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Sawadee-khrup.

[1] Beef bowl with lean beef, meatball, veal tongue and liver.

[1] Beef bowl with lean beef, meatball, veal tongue and liver.

This week’s most anticipated event for me was the opening of Chada Thai’s new noodle shop at Rempartstraße. Even after a few years in Asia, I couldn’t really make out what Thai noodle soups would be like but yesterday was the day I should find out.

We were planning to go with a bigger group but one colleague and I were held up by a spontaneous hall meeting and so the two of us followed the rest with a few minutes delay. Arriving at the shop we spotted our group with no free seats anywhere close to them or anywhere period. No choice but parking our behinds on the comfy waiting benches and hope for some fast noodle slurpers.

chadathai_noodlesshop_bowls

Seafood and beef bowl.

Not long though and we were sitting at our table, ordering food and making ourselves familiar with the multitude of condiments on the table – chilli in vinegar, chilli flakes, sugar (??) and nuts.

My colleague ordered the seafood bowl, which was a heaty tom yam broth, filled with all sorts of water goodies like mussels, prawns, squid, salmon and fishballs. One to remember for my next visit but I just had to go for the beef bowl with all available add-ons, which meant that it was stacked generously with soft pieces of lean meat, veal liver and tongue as well as a bouncy meatball, whose texture took me back to those yong tau foo stalls in Singapore. My favourite meaty ingredient was the liver but the tongue definitely won the contest for most intriguing consistency and bite. The soup itself was tasty strong with hints of that sweet and sourness, typical for beef broth, and the noodles were just right. All in all a delicious bowl, that I’m happy to have so close by.

 

 

So the food was great, that I didn’t even mind the ten bucks I had to leave at the counter here, and I hope that Freiburg will appreciate having such an authentic (oh gosh, I hate using that word) shop around with the friendliest of people serving up some truly great stuff.

Get Your Grub On!

Chada Thai Nudelsuppe
Rempartstraße 5
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p:
http://www.chadathai.de/

 

Fish balls are still weird.

imageFriends came back to town for a visit after moving to the U.S. last year and to give them a proper welcome we all met at ‘San Laksa Steamboat’ down on Telok Blangah Road. I hadn’t been here before and therefore came with my old steamboat and laksa prejudices in tow.

As usual the order placing went a bit crazy and our table quickly filled up with heaps of little plates with some more and some less exciting dishes. Actually the whole thing was surprisingly delicious, the laksa broth gave it a kicker which was much more appealing then an ordinary and rather boring soup would have been and it wasn’t too heavy or creamy either and also hardly thickened up during the cooking and dipping. In terms of little dishes some of my favourites were the thin lean ‘Beef Striploin‘ (牛肉) slices, that were a big surprise and the ‘Beancurd Skin‘ (豆腐皮) which was perfectly soaking up that coconutty broth. I was also a big fan of all the greens and mushrooms we threw in and even the ‘Fish Balls‘ (鱼丸) weren’t totally horrible, the ‘Fuzhou Fish Balls‘ (福州鱼丸) in fact, the ones filled with pork mince, were actually quite tasty and nearly converted me tolerating them from now on. What honestly was super good though was the ‘Fried Fish Skin‘ which we must have re-ordered around three to four times cause everybody loved it and it disappeared as soon as the waiter let go of the plate. Crispy goodness.

San’s is a simple place in a pretty inconvenient location and with hardly any parking in front but if you want to get a nice twist on your usual steamboat experience you should make your way down here anyway. Enjoy.

San Katong Laksa 叻沙火锅海鲜馆
404 Telok Blangah Road
Singapore 098840
Tel: +65 6275 7069
http://www.sanlaksa.com.sg/

Best supporting act.

imageAfter my ‘Ramen Burger‘ and just four meters across the room I ordered my second course the ‘Dipping-style La Mien with Laksa Cream‘ or much shorter ‘Laksa Tsukemen’ from the other pop-up concept shop here, ‘Rakusabā’.

We were a bit back in line and particular attention was paid to the creation of each plate so we had to wait quite sometime until we finally got ours. For me the hold off wasn’t too bad as I had the burger just before but my friend nearly starved watching us eating as it was already quite late for lunch. When the time had come it all looked pretty neat and interesting and I shot my pictures as fast as I could to finally start eating. The noodles weren’t too special, no typical and slippery laksa bee hoon anyway and so that they wouldn’t stick together they were drizzled with some oil. Unfortunately they were still a little stuck so ended up just being oily sticky noodles. Dipping them into the thick concentrated laksa cream was quite funny and unfamiliar. Flavours as one remembers laksa, coconutty and spicy with an unusual viscous consistency. It was good we were so hungry though as every slurp was extremely filling, tasty and interesting definitely but just a tad too rich for my liking. What I enjoyed most about this dish were all the condiments on the plate. There was a stick of crispy oven roasted you tiao that was quite hard to bite, some wonderfully crunchy lotus roots, two decadent pieces of soft and juicy pork belly confit, not so soft soft egg with spicy shrimp sambal and my absolute favourite, the salmon otak otak gratin (fishcake) with it’s hint of spicyness, light taste and some crunchy pickled cucumbers on top. When finished with all, we received a top up of a shrimp and pork infused broth to water down the laksa cream for the last slurps. Not bad at all and how it’s properly done tsukemen-style, but I was just too full by then to completely empty my bowl.

I really kinda liked it because of it’s originality and the many very different things I got to try. Just the waiting time a couple of minutes shorter and the sauce a couple drops more watery would have made it even more enjoyable.

Rakusabā
The U Factory
Boiler Room, Blk 39
#01-10
Singapore

Stroll down Bak Kut Teh Lane.

imageI only had been to the shop on Balestier before but tonight looking for a quick meal I went to Rangoon Road for my pork rib dinner.

I was positively surprised to find my preferred leaner version of ribs on the menu which I knew from ‘Ng Ah Sio‘ but had never recognised at ‘Founder’s’ before, so this was what I was going to have. The meat was nice and tender with quite big chunks of pork that were easily nibbled off the bones. The soup was rich and had a good flavour, just wasn’t as peppery I would have wished for.

So this branch is actually quite nice place with some outdoor seating, a big menu of tasty dishes to chose from and is less crowded than their original shop. However I like my ‘Bak Kut Teh‘ as pepper loaded as possible so I might be walking a couple of houses down the road for my next round of pork tea.

Founder’s Bak Kut Teh Cafeteria 发起人肉骨茶餐馆
154 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218431
Tel: +84 6292 0938

Under the bridge.

imageFinally it was ‘Bak Kut Teh‘ night since I had heard so much about the fantastic K.L. herbal pork ribs that I always neglected to try because I was a very patriotic supporter of the peppery version that’s so popular in Singapore. Anywho, my old colleague friend, who lives down here now, picked me up and we took a little ride to ‘Ah Wang Bak Kut Teh’ in a picturesque location at a roadside, under a bridge. A bit f@#&ed up but in a “don’t judge the book by its’ cover” kind of way, still comfortable, not yet repellent.

That dish they served was brilliant, even that I could’ve lived without the thin layer of beancurd skin, the broth was amazing with a dense and strong herbal pork taste. The ribs were lean, soft and satisfyingly meaty and we also ordered some enoki mushrooms aside which made a fantastic add-on to the soup that I haven’t had before. I loved this stuff and all in all it was a lovely evening at a lovely dodgy place. Off to dessert.

image

Ah Wang Bak Kut Teh 亞旺肉骨茶
No. 32, Batu 4 1/2
Jalan Klang Lama
53320 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +60 13 2282 288

Double crabs per flavour is only half the fun.

imageMy lovely friend from Vietnam was paying her old home a visit and craved for some good old Singaporean seafood. As the usual choices were getting boring some of our friends suggested to go to ‘Master Crab’ down Ghim Moh Road. I came here before and remembered there was something I didn’t like about this place but couldn’t make out what it was.

We were quite a few people so we wanted to order four different crabs and we already had made our choice of flavours when the waitress reminded me what it was that I had forgotten, ‘Master Crab’ only allows you a minimum of two crabs per flavour. So instead of the four flavours we ended up with only two – ‘Black Pepper‘ and ‘Vermicelli Crab‘ – Boo! Besides that one pretty annoying detail there was not much bad to say about the food. The ‘Vermicelli Crab‘ maybe was neither too special nor very strong in it’s flavours but the ‘Pepper Crab‘ was simply outstanding. The gravy was extremely thick and stuck nicely to the crab which made it all pretty messy but finger licking good and the quality of the crabs was also top notch; packed with meat, fresh, sweet, amazing. They also know there veggies here as the ‘Sambal Kangkong‘ as well as the super long ‘Green Beans with Minced Pork‘ tasted great.

‘Master Crab’ sure is one of the good places for crab – well, at least for ‘Black Pepper‘ – but the impatient and mediocre service and especially the rule about the minimum crabs per flavour will probably make me opt for alternatives next time I want to go for crabs out of the usual.

Master Crab Seafood Restaurant 螃蟹师傅
#01-229
19 Ghim Moh Road
Singapore 270019 ‎
Tel: +65 6314 1868

A surprise stinger at night.

imageWow, this was a long day on the beach, in bars and clubs but eventually everybody got tired but as so often pretty hungry as well, so it was supper time. There were not too many options at this hour and since my friends from Hong Kong already had ‘Spice’ the night before and really wanted to eat ‘BBQ Stingray‘ we headed for up ‘Newton Circus’.

Arrived everybody swarmed out to collect their favorite dishes and what came back to our table was more like a Sout-East-Asian buffet rather than a little midnight snack. There was ‘Laksa‘, ‘Prata‘, ‘Murtabak‘, ‘Chicken Curry‘ and and and. It was all good and exactly what we needed but the ‘BBQ Stingray‘ from ‘The Ocean BBQ’ (stall 16) was something more memorable. I had many stingrays before but this one here was super moist and had an absolutely beautiful thick layer of sambal schmeared on top. It still had heat, the chilis and all but was extraordinarily fruity and nearly sweet which tasted like none of those I had tried before.

On top of that the uncle running the shop was a pretty nice fellar, the stinger was awesome and all that at 3 a.m. at night. Pretty good ending to an eventful day I say.

The Ocean BBQ 海洋海鲜
#01-16 Netwon Circus Food Centre
500 Clemenceau Avenue  North
Singapore 229495 ‎

My Fountain of Crab

imageOne of my good old Singapore friends had the extremely annoying idea to leave and move to Hong Kong so to give her a small send off, a group of friends including me took her out for some good old Singapore style seafood at her favorite place , the coffeeshop branch of ‘No Signboard Seafood’ in Geylang.

The main reason to come here of course were the crabs. The ‘Chili Crab‘ looked delicious and had a great punch of heat to it but as weird as it sounds was a bit too crabby on the gravy for me and I also wished for it to have been fruitier but then I am not the biggest fan of this version of crab anyway.

imageThis was the bugger I was waiting for, their ‘Black Pepper Crab‘ my favorite crustacean by a long shot. The gravy was thick and so loaded with crushed pepper that I claimed the major share for myself and simply started eating directly from the serving plate. The crab was sweet and fresh and easily peeled out the shell. Only problem was we only ordered one.

imageOne dish I usually get as well is the ‘Stir Fry Crocodile‘ that did get mixed ratings from my friends especially because if it’s texture some said was chewy. I disagreed as I found this to be just nice and firm with a tendency to slight bounciness. The meat itself had not a very particular taste of its own but together with the super thin fried ginger strips, the other spices and especially the chilis it became very fragrant and subliminal spicy. Something different than your standard seafood.

I always liked this place, it was where I had these famous Singaporean crabs for the first time five over years ago and I appreciate the much more relaxed atmosphere compared to the other way fancier locations within a vibrant bustling neighborhood.

No Signboard Seafood 無招牌海鮮
414 Geylang Road
Singapore 389392
Tel: +65 6842 3415
http://www.nosignboardseafood.com/

Mr. Wee is back!

imageIt’s been now a couple of weeks since my beloved ‘Wee Nam Kee’ has moved from the recently torn down Novena Ville down to United Square about a kilometer south. I had a good workout today and needed some proper protein and carbs to fill up so I headed into exact this direction.

Obviously I ordered their ‘Chicken Rice‘ from roasted chicken and simply replaced the oily yet delicious signature rice with the steamed version not to chuck all my morning efforts out the window. First up came their chicken soup which had a strong taste and was a great kick start that made me even hungrier. When the main arrived the meat was super tender and juicy and as so unusual for chicken breast actually tasted like chicken. Delicious. The kicker of this was the chopped coriander on top and the wonderful chicken stock underneath which was even richer in taste and had a light soy touch so that I munched up all the cucumber slices that soaked in it. For my rice I used a lot of their signature chili and grated ginger which made it all a flavor party and with every spoon I played around and changed the ratio of the ingredients.

I still love this place, familiar faces, great down to earth food and even that it lost a bit of it’s coffee shop charm, the longneck bottles of beer and the outdoor seating, it still managed to retain some of the old atmosphere and definitely it’s popularity. This is one of my favorites and not only because I can walk here. I have been here a million times before and there’s a high chance I’ll be back already next week.

Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant 威难记鸡饭
101 Thomson Road
#01-08 United Square
Singapore 307591
Tel: +65 6255 6396
http://www.wnk.com.sg/

Rangoon’s The Place For Pepper & Ribs!

imageAfter work today I felt a sudden crave for ‘Bak Kut Teh‘. It has been a while that I had it so I went to the best I remembered – ‘Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House’ – and invited a friend to join me since he is living just around the corner. This shop has been around for a while and every time I pass it, no matter the time, it’s always busy.

They have three different types of ‘Bak Kut Teh‘; I went for their ‘Signature Pork Ribs‘ and the other types are the longer ‘Spare Ribs‘ or  a mix of both. As sides we ordered ‘Braised Peanuts‘, ‘Fried You Tiao‘, ‘Blanched Lettuce‘ and the ‘Preserved Vegetables‘.

This is the peppery Teochew kind and the broth was very rich and thick and full of pork and obviously pepper flavour. Best was when the auntie brought the refill which was extremely hot and made it taste even better. As for the ribs I absolutely loved them. They had big chunks of lean meat on them that were easily nibbled off the bones. Since it was so lean the bigger bits tended to be a bit dry but I didn’t mind it with the soup. Of the sides I liked the ‘Blanched Lettuce‘ the best as it actually managed to surprise me. It still had its’ light green color and was lying in a delicious light soy infused sauce sprinkled with roasted garlic, simple but great. This shop also gave us freshly chopped red chilis with sweet dark sauce which fitted perfectly to the rice as hot and sweet punched each other in the face.

I was glad to have come back here and surely will next time do exactly the same all over again.

Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House 黄亚细肉骨茶
208 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218453
Tel: +65 6291 4537
http://www.ngahsiobkt.com/                                                                                                                    Singapore 218453

Bored of Chili Crab? Try The Bee Hoon!

imageThis popular coffeshop was introduced to me by some friends as until then my first stop for seafood had always been No Signboard Seafood in Geylang. Their main location is in Ang Mo Kio but we have always been going to Toa Payoh as it was a bit easier to reach.

I was really excited to come back here as the last time I had a proper crab feast was a few months ago and since we were a group of six we could order several different types of these delicious crustaceans.

We started off with some ‘Guiness Stout Ribs‘ that were sweet and sticky and so tender they fell off the bone. I remembered having them before but this time they really made an impression on me.

On came the main attractions. First their signature ‘Bee Hoon Crab‘ (pic) which comes in a claypot and seems like it is drowning in the thin buttery sauce infused by the taste of the crab and hiding springy bee hoon noodles under the surface. The crab we had was the meatiest I’ve ever had in my hands and even the legs were full of sweet soft delicious flesh. Second on stage was the ‘Chili Crab‘ which was sure tasty but a pinch to sweet for my taste. Nevertheless all buns were gone at the end of the meal dipped in chili gravy. The closer and my favorite of the night was their ‘Black Pepper Crab‘. It wasn’t love at first sight with crabs and me mainly because of the messy eating process but once I discovered my love for this Singaporean favorite I quickly made the pepper crab my first choice. And I must say this one must have been the gold medalist among all the ones I had before. The tick pepper gravy sticking to the crab was so intense in taste and so good that I ate it to the last bit together with rice and all the onions inside. Literally finger-licking-good!

I wasn’t disappointed before and haven’t been disappointed this time. What the shop lacks in atmosphere and location it sure makes up for in quality food and the friendliness of the staff who were always smiling and utmost polite. Recommended.

Mellben Seafood                                                                                                                                                   Blk 211 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh                                                                                                                           #01-11/15                                                                                                                                                 Singapore 310211