As the name "Famous JB 101 Firewokz" suggests, they've basically transplanted a zhi char stall from Johor Bahru and set it up in the middle of an office complex in Bukit Batok, Singapore. And, perhaps because my blog is heng heng 兴兴 (luckily) called Johor Kaki, they invited me to a media tasting 😂
I am not kidding, Famous JB 101 Firewokz is really set up in a courtyard in the middle of looming drab looking office blocks. The blocks around looked like some sort of "cement human hive". WCEGA Tower, don't ask me how to pronounce the name.
I peeped into the kitchen. Yes, I am a kitchen voyeur.
They pulled Chef Lim, a veteran JB chef out of retirement to head the kitchen. Chef Lim later buttoned his shirt and straightened his hair for another picture, but I thought this shot captured his essence best. Chef Lim had been the "top hand" 头手 or head chef at a famous JB zhi char restaurant for decades.
I was late for the tasting (I am almost always too early ok 😂), so the food had cooled a little when I tasted them.
So many dishes laid out, I dug my chopsticks first into this pale looking San Lao Hor Fun 三捞河粉 (SGD5) with fish slices. (Have to add SGD2 for those shreds of crab meat pulled from fresh mud crabs.)
My instincts are still ok.....
I was immediately impressed by the flavoursome sauce with crab infused stock and the kway teow (hor fun). Finding a good hor fun is not easy in Singapore. I am told that the rice ribbon noodles were brought in from Ipoh on Chef Lim's insistence. The savoury sweet flavour of the sauce is the same as that which I grew up with and something quite rare in Singapore nowadays.
I will come back for this san lao hor fun to taste it piping hot from Chef Lim's fire wok.
White Bee Hoon - tasty and value for money at SGD4 a serving. I like the bee hoon they used - it soaked up the flavourful sauce well without becoming a limp, soggy thread ball.
Claypot Beancurd (SGD8 small serving). Again, the savoury sweet gooey sauce with crab stock won the day even though the tofu was generic.
Black Hokkien Mee (SGD4) - If you benchmark it with KL's gold standard Kim Lian Kee, maybe not - there's no lard, the fat noodles were too bouncy and the black sauce lacks the intense savouriness. But, on it's own, this is certainly still a nice plate of fried thick noodles with milder favours.
One of Chef's signatures - lou shi fan 老鼠粉 or "rat tail noodles" in a savoury sweet broth with minced pork and a prawn. Popular taste of JB, now in Singapore.
Mongolian Spare Ribs - I like the flavoursome marinate and sauce, though it was a little dry and stiff as it was mostly lean meat. There was no rib bone despite the name.
Mongolian Sauce Prawns (SGD16). Delicious, unique tasting sauce - mildly savoury with hints of hot spice and sweetness. Fresh meaty juicy prawns. This was my favourite dish today besides the san lao hor fun.
Curry Fish Head (SGD20). Nice sweet savoury mildly spicy curry with lots of vegetables like cabbage, lady's finger, etc in the stew. Just the right body, not too much coconut milk nor too watery. Fresh Jenahak (Black Snapper) fish head. Good value at SGD20.
👍Famous JB 101 Firewokz is a popular choice for lunch of office workers from the neighbouring office blocks. Overall, I like the flavoursome taste of Chef Lim's dishes which are neither overly salty nor too oily. If you live around Bukit Batok, Famous JB 101 Firewokz is a good place for a dinner of comfort dishes with family and friends. The old school food is tasty, reasonably priced and there is ample free parking here in the evening. (Yes, free parking, every evening - not a typo.) The taste and feel of JB food is definitely at Famous JB 101 Firewokz.
Disclosure: Please note that this was an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Famous JB 101 Firewokz 新山101小厨
Address: 21 Bukit Batok Crescent, WCEGA Tower, #02-01 (open air food court) Singapore 658065
GPS: 1.336920, 103.759689 / 1°20'12.9"N 103°45'34.9"E
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Date visited: 3 Aug 2016
^ click for details
Return to Johor Kaki homepage.