Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lao San Kway Chap in Ang Mo Kio - Simple, Fulfilling and Delicious

Kway Chap is not my usual go to comfort food, and the reason is that not many kway chap stalls in Singapore can conjure up a good bowl of kway chap.

Across the causeway, it is a whole different story. Most of the kway chap there are quite immaculately prepared and presented. In many instances here, the biggest issue is the cleaning of the pig internals that usually puts me off.

That being said, I have heard of Lao San for ages and despite the fact that it is pretty near where I stay, it is only recently that I have paid a visit to this very popular kway chap stall. And I was not disappointed.

The owner does kway chap the entire day, from morning to night and they serve a variety of extras as well. Including pig trotters and pig stomach soup. The stall itself is found in the same block where the Ang Mo Kio branch of Mellben is, and is just on the other end of this famous crab place.

Kway Chap

Getting into the food proper, the first thing that impressed me was the color of the braising liquid where the broad rice noodles were immersed in. It had a lighter look, and having a quick taste, it was easy to understand why so many fans gravitate to this stall.

It had a gentle balance of natural sweetness and delicate savory, with just enough intensity to let all the flavors shine through. The kway chap (rice noodles) had a beautiful texture that soaked in all the juices perfectly and rendered this a very comforting dish to have. Especially on a cold day.

Preserved Vegetables

Everything is made from scratch, and that was clearly reflected in this plate of preserved vegetables. It looked bright and fresh, and every piece of the diced vegetable had a nice acidity from the pickling process. Most of all, it had an amazing crunch to every bite that made this dish terribly addictive.

Braised Pig Trotters

The kway chap's version of stewed trotters differ from the bak kut teh variants by having the meat cut into sliced parts here. Though the meat was somewhat lean and dry, the tasty braising sauce more than made up for this and for those who partake in pig skin, that jelly like texture made for another interesting flavor and texture combination.

Braised Pork Parts with Stewed Eggs

As for the main protein component of kway chap, this must rank as one of the best that I have ever had anywhere. The intestines were carefully cleaned and not a whiff of stench was detected. The intestines were also perfectly cooked, not too rubbery and possessed enough bite to make eating this almost playful.

The pork belly portion was also braised well and hair clip tender, and absorbed all the braising liquid beautifully. The stewed eggs looked and tasted the part as well and the tau pok did the necessary role of soaking in all the savory sauces into a delectable soy sponge.

Using the same base that was used for the kway chap soup, the sauce had a dazzling variety of flavor notes that betrayed some star anise and a wonderful combination of soy and herbal tones underneath. And if that was not enough, both the liquid and the sauce did not reveal any trace of grease or oil at all, and that just made this dish so much more amazing that it already was.

Being in a coffeeshop environment and in a heartland neighborhood, the prices were more than reasonable. Considering that this is one of the best kway chaps you can get on either side of the causeway, it is almost a crime not to try this at least once in your life.

Simple. Fulfilling. Delicious. Cheap.

Lao San Kway Chap
#01-1222, Block 232
Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3

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