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.
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!
Ambience: Renovated coffee shop.
RTE: Yes I would return to eat!
Location: 309 Hougang Avenue 5 Goh Lim Hua Eating House
Sorry for not writing much lately cos most quick updates are done on my Instagram account @eatwithroy. You guys can follow me there too. Work has been tiring cos a lot of stuffs to do at the beginning and hope operations will smooth out soon.
Wanted a nice local brekkie yesterday and I thought I should visit a coffeeshop which I haven't visited for the longest time. The coffeeshop has renovated and there are many stalls there now with pretty impressive offerings. However, they have adopted the self-service mode and everyone has to queue to get their food. Gone are the days when you can order and find a seat. So it's quite tough for one person to find a seat during peak periods, hence have to share table. I waited for like 15 mins as there were some orders before me:
Taste: Got the old school taste and although it looks plain, it's very tasty! Love the suppleness of the noodles. Damn yums!
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!
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!
Ambience: Hawker centre.
Price: Starts from as low as $3.50 to $12.50.
Location: 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #02-25. Check out their website for opening hours.
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
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 is available at food streets like Jalan Semarang. Fried in some rempah and seriously taste like chicken. Quite appetising! 27. Chao Lo
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!
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.
Taste: Truly authentic Canton food. They can also cater for vegetarian options. Really 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.
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
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:
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
Currently transiting in Ho Chih Minh City’s airport so I’m taking the opportunity to write this before I’m back to hectic schedules.
Vietnamese coffees are still pretty much using robusta beans and roasted till very dark with margarine and sugar. Sounds familiar? Yeah a little like Singapore’s Kopitiam coffee but this is pure 100%. No adding of corn or any form of fillers. That’s why the taste is always super bold, coupled with a nice caramelized finish. Arabica coffees are rare as they are usually double the selling price but most of the time, the baristas fail in their extraction. Anyways, holidays are meant to chill, hence I was cool about it. 😉
Anyways, my Top 5 list is base on mainly coffee, ambience and service. May differ from yours so just use this as a guide. You can check out my videos uploaded on my Instagram (@eatwithroy or #roydanang) or FB page.
No. 5 – Gopatel Hotel Coffee House
Ambience: Yes, it’s the cafe at hotel that I was staying in. Yes they have buffet lunch, tea and buffet dinner too. So you can go try if around that area. Not much of ambience but they do have full window seats looking out. Free wifi but slow.
Service: Service is ok.
Coffee: Vietnamese coffee brewed in batch. Served daily at the buffet was just really rich with flavour, really nice even with fresh milk mixed into it.
Ambience: I was debating with the guys if they meant ‘refuel’ or ‘review’ when naming this place. Anyways Rafew is tucked away within the city, walking distance from Gopatel hotel. Very instagrammable ambience, there’s a second storey overlooking the backyard. When I was there, it was very nice and windy. Really chill. Free wifi.
Service: Service was absent after the first order. No one came back to check on us. We had to pay our bill downstairs.
Coffee: No espresso based drinks, no Viet drip coffees. Only those pre-maid and iced coffees. Tiramisu can skip.
Add: 58 Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Tel: +84 90 5773721
No. 3 – Coffee Namu Namu
Ambience: Love the interiors of this place, very modern, has 3 levels and obviously I climbed to the top level. At the rooftop, you can see the Dragon Bridge afar and also the Ferris wheel. Very chill especially when the weather is as chilly now. Free wifi.
Service: Very good and always smiling.
Coffee: Finally some espresso drinks but latte was a little on the weak side. Not cheap though as beans are said to be Italian. Banana bread could be more moist though.
Ambience: Cong has a very nice rustic olden Vietnamese revolution decor and the name says it all. I totally love this place especially level 2 where you can see the Han River. Staffs are all don with green tshirt uniforms which fits in the whole branding very well. Free wifi. But people smoke inside the enclosed area which is bad for non-smokers.
Service: Pretty attentive and prompt.
Coffee: No espresso based drinks. Coffees are good and very creative. Love their Coconut Coffee Smoothie and iced coffee with fresh milk. Can try the coconut glutinous rice with coffee also.