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You can find it near right next to Elias Mall. Its a Zhi Ca Stall with loads of people and a big crab sign.
This is Singapore after all so what would food be without the normal coffee shop zhi ca (literally cook and fry)? Of course, as with everything else in the world, there are good and bad offerings for this as well. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to one of these little cook spots found in the East. (I went twice and thats why you'll see both visits here)
Its a coffee shop, so forget about ambiance, forget about anything close to atas. This is ground zero, what the masses have and so the very truth of what Singaporeans are used to having on weekend eat outs (with exceptions when bonus and such niceties occur of course)
Fried Fritters with Squid Paste ($8) - One of my favorite dishes to order is sadly, not one of the better dishes to have. Unless meticulous care is taken in preparing the paste and further such action is taken for the fritters, what you get is a tasteless fried dough stick with nothing much to go for it. This rendition is pretty standard but has its merits in being served hot and being cut into nice little bite sized pieces. The squid paste isn't anything to shout about but was saved by the mayonnaise it came with. Pretty standard stuff but nothing good for health here.
Thai Style Chicken Cutlet ($8) - Simple dish but this time, this is executed very well indeed. The radish and sliced cucumbers used are fresh and cold which gave the thai sauce a different feel indeed. The sauce itself is sweet and sour with a dash of spice which gave it good balance. The chicken itself is fried well which means it retained the juices and wasn't overly dry. It was also served hot and contrasted with the cold sauce so well, i simply have to recommend it. Good stuff.
Stir Fried Broccoli ($8) - imple stir fried broccoli with a little soy sauce. Who would have imagined something so simple could taste this good? Fresh, a little salty and very appetizing. The broccoli is soft while retaining its crunchiness and even had a little sweetness in it. Simple, but good all the same.
Yi Pin Guo or Seafood Pot ($18) - The most expensive of the lot that day, this dish contained 4- 5 prawns, a generous helping of fish maw and the aforementioned tasty broccoli. It was a little to salty for my tastes but the combination did taste pleasant when complimented with rice. I wouldn't exactly term it as value for money in this case though.
The total bill came up to $44 for 4 people. $2 went to 4 bowls of rice and thus the average per person is $11 for a filling and generally fulfilling meal.
The following is the second visit.
Crab Bee Hoon ($32) - This time when we returned, we were determined to try the signature dishes that they recommended and this is what you see above. Billed as the main signature dish for the restaurant, i was expecting alot from it and i will say it up front, i was a little disappointed in the dish. The serving was generous with lots of bee hoon or vermicelli piled beneath the 800 gram crab. In its defense, the crab meat is firm and sweet but i still felt it over priced. The vermicelli was soaked in crab juices and sauce which gave it a uniquely raw taste which might not please everyone. Overall, i still like my crabs with lots of chilli, pepper or butter. This doesn't quite fit the bill as a favorite for me.
Signature Beancurd ($8) - The bean curd had a pretty thick skin and didn't break easily but i didn't like it. I prefer bean curd soft and yet firm. This was also of the egg variety which adds to the taste but doesn't quite bring it anywhere. And the last gripe i had was how similar these bean curds are to one another. I mean, i've tried HTL versions and other versions from Chinese restaurants and strangely, they all have the same kind of ingredients, pork, spring onions and the like which really doesn't distinguish themselves. This version really put me off though, because it was way below average.
Sambal Fan Shu Ye (Sweet Potato Leaf) ($8) - Average and a little too spicy for me, i'm unfortunately not able to say the same good things for this as the broccoli i had the previous time.
Steamed Fish HK Style($30) - Why do i call it steamed fish? Because i can't remember what kind of fish this is. Sorry. Anyhow, this fish is steamed Hong Kong style according to the waitress and is one of my favorite ways to prepare said fish. Fragrant, fresh and sweet. I can't think of anything bad to say about it except maybe it was too small and too expensive. Good nonetheless.
Total bill for second visit hit all time high of $88. Which really is a bit too much even for 5 people as the quality has taken a sharp nose dive this time around.
The food offered here is of a certain quality but it really depends on which day you came and what you order. For me, i have to say the signature dishes are not worth the money while the simpler offerings appeal to me more. Maybe i just prefer simple food but thats what i feel. No crabs or bean curd for me from this stall.
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