Good Food at Hainanese Village Food Centre

Hainanese Village Food Centre

Address: Blk 105, Hougang Ave 1

Hainanese Village Food Centre is a very popular makan place in the Hougang area, especially during the weekend. Like any other hawker centre in Singapore (except for the Kopitiam Square in Sengkang), there are lots of good hawker stalls. My mission is to try out these reputable stalls and let’s see why are these stall so popular, or not.

Hup Huat White Carrot Cake  (合发白萝卜糕)

Opening hours: 6.30am to 12.30pm (Closed Mon & Thu)

Hup Huat hawker stall is one of the few that serves only white carrot cake. The most distinct taste about this carrot cake is for it’s very crispy exterior. I can see that the hawker actually prepares each plate of carrot cake with care as he skillfully splits the big pan of carrot cake into smaller rectangular portion and to be pan fried to crisp.

From my observation, unlike some crispy fried oyster egg that is soaked and fried in oil, the oil that this hawker used is significantly lesser, and it does not taste too greasy as well.

I like this stall for their generous serving of eggs that holds the carrot cake together and this may be one of reasons why this carrot cake is so crispy. The unique thing about Hup Huat White Carrot Cake is their chilli is not stir-fried with the carrot cake but is spread onto the top surface of the carrot cake like how butter is spread on a toast.

If there is one area that can be better, i think they can consider sprinkling more Chye Poh (preserved radish) into the carrot cake. There is a $2.00 and $3.00 option and mine was the $3.00 portion.

Da Zhong Cafe (大衆茶室) – Coffee & Traditional Toast

Operating hours: 5:00am – 2:00pm

Very well know for their great tasting coffee at economical price. Their coffee gives off a very strong coffee aroma that is not usually found in ordinary food court coffee and it’s not because they purposely made the coffee “gao” (thick). Da Zhong prepares their own coffee mixture and sent them for grinding to powder form.

Generous serving of salted butter in their toast is one of my reasons to patronize this stall. This stall started their business in the 1970s before relocating to Hougang in 1983 with more than 30 years of coffee making experience.

Yi Liu Xiang Nasi Lemak (一流香) – Nasi Lemak

Operating hours: 6.30 am to 12pm. Closed on Mon and Thu.

The most prominent hawker stall with the longest queue in the morning. Unlike many Nasi Lemak stall, the main attraction for this Nasi Lemak stall is not chicken wing (in fact they don’t even offer chicken wing) but for their well flavoured Kuning fish. The fish is fresh, well-fried and yet the meat remains moist and tender. Ikan bilis is the non-sugar-coated version and chilli is less sweet than a typical Nasi Lemak Sambal Chilli.

Price for a plate of Nasi Lemak cost me $2.50 for Omelette, Kuning Fish, Ikan Bilis and Chilli Sambal. Not exactly cheap for the kind of ingredient offered but I like their Nasi Lemak for it’s distinct taste of coconut milk fragrance.

Lorong Ah Soo Lor Mee

Opening hours: Tue to Sun, Closed on Monday

This is the stall that always has a constant queue at Hainanese Village Food Centre. The best thing i like about this Lor Mee is they replaced the braised pork belly to a healthier shredded braised duck meat. It comes with a $2.50 or $3.00 option and a bowl of $3.00 noodle comes with plenty of condiments like braised egg, dish cakes and two kinds of Gnor Hiong (bean curd skin meat roll) and of course the shredded duck.

The gravy is not starchy and very flavorful to an extend of some people may find it a little salty. But it works fine for me. Queuing up for 30 minutes on weekends is a norm to be able to enjoy a bowl of Lorong Ah Soo Noodle. This stall has some mixed reviews online for it’s taste. I personally like it but probably will not queue up for half an hour for this Lor Mee as there are many other good options in Hainanese Village Hawker Centre. If the wait is only 15 minutes, then this works for me.

Dong Jin Yuan Dian Xin (东津园点心) – Fried Carrot Cake Stick

This stall offers fresh piping hot Carrot cake Sticks at $2 for 16 pieces. I ordered this a couple of time and the carrot cake sticks are warm at a minimum while retaining it’s crispness.

Best when the carrot cake Sticks are served right from the frying wok! Super crispy exterior and the inside is still soft and chewy. Fried Carrot Cake Sticks is one of many people’s favourite hawker food that is slowly disappearing from Singapore. There is a “Stall for Rent” sign pasted on the front of the stall. Better eat this while you can!

Worthy Mention: Lai Xing Cooked Food (来兴熟食) – Kway Chap

Opening hours: 6.30am to 1.30pm closed on Mondays and alternate Tuesdays

I am aware that there are a few good Kway Chap still in Hainanese Village Food Centre. What actually attracted me to patronize this particular Kway Chap is actually the old lady who is preparing the Kway Chap. She looks like she is already in her 70s and yet looks so fighting fit and so resilient. Really hats off to her.

Best thing i like about Lai Xing’s Kway Chap? Lai Xing’s Kway is very soft and thin which absorbs the soup easily which makes the Kway really flavorful. I do hope that there was more soup though.

Their pig intestine is very well marinated. Though it’s not the best pig intestine around, but this intestine taste very clean. It’s not tough but yet retains it’s springiness. I was also quite surprised by their lean meat. Most lean meat should be rather dry and tough but Lai Xing’s is tender and full of flavor.

<Punggol Noodle – 7.00am to 2.00pm Closed on Sun>

To be completed

Conclusion

This is not exactly the conclusion cus i will be going back to try the Cripsy Carrot Cake, the so-call overrated Lorong Ah Soo Lor Mee and apparently there is another Kway Chap that is quite popular in Hainanese Village Food Centre.

I have always been proud of our Singapore’s hawker food culture so i think it is important to support our hawker food and as well as writing reviews on them to share these information instead of only cafes and restaurants.

If i can only have an option to choose between having hawker food or restaurant food for the rest of my life, i guess i am someone who will choose hawker food.

Feel free to suggest any stall at Hainanese Village Food Centre that you find it’s worth the eat!

Ice Edge Cafe (Kovan) – Cosy not-so-little Ice-cream Cafe

Ice Edge Cafe

Address: 2 Kovan Road Simon Plaza, #01-10,

Operating hours: 12.00 pm to 12.00 am daily

Introduction

Ice Edge Cafe is one of my favourite cafes along the MRT north east line region that is within walking distance from Kovan MRT. Most of the time I will just pop by for their hand-crafted ice-cream and sometimes for their buffalo wings.

Ice edge cafe had recently just expanded their business floor area after taking over the shop beside it and they are offering a more extensive savory menu that includes a fixed 1-for-1 weekday lunch item on their menu. I had indicated the 1-for-1 menu at the bottom of the post. I had tried a couple of their dishes and I am writing those that I personally think it’s not bad.

Pesto Cream Chicken (17.90+)

This dish comes with a small portion of salad and flavored potato wedges. I like how Ice edge prepares their chicken which the surface of their chicken thigh is pan fried until it’s a little charred and crispy while the chicken still retain it’s overall tenderness. The aromatic buttery peppered pesto sauce is also quite well done which Ice Edge claimed that it was prepared using eight different kinds of herbs.

Salon Steak with Potato Gratin (19.90+)

Some of you will agree that some salmon will have a very ‘fishy’ taste that affects the overall taste of a grilled salmon. I am rather sensitive to that taste but Ice Edge’s grilled salmon contains almost no such ‘fishy’ taste (at least for this time).

Similar to their Pesto Chicken, the surface of the salmon is pan fried to crispness while it’s still soft and succulent on the inside. I thought the potato gratin is quite decent as well. It’s soft and well-flavoured with pepper, cheese and cream without overpowering the potato’s natural sweetness.

Buffalo wings (10.90)

The price is not exactly cheap for three pieces of drumlets and three pieces of mid-wings. But somehow the taste of these crispy wings managed to convince me to order their wings again on my subsequent visits. I particularly like the spicy/sour vinegar pepper hot sauce of ice edge’s buffalo wings.

Waffle and Ice-Cream

My favourite items from Ice edge’s menu -their handcrafted ice-cream. Ice Edge offers a decent variety of flavours like Lychee Martini, Salted egg yolk, Tiramisu, Rum & Raisins, Belgium Chocolate, Baileys, Champagne Vanilla, Pistachio, Snickers, but my favourite? It’s their Rocher and Mao Shan Wang Durian.

On a typical day, I will just pop by for a scoop of ice-cream but on pay day, I will order two scoops of ice-cream with their freshly made waffle! This is really sinful, as well as satisfying. Just looking at the waffle alone makes me a happier person. LOL. After Ice edge’s expansion, they are also offering sherbets but I have yet to try them out.

Others – Mao Shan Wang Lava Cake

By the way, i had also tried their Mao Shan Wang molten lava cake that comes with a scope of Mao Shan Wang durian ice-cream. I didn’t have my camera then so there’s no photo. The fillings of this cake is replaced by molten durian paste instead of molten Chocolate. I thought the cake does not taste as good as it sounds. The Molton durian paste is a little artificial for my taste and not the expected natural Durian taste like their Mao Shan Wang ice-cream. Their ordinary Chocolate Lava Cake is much better in my opinion.

Conclusion

I consider ice edge to be one of the very decent cafes at the Hougang/Sengkang/Punggol area, especially so if you are looking for one that is near a MRT station. This cafe will always be on my mind if I am having my meal in this area and is looking for a good place to chill out and to have dessert, maybe after a Soon Soon Teochew Porridge, Punggol Nasi Lemak, Qi Wei Chicken Pot, Nakhon Kitchen or Xin Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh at that area. Quite some good food at Kovan right? Not to mention about the Kovan Hawker Centre.

1-for-1 Weekday Lunch Menu

Here is the 1-for-1 menu during weekday lunch. You will be charged the higher price among the two:

Salad – Tomato Salsa 8.5, Sausage Salad 11.8

Soup – Mushroom Soup 5.8, Minestrone Soup 5.8, French Onion Soup 5.8

Appetizer & Light Snacks – Calamari Fritti 12.8, Chicken Wings 8.8, Buffalo Wings 10.8, Potato Wedges 6.8, French Fries 6.0

All Day Breakfast – Breakfast Stew 14.0

Oven Baked Rice -Salmon Baked Rice 17.0

Pasta – Seafood Aglio Olio 16.8, Penne all’ Arrabiata with Bacon & Ham 14.8, Spaghetti alle Vongole 15.8, Spaghetti Beef Bolognese 14.8, Prawn Pesto Cream Linguine 17.8, Chicken & Mushroom Cream Linguine 14.8

Western – Beef Ribeye Steak 26.8, Beef Tenderloin Steak 28.8, Salmon Steak 19.8
PEsto Cream Chicken 17.8, Double Pork Chop 15.8

Kids Meal – Chicken Nugget Set 9.5