PEr FYI

August 25, 2019

Cheung Fat Kitchen, Hong Kong…the food here is worth the guilt

I am well eaten (and equally well travelled) and still managed to come a cropper in a review of Cheng Fat Kitchen, a cheap, boisterous restaurant in Hong Kong’s North Point. The food is really nice, and really distinctive, reliably tasty — and cheap

Everything about the char-grilled beef short ribs (thick cut, house special pepper sauce) is great.  Meaty, juicy, lick-your-fingers clean amazing. Save room for some of the best steamed clam with wine & lotus leaf. Don’t leave without trying the sweet and sour pork (sauce served separately). There are thousands of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, but few have sweet and sour pork like this. Savoury and crunchy, sweet and tangy: it’s addictive stuff. Treat with caution.

Your best bet here is to come with a big group of friends and order as much as you can. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 10, 2016

New Ubin Seafood, Singapore…steak is a melt-in-the-mouth delight.

This restaurant is bang on the money. It is a Zi Char place. It is not a steakhouse. No indeed. But the steak is so unashamedly good.

The main event is the US Black Angus ribeye steak served together with sea salt flakes and fried rice caramelized with beef drippings. What’s the steak like? Simply perfect. Affordably priced. A melt-in-the-mouth delight. Its intense, juicy twang – offset by a small pile of caramelized onions and Idaho potato wedges – is an education in how good beef can be.

Another lip-smaking items on the menu is the orh chien oyster omelettes with fresh live oysters. The fish roe – deep fried with petai and sambal, served with chinchalok is also chest-thumpingly good. Only item NOT to order is the utterly disgusting salted egg squid.

All in, this is a purist’s encounter with beef, and it is as uncomplicated as it is excellent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 12, 2016

Cafe de Hong Kong, Singapore…It can be good, but it’s not going to blow your mind or anything

Cafe de Hong Kong sounds like the name of a char chaan teng and it looks like one, too, with bare functional tables.This is, after all, a zi char place full of Cantonese staples.

From that menu we ordered bonito flavoured spare rib which arrived as something intense and deep and savoury and powerful and, to be more precise, thoroughly yum. As dish descriptions go, braised pan fried prawn and mushroom omelette is never going to win a literary prize. Mind you, it was accurate and tasted compelling. There was another thing to try: garlic flavoured roast chicken. And… oh, you get the idea.

The extensive menu at Cafe de Hong Kong remains unexplored. I’ll leave it for another day. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 11, 2016

Tsunami Village, Penang…Nothing on the menu would drag me in again

Dining out at a waterfront restaurant is all about simple pleasures. But not just any table will do — the food, after all, has to live up to the setting.

Here, the baked lobster with cheese, crab salted egg and prawn wine are more like upscale pub grub. It is good in the way seafood is good – but it lacks complexity, sophistication and the wow ­factor. The others are a mixed bag. The clam kam heong’s sambal was nice but the clams were so small, they might as well serve a couple of magnifying glass with the dish. The fried chai tak with garlic was so-so while the fried mix ho fun and mee hoon was the only well-executed dish.

Nothing on the menu at Tsunami Village would drag me in again to pay with my own money. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 26, 2016

Keng Eng Kee Seafood, Singapore….the coffee pork ribs has serious kick

While Singapore life may not be getting any cheaper, its appetite for great value food has never been bigger. Nobody wants roti prata every night – regardless of how cheap it may be – hence a zi char eatery is a good cheap eat. No list of zi char outlets in Singapore could be complete without Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant.

Coffee Pork Ribs is the best thing in this place. Yes. You read that right. The signature dish in a seafood restaurant is pork ribs. This phenomenal dish is simply out of this world.The viscious coffee sauce gives the almost impossibly meaty ribs great depth of flavour and serious kick.

If you are looking for good food at wallet-friendly prices, KEK is a useful place to plot-up. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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