DS and I went to Tanjong Katong Road for dinner last Monday (31 Mar). That was one rare night out since I normally cook simple, no/low carbo dinners on weekdays.
Tanjong Katong which is in the east zone of Singapore is known to many Singaporeans as a place for food. The road looks rather quiet at night, but there is a good variety of food on both sides of the road. It is not far from where we live and also easily accessible by bus.
Our target that night was to go to Eng’s Noodles House for its Char Siew wanton noodles. We had been there once last October. We liked it and decided to go again after watching a TV food programme about this noodle shop recently. See, that’s the power of TV programmes! 😀
Oops, luck was not on our side! We should have rung up the shop before we went. It was not opened for business that day (it closes on alternative Mondays).
DS was quick to spot a long queue across the street and that became our obvious alternative choice.
We had to queue for about 15 mins to get our food. So, that must be good, right?
Spotted on the wall – Best Food Awards 2003. It has appeared on TV programmes and also newspaper articles. So I got really excited and my expectation was also heightened as we approached the counter to make our orders.
Pretty good variety of dishes to go with the coconut rice (nasi lemak). I noticed there was continuous cooking in the kitchen, and the food replenished from time to time. So, they were fresh.
My choices – otah (poached patty made of spicy fish paste), fried Kuning (yellowstripe scad) fish, vegetable curry and fried ikan bilis (anchovies). I always prefer Kuning fish to fried chicken and it is a must-have for my nasi lemak.
DS chose ladies’ fingers (or okra), fried chicken wings, ngo hiang (fried minced meat roll) and sotong balls. By ordering different dishes, we got to eat more variety of dishes by sharing with each other. 🙂
I would say most of the dishes were good & tasty, especially the chicken wing, fried anchovies and ngo hiang. However, the ladies’ fingers didn’t go well with DS. He found them too hard, perhaps under cooked.
We were expecting the nasi lemak (coconut rice) to be very fragrant since there was a very strong coconut aroma permeating the air around the shop while we were queuing to buy. But we were a little disappointed that the rice was not as fragrant as we expected. We have just tasted very fragrant nasi lemak at Madam Kwan’s recently.
In my opinion, to pay S$14.70 for two plates of nasi lemak (without drinks), the meal was a little pricey considering that it is a hawker food sold in a simple, non-air-conditioned shop. In fact, many of us were sitting outside the shop, along the corridors in front and by the side of the shop (see second photo above). I also noticed near the serving counter an inconspicuous signboard written “Extra Serving of chilli, cucumber are chargeable”. So, you can’t ask for more of these unless you are prepared to pay more. I wonder how much more?!
So, this sums up our first experience with this popular Ponggol nasi Lemak.
We then moved on to have our second round!
We found a durian stall not far away from Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre! That was lovely! If you have read my past posting, you would know that I love durians, more so if they are really good ones!
These Mao Shan Wang durians have very yellowish and creamy flesh which I like a lot. At S$12 per kilo (reasonable price for good quality durians), this one costs us S$20 and the two bottles of water were complimentary. What a thoughtful service! This was the first time I came across free supply of bottled water from a durian seller! There were 7 seeds in this durian below.
See how small the seed was! 🙂
I jokingly told the stall owner how expensive it was with just 7 seeds and guess what happened next? He came offering a second one at no costs soon after. What a pleasant surprise! But we didn’t feel good to accept his offer, after all he is making a living. He finally agreed to collect S$20 from us although I think this was a bigger and heavier one with a lot more fruits.
After a very satisfying session savouring these durians, we had a short chat with the very humble and friendly stall owner. We learned that he has been in this business for more than 20 years, selling particularly Mao Shan Wang (formerly called durian kunyit).
Stall owner, uncle Leong, taken while chatting with him.
We were given a name card before we left. Uncle Leong suggested that we ring him before we go again. This is to make sure that we don’t make a wasted trip there. On days when he finds the quality of durians from the supplier not good enough, he will not open for business. That was impressive! Surely, uncle Leong is a man who knows his business and understands what a good customer service means. That explains why he has many repeat customers. This is just so different from the fruit seller nearby our home who started to sell us not so good durians after we became his regular customers. We have stopped buying from this guy.
Thanks, uncle Leong!
We will surely go back for more, probably in early June as he recommended.