Friday, 9 May 2014
No. 18 Zion Road Char Kway Teow in Singapore
Singapore's No. 18 Zion Road Char Kway Teow comes with an impeccable reputation.
This humble stall counts Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the head of it's legion of fans, with a framed newspaper article hanging proudly at the stall to prove it.
Singapore official and social media are flooded with raving reviews of No. 18 Zion Road char kway teow.
I have eaten here a few times before in my previous non-blogger life but somehow, this has never been quite my plate of char kway teow.
I am not sure why I didn't get it, so today, I try and pin it down.
This char kway teow is above average, for sure, but I still don't get that "Wow! I must blog about this amazing discovery straightaway" urge.
Fellow food bloggers will know what I mean.
The queue on a Thursday evening was relaxed and manageable.
The towkay 头家 Mr. Ho is friendly and approachable despite his fame.
No. 18 Zion Road Char Kway Teow is one of the most generous in the country.
Even the basic SGD3 plate has got everything - noodles, bean sprouts, chives, lup cheong (Cantonese sausage), fish cake slices, seeham (cockles), eggs and more.
I found it!
There were a few nuggets of lard crackles but they were a little dark and lacked the coveted sensuous lard oil flavour 猪油味. Perhaps, the pork fat was fried a little too long, and worked a little too hard to squeeze out more molecules of lard oil.
The soft and nicely gummy noodles were enveloped in a greasy sauce that was salty and savoury with sweet notes.
Perhaps the saltiness of the soy sauce was a little too heavy for my taste buds. The saltiness seemed to overwhelm much of the layers of flavours that might underlie this char kway teow.
Individually, I could taste the savoury lup cheong, fish cakes, and fresh seeham, and they were all good and tasty, especially the sweet fish cakes. But, I could not discern the flavours these ingredients imparted into the sauce and noodles - so, the char kway teow seemed to lack layers of flavours, except for saltiness, sweetness and a bit of lard flavour 猪油味.
The char kway teow was served still puffing steam and tongue scathing hot. However, aroma and flavour of wok hei 镬气 wasn't pronounced, and the fleeting garlic and lard aromas faded fast.
I strive to eat everything on the plate to get to the bottom of the food that I am blogging about.
No doubt one of the best char kway teow stalls in Singapore.
Try it, you might find yourself joining No. 18 Zion Road Char Kway Teow's huge following too.
Restaurant name: No. 18 Zion Road Char Kway Teow
Address: Zion Riverside Food Centre, 70 Zion Rd, Singapore
Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm (Closed on alt Mon)
Date visited: 8 May 2014
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