Monday, October 3, 2011

The Art Of Tzi Char

I would like to think of myself as a true foodie, as I enjoy street food as much as I love visiting Michelin-starred restos. Last month, a bunch of friends asked me where I would like to go for my birthday dinner (one of the many that I had), I surprised them by saying I would like to try the tzi char stall at Changi Road that they have been raving about.

For the sake of foreigners, let me explain a little about tzi char. "Tzi" and "char" literally means cook and stir-fry in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect), and is a common type of street-style food in Singapore.

Taste of Village is now my favourite tzi char place. The head chef here was previously working at Crystal Jade Palace (a famed Chinese resto in Singapore). Restaurant-grade food at tzi char prices!

Here's what we ate. The cooking style is a little different from other tzi char places... perhaps it is the fact that the chef used to work in a Chinese restaurant? I feel that there's more finesse to the quality, taste and presentation in the dishes here.

We started the meal with an appetising daily soup. It's a Chinese thing and I love soups! I think we had pork ribs herbal soup.

Steamed fish in Nonya style
This is my absolute favourite dish. I have never tasted a fish dish like this. The Nonya-style spicy and sour sauce got our taste buds excited.

Before dinner, we said we will not have white rice as an attempt to cut down on carbs. However, when we tasted the sauce, we wolfed down our rice drowned with the yummy sauce. As you can tell from the pic, we devoured the fish like a pack of hungry piranhas.

Taste of Village special pork ribs

Stir-fry squid served on hot plate and banana leaf
Not the usual sambal sotong (Malay word for "squid") as we know it. I also love the fact that they served it on a bed of banana leaf.

Stir-Fry french beans with olive leaves

Fried sea mantis with salted egg yolk

Stir-fry mee suah with seafood
Chinese believed that noodles represent longevity and is a necessity at birthday celebrations.

The taste of the fish in Nonya sauce is still lingering in my head. I can't wait to taste it again. I shall plan a visit this week. I highly recommend Taste of Village if you are up for some tzi char!

For more information, please visit Taste of Village on Facebook.
The address is 351 Changi Road, Singapore.
Opens daily from 11am-11pm.

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