Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo, the Yong Tau Foo that packs a punch

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo at Telok Ayer (福林豆腐园)

Address (Google Map): 127 Telok Ayer Street

Opening hours: Mon to Fri 9.00am to 6.00pm, Sat 9.00am to 3.00pm

East Coast Main Branch: 721 East Coast Road

Opening hours: Daily 10.00am to 9.00pm

Introduction

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo, was established in year 1994 and has since enjoyed great popularity among Singaporeans. People normally associate Yong Tau Foo with the word “healthy” and “plain”, but Fu Lin’s version is not quite the norm. It’s a different kind of Yong Tau Foo where it’s served with a bowl of thick bee hoon, topped with a serving of thick minced chicken gravy.

They have a few outlets in Singapore and their main branch is situated along East Coast Road, The branch at Telok Ayer is always full house during lunch time and this briefly gives an idea on their popularity.

Yong Tau Foo with Minced Meat Sauce

I like Fu Lin for two reasons – the sinfully unique style of Yong Tau Foo, and the freshness of their ingredient. It’s a little surprising to know that there is no pork in any of Fu Lin’s ingredients and therefore this also sets them apart from the Ampang Hakka Style Yong Tau Foo, which uses pork and fish as main ingredients.

Each piece of Yong Tau Foo is freshly fried and served with a good drench of their home made gravy, which is made from key ingredients like minced chicken, mushroom, garlic and sesame oil. The gravy is not overly cloying, which is an important factor when pairing with mostly fried items. Some may find the gravy a little starchy but I can deal with it.

Most bean stick items are popular because of the ability to absorb the meat gravy that makes them really delectable. My personal favourite is their Cheese Chicken Frank and Dough Fritters. Most people accompany their Yong Tau Foo with a bowl of smooth thick bee hoon or rice that’s drenched in their special braised sauce.

Pricing

Apart from being more unhealthy than a usual meal of Yong Tau Foo, the pricing of Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo also made it slightly less appealing. it cost $5.30 for a bowl of bee hoon with 6 pieces of Yong Tau Foo and it’s $0.70 for each additional piece. However, the boss once mentioned that he ensures that only the freshest and best ingredients are used in his Yong Tau Foo and therefore the premium price. Worth it or not? You be your own judge. Apparently judging by the bustling lunch crowd, many are still willing to fork out the premium price.

Conclusion

Personally, I think Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo is worth the visit for occasion sinful indulgence. Taste wise, some items are very similar to what I had outside, like their vegetables, carrot and radish. It’s the fried stuff and the meat sauce that made the difference. It’s a pity that it’s a little pricey if you compare it to a hawker price, but it’s still OK if we compare it to a high end food court. For me, I think it’s still reasonable to pay a little more for a unique meal of Yong Tau Foo. If I am around Telok Ayer area during lunch time, Fu Lin will definitely be at the back of my head.

Great Angus Steak at Market Grill @ Telok Ayer

Market Grill

Address (Google Map): 208 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068642

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm, Closed on Sun

Introduction

Market grill is a relatively new western grill bar situated along the stretch of shop house along Telok Ayer road that is nearer to Amoy Food Centre. Their menu is extensive considering the floor area of the restaurant. Probably due to the small seating capacity, they do not take in reservation.

Market Grill is rather well known for their steaks and burgers. For their lower range steak, the choice of cut is interesting that they decided to go with the less well known cut such as the bavette. Bavette is a cut somewhere at the stomach of the cow and it’s a french term for flank steak. A flank actually quite commonly used in the Chinese cuisine for “stir-fried beef”.

They also offer another cut known as the Wagyu Rump. A beef rump is very different to American and British. To the British, beef rump is actually referring to the Sirloin cut while the American refers rump to the round of the cow, that is the cut at the lower back, near to the hind legs of the cow. I read online that some people said that it’s really tender so i have to guess that it’s a British rump. Care to share if you have better knowledge of Market Grill’ rump.

Their menu: Click to enlarge

200 Days Grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib

I ordered their 200 days grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib that cost $150 at 1.10kg. If you read the finer print, this dish is actually good for sharing for up to three pax (which i did). A 45 minutes waiting time is required for the preparation of this dish.

The medium steak is served sliced for easy sharing and comes with a portion of thick red wine sauce and a portion of sarladise potato. To put it simply, sarladise means cooking it in fats (normally duck) and seasoned with garlic. The simple potato side dish is delightful as it absorbs the oil and it’s naturally flavoured by the fats and a tinge of garlic.

For their steak, it’s a 10 out of 10 for it’s appearance. The appearance itself explains why 45 minutes of waiting time is required. The steak is properly sliced to the appropriate thickness so that it’s chunky but yet not overly thick. The exterior is grilled to slightly charred that adds on a grilled fragrance with a simple and yet well-balanced marinate of salt and pepper.

The juicy and tender center

The medium steak is tender in the juicy center. Certain areas of the steak consist of small chunks of fatty beef. Although it’s not exactly melt in your mouth, it’s definitely not rubbery and the fats break down with little effort from the jaw. For more flavours, drizzle the thick red wine sauce over the sliced steak. For me, the steak itself is good enough.

Drizzle with Red Wine Sauce

Charcuterie Connoissuer Board

The outlook of this starter dish looks really sad, with a few piece of paper thin meat and slices of bread. However I will say that this starter is quite interesting but probably not something that Singaporeans will salivate over.

The Pate Forestier, which is a chicken liver paste flavoured with garlic and mushroom. It taste very much like foie gras paste and it goes very well with the toasted sourdough bread. This is my favourite among all.

Front to back: Pate Forestier, Duck Rilette, Rosette Superieure Saucisson, Chorizo Iberico, Veal Lyoner, Sourdough Bread

Duck Rilette is like the shredded version of duck confit, salted and cooked in fats. The Veal Lyoner (Lyon Sausage) taste very much like our cold cut ham. Nothing fantastic. The rosette superieure saucisson is a kind of thick, dry cured sausage that originates in France and there is a rather strong smell that is not exactly pleasant. Definitely not my favourite.

I guess I am not very used to such kinds of flavour, but it’s really an eye opener. All these come at a price of $28.

Onion Matchsticks

The onion matchsticks is actually onion rings. Sliced onions were coated in a thin batter and fried to crisp. It’s a little oily but really great to go with beer.

By the way, have you hear of a saying that matchstick can help to prevent tearing while cutting onion? Bite a piece of matching stick with the head facing out and it will absorb the chemical that caused tearing. Probably it won’t work though.

Conclusion

After reading this article from City Normads, claiming Market Grill to be the top 10 place for steak in Singapore, i decided to pay a visit. I’d researched on this place and the reviews are just so-so for the cheaper cut of steaks so i decided to try the premium range.

It turns out to be a good decision after all.

The non-overcrowding dimly listed restaurant/bar seems like a great place to chill out with friends after work while enjoying a reasonably-priced  meal (they do not charge 10% of service charge).

I didn’t have the chance to try their signature burgers so probably I’ll be back for those. For those who had their burgers, do feel free to share your experience with us.

The supposed signature Cod Fish Burger. My friend said that it’s quite flavorful but a little salty.