Mr Lorbak – Comforting Lu Rou Fan for a Happy Belly
Mr Lorbak only serves one dish, and they do it exceptionally well. This humble stall at a coffee shop in Ubi is helmed by Mr William Liou, who was previously the general manager of a restaurant group. He has a wealth of experience after having worked in the kitchen of Copthorne King and Swissotel The Stamford. He is also trained in culinary arts and has a diploma from Shatec.
Mr Liou wakes up at 7am to prepare his signature dish. He believes that the hawker trade is something that should not be allowed to die out, and has thus adapted a family recipe from his Grandmother.
The pork belly is left in a stock with around 20 types of herbs and spices including cinnamon, aromatic galangal, star anise and dried ginger for 3 hours, before being braised for 14 hours to ensure that the meat is seasoned evenly. The pork belly is extremely wobbly and mouth-wateringly tender. The chunks of meat are then served atop a bowl of rice, before the entire mix is drizzled with more of that dark brown robust stock. As the pork belly is made in small batches, do be prepared to wait if they run out.
Each bowl ($3.50) comes with two halves of a braised egg and black fungus. Diners have the option to add preserved vegetables, tau pok or mushrooms at $0.50 per portion. The rice grains were well cooked and went excellently after being mixed with the robust braised gravy. Despite being savoury enough, it was not too salty and makes for a comforting and heartwarming meal.
The pork belly was mouthwateringly tender and had a good ratio of meat to fat. The meat was stringy and came apart easily. One unique point of Mr Lor Bak is that they serve black fungus along with the dish. Mr Liou told us that the crunchy black fungus helps to reduce the ‘heaviness’ of the dish due to the contrast in texture that it provides. I would recommend adding on dry pickled chinese vegetables for $0.50. Cooked with orange peel and old garlic, it has a light and tangy taste that is refreshing.
Actually, scrap that. Order ALL of the add-ons. The braised mushrooms ($0.50) are succulent and tender. The tau pok ($0.50) is braised for 10 hours and has a spongy texture. As the tau pok soaks up the braised sauce easily, a single bite of it results in an explosion of gravy in your mouth. Shiok!
I would definitely bring my friends back to this stall in Ubi. I really admire Mr Liou for venturing out of his comfort zone and opening a hawker store. By the way, his career change was inspired by his frequent trips to Taiwan and his Nyonya heritage! At the moment, Mr Liou is experimenting with the chicken version of Lu Rou Fan. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to try it out.
Address: 350 Ubi Ave 1, Singapore 400350
Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm, Closed on Tuesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the store featured here.
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