Hong Sheng Restaurant
Blk 203 Toa Payoh North #01-1121 (Map) Tues – Sun: 4.30pm – 10pm Mon
This old school coffeeshop cze cha stall in the heart of the Toa Payoh heartland has seen generations of customers and they still fill up the place every evening – from boomers to the millennials. The Cantonese (but some Teochew and Hokkien dishes have entered the menu over the decades) hawker stall is “wo - manned” by a little team of seasoned aunty servers who know the nuances in the menu and even the chefs who cook them, well. Ask and they will recommend the Har Cheong Kai (prawn paste chicken; one of the best around), the claypot fish head with leeks, soft yam and greens. They still offer this humble and vanishing item – the old favourite crispy baby squid with a sweet, spicy and umami laden sticky sauce. The only item you miss not miss and is what makes this spot famous for, is the prawns with yellow chives – chunky, crunchy prawns stir fried with bold, aromatic yellow chives. This combination of flavours and texture is heaven made for your family meal there.
Hoy Yong Seafood Restaurant
352 Clementi Ave 2 #01-153 (Map) 6pm – 10pm Daily Alt Thu
Chef Hoy Yong is one colourful figure – he hangs a huge, good luck charmmedallion around his neck, is very talkative and is extremely proud of what he has learnt over the decades from Chinese masters including the Four Heavenly Kings and other top kitchens since the last century. He has reasons to be. You will see his icons on almost every family or group dinners like the legendary Duck Roll Tempura – duck fillet chunks with seafood, pork mince and vegetables, rolled in bean skin, steamed, cooled then fried with an incredible tempura batter. Do not miss his restaurant class fried Prawn in Bean Skin Roll (a joy to crunch it down), Nonya Assam Fish Head (extremely fresh), the superb Wat Tan Hor Fun (egg drop fried hor fun), his Yam Ring, made with mashed yam and fried into shape and stuffed with seafood and greens is one of the best around. His Nam Yu Pork, marinated with preserved red yam, is very comforting as is old fashioned dishes like fried large intestines with pineapple slices. Occasionally he offers (when supplies are available) has a remarkably smooth and juicy steam kampung chicken. His Eight Treasure Soup, steamed with a load of ingredients like chicken and pig stomach and herbs, is peerless in such establishments.
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