MORE THAN STEAMBOAT
Boon Hwee Teochew Fish Head Steamboat, which opened more than a month ago in Toa Payoh, offers a lot more than steamboat.
In fact, it is quite different from the usual HDB zi char stall. Its head cook Tan Moon Fatt used to be a chef at the Pan Pacific hotel in Kuala Lumpur and head chef of Putrajaya Seafood Restaurant in the Malaysian capital.
That explains why, instead of the usual prawn paste chicken and sweet and sour pork, you get dishes such as Typhoon Shelter Crayfish (from $22), Mongolian Pork Rib (from $10) and Beancurd With Dried Scallop (from $12), dishes that you usually find in seafood restaurants. The cooking is restaurant standard too, despite the kopitiam setting.
My favourite dish is the White Bee Hoon ($4, right), which is fried dry with prawns, fish cake, lean pork and egg, as well as beansprout and cai xin.
Check out the Salted Fish Meat Pies (from $8) too. They are a bit salty on their own but go really well with rice.
Where: Boon Hwee Teochew Fish Head Steamboat, Block 8 Toa Payoh Lorong 7 MRT: Toa Payoh When: 11am - 2pm, 5 - 10pm (Mon - Sat), 5 - 10pm (Sun). Closed on alternate Wed Tel: 8368-0380/ 9385-5904
If you are wondering how many ways you can cook a mud crab, you’ll find some ideas at the crab promotion at Plaza Brasserie.
The dinner buffet offers mud crabs cooked in 14 styles every night, which is probably the most you can find in any eatery.
There are the usual Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab, but you also find new creations such as Crab Kut Teh, cooked in a bak kut teh broth. It doesn’t taste as strange as it sounds but I much prefer the Steamed Crab With Dang Gui, a Chinese herb.
Other versions to go for include Salted Egg Crab, Cereal Crab and Nonya Crab.
Besides the 14 styles of whole crab, the crustacean can also be found in other dishes on the buffet spread, such as Spicy Crabmeat Salad, Crabmeat Tartlet and Crabmeat Roti John.
Where: Plaza Brasserie, Parkroyal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road MRT: Bugis/Nicoll Highway When: Till July 27, 6 - 10.30pm daily Price: $65 an adult, $39 a child Tel: 6505-5710
KING OF FRUIT
Durian season is here and lovers of the fruit can find a good deal at Cafe Brio’s, where the dinner buffet includes as much durian as you can eat.
The theme of the buffet is Singapore Heritage Cuisine, with local fare such as Wok-Fried Chilli Crab, Mutton Rendang, Fried Carrot Cake and Laksa. But there are some international dishes too, including sashimi and roasted lamb leg.
Desserts include sago gula melaka and pandan kaya cake. But you should leave room for the durians.
Where: Cafe Brio’s, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore, 392 Havelock Road MRT: Outram When: 6 - 10pm daily Price: $60 an adult, $30 a child (Mon - Thu), $70 an adult, $35 a child (Fri - Sun) Tel: 6233-1100
CURRY IN A HURRY
The traditional scissor-cut curry rice goes modern at Hainanese Curry Rice, a chain of air-conditioned outlets in places such as The Rail Mall, Lot 1, Esplanade MRT station and Tanjong Pagar MRT station.
It’s laid out like a fast-food outlet, with the different set meals comprising a fried egg, vegetables and a choice of meat or seafood.
And, of course, curry sauce, ladled liberally over the rice.
There is a choice of six sets, including Pork Chop Set ($4), Sambal Sotong Set ($5) or Sambal Prawn Set ($5), among others. Add a glass of lime juice for an extra $1.
The curry is tasty but generally, I find the sambal dishes better than the deep-fried ones.
You can also order a la carte dishes at some outlets such as The Rail Mall, including a pretty good fish head curry at $28 for half a fish head.
But still, I find the range of dishes rather limited. Curry rice is always more appealing with a big selection of dishes.
Where: Hainanese Curry Rice, outlets at The Rail Mall, 444 Upper Bukit Timah Road; Lot 1 Shoppers’ Mall B1-K24; Esplanade MRT Xchange B1-35; Tanjong Pagar MRT B1-27/47 MRT: Bukit Gombak; Choa Chu Kang, Esplanade; Tanjong Pagar Open: 10am - 10pm daily; 9.30am - 9.30pm daily; 8am - 7pm (Mon - Sat); 8am - 7.30pm (Mon - Fri), 8am - 5pm (Sat)