!
Prawns are left in their shells to lock in the sweetness!
Got Kang Kong and bean sprouts. Those don’t like bean sprouts better tell her in advance not to put!
#worldcleanplate #damnyummylah #morebrothplease
So considerate got wet towels for me cos need to deshell the prawns
Denise and me

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: If I can invent a new word, it would be ‘Sumami’… which means Super Umami. The broth is really really good and I really hope she keeps up the standard. Imagine this is not even using any pork bones. Really old school recipe which everyone should try!

Portion: Average

Service: Self-service

Ambience: Hawker centre.

Price: Starts from as low as $3.50 to $12.50.

RTE: Yes!!

Location: 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #02-25. Check out their website for opening hours.

Contact: http://deannaskitchen.net. Instagram @denisedeanna. Tel: 96675500

30+ MUST EATS when in Medan, Indonesia


Hey y’all,

Sorry took me a while to tabulate all these info and pictures together. Only manage 30 items but trust me, there are more than 30 items easily in Medan to savour on. Hope you enjoy the gastronomical read and perhaps attract you to visit Medan one day!

 

1. Indomie/Ifumie Goreng

Indomie Goreng

Indomie Goreng Basa – The wet version
This is something like our Maggie Goreng except that Indomie/Ifumie most of the time they would use the seasoning that comes with the instant noodle pack. It is probably the staple in whole of Indonesia, reason is it is affordable for everyone. However different stalls/locations have their own special sauce or chilli paste which makes customers come back for more.
2. Kueh Kueh

Look at the colours of the kueh kuehs!

Yam Cake

This glutinous rice thing with sri kaya is really damn good…
 

Lemper Ayam. One of my favourites and will tapao a lot for mum.

Just too many varieties
Kueh kueh is available in most Asian countries and in Medan, they are very important as some of these kuehs are used for praying to the Gods or Ancestors. There are a lot of kueh kueh varieties here and it’ll take some more one to try them all. My favourites are shown below.
3. Martabak

Martabak Piring… That’s how they cook it!

To be honest, I prefer the ones below…

Comes in a slab like this

Look at the amount of cheese!

This one we ordered the first night. It has all the works inside… Nutella, grounded peanuts, choc rice, cheese!

Last slab we had for our trip. Damn good. Loads of cheese and butter. Yums!

Heavenly!

Probably the best now in Medan, Martabak Yurich!
This is prolly trending very much now in Medan. Not to be confused with the martabak we have here in Singapore, there are basically 2 types of martabak in Medan; The thin or the thick one. Personally I prefer the thick one cos it comes with a lot of fillings and coated with loads of butter. I would highly recommend Martabak Yurich because theirs are really yummy!

 

4. Bihun Bebek (Duck Beehoon)

Me and boss of Asie Bihun Bebek, showing how much ducks he use for his broth.

Bihun Bebek served dry and a bowl of soup on the side. Broth is super rich and tasty, result of boiling with a lot of ducks in it.

Another Bihun Bebek place I visit which belongs to my Medan mummy. Bihun Bebek Akien has their followers and to be honest, has a different touch from the one at Asie.

Akien’s Bihun Bebek comes with veg, home made shrimp balls and a chunk of braised pork belly. I really miss this right now.

Specially reserved this bowl of goodness for me…. Finished!
This is prolly the first stop everytime I’m in Medan. A must eat and it’s truly da bomb! There are 2 types in Medan; the strong herbal or light herbal one. However, either or is damn rich in broth and really a great way to start the day with! My favourite stalls are Bihun Bebek Kumango (Asie) and my god mother’s stall Bihun Bebek Akien!

 

5. Mie Pangsit

Mie Tiongsim
This is prolly the wanton mee of Medan. Everywhere cooks differently like the wanton mee in SG. My favourite so far is Mie Tiongsim at Jln Selat Panjang. Still good even though they are super popular.
6. Mie Hokkien

Mie Hokkien at Jln Selat Panjang

Friend’s parents’ Mie Hokkien. See the lard and amount of ingredients. Yums!
The distinct difference between Mie Pangsit and Mie Hokkien is Mie Pangsit has char siew and wantons, while Mie Hokkien has braised egg, prawns, fish balls and prawn balls.
7. Coffees Locals vs Specialty

Latte from Pilastro Cafe

Latte from Geodang

Latte from Macehat

Latte from The Thirty Six
Coffee is grown in most parts of Indonesia and North Sumatra is one of the places. The presence of local coffee is definitely a hindrance to the growth of specialty coffee stores such as Pilastro and The Thirty Six. So while you’re there, go support these business, and enjoy some really good local single origins!
8. Nasi Ayam

Nasi Ayam from Nasi Ayam SP3 of Jalan Selat Panjang.

With the owners of Nasi Ayam SP3
Chicken Rice here in Medan is really different. Again, every stall has different side dishes. I like the one at Jalan Selat Panjang, Nasi Ayam SP3, their chicken rice comes with sides like braised egg, sambal shrimps, veg, etc. Owner couple are very nice people and you can literally order anything just sitting at their stall.
9. Big R Burger

The Big ‘R’ Burger

Big Roy eyeing on Big R Burger haha
Haha I placed this as a must eat because this burger is created in my name! Thick 200g beef patty with steak slices and beef bacon laid on top of it and topped it off with a runny sunny-side-up! Really yummy this one! Only at The Thirty Six!
10. Putu Bambu

Steamed bamboo kueh

Very yummy

Miss this!
This is something like our tutu kueh but it’s longish and steamed inside a bamboo, giving it a distinctive bamboo fragrance. You can get this everywhere.
11. Kweu Tiau

The Legend

GLORIOUS DUCKS EGGS!!!

Fry until the wok also got hole… imagine how many years is that gonna take?!?!!

Try making her smile, anyone can do that let me know and prove it with a selfie!

Tapao best cos the banana leaf gives off a different taste!

Damn I miss this so much! Using duck eggs!

Add your own pork lard at Kwetiau Ahong

Kwetiau Ahong
Kweu Tiau is actually Fried Kway Teow and they only have the light coloured portion which is very similar to Penang ones. I totally love the Fried Kway Teow here cos some of the Kway Teow like Kwetiau Ong’s is homemade! Best of all, they use duck eggs!!! Makes a lot of difference to the dish! Kwetiau Ong is definitely my favourite stall, which is a Golden Legendary stall since 1914… that’s 103 years of history!!! Close to this will prolly be Kwetiau Ahong’s.
12. Sate Padang

Legendary stall beside Bata.

Sate Padang from the Bata stall. The chicken one is definitely better cos mutton is tough

Had this at one of the markets… tough like mad

This one looks promising

Chicken sate is very nice and tender… Love how much fried shallots they used!

So good we ordered round 2! Burp!
Sate Padang is literally satay in SG. The satay here is not as tender as what we have back home but definitely flavourful. Sauce wise is a little more on the savoury side instead of the sweeter version in SG. This is a must have when you’re at any food street at night. You can order like 5 sticks if you’re alone.
13. Nasi Padang

Usually laid on the table like that and you only have to pay for what you eat… The rest of the dishes they will put back…

Love the fried chicken here!

How locals would eat, pack in a banana pack and then eat it after 5 mins. The fragrance of the leaf will surface.

Yummy!

Garuda’s Padang

Serdahana’s Padang
Nasi Padang is big business in Medan! So many places for good Nasi Padang and some big brands like Garuda is already in Singapore. The best thing about this Nasi Padang is that the variety is huge and they will place loads of dishes on the table. You’ll only be charged for what you eat, not what you’ve touched. So you can take the curry sauce but not eat the chicken…then they will put back the chicken to the main display pot. Hygiene is definitely questionable here… but no one seems to care. Love most of the outlets here, Muay orders are the beef rendang, ayam goreng and ayam pop.
14. He Ci

He Ci is the same as the Ngoh Hiang stalls in Singapore with the crispy prawn crackers and the floury prawn cakes. Except that the items offered differs from ours.

 

15. Tok Tok

Tok Tok stall

Pig’s blood… no more in SG

Intestines…. still got a little smell…
A very local dish of pig’s blood and intestines. Not everyone’s cup of tea and the taste is really acquired. Worth a try if you encounter this.
16. Popia

Atak Popia or rather more known as Popia Jose Rizal, opens only in the evening.

All handmade on the spot upon orders.

Steam or fried? I like the steam one better! So yummy!
In our context, it’s Popiah. I only know one place that has this and they sell by the thousands daily! Check out the stall at Jose Rizal and you can choose from the steam or deep fried ones. I definitely preferred the steamed ones! Not cheap at 7000 rupiah each but it has crab meat inside and extremely tasty!
17. Avocado Shake

Regular Avocado juice

Avocado juice with espresso shots at Macehat
Avocado is grown locally in Brastagi region and naturally drinks are made out of these. Avocado shake with chocolate sauce is truly yummy here and a must drink when in Indonesia. You may wanna check out the Avocado Juice with Espresso shots at Macehat. Their signature drink there.
18. Curry Chicken & Beef Bihun/Rice

The famous curry at Tabona

Curry Chicken… The gravy is very watery but never lacks of flavour.

Beef is damn yummy. Love the brisket parts

Bihun texture so different from ours in Singapore

Featured on a local magazine lately.

Boss and me
Rumah Makan Tabona. This is a household brand that has been selling this for decades. Love the curry chicken and beef to go with the beehoon. Very yummy! Some Medanese said do not leave Medan if you haven’t tried this! I must say it’s not bad, and their business is blardy good!
19. Chee Cheong Fun

This is how the chee cheong fun is laid out

Then chopped into pieces upon orders and drench with a little sauce and fried shallots.
This is one of my favourites. Simple, plain looking but damn yummy! The secret is in the sauce and all the fried onions on top. The best I’ve tried so far is from Jalan Selat Panjang from the big guy’s stall.

 

20. Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng Petai

See the fire they use… power!
There are many places for fried rice. I kinda like the Nasi Goreng Petai at 134A Jalan Singa. The fire is damn power, hence wok heat is amazingly good!
21. Goreng Pisang

Goreng Pisang with a whole lot of cheese and chocolate at Geodang

Pilastro’s version of Goreng Pisang
In most cafes, they usually have Goreng Pisang for sides that is drouse with loads of chocolate rice and cheese! Good to try but too much a little jelak!
22. Durian

The man, Ucok

Durian piled up here for selection
Yes, durians do grow in Medan. But the seeds are big and flesh not as much. But at the price of 35k and 50k rupiah, it’s ok to try the taste of it. Ucok durian is the biggest player in the durian market which operates 24/7! So if you’re craving for durians at 4am, you can get some by taking a Grab car there!
23. BPK

Babi Panggang Karo… If they BBQ the pork well, the meat will be tender. If not, good luck to your teeth.

Blood gravy to go with your rice
Babi Panggang Karo is a traditional Karo tribe cuisine of BBQ pork slices which is usually served with rice and a bowl of blood mixture spicy sauce thingy. At some places, the meat can get really tough… the better ones are in the mountains so branded doesn’t mean good.
24. Kueh Lapis/Ambon

With chocolate chips

Yummy plain ones
Home of Kueh Lapis and more likely the Kueh Ambon. Indonesians generally agree the Kueh Ambon in Medan is the best in the whole of Indonesia. But I kinda like the Kueh Lapis, very good souvenir gift to bring back for family and friends. There is a street full of kueh lapis, just go sample all of them and tell me which ones you like!
25. Teh Susu Telor

Da eggy teh tarik drink,… not bad but damn sweet

This street has loads of different styles of indomie goreng and the egg teh
This is a very local drink. Egg is added to the milk tea and seriously damn sweet. But the egg adds a nice fragrance to the drink. Dunno if there are any medical boost drinking this but it’s worth a try!
26. Snake Meat

Snake meat… Taste like chicken
Snake meat is available at food streets like Jalan Semarang. Fried in some rempah and seriously taste like chicken. Quite appetising!
27. Chao Lo

Spicy but acquired taste…
This is a typical before dinner snack in Medan which actually are snails cook in some spicy soup. Totally an acquired taste dish, not many people can take it.
28. Badak

Sarsi made in Medan. Medanese pride and joy. Has Sarsi taste definitely but with some herbal tones too. Not bad, interesting.
29. Es Campur

Literally like our ice kacang but the ice is a lot coarser and helluva lot more sweet! But they are super generous with the ingredients too!
30. Corn Rojak Keju

This is an interesting snack which I found at Brastagi market area. They slice the corn off the cob and then mix in butter, salt and pepper before topping with shredded cheese. Quite yummy actually.

Actually there are a lot more food to feature in Medan but this list is taking just too long. But I have included some of the pictures for you all to see below. Happy munching!

Nasi Tim… Basically steamed rice with the ingredients… like our Fan Choy or Lor Mai Kai. Available at Nasi Ayam SP3

Sio bak available at Jalan Semarang. Yummy!

A drink I swear by everywhere I go… plain ice tea no sugar and it’s cheap

I think these are called Apom…

Served with kaya-like gravy.

Simple stall like this is long queue every morning at the market

Yummy porridge with intestines

Market has interesting foods too!

Nasi Campur but the rice was a little cold.

A little like our sayur lodeh not bad.

Boat Noodle Express – Rivervale Drive, Singapore


I was told of this place by a friend who apparently visits this stall so frequently that she is part timing there now. To be honest, if she didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t have known such a hidden gem also. So I decided I should visit this place with a fellow foodie and you can find the pictures with comments below.

The stall is only about a month old, a invested interest of lady boss, Desiree Goh, who is 38 this year. She started this little stall for the basic fundamentals; Love for food and cooking. Sounds familiar ya? 😉

Stall front

Thai Milk Tea or Cha Yen $2.50.

Pork Special Noodle Soup $4.80 – Their signature. Pork broth very similar to the ones in Thailand except the salt level is not so high here. Well tuned for Singaporeans. Love the glass noodles!

Beef Tendon Noodle Soup $6.00 – I’m proud to say I was the first to try this and the beef was so tender!!! Broth is light and beefy. Yummy.

Thai Fish Cake $3.50 – Very yummy.
Desiree on the right and friend Amanda on the left. I look so huge beside them!

Rating: 4/5.
Taste: Pretty good.

Portion: Good size for an average sized adult.

Price: As stated.

Service: Self-service

Ambience: Warm. Aircon very weak over this part of the mall.

RTE: Yeah gonna bring mum!

Address: 118 Rivervale Drive K1-26/27 Rivervale Plaza

[FOOD TASTING] Samsara Gourmet – Novena, Singapore


I apologise for not writing much lately as I was pretty swarmed with work as I do not have any part-timers helping me since school reopened. At the same time, I was planning for my upcoming coffee pilgrimage and food trail in Medan and Sumatra. Updates will be more frequent on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/eatwithroy/) so if you guys like, can follow me there.

Recently I was invited for a hosted dinner at Samsara Gourmet, a hidden gem serving excellent authentic Canton cuisine at reasonable prices, with a head chef formerly from Tunglok Group. This humble 50-seater restaurant with a private room is owned by Ms Violet Lee, who was Miss Singapore in the 1980s, came back to Singapore after spending more than 2 decades in China building an empire.

After much checking out online, Samsara Gourmet is seriously out of the radar in the social media circle although fellow bloggers like Maureen (www.misstamchiak.com) and Derrick (www.sgfoodonfoot.com) have written on them some time ago. Location could be a factor and also lack of publicity, which is why I am writing this blog entry. The food here is so awesome that I really need to share it here.

Frontage. Simple reno.
Frontage. Simple reno.
Vegetarian Abalone Lou Hei. As mentioned in my instagram post, the veg are cut daily and really fresh and refreshing. An alternative to the regular sugar coated ones. The sauce is also made in house, a very nice rendition to the Lou Hei.
Vegetarian Abalone Lou Hei. As mentioned in my instagram post, the veg are cut daily and really fresh and refreshing. An alternative to the regular sugar coated ones. The sauce is also made in house, a very nice rendition to the Lou Hei.
Vegetarian Platter. The mock char siew in front  is really good, the middle mock goose with shrooms fillings is delicious and the top mock kidney is really crunchy and tasty. Great starter dish!
Vegetarian Platter. The mock char siew in front was really good, the middle mock goose with shrooms fillings was delicious and the top mock kidney was really crunchy and tasty. Great starter dish!
Fish Maw Soup. Served in individual bowls of $8 if I am not wrong. Full of ingredients, fish maw and chinese mushrooms sourced from HK and hand carried back.
Fish Maw Soup. Served in individual bowls of $8 if I am not wrong. Full of ingredients, fish maw and chinese mushrooms sourced from HK and hand carried back. I didn’t even put any vinegar and white pepper which I usually do.
Samsara Gui Fei Chicken. Meat is very tender and skin is so smooth, it was pretty hard to kiap with my chopsticks. A must-order!
Samsara Gui Fei Chicken. Meat was very tender and skin was so smooth, it was pretty hard to kiap with my chopsticks. A must-order!
Pumpkin Prawn Ball is also another winning dish. Love how the sweetness of the pumpkin covers the large de-shelled prawns. Lovely!
Pumpkin Prawn Ball is also another winning dish. Love how the sweetness of the pumpkin coated the large de-shelled prawns. Lovely!
Pork Knuckle Mee Sua was so good, I wish there were more. The mee sua is not clumpy and really delicious. Pork knuckle was really tender with the skin jellyfying in your mouth! Another must-order!
Pork Knuckle Mee Sua was so good, I wish there were more. The mee sua is not clumpy and really delicious. Pork knuckle was really tender with the skin jellyfying in your mouth! Another must-order!
Claypot Chicken Rice. Wow this really wraps up the night. Rice was cooked to al dente, chicken was boneless thigh meat and very tender. Chinese sausage (Wing Wah) and mushroom were hand carried back from Hong Kong. Missing this quite a bit!
Claypot Chicken Rice. Wow this really wraps up the night. Rice was cooked to al dente, chicken was boneless thigh meat and very tender. Chinese sausage (Wing Wah) and mushroom were hand carried back from Hong Kong. Missing this quite a bit!

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: Truly authentic Canton food. They can also cater for vegetarian options. Really good.

Portion: Good.

Service: Very attentive. I hope it’s not because the boss was there.

Ambience: Nice and pretty chill.

Price: Considering the quality, very reasonable. At least much better than my reunion dinner at another restaurant.

RTE: Definitely!

Location & Hours:

Add: 38 Irrawaddy Road, #01-05, Singapore 329563 (On the right side of the lobby of Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre @ Novena)
Tel: +65 67343138
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am – 9pm, Sat: 9am – 6pm, Closed on Sun & PH

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/cDvZw1JtNRS2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Samsara-Gourmet-1519293228391002/info?tab=overview

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*** CNY PROMOTION ***

Show this blogpost to enjoy a 30% discount off all a la carte dishes with min $50 spending for dinner only from 6-9pm. Valid till 29th Feb 2016!

瑞記手工包点 – Hougang, Singapore


I’m starting to write about hardworking hawkers with good food offerings around my neighbourhood. So those living around Hougang area, you’ll probably wanna bookmark these blog posts. 😝

This handmade pau shop does pretty delicate paus all handmade from scratch daily from 5am and they’ll sell till around 5pm. I can imagine the hardwork making these daily, well it’s something I may not be able to do for years and a job that requires helluva passion. Check out the pics below:

 

Stall frontage

 

My paus

 

Siew Mai

 

Big Pau fillings

 

Char Siew fillings

Rating: 4/5

Taste: Love it when they use pretty lean meat in the paus and taste was pretty good and juicy inside. Siew mai was good but they added carrots which I didn’t like. I’m ok with Chinese mushrooms but carrot makes it taste on the sweet side.

Portion: A little smaller than usual but fillings were good portioning.

Service: Pretty good, better than the kopi lady anytime!

Ambience: Coffee shop

Price: Cheaper than most places. Big Pau $1.30, Char Siew Pau $0.70, Siew Mai $0.50.
RTE: Yes

Location: 309 Hougang Avenue 5 Coffee shop.