Friday, August 12, 2011

Lai Lai Casual Dining, Liang Seah Street

In Singapore, when faced with the frown-inducing question of "where to eat ah?!", one should seriously consider the Bugis area. Home to a mindboggling array of (often good) chow, I'm quite certain there is something for everyone.

Following a recommendation by 's sister, Lai Lai was our choice for a dinner place one Friday evening for some Taiwanese fare. This is located just a dash across the road from Bugis Junction, and is directly opposite that immensely popular Chinese dessert place ( Ah Chew's).

Famished and in need of some pampering, we ordered a set menu each. You get to pick an appetizer, main course and a drink.

{ Set B ($12.20) } Salted Fried Chicken (?) 盐稣鸡

Fried chicken was.. fried chicken. Was quite a generous serving of bite-sized pieces too. Not too severely oily or salty - I thought it was decent and crispy. We liberally applied chilli oil to this for that extra zing.

Picked the 盐稣鸡 for my side dish - I may not have had this in Taiwan before but this was pretty good fried popcorn chicken! Peppery and salty and surprisingly not too oily.

Then came my 卤肉饭 ...

{ Set B ($12.20) } Braised Pork Rice 卤肉饭

To be honest I had a momentary memory lapse and was expecting the super imba 肉燥饭 from Taiwan which this one wasn't. 卤肉饭 kinda falls in between the 肉燥饭 (minced pork) and the 扣肉饭 (wide slices of braised pork) with its fatty fatty goodness but sliced into thin short streaks. I do recall the sauce being the real winner in the Taiwanese version, and while it clearly was no contest, it was pretty damn good as well! Salty, sweet and coating the rice in this rich fatty flavour, unhealthy as hell but satisfying. And the portion was deceptively large.

For 's set she got the pitan tofu (was told it might be similar to the one in Shunjuu Izakaya).

{ Set A ($13.90) } Century Egg with Cold Tofu

Well it clearly isn't the same - instead of the sweet century egg cream and tobiko, came instead with pork floss and bonito flakes. Not too shabby but nothing too extraordinary!

I don't think I've ever had cold tofu in combination with century egg before. This was nice especially the difference in texture and tastes.. really quite moreish! The tofu is a silky smooth base for the more distinct flavour of the egg and oyster sauce. I also like the addition of meat floss and bonito flakes on top for that slight sweetness.

{ Set A ($13.90) } Stewed Beef Noodle

I really really liked my choice of main dish. This nondescript looking beef noodle bowl was full of flavour! The stew broth was peppery, spicey, sweet and beefy at every mouthful. And the plentiful chunks of beef was so tender it just falls apart in your mouth! Extremely yummy. However I wasn't a big fan of the noodles - these were too floury/starchy, but maybe it is such to soak up more flavour.

Oh god damn, the soup of this 牛肉面 was sensational. While again not beating it's counterpart in Taiwan, it's extremely good in its own merit - peppery and herby and extremely flavourful, and yet not too overpowering and jelat after a spoonful too many. And the beef ... god daymn. Melts in your damn mouth. Only let down for me was also the noodles, a little too starchy and not as Q as it should be.

Not in pictures are our tall glasses of iced bubble milk tea. We requested it to be less sweet and it was just the right level for me. Good but not THAT good (definitely not up to KOI or Gong Cha level ...). It was certainly filling, and I was almost disappointed to find myself completely stuffed because I was hoping for some dessert :P

HGW Link :
Credit Card discount : DBS / POSB 10% but not for set meals
Rating (out of 4) :

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