Category: Taiwanese

Woo Ricebox – A Taste of Taiwanese Rice Boxes at Raffles Place

By , October 24, 2013

No doubt about it, many Singaporeans has an insatiable love for Taiwanese food – judging from the popularity of popping bubbling teas, crispy fried chicken, cooling ice shavings to gooey mee sua. The latest to arrive at our shoes is Woo Ricebox’s traditional Taiwan-style rice boxes.

Woo Ricebox, one of Taiwan’s most popular chains for rice boxes 悟饕池上饭包 with more than 70 years of history, opens its first in South-East Asia at Basement One of Ocean Financial Centre. Corporate workers at Raffles Place would have one more place to ‘tabao’ rice for lunch, without waiting in lines faced with long staggering heat.

Woo Ricebox sticks to their original style, using premium short-grain rice specially imported from Taitung, with seasonal vegetables, pickles, braised egg and a main meat item. All very healthy tasting.

The recommendation is the Woo’s Pork Chop Rice Box ($8.30), with the price slightly on the high side. The winner is the fried pork chop, with meat thin and tender and quite authentically Taiwanese, immediately reminding me of similar pork chop at Din Tai Fung .

Woo RiceBox at Ocean Financial Centre

Woo Ricebox
10 Collyer Quay, #B1-03/05 Ocean Financial Centre, Tel: +65 6636 8101 (Raffles Place MRT)
Opening Hours 11am to 8pm (Mon to Fri last order 7.30pm), 11am to 3pm (Sat last order 2.30pm), Closed on Sundays

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Lu Gang Xiao Zhen (Ion Orchard)
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Ice Monster 冰馆 (Plaza Singapura)

By , June 23, 2008

Plaza Singapure B2-53

Yong Kang Street in Taipei may be a rustic and unfamiliar street, but it is very famous for two eateries: Ding Tai Feng and Ice Monster. One has already come and conquered. So you can imagine my initial thrill when I found out that Ice Monster has set up franchises in Singapore.

The Taiwanese are well-known for their quality snow ice desserts, other than fried chicken and mee sua. And really, Ice Monster is known to be THE best there.  As what the founder Mr Luo said, “We know other copy our product, however we have no fear from their competition”.

Suffering from Taiwanese-food-withdrawal symptoms, I dragged my friend along to Plaza Sing basement to relief the memories of wondrous Taipei.

The Food
The best sellers include the Fresh Strawberry Shave Ice, Fresh Fruit Mix, and Fresh Mango Shave Ice with Sherbet and Milk. The price range from $4.50 for a small serving to $8.50 for the regular sized ones. The Mango Ice would cost about NT$130 ($5.80) for a jumbo size over at Yong Kang.

The fruits taste fresh and sweet, plus the sherbet gave the dessert a sour-sweet creamy touch. The ice felt a lot coarser here, and not what I would describe as ‘snow’. Overall, the shave ice felt like an upgraded version of an ice kachang, though I am not sure if the taste utility warrants the much higher cost.

They sell a variety of ice blended and fruit drinks, ranging from kiwi, yam, sour plum to red bean. I have special liking for papaya milk, emmmmmm…. not for its potential ‘health benefits’. Unfortunately, the papaya milk ($3.50) here is cannot-make-it plain and bland.

Hot meals are also sold: Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles ($9.00), Jar Jiang Dry Noodle ($6.00), Fried Dumplings ($4.50 for 5!) and Fresh Mango Meat Floss Egg Crepe ($4.50). It’s pretty average stuff, and going hot is clearly not their forte.

The Service
Service staff asked for payment right after the food arrived, which is kind of strange. They could never compare to the Taiwanese counterparts in terms of friendliness. The overall experience just made me miss Taipei a lot more.

Taipei’s Ice Monster

The Verdict
Good enough, but still way far what I had at Yong Kang. 2.5*

Yong He Eating House 永和豆浆油条大王

By , June 13, 2008

Geylang Lor 27-A

Most would say the best place for suppers in this Singapore is Geylang. Beyond the sleazy lanes, colourful lights and you-know-what, this is the place for ‘sinful indulgence’.

My supper kakis and I have our usual routine – round 1 claypot frog porridge, round 2 beef horfun, or dim sum and always ending off with Yong He soya bean. For the longest time, we wondered where the familiar Yong He has moved to, and we finally found it at Lor 27A.

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Lai Lai Family Restaurant 来来红烧牛肉面

By , June 5, 2008

20, Liang Seah St S(189041) Tel: 68371556

While Hong Kong eateries are springing up all over Singapore, the same cannot be said for Taiwanese food. To curb cravings for authentic Taiwanese beef noodles, the most decent place would be Lai Lai Family Restaurant which is conveniently located along Liang Seah Street.

The Food
I ordered the Best Value Set A ($12.20 nett) which included the specialty beef noodles, one side dish and a bubble tea. The origins of this signature dish supposedly hails from the Sheraton Hotel in Taipei and is made up of fresh egg noodles, dark beef broth, accompanied by three different cuts of beef shins. 

The broth is strong in herbs and spices, very flavourful and somewhat spicy with its pepperish undertones. (Okay, my friend complained it was too herbal though.) It tastes best if you add in the preserved vegetables and dried chilli, a combination which can mask the taste of the beef. Though I am not a fan of carbs, the noodles is tangy and not too thick. Few eateries can cook beef well as they are either too raw and rubbery, or well-done and tough.

Some of the popular side dishes include Pepper Salt Chicken, Flower Squid, Braised Pork Slice, Century Egg Tofu. As a fan of Taiwanese fried hawker fare, the Pepper Salt Chicken was my first choice.

My take is: Too much salt and too little pepper. The chicken were slightly too dry and would have been much better had they been chunkier and juicier. The Century Egg Tofu, if served very cold, can be an interesting blend. More pork floss would have made it perfect though.  As for the other two, the Flower Squid is more rubbery rings than crispy calamari. While the braised pork slice is neatly and thinly cut up, the slices do not melt in your mouth immediately.

The Ambience
The restaurant can get rather crowded during peak hours. But do not take the seats upstairs. As it is an enclosed place, it can become a too noisy due to poor architectural acoustics. Plus they were blasting Jay Chou the last few times I went. So if you are not a fan…..

The Verdict
Probably the best place to get valuable and reasonable Taiwanese street fare here. 3.5*

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