Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Plum Village, Jalan Leban, Singapore

Plum Village has got to be one of the oldest Hakka restaurants in Singapore. This is quite evident from the stained and torn cover to this menu. You know they've been around for while because their telephone number doesn't have the "6" prefix yet!

Hakka stuffed beancurd, the characteristic difference between Hakka stuffed beancurd as compared to the other stuffed beancurds is that the stuffing here is made almost exclusively from pork not fish. This is due to the fact the Hakka were tradionally land-based and nomadic in nature and as such did not have access to fresh fish. There weren't many Hakka fishermen apparently. Fried to a crisp finish and covered with a tasty gravy and crispy fried garlic bits, this definitely was a good appetizer.

Pork belly stewed with preserved vegetables. I love this, the oil from the fatty pork belly is mixed with preserved vegetable bits producing a most fragrant aroma. The preserved vegetables here aren't too salty as well but it still goes excellently with a bowl of steaming hot rice.

This dish of prawns in rice wine paste uses the residual bits of rice at the bottom of the earthen container when you brew rice wine. The fragrance of the fermented rice pulp brought out the freshness of the crunchy but more importantly pre-shelled prawns.

The salt-baked chicken is really more like a chicken that's been pre-boiled and then steamed with a coating of Chinese chicken salt. Although it's not deboned, most of the flesh has been scrapped away from the major bones, this allows the salt to get deep within so that even the thicker pieces have flavor. Although this was rather tasty, it wasn't really spectacular and not anything I could not make myself at home. It's good for those like me who can't do without a decent serve of meat in the meal though.

Of course, a Hakka meal warrants a serve of Hakka "abacus seeds" as well. This was not the best I've had but definitely was not the worst either. It was greasily well-fried with generous minced pork bits and mushrooms but the "abacus seeds" were too soft. It seemed like they used too much flour and too little yam in the making of the seeds.

In the end, there were some hits but also some misses with Plum Village. I'll still come back again though, there just aren't many Hakka joints in Singapore to make one too fussed.



zhengning said...

the hakka stuffed toufu looks yummy. im sure it does taste yummy too :)

Anonymous said...

My mum makes abacus with lots of yam! yumm~

Chinese food usually aren't laid out nicely, unlike the Japanese. However, it seems like Plum Village did a decent job though. (:

Oh yes, and the cottage pies from Tampines looks 'home-y' and smells great too! I guess it'll make a great snack, it's quite small.

Anonymous said...

The residual red stuff is supposed to be the sediment produced from the fermentation of the wine so you shouldn't see actual rice bits in it.

The foochow also have a red wine lees chicken dish that is yummy. There's a dingy coffeeshop at Sultan Gate that serves beehoon in the yummy red sauce and another called Singapura restaurant that is opposite Parklane Shopping centre that serves the red lees chicken in a claypot!

Anonymous said...

As for my multiple ulcers, thanks for the tips. Yes, I know about the possibility of vitamin deficiency, not sure how to find out which one. Maybe I should just start taking multi-vitamins. Stress, yes there, is but maybe more the lack of sleep as my mom always complains is the problem.

I think I also tend to be very heaty naturally lol so I have no choice but to drink more chrysanthemum which everyone tells me is a cooling drink?

D said...

Zhengning: They do it quite well here and the sauce is thick and rich =D

bbg: Actually, I re-arranged some of the garnish to make the dish look slightly prettier haha. Damn... I feel like some cottage pies now

cindy: Ah, I guess this sediment is made from the rice bits and yeast used in the fermentation process. I remembered as a kid how I loved eating the sweet fermented rice. I'm not a super big fan of the red rice wine thingy because I tend to find most varients quite "pasty" but thanks for the tips of those places, I'll make sure to check them out. Lack of sleep? But you're the advocate for sleeping in remember? =P Well you can give TCM at Eu Yan Sheng a shot but not sure how effective it'll be.