Ice Cream Chefs is a gem of an ice cream place that not only makes good ice cream, but also makes interesting flavours. Their specialty is the mix-ins, where they beat the ice cream to death on a refrigerated slab and wrestle in toppings like nuts and candy bars. We’d been here quite a few times and tried flavours like tau huey with almond mix-ins and apple with fruit pebble mix-ins.
This time we went, DC had cheese ice cream with honey star mix-in. It was a bizarre flavour that worked very well. Think cheese cake made with strong cheese and you’ve got the flavour of the ice cream. The sweet crunch of honey stars complemented it very well. Unfortunately more than a mouthful or two was enough for me, so I had to have my own.
I had the black sesame one, which was thick and rich and full of sesame flavour. It was as if they froze black sesame soup (the kind you get in Chinese desserts) into an ice cream. Very nice.
We also took away a tub of Kaya Lottee flavour, with waffles mixed in. It was delicately scented and very delicious. Thumbs up!
I’ve been on a curry puff frenzy lately. Each time I pass by a good stall, I must grab one, even if I’d just had a big meal before. The one at Marine Parade Hawker Centre is no exception. In fact, I often go there for lunch just so I can get my curry puff fix after.
I think we all have our days. Some days the hawkers make things taste extra nice and some days we’re just more receptive to really good food. On previous visits, the curry puff was good though not mind-bogglingly so.
This time, as I bit into my curry puff I had an epiphany of sorts. The dough was soft yet extra flaky and yielding. There was a lovely fragrance to it. The filling was rich and flavourful. I don’t know how they cooked the potato, but this stuff was pretty much It. The bits of chicken gave little bursts of extra flavour. It was all very yummy, another of those died-and-gone-to-heaven moments.
By the way, there’s no egg in this version. I like it either way. Hey, you’re only paying $1 here!
Katong Chicken Curry Puff
Marine Parade Food Centre
I love teh halia (ginger milk tea). It’s my favourite coffee shop drink, closely followed by teh bing. Teh halia is only good when it’s made by a sarabat stall. I don’t know why, but it absolutely has to be made by a halal store. I was intrigued by the rumours that our President drinks the teh halia from this place at Marine Parade Hawker Centre.
For 80 cents, it was a very decent cuppa. Smooth milk and lots of tea taste. The ginger was very strident, something I’d have liked in my, erhem, young foolish salad days. It’s great if I’m in the area but I wouldn’t go there specially for the teh halia. I much prefer Rafee’s subtler brew.
Hilmi Sarabat Stall
Marine Parade Hawker Centre
My obsession with mee pok tah continues. I persuaded Eeyore to finally try the famous 132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee along East Coast Road (from $3). Not wanting to be left out, Shinta and KK came along too. It was 12 noon on a Sunday and the wait wasn’t very long, only about 10 minutes. I think the MPT craze comes and goes when the newspapers write about them.
Eeyore and I made the fatal mistake of asking for extra chilli. The chilli overwhelmed the noodles, making them far too one-dimensional. This style was the chilli sauce and lard only type, no vinegar or other condiments. I’d imagine (heaven forbid!) a touch of ketchup would have helped it along. The noodles weren’t anything special, even slightly on the soft side.
Ingredients-wise, we weren’t impressed by the fishballs (KK: too much flour, too soft) nor the prawns. The prawns tasted fine, but the tails broke off in the shell. That’s my pet peeve and shows that the prawns aren’t very fresh. A pity. Shinta liked it all a lot though. He had no quibbles with it and thought it was one of the best MPT of this style he’d had.
What really worked for me was the soup. It’s fresh and full of flavour, very pleasing and soothing. Nice.
I wasn’t expecting to get good teh bing (iced milky tea, $1) here but this place gave me a pleasant surprise. It was smooth and milky yet with great tea flavour.
While waiting for their noodles, Shinta and KK ate three of these mackeral otah between them. It was pretty good with chunky fish and spicy, coconutty, smooth custard. Good stuff.
132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee
53 Upper East Coast Road (Opp the DBS and Shell station)
It was the fourth day of Chinese New Year and lots of hawker stalls were still closed. Nonetheless, we braved it to East Coast Lagoon to get some lunch. To our relief, Cheok Kee Duck Rice was one of those open. Shockingly, there was a queue even though we got there at 2pm and the rest of the hawker centre was quite empty.
Dad and I shared a ginormous plate of braised duck, gizzard, pig’s small intestine and tau kwa. I wasn’t expecting too much because I’d eaten there lots and never thought it was that fantastic. This time, the duck impressed me. It was stewed just right, till firm tender and absorbed the flavour of the black sauce. And it tasted robustly of duck. Yummy duck. The gizzard was pretty decent too, but Dad and Mum took most of it so I didn’t get a chance to properly taste it. Intestines were decent, better than the ones from the Amoy Street kway chap stall. The tau kwa was another winner: soft, creamy and full of black sauce goodness. ($15 for the plate of stuff and two bowls of noodles.)
Check out the kway tiew dry. Enticing right? They were good, especially with the sambal chilli.
Here are Mum’s fishball noodles. They’re from the stall nearer to the beach in front of the toilets. She said they had standard. I believe her. Check these out.
I noticed that Zhen Jie from Amoy Street has a branch here, so I made sure I got my dessert fix. The peanut and black sesame cream ($2) is mighty good! The peanut part is very aromatic, you can tell they toasted the peanuts to make this. Thick and yummy. Dad liked the sesame part a lot because the sesame flavour was very strong. It’s a new favourite now that Yee Ku at Chinatown stopped making it right about 10 years ago.
The pulut hitam ($1.50) is good too. Thick, full of pulut flavour and topped with a good drizzle of coconut milk. They even ask you whether you want coconut on top. Tastes like how Mum would make it (if she bothers to).