While traveling to Taiwan is not quite possible for now, this has perhaps fuelled the opening and popularity of Taiwanese cafes in Singapore including Eat 3 Bowls 呷三碗車站 (Pasir Panjang), Isshin Machi 一心一町 (East Coast Road), Abundance (Lengkok Bahru), and True Breakfast 初早餐 (Chin Swee Road)
+886 Taiwanese Bistro is a newly opened café serving Taiwanese food, street snacks, and bubble tea. +886 is the international dialing code for Taiwan. (Also read: 10 Taiwanese Cafes In Singapore)
It is located along Jalan Besar (The Noble Hotel), an area which has always been a café hotspot.
One of the co-owners Tony is half-Taiwanese, and he has been in Singapore for the last 25 years.
He is no new-comer to the F&B trade though, as his family in Taiwan has always been in the food industry since his great grandparents’ time.
A note is that the business is still new and not quite accustomed to handling dine-in customers, delivery orders, and bulk requests all at the same time.
Signature items include Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice ($5.80), Scallion Chicken Rice ($5), Imperial Pork Chop ($6.80), Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken ($8.80), Crispy Chicken ($8.80), Popcorn Chicken ($6.80), Fried Chicken Skin ($5.80), Crispy Enoki Mushroom ($4.80) and Tempura ($5.0).
There are also sides such as Chicken Mee Sua ($5), Plum Fries ($4.80), Chives & Pork Dumplings ($5.80), Cabbage & Pork Dumplings ($5.80), Beansprouts with Homemade Sauce ($4.20), Kangkong with Homemade Sauce ($4.20) and Braised Quail Eggs ($1.50 for 3 pcs).
The owners wanted to create the Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice ($5.80) aka Lu Rou Fan as authentic as what customers would find in Taiwan.
Therefore, you would find the use of fatty pork belly, quality Japanese short-grained rice, and not that much additional sauce.
The difference is, they garnish lightly with seaweed flakes instead of the usual salted vegetables.
I thought that the flavours were robust, and rice was definitely of good, fluffy quality. My friend mentioned that the fillings reminded her of bak zhang.
However, despite a small bowl, it was on the greasy side for me, and I found myself needing more tea to cut the oil. So perhaps they could work on striking a better balance.
The Imperial Pork Chop ($6.80) – a direct translation from 御品排骨, is a recipe originated from Tony’s great grandparents.
Marinated with the family-own secret recipe (kept for over 30 years), the pork cutlet was also made boneless for easier consumption.
To be fair, the Pork Chop did remind me of what I had in Taipei’s night markets, with liberal use of five spice powder, and was lightly sweet and tender.
Lots of potential, but they could work on getting it out hot and crisp, and some customers may prefer a bigger slice for the price?
For a sweet ending, you can choose between Yam Brûlée ($4.80) and Yam Puff ($4.20).
The Yam Brûlée was an interesting selection, topped with smoothly-sweet yam paste (like orh nee) over soft and wobbly crème caramel pudding.
+886 Taiwanese Bistro
407 Jalan Besar, #01-01, Singapore 209012
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon