Friday, 14 August 2015
East Bistro Sembawang by Former Lei Garden Singapore Head Chef JK1214 东小馆
East Bistro 东小馆 is a gem of a little restaurant tucked in a back street corner in a cluster of shop houses opposite Sembawang Shopping Centre. It's at the same row of shop lots as the famous white bee hoon at Sembawang.
Stepping inside, East Bistro is bright, clean and very simply furnished. No table cloth, no fresh flowers on each table, no frills, no pretence - but have air conditioning, so it's very casual yet comfortable.
Don't be fooled. The food here is comparable to most higher end Chinese restaurants in Singapore.
You wonder why.
Because, the owner and Head Chef at East Bistro is none other than Chef Tony Wong, the former Head Chef of Lei Garden Singapore. Chef Tony Wong left Lei Garden Singapore less than a year ago to take over East Bistro. A Hong Konger who came to Singapore 28 years ago - Tony was already Head Chef at the Michelin starred Lei Garden Hong Kong before coming to our sunny island.
Tony's dad is Cantonese and his mum, Teochew - he has the best qualities of both Cantonese and Teochew chefs in him. From my short chat with Chef Tony, I can feel his pride and passion as well as saw that he's a hands on boss/ Head Chef who is meticulous and fastidious with exacting standards.
Now you know the secret behind top notch Chinese food in Singapore's far north.
We sampled a couple of East Bistro's all-day dim sum which are freshly hand made daily in house in the open kitchen.
Xiao Long Bao (SGD3.80 per basket).
Pan Radish Cake (SGD3.80).
The dim sum were good but we were here more for lunch, so we quickly jumped to the main course :-D
Our first main course was Chef's Special Pao Fan 泡饭 (SGD18) and it was truly amazing.
The porridge was cooked Teochew style with the rice grains tender but still whole in the chicken broth. There were bits of diced chicken and mushroom which gave the brothy porridge a gentle layered savouriness.
The surprise was the crackle of golden fried rice crisps tossed into the porridge just before serving. The crackly rice crisps added delightful texture contrasts to the soft boiled rice in the soupy porridge.
Chef Tony shared with us how East Bistro's signature Chef's Special Pao Fan is made. This dish is a Must Try at East Bistro. In Singapore, you can only get this dish at East Bistro.
Garlic Prawns (SGD22).
Ocean fresh sea prawns steamed in a blended sauce and a splash of fragrant peanut oil. The sweetness of fresh prawns was accentuated by layered mild savouriness and gentle garlicky spiciness.
Braised Ribs (SGD20).
Not very photogenic but this was my favourite dish of the day. Ribs with cartilage braised till everything was mushy soft in a savoury sweet gravy, mainly of blended fermented tofu.
Crispy Chicken (SGD24).
Crispy outside, tender moist inside. The sesame seeds added an interesting nutty twist to the natural chicken flavour.
Vegetable with Salted Egg and Century Egg (SGD12).
Simple greens cooked in a soup of diced salted egg and century egg for that gentle layered savouriness and sweetness.
Minced Meat Beancurd (SGD12).
Good rendition of a staple classic with house made tofu.
Aloe Vera with Sweet Scented Jelly Dessert (SGD9).
When taking group photos during restaurant visits, I normally refrain from raising my thumb but this time I couldn't resist.
Our bill - East Bistro doesn't charge GST or service charge ;-D SGD22 per person - I'm happy :-D
Comfortable, family friendly restaurant with delicious food at reasonable prices. All food in East Bistro are cooked without added MSG.
Read about my second visit to East Bistro <- click
Restaurant name: East Bistro 东小馆.香港点心晚饭小菜
Address: 10 Jalan Tampang, Singapore 758954 (same row as famous white bee hoon shop)
GPS: 1.441977, 103.823472
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 11:00 am to 10:00 pm | Sat & Sun 9:00am to 10:00 pm
Date visited: 13 Aug 2015
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