Sunday 3 October 2021

Pi Food – The Good, OK ONLY and Die Die Must Improve

Steamed Kwei Fei Chicken - One Serving 
It all started when a photo of Steamed Kwei Fei Chicken (贵妃鸡)pop up on LD’s IG, making it an open invitation to visit Pi Food. I first tried it in Hong Kong and it become a must order dish when I am there. So, when a new place opens up in Singapore serving Kwei Fei Chicken, I must give it a try. This led to our 1st visit to Pi Food in August.

Pi Food
The Good
The Steamed Kwei Fei Chicken is served in three sizes; one serving, half and whole ($13.80 / $18.80 / $35). Our first impression was WOW, the version here is one of the closest versions compare to those that we ate in Hong Kong.

Steamed Kwei Fei Chicken - One Serving 
The chicken has a bouncy skin, marinated with turmeric and ginger powder, followed by succulent flesh. The thigh meat is juicy and even the breast meat is very tender. You will also notice the layer of chicken fats jelly in between the cuts. Yummy!

The Jelly Fats
The ginger and scallion dipping sauce is very powerful here. It complements the chicken nicely, or you can mix it with white rice or noodle. For us, the chicken is cooked to perfection. Meaning, you can see a bit of blood near or in the bones.

Steamed Kwei Fei Chicken - Half Chicken (return visit)  
The positive impression on the first visit led to a return visit in September. This time around, we notice the quality drop in this dish. It was served colder than the last time and it is missing the layer of the jelly fats on the chicken. What happen? Something wrong with the SOP? Hopefully, the team take notice of this and improve on its consistency.

Cold and No Fats (return visit)
Scallop and Egg White Fried Rice ($13.80). The fried rice impresses us with the generosity of the ingredients and the perfectly executed wok skills. The rice is al-dente, light, fragrant and tasty. You can taste the egg white, shredded conpoy and scallops in each bite.

Scallop and Egg White Fried Rice
Steam Rice Pork Ribs with Black Bean ($10.80). This huge bowl of steam rice can easily satisfy 2 pax. The pork ribs are tender and succulent, while the black bean sauce comes with a bit of spicy kick. Steamed together, they infused the aroma and flavours into the rice.

Steam Rice Pork Ribs with Black Bean 

The Rice
The OK Only
HK Fresh Shrimp Wanton Noodle ($10.80). It has a similar look and feels to the one served in Crystal Jade Kitchen and Imperial Treasure Kitchen. The broth is made from prawn stock, light in flavour. While the egg noodle is thin and slim, but it is on the softer side instead of springy. Luckily the solid and crunchy shrimp wantons carry this dish crossing the acceptable line.

HK Fresh Shrimp Wanton Noodle

The Egg Noodle
Kailan in Oyster Sauce ($4.80). It is thick and crunchy. Not much can go wrong with this dish, except this time around it is excessively bitter plus missing the OMPH from the oyster sauce.

Kailan in Oyster Sauce
Milk Tea. I tried both the hot and the cold versions of the milk tea. For the hot version, the portion of the tea and milk is almost right, although I feel the tea can be stronger. Since they also use the same measurement for the cold milk tea, it does not take into account the water content from the ice, resulting in weak and watery iced milk tea. Better to order the hot version on the safe side. I won’t be happy paying $3 / $3.50 for watery iced milk tea.

Milk Tea - Cold

Milk Tea - Hot
The Bad (Die Die Must Improve)
Any 3 Combination Platter ($25.80), we choose Char Siew, Crispy Pork Belly & Roast Duck. It is one of the worst meat platters we ever had. The roast pork is so gamy / porky, we left half of it untouched. We know that restaurants sometimes reheat the meat with microwave, however, this time the heat on the roast pork is inconsistent. Some part hot, some part cold.

Any 3 Combination Platter ($25.80)
Char Siew, Crispy Pork Belly & Roast Duck
The roast duck and Iberico char siew (supposed to be signature) barely passed. The char siew is lacked of flavour and characters; it is just disappointing. I think they need to get a better-quality supplier for their roast meat. Seriously, I tried a better “Ready to Eat” char siew, than the one served here.

PI French Toast ($5.80). Their attempt to create an up-market version of the French Toast, feels like a secondary school kids home economic final project. The bread is sliced too thin and the heat control is just amateurish. Instead of a crispy exterior, the toast soaks up the frying oil like a sponge. Tasted like eating a peanut butter sandwich that passed its expiry date. Yucks!! They need to get back to basic on this, use a “THICK TOAST”, be generous with the eggs and use a thermometer and timer to ensure the correct temperature and cooking time.

PI French Toast

PI French Toast - Soggy 
The service staff at Pi Food is hospitable. Do take note that this is not a full-service restaurant. You need to place your order at the counter and make payment first. Unlike most Cha Chan Teng in Singapore paying tribute to nostalgic Hong Kong in the 80s and 90s, PI Food décor is modern, simplistic and fun. I like the full-length windows, allowing abundance of natural lights to brighten the restaurant. Also, a plus point for the train making its rounds at the ceiling of the restaurant.

Menu 1

Menu 2
Overall, we find the gap between the best and the worst food here is just too wide. A lot of work needs to be done to improve their overall food standard and consistency. Luckily, Pi Food is still in the infancy stage, hopefully, they can learn and improve. Just observe and learn from the more popular Hong Kong brands that are doing well and expanding in Singapore recently. Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

Pi Food
9 Penang Road
Singapore 238459

T:+65 9239 0686
W: (in Chinese Only)
OH: Daily 11.00 – 22.00

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