On weekdays the crowd at this Tze Char stall – Kok Sen Restaurant, located in the shophouse along Keong Saik might not appear as huge was those hanging outside the cocktail bars nearby, but come weekends this Tze Char stall would be filled to the brim! Thronged by mostly large family here for dinner gatherings, it was difficult to get seats at the dining area which spanned over 2 shophouses.
There was once I stopped by for a quick dinner, drawn by the crowd and was shown to a table set-up at the back alley behind the shophouse. The alley behind was almost a neglected area that nobody bothered to show us the menu nor make any recommendations to us…I ordered a “Hor Fun” which took 30 mins to be served; waiting in the dark alley without any fan for ventilation…Since then I hadn’t bothered to re-visit them.
Not until recently when my colleague mentioned that she recently visited the place which is famous for their Large Prawn Bee Hoon Soup. Since it was a rainy day and I was just hoping to have dinner around the neighbourhood, I decided to give them a 2nd chance and dropped by again. Thankfully this time round, the stall was pretty empty. We were offered a seat along the five-foot way which was sheltered from the slight drizzle.
We tried their signature dish along with their Braised Large Prawn Noodle. It was crucial to emphasis the words “Large Prawns” cos each dish cost about $14 – in case diners weren’t mentally prepared to pay for the seemingly simple dishes.
Personally I enjoyed the slightly spicy braised noodles more than the soup version. The noodles was yee-mian kind and had absorbed the prawn umami, making it flavoursome. The soup version was also slightly spicy but felt rather oily, the soup tasted somewhat like “tom yam” (w/o the sour taste).
Guess I won’t mind returning for their braised noodles on a weekday (without the crowd) in future.
[Updates on 30th Mar 14]
Visited them on a Sunday late night around 9.30pm since most of the crowd would have dispersed. But almost everything was not available anymore…
When we place our order, was told that there’s no Big Prawns for noodles. Flipped through the menu to decide to try Claypot Yong Tau Fu, which was also told “No more“. Ordered Spring Onion with Beef, was told “No spring onion“. Fried shrimp paste chicken? “No more“…Frustrated…almost to the point of asking them “Why not just tell us what is still available?!” Ended up with Stir-fried Black Pepper Beef and hot plate tofu. Both very ordinary…
[Updates on 22rd Oct 14]
No Claypot Yong Tau Fu again…so tried the Chicken (can’t remember the exact name of this dish though) and a rather special stir-fried veg with preserved bean curd (豆腐乳).
[Updates on 1st Nov 14]
Finally got the chance to eat the Claypot Yong Tau Fu. It’s so rich with umami and savoury that it serves a full photo of it’s own! Really liked the fish glue paste used in the filling of the Yong Tau Fu. =)
And I realised that the trick is to visit them during the lunch session for a guaranteed yong tau fu as they tend to run out by late evening.
30B Keong Saik Road
Tel: 6223 2005
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