Singaporeans do have a penchant for Taiwanese-style comfort food, from Lu Rou Fan, Oyster Mee Sua, to Crispy Fried Chicken.
So much so that there are quite a number of Taiwanese cafes in Singapore, from the popular Eat 3 Bowls 呷三碗車站, Abundance, True Breakfast 初早餐, +886 Taiwanese Bistro, to Isshin Machi.
Want Food Taiwanese Delights 恋恋湾味 located at Cross Street near Chinatown is somewhere I have always wanted to try, opened by a Taiwanese turned Singapore PR.
And… they have also opened another outlet at Holland Village.
The space while near the CBD, is considered rather small and homely, with familiar sounds of Taiwanese accents in the background.
There are counter-seats by the window which faces the road outside, with familiar Mando-pop songs (Emil Chau) largely from the 90s playing in the background. The nostalgic vibes were strong on this one.
As the Taiwanese café has just started out, they are keeping the menu small while they are experimenting to include more items in time to come.
Expect the likes of Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork Rice ($7.90), Oyster Intestine Mee Sua ($6.90, $9.90), Taiwanese Salty Crispy Chicken Rice ($9.90), Taiwanese Salty Crispy Chicken ($8.90) and Taiwanese Sausage with Fries ($6.90).
Unfortunately, they are not that strong in the drinks department, with offerings of bottled or canned Taiwanese beverages such as Taiwanese Tea ($2.50), Apple Flavour Soda ($2.50), and Soybean Milk ($2.50).
There is a sense that they are still getting used to business operations, so be patient especially during peak hour lunch.
When I was served the Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork Rice ($7.90), I was informed that additional rice or braised sauce would come without any charges. Good move.
I have the feeling many Taiwanese cafes are still working on the ‘right’ proportion in the delivery of Lu Rou Fan.
Generally those in Taiwan had less meat and braised sauce, while Singaporeans could prefer more substantial portion and flavours.
Somehow, I think that Want Food has got their version just right, with a good proportion of meat and sauce to rice ratio, and the pork belly being melt-in-your-mouth yet not too fatty.
The braising sauce well-absorbed by the short grain rice was tasty and not too salty; while the addition of pickled cucumber helped cut through some of the greasiness.
Frankly, I find it hard to find good Taiwanese Mee Sua in Singapore, as they are usually too starchy and lack that ‘Taiwanese’ flavour.
Get the Oyster & Pork Intestine Mee Sua ($6.90, $9.90) with a thick, almost-gooey consistency, with soft rice vermicelli that was not clumpy at all.
I thought both the pig intestines – soft, without the funky taste; and plump oysters were great additions.
Also on the menu is Taiwanese Beef Shank Noodles ($14.90) which has gone through rounds of changes.
They currently use Guan Miao noodles (some call Kuan Miao) which are similar to knife-shaved noodles.
While it didn’t have the soft-chewiness we may be more familiar with, it still worked well with the robust, hearty soup. I only thought it would be a tad less salty, or perhaps I just needed a refreshing drink to accompany this.
A homely Taiwanese café that is still work-in-progress, but is already dishing out quite a number of worthy items to nurse our longing for Taiwan.
Want Food Taiwanese Delights 恋恋湾味 – Cross Street
22 Cross Street, #01-63, Singapore 048421
Opening Hours: 10am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 9pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Want Food Taiwanese Delights 恋恋湾味 – Holland Village
25 Lor Liput, #01, Singapore 277735
Opening Hours: 10am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
Eat 3 Bowls 呷三碗車站 (Pasir Panjang)
Abundance (Lengkok Bahru)
True Breakfast 初早餐 (Cuppage)
+886 Taiwanese Bistro (Jalan Besar)
Isshin Machi (Selegie)
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