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Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup, Changi Road


On first glance, Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup looks nothing out of the ordinary. Its placement along Changi Road makes it easy to miss given the other mouth watering places along the same stretch. However, regulars and new patrons alike will come to realise that this place is a gem; I call this zi char with a twist!

Upon arrival, there’s no need to rush to chope a seat. Instead, head to the left side of the stall to pick your dishes (the menu is on the wall, with pictures). Once you’re done ordering, they will bring you to your table.

Mixed Herbal Mee Sua.

The herbal mee sua is yums! The soup doesn’t have that strong herbal taste that puts some people off after a while. In fact, it’s very tasty and sweet. Satisfying.

White Mee Sua.

Also decided to try their white mee sua because why not. A big difference from its counterpart, besides the herbal soup, is that the white version is actually short strands of mee sua! So short that it’s best eaten using a spoon. Add pepper and vinegar for that extra boost.

Chao Ta Beehoon.

The burnt beehoon passed my criteria of having the wokhei taste. The eggs were also well incorporated and there’s chunks of fried eggs for everyone. If you’re wondering why it looks so bare and tasteless, that’s because everything is hidden underneath the beehoon! Prawns, fish cake, bean sprouts… I’ll leave you to find your treasures. 

Get it when I said this was zi char with a twist? The above were all my staples for the meal. No rice, just mee sua and beehoon. 

Salted Egg Chicken.

The salted egg chicken was well balanced between the spicy curry leaves and salted egg yolk. The chicken could be crispier though.

Four Seasons Beans with Minced Meat.

Should have asked for the four seasons beans to be fried with hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal). Also, the beans were a little raw tasting. 

Ngoh Hiang.

The Ngoh Hiang was good though. Crispy on the outside and light on the inside. 

Overall, this zi char is worth eating for the mee sua and burnt beehoon. If you have more people in your party however, they have a huge selection of fresh fish which you can pick from their fridge and tell them which style you want it cooked. Quite a fun experience. 

Two tips if you dine here:

1. Take charge of the portions of your dishes because they won’t advise, and are bad at estimating. Maybe they want to earn that extra money? The above food was shared between 4 people. Needless to say, we had to pack back quite a bit of food.

2. There’s free parking for Seng Kee customers across the road. It’s at the temple just before the Shell station.

475/477 Changi Road, S(419893)

Daily: 11am to 4am

+65 6746 4089

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Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh, Geylang Lorong 11


Hands down, this is the best herbal style Bak Kut Teh (BKT) in Singapore. Located in Geylang, Leong Kee Klang BKT has a humble outlook and you may be tempted to give this a miss but TRUST ME! This is worth every calorie. 

Few words about getting to this place first. Parking is hard to find (as with everywhere else in Geylang) and you might end up circling a couple of rounds before getting a lot. Try not to illegally park along the roadside because there are security cameras and the LTA officer does his rounds regularly. 

After the parking ordeal, you’ll realise that getting a table is not easy. They have limited seating area even though they have tables in front of their stall, at the alley by the side, and an air conditioned area round the corner. It’s chaotic. Nobody will help you find a table so you’re on your own. Once you’ve settled down, you have to place your order and make payment at the stall itself. A number tag would be given, then you can proceed back to your table and wait for your food to arrive.

Dry BKT.

This dish is my favourite. It’s intensely flavourful and the chilli gives a shiok kick to the meat. It also comes with cuttlefish which some might feel makes the dish too salty but for me this doubles up as a snack. I would purposely leave a few strands till the end of the meal just to leave this place with a satisfied tummy.

Soup BKT.

The soup version is complementary to the dry version. I like to eat the beancurd skin with a spoonful of rice because that’s where you’ll get all the flavours of the BKT soup in one spoonful. While the dry version delivers a spicy kick, the soup version goes really well with rice. For both the dry and soup versions, the meat falls off the bones easily. 

Pig trotters.

You can request for lean trotters. The healthier part means that your pig trotters would be firm yet soft, with the meat stringy for added texture. You won’t be eating a mishmash of fats and meat.

Pig kidneys.

I seldom order pig kidneys at BKT stalls because kidneys, if not done right, will have that yucky porky small. Leong Kee (Klang) BKT’s pig kidneys are quite good!

Mee Sua.

You must try their mee sua! It’s not your usual nua-nua mee sua type. It has a chewy consistency, similar to ramen, so it’s really quite refreshing. When I went at 730pm on a Saturday night, I was limited to just one bowl because they “won’t have enough to sell”. Wowee. 

Leong Kee (Klang) BKT is my go to food on a monthly basis. Best eaten during a rainy day, the price is reasonable (less than $50 for the amount above), and the satisfaction from eating it is immense. 

251 Geylang Lorong 11, S(389309)

Daily: 11am to 130am

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Pince & Pints, Duxton Road


Rated as having one of the best lobster rolls in Singapore, Pince & Pints can be hard to miss if you’re not paying attention since the whole row of shophouses along Duxton Road is nothing short of restaurants and bars. Its closed doors doesn’t look particularly inviting as well. However, step inside and it’s a different vibe all together.

Pince & Pints exudes an American burger joint vibe. The staff are friendly, the place is brightly lit, the chairs are red, chunky and cushiony.

The menu is encapsulated between two metal grills which seems like a representation of how lobsters are caught – in metal cages. 

The position of the food items is precisely in each square. How creative!

The Lobster Roll, $58.

The Lobster Roll is the classic, must try dish if you’re here for the first time. Large chunks of juicy lobster bits stuffed in a buttered bun and topped with chopped chives is the bomb. I ate this bun by the mouthfuls and each bite I took was filled with lobster. Wah damn shiok.

The Truffle Roll, $68.

You can never go wrong with truffle, can you? The Truffle Roll comes with truffle sauce and is topped with truffle shavings and truffle caviar. Luxurious much. Compared to The Lobster Roll, I much preferred The Truffle Roll. But like I said, if you’re here for the first time, do go for The Lobster Roll. It’s like eating steamboat, you have to try the soup au naturel first even though you know it’ll get better as you add your ingredients in.

Overall, Pince & Pints takes their lobster business seriously. No complaints about this place, except for the price. The two rolls above, after the relevant taxes, came up to $148. Yes the rolls were delicious, but was it worth this high a price? I don’t really think so. With this amount of money, you could be better off feasting on a decent buffet where the lobsters are free flowing. Also, they don’t serve plain water, which means you’ll have to fork out a couple more bucks for either still or sparkling bottled water. Pfffft. It was a good meal, but I won’t be going back again.

32, 33 Duxton Road, S(089496)

Mondays to Fridays: 12pm to 230pm, 530pm to 11pm

Saturdays and PH : 12pm to 11pm 

Closed Sundays

+65 6225 7558

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KL Chilli Ban Mee, Food Republic, Vivocity


Food Republic at Vivocity has got a wide variety of delicious and affordable meals. The latest to join the ranks is KL Chilli Ban Mee! 

KL Chilli Ban Mee has got its own seating area, so you don’t have to fret too much about finding a space even during peak hours. 

The bowl looks really ordinary and plain, but once you eat it with their special chilli, you’ll be screaming for more.

Their spiciness levels range from 1 to 5, but I thought level 3 was best in terms of the balance between spiciness and fragrance. 

The texture was so amazing I think I can chomp it down by the spoonfuls. 

The ingredients within were well prepared as well. The ikan bilis were super crispy, the minced pork serving was generous, and most importantly, the egg yolk was still runny, giving that touch of creaminess. Mix it all up and you’re ready to go. Do remember to add your chilli! 
1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivocity Level 3, S(098585)

Daily: 10am to 10pm

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Kok Sen Restaurant, Keong Saik Road


Kok Sen Restaurant is one of the few old school zichar left. Their shophouse at Keong Saik Road is unpretentious and laid back, a sharp contract to the surrounding modern developments. Upon walking in, you’ll notice that their signature dishes are printed on bright orange slips and pasted on the walls. If that’s too hard or you to read however, they have printed menus with pictures to help you decide. 

I visited on a Saturday night and was super thankful that I made reservations. The queue for walk in, at 730pm, was long! I will advise you to do some research and have a rough sense of what dishes you wish to order before visiting. Before I even sat down, the lady hurried me to make my order. And even with this quick ordering, my food took 45 minutes to arrive. So hungry!! 

Big Prawn Hor Fun.

This dish is a must order. The hor fun is not your ordinary hawker centre hor fun. The prawns were big, fresh and succulent. The gravy tasted a little like a less spicy version of chilli crab sauce. The wok hei of the hor fun was also done to perfection. Superb. 

Homemade Tofu with Minced Meat.

This dish was a little too salty for my guests, but it’s because of the generous Cai Po they have in the minced meat gravy. I liked the crunch that the Cai Po had, so I’m not complaining. 

Pai Gu Wang.

Unfortunately, Kok Sen Restaurant doesn’t have special meat dishes. They have the usual sweet and sour pork, black pepper beef, none of which caught our attention.

Fish Slices Stir Fried with Spring Onion.

Kok Sen actually has very interesting fish dishes like Curry Fish Tail but we were too lazy and wanted something easy to eat. So we requested for fish slices with spring onion, something that wasn’t on their menu but common enough to make. It was okay, nothing out of the ordinary.

Poached Spinach with Assorted Egg

I was disappointed with this dish. The spinach to assorted egg ratio was terrible. The serving of spinach was huge, but the egg was insufficient to go around my table of six. 😦 

Overall, because of the big prawn hor fun, I do feel that Kok Sen is worth going. If you’re thinking of visiting however, try not to do so if you’re celebrating someone’s birthday or a special occasion. The long wait and poor service would definitely piss people off. I am not kidding. 

30 Keong Saik Road, S(089137)

+65 6223 2005

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Thai Goldmine Kitchen, Kitchener Road


Fans of Thai food rejoice, for you’ll have yet another authentic Thai eatery to get your padthai craving fixed. From humble beginnings three years ago at Harbourfront’s Tuckshop, Thai Goldmine Kitchen has expanded their sawadee to having their very own shophouse at Kitchener Road. 

Screenshot from Thai Goldmine Kitchen’s Facebook. Do check out their Facebook page for the latest promotions.

The location at Kitchener Road means it’s an easy walk from Farrer Park MRT station, an area where good Thai food is hard to come by. If you’re driving however, parking is incredibly hard to find. Your best bet would be City Square Mall.

Garlic Pork.

Loved the fried garlic bits atop the chunky pork slices. I could snack on this all day long and not get jelat.

Thai Spicy Long Beans with Pork.

This was a little surprising for me. I had expected the pork to be minced, but yet it came in juicy bite sized pieces. The dish itself was flavorful but it wasn’t as spicy as I hoped it would be.

Thai Green Curry Chicken. Ah, I should have scooped the ingredients up for a better picture. 

I was very impressed with this green curry. Having tried a lot of Thai green curries from various Thai restaurants, Thai Goldmine Kitchen’s green curry really stood out for me. It’s not your usual milky and starchy green curry; the aroma and texture of this green curry is superb. Plus, they were really generous with the ingredients (mainly chicken, woots!).

Prawn Omelette.

This dish was done well. The omelette was fluffy and the prawns were fresh. Usually, such Thai omelettes would be dripping with oil but this was not too bad.

Seafood Tomyam Soup (Clear).

It could be me, but I generally prefer red tomyam soup to the clear ones. Red tomyam soups have that creamy yet sweet taste that clear soups lack. For this particular tomyam soup, I thought it could be spicier. I also didn’t like that they included crabsticks because I feel that cooking soups with crabsticks is something I can do at home, so I expect something better at restaurants. 

Thai Goldmine Kitchen is a good alternative to the famous Nakhon where snaky queues form even before the eatery opens for dinner. So why wait when you can have something else that’s just as authentic, delicious and affordable elsewhere? 

147 Kitchener Road, S(208524)

Daily: 11am to 9pm

+65 6909 2020

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Panko Restaurant & Bar, Arab Street


Have you ever tried Kushikatsu? Basically, Kushikatsu is skewers of meat or vegetables coated in breaded batter and deep fried. The first time I ate Kushikatsu was in Osaka. I was famished from all the shopping, so I popped by the next available food store, not knowing what I was going to eat. Turns out I would be introduced to an entirely new way of eating skewers. 

I was mind blown. Deep fried food never tasted so refined. I could eat that all day long! No kidding. Fast forward back to Singapore, I tried to find restaurants that specialise in Kushikatsu, but strange, it’s actually really rare in Singapore. 

Then I found Panko, a Kushikatsu bar along Arab Street.

It looks a little daunting to step in, but once you’re inside, it’s a different story.

It’s cosy, warm, and comfortable. 

The table is set up with a tray on which they’ll lay your Kushikatsu skewers. You have a choice of 4 dippings – ponzu, lemon juice, salt and a special salty sauce which tastes like tonkatsu sauce. Once seated, you would be given a cold, wet towel. My partner immediately asked if the meal was going to be expensive. Haha.

The Kushikatsus are fried upon order and sered once they’re ready. Panko goes a step further and advises you on which sauce pairing is the best. In cases where dipping is not needed because the items have their own toppings, the staff would advise you accordingly. Once you’re done, drop your sticks into the little cup provided.

Unagi with Kinome, $5.

Pork Belly with Whole Grain Mustard, $3 and Asparagus with Garlic Mayo, $6.

Wagyu with Oroshi Ponzu Ichimi, $6.

Salmon with Ikura, $6.

Hokkaido Scallop with Nori Dashi Foam, $6.

Shiitake with Chicken Truffle Miso, $8.

Look at the big juicy mushroom!

I like how they split a single skewer to resemble a fork. Keeps the Kushikatsu stable.

The best dish out of all that I tried was the Shiitake with Chicken Truffle Miso. The sweet miso with the truffle shavings paired with each other wonderfully. The weakest dish was the Wagyu with Oroshi Ponzu Ichimi. Unfortunately the wagyu wasn’t as tender as I had expected. I thought it would be those melt in your mouth kind you know?

My experience at Panko was great. The items were fried to perfection – well drained, crunchy,  and fresh. Panko has taken Kushikatsu to the next level with their premium skewers, while still keeping their prices affordable. 

33 Arab Street, S(189197)
+65 6291 3323
Closed Mondays
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 1130am to 12midnight
Sundays: 6pm to 12midnight

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