Category Archives: Geylang Area

Bak Kwa from Kim Hock Guan

Kim Hock Guan packaging Kim Hock Guan Bak Kwa from Kim Hock Guan
Kim Hock Guan
Main Branch:
#01-02 Fook Hai Building Tel: 6535 2536
Outlet 1:
455 Geylang Road Tel: 6743 4577
Outlet 2:
#01-25 The Bencoolen Tel: 6835 7118
Blk 3017 Bedok North Street 5 #04-03 Tel: 6243 9394

Last Chinese New year (2007), they had the longest queue that we’ve ever seen coz they were nominated the best bak kwa (barbequed dried pork) in Singapore in the “Bak Kwa Index” by The Straits Times.  Unfortunately, that was the only time we saw them having long queues coz they seemed to disappear after CNY.  This was at the main branch in Fook Hai Building.

Their bak kwa is a bit tougher than the ones from Lim Chee Guan or Bee Chun Hiang coz they used sliced pork instead of minced pork (they don’t have minced pork available).  A kg of this today costs S$45 (or S$27 for 600g – picture above shows 600g of bak kwa).  I’m not too sure if the price will increase closer to the CNY this year.

What I love about their packaging is that it comes in a resealable bag instead of the simply vacuumed ones (see picture above).  This means I can recycle the bag instead of disposing after I’ve opened up the package.  Must applaud this company for going green in this way.

The bak kwa can keep for 2 weeks in room temperature.  If you want to keep it longer, put it in the fridge and it’ll last 3 weeks.

I expect that the queue will start from next week onwards, so if you want to beat the queue, go today!  There’s literally 1 or 2 persons in front of me when I purchased it during lunch time today (17 Jan 2008).

This review can also be found on TheLocalKing.

Otah and Nasi Lemak from Lee Wee & Brothers

Squid Otah Assam Fish Ikan Bilis
Lee Wee & Brothers Foodstuff Pte Ltd
Outlet 1:
Basement 1 Tangs Plaza
Tel: 6235 9122
Outlet 2:
#B1-K16 Tampines Mall
Tel: 6789 9122
Outlet 3:
Blk 209 Hougang St 21 #01-02
Hougang St 21 Market and Food Centre
Tel: 6280 9122
Outlet 4:
Blk 51 Old Airport Road #01-79
Tel: 6348 9122
Outlet 5:
Blk 254 Jurong East St 24 #01-33
Tel: 6565 9122
Outlet 6:
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road #01-38
Tel: 6464 9122
Outlet 7:
Blk 90 Whampoa Drive #01-639
Tel: 6254 9122

I personally tried the otah from the stall’s outlet at Kovan FC (can’t remember the date).  What I loved about its otah is that if you ordered the prawns otah, you actually get a few small pieces of prawns; and if you ordered the squid otah, you actually get a few small slices of squid inside your otah.  You get the idea. 

And you would think like you have to pay more than S$1 to get a stick of otah like this.  Well, you can get it at S$0.60!!  Excellent value for money!

They also have nasi lemak, assam fish, ikan bilis, chilli sauce, etc. for sale at their stall. If you want, you can ask them to cater for you or even cater the food for your BBQ.  Check their website for pricing details and order form.

Toa Payoh Rojak

Toa Payoh Rojak
Toa Payoh Rojak
Blk 51 Old Airport Road #01-108
Old Airport Road Market & Hawker Centre
Opening Hours: Noon to 8pm, closed on Sundays

This is possibly the only stall in Singapore that has a queue number board, which makes you feel like you’re visiting the doctor. The elderly hawker, Cheng Kok San, takes his time to grill the tau kwa and dough fritters, resulting in the 30-minute wait but fabulously warm rojak. The tau kwa is amazingly soft and chewy. Thrown into the mix are lime skin shreds, raw mangoes and a delicious gravy. Expect to see the tables in front of this stall filled with customers waiting for their turn to place their order. We suggest that you order something else you can nibble on while you wait for your rojak to arrive. It will be a long wait.

Ayam Penyet @ Changi Village

Sri Bistari Nasi Ayam Penyet
Sri Bistari
Changi Village Famous Nasi Penyet
Blk 3 Changi Village Road #01-40
Tel: 96172446/96176360 (Mr Mohd Fadzil)
Opening Hours: 10am to 2am, daily

They have 4 other outlets, namely, Malay Village, Simei, Tampines and Beach Road.  Click their website to see the address and opening hours details.

“A new dish has over taken Nasi Lemak as the people’s favourite at Changi Village food centre. While there are at least five decent stalls still touting it, I counted at least six outlets now offering the latest craze there, Nasi Ayam Penyet.

It’s a traditional kampong staple from Indonesia and the last time I noticed, I suspect there are about 40 stalls all over our island selling this batter-less fried chicken on rice with a killer sambal and a pretty cherry tomato salad served on a traditional wooden platter.

Nasi Ayam Penyet means flat chicken rice. Mr Faisal Rashid set up the first specialist stall at Changi Village about two years ago after “ traveling through Jawa Timur in Indonesia and realized this dish could be a hit in Singapore.”

“The first thing my brother Fadzil and I did was to tweak the sambal. The Indonesian version has no sugar and we believe Singaporeans won’t like because of their familiarity with the sweeter nasi lemak sambal here.” So they added not one, but three types of sugars, “ Secret la, cannot tell you what sugars and how we use it but our spicy sambal has taste and fragrance of sweetness.” I pry for another secret, “ usually others don’t, but we pre-fry our belachan like the Nonyas, it gives better aroma”.

It’s strange, but their most important and secretive ingredient, which can make or break them, is doled out free, even when you ask for refills. But that’s the Singapore way, give them what they want, preferably free, and they’ll happily let you charge for what seems almost insignificant to them. It’s fair trade to them.

They believe that Nasi Ayam Penyat won’t be some fad as it has the same appeal Nasi Lemak has but is way healthier. Not a drop of coconut milk is involved and they use chicken flavoured, instead of plain rice.

And at $4.00 a portion which comes with a fried quartered chicken, done Indonesian style with spices and no batter, a plate of chicken flavoured rice, a fat dollop of sambal, chicken soup, a lettuce-cucumber and cherry tomato salad served on a thick wooden platter, it seems they are making an insignificant profit.

“My bother Fadzil don’t believe in charging a lot and don’t think people will pay more for it.”. Handling about two hundred fowls day at their Changi outlet is as much as the six staff and cooks can handle at the little outlet.

They actually have fourteen staff running this outlet on two shifts. Some of the bugbears of doing so is a high staff turnover and inconsistency in quality. So they hired a manager who does nothing but ensures all is smooth and recipes are adhered to but “ we don’t tell him the sambal recipe. We make it ourselves at night’, Faizal smiled, “also, we pay the staff 25% over market rate and it helps lower staff turnover.”

They are very successful, and as if to thank Providence for this blessing, they installed their parents as a middle-man chicken supplier, allowing them to pocket the takings. They even let customers refill their rice at no charge.

But what when the next round of bird flu fear comes a calling, “no problem” a prepared Faizal adds “ we also have the fried fish version, which now accounts for 25% of business. In fact, we will offer many types of fish, not just ikan kerapu, when chicken is not available.”

Note: The review was extracted from Makansutra.

Cendol Geylang Serai

Cendol Geylang Serai Cendol
Cendol Geylang Serai
#01-372 Geylang Serai Temporary Food Centre
Tel: 9485 5845 (Faizal)

Generally I do not like the cendol in Singapore because of the cendol itself.  Too green and you can’t really taste the cendol.  My fav is always the one in Penang which is really shioks (will try to get you the location someday).

Came across this recommendation for cendol on the web and from what I can see, they serve the genuine cendol.  A definitely must try for me.  I let the pics speak for themselves. 😀

Please note that not only is the cendol different from other stalls in Singapore, their Cendol dessert only comes with cendol, and no red beans, chin chow or agar agar in it.

Sha Tin Kitchen

Sha Tin Kitchen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Sha Tin Kitchen
8-10 Geylang Lorong 3
Tel: 6747 2483
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 11pm, daily

What’s highly recommended here is their “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” dish.  This dish is not actually named after Taiwanese director Lee Ang’s Oscar-winning movie.

That title is itself a Chinese idiom which refers to a hidden talent or power.  Here, it is a euphemism for the ingredients in the dish as well as the way it is presented.  The dish, which won chef-owner Tonny Chan an award in a cooking competition some years back, is egg white fried with scallops and lobster and served in a golden basket made from deep fried wonton skin.

The mastery of the dish lies in how the egg white is cooked laboriously over very low heat so that it gets wondrously smooth.  The pieces of seafood are sweet and blend well into the colour and texture of the egg.

The wonton-skin basket, holding the snowy-white mousse, adds a nice crunch for a different texture.  Sha Tin looks like a humble neighbourhood eatery but its version of this dish beats that of many upmarket restaurants.

Note: This review was extracted from The Sunday Times dated 14 Oct 2007.

The Beef House

The Beef House Beef Ball Noodles
The Beef House
217 Syed Alwi Road
Tel: 9821 5463
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm, closed on Fridays
97 Joo Chiat Road, closed on Mondays
218 Killiney Road, opens daily

What’s highly recommended here is their soon kueh (S$1 each) which is made the traditional way using mashed steamed yam and tapioca flour.  It is filled with a decent mix of mushrooms, black fungus, dried shrimp (hae bee), yellow tau kwa (beancurd) dices and minced meat.

You must also try the yam abacus seeds (suan pan zhi – S$2) which is basically small flattened yam balls.  It is not oily and have a springy texture that contrasts nicely with the crunchy black fungus strips, dried shrimp, minced meat and mushroom.

The other crowd-pullers are Hakka yong tau foo (S$3) and beef ball noodles (S$3).  Everything here is made from scratch by the owner including the bouncy beef balls, fishballs and fish meat for his yong tau foo.  He also makes the chilli sauce himself and takes pride in making stock with no MSG.

For example, the yong tau foo soup is made by brewing soya beans for several hours in the water that was used for soaking fishballs.  The tasty beef stock is also simmered for many hours using good quality meat and bones.

Note: This article was extracted from The Straits Times dated 23 Sep 2007.

Sin Huat Eating House

Crab Bee Hoon
Sin Huat Eating House
659/661 Geylang Road
Tel: 6744 9755 
Opening Hours: 6pm to Midnight

The die-die must try dish here would be their crab bee hoon.  This restaurant uses Sri Lankan crabs and fry it with the fat bee hoon (the ones you usually order for laksa).  But be forewarned, this dish can easily set you back S$72 for 4 persons and 6 steamed tiger prawns $42!

This place does not allow you to order your food from another stall.  The owner himself will refused to serve you any food.  And be prepared to wait for more than an hour for your food to be served to you. So go before you’re hungry.

No Signboard Seafood

Chilli Crabs
No Signboard Seafood
414 Geylang Road (off Lorong 24)
Tel: 6842 3415
Opening Hours: 3pm to 2am daily

Huge crabs arrive smothered by a volcano of orange-coloured gravy. Served with soft white bread, the gravy is spicy, eggy, garlicky and full of crab flavour. It’s unlikely that a drop of it will be left by the time you’re through. Two other pluses: There is valet parking, and the service is efficient and very friendly.

This family-run business started out as a humble hawker stall in Mattar Road close to 30 years ago. The founding hawker was so poor that he couldn’t afford a signboard, which explains the restaurant’s name.

Check their website for more outlets information.