The first thing I noted about this Western food stall at Golden Mile Food Centre was the hawker donning a chef’s uniform.
”But, not hot ah???”
Chef Choo Siew Leong who is in his 30s, explained that wearing the chef’s attire was HOT especially in a stuffy hawker centre environment, but this made him look professional with more pride when serving food.
Would you call this an under-rated hawker stall? Yes and no.
There have been certain features and reviews on the Italian food stall, but the crowd still seemed quite moderate. Perhaps people don’t often associate Italian pasta with hawker centres?
Chef Choo previously worked at Pete’s Place at the basement of Hyatt Hotel – probably one of the first places in Singapore I got exposed to more authentic-tasting Italian food myself.
I was actually on the lookout for young hawkers that were 20 or 30 something to feature on Food King, and found stalls here such as YouFu Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle, One Prawn Noodle, Ashes Burnnit, The Original Vadai, and Yong Kwang Yummy Seafood.
The husband-and-wife team helms the stall which had an Italian-looking exterior as well, serving up hearty portions of Spaghetti Carbonara ($6.50), Spaghetti Bolognese ($6.50), Chicken Chop with Garlic Rice ($5.90), Norwegian Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce ($6.90) and Pork Chop with Garlic Rice and Mushroom Cream Sauce ($6.90).
For something lighter, there are Cheesy Fries ($5.50) and Caesar Salad ($5, $7 with chicken).
All at inexpensive prices considering the quality of the ingredients.
The first dish I tried there was the Japanese Scallops Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce ($12.90) because some of the signature items were sold out.
While price may feel like it is on the high side if you compare with other hawker centre dishes, you are getting the real deal here.
The tomato sauce, not from pre-made packages or cans, sealed the deal – bursting with that tangy-sweet goodness in a rich, robust and slightly spicy sauce.
The scallops were plump and fresh-tasting, and there was some white wine added to bring out that fragrance.
I made it a point to return, and had a Pork Chop with Aglio Olio ($7.50).
The next thing that left an impression was how garlicky it was – perhaps the pasta I had with the most amount of minced garlic of late.
If you love totally garlicky Aglio Olio, then this is for you. If you are uncomfortable with too much garlic, then you would have been a love-hate relationship, because those slices of pork chop were quite yummy and soft on its own .
There were also chopped chilli padi for that bolt of extra kick. Not very ‘Italian’, but Chef explained he modified the recipe to suit the local tastebuds.
”Singaporeans love garlic and spice, have to change a bit.”
The real star item of the entire menu was the Sizzling Seafood Spaghetti ($7.90 for 1 pax, $13.90 for 2 pax portion), served (complete with the crackling sound and steam) in a cast iron skillet on a wooden coaster at your table. Get those cameras ready.
Wah, restaurant feel in a hawker centre.
The generous portion of mussels, clams and prawns, along with the thick tomato sauce (maybe too thick for some?) infused with shots of white wine, made this a worthy hawker dish to have.
Indeed restaurant quality pasta in a hawker centre. I know I may be expecting much, but hopefully I get to experience handmade pasta at Chef Choo Signature one day, which I feel would elevate his food to another level.
Chef Choo Signature
Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Rd, #B1-45, Singapore 199583
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 8pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Other Related Entries
20 Golden Mile Food Centre Stalls
YouFu Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle (Golden Mile Food Centre)
One Prawn Noodle (Golden Mile Food Centre)
Ashes Burnnit (Golden Mile Food Centre)
The Original Vadai (Golden Mile Food Centre)