November 30, 2019

3-star trip to Singapore: local food crawl

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While the main purpose of our trip was hitting the two 3-star restaurants, we also wanted some simple, local food to balance things out.  I could have taken The Dining Austrian to a few of my old favorites, but it's always more interesting for someone local to show you places you've never been to.  So I roped in Gastronaut to show us around.

Our first stop was Da Dong Prawn Noodles (大东虾面) in Joo Chiat.  I have been hearing about this place so I was glad this was on our itinerary.  But first, my friend brought us some otak otak...

Large prawn noodle (大虾面) - I had wanted to order the small bowl, but was advised against it.  Hard as it may be to believe, I am told that the broth is different between the large and small bowl.  This was very nice... plenty of flavors from the shells - which explains why the owners are stingy with it.  Nice bits of deep-fried lard, too.

Pork intestines soup (粉肠汤)

We weren't far from another places I've been meaning to hit, so I asked Gastronaut to put that on our itinerary.  Mr. and Mrs. Mohgan's Super Crispy Roti Prata has been getting a fair amount of attention in the last few years, partly thanks to Bibik Gourmand.  I wanted my roti prata fix, but I didn't wanna hit the boonies for those so-called "Singapore's best"... This should be good enough for me.  There was a long wait to get our order, but we had plenty of time.

Roti prata kosong - the plain version was certainly very crispy, as the name of the shop promises.

Plaster - ever since the last time I lived in Singapore during the last decade, I got addicted to this version of roti prata with an egg "plastered" in the middle.

These were accompanied by both a fish curry and a lamb curry.  Both were nice, but the lamb curry was really good.

After strolling around the neighborhood and passing IG Hoe Central the Peranakan houses on Koon Seng Road, we moved to Tiong Bahru for lunch at Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh (老字號中峇魯肉骨茶).

First, Gastronaut prepared the tea for serving.  After all, what is bak kut teh (肉骨茶) without the teh?

Of course, we must have the pork rib soup itself.  As with most Singaporean-style versions, this one was more peppery than herbal.  I was only too happy to soak some steamed white rice in the soup.

Tofu skin

Preserved leafy mustard

Braised pig trotters - yum!  How could I resist?

I was completely stuffed by now, and really grateful for Gastronaut's company.  I left my friends to pay an impromptu visit to Mr. and Mrs. Ho.  They were about to move out of their beautiful house, and I wanted to see it one last time.

It was now two hours before dinner, and I had one more stop to hit to get my fix.  I had missed out on checking out The Coconut Club when I was in town last year, but I had been thinking about their signature dessert for some time now.  It seemed like a no-brainer for me to have a taste before our long, drawn out fine dining meal.

Chendol with Hokkaido adzuki red bean - this was indeed very good, as Gastronaut had promised.  The coconut milk from Malaysia, made from the Malaysian West African varietal of coconuts, offered up nice flavors when paired with gula melaka.  The shaved ice was so fine that it soon melted.  I was satisfied.

And now it was time for dinner.

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