呷三碗車站 Eat 3 Bowls Station – Train-Themed Taiwanese Eatery
Word on the grapevine was that classroom-themed Taiwanese eatery Eat 3 Bowls had opened a cute train-themed second outlet(呷三碗車站 Eat 3 Bowls Station) in Pasir Panjang. Seeing that I’ve been missing Taiwanese food and won’t be riding any trains (other than the MRT) anytime soon, I decided to head on down to get my lu rou fan fix and check out the other dishes they had to offer.
Walking down the pavement stretch from Pasir Panjang station, I could spy a small crowd lingering outside an eatery, while respectfully maintaining social distancing protocols. The area is decorated to look like the waiting area of your typical Taiwanese train station, complete with crossing guard signage and a little traffic light. Despite the lunch crowd, it took just a short ten-minute wait before I was led to my seat.
The interior was simple and quaint with polished wooden furniture, an old-school train schedule and wall murals of scenery you’d see from a train window framed with curtains. There’s also a brightly-coloured Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) train. I loved the cheery and casual atmosphere that’s further livened up by friendly staff who were eager to help and chat a little.
The pictorial menu features all-time favourites like Taiwanese Sausage ($4.20), herbal soups and outlet-exclusive items such as Tomato Omelette ($6) and a Night Market section of deep-fried bites. And seeing that Taiwan is the capital of bubble tea, we have our beloved milky Black Tea Latte with Pearls and Red Bean ($4.80) and refreshing choices of Passionfruit QQ ($4.80) and Lemon Wintermelon Tea ($4.30).
Just like their first outlet, the most popular dishes that I see ordered by almost every customer are the bowls the eatery itself is named after: Braised Pork Rice ($5), Chicken Rice ($5) and Oyster Intestine Mee Sua ($7.20).
The lu rou fan certainly didn’t disappoint. Every scoop of the fatty meat melted in my mouth. The slightly sticky short-grain rice, along with the savoury gravy drizzled over, paired well with the meat. Gobbling it all up in one go was almost too easy.
For lighter flavours, I’d suggest getting the Chicken Rice. However, that’s not to say that it was lacking in any way. The shredded chicken tasted clean and fresh; the caramelised shallots lent a lovely fragrance; and the savoury-sweet sauce on the same yummy short-grain rice brought every component together.
Coming in a bigger portion than the rice bowls was the Oyster Intestine Mee Sua, which pleasantly surprised me as I attributed the slightly higher price tag to the inclusion of oysters alone. The umami-filled bonito-based broth was not too thick and was very flavourful with garlicky and vinegary tones. It was a delight spooning up the smooth mee sua and the plump briny oysters that “tasted like the ocean”, according to my companion.
Even though intestines usually tend to make me feel a bit squeamish, the ones here were neither too rubbery nor mushy. They actually had a rather nice bite which added a textural contrast to the whole dish.
Among the outlet-exclusive dishes, I decided to seek the recommendation of one of the staff members and got the Sliced Pork Belly with Garlic Sauce ($7.20). With a decent ratio of meat to fat, the cold pork belly slices were tender and soaked up enough of the sauce. I thought the sauce was sweeter more than it was garlicky but it was still a good dish that can be enjoyed even on its own.
Because I’m a sucker for fried chicken, I got the Salted Crispy Chicken ($7.80) from the Night Market section of the menu. When asked if I wanted to add chilli powder to it, of course I said yes. But in my opinion, the spice wasn’t intolerable and I even wish I had them add more. The bite-sized chunks of chicken weren’t too heavily coated in batter, and were tender within. It really took me back to the lively night markets in Taiwan.
The Fresh Milk with Brown Sugar Pearls ($4.30) could do with more of the brown sugar syrup if you have a sweet-tooth like me. Otherwise, it was a pretty standard beverage that came with nice, chewy pearls.
Incidentally, I thought I would still be hungry after as the portions had seemed a bit small to me and I came with a ravenous appetite. Instead, I left with a full belly and some of my chicken in a box that the staff kindly dabao-ed for me. One of the dishes I was dying to try was the Sauteed Beef Cubes with Garlic ($19.90) but I blanched when I saw the price. Nevertheless, it looks so good so I’ll be popping by again on a treat-myself day!
呷三碗車站 Eat 3 Bowls Station
Address: 103 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118531
Phone: 9154 8191
Area: Pasir Panjang
Opening Hours: 11am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 9pm, Monday, Wednesday to Sunday.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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