Singaporeans love their zi char, and Enjoy Eating House probably falls into a category that has a mix of zi char, comforting home cooking, and even a touch of Thai cuisine all at the same time.
Good news: they have opened a NEW outlet at Hotel Mercure on Stevens, and diners can experience a more modern ambience with extensive menu here.
The food stays true to its concept – traditional yet innovative Singaporean food courtesy of head chef and owner Joel Ong.
Some of the regular favourites such as Chef Joel’s XO White Fish Soup ($10), Peranakan Bakwan Kepiting Soup ($8), Shiok Minced Prawn Patties ($12), Hainanese Chicken Satay ($10), Singapore Style Chilli Prawns ($22), and signature BBQ Pork Cheek ($18) can still be found.
I have ‘followed’ Chef Joel for quite a while, after I first wrote about his Thai restaurant back in 2012.
He previously spent a year in Thailand living with the locals and studying its culinary art, and aims to serve food that “taste, strong-flavoured yet well-balanced.”
He then opened Enjoy Eating House within a charming boutique hotel at Jalan Besar, and the humble eatery got quite known through word of mouth.
Operating since 2018, Enjoy Eating House has been serving many hearty recipes inherited from Chef Joel’s grandma. Popular zi char delights packed with a powerful wok hei are given a contemporary take here.
If you are looking to try the food that is near to town, they have opened a new flagship outlet at Mercure on Stevens (which is kind of in between Orchard Road and Bukit Timah) – also keeping things fresh with its new revamped menu with 10 new dishes.
This is a bigger space with seating capacity of up to 60 pax, and has a colourful and retro 1990s vibes (including their choice of music playlist). Plus, a spot relatively near town with free parking.
Ready to move out of the old and into the new? Here are some of Enjoy Eating House’s signature and spanking new dishes to get you in the mood:
Signature Salt Baked Whole Barramundi ($40)
If you come in a group, then get that Salt Baked Fish – which is exactly what it sounds like — fish crusted in salt and slid into the oven.
The salt-coated skin protects the fish as it cooks evenly, and also traps the moisture, resulting in a moist and tender meat.
Locally sourced from Pulau Ubin, the barramundi used is farmed without the use of antibiotics or chemical additives.
You can taste how fresh it is, as it is delivered within hours of harvest. Simply baked in salt, the fish keeps its natural freshness and sweetness and you take bites of the chunks of white meat.
I enjoy eating fish on its own, but you can always use sprinkle more of that salt, or dip into a Thai-inspired spicy sauce dip.
Signature White Pepper Alaskan King Crab (500g) ($88)
Make this signature dish your center piece, especially if you love the succulence of naturally sweet Alaskan King Crabs. This is our table’s favourite dish, snapped up in minutes.
This divine crustacean’s colossal legs are first flash-fried, then tossed in a local classic, white pepper sauce. The dish also includes ample amount of spring onions and ginger, great for those who love ”jiang cong” style of zi char food.
Unlike the more common black pepper sauce, the white pepper’s distinct fragrance and taste do not overpower the sweetness of the crab meat.
Use the chopsticks to give a slight push on the meat, then savour the sweetness of the crabs with a slight punch of the peppers.
Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras($30)
A dish hard to resist featuring Black Angus beef tenderloin cubes and pan-seared foie gras.
Oozing with melt-in-your-mouth textures, the foie gras complements the tender, juicy chunks of beef wok-fried with red and green bell peppers, onion, and garlic.
A zingy home-made black pepper sauce – a combination of both Western and Asian style of black peppers, wraps everything together in this one-bowl dish. Overall, this East-meets-West dish is towards the rich side.
Ugly Cabbage in Fish Sauce ($13)
Don’t belittle this dish’s simple, unassuming appearance. Within the torn, crunchy pieces of cabbage lies a strong, wok hei-infused flavour.
Chef shared that there is no major secret in the ingredients, ”Just cabbage, garlic, fish sauce and sugar…”. It is all about the skills of the wok-frying.
It was indeed a good smoky aroma to this sweet cabbage dish, recommended as a side to your beef or fish entrée.
Grandma’s “Te Kah” Bee Hoon ($14 for S, $34 for L)
Made from Chef Joel’s Grandma’s secret recipe, this is the dish to order when dining with family.
Slurp-worthy for all that soupy brown gravy, this enticing dish features braised pork trotters so tender the fat jiggles in your mouth. Not the canned type and braised from scratch by the way.
The meat is served with greens and mushrooms to balance the flavour.
I believe every grandma has a different recipe to this classic old-school comfort dish. This version is the zhup zhup (saucy kind) in which the flavours are infused in the vermicelli.
What some would describe as ”zhong kou wei” (rich flavours) as well – I like.
Classic “Yu Sheng” Ceviche ($18)
Since CNY 2021 (12 Feb) is fast approaching, you can also try Chef Joel’s contemporary take on Yu Sheng, the classic Cantonese-style raw fish salad.
Instead of the sauces being poured around and lo-hei, the sauce (a mixture of plum sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, sesame oil and more) is piped around which you can use as a dip.
Enjoy Four Treasure Soup ($23)
Take a moment and sip with leisure and reverence this Four Treasure Soup.
Made with four key ingredients – abalone, scallop, fish maw, and crab meat – this rich and flavourful soup has a pumpkin base and also prepared using chicken stock cooked for many hours.
“Popiah” Garden ($14)
Yes, if you been enough to Taiwanese street markets, you can tell that this dessert dish is inspired by the ice-cream “popiah” wrap with fresh peanut candy shavings.
A beautiful and edible garden served on a plate, featuring a handmade popiah skin lawn landscaped with a foliage of house-made blue pea pandan lemongrass, sea salt Horlicks and soursop gelato.
Completing the “garden” is traditional peanut candy sands and edible flowers.
There is no specific way to having this – you can eat the gelato on its own (the lemongrass is my favourite, while I though the Horlicks was on the saltier side), or tear a piece of the skin to wrap it around.
Chendol Panna Cotta ($8)
This popular Asian iced dessert chendol sports a European flair by having panna cotta for a base.
Dig into the coconut-flavoured luxuriously-textured Italian cooked cream thickened by gelatine.
But before that, you got to scoop out the green pandan-flavoured jelly noodles sitting on fragrant gula melaka syrup. A not-bad, delightful meal-ender.
If you need a thirst-quencher, #SupportLocalSG with the featured locally-brewed craft beers from Lion Brewery Co., and an expanded range of alcoholic beverages including wines and spirit.
Special mention to the Brewery’s Straits Pale Ale with lychee and citrus fruits notes; Singaporean-inspired alcoholic beverages like the Compendium Chendol Gin and Compendium & Made Cold’s collaboration of Kopi-O Liqueur.
Can’t decide what to have?
Enjoy Eating House also offers their own local version of “Omakase” with the “Huat Ah Set” ($88 per person, min 2 to dine) and “Sui Bian Set” ($58 per person, min 2 to dine).
If you are the anything also can personality type, order the “Sui Bian Set” features best-selling items such as Chef Joel’s Signature XO White Fish Soup, Signature BBQ Pork Cheek and Singapore-style Chilli Prawns with Mantou, and “Enjoy Sweets”.
Won’t regret because the food is not so “Sui Bian” here.
Enjoy Eating House & Bar – Stevens
30 Stevens Rd #01-07, Mercure on Stevens, Singapore 257840
Tel: +65 8511 1478
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Enjoy Eating House & Bar – Jalan Besar
383 Jalan Besar, Kam Leng Hotel, Singapore 209001
Tel: +65 9299 1601
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Enjoy Eating House.