It’s been a few years since I last wrote about Ah Liang and his then newly opened Chao Shan cuisine restaurant. Since then he has relocated to a bigger and brighter restaurant at Philip St, so we felt it was time to visit our Teochew Ah Hia again.
Joël Robuchon: Three Michelin Star Dining Experience
How does one write about a Three Michelin Star restaurant whose Chef has been given the title “Chef of the Century” and who currently has a total of twenty eight Michelin Stars? If I criticised it, I would surely sound patronising. If I said the experience is “phenomenal”, I might be misconstrued as being shallow.
Ye Shang Hai Teochew Porridge: Taxi Driver’s Haunt
This Teochew Ah Hia is your typical “hao lian bah“. The saying goes that Teochews are “hao lian” (like to brag), Hokkiens are “dua bian” (big cons). If you don’t believe it, just pop by Ye Shang Hai and talk to the boss! But the good thing about being “hao lian” is that they make extra effort to make the food good so that they have something to be “hao lian” about.
After the meepok is tossed in the sauce, it is topped with a generous amount of sliced pork, pork balls and minced pork. Then tender sliced Japanese style charshu which has been slow cooked for 5 hours is draped over the noodles and finally, in case you still haven't satisfied your need for pig, a generous amount of crispy pork lard is laid on top of the mountain of pork.
It is good to see our two young hawkerpreneurs, Kai and Randall doing so well at Roast Paradise one year on. When I initially posted their story on Facebook in Oct last year, they had just opened their stall and though the char siew was promising, I felt that it needed more fine tuning before I would recommend it on the blog.
This is one of the few stalls I know who still insists on using pork lard to fry the oyster omelette. Their typical plate of oyster omelette is 70% crispy and 30% gooey which is a very nice combination of textures. For those who have dentures, you can also request for them not to fry it too crispy, so that you can still gum the the gooey bits.
There are some things in life that are so simple and yet so good. Things like ban jian kueh (慢煎粿 – lit slow fried cake) for example. Mix flour, eggs and milk into a batter, slowly pan fry it till it turns golden brown and serve it with crushed peanuts and sugar. Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, the combination of the warm chewy carbs with the savoury sweet ground peanuts is a good as it gets!
Dashi Master Marusaya is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Singapore. It’s one of the few places I know which uses only natural ingredients to cook their food. So their dashi doesn’t just come out of a pack. It is made the traditional way using Rishiri kombu (regarded as the best in Japan) and aged katsuobushi (of which they are the distributor) which they shave at their premises. That is why they dare to call themselves “Dashi Master”!
KEK Zi Char Burgers: Introducing the Sotong BLurger!
Behold the "Sotong BLurger! -- Eat oredi sure blur like sotong!"
The Sotong BLurger is basically deep fried calamari rings bathed in a creamy salted egg sauce between two toasted buns!
But wait, I hear you say, sotong in a burger?! You siao (crazy) or what?
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbeque: Classic Hainanese Western Food!
You can find all sorts of authentic Italian, French and American cuisine in Singapore nowadays but back in the 70's when I was growing up, western food meant Hainanese chicken and pork chop and steaks served on sizzling hot plates.
Teochew Meat Puffs: Fuchow Oyster Cakes Made by a Teochew
I am a big fan of Fuzhou Oyster Cakes. I think they are the most delicious snack ever invented and the perfect type of dish for pasar malams (night market), fairs and the like. It really is too bad that it is a fast disappearing dish. I only know of four places selling this in Singapore. They are Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake, Fu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster Cake, Bugis Street and this Teochew meat puffs which is always on the move with the Pasar Malam.
Classic Singaporean style Teochew food! One taste and you know you are onto some really good stuff. This kind of Singaporean heartland restaurants are a real gem and are, in my opinion, the type of restaurants that should really be included in the Michelin Guide so that tourists can have a taste of solid Singaporean cuisine.