Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Favorite Cafe, Lucky Plaza

Yong Tau Foo

No, this wasn't *my* favorite cafe. The name of this place was literally "My Favorite Cafe," and it was the yong tau foo place at Lucky Plaza (304 Orchard Road #06-46) that someone recommended the other day.

I was a bit concerned when they dumped so much chili sauce on it, but fortunately the sauce wasn't as stanky nor as sweet as I thought it might be. And just as it was suggested, the deep fried meatballs were pretty darned tasty. Yeah, I liked this place better than the one that I had the other day.

Even though I don't like yong tau foo so much that I'll come scrambling back right away, it was good to know that there was a shop waaaay up there at the top of Lucky Plaza. They were selling some other local dishes too.


Anonymous said...

When you're at Lucky Plaza, I'd suggest you drop by the shop "Ayam Penyet Ria" and order the Nasi Ayam Penyet (errm, flattened Chicken Rice?) Food's served hot, chicken's crispy and the chili is to die for.

Anyway, I've been an avid reader of your blog for years. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Haven't had that in a while! The fried meatballs are great.

Yes, the flattened chicked is pretty solid, artery choking though it is. It's on level 1 above the foodcourt I think.

Steven said...

Yeah, try the malay chicken rice on the opposite side, really good! I found the yongtaufoo ordinary though. I also like the vegetarian store in the basement coffeeshop.

Kathy said...

I actually like this dish alot but it's very difficult to find a really special place. If you have to go food court, the one at Cineleisure seems to be the best bet. Never go to those (at food courts) where they boil the items to death in water all at the same time.

I think one defining detail is -- if they put the triangular piece of tau pok the customer picks into their cauldron of simmering soup and replaces it with a piece that has been simmering in the soup, it is probably a good place. That particular piece is like oden, it's got to be simmered for the flavour to emerge.

If you'd pay $10 a bowl for this stuff, try the shop at Mosque Street. I was hesitating about recommending this place, not that it's not good, but the price is for about five pieces of niang dou fu. (I actually got a second bowl though). They only open for lunch I believe.

The flavours are pretty subtle, ethetherally light. The soup is especially sweet -- stock made from promfret fish bones, soya beans and ikan billis.

It does make one appreciate the finer touches of what an intricate dish this could possibly be, especially if it was home made. Last I remembered, they didn't try to drown it in lots of sweet sauce either.

There's another one (teochew style) which is at Chinatown food market, they open early in the morning. You'd know which one from the long queue. You don't really get to pick the pieces, it's a standard bowl, though I've seen some people customize it. For a first time, just go with what they give.

As a personal rule, the food in sgp is almost never worth queueing for. (It is also partly because there are great places like Xiao Ping which people would not normally go to or appreciate). This shop however is. The flavours are more rustic but no less inferior to its more expensive cousin. The dry version is slight more "oomph" imho.

(One can't compare Xiao Ping with Din Tai Fung, though it can be a tough call to say which one is more special.)

There used to be one Cantonese style one at this Redhill market, hawker center, near the MRT station where they drizzle sesame oil sparingly into the noodles or soup. I'm not sure if they are still there, but it's a second generation place run by two sisters. It's an interesting take on what is usually a light dish with little oil in the sauce.

Have you tried the Thai version of this dish?

Anonymous said...

Check out Orchard yong tau foo at one corner of Cuppage Plaza, the same level where Kushigin is on. It's damn good, and soup is tasty from soya beans and ikan bilis. If you go for the dry version, chili and sweet sauce is kickass good too.

The best thing about this shop is that the variety is astounding with a good balance of both non fried and fried items, downside is that it doesn't open till late.

Anonymous said...

Yes! do try out the yong tau fu at cuppage.. really good but the queue can be pretty long. The soupbase is yummy!!