Posts Tagged ‘local eats’

5 must try eateries at Eastpoint Mall

With the recent opening of the 3rd  Malaysia Boleh! at Eastpoint Mall, the mall is fast becoming a foodie destination in itself. Eastpoint Mall, being a suburban mall located in a small and peaceful residential estate, has never been on the radar of most people unless you are living in Simei or the surrounding areas. It’s more of a utilitarian mall, with people visiting just to get a simple meal, groceries at NTUC, wares from Daiso, school and stationery supplies from Popular or attending enrichment classes. Up until recently, there have no big name fashion stores or big name anything to draw in the crowds. But therein lies the delight in visiting Eastpoint Mall. I visit Eastpoint Mall several times a week precisely because it is peaceful and not teeming with people. I can get a seat at any eatery or cafe I want, pretty much any time of the day.

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Picture Source

Well things are changing at Eastpoint Mall. In the last one year, a number of big name eateries have opened at Eastpoint Mall, the biggest being of course the super popular Malaysia Boleh! that opened a couple of weeks back. Let’s hope that these big names draw even more big name and popular eateries to open at Eastpoint Mall. Businesses might worry about a lack of footfall, but just look at how crowded Malaysia Boleh! is and you’ll know that if you can provide the goods, people will flock to you.

Anyway, here are my 5 eateries / restaurant recommendations at Eastpoint Mall that you should really check out.

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Malaysia Boleh! opens at Eastpoint Mall in Simei

The much anticipated 3rd outlet of Malaysia Boleh! has finally opened at EastPoint Mall in Simei. What is Malaysia Boleh? Malaysia Boleh! is a themed food court opened by the Fei Siong Group specialising in authentic Malaysian street hawker fare. Popular dishes and names such as the Penang Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze prawn noodles soup and the Klang Bak Kut Teh amongst many others are available at Malaysia Boleh! The look and feel of the place is meant to remind you of the food streets in Malaysia during the 1960s, from the design of the stalls and pushcarts to the decals on the walls.

Aside from this newly opened Eastpoint Mall outlet, the other two Malaysia Boleh! outlets are located at Jurong Point and AMK Hub. I have only been once to the Jurong Point outlet quite some years ago and I remembered it to be fairly large and spacious. The Eastpoint Mall Malaysia Boleh! feels quite small and cramped. In fact those who frequent Eastpoint Mall will notice that the Malaysia Boleh! is only about half of the size of the former food court, and made to seem even smaller because there are now no windows to look out of.

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Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock 兴福肉骨茶 [Johor Bahru]

Last year, I visited Johor Bahru for the first time in many years. It was a trip unlike any other because my friend brought us around like a local. We got to check out a popular bah kut teh eatery, 2 Instagrammable cafes and even had time for a cheap massage by Singapore’s standards! You can read more about my day trip to Johor Bahru via public transport here. But for this post, I thought I should write more about Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock, which is worth trying if you ever visit JB.

The interesting thing about this place despite their name is that they are also very famous for their steamed fish. In fact, the Grab Driver who drove us, knew about the steamed fish but not the Bah Kut Teh. Another interesting point is that most of their dishes are steamed or boiled, eg the veggies.

Here’s a video of lunch hour on a weekday at Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock. Check out that enormous package of herbs that was dunked into the BKT broth.

Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock

We left the ordering entirely to my friend and so this is what we had for lunch that day. As is quite common in most Bah Kut Teh outlets in Johor Bahru, the Bah Kut Teh tends to be quite heavy on the herbal flavour, as opposed to the more peppery kind that you might be more familiar with.  The Bah Kut Teh tastes good, especially when you first try it because of the intense flavours. But I must admit it does get slightly overwhelming after a while, especially if you are trying to drink the soup.

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Azur Crowne Plaza – Singapore and Malaysia Street Food Fiesta

Be transported to the vibrant streets of Singapore and Malaysia when you dine at Azur Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport. In conjunction with the national days of Singapore and Malaysia, Azur presents a bustling buffet of tasty street food featuring the two countries with live stations galore. The Partner and I were invited for a preview of the sumptuous spread!

Look forward to live stations where iconic street food will be prepared ala minute for diners and Azur’s interpretation of hawker fare by Executive Sous Chef, Andrew Tharm and his culinary team. There are familiar favourites such as Sambal Grilled squid, sambal stingray, oyster omelette, black pepper Sri Lankan Crab, Stir Fried Chilli Bamboo Clam and more main course dishes. At the dessert bar, you can find Bobo Cha Cha, Layered Pandan Kaya Cake etc.

We all have our favourites at the various hawker centres and coffee shops. These dishes I have highlighted have a slightly different touch to it to please the international palate. Here are some of the dishes that we tried.

Ipoh Hor Fun (1)

Ipoh Hor Fun – Flat rice noodles, shredded chicken, shrimp, Chinese mushrooms, greens and gravy topped with fried shallots and green pickled chilli

I’ve never tried Ipoh Hor Fun before and I thought it would be something quite different from the Hor Fun that I’m used to. I can tell that this version has made use of vibrant and fresh tasting ingredients.

Black Pepper Sri Lankan Crab

Black Pepper Sri Lankan Crab

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Sinpopo Brand

It’s interesting how cafes are falling over themselves trying to come up with the quirkiest and most “non-cafe” kind of names you can think of. The latest to join the bandwagon of wacky names are cafes such as Relational Goods, Penny University (okay this one has grounds) and Sinpopo Brand. And don’t even get me started on Chye Seng Huat Hardware, which has got nothing to do with hardware with the exception of coffee machines!

And what’s weird with Sinpopo Brand did you say? Well, for those of you old enough to know, Sinpopo used to be the name of a notorious nightclub along Tanjong Katong road! According to my father, it probably closed around the late 80s. I can’t remember a thing about Sinpopo but somehow the name sounds familiar. My grandparents used to live around the Geylang area, so they might have mentioned Sinpopo in their conversations previously.

I have to admit, it’s a great name for an old-school themed cafe that Sinpopo Brand is, as the name does evoke thoughts of yesteryear. Name aside, the menu, serving dishes, decor and even the music has been carefully selected to bring us back to days gone by.

Sinpopo Brand (4)

This is the main entrance that greets you, I recall having a TV with sliding doors, already disused by the time I was aware of things, it served as a nice side table! Old school biscuits that are still quite easily available in Singapore if you know where to look. Sinpopo Brand gives these out to kids for free.

Sinpopo Brand (3)

Ice Bor $3.90

This is the reason why I really wanted to visit Sinpopo. I’ve never in my life ever seen an ice ball up until now, and I really wanted to try it. I’ve no idea if this is authentic or not, can someone tell me? According to my mother, the ice ball man will just pass you the ice ball and you eat it off your hands, no paper no plastic no plate! This version from Sinpopo, called ice bor, has some redbeans squashed into the centre, and for some reason, crushed peanuts at the top.

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