Truly Test Kitchen – Hawkerpreneurs Set Up Coffeeshop, Big-Portioned Food At $2, $3.50, $4.50!
Taxi uncle got lost bringing me to Kampong Ampat, even though he sounded with great confidence of knowledge of its location.
I was going to Truly Test Kitchen, which is the Version 2.0 of the successful Hainanese hawker stall Truly Curry Rice.
Truly Test Kitchen is a sprawling 3000 square feet canteen / coffeeshop situated on LEVEL 7 of a Jun Jie Industrial Building, housing a total of 5 food stalls which include Truly Curry Rice, Miàn, Handmade Meatball Porridge, Truly Western and drinks.
Most of the local food here cost between $2 – $4.50, at large portions (of course costing more, if you add ingredients or ‘upsize’.)
How to get there: Cab / Grab / Uber, or MRT to Tai Seng and walk for 10 minutes, or bus to MacPherson.
Look out for a Jun Jie Industrial Building, walk to the elevator to the back (careful of workers who may be moving goods), and take the lift up to Level 7. May sound like an adventure for some.
The number of people at Truly Test Kitchen is a testament of two things 1) Singaporeans can travel ANYWHERE for food. “Look at the crowd. The kopitiam is packed. And it’s the hipster people!” 2) Many read and trust MissTamChiak because and she was the only person who blogged about it.
Moving to this location from the various hawker stalls (now all closed) is a great leap of faith.
Here are some unique features about Truly Test Kitchen:
ALL five stalls are single-handedly created and meticulously managed by hawkerpreneurs Joel and Deniece who are both graduates, left their comfortable jobs to do this.
Prices are kept consistently low, with most items averaging $3.50. Homemade-Traditional Yam Cake? $2.00. Pork Ball Porridge $3. Chicken Chop Hong Kong Mee, Curry Chicken Pasta, Meatball Marinara Pasta all at $3.50. Western food such as Pork Chop Baked Rice and Chicken Waffles at $4.50!!!
Portions are HUGE. Check out the Homely Noodles and Curry Chicken Noodles which is full to the brim, packed with ingredients (yes, at $3.50).
You can tell the owners truly care about their customer base, mainly workers and office crowd in the surround industrial area who need the carbs for energy.
Many food items are handmade and a reflection of items the owners enjoy during the growing up years, such as the Handmade Meatball Porridge and Fried Traditional Yam cake.
The yam and carrot cake made from scratch, Cantonese-style porridge cooked and stirred for more than 2 hours constantly with no additional starch added for the gooey effect.
We all had differing opinions about the food.
My favourite dishes that day was the Handmade Meatball Porridge which was of smooth consistency with bouncy moist meatballs; the Chicken Waffles which had juicy tasty deep fried chicken (though waffles drenched in a weird buttery sauce and fries oily); and the Hong Kong style Pork Chop Baked Rice.
On the last dish, one said “too sweet”, the another “but this is Hong Kong cha chaan teng style.”
I thought I preferred the Truly Curry Rice at its previous location at Telok Blangah. Some of the dishes tasted salty and oily; and the curry seemed to be spicier this time round with less of the oomph.
Truly Test Kitchen is no mean feat, and you can tell from the owners’ visible loss of weight.
Level 7 – no problem. “We want to bring to our customers food that is 7 times better, up to 7 times cheaper.” Their passion is truly admirable.
Truly Test Kitchen
Jun Jie Industrial Building, 153 Kampong Ampat #07-05 Singapore 368326 (Tai Seng MRT, 10 – 15 min walk)
Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
(Breakfast at 7am, Curry rice and noodles at 9am, Western at 11am)
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* This meal was a treat from Joel & Deniece.
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