Food Picks: Prawn noodle and lok lok at White Restaurant's new Fei Lou Fatt

The Signature Fei Lou Noodle at Fei Lou Fatt comes with jumbo prawns, abalone and braised pork ribs. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

Fei Lou Fatt

Decadent prawn noodles

If you had been to the original Sembawang white beehoon eatery in Jalan Tampang in the early 2010s, you would have noticed a stall on its premises called Sembawang Prawn Noodles.

The hae mee stall was started by the same owner, Mr Tay King Huak. It was closed after three years, however, when his family decided to focus on the white beehoon business and rebranded it as White Restaurant.

The prawn noodles made a return earlier this month at a new eatery in Upper Thomson Road, opened by Mr Tay's children who named it Fei Lou Fatt, his Cantonese nickname.

The menu is simple. Customers pick from a choice of noodles like beehoon and yellow mee, and decide whether they want it dry or in soup. There are six types of toppings, ranging from just prawns or braised pork ribs (from $8) to the top-of-the-range Signature Fei Lou Noodle ($20) that comes with jumbo prawns, abalone and braised pork ribs.

Go for the soup version because the broth is rich and flavourful - the result of simmering prawn heads and pork bones for up to 10 hours. If you are not a fan of abalone, the Big Prawn & Braised Pork Rib Noodle ($16) is cheaper and tastes just as good.

The menu also includes "prawn-zuke", a twist on Japanese ochazuke where green tea or dashi is added to rice. The prawn broth for the noodles is used for this, and the rice is topped with big prawns for $16 or smaller prawns for $8.

There is also a lok lok counter that sells skewers of vegetables, mushrooms, Korean fishcake, abalone and others for $1.20 to $3 each.

These are seasoned with mala, seaweed, BBQ or furikake flavours, then battered and deep-fried. They make a nice snack to go with the noodles or rice, paired with sauces like mayonnaise or Thai sweet chilli.

Where: Fei Lou Fatt, 928 Upper Thomson Road
MRT: Springleaf
Open: 8am to 10pm daily
Tel: 6252-3400


Superb grilled beef

Zabuton (beef chuck) from YakiniQuest. PHOTO: YAKINIQUEST

The owners of YakiniQuest, Mr Suguru Ishida and his wife Tomoko, certainly know their yakiniku. After all, the restaurant - which they opened about eight years ago - is named after their blog which they started in 2004 to document their experiences at restaurants specialising in grilled beef throughout Japan. They have visited more than 2,000 yakiniku restaurants since then.

The couple made the bold move to relocate to Singapore and open YakiniQuest in Boat Quay in 2014.

But they had always wanted a space in Orchard Road and their dream came true in January when the restaurant moved to the fourth floor of Mandarin Gallery.

The new place is more spacious, has four private rooms and can seat 64 diners.

There are two omakase courses for lunch, priced at $88 and $128 a person. For dinner, the choices are between $138 and $188. The menus are planned by Mr Ishida and chosen to showcase different cuts of meat and ways of eating it.

For example, I had grilled tongue eaten with chopped leeks, a wagyu aburi sushi and sukiyaki. Each provides a unique experience for the palate.

I like fatty meat so my favourite cuts are the ribeye and rib intercostal, but I appreciate that alternating them with leaner cuts that have more bite and flavour makes the meal more enjoyable. A staff member does the grilling at the table to ensure nothing is overcooked.

The meal includes a salad, chawanmushi and appetisers and ends with beef curry with rice or cold Inaniwa noodle.

If that is not enough, you can also add extra pieces like zabuton (beef chuck) with yam wasabi ($16) or rib finger ($42).

There are also small bites such as Japanese egg omelette with wagyu ($14) and wagyu croquette ($6 each).

Where: YakiniQuest, 04-08 Mandarin Gallery, 333 Orchard Road
MRT: Orchard/Somerset
Open: Noon to 3pm, 5.30 to 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays); closed on Sundays
Tel: 6223-4129

Taiga Dining

Exquisite omakase

Trio of Uni Handroll from Taiga Dining. PHOTO: TAIGA DINING

Finding the entrance to Taiga Dining, a new tenant at Regent Singapore, can be rather trying.

The sushi-ya's door looks like part of a wall painting and is so well-camouflaged that I walked past it a few times without seeing it and ended up asking for directions from a hotel staff.

That is supposed to provide a talking point for this 11-seater sushi restaurant, but I think it is unnecessary because the food is good enough to speak for itself.

Taiga Dining is named after chef Taiga Kanekuni, who comes from Kochi Prefecture in Japan's Shikoku island.

He has more than 20 years' experience in Japan before coming here to work as the head chef of Sushi Ayumu in Mandarin Gallery.

There are three omakase choices priced at $280, $380 and $480 for lunch, with the focus on Edomae sushi. The $280 option is not available for dinner.

The chef injects personal touches by using ingredients like pomelo and katsuo bonito from his home prefecture.

Some items also come with caviar or arugula, the result of his time working at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo.

The prices are on the high side compared with other sushi restaurants here, especially for lunch when many of them offer a cheaper option below $200. So try the $280 lunch the first time and, if you like it, you can go back for the full works.

Where: Taiga Dining, 01-03 Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road
MRT: Orchard
Open: 11am to 11pm (Tuesdays to Sundays); closed on Mondays
Tel: 8031-4306

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