ramen keisuke tori king, 100am

black spicy

green spicy

satisfying post-work fare. we started a rather pleasant friendship with ramen during our trip to Japan last year – the sort in which you talk whenever you want and there’s no expectation of further commitment – and have come back to Singapore only to be consistently disappointed (most recently, by sanpoutei, which serves up a too-doughy noodle and rather middling charsiu).

but the husband recalled a good meal at this joint – and we joined the queue, scoring a table in barely 20 minutes on a Friday night. the dude manning the queue is alternately perfunctory and impatient – but I did manage to figure out that the noodles here come in a few permutations (soba or ramen, wet or dry, rich or clear soup, black pepper or wasabi for spice), with the only constant being the tender chicken leg that peeps out the top of the bowl.

tender, seasoned beansprouts (so addictive) and hard-boiled eggs are available table-side – and they complement the al-dente noodles that sit in a (slightly too starchy) flavourful bowl of soup. 

p.s. bamboo shoots aren’t included in the bowl but are available with supplement – they come in thick, tender strips and are quite good.

ah lam’s abalone noodles and salt-baked chicken, jalan besar

quite a special bowl of noodles at this coffee shop in jalan besar – they might first incite interest because of the expensive mollusk, but this otherwise pedestrian-looking bowl of minced meat noodles would hold that interest with its flavours.

it’s a typical-looking coffee shop, but spruced up white and clean – with an impressively old-looking signboard and a photo of our prime minister up there.

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people’s park food centre, chinatown

sometimes, it’s back to the traditionals: noodles, half a soy-sauce chicken and bits of roast pork, and a plate of vegetables for two.

have a great weekend!


p.s. the perimeter of the food court is now taken up by mainland chinese offering a wide range of indigenous foods (which I like, but haven’t had the chance to try), while the inside has a smattering of more local offerings. it’s an experience!

People’s Park Food Centre (just outside OG People’s Park)
32 New Market Road
Singapore 050032
$: less than ten per person (unless you’re greedy like me)

so pho, serangoon nex

okay-for-weekday vietnamese food at the ever-crowded nex mall in serangoon. it’s only tuesday – and it already feels like a long week – and this calls for quick, cheap food.

if you’re into that for tonight, this is an okay choice for dinner – it’s something different from the local food you’d usually have on a weekday night for not much more money, and the flavors are adequate. not quite a destination restaurant, however.

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mad for garlic, suntec city

ok, you guys – we were surprised at this place. first, it’s a small italianesque menu in a restaurant first founded in korea. say what? and second, excessive use of that allium creates rather potent dragon’s breath – which isn’t the best thing for starting a night off.

so we entered with much trepidation and low expectations – all completely eradicated when the food started arriving. the food is remarkably tasty, the portions generous, and service staff friendly and enthusiastic (which made up for any hiccup).

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sabx2/pratunam wanton mee and stewed pork trotters, bangkok

decent braised pork trotters and wanton noodles – though rather overhyped – in the heart of pratunam. so this place is pretty famous – I had never heard of it before coming, but the partner found it on someone’s facebook and hey, one google led to many results.

this is going to be a two-faceted recommendation: if you were brought up in an asian country on the best bounciest noodles and juicy red roast pork, this place is skippable; if not, this would be a fantastic introduction to a decent plate of noodles and chinese-style trotters.

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din tai fung, serangoon

decent noodles and dumplings at this taiwanese chain – I’ve done a post on this one before because I really rather like it, but here’s an update (including one of their best dishes). also – this is an effortless way to say hello(!) in the midst of post-holiday-induced melancholy, and fortuitously, a recommendation for an easy dinner out if you can’t bring yourself to cook tonight.

this is a good fallback restaurant (but not if you’re dining at a typical meal hour, as it’s always full) for decent food and low prices; and while I think the crystal jade empire (and more relevantly, its equivalent la mian xiao long bao outlets) serves better food when their kitchens exert themselves, this place shows a higher degree of consistency in production.

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pho 24 restaurant, ho chi minh

decent pho at this chain all over ho chi minh. we always pop by here before or after a bout of shopping at ben thanh, and always for the same order: a bowl of noodles for each of us, plus a platter or two of starters.

the noodles come with four options: meatballs, rare slices of beef, well-done beef slices, and a bowl of everything – which includes tripe, meatballs andboth rare and well-done slices of beef. my favourite are the rare pieces, which are incredibly beefy and cook up as you’d like in the hot broth, as well as a side order of the bouncy meatballs. throw in the aromatics they provide you on the side, and it’s a quick, tasty, and very healthy meal.

service is quick here, and the food comes quick and good. portions now appear to have gone towards the modern fashion, with the same large bowl of noodles, but diminishing portions of meat from our visits a few years ago – despite that, it’s still an incredibly good deal for lunch.

pho banh cuon 14, paris

I am over my head in food photos and blog posts! there are about thirty coming up (and I’m still eating, obviously, and so I’m starting to despair of when I will lament a lack of things to post) so I hope you’re still reading and enjoying them. the photos in this one were taken under dismal lighting, I apologize.

pretty decent vietnamese food near the tolbiac metro station in paris. we’ve been coming to this vietnamese restaurant on every trip in paris, just as we go to leon du bruxelles, ever since my father got a heads-up on this tiny place serving steaming bowls of beef pho in the 13th arrondissement.

this was five or six years ago, when pho 14 still felt like a secret shared only by the locals – it felt family run and though you queued up a while to get a table in this tiny establishment, it was quaint and a respite from the never-ending crowds in paris. it’s a completely different story now – this secret has now leaked out (probably through the proliferation of blogs such as my own), the place is packed to the rafters with the queues extending on the pavement past the next-door restaurant, and service is a little more harried (though very efficient).

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