Sunday, April 08, 2007

Family Dinner

Having the occasional dinner with my parents gives me the opportunity to check out eateries on the eastern half of the island. Except for special occasions, we usually end up at one of the hawker centres and zhi cha stalls in the area.

Just the other night, we checked out Sin Ho, a zhi cha stall in a coffeeshop at the corner of Bedok North Road and Bedok North Avenue 3. We had intended to try a newly opened restaurant just downstairs but it was chock-a-block with a wait time of at least 30 minutes, so we went round the corner instead.
One look at the crowd, or rather the lack thereof on a Saturday night, and we had an idea what to expect. There were maybe five or six tables filled, so this wasn't some traditional favourite or a hotspot du jour.

With moderate expectations, we ordered the following:

bitter gourd with pork ribs

tofu with chye por (pickled vegetables)

spinach stirfried with top shell

steamed pomfret

Of the lot, the only real disappointment was the bitter gourd with pork ribs. For some reason, it was surprisingly bland, odd for a dish that is usually served with salty and flavourful black bean sauce (tau si). The top shell and spinach was at least passable, typical for zhi cha stalls. The fish was well done - fresh and flaky - but the highlight was really the tofu with chye por. The tofu was deepfried while still exquisitely soft on the inside, and the chye por was a nice touch.

To sum it up, it wasn't a gem of a find, not by a long shot, but it was pleasant enough for a family dinner.

(To my sister, S: if you want to see the folks digging in, look here.)



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