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[Singapore] Ying Yi Kway Chap & Braised Duck (穎毅粿汁鹵鴨飯麺) at Cheng San Market & Food Centre

This "kway chap" (flat rice noodles) stall has been operating for more than 3 decades, and has one of the tastiest, herbal-flavoured soups I'd ever had in Singapore. Singapore "kway chap" (a Teochew/Chiuchow dish) is usually pork-flavoured, compared to Penang Teochew "kway chap", which is based on duck instead of pork. However, Ying Yi straddles between the two versions, its "kway chap" is out and out Singaporean pork version, but it also offers one of the best version of Teochew braised ducks in Singapore. And you can also order braised duck to go with the its "kway chap".

I opted for the standard order: braised pork belly, hard-boiled egg, tofu puffs, large pig's intestines, fish cakes and pickled radish. The "kway chap" noodles came in a delicious broth, deceptively light-looking but packed a strong Chinese herbal taste which I absolutely love, topped with golden-fried minced garlic.

Definitely a must-not-miss for Singaporean "kway chap" connoisseurs.

Address
========
Ying Yi Kway Chap & Braised Duck
(穎毅粿汁鹵鴨飯麺)
Cheng San Market & Cooked Food Centre
Stall #01-145
Block 527 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10
Singapore 560527
Opening hours: Daily 6am-2pm, except Thu

about 23 hours ago
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

He-he - I wouldn't have guessed, June. 48, you say?!

Well, I do look forward to your review of Portland.

Jan 28, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

I'm hoping someone would resuscitate the old place, whilst retaining its form, like what Marco Pierre White did for the Criterion back in 2001.

Remember how, pre-MPW, Criterion was reduced to serving soggy fish-and-chips at one point in the mid- to late-90s? Then, MPW came in, re-did the entire menu, brought in a new freshness in approach which totally transformed the Criterion and gave it a welcome breath of new life.

Jan 28, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

One night in London - Dinner recommendations?

Either way, I reckon it's going to be a real challenge to get in, unless you happen to be dating a celebrity:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

Jan 28, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

One night in London - Dinner recommendations?

The most talked-about spot in London at the moment is the Chiltern Firehouse - difficult to get a table but you can try your luck in case there are last-minute cancellations:
http://www.chilternfirehouse.com/

Jan 27, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

Oh come one, June - you're *not* old :-)

Anyway, I'm hoping that they'll keep Simpson's as it is - lock, stock and barrel.
I have other old favourites which I always go back to every now and then - Wiltons (http://www.wiltons.co.uk/home), Langan's Brasserie (http://langansbrasserie.com/), and Green's (http://www.greens.org.uk/).

Jan 27, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

Oh, please tell me it won't happen - read yesterday that another British dining institution, Simpson's-in-the-Strand, may go the way of the dodo:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/socie...

http://londonist.com/2015/01/historic...

My Grandpa first brought me to Simpson's-in-the-Strand during a summer holiday in London back in the 60s. Ever since then, the very name of the restaurant has never failed to evoke a sense of nostalgia for me. I still return to London every year for the past 4 decades or so and, in the past 20 years, seeking out the latest and best dining places in London had been my top priority. But I'll always return to Simpson's-in-the-Strand at least *once* on every visit - so often that I never wrote about it anymore. But with the news of its impending, possible closure, I just wanted to share the most recent meal I had there just a couple of weeks ago - a quick breakfast:

- Eggs Benedict: nice, runny poached egg, tasty Wiltshire ham, creamy Hollandaise sauce on a toasted muffin.

- Smoked haddock kedgeree - beautifully-scented rice, studded with sultanas. It's a British Raj adaptation of Indian kitchri rice, made into a rather irresistible (for me!) breakfast dish.

Service was friendly, attentive and competent, as always.

Many Londoners may not miss this grand old dame - e.g. this unsympathetic piece written by Stephen Bayley in the Telegraph yesterday: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

But for a visitor to London like me, Simpson's-in-the-Strand forms an indelible part of the capital's culinary heritage and history. Neither Chiltern Firehouse, nor Fera, or St Johns or Typing Room will hold those special memories I have for Simpson's. I will most certainly miss it if they do close it down.

Address
=======
Simpson's-in-the-Strand
100 Strand
London WC2R 0EW
Tel: +44 20 7836 9112

Jan 27, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland
1

[Kuala Lumpur] Best "Gui ling gao" (Tortoise-shell herbal jelly) at Koong Woh Tong (恭和堂), Chinatown

I actually had my first taste of "gui ling gao" right here in Koong Woh Tong back in 1990 during a visit to KL - as we *don't* have "gui ling gao" in Singapore in those days.

Then, in 1994, during a visit to Hong Kong, one of my office colleagues there wanted to "introduce" me to "a special new dessert" which he thought I'd never seen or tried before. We went to a this place in Wanchai and he ordered "gui ling gao", and I said, "Hey, I'd had this before in KL!". So, as recent as 2 decades ago, "gui ling gao" is pretty new as a dessert for most Chinese.

Jan 26, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Is it ever okay to pick up your soup bowl to drink the broth?

It's all to do with table etiquette and how to behave in different circumstances.

A Japanese friend of mine in Tokyo trains her 7- and 9-year-old children to use soup spoons when having French or Italian soups *at home*, so they'll know how to behave in a Japanese setting vis-a-vis Western one when dining out.

Jan 26, 2015
klyeoh in Not About Food

Noooooo! Racine gone

Ah yes, the irrepressible John Wrobel is quite a character. He's Polish, by the way:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

More on the history of Gay Hussar, and its founder, Victor Sassie:
http://gayhussar.co.uk/pdf/GHHistory.pdf

Jan 26, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Noooooo! Racine gone

Gay Hussar's not going to close down anytime soon, right? Love that place to bits. I'd eaten much, much better renditions of those dishes in Budapest and Debrecen, in much grander set-ups - but there's simply no beating Gay Hussar for its nostalgic charm and it being an indelible part of Soho dining culture for more than 60 years. And I've a fetish for the old school - remember La Terrazza?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obitu...

I never got round to trying Racine. Pity it's closed down so soon, 12 years is a rather "short" lifetime for a London restaurant.

Jan 25, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Why do British people enjoy foreign/international so much?

We were actually talking about this during the recent Chowmeet in London (it was held at Crystal China in Tower Bridge Rd) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1002328

The latest survey in late 2014 by BBC, and the most widely participated one to-date, actually put the traditional roast as Britain's most popular food item now. Steak & chips came in at No. 2, and English scones with clotted cream & jam was No. 3.

Chicken tikka masala was No. 14.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

Jan 25, 2015
klyeoh in General Topics
1

How to get breakfast in China outside your hotel

Sounded like you had a fun time. The breakfast crepe you had was "jian bing" (煎饼):
http://lingboli.com/uncategorized/inc...

Jan 25, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Chettinad food from Anjappar

Truly great kal dosa - the sort I got from Chennai, India.

Jan 24, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Chettinad food from Anjappar

One seems to find Anjappar, the 50-year-old international Chettinadu chain from Chennai, India, everywhere these days - New York, New Jersey, Milpitas (California), London, Parramatta (Australia). I popped into their Singapore outlet in Little India yesterday for a quick snack:

- Nattu Koli Kulambu: South Indian country chicken curry with cashewnut, coconut and poppy seed sauce. The version here was tongue-searingly hot, hitting the upper reaches of the Scoville charts.

- Paneer Tikka - I love paneer to bits, but the version here was a overly-dry and hard. The mint chutney and the dusting of amchoor (dried green mango powder) could not do much to salvage the dried out paneer squares. Pity.

- Kal Dosa - not too bad. Pity that I just had some of the most beautiful Kal Dosa in Chennai a while back. Compared to those, the ones we have in Singapore looked, and tasted, pretty inadequate.

I guess Anjappar is fine for an office lunch, but definitely not for *really* good Indian. There are many other better choices in Little India than this chain.

Address
=======
Anjappar Authentic Chettinad Restaurant
76 Race Course Road
Singapore 218575
Tel: + 65 6296 5545

Jan 24, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Kuala Lumpur] Best "Gui ling gao" (Tortoise-shell herbal jelly) at Koong Woh Tong (恭和堂), Chinatown

Koong Woh Tong is one of those old-school Chinatown shops specialising in traditional Chinese herbal and medicinal drinks. One of the must-not-miss items there is the "gui ling gao" (tortoise-shell herbal jelly), taken with a generous splash of liquid syrup. The "gui ling gao" here trumps the versions I'd had in HK, China, Taiwan and elsewhere: just the right firmness in the jelly's texture and herbal flavours without the bitterish after-taste.

Koong Woh Tong also serves a variety of bitter Chinese herbal teas - un-missable!

Address
========
Koong Woh Tong (恭和堂)
Petaling Street, Chinatown
50000 Kuala Lumpur

Jan 24, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

LOL! Oh, but those cities (London, KL) do have similar places:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901804
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/989782

Jan 22, 2015
klyeoh in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine at Simply Mel's, Kuala Lumpur

Well, it goes to show the need for cuisines to evolve out of necessity - which also explains why American-Chinese food is different from British-Chinese food, and why Chinese food in Singapore/Malaysia (with their frequent addition of chilis, etc.) has its own unique characteristics.

Jan 22, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine at Simply Mel's, Kuala Lumpur

Like Macanese cuisine, Malaccan-Portuguese evolved out of the intermarrying of Portuguese men with the native/local womenfolk in their colonies back in the 16th-century. The womenfolk introduced local cooking methods and ingredients into Portuguese dishes their husbands yearned, coming up with a hybrid which was neither East nor West.

I personally felt Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine came about by way of Portuguese-Goa: the vinegarish Curry Devil is reminiscent of Goa's vindaloo, where vinegar was used in place of (hard-to-procure) wines.

The Portuguese seafarers were the catalyst in bridging the cuisines of Goa, Malacca and Macao. Malaccan "laksa" and "belacan" went through some process of assimilation (based upon local tastes and availability of ingredients) to become "lacassa" and "balicao" in Macanese cuisine.

I loved Macanese cuisine:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/504719
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984294

Jan 22, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

Those stuff sure looked good!

Jan 22, 2015
klyeoh in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine at Simply Mel's, Kuala Lumpur

Back to Simply Mel's again this evening:

- Papa Vincent's fish cutlets: crusty breaded exterior encasing moist flaked "tenggiri" fish flesh inside. Delish.
- Kari Ladir: beef in spicy sauce, vinegar and Chef Mel's homemade chilli sauce. Strong assertive flavours.
- Soy Limang Terung: grilled aubergines bathed in a soy-vinegar dressing.
- Malaccan Nyonya laksa: spicy rice noodles with shrimps and tofu puffs, garnished with shredded cucumber. Nice.

Jan 22, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

A restarutant trend that should die in 2015:

Or bitter melon.

Jan 21, 2015
klyeoh in Not About Food

[Singapore] Buffet at Makan@Jen, Jen Hotel at Orchard Gateway

Makan@Jen, that hip eatery atop a trendy, new hotel at the heart of Orchard Road (Orchard Gateway) had been the talk of town where buffets are concerned for the past few months. The buffet at Makan@Jen was startlingly "cheap", considering the variety and quality of items offered. Besides the seafood counter (with its whole cold crabs, prawns and mussels), there were sections offering sashimi, pasta, roast ham, and a nice selection of Asian and Western dishes.

Some standouts:

- Chicken satay: the thick peanut sauce was rich and nutty, the chicken was well-marinated in fresh turmeric, lemongrass and other herbs.

- Otah quiche: a fusion of Peranakan otak-otak and French quiche which went extraordinarily well.

- Lamb rendang: robust lamb-meat cubes, smothered with a dark unctuous sauce bursting with flavours from the chillis, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves and candlenuts.

- Cantonese roasts (duck, pork belly): surprisingly well-done here, with tasty roast duck and crisp-skinned pork belly ("siew yoke") - not the best around, but admirably above average for a buffet.

- Ngoh hiang, deep-fried popiah: not as tasty as can be - the ngoh hiang (5-spiced pork rolls in bean-sheets) fared better than the too-small, too-dry popiah.

- XO fried rice: very well-executed - fried rice flavoured with Chinese XO-sauce of dried scallops, dried chillis and Cantonese seasoning.

- Tau yu bak: traditional Singapore Hokkien pork in dark soysauce stew, given a pleasant lift by the addition of dried chillis.

- Chicken curry: kickass version here, pretty reminiscent of Nyonya-style curry.

- "Siew mai", "Fun choy": Cantonese dim sum items, served in towers of stacked bamboo steamers. The "siew mai" was tasty, whilst the flavoured rice ("fun choy") was a tad on the heavy side.

- Selection of Nyonya kueh: wide variety of traditional Nyonya kuehs, but not as nice as the ones at Bengawan Solo.
The ice-cream and buffet counter offers a larger than average selection. There's also a juice bar on the side, besides DIY coffee/tea machines.

Best value-for-money buffet in town for the moment, IMO.

Address
=======
Makan @ Jen
277 Orchard Road
#10-01 Hotel Jen @ Orchard Gateway
Singapore
Tel: +65 6708 8899

Jan 21, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting London from Philadelphia for first time in 20 years. So many places, only 7 dinners. Help!

+1 on Paprikaboy's recs.

20:00 sounds about right for dinner reservations in London (no diff to Philadephia/NYC dinner times).

Jan 21, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Restaurant Name Has Nothing to do With The Food Served

I went to Shakespeare's Pub in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Its decor was like an English pub, but it erves the best Indian/Pakstani food in the city.

Jan 21, 2015
klyeoh in Not About Food

Trip to Singapore, Malacca, KL

Good to hear your impression of Malacca/KL.

Sounds like Bijan's standards have deteriorated over time - it used to have the freshest ingredients cooked a la minute. But it's also become terrifically popular for corporate functions (mass-producing food to cater to large parties) and, with that, cooking must have gone out the window.

You should go up to Penang the next time you're in Malaysia - it is, after all, the street food capital of the country, and even we Singaporeans flock up there for the street food.

Jan 20, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[London] Chowmeet at Crystal China, Tower Bridge Road

Indeed - so many places. Londoners are indeed some of the luckiest people on Earth :-)

Jan 20, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

[London] Beef Rendang and Roti Canai at Melati, Great Windmill Street

That was a nice write-up on Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons you've got there, Harters. Wonderful to know that the place still held on to its magic after all these years.

Jan 20, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Chiu Hong Bakery – A Hidden Gem In Chinatown

Nice selection of pastries. Sometimes, you wished old places like this will reinvent themselves - make themselves appeal more to the young: better packaging, branding, etc.

Jan 20, 2015
klyeoh in Manhattan

Trip to Singapore, Malacca, KL

"Food in Singapore is slightly overrated. It is difficult to find good food without advanced research."
========================================================
I think you hit the nail on the head, dostrov. Unlike some cities (Bangkok, Penang, Taipei) where you can walk into *any* food centre and find good food, you simply *cannot* do this in Singapore, where our hawker food standards have sadly deteriorated to dismal standards. Our hawker food is not just "slightly" over-rated, it's "very" much over-rated.

You *can* find good Cantonese fine dining in Singapore these days (as compared to say, the early 90s) but, yet again, you need to know where to look.

Thanks for reporting back and look forward to your Malaysian write-up.

Jan 19, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia