And this, my friends, is Singapore's beloved Hainanese chicken rice - in it's newest incarnation.
Restaurant name: The Diner by The Travelling COW
Address: #02-16, Level 2, CT Hub, 2 Kallang Ave, Singapore (nearest MRT station is Lavender and there is a free shuttle bus service available from the MRT station to CT Hub)
GPS: 1.312567, 103.863160
Hours: 11:30 am to 9:00 pm (closed Mondays)
Tel: 9818 6636
The Diner by The Travelling COW is a simply furnished little eatery. It felt intimate and cosy.
The Diner is the brainchild of Karen who also owns The Travelling COW (Chef on Wheels) food truck. Karen is a passionate traveller and foodie at heart and enjoys dreaming up dishes inspired by the what she saw and tasted during her travels.
In the kitchen, Chef Feng skilfully turns Karen's wacky ideas into tasty dishes on the table :-D
What's for dinner?
There were a few delightful surprises :-D
Karen started us off with Ramen Chicken Wings (SGD8 nett).
Wing mid joints crusted with ramen fried till golden brown and served with chef's special spicy sweet dip.
This takes chicken wings and beer food to the next level.
(Food at The Diner are served in environmentally friendly paper plates and wood utensils).
Oriental Chicken Salad (SGD8 nett).
This really reminded me of Hainanese chicken rice. It's a mix of fresh crunchy greens topped with tender slices of chicken and bathed with the same dressing sauces used at Hainanese chicken rice stalls. We enjoyed this appetiser.
Truffle Mac and Cheese Balls (SGD8 nett).
When the dish arrived piping hot at the table, we could smell the signature earthly aroma of truffle. The crispy crust wraps macaroni dressed in 3 types of cheese.
Ramen Chicken Teriyaki (SGD14 nett).
Tender slab of chicken leg well seasoned with savoury sweet teriyaki sauce between uber crispy ramen served together with fries and melted cheese.
(If we prefer, we can also ask for fluffy buns instead of ramen. Just inform the server when making our orders.)
Ramen Bulgogi Short Rib (SGD15 nett).
We went crazy over this one.
The savoury sweet beefy wagyu patty, mushroomy sauce, runny sous vide egg, a bit of fresh greens and the ultra crispy ramen bun were an awesome combination.
We were lost for words except woos... and aahs....
Burgers are very messy things to eat, making our hands greasy and wet with drippy sauce and juices. Ramen burgers are even worse with bits of fried noodles dropping all over the table, floor and on our clothes.
But, it is darned shiok lah!
You have to try this.
Seafood Laksa Pasta (SGD12 nett).
This has all the tastes and flavours of traditional laksa served with squid, fish cake slices, prawns and taupok with spaghetti. It's even dressed with laksa leaves (daun kesum) which some laksa stalls omit nowadays.
Tasty. Familiar yet deliciousy different.
The spaghetti is cooked soft al dente by default. If you prefer your pasta a stiffer al dente, just inform the server when you make your order. The chef will cook your spaghetti according to your specification.
Chili Crab Pasta (SGD12 nett).
Bak Kwa (Chicken) Carbonara topped with sous vide egg (SGD12 nett).
Saving the best for last, Karen asked after all that sumptuous meal, "Would you like to try our chicken rice burger"?
We said yes even though we were stuffed and had no idea what to expect.
Basically, I was stunned - un.. un.. un.. unbelievable.
This looked like a burger but it has all the elements of a good Hainanese chicken rice.
The chicken leg was tender, juicy and had a nice light savoury sweet chicken flavour. The rice bun was crispy outside and tender inside with all the aroma and taste of the same chicken flavoured rice at your favourite chicken rice stall. The Diner's spicy, savoury, tangy chili sauce put some chicken stalls to shame. The chicken burger is served with more crunchy greens than most chicken rice stalls. The only thing missing is a bowl of chicken soup ;-p (Then again, some chicken stalls don't serve soup anymore .... )
I enjoyed the innovative dishes at The Diner by The Travelling COW very much.
To me, The Diner is what "fun dining" is about. This is one place I shall return to try out the interesting and tasty creations.
Just a month
Disclosure: As this is an invited tasting, the food is not reviewed.
Date visited: 2 Jul 2015
Return to Johor Kaki homepage.