Keong Siak Street is one of the recent ‘happening’ food places. On a search for Singapore’s unique hawker (#UniqueHawker) food, I found myself at Kok Sen Restaurant. Though technically not a hawker place, it is known to serve different-from-usual zhi char and is definitely one of a kind.
Updated: Kok Sen has been listed in the Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide 2016.
There are many atypical dishes: Braised big prawn noodles, crispy noodles with shrimp omelette, claypot yong tau fu, black pepper beef with bitter gourd, and salted egg with wolfberry leaves. Most are strange combinations but actually works.
Know not what to order? Ask the friendly auntie.
All the names of the signatures dishes are also written on bright coloured cards pasted all over the wall in ‘Hong Kong’ restaurant style.
This Cantonese-style restaurant most famous dish is its Big Prawn Bee Hoon, costing a pricey $16 for a seemingly humble zi char place.
Yes, 16 bucks for hae mee!
But quoting L’Oreal, it is worth it, and I have been ordering it almost every single time I come. My tip is to share the bowl with a friend though as it is quite heavy in taste.
Plus, you should leave some space for other dishes like the awesome Claypot Yong Tau Fu.
The Big Prawn Bee Hoon arrived steaming hot with two huge fresh prawns, partly de-shelled so it is easier to eat.
The soup was thick, red, spicy, grainy with hints of belacan. So tasty that I would always finish it till the last drop.
Some may find the stock a tad too thick and flavoursome though and may need to down some water.
Kok Sen’s Big Prawn Crispy Noodles ($14) which looked like the typical ‘shen mian’ also had a unique style unseen in other zi char restaurants.
Other than the fact the prawns were larger than large, the noodles remained crisp, fried in delicious starchy – spicy gravy with a nice wok hei flavour.
This unique Zi Char place is usually very crowded during weekends. Be there early and you won’t be disappointed.
Kok Sen Restaurant
No 30 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089137
Opening Hours: 12.00am – 2.00pm, 5.00pm – 11.00pm (Mon – Sun)
Note: Closed on alternate Mondays
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