Sherman's Food Adventures: Singapore Hawker

Singapore Hawker

For all the different cuisines that I indulge in, there is one that I never get to enough (of course this is based on availability as well).  Singaporean cuisine should be represented much more than it is within the GVRD, but here we are with only a few here and there.  Now we all know that there are many Singaporean dishes available in Chinese restaurants, but that is not quite the same.  So to get my fix, I finally visited Singapore Hawker out in Coquitlam.  This counter-service spot is constantly bustling with dine-in guests as well as plenty of takeout.

I gathered up the fam including the grandparents to check the place out sans my son (as he is now too cool to eat with us...).   We started off with the classic Roti Canai accompanied by the usual curry dip.  This was a pretty solid version with flaky flatbread with discernible layers.  It was a bit crispy while chewy on the inside.  It fairly light, so it wasn't too heavy nor dense.  The dip on the side was flavourful and adequately spicy.

Since my daughter loves Satay, we got the mix of beef and chicken that totaled 6 pieces. As you can see, they were not scrawny with plenty of meat on each stick.  I thought they were charred enough for caramelization and some smokiness.  The chicken was a touch dry, but not overly so.  I actually preferred the beef as it was still juicy and plenty tender.  Loved that they didn't skimp on the peanut satay sauce.

A stealthily tasty item was the Nyonya Sambal Egg featuring a deep-fried hard-boiled egg topped with a generous amount of sambal.  As you can see, the egg was perfectly cooked where it was didn't sport a dark ring.  The outside of the egg was lightly chewy while giving way to tender egg white and crumbly yolk.  The best part was the sweet, salty, plenty briny and slightly spicy sambal.  We used the excess to eat with everything else.

One of our favourite dishes was the Hainanese Chicken with chicken oil rice.  Boneless and ample in portion size, the dark meat chicken was super succulent and tender.  The skin was not flabby while the meat was flavourful on its own.  Although the chicken rice was decently flavourful, it could've used a bit more oil.  Furthermore, the rice itself could've been chewier.  Beyond that, this was still delicious and reasonably priced at $12.95.

Another rice dish was the Kari Lembu (Malaysian Curry Brisket) served with steamed white rice. I make this at home quite often, but minus the considerable oil slick.  I realize that the flavour is all in the oil, but maybe a little less would've been nice.  Ate quite greasy.  Now the brisket itself was on the leaner side, yet most pieces were still tender.  The curry itself was mildly spicy with plenty of aromatics.

For our veggies, we decided on the Sambal Green Beans.  We chose mild because not everyone wanted spicy.  Even with that, there was a flavourful amount of spice.  Interestingly, even though we could see the sambal (as well as the dried shrimp within it), the dish was not as impactful as we would've hoped.  Despite that, the beans were perfectly crunchy while cooked all-the-way-through.  There was still good aromatics to the dish though.

For our noodle dishes, we had to get the Char Kuay Teow and it was a generally a good decision.  I would've liked to see more whole pieces of flat rice noodle (many were broken), but the dish was quite good.  As you can see, the caramelization from the wok fry was appealing.  Beyond the colour, the dish had a light smokiness balanced off by equal amounts of sweetness and savouriness.  Mixed into the noodles was shrimp, squid and fish cake.

The other noodle dish was the Singapore Laksa with tofu puffs, prawns, egg, fish cakes and fish balls.  I asked for this to be medium and it did have a flavourful kick.  I would've liked it to be even more briny, but it wasn't bland by any means where the coconut broth was rich and aromatic.  There was plenty of vermicelli noodles as well as sprouts and the other listed ingredients.  Good value at $12.95.  In fact, most items were $12.95 while be well-portioned.  Such a great value especially with increasing prices at most restaurants.  I'll definitely be back.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Inexpensive
- Efficient staff

The Bad:
- Tight seating
- Parking in the area can be hard to find  


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