Mr. Wee is back!
It’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
Tel: +65 6255 6396
Closeness ≠ Goodness
Where to go when you don’t have much time? Close! That’s right, and that’s exactly what friend’s and I thought yesterday and made our way to ‘Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar’ at Goldhill Plaza.
Not really feeling like anything else I ordered ‘The Pervert‘ from the ‘Burger Office’, pretty much their bacon cheese burger. I didn’t hold my hopes up too high as I had their burgers before and wasn’t too impressed. I asked for a spicy sauce when ordering but this request got lost somewhere in the process which wasn’t too bad as the standard bbq sauce is quite tasty and sweet. The toppings in general were okay, the veggies were fresh with a bite, the extra grilled onions were nicely soft and the bacon had a good salty taste but definitely could’ve been way crispier. The bun was soft and too sweet but the biggest letdown really was the beef patty. Even though much firmer than the last time, it actually was pretty lame, under seasoned and tasted like nothing much. The peppered fries were alright but nothing to rave about either.
It seemed to have become quite a popular place in the meantime but if I should come back here then only for the Thai stall which has some pretty tasty dishes to offer. Sorry ‘Burger Office’ just not my thing.
Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar (Burger Office)
1 Goldhill Plaza
Tel: +65 6352 7484
Home Cooked Italian Food in Novena
I very spontaneously met up with my friend yesterday in Novena for a quick dinner and since I had not been to ‘Da Luca’ across the road we agreed on going there.
I ordered a pasta dish that I had here before and which I haven’t seen anywhere else – ‘Stracci Con Brasato Di Coniglio E Olive Nere‘. The pasta was super flat and homemade stracci that even being extremely thin still was perfectly al dente and nicely glued together where there was no sauce. The stracci were sitting in a ragout-like gravy which had a light taste of long cooked tomatos, red wine, fresh herbs and the deliciousy braised rabbit meat. There was heaps of the meat on the plate and I wouldn’t have needed any teeth to eat it as it was so softly cooked that it easily fell apart in my mouth. Once in a while I did hit some chunky vegetables or find some hidden cheese under the pasta which added new layers of flavor and texture to this lovely dish.
I loved this home style cooked rabbit pasta, delicious and simple which fits greatly to the unpretentious and down to earth ambience of ‘Da Luca’ with it’s friendly staff and fast service. Grazie mille!
Da Luca Restaurant
1 Goldhill Plaza
Tel: +65 6258 4846
New Pizza Joint in Novena
A friend and I were in a hurry as we wanted to go watch a movie and therefore needed something quick and dirty for dinner. We decided to try out a recently opened pizza place at United Square in Novena, ‘Extra Virgin Pizza’ just next to the future location of ‘Wee Nam Kee’. The increasingly popular concept of restaurants making you place your order before sitting down is not really mine but since we needed to rush anyway I didn’t mind this once.
I usually try the ‘Margherita‘ when I first visit an Italian place as it gives you an opportunity to judge their skills with the most basic ingredients yet very difficult pizza but since I had to be quick on my feet I went with the ‘Prosciutto & Arugula‘. Literally five minutes later it was already sitting on my table; steaming hot. It was a quite night for them but I found this still pretty impressive.
On top of the speed I was also positively surprised with the taste.The parma ham was of good quality but did lack a bit of the the strong nutty flavor parma usually has. The arugula was mildly sharp and not too bitter and they didn’t go too strong on the parmesan cheese which nicely covered everything under a salty cheesy blanket. I ate the toppings off one piece to get an idea of what a ‘Margherita‘ would taste like and also that one was a winner. The sugo was fruity and close to sweet and actually tasted like real tomatos and the dough was thin, crispy charred and crunchy on the outside crust which was slightly to fat for me but nevertheless was seasoned well and tasted great.
I am happy to have another respectable pizza place close by as I can’t stand most of the deliveries here which overload their pizzas with meats and cheeses. If I would need to pick something negative about this place it would probably be the price as a 26 dollar pizza – even that not unusual for Singapore – simply is too expensive, especially for a ‘fast lane diner’.
Extra Virgin Pizza
101 Thomson Road
#01-14 United Square Shopping Mall
Tel: +65 6247 5757
Wanton Mee: Local Fastfood No.1!
I had a lot of things to do for my trip today so I needed a quick dinner fix urgently. I was running some errands over at United Square in Novena and on my way out I passed one of the ‘Pontian Wanton Noodles House’ branches. Traditionally I have these noodles late at night and quite frequently in their 24h branch at Cuppage Plaza but it seemed like a good choice and a break from all the burgers recently.
As I was in a hurry and did takeaway I only realized at home that it didn’t come with the usual ‘Dumpling Soup‘ and worse, I forgot to ask them to use the really spicy chili, my bad. A big plus tough was that my takout box was loaded with extra pickled chilis which I found brilliant as they gave the rest of the ingredients a nice sour and spicy sidekick. The char siew was lean and good but not to intensely sweet and bbq-y. The wantons weren’t too thrilling either but their crunchiness nicely added another layer of texture to the whole thing. I wished I wouldn’t have forgotten to ask for the extra hot chili sauce but it was still good and spicy enough to start up a light sweat and the one thing I liked the most was the hardness of the noodles, nice bite.
The ‘Wanton Mee‘ was nothing too exciting or deluxe but still filled me up just nice and with it’s unremarkable looks, diverse textures and flavors it left me more satisfied than most other fastfoods would have.
Pontian Wanton Noodles House 101 Thomson Road #B1-20 United Square Singapore 307591
Pho Bo…So So!
I went here together with a workmate in the evening as I had seen this place opening up recently and I hoped for a new place for good pho.
We started with the ‘Lemongrass Prawns‘ which tasted pretty alright. The batter was somehow different and crispy. I thought the lemongrass would be somehow incorporated into the actual prawns or crust but instead it came in form of a dipping salsa that was actually really tasty.
As main I went for the ‘Spicy Beef Pho‘ with Tenderloin. When I first sniffed on the broth I regretted that I went for the spicy one as it smelled as the chili would come from spicy prawn paste that I don’t really fancy that much. To my luck it turned out that the only thing prawnpasty must have been my nose as the soup didn’t taste like it at all. Unfortunately it didn’t really taste like anything. The broth was unspecial, not spicy and with only few herbs and greens in it and the beef was rather fatty too.
There may be some alternatives to be found on the menu but the pho won’t bring me back here anytime soon. The search continues.
Viet Cafe 10 Sinaran Drive #01-07 to 12 Square 2 Singapore 307506