Food Alley

The Food Alley. Yes, yes, yes.

I’ve always wanted to try this place. But I couldn’t be bothered because parking is extremely difficult to find and they have too many choices. Perhaps that’s why they’ve won the Best Cheap Eats last year – lots of competition for pricing and better tasting food.

Food Alley is on Albert Street, more towards downtown. There were many places that I sampled. Some of them are as below:

Chicks

chicken-rice

Chicken Rice Large.

Chicks is serving purely chicken dishes. The above dish is $9 and it’s not bad. I thought the soup was a bit luke warm. Most of their dishes is below $10 which is good for those cheapos like me. However, overall it did not impress me.

Waroeng Wardani Indonesian Food 

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Seafood Balado.

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Ox Tail Soup on Rice.

Both dishes were $11 each. I thought the Balado was quite good. The seafood was the “fake” seafood, so perhaps my next try would be chicken or something. The Ox Tail is unique. Overall, not bad. Something I’d try again. There isn’t a lot of Indonesian places around.

Umaiya Japanese Cuisine

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Chicken Bento.

The above was $10.50 and it had a lot of stuff. I thought it was a good dish and damn good value for money. It’s definitely worth a try for a value meal. But Japanese food tends to be the same all the time, so it wasn’t very exciting. 

I can’t exactly give a rating for this place – it’s a bit unfair since I haven’t tried everything else. There is definitely a lot of choices, and each with their own strength and weaknesses. I’d say try the Indonesian place which is right at the back of the food court.

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Thai Friends

There is an odd-looking place on Parnell Road called Thai Friends. I say odd because it doesn’t exactly look like a big place at all when you pass by. I always thought it was a bit strange for them to run a business with tables and chairs (about a handful) outside. Little did I know that they had more room/space at the back! But that’s probably reserved for dinner.

I decided to try out this place for lunch after a long day at looking for overpriced property around the area. Also, they’ve got awards and stuff like that. So I wanted to see what the big fuss was about. Initial observation of the menu will definitely give you a heart attack. It’s really odd, of all the Asian cuisine, Thai and Indian are always overly priced comparatively. Why is that?

Anyway, thank goodness they had a “Special Lunch Menu”. Two dishes were sampled as shown below:

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Thai Hot Green Curry Chicken.

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Thai Style Seafood Laksa.

The chicken green curry is a traditional, all-time favourite and it costs about $13.50. It’s not bad. The Thai style seafood laksa was a unique one. I thought the laksa was very good. The seafood is quite fresh and the flavour of the laksa soup was delicious. For $17.50, I thought it was worth it. Of all the laksas I’ve forced myself to try, this was the best (I’m usually not a big fan of laksa). It’s not full of MSG, and the seafood is real seafood. It’s not frozen seafood like fishballs, fishcakes, surimi, etc.

Based on the two above dish, I thought Thai Friends is worth a try, for lunch that is. I am not sure about dinner. It may be a bit overpriced, especially during this difficult economic time. My rating, 9/10.

Tang’s Soup Cafe

The Easter weekend is finished but I have another day off. That gives me a bit of time to talk about this cafe I “bumped” into recently – Tang’s Soup Cafe. It’s near the roundabout in Royal Oak.

It’s a strange place because initially it appears as if there is no English menu. But rest assure, it does. The good thing about the place is the amount of variety and it opens late – so good supper option. The variety comes with a price, not all dishes are great and it really depends what you get. Anyway, some of the dishes tried are shown below:

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 Chinese Sausage and Dried Duck on Rice Served in a Wooden Cask.

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Steam Chicken with Kei Chee and Red Dates on Rice.

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Steam Chicken with Hot and Spice Sauce on Rice.

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Quail Braised in Chuan Bei.

The wooden cask dish is $12.50. The steam chicken dishes are $8. The soup is $11.50. Of all the dishes above, I prefer the steam chicken dish. It’s tasty and darn cheap. However, the other two dishes are not bad and more specialty (I think). It is worth to experiment on. The wooden cask dish is kinda salty for me because of the dried duck.  The soup is quite good and apparently has health benefits. But it’s kinda expensive for $11.50. Again it may be because it’s special. Someone can educate me.

Anyway, I am pleasantly surprised with this place. I think the food overall is good and very unique. It’s also a great supper hangout, and well done to them for opening late-ish for the night owls.

My rating is 9/10. Unique dishes, opens late and good value for money (mostly). Worth a try.

Chalin Tea House

A quick post during Easter. Happy holidays everyone.

Chalin Tea House is on Dominion Road, formerly known as Easy Way. There’s always a Beamer outside the place – most likely the owner who also works there. Anyway, I hardly go to this place because it’s kinda far. I ordered the Honey Dew Milk Tea with Pearl for $5.90.

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Honey Dew Pearl Milk Tea.

My rating is 7/10. It’s too powdery for me. No actual “tea” taste. But I know this place is quite a popular one, so didn’t get too biased.

Selera

Another Malaysian place. I know. Boring. But why not? =)

I hardly go to Selera, which is situated in Newmarket (also near where I live). I was there about 10 months ago and I got pee-ed of with the “quality” of the food and price. But I’ve heard they’ve changed ownership and/or management. Some things that annoyed me previously was the crappy fatty left-overish char sieu they put on their kon low mee and the very MSG-ed laksa. I had to drink a bucket of water after that. That was before.

So during the weekend, I decided to have a look. Two dishes were sampled:

selera-kon-lo-mee

Kon Lo Mee.

selera-nasi-lemak-with-beef-rendang

Nasi Lemak.

After trying the two above dishes, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the price is still expensive (above $12), they have tried to reduce their price only for lunch during the weekdays ($8.90). The Kon Low Mee, flavoursome although still lacking substantial protein. The Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang was tender and moist. I can’t complain, although price-wise it is high they have specials for the weekday.

My rating is 8.5/10. They do still have some work to do in terms of reducing their price. It’s just $2 more expensive (on average) compared to the nearest Malaysian restaurant (Laksa House at the Newmarket Food Plaza).

Do give Selera a try – only during weekdays for lunch. =)

Kiraku Japanese Restaurant

If you ever wanted a very light meal in town but in a cramp condition – try Kiraku. It’s located on Elliott Street, near the Atrium on Eliott. The selection is pretty good and friendly staff. Some dishes sampled are shown below:

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Teriyaki Chicken Ramen.

  copy-of-kiraku-pork-gyoza

Pork Gyoza.

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Japanese Curry Chicken on Rice.

The first two dishes came as a combo for $14.50. The curry chicken rice is $10. I quite like it even though there isn’t much “material” i.e. light. As for taste, it’s good. My rating is 8/10.

A good place for a quick and light meal.