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  • The Ultimate Fried Rice Hack!

    We love food (you know that), and so when the opportunity arises, we love talking to cooks and chefs of all kinds of food establishments. When that starts, we sometimes discover new dishes, or dishes done with a little extra something, that make for super-awesome off-menu items! And because they are off-menu, you only know them because you’ve seen them here… Let’s call these… “Food Hacks”. =)

    The Ultimate Fried Rice Hack!

    On the third floor of Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, you will find this little kitchen (affectionately called “小厨” in Mandarin). In the first place, you might have never heard about this old shopping centre; and then, you might never ever think of venturing up to the third floor–especially if a quick Google search tells you that this place is like a “ghost town”. But, steady your hearts and persevere on, for it will be worth it!

    The other important thing is that you would have to use this “food hack” only after 2:15PM. Why so? Well, simply, because before that time, the auntie/chef has no time for your fun and games. =P During the lunch hours, this kitchen sells many Singaporean noodle dishes (like Lor Mee, Prawn Mee, Wanton Mee, etc.) as well as Mixed Vegetable Rice with a modest range of dishes. These are not too bad, and definitely worth the try if you happen to be in the area.

    But, you aren’t here for those. We are here for something that isn’t listed on their menu–午餐肉炒饭 (Luncheon Meat Fried Rice). And, if you see their fried egg omelette from the Mixed Vegetable Rice selection, it is imperative that you ask the auntie to fry some of that into the dish.

    The Ultimate Fried Rice Hack!

    This is what you will get (there will be more egg if you do ask for it). This fried rice also owes its success to an ingredient that is typically missing in the fried rice of this day and age. Remember when fried rice had small fresh prawns fried into it? Slowly, prawns disappeared and were replaced by mock vegetarian flour substitutes and other stuff of like nature. And we’ve pretty much gotten used to that mediocrity.

    Here, you get large chunks of very fresh and juicy prawns wok-fried into your rice. Why? Because this little kitchen also sells Prawn Mee, and it is must for them to have large, fresh, and juicy prawns. And since they don’t keep the prawns overnight, after lunch hours, all these yummy prawns find their way into your fried rice! YESSsss! =) Finally, the power-ups of luncheon meat and additional eggs just make this fried rice a true knockout winner! Luncheon Meat & Egg Fried Rice = 88 Brownie Points! ($4.00)

    There’s a reason why we keep coming back; “haunt” status for us!


    Yun Nam Kitchen
    756 Upper Serangoon Road
    Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre
    Singapore 534626
    Hack Hours:
    2:15PM to 4:00PM

  • Honest-to-goodness Prawn Mee in Kallang!

    Prawn Mee in Kallang!

    The first thing that caught our eye was the Mandarin sign in thick, bright-red strokes that said “BIG PRAWN MEE” (or “noodles”, if you have a problem with mee–haha…). Well, if you can’t miss the sign, you better not miss the food. We ordered “Dry” because we would be getting the “Soup” separately anyway, and so kill two birds with a stone.

    Prawn Mee in Kallang!

    When we were asked to pay $2.50, we thought the auntie had made a mistake! A bunch of thick yellow noodles, 2 prawns, fish cake slices, and lean pork slices and crispy fat PLUS a bowl of refillable soup… this was already working out even before tucking in. Soup was tried first–oh, the soup… It was dark brown, thick, and brothy; meaty flavour from the pork and sweet natural essence from the prawns. Apparently the soup is that good because it is prepared from some original traditional recipe.

    Prawn Mee in Kallang!

    Next up was the bowl of “Dry” noodles. Tossing it up with their blend of sauces and stuffing as many ingredients as we could into every mouthful, it was yummy. The prawns were fresh; everything was fresh–even the crispy fat which was light-golden in colour seemed to be freshly deep-fried. When it all comes together perfectly, you will understand what those large Mandarin words say. =) “Dry” Prawn Noodles = 83 Brownie Points! ($2.50)

    We will definitely be back here! Does what it says; what else could you ask for?


    Simply Noodles
    Block 66, Kallang Bahru
    Singapore 330066
    Tel: +65 9634 1193
    Opening Hours:
    6:30AM to 4:30PM

  • The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!

    What’s in a name? WHAt’s in a NAMe? WHA NAMe? HWA NAMe? HWA NAM? HUA NAM?

    You know what, they’re so badass they can’t be bothered. If you are coming from further out, you’d see “HWA NAM RESTAURANT”, and so be it. And if you happened to walk down from along the five-foot-way, you’d see “HUA NAM RESTAURANT”–and that is really your problem.

    If you noticed the main signboard above the shopfront, you would even see the owner’s name right there on a notice in the four major languages of Singapore; “so-and-so is licensed to sell by retail intoxicating liquors for consumption on these premises.” Like a boss; very nice. What were you selling again?!

    The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!

    Well, we’ve eaten here for years, and so closer observation in a different light does bring a lot of chuckles. If you notice the eagle-eyed boss staring at you from behind the front counter bastion, don’t be alarmed; he simply suspects you are a cowboy from out of town–he knows very well–badass places attract badass people.

    The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!


    Hua Nam sells “Hong Kong” Dim Sum and Pastries, Fish or Chicken Porridge, Roasted Meats with Rice, and an extensive range of Zi Char dishes. They have been around for a long time, and so you will see many regular customers coming in to take away Dim Sum and pastries. It is very important for Dim Sum to have good turnover, so that the delicate wheat starch or rice flour skins do not become soggy and sticky, and the fillings are not overcooked or start to smell of the wooden steamer baskets.

    The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!


    The selection we got was fresh and what you would expect to eat when going for Dim Sum. Fillings were succulent and sufficiently distinct in taste to make each dish enjoyable and satisfying. The beautiful thing about Dim Sum is that you are able to eat morsels of foods with different flavours in a few rounds–a “carousel of indulgence”, if you will. And this we had even with the light selection we had.

    The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!


    Another favourite here is their fried rice–and more specifically the luncheon meat fried rice. Yes, it isn’t the most healthy… But with the healthy amount of wok hei and the familiar comforting flavour of luncheon meat, this fried rice is one that will surely bring you back to your younger days of such simple pleasures!

    The Most Badass Dim Sum Place in Upper Thomson!

    Hua Nam Restaurant = 82 Brownie Points!

    There’s a reason why we keep coming back; “haunt” status for us!


    Hua Nam Restaurant
    244-F Upper Thomson Road
    Thomson Garden Estate
    Singapore 574369
    Tel: +65 6453 3645
    Opening Hours:
    7:00AM to 11:30PM
    Closed on Mondays

  • Pau WAO in MacPherson!


    And so, on a lazy afternoon, we crept into this sleepy coffeeshop along MacPherson Road. It wasn’t our first time there, but the way time moves at half the speed over there is still pretty amazing and worth mentioning.


    For sure it was sleepy, because the uncle behind the counter was face down in his hands on the tabletop having a nap–and we were almost shouting at him by the time we decided that maybe someone else had better serve us. Well, he must have been really tired–so no worries–and we got the coffee uncle to serve us instead. We told him that we were going to take some photos, and feature the shop, and it was really nice of him to straighten up his bow-tie and up his customer service factor by a couple of notches–awesome.


    The first thing we tried was Lotus Leaf Rice; you would notice it looks as appetising as a leaf ever would, thanks to good sunlight and great technology… But honestly it looked alright in real life, and we couldn’t wait to open up and tuck in.


    It was EXACTLY how it looks in the picture–WET. It wasn’t oily, but it was surely wet. We suspect that people did not really have the time to wait for their Lotus Leaf Rice to be heat up upon order, and so the uncle had a serving always in the steamer and ready to go. And we just happened to get the one that was ready-to-go since don’t-know-when. It wasn’t a great impression, but we went ahead to taste it anyway–we always give food a chance, however bad it looks (our brownies didn’t have toppings in the early days too, and so many people still gave us a shot!). The glutinous rice was overdone as expected because of the over-steaming, and so it was almost losing its texture as rice and somewhat soggy–but we know some people do like it that way. Another problem from the oversteaming, the insides smelt just a little too grassy–that would probably be the leaves overcooking, causing unwanted notes to show up in addition to the intended Lotus Leaf fragrance. The positive thing was that the package was filled with so much tasty ingredients that rice didn’t really seem that large a factor after awhile; there were pieces of chicken and pork, a chestnut, and a salted egg-yolk.

    However long it was steamed for, the fact was that we finished every last grain of the Lotus Leaf Rice. Reason? It grew on us as we ate more and more of it. There was this rustic quality that comes with home-cooked food and indie hawker stalls–stuff you would not get in shopping malls. Where are you going to find such strong Lotus Leaf flavour anywhere else? And probably only mummy overcooks her rice from time to time and you know you are having something that cannot be found anywhere else. Lotus Leaf Rice = 73 Brownie Points

    “Mr Pau, penny for your thoughts?”


    Next up, we tried the Da Pau. It was great as usual. The pork was delicious and succulent, cooked right in many aspects. The bun that encapsulated the meat was perfect–thin without being flimsy, and firm enough to hold its shape. With just the right amount of gravy soaking into the bun, this was one truly satisfying Pau. Da Pau = 80 Brownie Points


    We were almost done when this Kong Bak Pau caught our attention. Why was it made like that? Typically, there would be a larger bun with just a little meat and fat visible at both ends. This was terribly interesting–but you wonder if it was the taste buds or curiosity asking the questions. In any case, this Braised Pork Belly Pau was summoned to our table for a full inquiry. =) It is difficult to describe how it went, but let’s just say it was over pretty quick and we had only good to say about it. Kong Bak Pau = 80 Brownie Points


    One more thing–okay, okay, three more things–before we left, some Dessert Paus. On hindsight, it wasn’t that good an idea because first, we were beyond full by then, and second, we tend to be really strict on sweets… But oh well, from left to right: Coffee Pau, Pandan Pau, and Corn Pau. They definitely looked fun and interesting, but the buns were too thick relative to the fillings. The flavours could have been represented better and the textures could have been more fine. Probably something for the rare customer who isn’t full even though the rest of the table is; but we still rather recommend having half a Da Pau for dessert any day (we will share with you). Dessert Paus = 55 Brownie Points

    Worth coming back for all the right reasons!


    Lai Ji Handmade Pau & Dimsum
    458 MacPherson Rd
    Singapore 368176
    Telephone: Unknown
    Opening Hours: Random (Whenever uncle is awake.)