SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - I may have discovered one of my favourite new places to eat in Bedok.
House Of Happiness made me happy for an hour as I wolfed down bowls and bowls of rice. It was a carb nightmare for some, but such a joy for me.
The claypot rice restaurant has discovered a way around what it perceives as a downer - the long waiting time for the dish to be cooked - and employed a parboiling technique to hasten the process.
Usually, this sets off alarms for me. But when tasting it, you will probably not be able to tell the difference.
Given our country's love of Japanese food, the Onsen Egg with Ikura and Tobiko ($11) seems like a natural progression.
It is basically all those ingredients with the rice, and you liberally splash the house-made sauce of red bean-based dark sauce, Shaoxing wine and garlic.
The bursts of the roe inside your mouth, plus that intoxicating mellow sauce makes this one of the more interesting dishes I have tried.
House Of Happiness
Where: 294 Bedok Road
Open: Wednesday to Monday, noon to 10pm. Closed on Tuesdays
Also deserving attention is the Teriyaki Pork Jowl ($7) featuring pork jowl slices that have been cooked sous vide for 16 hours, marinated in a teriyaki sauce and then pan-seared.
The saltiness of the sauce works well with the mellow and tender pork.
The meat is so stellar that the rice is an afterthought.
My favourite of the lot - Pork Lard, Furikake, Onsen Egg ($7) - should join the menu from tomorrow. I had a preview of it because the chef was testing it out and getting opinions.
Well, my opinion is that this is bliss.
But as it is, it is the right balance of texture and sensations.
The egg may muddle the texture a little but that is because I want all my deep-fried lard crispy. There is a series of sides too, in case you are tired of just eating claypot.
The people behind House Of Happiness are also the ones responsible for the popular stall Mr Lorbak in Ubi, so naturally they brought some of their signature dishes over.
The Signature Lorbak ($9) is a must-have because there are few things more delicious than pork braised overnight in a stock of herbs and spices. The meat is so tender, with the flavours locked into the skin.
Way less successful is the Luncheon Fries ($4). I was baffled why it was recommended, because there is nothing inventive, interesting or exciting about it. I could have done this at home with my air fryer.
But still, I finished it because one simply does not waste luncheon meat.