Tar Pau Nation: Affordable Taiwanese favourites from 8 degrees

(Clockwise from top right) Salted chicken, chitterling And oyster meesua, and pork belly rice from 8 degrees.
(Clockwise from top right) Salted chicken, chitterling And oyster meesua, and pork belly rice from 8 degrees.ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

One of the places I miss travelling to for food is Taiwan, which boasts good produce as well as delicious and affordable street fare.

So it was no surprise that I woke up one day last week craving for oyster mee sua and lu rou fan (braised pork belly on rice), two hawker dishes I often ate on my visits.

My search online led me to 8 degrees, a Taiwanese eatery in Teck Chye Terrace that recently opened a second outlet in Foch Road.

Its website allows you to choose which branch you want to order from, so pick the one closer to you as the delivery fee is lower and the food will get to you faster.

When I placed my order at 11.50am, I received an e-mail confirming that the food would arrive in 60 minutes. Sure enough, the deliveryman was at my door at 12.50pm with the dishes nice and warm.

The mee sua from 8 degrees comes with a choice of oysters or chitterlings ($6.80), or both ($7.80). Since I like both and it is just a dollar more, I got the works.

It was certainly good value for money as the bowl had five plump oysters as well as a generous amount of thickly sliced, springy chitterlings (pig intestine) that were cooked perfectly. The offal is not always available though.

The starch-thickened soup was a tad bland, but that was remedied by stirring in a few spoonfuls of the black vinegar and chilli sauce that came with the order. These added just the zing needed to perk up the flavours.

The Pork Belly Rice ($6) was not the best I have eaten, but it was tasty. The meat was thinly sliced and not diced as in traditional lu rou fan. It was also not as fatty, which was why it did not have the melt-in-the-mouth texture and appealing aroma.

But the braising sauce was delicious and I liked that the rice also came with chopped pickled vegetables that proved to be a good match for the pork. There was also a braised hard-boiled egg to add heft to the dish.

The third item I ordered, Salted Chicken ($7.80), was the weakest despite being listed as one of the star dishes on the menu. It was rather dry and a little under-seasoned for my taste. Thankfully, there was some leftover chilli sauce to make it more palatable.

So I will order something else the next time. Scallion Oil Chicken Rice ($5.80) and Spicy Sesame Chilled Chicken ($7.80) sound really good.

8 degrees

Where: 37 Teck Chye Terrace and 20 Foch Road
To order: Go to this website. There is a minimum order of $15.
Delivery charge: Calculated on checkout. I paid $5.
3.5 stars out of 5