There is something every comforting about eating a Taiwanese Railway Bento box, with different combinations of side dishes brought together into one hearty, varied and tasty box. You also get reminded of the warmth and sincerity of the Taiwanese people.
These meal boxes first made its way to Taiwan during the first half of the 20th century from Japan, commonly sold in Taiwan’s railway station and train cabins. They are thus packed with balanced nutritious ingredients, and usually drier to endure long train journeys.
While there are many Taiwanese street food kiosks found in Singapore, not many sell the traditional bento boxes. Then I found a shop specialising Taiwanese bentos at Kallang Ave CT Hub, a short distance away from Lavender and café hotspot Jalan Besar (another branch at International Plaza). Hidden find!
Varieties over at Taiwan Railway Bento include Traditional Pork Rib, Red Yeast Pork, Stewed Pork Belly, Fried Chicken Cutlet, Fried Fish Bento (all $6.80) and Braised Minced Meal Bento ($4.80).
Like Taiwanese counterparts, this new shop is full of genuineness when it comes to cooking and packing the boxes.
The kitchen staff is generous with their ingredients. My box of Red Yeast Pork filled with the main item, minced pork, stewed marinated hard-boiled egg, tau pok and preserved vegetables sourced from Taiwan. Indeed a nourishing filling meal.
Oh, they use the shorter-grain stickier pearl rice for more authenticity and no worries about the rice being too dry. The sauce from the minced pork is enough when you mix all together.
My other favourite parts were the tau pok which was flavourfully soaked in a special dark soya marinate, and the ‘suan cai’ which tasted exactly like the ones I had back in Taipei – very homely.
Look at the portion of the deep fried crispy chicken cutlet, peppered with spicy and plum powder, and you would know what it means by substantial. In true Taiwanese style, they do not believe in cutting up their cutlets.
Another new addiction which I would highly recommend is the Chicken Rice Bento ($4.80, $6.80) which can give our familiar Hainanese Chicken Rice a run for its money.
The rice is all-fluffy and evenly enveloped with chicken stock, developed after months of experimental. Every mouthful is flavourful, and I suddenly found myself eating the rice alone non-stop. The chicken is also tender and juicy, reminding me of the popular ‘spray water’ chicken from Chiayi Taiwan.
Lunch-time crowd can get rather busy, and it is encouraged that you come during dinners or order takeaways. Delivery is also available for certain nearby locations.
All the bentos are packed in these recyclable signature wooden boxes, entirely microwavable as well. If you crave for the familiar Taiwanese taste, do head down to Taiwan Railway Bento and you may find that you may not need to make that travel anymore.
Taiwan Railway Bento 台湾鐵路便當
No. 2 Kallang Avenue #02-16 Singapore 339407 (10 walk from Lavender MRT)
Tel: +65 6538 0019
Email: email@example.com http://www.railwaybento.com
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm Daily
Taiwan Railway Bento Giveaway
Taiwan Railway Bento will be giving away 4 Special Packages which includes 4 Bento Boxes in each with a VIP card which entitles you to discounts and other privileges.
All you need to do it to
– LIKES Taiwan Railway Bento’s facebook page
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– COMMENT below with your favourite bento box from Taiwan Railway Bento (Last day 23 May)
* This entry is brought to you by Taiwan Railway Bento.