Yes, I do sometimes feel that all I do is eat. Yesterday was no exception and we went with a bunch of friends to one of my favorite Chinese restaurants that is cheap, cheerful and also produces exceptionally good food. Por Kee* is found in the heart of Tiong Bahru, an area that I love, with its art deco housing and wet market to beat all wet markets.
Super local, I love Por Kee despite the fact that you are literally sitting – eating – in an open air car park (still, it’s infinitely better to be out rather than in, as it is freezing cold and very noisy inside). It’s open for dinner around six o’clock until past midnight so is a very handy late night standby, as well as a good place to take visitors to, all of whom seem to love it for the atmosphere as much as the food.
The first thing to do if you are coming here to eat is to remember to bring your own wine, the corkage is just $5.
And speaking of eating, there’s a host of things to choose from but – as is invariably the case when you go somewhere regularly – I always seem to order the same things. Something along the lines of these:
Shell-on cereal prawns which are one of my all-time favourite dishes…but not loved by all (ideal…all the more for me). Perhaps people loathe the idea of crunching though all that shell but strangely, it’s so crispy, you don’t really taste it.
The hot plate venison with ginger and spring onion is a winner as is their homemade tofu (below) which even vegetarian-hating-meat-eating males wolf down gratefully. It is that good (despite what it may look like!).
A beautiful steamed fish (they generally offer seabass or garoupa) is usually next, which you can, and should, choose yourself from the tank to make sure you get a fresh one:
What they are perhaps most famous for at Por Kee is however, their champagne pork ribs…
…which are deliciously sticky and don’t taste of champagne in any way at all.
Always in favour of a good contrast, after eating here yesterday, we traipsed around the corner for an upmarket, post dinner cocktail at Tippling Club’s new sister restaurant Open Door Policy, who did indeed live up to their name: despite our super casual shorts, flip flops and lack of reservation, we were allowed in for a drink at their really quite stylish bar.
I bumped into two separate tables of people I knew, who were by chance eating here (they looked slightly dismayed by my state of dress) and they all raved about the food. It’s top of the list to try next time.
*Since writing this, Por Kee has sadly closed. It shut its doors on 30th September 2013 and I am yet to find any cereal prawns that are as good as theirs were.
Por Kee food images courtesy of Hungry Go Where