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Hearty Taiwanese cuisine
For simple, home-style Taiwanese cuisine, head to Nan Tai Eating House, a nondescript restaurant on Kim Keat Road that’s relatively under the radar despite having been around for three years.
Look past the air-conditioned but stuffy interior and spartan decor, and dive into the dishes. They come in generous portions reminiscent of a grandmother who adores serving guests with food.
The House Special Braised Pork Rice ($ 6.50) is for one, but there’s enough for two. The short grain rice bowl comes with a bountiful pile of braised pork belly strips, house mustard green pickles and a braised egg.
The tangy pickles are crunchy and refreshing, and keep the oily pork belly strips from getting cloying. The braised egg is a bit overcooked, but that’s a small gripe when you look at the overall value of the dish.
Vermicelli With Oyster ($ 5) is a comforting large bowl of Taiwanese red wheat vermicelli cooked in a savory bone broth with juicy oysters. Each bowl comes with five to six oysters. Black rice vinegar, ground white pepper and fresh cilantro are added before serving the bowl.
Bowel lovers can order Pork Chitterling ($ 4 for small, $ 6 for medium) to add to the vermicelli. I smell a slight pork smell when the dish arrives, but the andouilles are still palatable.
The real winner is the crispy salted chicken ($ 5 for small, $ 8 for medium). Chicken breast meat is used instead of boneless chicken thigh meat, but the resulting fried chicken is tender and juicy under the golden crust. I can taste the garlic, which is infused into the salt and pepper meat.
A simple, home-style offering is the Egg Seaweed Soup ($ 4), which serves two to three. The seaweed has an elastic texture and the egg is soft and tender. What I love about soup is that it’s tasty and I’m not thirsty after sipping it.
Of the dishes I try, my least favorite is the Ah Po Chinese Burger (2.80), which is the kong bak bao (braised pork belly in a bun). The pork belly is too fatty for my taste, although the braising sauce is tasty.
The dishes are prepared by owner Jaelyn Deng, originally from the northeastern province of Jilin in China. She came to Singapore at the age of 21 to study and is now a citizen of Singapore. The 37-year-old worked in sales and marketing before setting up her restaurant in 2018.
She fell in love with Taiwanese cuisine around ten years ago when she met her Singaporean ex-husband whose mother is Taiwanese. Ms. Deng learned to cook Taiwanese dishes like braised pork and vermicelli from her family.
She doesn’t use dark soy sauce in her braising sauces, so the color of her braised dishes is more of a caramel brown than black.
Or: Nan Tai Food House, 18 Kim Keat Street
Open: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday
Phone : 9735-9897
Info: Delivery for nearby locations available on foodpanda, Grab and Deliveroo. Prices vary depending on the platform
Largest selection of Japanese food to deliver
Japanese restaurant chain EN Group has launched EN Brace, a delivery-only concept that offers dishes from its restaurants such as Chura Sushi Bar, Kiwami Ramen & Gyoza Bar, Aburi-EN, Tamago-EN and Monster Curry. There are 72 items on the delivery menu.
Chura Sushi Bar’s Vegetable Roll ($ 17.40) is cut and laid out in a disposable tray, with toppings such as ice cubes and dill. The filling is a play of crispy textures, composed of mixed salad, pickled carrot, burdock, egg, pickled cucumber, avocado and edible flowers all wrapped in rice paper.
The roll is accompanied by two dips – siracha mayo and special yuzu goma truffle vinaigrette. But I find it unnecessary to use the dips as the roll is seasoned enough on its own and has a lot of vegetable sweetness.
Mala Gyoza ($ 8.20 for five pieces) packs a numbing spicy punch with its mala sauce made from mala oil, chili sauce and Szechuan pepper. The meat filling – made from pork shoulder – is well marinated with salt, pepper, garlic and ginger. The grated spring onion garnish is a nice touch.
For a more filling meal, Kiwami Ramen & Gyoza Bar’s Tonkatsu Fried Rice ($ 14.20) offers great value.
The premium pork loin is coated with two types of Japanese flour and fresh breadcrumbs. The tonkatsu keeps quite a bit of crispness. Heat the dish in the toaster oven quickly and crispy it pretty well. The fresh Okinawan eggs used in the dish have egg yolks of a darker orange hue because the chickens eat special grains.
For a side dish, Aburi-EN’s Organic Hokkaido Potato with Mentai Cheese Sauce ($ 9.20) is a bit pricey, but the potato wedges are wonderfully powdery.
The Omusoba with Karaage Set ($ 9.90) by Tamago-EN is impressive with an omelet covering the fried noodles. But while the egg is soft and chewy, the noodles become lumpy. The dish could also do with more seasoning and less tomato sauce. Nonetheless, the karaage (fried chicken) is well fried and arrived crispy.
Info: To order, go to this website. Orders must be placed three hours before delivery. Deliveries are made from 2:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Until November 15, En Brace is offering free shipping with a minimum order of $ 80 and a shipping charge of $ 5 for a minimum order of $ 60.