At first glance, the protein bowls from a tiny hawker stall named Beng Who Cooks at Hong Lim Complex Market & Food Centre are not the prettiest to look at.
But unlike some Instagram-friendly bowls that do look pretty but lack flavour, these make for a satisfying and semi-healthy meal.
This will appeal to those on a health kick after the year-end festive season and before the impending Chinese New Year, when another round of indulgent feasting will start.
At this stall, you can customise your bowl - pick your carbohydrates, proteins, sides, add-ons and a sauce - by filling out a form.
Bowls start at $6 for the smaller "hawker" bowl (one protein and two sides) and $9 for the larger "towkay" bowl (two proteins and four sides). The menu also changes at the start of every quarter.
The options for the base are pretty standard - white rice, fusilli pasta, or romaine lettuce.
For proteins, the choices are chicken, spicy beef, dory fish and pan-fried tofu. However, I find the chicken and beef slightly under-seasoned.
The sides are the real stars.
I particularly enjoy the crispy, slightly charred broccolini tossed in sea salt, and the crunchy, garlic chives that I pick for my bowl. The lightly fried cherry tomatoes are sweet and succulent, while the onsen egg is perfectly cooked.
BENG WHO COOKS
#01-44, Hong Lim Complex Market & Food Centre; open: 10am to 5.30pm (Monday to Friday), closed on Saturdays and Sundays; go to www.facebook.com/BengWhoCooks, www.instagram.com/bengwhocooks, or e-mail email@example.com
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
For added texture in your bowl, options include corn flakes, garlicky bread crumbs , "broken crispy fragments" or deep fried tofu skin, and the unusual tea jelly which you are more likely to find in bubble tea.
I also like that the sauces - choose from mild "lemonion" lemon and onion, sour "Golden Complex" and spicy "5-Foot Fury" - come on the side in a separate container, so you can add as much as you like.
My bowl was just fine without the addition of any sauces, though for those who want a spicy kick, the kicap manis-like 5-Foot Fury sauce definitely packs a punch.
Additional servings for any of the components cost between 50 cents and $2.
It is amazing to see that co-owner and chef Jason Chua, the charming "beng" who cooks, manages to make all of this with a minimalist kitchen set up in a tiny space.
Chef Chua might even slip you an extra side if you ask nicely.