Our ever resourceful makan
Tony Tee took us through a dimly lit, rather quiet industrial area before arriving at this makeshift, rustic looking restaurant. We thought we had left the country. (It reminded me of those kampung eating places found throughout Malaysia.)
The joke of the evening was we are eating in Malaysia without bringing our passports ;-D
We were at Bao Baos Food 饱饱食品 at 30, Kranji Way, Sungai Kadut, Singapore (which is right at the eastern end of Kranji Dam). Bao Baos Food actually runs the staff cafeteria at the premise of Central Granite Industries by day, and operates it as a restaurant between 3:00pm and midnight.
Tony Tee picked out some interesting dishes from Bao Baos' simple menu which has all the usual zhi char 煮 炒 staples, plus some seasonal house specialities. Just ask the wait staff for suggestions.
The first dish served was stir fried green beans in sambal chili 四季豆 SGD12.
The fresh green beans were fried in sambal chili with hae bee (dried shrimps). The beans were juicy and crunchy, and the flavour was a well balanced savoury, sweet and mildly spicy.
Next up, a house special spicy pork SGD40.
The lean meat slices and strips of skin were stir fried with a house blend of curry spices. Aromatic, savoury, sweet and mildly spicy flavours enveloped the tender meat and skin. I enjoyed this dish for it's texture and flavours.
Fried sotong (squid) in salted egg 咸蛋苏东 SGD30.
The fried salted egg sotong (squid) was very well executed. The batter was very crispy, pok pok choi as they say in Cantonese colloquialism. The savoury flavour from the salted egg yolk was well balanced and mild, so that we can still taste the flavour of the tenderly chewy squid encased in the crispy batter. This is a must order dish at Bao Baos.
Chai poh tofu 菜脯豆腐 SGD15.
The crispy fried tofu with custard-like insides was topped with a heap of crispy chai poh. Again, the flavours were just mildly savoury sweet which was well balanced. The fried chai poh actually felt airy fluffy and was just lightly savoury - a far cry from the usually gritty, greasy, overly salty chai poh encountered in other restaurants. The gentler flavours at Bao Baos suited my taste buds very well.
The Dong Po Rou 东坡肉 SGD30.
I liked the flavour of the savoury sweet gravy which enveloped the braised belly pork. The flavours penetrated the skin and fat layer well; I enjoyed it's soft tender moist texture and flavourful taste. The meat, however, was a little stiffer (though still tender) and not as well infused with flavour from the gravy.
Century egg roll SGD30.
Century egg wedges, small prawns and celery strips wrapped in crispy fried tofu skin and dribbled with gooey mayonnaise. Interesting mix of crispy tofu skin texture with soft century egg, prawns and crunchy celery. Blend of savoury century egg taste with sweet mayonnaise. Served with sweet and sour crunchy pickled papaya slices on the side.
The crocodile tail herbal soup SGD100 for 8 people.
Each person gets a good size bowl of croc tail bone, meat, and gelatinous fin. The medium bodied broth was herbal and rather heavy on ginger. The herbs and ginger masked the flavours of the crocodile meat. Recommended if you feel the urge to taste exotic crocodile (locally raised at the Long Kuan Hung crocodile farm at the opposite end of Kranji Dam - western side).
After our sumptuous and scrumptious dinner, we took an enjoyable stroll along the breezy Kranji Dam. The view here is scenic. On the south side is Kranji Reservoir and on the north side is the Straits of Johor. We can see the lights of Johor Bahru and the Causeway.
If you want a change from the usual restaurant and kopitiam zhi char, you might want to give Bao Baos Food a try. The rustic kampung charm is fast vanishing in Singapore. I found the food here well executed with well balanced flavours.
Do call for reservations before visiting (tel: +65 8497 9503 / +65 8106 3669).
Restaurant name: Bao Baos Food 饱饱食品
Address: 30 Kranji Way, Singapore
GPS: Latitude : 1.43905 | Longitude : 103.743436
Hours: Dinner from 3:00pm to 12:00 midnight (best to call ahead)
Date visited: 17 Feb 2015
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