Pak Mandor Nasi Lemak @ Blk 645 Yishun Street 61

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Just a slight distance away from 618 Sim Carrot Cake at blk 645 Yishun Street 61, is a coffeeshop with a very popular Malay Muslim stall named Pak Mandor & Family.

The stall sells mee rebuslontong and nasi lemak however, most customers are there mainly for their coconut rice from what I observed.

The queue was not long but it is very slow-moving as some of the customers in front are buying multiple packs to take away.

You can pick your favorite ingredients ala carte but I simply pointed to the photo on the signboard and told the kak kak that I wanted the same combination which came with coconut rice, a fried chicken wing, a fried kuning fish, an omelette and the usual condiments like peanuts, ikan bilis, cucumber and sambal chili.

I thought a combo like this with both fried fish and fried chicken would have cost at least $4 but no, all these cost a mere $3!

618 Sim Carrot Cake @ Blk 618 Yishun Ring Road

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618 Sim Carrot Cake is located in a quiet neighborhood at Yishun near Khatib MRT Station. The stall sells white carrot cake ($3/$4) while giving customers the option to add prawns ($4.50/$6). They used to sell the black version as well but not anymore.

I ordered the smallest $3 plate and was given a buzzer after I paid up. According to online reviews, I was mentally prepared to wait for up to an hour but all it took was about ten minutes for my buzzer to start vibrating.

I was astonished to see the portion of my $3 carrot cake on the counter, ready for collection. I thought the auntie has made a mistake and had given me the $4 plate instead. I double checked with her and she assured me that it is indeed my order.

The generous portion can actually be shared among two persons which is totally value for money!

Mr Fish - Black Bean Sliced Fish Hor Fun @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Mr Fish has permanently closed.

This post was initially intended for the black bean sliced fish hor fun from Sun Seng Gourmet's Corner (#02-061) which is located at the far end of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

Unfortunately, the stall was closed when I visited on a Tuesday (their off day is on Sunday and Monday).

Thankfully, I recalled that Mr Fish (#02-073) which I visited a week ago for its sliced fish bee hoon offered the same dish therefore, I retraced my steps back to the stall.

I have never had had black bean sliced fish hor fun ($5) before therefore I ordered a plate with the purple-haired auntie to try it out.

Mr Fish - Sliced Fish Bee Hoon @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Mr Fish has permanently closed.

Mr Fish is located at a secluded spot of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre which could prove to be a little challenging to find however, if you know where Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu is, the stall is just a bit further in.

What brought me here is their fish soup which is purportedly made with no milk added. The creaminess and depth of flavor was achieved through long hours of non stop boiling fried fish bones.

A long waiting time is to be expected during peak hours as each bowl is cooked upon order. I arrived at about half past ten but the stall did not open till slightly after eleven. Even though I was the second customer of the day, my order only came ten minutes after the first customer was served.

Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen - Serving Cantonese Delights @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen is permanently closed.

Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre specializes in Cantonese-style tze char. The modest menu included their signature claypot pig's liver, har cheong gai, sweet & sour pork, salted fish minced chicken tofu pot, tofu & roasted meat among others.

In the days following up to my visit, I was actually quite looking forward to have their har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) because honestly, is there anyone who does not like fried chicken?

When the day eventually arrived, I visited the stall with much anticipation but I was taken aback when the lady told me in her heavily Cantonese-accented Mandarin that the har cheong gai is a sauce-less dish which would be too dry to have with rice and refused to process my order.

To be fair, she did not say it outright but I got the signals from her body language. I was waiting for her to give me suggestions on what other dishes to try, however, she turned her back on me, not willing to carry the conversation further.

For a moment, I stood there dumbstruck, trying to comprehend what has just happened. Have I just been told that I am unable to have har cheong gai with rice because it is too dry?

"Huh... then... how?" I asked, totally puzzled by the logic.

"Choose something else" she replied curtly.

I looked up at the signboard and had a quick browse at the menu before I decide to add on a vegetable dish to my fried chicken.

"One kai lan with oyster sauce and one har cheong kai. With rice."

It was only then she picked up the pen and wrote down my order on a piece of paper.

I do not understand what is the issue here with having fried chicken with rice? Is it because I am ordering only one dish therefore she is not too keen in my patronage? I hope that is not her bid to make me spend more because I came alone so how much food can I actually eat?

Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre needs no further introduction but, unless you have eaten it before, you would never have guessed that what I had here is a plate of chicken rice because frankly, it does not even remotely resemble one.

It is not my first time having their chicken rice but it is my first time having it there hence I was rather taken aback by the presentation. In the past, my family always chose to pack a bird home for dinner.

Despite having patronized them for years, I did not realize that they actually sell two kinds of chickens with different pricing. There is the Hong Kong-styled soya sauce chicken (half $7/whole $14) and signature soya sauce chicken (half $10/whole $20).

Well, I guess I would not have taken such a close look at their signboard if not for doing this review. In fact, I wonder why it took me so long to write about them?

Chef Sham H.K. Vinegar Trotters @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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I have wanted to try the pig's trotters from Chef Sham H.K. Vinegar Trotters for the longest time, but somehow, I would always ended up having something else while at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

On this visit, I made up my mind and marched my way to the stall to order myself a bowl of black vinegar pig's trotters and a bowl of rice.

It was a younger Chinese man who took my order but it was Chef Sham himself who served me. The stall made enough pig's trotters to fill a large vat which could last them probably several days. When an order is received, the trotters would be fished from the vat and transferred to be reheated over a stove in a claypot. 

Ah Hua Assam - Signature Assam Chicken Set @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Ah Hua Assam has permanently closed.

Ah Hua Assam is a relatively new entrant at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre having set up stall only in August this year. Their main focus are dishes made with their home made assam (tamarind) sauce.

In fact, they were marketing their home made assam sauce in glass bottles online before setting up stall here.

When photos of their enticing dishes served on enamel plates began making their rounds on Instagram, it caught my attention. Wow, that screams nothing but old school therefore, I decided to go check them out at the food centre.

On the menu are their signature assam chicken set, braised chicken set and assam batang fish set. The sets are served with rice, omelette, and your choice of curry vegetable or chap chye.

They also have whole assam fish heads and other add-ons, like home made ngor hiangassam bee hoon, babi pongteh and otak.