Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Ding Te Le – A Very Good Shanghainese Staple Food

Signature pan-fried Crispy Pork Soup Buns - Sheng Jian Bao

Ding Te Le at Kovan is an eatery serving Shanghainese cuisines such as Xiao Long Bao (XLB), Shanghainese Noodle and Sheng Jian Bao. Surprisingly, it has been open for almost 2 years. LD and I visited the restaurant frequently when it just opened, but we got so busy we have not returned until recently.

DING TE LE

Signature Steamed Pork & Soup Bun ($5.40) also known as Xiao Long Bao (XLB). One tray comes with 5 pcs of XLB. The skin thin but not translucent, while the pork fillings are juicy and filled with Oink Oink soup that burst when you bit into the XLB. For an easy comparison, the skin is thicker than those sold in DTF, but the meat fillings are almost double in size.

Signature Steamed Pork & Soup Bun - Xiao Long Bao (XLB)

Signature pan-fried Crispy Pork Soup Buns ($5.40) also known as Sheng Jian Bao. This pork bun has a crispy exterior, followed with a chewy internal skin plus thick and juicy pork ball fillings. As it is served directly after pan-fried, it is better to let it cool down slightly before you bit into it. We ordered this for takeaway before and it remains hot even after we let it sit for 30 minutes.

Signature pan-fried Crispy Pork Soup Buns - Sheng Jian Bao

Sheng Jian Bao Fillings

The recent addition of Pan-Fried Meat Dumpling ($5.40) is definitely worth the wait. The skin is crispy, slightly chewy, but enjoyable. The fillings are juicy and generous, definitely, something for a gyoza lover to tried.

Pan-Fried Meat Dumpling

Pan-Fried Meat Dumpling Fillings

Part of the Shanghainese cuisine is their noodles. I personally like their “almost naked” Noodles with Soy Sauce & Scallion Oil ($5.30). Although the noodles that I ordered almost plain, the version in Ding Te Le come with dried prawns. The texture of the noodle is springy and bouncy, while the aromatic scallion plus soya sauce infused it with a delicious flavour. The dried prawns added the OMPH factor to this dish.

Noodles with Soy Sauce & Scallion Oil

Noodles with Soy Sauce & Scallion Oil

For the side dishes, we ordered Marinated Jellyfish with Cucumber ($7.20), Wheat Gluten & Shiitake Mushrooms ($4.80) and Boiled Soybean Sprouts with Oily Bean Curd ($4.80). Frankly, the side dishes did not shine like their main dishes. The jellyfish and beansprouts offer crunchy texture but under seasoned, while the wheat gluten is extremely sweet. A little bit of fine tuning in terms of flavour will add more points to their food.

Marinated Jellyfish with Cucumber 

Wheat Gluten & Shiitake Mushrooms

Boiled Soybean Sprouts with Oily Bean Curd

The décor of the restaurant is simple and bright. More like a modern Chinese eatery. The kitchen is a see-through model, where you can see the Chefs preparing your meal. Service is friendly and efficient.

Menu - Front

Menu - Back

Overall, Ding Te Le offers a very good Shanghainese staple dishes. The noodles, buns and dumplings are as good as those branded restaurants, while the price is relatively cheaper. So if you are near Kovan area, give Ding Te Le a try. Cheers!!

Food: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Budget per Person: $0 - $10, $11 - $25.

DING TE LE 鼎特樂
949 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534713

T: +65 6282 4380
IG: @Dingtele

OH: Daily 11.30 – 14.30; 17.30 – 22.30

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

132 Mee Pok Kway Teow – Good Traditional Mee Pok

Mee Pok $5 Version


Our fishball noodles exploration lead us to an old establishment. 132 Mee Pok Kway Teow, first started its business in 1969, where push carts are still allowed. Currently, the business is run by their second generation and making Marine Terrace its permanent, serving the familiar taste of this traditional fishball noodles.

The Stall

There are 3 type of portions here, $4 / $5 / $6. LD and I decided to go for $5 version, supposed to be medium. Please note that they only served Mee Pok and Kway Teow, just like its name.

True to its traditional heritage, the mee pok served with prawn, fishballs, fish dumplings, minced pork and lean meat. My non-spicy mee pok is generously coated with pork oil and tomato sauce. To be frank, it looks very close to the Jalan Tua Kong fishball noodles.

Mee Pok $5 Version - Non Spicy

The bouncy and springy mee pok bodes well with the tomato sauce and pork oil. Fishballs are bouncy but missing the fish flavour in it. The fish dumplings do not provide any WOW factors, while the deshelled prawn, minced pork and lean meat are cooked nicely.

For the spicy version, the chilli is aromatic with a manageable spiciness level. Although we order the $5 version, the noodle portion is very small. So, if you are a big eater, please ask for extra noodle when you order.

Mee Pok $5 Version - Spicy

The clear soup is surprisingly robust, with a hint of sweetness from the prawns. We ordered extra fishball soup ($5 version), the fishballs and beansprouts content are very generous.

Fishball Soup $5

The coffeeshop where 132 Mee Pok Kway Teow located has limited seating. At the same time, it is competing with a popular nasi lemak stall there. Be patient, as the cooking of the noodle can be very slow.

Overall, it is a good fishball noodle and I think the soup version will be better compared to the dry version. We will visit this place again if we are around the area. However, it is not good enough for us to travel from Serangoon all the way just to have this bowl of noodle. Cheers!

Food: 7.25/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: N/A (Coffeeshop)
Budget per Person: $0 - $10.

132 Mee Pok Kway Teow
Block 59 Marine Terrace
#01-105
Singapore 440059

OH:
Tue – Sun: 07.00 – 16.00
Closed on Monday & 3rd Sunday of each Month

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Benson Salted Duck – Delicious Salted Duck

Salted Duck


Every time we travel to Taipei for work or holiday, without fail LD and I will treat ourselves to a salted goose meal. However, as the AVA still banned the goose in Singapore, salted duck is the next best alternative.

There are only a few stalls in Singapore that sell salted duck, you can probably count it with the fingers in one hand. Benson Salted Duck is always one of the names that come up when you google salted duck in Singapore. Even Singapore “Makan Guru”, KF Seetoh hold this stall in high regards.

The Stall

As it was only two of us dining, we decided to order a 3-person portion for the duck, 2 rice, innards and fish maw soup. Total damage $19.

The duck itself roughly chopped and partly deboned to easy eating. At the first bite, the duck is on the saltier side, especially on the skin. The skin is thick, fatty and springy. Although the meat is dense, it remains succulent as the fats from the skin rendered into the meat.

The Duck

The secret to eating the duck is to squeeze the lime on it. The fusion between the lime juice and the salted created the superb umami flavour and remove the saltiness from the duck. It just transforms the flavour of this dish to another level. The duck is also served with salted vegetables, to balance the dish.

The Chilli

The rice served at Benson is butter rice. It is fragrant and tasty, can easily be mistaken as chicken rice. The rice is al-dente and can easily be eaten on its own without other dishes.

The Rice

For the duck liver is dense yet creamy. It is not as moist your goose liver (foie gras), more like in between goose and chicken liver. The giblets are crunchy, but it is braised in dark soy sauce instead of blanched in salt like the goose version in Taiwan. Not sure what is the reason for this, but I was expecting the giblets in the salted version.

Salted Duck Liver, Braised Duck Giblets, Tofu

The fish maw pig organ soup ($5) is actually a hidden gem that you must try here. They are very generous with their ingredients, especially their fish maw and pig’s liver. The liver is cooked perfectly, making it creamy with a bit of crunch to it. The pork ball is springy and packs of flavour as well.  The clear, pork and duck infused robust broth is just awesome. Yum Yum.

Fish Maw Pig Organ Soup

Fish Maw Pig Organ Soup

Service is efficient. Order at the stall and they will deliver your order to your table. Price is reasonable as well.

Overall, Salted Duck is almost like a rare commodity in Singapore. It is unique, delicious and difficult to find. Benson Salted Duck is definitely a must visit stall. Cheers!!

Food: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: N/A (Coffeeshop)
Budget per Person: $0 - $10.

Benson Salted Duck
Blk 168 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
#01-1040
Singapore 310168

T: +65 9781 4042
OH:
Fri – Wed: 10.00 – 15.00
Closed on Thursday


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