Dinner @ Kok Sen Restaurant

September 30, 2018 in Chinese

My girlfriends and I have been so busy that we celebrate one another’s birthday 2 months late. Our latest trend. Haha. So although my birthday was in August, we only managed to find time in September to celebrate. Keke. And because we were a big group of 7, I suggested heading to a zi char restaurant for us to order many dishes. Yeah!

It’s also the fact that we were dining as a big group that it was a must to make reservation at the popular and famous Kok Sen. However, it proved to be a real challenge to to even get through the line. Despite calling thrice, no one picked up my call. And since I was in the area for brunch, I popped by the restaurant and made reservation for dinner on Sunday.

On the day of our dinner, my girlfriends and I arrived at the restaurant at 6.30pm. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Sambal squid, $23 (medium) (above)

2) Prawn paste chicken, $26 (medium) (above) – With a whole chicken used, this was unexpectedly bad; Very dry. My girlfriends and I were shocked the dish was executed so poorly because prawn paste chicken is almost a ‘will order’ dish at zi char restaurants. So we honestly expected more, especially from Kok Sen since it’s even read from Michelin Singapore website that Kok Sen marinate the chopped chicken overnight in a secret prawn paste batter blended by the chef and freshly fried to order. We certainly tasted no prawn paste. My girlfriends and I joked that the main chefs must be busy with the signature dishes and left this dish to be cooked by the junior staff.

3) Claypot yong tau foo, $23 (medium) (above) – We ordered this as it’s strongly recommended by one of my girlfriends who dined at Kok Sen before. It’s also a signature dish of Kok Sen. And this was different from our usual yong tau foo. For the paste, Kok Sen used a mixture of squid, prawn and fish. And they are very generous with the paste stuffing, which was also what that introduced the firmness to the soggy vegetable pieces like eggplant. Do come early to try this dish as I read the dish (does) sell out before closing.

4) Black bean sauces fish head, $23 (medium) (above) – Stir-fried with bitter gourd, this was really good. I liked the sauce a lot.

5) Crispy noodle surface with shrimp omelette, $19 (medium) (above)


  

6) Big prawns hor fun, $36 (medium) – A must order since this was the other famous dish at Kok Sen besides the claypot yong tau foo. And this was seriously good. The sauce… Wow. My girlfriends and I concluded we could only satisfy our craving at Kok Sen should we crave for this rendition of hor fun. We haven’t tried something similar at anywhere else.

Our dining experience at Kok Sen Restaurant was superb. Highly recommended. We came for the food and it didn’t disappoint. My girlfriends and I were raving over every dish with the exception of the prawn paste chicken of course. Keke.

And in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much of the service especially after our bad experience with J.B. Ah Meng‘s staff. But the service at Kok Sen Restaurant surpassed my expectation; My girlfriends got me cake but at 8.30pm, cafes in the area were closed for us to proceed with ‘Part 2′ after our meal. Since it was 2 slices of cake (bought from Keong Saik Bakery before our dinner), we decided to have it at the restaurant. All while silently praying that we won’t get chased out. And because we required new set of utensils to share the cake among ourselves, we requested for extra forks. And that’s when the staff surprised us by passing us disposable plates and forks. Wow. That honestly touched us.

But one shouldn’t expect much of the ambience. There was no air-conditioning although we didn’t sweat much because of the fans.

KOK SEN RESTAURANT
30-32 Keong Saik Road, Singapore
6223 2005
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 5
Tues – Sun : 17:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Peng’s Restaurant & Catering

April 27, 2018 in Chinese

After our last enjoyable zi char session, my colleagues and I were off to another. This time, one of my colleagues recommended his favorite hunt; Peng’s Restaurant. A Teochew restaurant set in the neighbourhood of Hougang.

Making reservation for dinner on Wednesday meant we went straight from work. Reaching slightly after 8pm, we were able to find a parking lot easily. Though one should note the restaurant occupied a unit in the row of shophouses that’s nestled within a private housing estate. So yes, if one is taking the public transport, it would be a 15 minutes walk from Hougang MRT station.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7), my colleagues and I ordered:-


1) Peng’s cold dish $38 (small) (topmost) – Normally, I wouldn’t order the cold dish since it more of a wedding banquet dish to me. But the colleague who recommended Peng’s Restaurant strongly recommended this. And on the plate, we had jellyfish, baby octopus, prawn, ngo hiang and century egg. And I loved this dish for the ngo hiang!

2) Liver roll, $10 (small) (above) – My colleague again said this is a must order because it’s their signature, and so we did. Served together with the cold dish (item 1), I got to say this was impressive! I thought it was going to be just a (puny) roll of purely liver, but apparently it wasn’t.

3) Spinach (sauted), $15 (above)


4) Oyster omelette, $12 (small) (above) – Loved how fluffy the omelette was.

5) Chai-poh kway teow (pan fry), $15 (small) (above) – I would definitely recommend one to order this! My first in having this, and its texture is unlike any that I had before.

6) Teochew braised sliced duck, $12 (small) (above)


7) Traditional braised pork with steamed buns, $15 (small) (above)


8) Pomfret, season price (above) – And Teochews are famous for knowing their fishes, and of course for cooking them. So it be a crime if we didn’t order any fish dish. And for choice of cooking, we naturally went with steamed! So good.

9) Sweet yam with pumpkin & gingko nuts, $5 (single serving) (above)

Despite the restaurant’s (slight) inaccessibility (mainly cause they are located in Hougang and I don’t really venture into that area of Singapore. lol), I honestly enjoyed the dinner at Peng’s Restaurant. Actually I am sure my colleagues did too. So yes, I would definitely recommend Peng’s Restaurant! Great Teochew dishes at affordable prices. Would definitely head back (one day soon) to try the other dishes on their extensive menu.

PENG’S RESTAURANT & CATERING SERVICES
30 Lorong 1 Realty Park, Singapore
6289 6975, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun: 11:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun: 17:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Thur

Dinner @ Seng Kee Black Herbal Chicken Soup

October 30, 2017 in Chinese

One can say my colleagues and I are really into zi char. After trying Sembawang Traditional Claypot Rice, Long Ji and Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood Restaurant, we were off next to Seng Kee Black Herbal Chicken Soup which was surprisingly located near our office.

And because it’s so convenient to reach the restaurant due to its close proximity (to our office), my colleagues and I have gone at least twice since. Both as walk-ins. However, it’s parking that posed as the biggest challenge. If one is lucky, one would snag a lot just in front of the restaurant. Else, the restaurant recommends parking at the temple located across the street.

To dine at Seng Kee, we were required to place our order at the cashier before the staff brought us to our table in the non air-conditioned space. However, as we arrived at the restaurant after 9pm on both occasions, the dishes with their signature black herbal chicken were all sold out.

Instead, from the menu (pages 1, 2), my colleagues and I ordered:-

1) 银鱼苋菜, $11 (medium) (above)

2) 咸蛋鸡, $13 (small) (above)

3) 排骨王, $12 (small) (above) – Give this a miss.

4) 腐乳炸花肉, $12 (small) (above) – I was impressed with this. Pork was fried to perfection; Crisp on the outside and juicy within. A must try.

5) 豆汁拉拉, $13 (small) (above)

6) 咸鱼炒饭, $6 (above) – This wasn’t on the menu. But 1 of my colleagues must have his fried rice. Thus, this was ordered. And this didn’t disappoint.


7) 腰子面线 (猪肉, 猪肝, 腰子), $5 (above) – Besides being famous for their black herbal chicken, apparently Seng Kee is more famous for their mee sua. However, one really shouldn’t think about sharing the bowl as the mee sua was strictly one portion. One could easily finish the noodles with a few big slurps. And we really enjoyed the dish. Soup was very flavorful with noodles cooked just right. Not too hard nor too soggy. And it certainly warmed the soul as we ate on a rainy night. Keke.


8) Johor 烤焦米粉, $15 (medium) (above) – Available in 2 sizes ($10 and $15). Almost similar to J.B Ah Meng‘s san lao beehoon, but not quite. But I honestly felt Seng Kee’s was pretty good!

Seng Kee is definitely a zi char restaurant worth checking out. Maybe it’s also because my colleagues came at non-peak hours (after 9pm) that we didn’t have to wait to be seated. Which was great of course. Keke.

SENG KEE BLACK HERBAL CHICKEN SOUP
467/477 Changi Road, Singapore
6746 4089, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 11:00 – 04:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 6