We might be worried about the disappearance of certain hawker dishes like char kway teow or satay beehoon, but not zi char. Zi char is alive and well and it is easy to understand why. Whereas Singaporeans would complain about a plate of char kway teow which costs $6, no one blinks an eye at a plate of fried vegetables with oyster sauce that costs $8 at the zi char. Zi char is good business, which is why there are a lot of zi char out there. The real challenge with zi char operators is how to come up with a few signature dishes which will help them stand out from the crowd.
We have a group of makan kakis who meet every week to eat. Our goal, (which really is the goal of every foodie) is to find the next taste sensation, the next restaurant of resonance, the next mesmerising makan, to add to our resume of epic eats. This task is not as easy as it seems.
Ponggol Seafood was founded by Mr Ting Chong Teng in 1969. At the time, he was working as a foreman at a sauce factory and driving taxi part time. One day he drove all the way to Ponggol point and saw a place for rent and decided to go into the restaurant business. With the knowledge gleaned from his experience working at the sauce factory, he managed to come up with different sauce recipes for his seafood dishes. In the beginning, it was quite difficult and one by one, his partners all exited the business. But Mr Ting persevered and the rest, as they say, is history!
Crab at Bay only started operations a few months ago but seafood lovers are already discovering the Crab Bee Hoon whose flavour is reminiscent of the Ming Kee of old! It is no wonder since the chefs from Ming Kee are now over at Crab at Bay who is owned by one of the ex-partners of Ming Kee.
Today we explore the anatomy of the Giant Grouper and see how this gigantic fish is appreciated, part by part. The whole gastronomic philosophy about this fish is quite different from fish that you eat everyday. From the fins to the skin to the lips and the testicles, each part of the fish is appreciated for its different texture and flavour!
The Naked Finn: Hot, Seductive, Addictive Lobster Roll
There are few things as sexy and seductive in the culinary world as a bright red lobster. But like a lot of politicians, they tend to over-promise and under-deliver. How many times have you eaten lobster and gone away thinking that you paid a lot of money just to look at a beautiful shell while […]
The Famous Kitchen: Unique Teochew/Cantonese Fusion Seafood!
Famous Kitchen is run by a brother and sister team. Jeffrey had spent a number of years and China and tries to infuse his dishes with tastes that he has picked up in his travels across China. One of the dishes that he had come up with is the salted vegetable fish which is based on the Sze Chuan steamed chilli fish but with the chillies taken out to make it more palatable for the local palate. This dish would go very well with a nice big bowl of plain Teochew porridge!
Hui Wei Chinese-Thai Cuisine: On the Cze Char Trail
Unlike some of our other hawker dishes, Cze Char is thriving in Singapore. The reason is simple. Whereas you pay only $3 for a plate of Char Kway Teow, you can end up paying $10-$15 eating at the Cze Char, making it economically attractive. In addition, a lot of families don’t cook at home nowadays. […]
Yi Jia South Village Seafood Restaurant: I wanna get Mussels!
So when is a Cze Char a Cze Char and when does it become a restaurant? With the increasing number of Cze Char places becoming air-conditioned, the line between Cze Char and restaurant nowadays is not as distinct as before. In the past, the Cze Char has always been that corner of the coffeeshop where […]
I have always been passionate about passionate people. Passion people propel products to the pinnacle of perfection. BUT, there is one quality that surpasses even passion! Obsession. Whereas passion people sit comfortably in the couch of the credulous, obsession drives people into the realm of eccentricity, just shy of contributing to a psychiatrist’s children education […]
Teow Chew Meng: Malaysian Mee Sua Tow hits Singapore!
This Place is Closed! There has been a steady influx of Malaysian eateries in recent years. Some, like Overseas restaurant, did not last too long whiles others have had more luck. Actually when you think about it, most of our Cze Char stalls are run by Malaysian Cze Char chefs and we are actually eating […]
Majestic Bay Seafood: Will there be Kopi Crab Copy Cats soon?
Will Kopi Crab be the next big thing in the Singapore seafood scene? Every now and then, a chef from somewhere will come up with a new crab dish which takes Singapore by storm. In the fifties, it was Mdm Cher with her Chilli Crabs, in the sixties, Long Beach with Black Pepper Crabs, and […]