Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tang Tea House re-visited

My bro was telling us about this Hong Kong food place at Simpang Bedok. He claimed that they have one of the best 'rojak' ever that will give him free dried 'sotong' when he order. I was very sure that he was talking about Tang Tea House (TTH). Well, until he drove past TTH itself and turned into the car park where the Simpang Bedok market is.

That's when I realise that he talking about the sort-of 'newer' Hong Kong food place. When they first opened, I heard some not-so-savoury reviews about them. I've also heard people mentioning this Enak Tea House that's like a spin-off of TTH.

Then again, I've always mis-read the 'Enak' of the logo as 'Chak'. And I thought that to be a pretty crappy name. I mean the 'e' was almost uncurled, making it look like a 'c' and somehow I got the word 'Chak' impulsively running into my mind. Until that day. Madness!


As luck would have it, there was no available parking lots in that area (even at the other side where Mad Jack is). So we parked at the public car park beside TTH. And we decide that it's simply inconvenient to cross the road, especially with a toddler & pram in tow and so we just dine there.

And horror of horrors! The rojak stall is gone! O_o

We eventually put two-and-two together and figured out that the awesome rojak my bro was talking about was from the same rojak stall that had moved to the premise across the road. Yes, to another HK Tea House. Sounds like the battle of the tea houses already, eh?

Well, my bro took no chances and went across the road to take+away the desired rojak. And yes, he got the free 'sotong', alright.

It doesn't help that the crowds weren't really picking up at TTH despite the fact that it's already 6pm. Worse still, when I want to order my favourite dim sums, the server gave me a crestfallen look and showed me the looooong list of unavailable items at that moment. Oh crap. It's like 60% of the items are not there, can?

French Toast w/ Chicken Ham & Egg

I won't fault you if you happen to think that I was here for breakfast, when you see this pic.

Reminded me of the term: All-Day Breakfast.

Ever since his chance encounter at Streats HK Cafe, there's no turning back on my bro's love for these thick HK French toasts!

Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Chicken (char siu)

More commonly known as, "Chee Cheong Fun". I remember ordering the one with shrimps inside but they serve us the one with chicken 'char siew' instead (maybe it's unavailable?). The chicken meat makes the whole ensemble seem bland, though.

I'm someone who's used to the plain rice rolls mixed with dark, sweet sauce & dried shrimp-infused 'sambal' - pretty strong flavours they have. Love those from Qi Ji. So this version where it's simply doused with light soya sauce and the sambal served on the side just don't do it for me. Too much sodium and I dislike my food to be (too) salty.

Siew Mai

Good as evarrr...

Hong Kong Style Egg Tart

Seeing that we don't have much choices with the dim sum selection, I half-halfheartedly ordered this.

Maybe I much prefer the layered, flaky pastry version. Or the thin, crunchy crust type.

This? It was too thick, soft and crumbly. And seemingly uncooked at parts (read: white dough base). Not nice. Could really do with more time in the oven, seriously.

Pan-fried Crispy bee hoon

I have no idea what to expect when I ordered this.

It arrived when I was busy taking food shots. And when I finally saw it, I was like, "Eh, who ordered omelette?" Someone told me it was, "Bee hoon something-something." That's when I realised that it's my order.

Okayyyy… So what was this supposed to be? Some deconstructed fried bee hoon of sorts? One part was the bee hoon that's fried with seafood and eggs ala omelette. The strips of 'ku chai' (garlic chives) and blanched beansprouts were scattered on top. On the side were calamansi lime halves and 'sambal'.

Interesting.... But I like my fried 'bee hoon' to carry the flavour of everything as they're mixed and cooked together in the wok. Preferable served slightly moist. I've definitely made a wrong order.

This one here, well, it's good for picky eaters. Hate veggies? Simply cast aside the chives and sprouts. Can't take spicy stuff? Dump the sambal. No like sour food? Throw away the limes. Like that. Easy peasy. :P

Roasted Chicken Noodle

The 2 chicken lovers who felt like eating 'something light' (read: no rice) chose this. Simultaneously.

Looks decent and they have no complaints.

HK Stewed Beef Brisket Noodle(Dry)

Something that I had planned to order, initially. But my dad cut me to it and I let him have his way. Nice to see him being adventurous with his food choices, for once.

I asked him how it was and he said it was alright. I remember a friend who commented about the meat being on the slightly tough side. I took a piece. It was ok. Not very tender, just nice. The sauce had a slightly 'herbal' accent. Not sure what it was. Maybe it's five-spice. Oh, there's even a wanton or two on the plate.

We also ordered some satay, since the guy came by our table and we find it hard to turn him down. But the sauce was a real downer. It was so runny/watery that it didn't even cling onto the meat! Plus there were a few sticks that were undercooked. Had to send them back for more time on the grill.

All in all, I'm not sure if the food quality has diminished. I've never really fully tried their 'zhi char' items, save for the hotplate tofu that's meant for my toddler. And the fact that our favourite rojak stall has moved across the road…

Well surely, next time I'm heading to that area, it's to check out Chak Enak Hong Kong Tea House. Confirm!

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