Speaking of Shilin, it is amazing how fast a trend can die down. There was a time when you could see such long queues waiting for their deep fried chicken chops sprinkled with MSG laden seasoning.
The problem with Shilin was their Taiwan snacks were not that authentic, and if you ever have been to Taiwan's actual night markets, the deep fried chicken are so much better there.
The good news is I have recently come across an outlet in an inconspicuous coffee stall in a Tampines HDB block that serves authentic Taiwan night snacks. And it is run by a young man whose family is actually from Taiwan.
He quit his full-time job as a teacher to pursue his interest and passion in continuing his mum's cooking and cuisine to bring the real flavors of Taiwan to the local folks here.
Before I get to the deep fried stuff, I must talk about this tasty stewed chicken with rice dish here. Usually this dish is served with pork, but here, he actually replaced it with chicken to cater to a larger audience.
The rice is served with a full stewed egg and mei chai, pickled vegetables and together, this was a really hearty dish. It is a comfort food at its simplest.
The sweet potatoes are his best sellers and it is not surprising. We had the ones that were seasoned with sour plum sprinklings and it was heavenly.
The potatoes themselves were imported from Indonesia and they were fat and juicy. The oil used was clean and well deep fried, you could make out the golden color very well.
And, accordingly, unlike Shilin, the owner here does not use MSG for his seasoning, but would not disclose his secret seasoning either. It was really good though, and whatever he put inside, it was a winner.
|Fried Chicken Chop|
The deep fried chicken was certainly much better than Shilin. The meat itself was thicker and more moist and the secret seasoning here seemed to be simple salt and pepper.
Really crispy on the outside, and eliciting a much better bite on the inside, this chicken chop trumps almost any other Taiwan chicken sold here, though I will still say the ones I had in Taiwan were still superior. Still, no complaints from me here.
In addition to sweet potatoes and chicken, Liu He also has a range of other deep fried snacks, including this delicious fried enoki.
Normally, enoki is quite bland, but when you deep fried it, the thin strands of mushroom become crunchy, crispy deep fried goodness that had that wonderful texture.
Liu He also served mee sua, but use chicken again instead of oysters so it may not be that authentic. But it was also lighter and and a great way to go with the deep fried food to wash all that oil and heat down.
For such a young owner, he already has a loyal fanbase that has mostly the younger crowd coming back regularly to savor his snacks.
If you fancy deep fried snacks, especially from Taiwan, do make a trip here to check him out.
Liu He Taiwan Night Market Snacks
Tampines Street 81