Friday, November 21, 2014

Singapore 2014 - Zhen Zhen Porridge at Maxwell Food Centre

Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown is one of the most popular food courts in Singapore. The famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice is there - and there is always an impossibly long queue. Another famous stall is Zhen Zhen Porridge which I have not tried before until this recent trip. We went quite early - but there was already quite a long queue. It took around 30min to reach our turn. 

Can you see the huge pot where they cook the porridge ? It even had an industrial-grade motorized stirrer. 

Zhen Zhen specializes in fish and chicken porridge. We went the whole hog and ordered the Fish, Chicken and Century Egg porridge.The porridge here is "Teochew" style where you can still feel the grains of the rice - unlike the Cantonese version which is a lot more gooey. On the whole the texture is very nice - but was the taste worth the wait ? I would say no - it was quite mild in taste and just didn't have the flavour kick that I was expecting. 

They also serve "Teochew" style shashimi - slices of fresh fish served with a vegetable salad, light sesame dressing and lime juice. Again this lack any distinct flavour that make it stand out. A good - but not great dish.


Unlike Tian Tian which is the real deal when it comes to chicken rice - Zhen Zhen proved to be a bit of a disappointment as the porridge - though good - wasn't really great enough to warrant the long wait.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Singapore 2014 - Ann Siang Hill

Ang Siang Hill - just off the Chinatown main street of South Bridge Road - is one of the latest hot spots in Singapore. The Chinese name of the street - "Ann Siang" - literally translates as peace and quiet. In the old days it was probably an exclusive residential enclave for the rich and famous - peaceful and tranquil. If you visit during the day it is still a hidden sanctuary - but at night it totally transforms into a different beast.

There are so many pubs, restaurants and cafes here in a relatively small area - literally every available shop has been turned into an F&B outlet. And the range is also quite impressive - from wine bars to Pan-Asian restaurants, French bistros, Spanish tapas, Italian trattoria, etc. 

At night the quiet streets transform into an entirely different scene. I don't think I have seen so many people standing on the streets in other parts of the Island.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Singapore 2014 - Bread & Hearth Artisanal Bakery

While wondering around on Keong Saik Road, I came across this interesting-looking bakery called Bread & Hearth. It looked liked it just opened not too long ago. Once you go inside, the smell of freshly baked bread is intoxicating, and they do have lots of beautiful-looking bread - like those I thought you could only find in Europe. I was impressed and decided to stop there for a break.

Their breads look really great.

They do pastries too - but no cakes. 

Besides selling the bread for take-outs, they also operate as a cafe. I ordered a cappuccino and a salted caramel tart and it was good - though not great. Its a pity as I did not have room in the tummy to try the bread - but next trip !

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Singapore 2014 - Chinatown Food Street

The newly revamped Chinatown Food Street is now on Smith Street. To make things more pleasant for diners, the street is covered with a glass canopy and cooling system. I went there around 2.00 p.m. under the hot bright sun and it was still quite cool and pleasant.

The new Food Street was conceived by the Select Group who are also responsible for The Food Trail at The Singapore Flyer. They have brought together 24 hawkers and 6 kopitiam restaurants together under one roof after stringent taste tests. All the food on offer look very enticing, except some of the prices are a bit steep. SGD 1.70 for a BBQ chicken wing anyone ?

I finally settled on pork noodle soup. This was really good - the soup was really flavourful and you can see bits of the dried fish (dried flounder) that was used to make the broth. However the noodles are the factory-made variety and does not have much flavour. It is difficult to find handmade noodles in Singapore.

I also ordered the Or Chien (oyster omelette) from another famous stall. This was also a very good version made with fresh and plumb oysters, and the batter was very light and crispy.

The Chinatown Food Street is a great place to go if you want to taste a variety of Singapore hawker food in comfort. As all the stalls have been handpicked for their specialties, you should get a pretty good eating experience.