Ang Mo Kio Singaporean Hawker Cuisine is no different. I mean, 250 bucks for a plate of chicken rice — when any hawker stand will sell it to you for less than 200. So is the food worth it?
I like to start my meal with a Roti Prata, which is flatbread with is served with curry. I wouldn’t say it’s better than Banana Leaf’s, but I wouldn’t say it’s worse either. Price-wise, I think you can get the same thing in Singapore.
If there is one dish that really defines Singapore, it’s Chicken Rice. We got the half Hainanese chicken with 2 servings of chicken rice and vegetables. It’s better value than the 1/4 order IMHO.
It was OK — nothing really special about it. They have the usual condiments of dark soy sauce, a ginger dip, and a chili sauce. Suffice to say, they weren’t anywhere close to what they do in Singapore. But the real star of the show is the chicken rice.
It’s not the best you’ll find, but I guess it’s a pretty respectable imitation of real chicken rice. I found the ginger flavor too overpowering in the rice whereas the chicken stock and pandan leaf flavor should really sing. But you could really do much worse.
I’m not exactly sure if it’s the Chinese in me, but I love my noodles. And god damn it, I love a good Char Kway Teow. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a decent plate in town1. Ang Mo Kio2 serves a semi-decent plate that can border line on acceptable and overpowering. They serve it with squid, Chinese sausages, fish cakes, and a myriad of veggies. A bit heavy handed with the soy sauce, but what can you do? It’s not like there’s a better plate out there.
They’re actually pretty famous for their Laksa — which was done in the Peranakan style3. I’m not the biggest laksa fan, but they serve a decent bowl. The distinct taste is supposedly from the dried shrimp paste, but the prawn flavor of the stock was pretty strong… along with coconut milk. It could use a hint of spiciness to it, which I didn’t get at all.
What did get me pretty excited about the menu is that they actually had Fish Head Curry — which was precisely the thing I had been looking for in Banana Leaf. Here, they use the head of a red snapper with okra and brinjals4, semi-stewed in Kerala-style curry broth.
To be honest, I found this a bit disappointing. There wasn’t too much meat and it’s not exactly the freshest seafood you will get. When eating fish head curry, it’s all about the broth — trust me. And this fell a bit short IMHO. I’m glad they actually serve it, but I hope it gets better.
In a place like this, I usually go for water, but I went ahead and ordered the Iced Tea with Calamansi and my sister got an Iced Coffee. And you know what? They aren’t half bad at all — especially the iced tea. For 65 bucks, they use their own blend and, although there’s not much calamansi flavor to it, it’s actually pretty refreshing. Especially with the hot weather.
Overall, I liked Ang Mo Kio better than Banana Leaf. I found the food to be a tad better, but I still can’t get over the price comparison if I get the same shit over at a hawker stand in Singapore. I’d get it cheaper there5 AND I’d get much much better plates6. But for what we have here, I guess I should be fine with this. Only if they can make it cheaper, though.