Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Buffet at STREET 50 at Bay Hotel

I have featured STREET50, a restaurant tucked in a boutique hotel just off the bridge from Sentosa. The food is rather interesting, and they make seasonal changes to the menu for National Day, Christmas, etc. Today, I managed to preview the Christmas menu which I find rather interesting. Thanks to Wendy and Xiowei of Pink Publicists for inviting and hosting.

The Christmas menu features a huge selection of delicacies, amongst which I highlight some in this post.

I start with the featured drink...the Glitter Jubilee...rather refreshing concoction with rum, and flakes of gold.

But on to some of the dishes...I found the Honey Baked Chicken Ham to be quite good.

A Street 50 Signature complete with Cranberry Chutney, Peach Compote, Mint Raita & Chestnut Sauce, the ham was nicely seasoned, and very tender and moist on the palate. This is available for take away as well.

A Tender Duckling Breast with Cranberry & Calvados was next. 

Succulent duckling breast accompanied with fresh cranberry sauce and apple brandy. I found the duck a bit on the gamey side. I am not particularly thrilled with the gamey flavour of duck, but I know some of you are rather fond of this. Apart from that, the duck was perfectly roasted, the meat slightly pink on the inside, and nice and honey brown on the skin. The duck was very tender, with a sliver of fat under the skin. 

I loved this dish, on the regular menu, but also available for their Christmas buffets

Called Tom Yum Flair, it has a strong lemongrass flavour which is very tom yum, yet served with spaghetti and seafood, featuring fresh mussels and half a rock lobster. I found this to be very good, if a bit spicy. I had mixed feelings about this dish when I first tried it a couple of years ago, also here in STREET50, but this time, I found it very satisfying. Definitely a thumbs up for me.

We ended with a sweet note of their version of a Christmas Trifle with cranberry. 

Suberb. Rich but not coy. Sweet but not overly so. Beautifully balanced with the tart and sour accents offered by the fruits. Very nice. 

Interesting menu offering...quite complicated, with many options on pricing for lunch, dinner and on the actual holiday dates and eves. Prices range from S$38 for lunch, S$48 for dinner and $88 for the holiday dates, with specials for senior citizens and kids (who eat for free with each paying adult). Conditions apply.

STREET 50 Restaurant and Bar
Bay Hotel, 50 Telok Blangah Road
6818 6681

Monday, November 3, 2014

Eating in Germany: El Rodizio, Dresden

Often the best things in life are the simple kind. A beer. A steak, done perfectly. Simple, satisfying.

After almost a week of feasting, on schewinhaxe, sausages, and Michelin starred French cuisine in Dresden, I went to a nearby steakhouse to the hotel I was staying (Kempinski Taschenbergpalais), and had a great steak meal.

The place was rather packed on a Saturday evening, at 8pm. I was told, I could only get a seat if I left at 10:15. No problem, I told the waiter...who spoke perfect English.

Ordered my usual Chicago medium...charred on the outside and medium on the inside, and a glass of house unfiltered brew which was rather delicious.

And voila, the steak arrived in short order...

Looks great, and the aroma of the steak was wonderful. 200g of Black Angus ribeye, grilled perfectly. With a side of vegetables came up to a rather inexpensive 17.60, a bit more than S$28. 

The steak was excellent. Tender, beefy flavour, and done perfect...the meat was indeed medium almost all through the steak, with only a very small sliver, right at the edge, greyed out due to my request for charring on the outside.

Excellent steak and great meal. Highly recommended if you are in Dresden. The location is great, right by Aldstadt, around the corner from the historic city center - by the Frauenkirche, Zwinger.

Mexikanisches Steakhouse El Rodizio‎
Wilsdruffer Straße 22
01067 Dresden
Tel.: 0351 / 49 76 884
Fax: 0351 / 49 77 231

Monday, October 13, 2014

Yat Lok Roast Meats in Central, Hong Kong

One of the best things to eat when in Hong Kong is roast goose...and none better than Yat Lok.

Indeed...roast meats. Wonderfully prepared, and roasted to perfection. Nowhere in Singapore can we even begin to approach this level of finese in roasting. First, the availability of fresh ingredients like the pork and goose is impossible in Singapore, whereas abundant in Hong Kong. And the traditional recipes and knowhow, handed down generations is also well developed there.

I have eaten at Yung Kee, the famous Michelin Starred roast restaurant in Hong Kong. But since then, I think success has perhaps gone to their heads, and the standards has gone downhill since the Michelin award. Today it is mostly a tourist location, and indeed has a great ambience for visitors and for taking out clients. 

In contrast, Yat Lok is a typicaly Hong Kong restaurant, with the roasts hanging in the window, the cook preparing the dishes visible from the street. Inside, it is cramped, not particularly clean and frequently one is expected to share tables. Lingering over a meal is certainly not encouraged. Service is swift, but not particularly polite, and the waiters expect you to know what you want, and are not in a mood to explain what each dish is about.

Having said that, I let the cat out of the bag by saying this is the best roast goose restaurant I have ever eaten. Bar none.

We started with a platter of roast pork and char siew.

Meats in Hong Kong are usually rather fat...but fat equals flavour, so I guess taste is of utmost importance. Indeed, the flavour is very good. The roast pork is full flavoured, the rind crispy. The char siew very tender and very flavourful too. But this is not what Yat Lok is famous for. The level it is achieved, though very good, is not the best one can find in Hong Kong. 

But the roast goose is another story,

My lunch mate had the roast goose leg in noodle soup. It looked marvellous, but I had tried this once before, and though very nice, the soup softens the crisp skin of the goose, and for me, it kind of loses its main attraction.

For me the right way to serve roast goose is with rice

The skin is superbly crisp, under that a very thin layer of super flavourful fat, and under that the tender, delicious meat. The roast goes superbly, no its heavenly, with the lightly soy sauced rice. Marvellous. Out of this world. Definitely the best roast goose I have ever eaten.

Very highly recommended, and a must eat every time in Hong Kong.

Yat Lok Restaurant
G/F, 34-38 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong

Monday, October 6, 2014

Australia Dairy Company: Jordan, Hong Kong

One of the most famous and interesting cha chaan teng in Hong Kong, regardless of the name, has nothing to do with Australia and totally and absolutely Chinese...they don't even have an English menu.

The queue at about 9:30am on a Friday morning. The queue snakes all the way round the block. But clearing about 50 pax in front of me in the queue took all of 15minutes.

The interest in this cha chaan teng springs not only from the simple but exquisite cuisine served within, but also in the ruthless efficiency in which the crowd and queues (and boy what a long queue) are managed, how the food delivery is managed and how the high quality is maintained throughout. The restaurant is a study of efficiency on how to feed thousands in as short a time as possible, without compromising quality. Amazing.

As one enters, the waiter "orders" one to sit where he directs...he did not seem to leave an option...and I guess everybody obeys. Sharing of tables is not a courtesy, but mandatory. Nobody asks you if you mind sharing, the waiter directs you to share, you just sit. He is back to take your order in all of 15 seconds. Most guide books/blogs recommend ordering the sets. Most of these guides also say that the waiters do not speak English...I had an English speaking waiter...though I had practiced the art of just pointing to the third item on the set menu...he understood me, and repeated Scrambled Eggs. It is important to get that right, because the eggs can also be served sunny side up, but scrambled was what they are famous for.

If you had ordered Set 1: the macaroni and ham in a soup would be unceremoniously plonked on your table within 20 seconds from ordering. But I ordered Set 3, which was eggs with toast, tea. I also added a dessert - their famous steamed milk custard.

The iced milk tea was unexeptional. Though fresh milk was used instead of condensed milk, it was unremarkable. There are many better milk teas in Hong Kong. But having said that, it is rather better than almost all we get here in Singapore. So be thankful.

Almost immediately, the scrambled eggs and the buttered toast was served

Some claim this is the best scrambled eggs on the planet. I am not so sure, but it was rather impressive. The eggs were just a tad from being runny, and yet a tad from being solid. The texture was smooth, creamy as it caresses the mouth and tongue. The unique texture and taste is attributed by some to the use of fresh Hokkaido milk and yet others to canned soup. Indeed as one gaze into the kitchen, which is open by the way, one can see cans of Campbell soup tucked on a shelf behind the cooks. 

The buttered toast was also just right. Crisp outside, still moist within, and the butter melted just so, lingering on the inside. 

While I find the taste to be excellent, even more intriguing was their ability to delivery this level consistency. This is almost an art form. Nay, the entire restaurant is like an organism. Efficient, consistent, high quality. 

I come to the steamed milk custard...this was unlike any I have eaten anywhere else

The custard was superbly smooth, and the more than tinge of taste and wonderful aroma of fresh milk was apparent. Sweetened, this is served as a dessert. The taste is rather mild...subtle, perhaps sublime. The smoothness was superb. Our tau huey (soy bean custard) is no where in the same universe in terms of smoothness and texture. 

Highly recommended, not only for the superb food, but also as an observation of the efficiency of a top end cha chaan teng in Hong Kong. 

Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司 (Hongkong)
47-49 Parkes Street Jordan (near Jordan MTR)
Tel: (852) 2730 1356
Opening Hours: Daily 730am to 11pm'
Facebook (not official fb)
How to get there: Exit C2 Jordon's MTR Station and walk towards Parkes Street

Monday, September 22, 2014

Paul's new Executive Set Dinner menu at Tanglin Mall and Westgate

Paul's is an bakery from Paris with a long and interesting history from 1889 in France. They opened their first outlet in Singapore in 2012 in Ngee Ann City.

They introduced an interesting menu of affordable meals in their  outlets in Tanglin Mall and Westgate...both an Executive Set Lunch for S$13.90 and their Executive Set Dinner for S$18.90 from now till October 31.

I went for a tasting at the Tanglin Mall outlet, a quaint restaurant, reminiscent of a boulangerie in France, with a large bread counter at the entrance, and a nice beautifully decorated dining area.

I tried the Set Dinner...first up the soup of the day, which was Cream of Brocolli

Made with ground brocolli, it was rather pleasing, but not spectacular by any stretch of imagination. I rather enjoyed it, as it was hearty and wholesome. The cream was light, and the bits of ground brocolli provided the namesake and the taste.

I also had the traditional beef stew. 

This was a hearty dish. Chunks of beef, nicely stewed till tender, with lots of vegetables, potatos, carrots, leaks and a thick, delicious brown sauce. Served with a green salad on the side and house bread, baked fresh. Loved this dish. Very traditional, very countryside. 

Kin had the chicken in cream sauce

Called Saute de Poulet aux Champignons or roasted chicken with mushrooms in a cream sauce. Rather delectable too. The chicken was nicely roasted, and very tender. The mushrooms were fresh ones, and very flavourful, and went very well with the cream sauce.

The set dinner came with either ice lemon tea or ice mint tea...rather refreshing.

Nice dinner sets, and very affordable and good value. 

#01-16/17 Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247933
Tel: +65 6736-3257

#01-05 Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
Singapore 065832
Tel: +65 6369-9080

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stirling at Bukit Timah Village

Great steaks and grills are a passion of mine. And I am always on the lookout for reasonably priced steaks which are grilled correctly.

When the owner Elwyn called to invite me for a tasting, I looked at the menu, and thought very interesting. Most interesting was the CV of the chef, who was trained as a grill master. Interest piqued, I went.

The decor was rather homely...a large long bar on one side, and tables for twos and fours on the other. Outdoors, but under cover of a roof, was more seating. The place boasted a nice selection of craft beers and divers alcohol. 

But we were there for the food...and we started with the grilled appetizers:

Halloumi cheese, pan seared, and served with a salsa like salad with baby spinach, tomatos and capsicum. I found this to be quite superb. The texture of the halloumi cheese, a speciality of the Greeks/Turks was superb. The salsa was just nicely so, and went well with the spinach. Though, I might have longed for some rockets within the greens.

A twist on the traditional Italian parma ham with melons is the chef's interpretation of parma ham with grilled watermelon.

The grilled watermelon was lightly grilled over charcoal, and rested on a bed of rockets and olive slices, and topped with parma ham. I thought this was somewhat less successful than the traditional pairing with raw melons. But the dish still works, and was rather pleasant.

Then came the char grilled steaks

As usual, I ordered the Chicago Medium Rare...medium rare on the inside, but charred on the outside. The 300g cut of ribeye was rather substantial, and served with a sauce and a knob of herb butter. For the sides, I had the grilled vegetables (excellent!) and french fries with truffle sauce, which was also excellent.

I think the chef showed his expertise in the steak. Grilling was perfectly done. Deep within, a touch medium rare, working beautifully to medium just under the wonderfully smokey exterior which was lightly charred. Very good. One of the better steaks I have had in a while. And almost on par with Ruth's Chris and Cut...but at a fraction of the price. This 300g cut of prime Australian beef...grass fed, and corn fed for the final 120 days, is luscious, nicely marbled. 

We also tried the crispy Atlantic King Salmon

This was also superb. The leek dill sauce was perfect foil for the slightly lumpy mash potato, and the piece de resistance is the perfectly grilled, and fried salmon. The skin was very crispy, but the insides still rather moist, and flavourful. Very good fish, and very highly recommended, especially for those who do not eat beef. 

For desserts, we tried the tiramisu

Not quite as special as the mains. For me, the tiramisu lacks the alcohol punch, and a bit pedestrian...though I suspect that remark is a bit overstates the is certainly edible and tastes good, but not great by any stretch of imagination.

The crepes were rather more successful

I rather enjoyed it. The crepes themselves could have been left on the pan a bit longer to develop a light crisp on the outside, but it was cooked well, and with nutella within was nice. Chocolate flakes and berries with vanilla ice cream adorns. 

For me, the standout dishes in this restaurant were the mains. The steaks were truly great, lacking only the slightest to the magnificent steaks at Cut and in the US, because they do not use dry aged beef....hence lacking in the foie gras like flavour imparted by dry aging. I will certainly crave for more steaks here. And the Crispy Atlantic King Salmon is another great dish to saveur.

The chef is a rather youthful looking fellow, having learnt his craft in The Steakhouse at Clarke Quay, and the restaurant is also co-helmed by another chef, who is only 19 years old, and yet to go for his NS.

Remarkable restaurant. Highly recommended.

Sun - Thu: 11:30 - 00:00
Fri - Sat: 11:30 - 01:00

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yummy Recipes at Kallang Pudding

The name is direct, in your face. The claim, bold. Does it live up to its name?

This interesting restaurant, looking like the set of a Chinese sword fighting movie, and situated right smack in an industrial estate in an industrial building came with very high recommendations from one of my great foodie friends.

The renovations for the restaurant is claimed to be in the upper six figure range, with antique art and furnishings abound. But this is still a family restaurant, and on a sunday evening when I visited, it was rather full, and abuzz with families dining.

First off, we tried the sio bak...roasted pork belly

Instantly memories of the fabulous roasted pork we had in Hong Kong flooded back. This is one of the best roasted pork we have eaten in a long time. The skin is crisp, light, and wonderfully golden brown and fragrant with a hint of charring. The meat was juicy, without being too fat, and beautifully tender and tasty. Very good roast pork.

Their kailan in two styles was also recommended

On the foreground, a nice, succulent kailan, cooked just right, still with a nice crunch, but cooked and no green flavour. Very nice with a nice dose of garlic. On the background is thinly sliced kailan, deep fried till crisp and tossed with deep fried crispy silverfish. The taste reminded us of sea weed, but this is kailan. Very nice. 

As both Ed and I were big fans of pig's stomach soup, being spoilt by my late mother's wonderful rendition of this soup, had to try Yummy's version. The Yummy's version has an interesting twist. A whole chicken is stuffed into the pig's stomach, and the entire package cooked in a thick-ish savoury soup with fish maw, slices of abalone and other goodies. 

Shown above, the entire stomach with the chicken inside is removed from the pot, sliced at the table. The slices of pig's stomach are placed in the bowls and the chicken left on the plate and served. The chicken is extremely tender while still maintaining quite a bit of the juiciness and chicken flavours while being mixed with overtones of pork flavours. The stomach was also tender but as they tend to go, still retaining the springy, texture. Very nice. 

The soup was marvellous. Thick, almost with a collagen like consistency, bursting with wonderful flavours. Within are bits of pork, Korean ginseng, abalone slices and fish maw. We love the soup very much. The dish can serve 10 with each getting a small bowl, or 4-6 with 2 bowls each. We were 3 that evening, and we had a tough time finishing this, even though we adored it. Must order, especially if you have a larger group.

Very interesting restaurant. We will be back to try the lobster porridge, which we were told by friends that is also benchmark setting. As well as other dishes. Probably a larger group next time, so we can sample more delicacies. Definitely highly recommended.

Yummy Recipes

47 Kallang Pudding Road, #01-08,
Crescent @ Kallang S(349318)
T. +65 6343 1818F. +65 6636 0602

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa

Today's post is a bit unusual...I have featured the food at Malaysian Food Street before. And like the Penang Char Kway Teow and KL Jalan Alor Black Hokkien Mee very much.

I attended a MasterClass where Chef Adolf Tan shared the recipes and some secrets of why these dishes taste better than other places which serve similar in Singapore.

Of course, the reference is still the dishes in the native city. I discussed this with Chef Adolf and he told me that his aim is to achieve about 80% of what can be tasted in Penang or KL. The reason is because some of the ingredients are not available in Singapore, even on special order, as some have a very short shelf life, and others have been restricted by the authorities (like fresh duck eggs which packs a wallop in Penang for their CKT)

The recipe is rather simple...and as usual, simple dishes are the Penang the dish is spelled Char Koay Teow, here is the recipe:

Ingredients: serves 1

200g Koay Teow
35g Bean Sprouts
5g local chives, cut
5g chopped garlic
Chillli paste to taste
35g fresh prawns
15g Chinese sausage
1 egg
30ml pork oil
20ml premium soya sauce, or as an option a dash of fish sauce and pepper


1, Heat up pork oil in wok until can see the oil smoking on the wok. Add chopped garlic and prawns.
2. Stir fry till fragrant, and add koay teow and beansprouts. Fry for about 1 minute.
3. add chilli paste, soya sauce and stir fry untill well coated, then add Chnese sausage and chives.
4. Add egg, cook till the egg is done.
5. Garnish and serve.

The Masterclass CKT was cooked on a portable stove, but the regular CKT in MFS is cooked on a super powerful high pressure gas stove...the one which sounds like a jet engine taking off. This will provide the requisite wok hei to the dish, which is so treasured. Traditionally in Penang, the dish is also cooked in a charcoal fire, where a fan is used to stoke the ambers to very high heat. And the charcoal adds an additional depth to the dish, infusing it with smoky flavours for an even more powerful wok hei.

The next dish demonstrated was the Dai Lok Mee...or KL Black Hokkien Mee. 

The special ingredient used when you eat at MFS is the noodle. I often lament that local renditions o this very special dish lacks authenticity as most use either udon or regular mee. But in KL,  the mee is yellow noodle, but thick and has a special flavour. MFS went to the trouble to get the local Singapore noodle manufacture to make the mee in Singapore to be as close to what is obtainable in KL as possible. Chef Adolf shared with me that the manufacture of this mee is only for MFS and the manufacturer is under contract only to supply to them.

The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients: serves 1
200g Dai Lok Mee
25g Choy Sum, cut
50g Round cabbage, cut
5g chopped garlic'
30g pork oil
25g pork loin, sliced
35g fresh prawn meat
20g brown cuttlefish, cut
10g Premium soya sauce
30g Premium Dark Soya sauce
150ml chicken stock made from 250g of chicken bones and 500ml water boiled and reduced to 250ml.

1. Heat up wok with pork oil and add both cut vegetables, pork slices, cuttlefish, prawn and chopped garlic
2. Fry till fragrant, add chicken stock and mee
3. Add soya sauce and dark soya sauce and simmer till sauce coats the noodles
4. Stir well and serve.

Visually, the noodles look very similar to the ones I have eaten in KL. And the fragrance is absolutely captivating. Tastewise, this is probably the closest to KL I have sampled in Singapore, big thanks to the special noodles used.

Malaysian Food Street
Resorts World Sentosa

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Datouxia in Upper Aljunied

The quest for the ultimate prawn noodle continues...with Wah Kee firmly seated at the throne, in my view, many young new challengers arise to take a shot...some fall short, but some, come amazingly close!

This is one of them. Quite amazing, considering that this shop is little over a month old when I was invited to visit. 

Straight into the noodles...first up, the big prawn dry noodle.

The broth is made by fresh sea prawns, and boiled with pork bones, ground prawn heads for hours to create the rather thick consistency, and full flavoured broth. The prawns used were quite large, halved in the middle for ease of eating, and were fresh prawns from the wet market which they buy every day. 

The taste was rather good. The prawns were fresh, crunchy, with a nice crustacean sweetness. The broth was, as mentioned, thick and quite flavourful. I tasted a hint of sweetness, and indeed some rock sugar was used in the preparation. A little of the powdered chilli elimated this altogether, and in my books a game changer. The broth took on a more savoury persona, full of umami, and very flavourful. 

As can be seeen in the pic above, a lot of lard crisps and deep fried shallots were piled on the bowl imparting a wonderful aroma and flavour. Very good in my books. 

My lunch companions had the soup variety

They offer also pork ribs and pig tails with the prawns on the noodles. They also offer a chilli paste which is also quite marvellous. A bit akin to XO sauce, but perhaps with less premium ingredients...the paste is made with chilli, belacan and dried prawns (hae bee). This adds a powerful umami kick to the noodles. 

For me, the soup is rather nice. But Penang Kia at Compassvale has a more flavourful and tasty soup. And Wah Kee has bigger prawns which are just as fresh, and as great tasting, with a broth which is more reminiscent of French bouillabaisse than any Prawn Noodle soup I have tasted. But Datouxia seem to have captured a nice happy medium in between offering an excellent broth and beautiful, fresh prawns. I highly recommend this Prawn Noodle. 

We also sampled the ngor hiang

I thought this plate to be rather average...nothing outstanding. Indeed, when queried, they do not make the ngor hiang but buy from the same supplier who supplies the Beach Road Prawn Noodle shop in East Coast.

The shop is opened by a young fellow, Ah Ann, who learned his craft as a cook doing economy rice, but yearned to venture out to do Prawn Noodles. He was inspired by the Beach Road Prawn Noodle...which he thought had such great potential, with good clientele, but yet, the food falls short of expectation. I agree with this assessment. 

He went back to his hometown of Alor Star and to Penang and Johor Bahru to try and learn how to do the prawn noodle, but even when he offered to pay for the recipe and tuition, nobody wanted to teach him. So he drove to the stalls he admired in Singapore at 4am in the morning, and observed how they made their prawn noodle. With some creativity, some tips from friends, and I guess a good palate, he came up with his own recipe. Enterprising indeed. And highly recommended for Prawn Noodle.

I am sad to report that as of 21 September 2014, Datouxia has ceased business. The owners have decided to stop and reconsider the viability of the business. And I do hope they resurface somewhere with a more viable business model.

383 Upper Aljunied Road,
Singapore 367868
Phone: +65 90622342
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 9.30 pm daily

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dong Po Colonial Cafe in Kandahar St

Last week I talked about an innovative Nanyang Kopi stall in ABC. This week, we explore how another traditional kopi tiam has taken innovation and modernized their offerings.

Situated in a restored shophouse in Kandahar, nestled just a few doors away from Sabar Menanti and Rumah Minang. The shop is rather quaint, with a name like Dong Po Colonial Cafe, it certainly looks the part. The interior is air conditioned, with tables and chairs reminiscent of the good old days. 

An old, Flying Pigeon bicycle is used as a decorative prop by the five foot way and one can certainly sit outdoors. I cycled there on one of my visits there, and sat outside by my bike. 

The coffee is a rather standard offering of Nanyang Kopi. Pleasantly aromatic, with a good mouthfeel and body, but not strikingly unusual.

The toast I have next to the coffee, is something quite special, and which I adore

Called the Bostock, this is usually made with brioche, but the innovation here is it is made with freshly baked (in-house) local style bread. Topped with an almond syrup and toasted almond flakes and dusted with castor sugar. The taste is rather mild...with the toasted almonds providing most of the flavour and aroma. I rather liked it. 

On another occassion, we tried the huge French toast with ice cream

This is truly enourmous. The bread is baked in-situ, and lightly coated with egg, lightly toasted, 
and stuffed with butter, topped with a vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh cream on the side and drizzled with honey. Quite nice. The bread was crusty, slight crispy outside but remained soft and moist within. Very nice contrasting textures between the bread crust, bread inside, the ice cream and the fresh cream. 

Nice, quaint place for a cuppa. Highly recommended.

Dong Po Colonial Cafe
56 Kandahar Street
6298 1318
Tue-Thurs 930am-830pm
Fri-Sun 930am-930pm
Closed on Monday

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hylam Street Old Coffee at ABC Brickworks

Nanyang kopi has its own charms, even for one almost totally entrenched in the espresso culture.

I have written about espresso in Singapore and the waves of progress. But quietly, the nanyang kopi scene remains as a constant support to the coffee drinking public. Instead of $4.50 typical for a double espresso, only $0.90 for a kopi-o. Black coffee, made by the immersion method using a sock.

Almost everywhere, these kopi tiams (coffee shops) offer low cost coffee and tea to the masses. Almost all the time, they make the coffee using Robusta beans, often mixed with maize and often roasted with margarine. The roast is usually quite dark, and sometimes some sugar is added during roasting, making a caramalized roasted bean, very dark. This makes a dark brew, black, thick, and for the better ones, with a beautiful aroma.

But this little store, tucked in the corner of ABC Brickworks does something I have never seen in a kopi tiam. The gentleman who makes the coffee, the barista I guess, grinds each pot of coffee on demand. All the other stalls around the island use powdered coffee, pre-ground to make pots which are diluted to make the cups of coffee. I guess each pot making about 10 cups or so. The pot brews thick, and the coffee is diluted as it is poured into a heated serving cup...according to the order. One can order "pok" meaning thin or more dilute like an Americana, or "gao" or thick meaning less dilution.

Note the grinder in the background on the left of the photograph.

The same sock immersion method is used, but for each pot, the uncle grinds his coffee from beans. This alone makes the coffee much more aromatic, and a great difference.

The kopi-o is black, thick, and wonderfully fragrant. Much more than any other kopi-o I have tasted in town. He also makes a nice tea. And of course, kopi, kopi-c, and kopi peng...translated, coffee with condensed milk, coffee with evaporated milk, and iced coffee with evaporated milk.  Along with toasted bread with bread and butter/kaya, and half boiled eggs. The food is not spectacular, rather perhaps just a bit above average, but the kopi is outstanding.

Hylam Street Old Coffee
ABC Brickwoods Food Centre, Blk 6 Jalan Bukit Merah #01-53 s150006 (Bukit Merah)