This new stall at a usual coffeeshop is going to be featured on 煮炒来啰 (Sizzling Wok)–the TV show Pornsak is hosting–so we, kiasu Singaporeans and one PRC, just had had had to be the first to go there before it gets super crowded! I read a food blogger’s entry on the stall and she didn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about the food. But wow! the food was good! and quickly cheered me up! So warm for the tummy tum tum on a cool day!
The stall, situated in an old kopitiam, with lots of old uncles around–old neighbourhood mah, me ah beng like the atmosphere! so comfortable, can chew with mouth open—is near Lavender MRT and Jalan Besar Stadium, which kinda reminded me of 14K because he works nearby. :~( My emo tear.
The first dish was “美人鱼” eggplant or mermaid eggplant ($7). I know it doesn’t look 美 (pretty) right? BUT you’ll be blown away by the taste! Hookerlily’s favorite dish – so addictive! It reminded me a bit of honey lemon fried fish, but it was more sweet with just a very small tinge of sourish. It retained its crispiness throughout our meal and as crispy as potato chips. There was an aftertaste of dried chili in the mouth so you just feel like putting another piece in..and another piece…and another. It would go so well with beer! If only I drink. Ah Beng who don’t drink beer=#fail.
Boss told us that this is one of the three dishes he and the chef created themselves for the tv show 创意料理 (Creative Cooking). He didn’t say if they won, but if they didn’t win, then the winning team can be Michelin restaurant already.
The second dish the chef and he created is Signature Fish Head ($15). Look at the humongous size of the fish head! For $15 only! I felt like we were robbing the stall. This was Chiobu’s favorite. She said the flesh was very tender and the sauce! OMG. It was so unique, this is the only place you can eat such a sauce. We asked the boss what sauce it was–so delicious and appetizing–he said it was blended vegetables with celery as the main ingredient. Chiobu said, “DON’T BLUFF ME! I’m chio, not stupid! Where got celery inside??”
I know some people dislike the taste of celery but do you know it takes more energy to disgest celery than the celery contains itself? and it fights cancer, high blood pressure AND bad breath! If all these reasons don’t convince you to eat celery, then this sauce will. It didn’t taste like celery at all. It had ZERO vegetable taste and was slightly limey, very slightly spicy, slightly sweet with just a very, very mild bitterness that most people won’t notice. It’s 酸甜苦辣 all in it! It’s like life! A very good way for difficult children to eat their vegetables. My whole collar of my t-shirt is wet as I am writing this entry because my saliva is dripping. Yummilicious!
Thai Styled fried cuttlefish ($7) on the menu… or calamari! After the two awesome dishes, Chiobu and Hookerlily were, “eh… so-so nia.” I kept quiet. Then they turned to look at me and I looked down at the table. They said, “Don’t tell me you like this dish!!!” Peer pressure leh! How to respond?
I’ll give you reasons why I like it. Thick flesh, little flour, not oily at all. And the accompanying sauce–which tasted like Indian rojak chili sauce–was hot. Come on! Which stall will actually cook a fresh batch of sauce for you??? How considerate was that! I agree that the squid by itself was a little bland, but it was a good contrast to the very flavorful first two dishes. It was really not bad, and in fact, it’s better than most mid-range restaurants, and Hookerlily agreed that it was better than Merry Men, a place she loves.
Chiobu suggested they should serve it with mayonnaise. Actually, it would be awesome if they can create a tom yum mayonnaise.
Fujian mian, or Hokkien noodles ($3). This was our least favorite–but then again, I never like Hokkien noodles. To us, it lacked salt (but 8 out of 10 Singaporeans eat too much salt so it’s good for us it’s not salty). But Mao Mao absolutely loved it. He said, “Mao Mao xi huan!!! (likes) Veri smell lice (fragrant) andz got many zhu you zha (lard).”
we voted and decided to give this stall a high rating. The food was fantastic. Even now 6 hours after eating, my tummy feels so cozy and warm, like snuggling under the blanket on a cold day.
Hui Wei Chinese-Thai Cuisine 回味中泰小廚
Rating: 3.826/5 celery sticks.