Yin Ji – Have We Finally Found The Best Cheong Fun?
When I think of cheong fun, I think of typical white rice rolls being drawn out of commercial metal steamers. Commercially produced or handmade, these slippery Cantonese rice rolls have received the plaudits of both street food eaters and food critics. One of the owners, Stephanie, shared with us the beginnings of the eatery. “My partner and I met a friend from Guangzhou who has been learning to prepare cheong fun since the age of three. We are very fond of Cantonese delicacies, and that’s why we brought it back to share with the rest of our fellow Singaporeans,” said the operations director.
Most of the dishes prepared here strictly adhere to the recipes that have been taken directly from the original store back in Guangzhou. The owners have decided to stick to tradition by using the same porcelain ware as the ones used in the original store in Guangzhou. I kid you not. Just Google any pictures of Yin Ji’s original eatery and you’ll see the exact same bowls and plates being used here.
The menu offers multiple varieties of cheong fun, congee, and noodles. After we placed our orders, our food arrived shortly.
Instead of being served in a roll, the Fresh Prawn Egg Roll ($7.50) comes in flat layers of broad, angular rice sheets. Eggs and cabbage slices are packed between the sheets. The lovely and silky cheong fun will glide down your throat. The soy sauce and sesame oil made the dish very toothsome. It’s a sizeable portion, so share it with a friend especially if you are ordering more than one cheong fun. However, we thought that they could have been more heavy-handed when it came to the seasoning for the prawns, and that they could have been slightly more generous with the number of prawns given.
The soft and silky rice sheets in the Tender Beef Roll ($7) did not differ much from the ones in the prawn roll. “The key to making smooth rice sheets lies in the delicate movements of the chef. All our chefs must undergo training in Guangzhou in order to handle the cheong fun delicately,” Stephanie revealed.
We gave the Salted Pepper Chicken Chop Noodles ($6.50) a try too, after some convincing from the cashier. It did not disappoint. The al dente noodles remained springy throughout the meal and its neutral flavour balanced out the sweetness of the sauce excellently. Perched on the noodles are strips of fried chicken chop coated in homemade batter. The chicken was slightly dry. Perhaps it was in the fryer for a tad too long. Thankfully, the crispy meat was seasoned well. You can detect Yin Ji’s attempt to infuse local flavours into their dishes, evidenced by the surprising appearance of sambal chilli.
Yin Ji has been on a winning streak thus far, but here is where things started going downhill. We were told that some of the congee, including their specialty Boat Congee ($6.50), were cooked for 2 hours. I expected a smooth congee that’s jam-packed with flavours. However, every mouthful was bland and was perfumed by an intense herby flavour. While there was a good variety of ingredients, including char siew, dough fritters, peanut, shrimps, sliced fish, fish maw and vegetables in the congee, the ingredients did not come together well. The congee was pretty watery, unlike the smooth, rich and silky kind I was expecting.
Yin Ji has managed to impressed cheong fun fanatics like myself. The cheong fun was definitely one of the, if not the best, Cantonese-style cheong fun I’ve tasted.
Yin Ji Chang Fen 银记肠粉店
Address: 133 Amoy Street, #01-01, Singapore 049962
Phone: 6443 3875
Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am to 8pm. Saturdays 11am to 8pm. Closed on Sundays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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