The East Coast of Singapore is probably where all the 24-hour Muslim coffee shops started. Some might say it’s because that’s where Geylang Serai is or more accurately, where Geylang is. Vigorous romps makes one hungry and there is nothing like a late-night prata with curry washed down with Teh Alia. In any case, east of Singapore, starting from Kallang, seems to have the highest concentration in Singapore of places of worship, good food and negotiable love.
This blog received a SMS from a friend who received an invite to a tasting at a newly opened stall in a coffee shop located just outside Kembangan Court. As no one has been there before, a contingency restaurant was planned just in case we needed something more substantial.
Our fears were unfounded as food at Noor Jannah’s Kitchen was pretty good.
The brightly-lit coffee shop is perfect for small groups of 4 but it was a bit of a squeeze for the 12 of us. In the end, we managed to find space in the corner of the corridor. Dinner was served in courses which is a good thing given the small table space and it also allowed us some time to digest and discuss the food.
This blog will not bore you by giving bite-by-bite account; just the highlights, but you can see what we had here.
The Satay course was not too bad. Some feedback that was fed back was that the marinade was a tad too sweet, but I find that it depends on the type of meat. It was definitely sweeter on the chicken than it was on the mutton, but I found them all to be just as tasty.
The pleasant fact is that the satay was not made from minced meat but whole pieces of identifiable meat. While it was not the traditional meat-fat-meat configuration, it was almost as tender. My only gripe was that the mutton lost that strong mutton taste that true mutton-eaters appreciate. Of course, this blog was in a very small minority of 1 with this viewpoint. 😉
One interesting satay they had was the tripe satay. This polarized, as always, the table into the Ewww-tripe! group and the Wow-Tripe! group.
I love tripe, however the comments here was that it could do with a longer time at the grip to get the edges crunchier and a little less sugar would be good for the marinade. I happened to get a truly crunchy stick off tripe. It was delicious.
Latticed with a mixture of mayonnaise, thousand-island cream and sweet chili sauce, my arteries started panicking when the Roti John Raja was placed in the table. It certainly deserved the “Raja” modifier.
This blog misses the traditional Roti John where the bread is fried simply with egg, mutton and onions, our version of Croque Monsieur or the British Fried Slice. I am always vaguely suspicious of anything with a deluge of sauce or condiment, a legacy from my National Service days where I was advised to avoid anything with “sweet and sour” sauce.
In any case, the Roti John Raja was wiped out quickly to make way for the “Western” part of the meal. This is where Noor Jannah’s Kitchen shines. The fish & chips was so unbelievably big that I had to have Jeremy put his thumb next to it.
For less than $8, you get two large breaded fish fillets that was beautifully cooked; moist with a nice crunch of the breadcrumbs, this is a good deal for non-meat eaters. Unless, of course, you order the lamb chops.
Again, this is a good value-for-money deal at less than $11. The 4 lamb chops were wonderfully cooked with a slight crispy crust with a delicate sweet flavor. I found it to be better than most of the western food stalls you find in hawker centres and coffee shops.
Mind you, this blog is not sure if you will get the same deal of 4 lamb chops, so just leave a comment on this entry to help me verify.
But wait! There’s more!
With the table cleaned and cleared of the mess we made, 3 large alien objects were placed at our table. Visions of Alien Chestbusters were circulating uncomfortably around my mind at this time.
Fortunately, the opeh leave was opened to reveal an interesting mix of mutton bone steak and fried dark Hor Fun.
Apparently, one of the specialties of Noor Jannah’s Kitchen is their Bone Steak Hor Fun Opeh. If that’s not fusion food, I don’t know what is.
A word about the use of Opeh leaves and whether it imparts flavor to the food that’s wrapped up in it. I do not believe it does. This is because if you cook rice in a bamboo tube (especially a green one), you will get a subtle sweetish, greenish flavor in the rice from the bamboo, however, as the hor fun was not cooked in the Opeh leaf I doubt if any flavor gets imparted to it from the Opeh leaf on the way from the kitchen to your table. I am highly dubious of people who tell me they can taste the Opeh leaves in the food without macerating the Opeh leaves as well.
Inevitably, when a group of foodies is faced with Hor Fun, the first question that pops up is about Wok Hei. This blog is not sure why it is so. I mean, like this chap, not many people understand the meaning of “Wok Hei”.
Anyway, when the question of whether the Hor Fun had the treasured “wok hei”, the group chorused a resounding “no!”
That’s ok because it was delicious with the Hor Fun (pre-cooked) slightly chewy and scrumptious from the bone-infused gravy and there is nothing like sucking out the marrow and chewing on the cartilage to infuse your mouth with flavour.
And just when you think you’ve seen it all in the world of fusion cuisine, along comes a bomb that blows all your preconceptions away. A Bom Prata that is.
On first glance, it looked like a Danish to me, but it was actually made from the same stuff as Roti Prata (or Roti Canai for our neighbours). Supremely savory and sweet from the cheese and golden raisins and cooked like a prata, this light, fluffy and tasty concoction is a must-try. This blog is still kicking himself for not buying some back.
The biggest surprise of the night was when Abdul, the owner, refused to charge us for the food. There is a rumor about a group of “foodies” who go around eating for free in exchange for a good review on forums or blogs. The ringleader considers this as a “treat” to his ring. This is most unpleasant as it puts the stall owner in a difficult position and it also erodes the objectivity of the write-ups.
Anyway, after much hand-waving and cajoling, we managed to convince Abdul to accept payment.
Dinner at Noor Jannah’s Kitchen was very pleasant. It’s a quiet corner with plenty of parking to be had at Kembangan Court across the road. The food is good if not better than most of your average coffee shop food (their Cereal Prawns are as good as any Chinese stall), and it seems there is something for every palate. And I would definitely go back for more of the lamb chops and Bom Prata.
Noor Jannah’s Kitchen is at 2, Jalan Masjid, just outside the entrance to a series of apartments called “Kingston”, near Changi Road.
The Bom Prata really looks like the Danish pastry! Haha. Quite ingenious. Im tempted!
Very nice of the owner.. but equally admirable.. are the foodies.. 🙂
@thehungrycow: It was delicious too!
@Mama BoK: This presents a problem because it places an unnecessary obligation on us to write a review. I guess we can tell the rest that it’s our treat to hide the fact, but we have better standards. 🙂
Hi! Stumbled on this while looking up Noor Jannah’s and it was great reading your review! Thanks for the post!
Oh and it’s “teh (tea) halia (Ginger)”.
@Nate: Thanks for reading and the heads up on the spelling!
may i know whether the kambing soup wif lontong stil there?
I guess there’s only one way to find out.
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