The first dish to be served was the Snake Beans & Lotus Root (蛇豆炒莲藕) ($10, small portion)
. This was a dish I would never have ordered had it not come highly recommended on HGW – snake beans are not my favorite veggies. Yet I was glad I had heeded the advice of the reviewers, because the lotus root chips were excellent. They were sliced into thin flakes and coated with a small amount of batter, then fried to the point where they were crispy but still retained their mild, natural sweetness. I would totally buy a packet of these to snack on at home.
Another dish I was reluctant to order was the Deep Fried Fish Skin (香炸鱼皮)
($10, small portion
), this time because it sounded gross. Terribly unadventurous, I know. I ended up polishing off half the dish because these babies tasted nothing like the gloopiness and slime that I’d imagined fish skin to be. They were crisp (and stayed that way 2 hours after they were served), not too greasy and had the fragrance of fish keropok. Paired with the raw mango slices and dipped into the accompanying chilli sauce, each was a crunchy and tangy slice of heaven.
Went off the tried and tested route to order the King Pork Ribs (排骨大王) ($10, small portion)
because it sounded delish. We were on the fence for this one: My friends, S and L thought it was average – S said you could find this at any zhap chai bng stall and L was nitpicky about how the meat wasn’t fall-off-the-bone tender. On the other hand, B and I liked it because… I guess we just like to eat pigs lor. The sauce was defo a bit too sweet for my liking though. It’s still an above average dish la, just looked a bit lacklustre beside the rest of its outstanding peers.
I have no idea what breed these crabs are, but the White Pepper Crabs
are d*** meaty (market rate; aunty charged us $32 for 2 crabs that day)
. I was picking out meat from every nook and cranny of the crab’s body and the flesh was sweet and firm. I don’t know if we simply got lucky, but something tells me these folks have a stringent criteria for selecting the crabs to use in their dishes. Crab aside, the creamy white pepper sauce was outstanding. It packed a punch without being too spicy – my nose runs whenever I eat something too spicy for me, and my nose remained where it was throughout the course of this dish.
You know how there’s a genre of rom-coms where there’s a super handsome dude who pretends to be a servant/low-level salaried employee/beggar but is actually the heir to a multi-million dollar conglomerate? The JB Sanlou Meehoon (新山三楼米粉)
, ladies and gents, is the food equivalent of that dude. The nondescript appearance of this plain-looking beehoon ($8, medium portion
) belies the fragrance and flavor that it packs. I still think they could be more generous with the squid, eggs and prawns, but the conspicuous absence of these ingredients might actually highlight the taste of the beehoon. The minute it touches your tongue, a flavor burst of unadulterated wok hei explodes in your mouth. I’m quite sure this is the best beehoon I’ve tasted.
The last dish to be served ($18, small portion
) was also the undisputed star dish of the night. The Salted Egg Prawn Balls (咸蛋黄炒虾球)
have received a number of mixed reviews - but for us, it was a hit. All four of us did that eye-widening thing the minute we bit into one of them juicy prawns… who doesn’t love the lethal combination of salted egg + crustacean? The little balls of fried salted egg bits that crowded the bottom of the dish pan tasted sooo good we kept shovelling them into our mouths. Only gripe I have is that the batter could be crispier, although admittedly that could require more flour which would affect the taste of the batter. Also the name prawn ball is a bit misleading – the prawns are not minced, they’re whole. And so d*** good.
I actually thought the tense atmosphere created by the large numbers of dodgy looking uncles enhanced the entire experience. It’s one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for some excitement in SG, I suggest you head to Geylang Lorong 23 on a weekend night. Just remember to bring some pepper spray (or a bodybuilder friend) along.For a more detailed review (and more pictures!), please visit nomstersinc.wordpress