Eat your way through Tanjong Pagar
Walking down the lanes of Tras Street is an experience.. Some says it feels like a hipster place some says it feels like a Korean town... I say it feels like a cosmopolis with an international array of restaurants and bars.
There's so many options, one will never be able to try every single eatery..from Tras Street to Duxton Road to Telok Ayer Street.. You're going to be spoilt for choice.
So this weekend, I decided to do a food trail. Solely concentrating on this area and the places I went were all within walking distances.
First Stop: Drury Lane
This is on Tanjong Pagar road...otherwise known as the Korean street. There's so many Korean restaurants it is kinda overwhelming. I wonder how each of them survive.
Well.. Drury Lane is not Korean but a cafe serving brunch and main dishes as well as a scrumptious spread of pastries.
We got a turkey bacon and mushroom baked eggs, salted egg yolk egg benedicts with crunch prawns as well as the half mozzarella-sauteed mushrooms- bacon- avocado sandwich. For the drinks, we got a cappuccino and an americano. Prices range from SGD 4 (half sandwich and coffee) to SGD 18 (salted egg yolk egg bens).
I like the cafe's ambience which is rather casual yet rustic.. And it feels as if I was dining in a garden. Service is pretty welcoming. Although you have to order at the counter while food is served by the waiters. The dishes we had were delicious. Each of them had their own uniquely distinct taste. I especially enjoyed the salted egg yolk benedicts. The runny yolk mixed with the salted egg sauce was a perfect match.
Their coffee seems to be freshly brewed and therefore, they were served in small cups preserve their exotic flavour.
Second Stop: Maxwell Hawker Centre
It didn't take us long to arrive at Maxwell Food Centre which is just a stroll down the same street towards the other end of the Tanjong Pagar Road. We were once again tempted to try every single stall.
What caught our attention was this fish soup stall which serves both batang and promfret fish soup! It can also come with prawns which we tried! This was very very very tasty indeed! But the only downside was that it is filled with MSG... Says my grandma who's a food expert. No wonder it keeps making their customers go back for more!
This hainanese curry rice stall had the longest queue. Either they are slow or it must be sooooo good! You're probably wondering how can an economic rice stall be slow given that they're all ready to serve. So maybe the queue here is indeed legit.
What I can say is that the pork chop was a great choice. Being a very important ingredient in curry rice, it has to be freshly deep fried and the crunch remains despite soaking through the curry gravy. I also ordered the meat ball which was quite disappointing.
Never leave the oyster pancake behind...
I wish I had discovered this earlier! We were so full but we still bought two to share. Unlike the usuals you purchase elsewhere, the one at Maxwell justifies that oyster pancake is more than just a good batter and fresh oysters but also the meat filling. This had a good balance without having too much flour surrounding the meat and oysters.
Did you see the queue?? Yes! This stall serves purely nonya kueh kueh... Try their tapioca kueh, kueh kosui and lor mai qi. To know what they actually are made of, visit them to find out more. 5 tapiocas went for $2 and the kueh kosui was 50 cents each.
Third Stop: Roadside Ice Cream
My third visit here for their tonkatsu ramen (normal) and the black spicy Tonkotsu. So this time I shall share something different.. Three Tips to Enjoy Tonkotsu Kind Ramen.
1. Help yourself with the brown rice chills tea to cool yourself down while queuing in the heat
2. Grind the roasted sesame seeds not by chopping but by going rounds in circle
3. The mayonnaise is for you to dip the hard boiled egg, do you ever realize?
Dining here can be just a little stressful and cramp. But isn't that the beauty of this ramen chains?
Fifth Stop: Cumi Bali Restaurant
I visited this place for my first time and I was glad we made it! Our reservation was at 7pm and we were the second table there... There's more seats upstairs but overall, it was quite quiet on a weekend night. The waiters were pretty friendly and the food was served promptly. We ordered the sate madura, sayur lodeh and ikan bakar (promfret fish barbecued with otak otak) for the mains. They all went very well with plain rice which we had one each.
Check out the chicken satay!!! We thought one was too little but it was actually just nice for three! Grilled to perfection with sweet marinade, it tastes somewhat like char siew but definitely better! It is a little smokey and chao ta but alluringly good!
Overall, we like the whole atmosphere of dining in Cumi Bali as it's casual yet homely. I may not come back so soon but surely a second time won't hurt.
Last Stop: Oven and Fried Chicken
This no frills Korean restaurant has is a great place for friends and family. No joke. If you're intending to visit this outlet, be sure to make a reservation else you might have to wait for a table. Even though there is three floors in this restaurant. We had a window table seat on the third storey which overseas the street of telok ayer.
For those of you who have been to Korea - Busan, you would probably have tried the famous Okkudak which is the Korean version of Oven and Fried Chicken. I wonder why they needed to change their name for the Singapore outlets though. Okkudak would have appealed more to me for sure.
Nevertheless, the food was just as good! We ordered a crispy original (half), a spicy one (half), kimchi jiggae as well as a yogurt chicken salad. The chickens were baked to perfection and not oily at all! For girls who are calories conscious, you're in for some treats! The yogurt salad was something special, fried chicken chunks were served with some greens on the side and topped with a scoop of yogurt.
The kimchi jiggae would have been better if it's served on a stove to keep it warm though.. It was cold shortly after we started to eat.