Loy Sum Juan Restaurant (黎三元酒家), one of Singapore’s favourite Cantonese restaurants, might have ceased its operation after 40 long years in business but its famous invention of the Har Cheong Gai still continues to please the palates of fans who just can’t have enough of it.
Roy Lai, who was the chef at LSJ, started 12 Stones Noodle House to sell their signature har cheong gai (shrimp paste chicken), ngau lam (stewed beef brisket) and Hainanese fried pork chop that are served over noodles, kway teow or rice.
While standard hawker fare such as wanton mee, fishball noodles or ban mian can almost be found everywhere, I definitely haven’t come across shrimp paste chicken chop noodles anywhere else.
Most of the times when we order har cheong gai from tze char stalls, the chicken will probably be crispy but overly greasy and/or the amount of shrimp paste used is just miserable. This particular shrimp paste chicken recipe is a true winner. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and not greasy at all. It wasn’t heavily battered as you can see from the cross sections but it was very well marinated so every bite had that distinctive flavour and aroma of pungent shrimp paste without being excessively briny.
The egg noodles on the other hand, was plain and lacklustre. While the noodles was cooked perfectly with a nice chew to the bite, the lack of seasoning or sauce made the whole dish seem dry.
I was pleasantly surprised at how flavoursome the beef brisket were as the braising sauce penetrated the meat thoroughly. While most parts of the brisket were tender, some were quite firm and required a bit more chewing which I didn’t mind. This soup really resembled the soup in kway chap. Light in texture, full-bodied in flavour and not salty. The kuay teow was more like hor fun that’s thicker in width. It came in a lump at the bottom so you’d have to mix everything up before eating. It was a pity the kuay teow didn’t taste as smooth and silky as I hoped it’d be.
12 Stones’ last day of operation at ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre will be this coming Saturday, 26 July 2014 before it heads over to its new premise at Golden Shoe Carpark Food Centre, #02-21 on 4 August 2014.
12 Stones Noodle House
Blk 6 Jalan Bukit Merah
ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre, #01-140 (last day on 26 July 2014)
Operating hours: 11.00am to 3.00pm and 5.00pm to 9.00pm daily
New location from 4 August 2014 onwards
50 Market Street
Golden Shoe Carpark Food Centre, #02-21
Operating hours: 10.00am to 3.00pm (Mon-Fri)
Contact number: 9652 7183 (Roy Lai)