It is no secret that my favourite cuisine is Malaysian/Singaporean, as it is the closest thing I can find to the food that I grew up with, and can remember during my visits back to Brunei, where I was born. So when Joyce of @monkeyeatsworld recommended that we stop by Singaporean Hawker in Coquitlam, we made a night of it.
It was actually gently snowing that evening, but that didn’t deter us or anyone else dining within. In fact the place was filled to capacity, with plenty of food delivery pick ups, and they even ran out of sweet and savoury roti, as a fan favourite dish.
You order at the main counter by the door, and pay first. When you meal is ready, the number on your receipt is called. All dishes are served on plastic trays and require a pick up at the side counter, overlooking the open kitchen.
This set up is very much so indicative of the hawker experience, just elevated with indoor seating you help yourself to, plenty of bright track lights, and even a colourful murals representing Singapore’s cityscape to appreciate.
Skimming through the menu I wanted it all and I ordered as much as I could. The following are my usual Malaysian go-tos, so many fond memories attached to dishes and flavours I knew so well. And I immediately made plans to return with my parents and grandmother, pending on if I liked what we had today. And spoiler: I will be back.
We started with the Satay Skewers and are given a choice between chicken or beef at a set of 3 or 6 pieces. We went with 3 in chicken, to get a feel for things. The chicken has a nice grilled char, but ate dry. Luckily their special blend of house-made peanut satay sauce helped to distract from this.
Gado Gado is a Malaysian Salad that you have to know and like in order to ask for it. It doesn’t look all that great lumpy in a chunk brown slurry. Bean sprouts, tofu, green beans, egg, and sesame seeds all coated in a mound of their house-made peanut satay sauce. This dressing honestly goes on everything and builds on to any dish. The result is the mix of textures from crunchy to juicy that I personally enjoy mincing though. And despite this rendition being on the watery side I still highly enjoyed it.
There are two types of Laksa: Singaporean and Malaysian. I often get the two confused, so we placed our order by its description: asking for the richer and creamier of the two, which turns out to be the Malaysian Curry Laksa. This was also the mildly spicy one and it came as we had expected it. Egg noodles with tofu puffs, prawns, egg, fish cakes, and fish balls in curry seafood soup base. No complaints. When I think of Laksa this is the version that makes me salivate.
The Char Kuey Teow is another dish from my childhood that I often crave. So seeing it listed, I had to try it, but unlike the Laksa, it did not measure up. It was overly soy sauce forward and greasier than how I have had it. And despite all the ingredients, it ate flat and boring, I guess we should have exercised the option to have it spicy for an additional umph. Fried flat noodles with shrimp, fish cakes, bean sprouts, squid and egg in sweet soya sauce.
Another must have for me, when I see it on any menu is the Boneless Hainanese Chicken on Rice. Tender boneless chicken served with a side of pickled vegetables and sweet chilli, ginger shallot oil, and sweet soya sauce for dipping. Chilled tender pieces of chicken with a whisper of sesame oil. It is best taken with a dab of each sauce provided, and in conjunction with a spoon of moist garlicky rice. The dish comes as a set, which also includes a simple and clean chicken broth.
Not being able to order roti canai, I looked to the Sambal Green Beans instead, with no regrets. Green bean seasoned with dried shrimp paste and served with prawns, tomatoes and red and yellow peppers. This was such a flavourful dish with the use of the fermented shrimp. My recommendation for a great way to get your vegetables in.
I already know I will be back and with more mouths in tow, to be able to cover the rest of their nostalgic menu.
1169 Pacific St #120, Coquitlam, BC V3B 0J1