Penang Char Kway Teow – Bedok, Singapore


This is truly a hidden gem tucked in between so many stalls with so many pictures of food hanging all over the place. Was here for lunch after doctor’s for Diana and I noticed this old uncle do not have that many orders like the other stalls in this coffeeshop. I told Diana that I had a feeling that the food might be good. So I approached the stall.

Mr Leong, the old uncle who retired being a crane operator is 77 years old this year and have been operating this stall for over a year. This is a very scary sight because at this age, he should be happily retired and living his life. There could be a lot of factors to consider but I’m leaning towards happy and positive thoughts… maybe his passion for cooking supersedes everything. So ya, here he is answering my questions and the first thing I asked him was,”Uncle, if I had to eat one thing, what would you recommend. He pointed the Penang Char Kway Teow. I told him ok let’s do it. $3 one plate. Reviews below:

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Stall
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The aroma already passed my test!
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Soft and nice
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For $3 there’s a lot of ingredients
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Burp! #worldcleanplate
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Uncle Leong

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: No doubt about it, very close to authenticity. Not overly salty, flavour just right. Wok hei controlled well without the burnt taste. Even Diana said it was good!

Portion: Good size for $3!

Service: Self-service

Ambience: Coffeeshop

Price: $3.

RTE: Definitely! I got a feeling the Char Beehoon is also good!

Location: Block 418 Bedok North Avenue 2, Epic Haus Coffeeshop.

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Black And Red Flags


While I was walking along East Coast Park, I came across this drainage pipe leading out to the sea with 2 flags on it. First one is black, on the half way mark of the pipe while the other one is red, at the end of the pipe.

The black obviously is a warning of the danger up ahead while the red one, even more obviously, signifies danger, you better get the hell out of here!

Somehow it reminds of me of us… Our journey in life… The dangers we face. Black at the half way mark is applicable for peeps of my age, coming to a halfway mark (estimated) of our lifespan, the black flag is highlighting to us to reflect on the things we are doing, have done or haven’t do. Let me list down in point forms for easier digestion.

BLACK:

1. Health – Are we leading a healthy lifestyle that we are suppose to? Are we heading to some serious illnesses that we overlook due to our busy lifestyles? So should we be looking into it before it reaches Red? I have spent one and a half years dedicating to building BLACK&INK to make sure that it gets on its feet and to stabilise operations. During this time, I am feeling tired daily due to long hours and my legs are getting those black veins due to prolong standing. Naturally my health is not at its best now, but it’s definitely heading towards Red if I’m not doing anything about it. I lost 40kgs in China, I gain back 15kgs in Singapore. Seems like I need to be stationed out of Singapore soon. 😆 So do something about your health before it’s too late.

2. Job – Are we enjoying the work we are doing? Are we facing the infamous mid-life crisis which you wished you were doing something else? The BLACK flag reminded me of stuffs that I’ve always wanted to do in my life, from starting a café, to stationing overseas, managing companies of different industries, etc. So, what are your plans? 😉
3. Relationships – Have you found your life partner? If you have, when was the last time you said “I Love You” to him/her? When was the last time you reassured him/her? Such things are rather important to have a happy relationship. Kids will come naturally. If you haven’t found a life partner, take it naturally too. Do not rush into it. This partner’s gonna spend the rest of your life with you so you’ll have to make sure he/she is the one. How about your parents? The first teachers in our lives? They are reaching the Red Flag so have you spent more time with them? Have you thank them for all the things they have done for you? Do it before you regret. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Similarly to friends too. Have you thank them for being there for you whenever you’re down and out, or even when you’re happy? Sometimes we take for granted they are always there for you… Your partner, parents, close friends, etc.

RED:

This is when everything ends. End of life, end of misery, end of happiness. But love never ends. So before we even reach this Red Flag point, look into the things we haven’t done, the things that we wanna do and never had the courage or determination to start it. Do not leave this beautiful world with regrets.

Big Roy

[FOOD REVIEW] Rilek 1 Korner – Punggol Settlement, Singapore (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)


I’m typing this entirely on my mobile phone so please bear with me for my spelling mistakes… ;P

Rilek 1 Korner (R1K) which literally means Relax One Corner, is a catch phrase for our Malay friends which means chillin’ at one corner. Reason is at the corner, when you squat or hang around there while chillin’, chances are you won’t be in the way of anyone. Nevertheless, the boss of R1K, Zul, decided to use this name not for any puns but simply it’s easy to remember and most importantly, is what he and his partner wants to translate throughout the culture of this restaurant to be a casual chill out spot for people to enjoy their food.

I was contacted by Zul to go try his food after his revamp of kitchen, staffing as well as menu items . Prior to this, he admitted it wasn’t very organised due to the shortage of manpower. Well I can totally relate to his difficulties as hiring in F&B industry has never been easy, especially after the increasing restrictions to hire foreign talents. I went online to do a little research on R1K and the reviews were not very encouraging. Mostly complaining about the service and price, and some really got very personal. So I was there just last night with another fellow blogger, Rachelle (@hiamjio) who is known for her strict taste buds.

When arrived the location, the restaurant is already half packed and we were greeted by the friendly boss himself who then introduced us to his team and new manager. The food arranged for our tasting are typically their best sellers and check out the pics and comments below:

Facade:

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See the people filling up the place.

Cereal Prawns $20

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This cereal prawn dish is actually better than expected. In fact, it’s better than some of the tse char places I know. Reason is the cereal is not too sweet and packs a hidden punch of chilli padi within. The prawns are also very fresh and the sweetness from it is present.

Seabass Tiga Rasa $25

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This fish is so fresh and tasty, you can taste the sea water in it. The sweet and sour sauce, according to Rach, tasted like mummy’s cooking! It has the traditional tse char taste and very good for sweet and sour @#%€ which I can’t mention here lah. The fish I reckon was around 800g to 1kg and a very good dish for that price!

Seafood Platter For Two $18

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Seafood platter wasn’t complete for this period due to the lack of supplies for mussels which are flame grilled over with cheese and sambal inside. Nevertheless the calamari was crunchy outside and tender inside, prawn fritters nice and fresh while scallops were only so so. This dish was served with a very nice garlicky chilli sauce as well as their own version of BBQ sauce, which I thought could be a little tangier.

Seafood Hor Fun $7

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Seafood Hor Fun is one of their individual staple dishes which we thought we should try and Rach requested for that. The hor fun lacked a little wok hei and was a little bland. Feed backed to them already and they will make it happen thereafter for a more complete finish for their customers. But the seafood ingredients used were damn fresh.

Seafood Tom Yum $13

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Another extra order request to try this soup. Again ingredients used are very fresh, taste wise we cannot expect it to taste like a typical Thai tom yum. The soup is a little on the tomato base side but the flavours from the lemon grass and kaffir leaves were still apparent. It actually tasted quite good when it was cooled. 🙂

Lemongrass Ginger Mocktail $8

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This homemade drink is ordered by Rach and a little sweet according to her. Nevertheless this is one of their more popular refreshing mocktail.

Lychee Cucumber Tea $3
I ordered this fusion tea which is newly introduced and I must say it was very nice and refreshing! The lychee gave the tea a very nice body while the cucumber adds a nice smooth finish to it.

Outdoor Seating

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Coincidentally, it is Zul’s birthday today and there was a surprise cake planned by his wife for him. So we were fortunate to have celebrated with him on his hatch day! Happy birthday Zul!!!

Rating: 4.5/5.

Taste: No doubt R1K’s food is good. Menu is pretty good range and I heard there’ll be new dishes every quarter.

Portion: Average

Service: Very good. I observed that from an order is placed, the time taken for individual dishes was less than 10 mins and for mains, 10-20 mins. Everything is cooked on the spot.

Price: As listed above. Pretty reasonable for a SEA FRONT location!

RTE: Yeah definitely!

Location: 3 Punggol Point Road #02-02 Punggol Settlement, Singapore 828694. Tues to Sun 3pm to 11pm. Last order 10.30pm. Reservations: ‪8201 4212‬ (Call/Whatsapp/Text) Opens throughout CNY period! Accepts cash and NETS only.

Overall Review: The boss Zul is a passionate business owner who is operating on such a bigger scale with higher operations costs for his first time. I reckon it’s a little unfair to make sure quick judgements and slam those bad reviews online. You can tell from his passion with him being so hands-on in his biz and doing something about his flaws by revamping his operations and staffing issues. It is already tough to run a F&B business, it would be good that constructive criticisms are given there and then rather than hiding behind your computer/mobile devices giving destructive reviews. I reckon we should support local businesses as much as we can UNLESS they do not help themselves. Agree?

Tell you what guys, for the period of Feb till March 2015, show this blog entry of Rilek 1 Korner on your mobile devices to any staff, you’ll enjoy 10% off your bill! How’s that for a great start to a new Lunar New Year?

Peace out,
Big Roy