Hype or Hit: New foods that got us talking in May

Are Ho Fook Hei’s signature soy sauce chicken, Pizza Hut’s new sweet potato stuffed crust pizza, and Diamond Kitchen’s hot-out-of-the-wok salted egg yolk chips worth the hype?

New foods that got us talking in May
New foods that got us talking in May
16 May 2019

New foods that got us talking in May

If you enjoy comforting home-style dishes, you’re in luck. From the mouthwatering soy sauce chicken from Joyden Group’s new casual-dining concept Ho Fook Hei to the Father’s Day specials (there are even freshly fried salted egg yolk chips!) at Diamond Kitchen and No Milk Bistro’s wholesome fish soup, we’ve got you covered.

No Milk Bistro
No Milk Bistro
16 May 2019

No Milk Bistro

​​​​​​​Address: 18 Pahang Street, Singapore 198615

Fish soup may not seem like the sort of dish you would expect to find in a bar but at No Milk Bistro, which serves up mainly European cuisine with an Asian twist, it is not only popular, it is their signature item. The clean, no-frills Teochew-style fish soup is made from a decades-old recipe the millennial owners learned from their shifu (master), a fish soup hawker they used to work for in Bedok. And like the name of their eatery suggests, no milk is added to their broth as they believe in letting the natural flavours of ingredients shine.

Mixed Fish Soup ($7)

To get the best of both worlds, we tried the Mixed Fish Soup which came with fried fish (seabass), sliced fish (mackerel), and tofu cubes in a light, clear soup flavoured by tomatoes and Japanese nori seaweed. Instead of fried egg floss, their fish soup is accompanied by slices of omelette. Additional staples like rice and noodles are available from 50 cents.

Hype or hit? Hit. We usually prefer our fish soup with fried fish, but here, the sliced ones are the star. The plump slices of mackerel are fresh and sweet, and the broth, though subtle, is packed with natural umami. It’s not mind-blowing, but comforting nonetheless.

No Milk Bistro
No Milk Bistro
16 May 2019

No Milk Bistro

Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($14.80 for 8 pieces)

Made with the chef’s grandma’s recipe, the chicken wings are brilliantly infused with Thai-inspired flavours such as lemongrass and spices and deep fried to golden brown perfection.

Hype or hit? Crispy-moist and robust with flavours, every bite of the chicken wings was a delight. Absolutely shiok with their fiery and tangy homemade chilli sauce. Hit.

No Milk Bistro
No Milk Bistro
16 May 2019

No Milk Bistro

Beef Rendang Pasta ($16.80) and Thai Red Curry with Tiger Prawns Pasta ($18.80)

After the light bites, we moved on to the pastas. Served with tagliatelle and handmade daily with a water-less dough of eggs and flour, the Thai Red Curry Pasta came with fried ebi and fresh prawns, while the highly recommended Beef Rendang Pasta featured succulent, shredded beef rendang that’s been slow-cooked for 12 hours to bring out the flavours.

Hype or hit? It was all right. The texture of the pasta was prefect - dense, chewy and not too al dente - but the beef rendang, though tender, luscious and flavoursome, was too sweet for our liking. The Thai Red Curry pasta fared slightly better. The fried ebi was overcooked, but thumbs up to the deliciously fragrant and lemak curry.

Verdict: Some hits and misses but on the whole, pretty decent nosh at affordable prices. And if you are tired of bar bites, the wholesome fish soup is great for sobering up after a night of drinking.

Photos: No Milk Bistro

Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings
Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings
16 May 2019

Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings

Over the next couple of months, the humble sweet potato takes centre stage at Pizza Hut in the form of a new stuffing for its stuffed crust pizza. Don’t worry, they haven’t replaced the stuffing entirely with sweet potato. Instead, dollops of the sweet potato mousse are stuffed alongside melted cheese inside the crust for a sweet-savoury treat.

Spicy Hawaiian Sweet Potato Stuffed Crust Pizza ($27.90 regular, $33.90 large)

Along with the new sweet potato stuffed crust pizza, Pizza Hut has introduced a new topping: Spicy Hawaiian. Just think of it as your Hawaiian pizza peppered with chunks of the chain’s popular spicy chicken drumlets, with a sweet potato stuffed crust. Also available in good ol’ Hawaiian.

Hype or hit? Although it might seem like an unlikely topping, the sweet potato is really subtle and adds a sweetness and creaminess to the pizza. Unfortunately we didn’t get any cheese pull action as our pizza had turned cold from sitting out in the open after being delivered to the media tasting venue.

Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings
Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings
16 May 2019

Pizza Hut’s sweet potato-themed offerings

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries ($7.50 for ala carte, $6 as an add-on)

Can’t get enough of sweet potatoes? Well, there’s more. You can enjoy the spud on the side in the form of Sweet Potato Waffle Fries, the first of its kind in Singapore.

Hype or hit? Like the pizza, our waffle fries, which were topped with icing sugar, were flavourful but cold and soggy by the time we got to them. The good news is, that is not likely to happen to you as the fries are available for dine-in only.

Verdict: The new offerings were a bit of letdown due to logistical factors, but we will return to give it another go.

Available till July 16.

Ho Fook Hei
Ho Fook Hei
16 May 2019

Ho Fook Hei

Address: 1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-141, Great World City, Singapore 237994

The Joyden Concepts, known for their Cantonese cuisine, launched its first casual-dining concept, Ho Fook Hei, at Great World City in February. Taking centrestage at the 108-seater eatery are comforting home-style dishes and the star is the glistening and luscious Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken which we cannot stop thinking about since we tried it earlier this month.

Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken ($19 half, $35 whole)

Ho Fook Hei’s Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken is unlike anything we’ve ever tried before. Poached in a master stock or “liquid gold”, an aromatic braising liquid of soy sauce and a secret blend of herbs and spices, the chicken is silky, tender, and succulent. The best part is the melt-in-your-mouth skin which boasts a distinct floral rose wine taste. You can also order it with springy Hong Kong-style egg noodles for $8.80.

Hype or hit? Tender and brimming with flavour from the braising liquid, the chicken is served pink to the bone, just the way we like it. Best enjoyed with their moreish crunchy hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp) chilli sauce. Hit!

Ho Fook Hei
Ho Fook Hei
16 May 2019

Ho Fook Hei

Red Grouper Fish Fillet Congee ($9.80)

Comprising a mixture of grains cooked in an all-natural home-cooked superior broth, the silky-smooth congee, which comes with a generous serving of thickly sliced fresh red grouper (and unfortunately for us, too much ginger), is hearty and flavourful.

Hype or hit? Comforting, but way too much ginger for us. Pair it with their crunchy chilli sauce for an additional savoury and spicy kick – yes, that’s how much we like it!  

Red Apple and Hawthorn drink ($3.50)

How are hawthorn drinks not a thing yet? Made by boiling dried hawthorn with red apple, this refreshing drink is slightly tart and stimulates your appetite.

Hype or hit? It’s like drinking liquid shan zha. HIT!

Verdict: We love our soy sauce chicken and this definitely rates as one of the best we’ve tasted. Plus, their Cantonese dishes aren’t half bad.

Photos: Ho Fook Hei

KFC’s HotBlaze Grilled Chicken ($5.95)
KFC’s HotBlaze Grilled Chicken ($5.95)
16 May 2019

KFC’s HotBlaze Grilled Chicken ($5.95)

Last month, KFC introduced another hot chick to its menu and boy does it live up to its name. Bursting with bold peppery flavours, the limited-edition HotBlaze Grilled Chicken, a whole quarter chicken leg marinated in a special spice rub of chillies, herbs, and black pepper, is not for the faint-hearted.

Hype or hit? When KFC first launched their Signature Grilled Chicken, we were coloured impressed. This chick? Not so much. Not only was the pepper taste overpowering (and we like our black pepper), but it also arrived dripping with oil, which is a turn-off in our book. Hype.

Diamond Kitchen
Diamond Kitchen
16 May 2019

Diamond Kitchen

Address: 87 Science Park Drive, #01-01 Oasis, Singapore 118260
5000F Marine Parade Road, Laguna Park Condominium, #01-22/23, Singapore 449289

In celebration of Father’s Day, Diamond Kitchen, known for its home-style dishes, has introduced new exclusive offerings that will be available in various sets and as a la carte options. The dishes are available from June 1-20 at both Marine Parade and Science Park outlets.

5-Step Diamond Kitchen ‘Duck Rice’ ($24 small, $48 large)

Just listening to the intricacy behind preparing the “Duck Rice” got us intrigued. The unique glutinous rice and roast duck ‘pancake’, which requires three days of preparation, is first roasted, air-dried, then steamed, deep-fried, and finally pan-fried.

Hype or hit? Despite sitting on a bed of sweet chilli sauce, the pancake is delightfully crispy, with a soft, sticky, chewy centre that’s filled with juicy duck shreds. A must-try!

Diamond Kitchen
Diamond Kitchen
16 May 2019

Diamond Kitchen

Delicious Homemade Yam Balls with Otah ($16)

These bergedil-like loaded mashed yam balls hide a slab of house-made otah which is the gem in this dish.

Hype or hit? The flaky balls are lightly crisp on the outside, velvety on the inside, and pretty yummy. The fragrant otah, made from a secret blend of spices that includes the restaurant’s ‘gan xiang’ blend, adds an extra dimension of flavour and really stands out. Try the balls with their addictive house sambal for a spicy kick.

Crispy Fried Potato Slices with Salted Egg Yolk ($12)

If you are a fan of salted egg yolk chips, you’ve got to try these. Handmade and generously coated with salted egg sauce that is made with duck egg yolk, curry leaves, and chilli, these artisanal chips have the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.

Hype or hit? Hit! The chips are freshly made and served warm, and not overly salty like the commercially bought ones.

Verdict: Located in the far west and east, the restaurant can be a little out of the way, but the home-style dishes are sure to impress mummy and daddy.

Photos: Diamond Kitchen

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