Tel: 6241 6518
With its humble background of a small café in Jackie's Bowl along East Coast Road, back in 1989, Different Taste Café & Restaurant has since grown to 3 full-fledged restaurants spanning across Frankel Avenue, Pasir Ris and Jalan Mas Puteh. Menu consists of a wide variety of local "zichar" dishes, fish head curry and some Peranakan delights.
I was invited for a tasting at Different Taste with familiar foodies as well as representatives from Hungrygowhere. When I stepped into the outlet at Frankel Estate, Siglap area, I noted the simple but nice décor swathed in cultural hues, and friendly service.
We started the tasting session with Fish Maw Crab Meat Soup (SGD13.00 for small / SGD$20.00 for medium / SGD$30.00 for large) - hot pot of thick but not too-starchy fish maw soup, with generous portion of fish maw, shredded crab meat and egg plant mixed in. Tasty and easy on the throat, warming us up for more dishes to come.
Curry Fish Head (SGD$20.00 for small / SGD$26.00 for medium / SGD$34.00 for large) was up next, another steaming pot of tangy delight. Rich curry broth with the right amount of spiciness, smooth, and laden with fresh fisb head, lady's fingers, tomatoes, zucchini etc. Best eaten with rice or other staples.
Then we had Penang Fried Kuey Teow (SGD$5.50) - fried flat rice noodles with seafood. Gently-textured and flavoured, with subtle hints of wok hei (Chinese frying pan's ""breath), nicely moistened and delicious.
Next, Ayam Buah Keluak (SGD$13.00 for small / SGD$20.00 for medium / SGD$26.00 for large) - chicken cooked with pangium edule fruit - the latter a black fruit used very often in Indonesian and Peranakan cooking. The stewed chicken is bathed with the acquired, bittersweet cocoa-like flavour of the pangium edule (buah keluak), making this an exotic dish.
Brocooli with Crab Meat (SGD$13.00 for small / SGD$18.00 for medium / SGD$24.00 for large) -a sticky web of extremely soft brocooli, shiitake mushrooms, carrot slivers and crab meat, making for a refreshing balancer amongst the meaty dishes we were enjoying this evening.
Following that, Foo Yong Omelette (SGD$9.00 for small / SGD$13.00 for medium / SGD$16.00 for large) - an omelette dish that is a local's favorite, studded with meat, little shrimps, spring onions etc. This one is done in a nice heap like a mini hill, different from the flat omelette we are accustomed to usually.
Prawn Paste Chicken (SGD$12.00 for small / SGD$15.00 for medium / SGD$22.00 for large) crackled easily under the teeth's probe, delicious and juicy within. In fact, it was one of the best prawn paste chicken wings we'd had so far - we asked for second helpings of this dish!
Final dish was Beef with Black Pepper Sauce (SGD$12.00 for small / SGD$18.00 for medium / SGD$24.00 for large). The stir-fried beef slices were succulent enough, but I was hoping that the black pepper sauce would be more robust.
Desserts were served afterwards. We had Chendol, Longan Almond Tofu, and some Sea Coconut with Sago dish - sweetening the palate after a good meal.
And drinks that accompanied us throughout the feast comprised Homemade Ice Lemon Tea, Homemade Plum Drink, Homemade Chin Chow (grass jelly), and Homemade Barley.
All in all, we were glad we had the opportunity to try the dishes at this "atas coffeeshop" restaurant aka Different Taste, and understood why they are filled with jolly diners even in weekday evenings. Thank you for the lovely dishes, and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite.