7 Popular Stalls To Try in Food Opera at ION Orchard + GIVEAWAY
After an extensive two-month renovation, Food Opera re-opens with an impressive tally of 27 stalls and mini restaurants in late May 2016. I frequent this outlet in ION Orchard for its fishball noodles and nasi padang. After renovation, the food heaven has more delicious and heritage dishes from parts of the world, including local hawker delights and traditional street snacks.
Here are our 7 favourites.
Xing Lou Seafood White Bee Hoon
Seafood white bee hoon is recently in trend with many new stalls offering it. Riding on this trend is Food Opera’s latest addition – Xing Lou Seafood White Bee Hoon. Enhanced with shellfish such as “la la” (clams) and crayfish, as well as, prawns, it sounds like a simple dish, but the stock makes or breaks this dish.
The talented Malaysian chef from Xing Lou Seafood White Bee Hoon first wok-charred the vermicelli before braising it with seafood and pork ribs broth. One appeal is the stall front, with an ice bed mount of crayfish and scallops. They are committed to using only the freshest catches ferried into Singapore daily from Endau, a Malaysian fishing port. The all-important stock comes easy on salt with no MSG, so you taste the subtle richness of the seafood. A single portion of white bee hoon with prawns and clams starts from $6.90, and you can add crayfish for $8 or scallops for $4.
Ah Yat Kitchen
Ah Yat has been a household brand since 1970, and is regarded as the master of abalone with its repertoire of abalone dishes and Cantonese favourites. If you want to eat abalone for anything less than $10, that’s quite impossible. But here’s the good news – you can enjoy Ah Yat Abalone Baked Rice for only $8.80 in Food Opera!
Tender baby abalone and mushrooms are basted with a homemade abalone sauce, placed over a bed of aromatic egg fried rice, then baked to perfection. Ah Yat also serves Roasted Chicken Rice or Fries, Baked Spare Rib Rice, Special Braised Shark’s Fin with Rice, and Double-Boiled Spare Rib Soup with Carrot & Corn.
Scotts Hwa Heng Beef Noodles
Being a Hainanese myself, beef noodles is usually one of our staples. It’s real hard work just to prepare the beef stock. Scotts Hwa Heng Beef noodles started out in the 1940s at a humble stall along Bain Street. Dishing up piping hot bowls of Hainanese-style Traditional Beef noodles; dry or soup versions are available, the stall has kept to its original proprietary recipe which has nourished many generations of customers.
We were surprised when we took our first bite of the dry Beef Noodles Combo Set Meal ($7.50). The gravy was thick and starchy, with beefy goodness. The sliced beef adds bite to each mouthful of springy thick vermicelli. Tender and fragrant, the set also served with beef balls in soup. It’s a pity they do not serve with preserved vegetables anymore; but luckily the chilli and chinchalok dip added a comfortable mix of salty-tangy and spicy flavour to the dish.
Great World Noodle House
Many of us know that You Men is best known for his Hong Kong-style roast meats and noodles, which he mastered under the tutelage of Hong Kong chefs in the early years of his career. But at Food Opera, he has challenged himself with the opening of Great World Noodle House.
Their new Fried Pork Chop Noodle ($5.80) is super solid. Tender & juicy meat is marinated and deep fried to yield a juicy and crispy pork chop. Don’t play play ok! They also have Signature Chicken Chop with Noodle, Crispy Pork Chop with Fried Rice, and You Men Noodle Soup.
Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
I am very surprised to see Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh in Food Opera. This is the only brand that my husband and I always visit during our dating days. Started in 1973 by Madam Gwee Peck Hua, she learnt the tricks of the trade while working at a bak kut teh stall and have created her own recipe since then.
Using only garlic and the finest grade of white pepper from Sarawak, its Signature Prime Ribs ($11.50) is a medium-bodied clear soup that’s just a touch fiery. The chilled ribs are air-flown from Australia and Indonesia. They are boiled for hours to get the maximum flavour and to ensure its tenderness, but also careful to not mask the sweetness of the pork ribs with garlic. Here, you can also enjoy new menu items like Pig Trotters ($9.50) and Claypot Tofu ($8.70) featuring silken tofu with pork balls and egg in claypot… so homely!
There are many well-respected heritage brands in Food Opera at ION Orchard. Another one is Lam’s Signatures where owner Mr Yap Eng Lam is the man responsible for bringing abalone to the local masses. We first tried his signature Abalone Noodles at a coffee shop in Race Course Road, and later made another positive impact in the food scene when he debuted his Mini Wok Noodles.
Not only can you try the said dishes here, they have other tempting dishes like Salt-baked Chicken Thigh with Rice ($6.90). The moist chicken thigh is freshly marinated with sea salt and herbs before baking it till a beautiful golden brown. That Thai style chilli brought the dish to another level. We tried to ask for the recipe but the manager only said, “Coriander, fish sauce, sugar, chilli padi and other ingredients I cannot say lah…” Ok aunty, you win. I will come back just for the chilli.
Pepper Lunch Express
Hinging on their do-it-yourself concept using a special electromagnetic iron plate, Pepper Lunch has been a crowd-pleaser since it entered Singapore’s bustling food scene. Now, customers at Food Opera ION outlet can look forward to savouring an exclusive Scallop & Chicken Chilli Crab Pepper Rice ($10.80).
Accompanied by a scrumptiously spicy chilli crab sauce made with a medley of spices, it adds complexity of the taste with the spiciness kicking in towards the end. The scallops were plump and works great with the robust sauce and Australian short grain rice. Cook the way you like it to experience the smell and taste. If you like beef, they also have Beef Pepper Rice with chilli crab sauce.
Other popular stalls include Riverside Indonesian BBQ, Thye Hong Fried Prawn Noodles, and Guan Chee HK Roasted Duck.
MissTamChiak.com will be rewarding 5 readers with $30 Food Opera’s dining voucher each.
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Closing date: 22th September 2016. Good luck!
Address: #B4-03 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm daily
This post was brought to you by Food Opera.