Sunday, November 19, 2006

Old Mother Hen, Sims Ave, Singapore

So here I was in the Geylang district looking for "Old Mother Hen". Er, no, I wasn't feeling frisky that night. I was however, (surprise surprise) feeling hungry! This place was recommended by a friend to be pretty kickass so I had to check it out.

This place is popular for some of their claypot dishes. They use a mix of old-school charcoal and gas as the heating elements here. I guess this sort of incorporates the best of both worlds.

We started off with this black herbal chicken soup. Apparently this is like a tonic and is supposedly healthy for you. I enjoy starting the meal on a healthy note, so I wouldn't feel that guilty when it goes downhill from there into sinful greasy indulgences haha.

A friend of my professed that the claypot rice here is as good, if not better than the famous one along the main Geylang strip. I haven't tried the "famous one" so I can't say if it's true. I can however, profess that this was possibly the best claypot rice I've had in Singapore. Whilst it was being stirred by the server, it exuberated this fragrance which was simply brilliant.

The stirring process mixes the oil, soy sauce and ingredients about evenly and also coats the claypot with a nice layer of crispy rice bits which is always ever so fun to scrape off and chomp down later.

This awesome flavor is made up of a concoction of sauces and the quality ingredients of Chinese pork sausage, Chinese liver sausage, chicken, salted fish and salted egg yolks.

Finally, a decent Singaporean version of salt and pepper squid. Encased in a light and crisp batter which gave way to reveal soft and tender squid flesh, this goes great with beer.

This is very similar to the egg white, crabmeat and broccoli dish from Cheng Li Yuan except this came sans the broccoli. It did start to taste a bit "heavy" after awhile, there should have been some red or black vinegar to go with this. Next time I'll ask for some.

The nam lu pork here was fried to the right texture and the cut had the right balance of fat and meat. It was a bit too salty though, nevertheless, it was great beer nibbles.

This was the toughest contender against the claypot rice for Top Dish tonight. Their home-made special beancurd was fried to a super crisp finish externally but yielded to soft, delicate beancurd. It was topped off with a gravy containing minced pork and crispy lard bits! Extremely delicious.

Another recommended dish, I thought this fried broad rice noodle tasted only ok. I mean, it was better than average but it paled in comparison to the rest of the dishes. I still prefer the beef version from Fatty Weng's. The meal was finished with some hot Chinese tea.

Yes, that's right, hot Chinese tea just melts all that grease away so you simply can't absorb it haha. The trick to eating is to start the meal healthy (herbal chicken soup) and end it healthy (Chinese tea) whatever happens in between doesn't matter haha.

I'll definitely come back here again to try out the other stuff. They did seem to have a rather decent selection of crab dishes as well. This dinner only cost us 48SGD, there is simply no reason not to try out this joint.



Anonymous said...

claypot dishes always turn out better~ Just like the bamboo steamer some still use today becus it gives a better taste.. somehow~ hehehee like etaing biyani on banana leaves! wah.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a mystery of how it says Old Mother Hen and its a picture of a duck? One of the eternal mysteries of life... ;)


Anonymous said...

The rice fettuccini with the egg yolk is just bizarre mate.

The tofu appeared to be a slab of steak.... delish in any case.

Damn, I keep licking the freakin` screen. Argh.

Lord Dbol

Anonymous said...

Have become a regular reader of your blog because of your awesome pics and descriptions
Keep it Up:)

D said...

michie: Yeah, somehow anything not served on a conventional plate has a better flavor. The vessel in which the food is served does impart some flavor to the dish.

Lord Dbol: haha, too bad you won't be back anytime soon =P

justmita: Thanks for reading =)

Anonymous said...

Old Mother Hen is fervently lauded on unfortunately it's a tad far for me now although I see you made your way down. Where did you park?

The claypot at ABC market is not bad, not the best but it's good enough for me to think of it when I crave claypot and it's also nearby :P

Anonymous said...

Re tv, I mean makansutra the forum board which has a lot of personal recommendations and reviews, not the tv program which I never watched :P

ooh it's lunchtime now! I WILL collect the franks tonight! :P I'm going on holiday very soon so was shopping last minute last night.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am very curious to hear your comments on ABC's claypot. It's not great but it's good enough, not sure how to describe it without raising your expectations lol

I am actually developing a cough, I'm not sure who passed it to me but I remember people around me being sick and now I'm all worried so I'll try to leave the office early to see a doc, I need to get well asap for my trip.

I haven't been to Jakarta either but I suppose Nasi Padang there will be very good!