Puncak at Far East Plaza

Puncak Best Noodles & Halal Muslim Food
#05-94 Far East Plaza,
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

Open daily 10am to 10pm
Tel: +65 6738 4348

Last Friday my lunch buddy and I made our way to Far East Plaza to have our regular Cahaya session. To our chagrin, it was CLOSED!!! With nary an explanation! We’re hoping that was a one-off occurrence and not portentous of a permanent shut-down.

Struggling to quell our staggering disappointment, we slunk over to Puncak right next to it, having long ignored this rival establishment.

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Just a sliver of closed shutters to the right, where Cahaya is šŸ˜¦

The first thing we noticed was that it felt much smaller and less bright than Cahaya. The second thing was that the prices at Puncak were slightly higher than Cahaya’s!

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But anyway we were hostage to our tremendous food disappointment and already built-up cravings, so we got what we’d always get, first of which is the small Fried Wanton (S$5).

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Lighting here was great and ratherĀ conducive to #flatlay, in case you were wondering

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Omg why so crispy and perfectly golden-brown!

The wanton texture was perfect – crispy, light, and not too hard. The filling was orange and tasted a little bit of carrots, which I’m not a fan of, but otherwise the paste inside was pretty decent. If you recall from my previous Cahaya post, we HATE the black dipping sauce that comes with these wantons, so it was ever to Puncak’s credit that they served it in a separate dipping cup instead of directly on the plate. This way the black slick would not contaminate our beloved wantons. Plus points for that. 8/10

We ordered a plate of fried Hokkien Mee (S$5.50) too:

 

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OMG guys. The Hokkien Mee is LOADED with ingredients, and is so moist and delicious! The sauce was extremely flavourful and prawny, whereas the sambal was really shrimpy/belacany. Compared to Cahaya’s, Puncak’s definitely fared better. Gosh, to think I was all ready to write off Puncak as a poor man’s Cahaya! Boy did I have to eat my words. Notably, Puncak’s rendition had rings of squid in addition to the fishcake and prawns. Gosh, sorry Cahaya, but 10/10 for Puncak’s hokkien mee.

All in all, I definitely had a good meal at Puncak. The waiting time however left much to be desired; we waited about 25 minutes after ordering, for our food to arrive! I’m not sure if that was due to excessive orders spilling over from Cahaya’s closure, but yeah it was not great. Because of my loyalty to Cahaya, I’m not sure if I’ll go back to Puncak, but yeah you guys should check it out!

Puncak Best Noodles & Halal Muslim Food
#05-94 Far East Plaza,
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

Open daily 10am to 10pm
Tel: +65 6738 4348

Cahaya At Far East Plaza

Cahaya Muslim Halal Restaurant
#05-91/92 Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

Opening Hours
Daily 11:30am to 09:00pm
Notes: Cash only!

Halal Status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 10/10

Average spend per pax: S$9

Back when I was an angsty teen I used to go to Far East Plaza a lot with my friends after school, mostly for food and for some shopping. Our favourite place to eat was Dahlia’s Cafe, which used to be on the 5th floor right in front of the lifts. I would always get the Bee Hoon Bandung, which was absolutely perfect – the soup was so good and so spicy,Ā and I swear I would spend the first 5 minutes justĀ sipping on the brothĀ before getting started on the noodles and the other ingredients. Yum. Unfortunately, Dahlia’s Cafe closed a couple of years ago to be replaced by some cafe I don’t even bother to remember the name of.

Nowadays I like to get my cheap-but-good food fix from Cahaya Restaurant, just around the corner from the erstwhile Dahlia’s Cafe. The menu is pretty standard:

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With these old nostalgic places I tend to be a creature of habit, so whenever I’m here I always get the Beef Fried Rice With Chicken Topping (S$6), although I did go through a Chilli Crab Sauce Rice (Jimba Rice) phase a few months ago.

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Mmmm what’s better than chicken? Chicken AND beef!!

This plate literally has everything – it’s got moist, fluffy, spicy rice, it’s got juicy beef slices at the bottom of the plate, and then it’s got tasty chicken slices on top! For you healthy types, you’ll be pleased to know the rice comesĀ some bits of mixed vegetables, so everyone can party! It’s a dish for everyone, and my absolute favourite thing to have at this place. I can safely say it’s one of the most satisfying plates one can have for lunch (the Novena Nasi Padang comes close) . The price point is also very attractive – S$6 is a small price to pay for a plate of goodness, my friend. 10/10

My Far East lunch buddy and I like to share a small plate of Fried Wantan (S$3) on top of our rice when we’re feeling greedy:

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YUMMAYYYY pockets of crispy golden brown crunch

Truth be told they’re not very generous with the filling, but hey it’s a whole plate for $3! The texture is spot on – so, so crispy and surprisingly not oily! 10/10

I have to warn you guys though, the plate of wantan comes with this horrid, bitter black sauce. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be, maybe tar, but you HAVE to ask them not to add it, since it’s a default sauce that comes with every order of wantan!

Sometimes, we would forget to tell them not to add it, and then this happens:

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Worse than BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill šŸ˜¦

Basically the perimeter of the plate becomes just another surface for us to wipe the icky black sauce off our wantans. My advice is to eat the wantan with this amazing chilli sauce available on every table:

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There are two communal cups of sauces at each table – one is filled with this spicy, delicious chilli sauce; the kinds they serve with Hainanese chicken rice. I LOVE dipping my wantans in this sauce, and also drizzling it over my rice sometimes. It’s really very very good! The other cup is filled with green chili in vinegar, or lada jeruk in Malay, which is not really my thang, but those who do love it will be pleased they have it here!

Overall Cahaya is a reliable go-to place to get your hawker food fix at really affordable prices, and it’s situated in the Orchard area too, so it’s very convenient if you’re doing some shopping or watching a movie in the area. Service is efficient though not the friendliest at times (depending on which server you get), but it’s ok since they get my food to me real quickly and that’s what matters in a place like this! Plus there’s no gst/service charge here so one can’t fault them for not trying to charm you! You guys should definitely check this place out šŸ™‚

Cahaya Muslim Halal Restaurant
#05-91/92 Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

Opening Hours
Daily 11:30am to 09:00pm
Notes: Cash only!

Halal Status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 10/10

Average spend per pax: S$9