Peppercorn at Kandahar St

Peppercorn
30 Kandahar St
Singapore 198890
Reservations: DM them on Facebook!
Tel: +65 9862 2559
Remarks: Accepts cards, cash, Grabpay and Favepay

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1130am to 230pm, 530pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$20

Recommended dishes: Literally just pick any ingredients you want; I would go for medium or big spicy level!

So I have to admit sometimes I perasan (fancy myself) American and follow American news a little too closely. Like I feel secondhand rage about Trump being president, about the unfair deaths of black victims like Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and about the extortionate prices of medication thanks to Big Pharma greed. I also watch basically all the liberal left-wing night-time talk shows like Late Night with Seth Myers, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah — which is ridiculous.

I think it’s a habit that started from when I was studying in the US and had a raging crush on Jon Stewart back when he was the host of The Daily Show. I even got tickets to be part of the studio audience TWICE like an absolute groupie LOL young me. Anyway recently I was watching yet another liberal programme The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, when he announced that the musical guest was Incubus, singing Drive!!!

OKAY I mean I had such a huge crush on frontman Brandon Boyd back in school!! His voice is no longer what it used to be but goshhh still love him (even though he is slowly transforming into Anthony Kiedis). Listening to him sing that song in 2019 took me RIGHT BACK to like 2001, so I’m gonna leave you guys with the original video to refresh your memories (of his shirtless days). Delicious piece of trivia: Brandon Boyd did all the drawings in the video himself!! Beautiful AND talented, good lord.

ANYWAYYYYYYY FINALLY let’s get down to brass tacks, sorry for that detour.

I wanted to blog about my experience at Peppercorn, the halal joint at Kandahar St specialising in mala-tang. Má refers to that numbing sensation you get from sichuan peppercorns, là means spice, and tàng means soup!

The entrance!

So basically the concept at Peppercorn is not unlike fancy Yong Tau Foo except it’s weight-based and not per-item. There’s a whole wall of ingredients that you can pick from, which are then priced up based on their weight and unit price. So here are the steps to getting your piping hot bowl of malatang.

Step 1: Pick the ingredients you want from their spread below!

I found all the ingredients to look really fresh, and def tasted it in the ones I picked

Step 2: Head to the counter and select the spice level/type of noodles you wish to add to your bowl of malatang (optional).

Choice of udon, maggi, and tang hoon noodles!

Step 3: Pick a side while they price up your order based on the unit price of the ingredients clearly displayed on the menu board!

Ingredients will be priced up based on their unit price above. You can opt for sides too!

Step 4: Choose between soup, dry, or soup on the side. Wait for the order to be ready while you admire the decor of the place and read up on malatang history.

Quirky mildly propagandistic décor.
A history in case y’all want to read. Goodbye body dampness, hello balanced constitution.

Step 5: Malatang is served. SHOW IT WHO’S BOSS.

This is what my bowl of medium spice level malatang looked like!

Okay so for my ingredients I picked enoki mushrooms (AN ABSOLUTE MUST), ladies fingers, fish tofu, oyster mushrooms, a small filet of fish, beancurd skin and a slice of beef to try, no noodles. Winning ingredients really IMO, and my bowl cost me S$17! All the ingredients tasted fresh, esp the fish which was really great because you do take a risk whenever you order fish. The broth tasted really clean and not oily which is a bonus. I’ve tried both the medium and big spicy levels. Because I find that the taste of the broth intensifies the more you eat, the medium starts out a little bland and ends up pretty tasty, while the spicy starts out really tasty but the heat sneaks up on you and suddenly you’re crying and your nose is running. SO shiok though! I must say I def prefer the big spicy level. 8.5/10

I also tried the Scallion Noodles (S$4.50):

Scallion noodles (S$4.50) on the right – meh, 6.5/10

So I found the scallion noodles a little underwhelming – it reminded me of Indomie, so if that’s your thing you might like this. I’m more of a tom yam instant noodles person to begin with, and also I felt like $4.50 was a little steep considering I was already paying $17 for my bowl. I’d def stick to the malatang, yum. 6.5/10 for the scallion noods.

Overall I had a great time at Peppercorn – it’s really comfortable, air-conditioned, and there is a very clean and relatively spacious restroom available (compared to the usual chokey-like toilets in shophouses in the area lol). Service is always very patient and friendly, which is really great. I would def (and have, lol) come back to this place again. FYI GST and service charge apply.

Peppercorn
30 Kandahar St
Singapore 198890
Reservations: DM them on Facebook!
Tel: +65 9862 2559
Remarks: Accepts cards, cash, Grabpay and Favepay

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$20

Recommended dishes: Literally just pick any ingredients you want, I would go for medium or big spicy level!

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1130am to 230pm, 530pm to 930pm

Yi Zun Beef Noodle at Joo Chiat Road

Yi Zun Beef Noodle
#01-08, 60 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427726
Online reservations: Click here
Tel: +65 6909 9287

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~$18
Recommended dishes: Yi Zun Ikan Bakar (S$19.80), Sizzling Hotplate Beef (S$16.80)

Hey guys! My head feels like it’s full of cotton wool because I’m down with the flu today, ugh why is my body failing me. Anyway I’ve been in bed alternating between sleep, eating porridge and watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix – finally finished watching Season 3 and now onto Season 4 lol. It’s such a great show you guys, you don’t even understand. So ahead of its time. Also, one of the characters that I love, Heather, is portrayed by Vella Lovell who looks totally like she’s ethnically Indian, but is actually mix-raced black and white.

I know it’s crazy and race is a social construct yada yada but it boggles the mind that she’s not even a little bit ethnically Indian haha

Anyway I wanted to quickly post about Yi Zun Beef Noodle‘s new (ish?!) outlet at Joo Chiat Road which is a lot more of a proper family restaurant than their more casual Sam Leong Road outlet near Farrer Park MRT. I actually went there during Ramadan a couple of months ago to break fast with my family.

Yizun_Joo_Chiat
Taken from their Facebook page – you can see it’s a lot more spacious and with bigger tables too

Boy, isn’t dining out during Ramadan always a sh*t show? Like you can’t ever just walk in anywhere because (a) they’re always booked up anyway or (b) the stakes are too high and you just can’t chance it without a reservation because you’d be starving by then. Ugh. But ACTUALLY I realised the best thing to do when you have weekend errands in the Joo Chiat/Geylang area during Ramadan is to buy your raya stuff around 2-4pm and then takeaway lauk (dishes) from Aroma Kampung and be out of there by 430pm before traffic starts getting really crazy.

Before I discovered this life hack though, on one of the weekends when we had to buy some Raya stuff around Geylang bazaar area, we figured we might as well have dinner there. So I picked Yi Zun Beef Noodles since I hadn’t been to their new Joo Chiat outlet then.

Here’s a look at their menu:

Yizun_Menu
Combos, sides and dranks
Yizun_Menu2
So many dishes to choose from gosh.
Yi_Zun_Xiao_Long_Bao
Halal xiao long bao yummm

We ordered the Yizun Ikan Bakar Special (S$19.80) which is a little like those Chong Qing Grilled Fish places featuring a whole fish on a heated platter, bathed in a type of broth and accompanied by other types of veggies:

Yi_Zun_Grilled_Fish
Yizun Ikan Bakar Special (S$19.80) – 8/10

So, i thought this was a decent offering. The fish was pretty tender, if a little skinny but gosh S$19.80 is a great price. There was some cabbage and enoki mushrooms, which are always welcome. The broth wasn’t too spicy, it had a bit of a mala taste to it but overall pretty mild so don’t be scared by the colour. Glad it wasn’t spicier because you know, Ramadan stomach. Never forget that one time my friend and I broke our fast on medium-spicy mala xiang guo at TTSH, and died for the next 24 hours. I did wish they had a lot more broth on the platter, which was a little shallow to begin with. Also I wish they had the option for us to top up for additional ingredients like more enoki mushrooms, maybe some tofu, etc. I’d say just a little shy of 8/10. I def wanna go back and try it again, maybe it’ll be better on the second try.

Of course we also ordered the classic Yi Zun Beef Noodle (S$9.80) which only came in one size unlike the Sam Leong Road branch:

Yi_Zun_Beef_Noodles
Yizun Beef Noodles (S$9.80) – 7/10

I don’t know why but the noodles weren’t great that night. They got a little jelak for me and maybe I should just stick to the minced meat version which usually always hits the spot for me. The beef slices were okay if a little tough, though I love the tender radish always. The broth was decent. And I almost feel bad for saying this but for Lanzhou Lamian I prefer the Tongue Tip noodle version! So so good. Maybe I’ll post about that time I went to the Tiong Bahru branch and ordered the one with the mala soup. Yum. Anyway, 7/10 for this one.

We also ordered the Sizzling Hotplate Beef (S$16.80) which was really very yummy – the beef was tender and the sauce was like some sort of savoury kung pao sauce, but unfortunately I did not take a photo of it because it came a little later and I was already busy eating then. I have to say I wish they served rice?! So you can eat with the dishes, but no they force you to order the noodles lol.  9/10 for the beef.

All in all not a bad dinner and I would def like to come back for the grilled fish and try other things. I might skip the noodles and maybe opt for the Chicken Xiao Long Bao (S$3.80 for 4) and I really wanna try the Mutton Skewers (S$2 a stick) (edited to add: I tried both the chicken xlb and the mutton skewers a week after this post. They were both DELICIOUS. I would def recommend).

Service was friendly but because it was Ramadan when I went, the guys were pretty slammed and they ran out of proper cutlery so we had to eat with wooden chopsticks and plastic spoons UGH very very not ideal, but I’m sure my next visit will be better. TBH writing about this close to midnight I wish I could have some of that fish now although my throat would probably just get even more swollen sigh.

Yi Zun Beef Noodle
#01-08, 60 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427726
Online reservations: Click here
Tel: +65 6909 9287

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~$18
Recommended dishes: Yi Zun Ikan Bakar (S$19.80), Sizzling Hotplate Beef (S$16.80)

Yi Zun Beef Noodle at Sam Leong Road

Yi Zun Beef Noodle
45 Sam Leong Road
Singapore 207935
MRT: Walkable from Farrer Park Station!
Tel: +65 6291 6616

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Sliced Chicken (S$3.20), Fish Stew with Pickled Cabbage (S$14.80)

Hey guys!! Okay firstly are you guys excited about the premier of Ready Player One this Thursday!! I’m pretty psyched! I rather enjoyed reading the book and my friends and I are now geeking out about the movie haha.

Secondly speaking of books, have you guys read The Remains of the Day? It’s this novel by British author Kazuo Ishiguro, narrated exclusively in the first person by an English butler who alternates between telling us about his day, and recounting his experiences/exchanges as a butler. It’s a simple premise, but Ishiguro writes really beautifully and by the end of the book I was like 😭 this is so good. Check this out for sure, and check out his other work too called Never Let Me Go.

Anyway so I haven’t been blogging too much because I haven’t really been in much of a mood to, but OMG last week I went to try Yi Zun Beef Noodles again and I had SUCH a great time!!

It’s located at 45 Sam Leong Road, which is like a 7-minute walk from Farrer Park MRT (exit A lol), and it specialises in Lanzhou lamian or beef noodle soup. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

Beef noodle soup is a Chinese and Taiwanesenoodle soup made of stewed or red braisedbeef, beef brothvegetablesand Chinese noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia. Beef noodle soup was first created by the Hui people (a ChineseMuslim ethnic group) during the Tang Dynasty of China.[1][2]

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Entrance_Storefront

I love this photo omg it’s giving me super HK/TW vibezzzz (if not for the parking sign thanks ugh)

The first time I went, they had just opened and about 80% of the items on the menu back then were not available. In fact the menu looked quite different then too! Here’s what it looks like now:

Yi_Zun_Noodle_MenuYi_Zun_Noodle_Menu2

To order, they give you this erasable marker where you can indicate your choices on the menu itself – no need for order chit omg! So environmentally friendly and efficient, I can’t take it 😍❤️

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Ordering_System

Maybe I have a career in hand-modelling like David Duchovny in Zoolander

We started off with the Sliced Chicken (S$3.20) which is a cold dish with the chicken slices in a chilli-oil type sauce:

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Cold_Sliced_Chicken

Sliced Chicken (S$3.20) – 10/10

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Cold_Chicken_Starter

UNFFFF GET IN MY BELLY

First of all, all this for S$3.20?!?! Please, no one tell them about this good deal lest they decide to up the price!! (Or reduce the portion lol). Secondly, UNFFF I really, really liked it omg it was so refreshing, juicy and just flavourful enough! It looks a little fiery but in truth it wasn’t super spicy, just a liiiitle tingle (a little Sichuan flavour I think?). Mostly just enjoyed how tender and succulent it was. I am DEFINITELY coming back for these. 10/10

Next up my friend and I split the Yizun Beef Noodle (S$7.80 for small). 

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Sliced_Beef_Noodles

Yizun Beef Noodle (Small S$7.80) – 6.5/10

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Sliced_Beef_Noodles_Closeup

Okay so the first time I tried these noodles, I found broth really bland and the beef slices tough and dry.  This time around, I’m happy to report that the broth is much more flavourful and delicious, and the texture of the hand-pulled noodles is still decent. Alas, the beef slices remained tough ugh why! I really hope they find a way to improve it – like okay can they just make braised beef or those pho-type beef slices omg. Anything but these tough ones. 6.5/10 😩

For our third dish, we went for the Fish Stew with Pickled Cabbage (S$14.80). We were hesitant about it at the point of placing our orders, as we were unsure if we could finish it. However, after a very brief deliberation we decided to just #YOLO and get it anyway:

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Fish_Stew_With_Pickled_Cabbage

Fish Stew With Pickled Cabbage (S$14.80) – 10/10

BOY were we glad we were so greedy, because the fish stew was just out of this world!!! OMG guys, honestly the broth was unexpectedly delicious as heck – it was mayyybe just a smidge salty due to the pickled cabbage, but man it was the best still. SO flavourful and robust I couldn’t help drinking spoonfuls of the broth alone. Fortunately the other ingredients also held their own – the fish slices were crazy tender, and the cabbage provided textural contrast with their crunch. Absolutely loved it, and I cannot recommend this dish enough!! 10/10

Yi_Zun_Noodle_Table_Flatlay

All in all I had a terrific time and I’m so glad I gave this place a second chance after the disappointing first try! I really hope they improve the quality of the beef in their noodles, and for sure I will give it another go in one of my subsequent visits insyaaAllah. You guys will def hear about it (at least on my IG stories) if I do!! 😀

Service is okay, although English is not their strong suit, and sometimes it can take a while to get their attention. There is a 10% service charge but no GST, and you pay up front at the counter when done. I paid in cash so I can’t remember if they accept NETS/credit card, but I’ll find out and update this post. I def can’t wait to go back here!! Go try it soon guys!

Yi Zun Beef Noodle
45 Sam Leong Road
Singapore 207935
MRT: Walkable from Farrer Park Station!
Tel: +65 6291 6616

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Sliced Chicken (S$3.20), Fish Stew with Pickled Cabbage (S$14.80)

Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lor 1 Blk 127

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).

You guys. I had initially planned to talk about Netflix’s The Crown and how much I’m enjoying watching it because Claire Foy is such an emotive and talented actress. BUT. I can’t even wait to tell you guys about the amazing Chinese prawn noodles I had last week at Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Food Centre with my friend and her husband!!

Seriously I should’ve known it was going to be a perfect evening when this was my view while walking from Braddell MRT station to the hawker centre:

Blessings

Hashtag alhamdulillah feels

So Deanna’s Kitchen is a 100% muslim-owned, authentic Chinese prawn noodle stall set up by Denise Chew (Deanna), a Chinese convert (or revert if you prefer, I’m not fussed) and her husband Asri Ramli. I read that after converting to Islam, Deanna couldn’t find good halal prawn mee so she asked her mum for the recipe and tweaked it to halal perfection!! The Chinese versions usually use pork bone broth, but Deanna uses prawn broth instead. The story of their interracial love is also super touching; if you guys are interested to know more you can read it on her IG here!

Deannas_Kitchen_Menu

Menu!

I love that they specialise in one thing only (prawn noodles with variations in ingredients and noodles), because you can rest assured they’re focused on perfecting their signature dish. I love that you can customise your noodles too; I really do not like yellow noodles for that horrible lye taste and the starchy texture. BOO.

I went with the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) which consisted of noodles in prawn broth with prawns, fishcake, a very generous serving of plump clams, and some kangkong:

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams2

Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) – 10/10

OMGGGGG you guys. I could already smell the fragrant broth when I carried the bowl over to my table to set it down, so I knew it was going to be special, but man, the first sip was transcendental. I loved, loved, loved the prawn broth taste; it was so flavourful and went perfectly with the bee hoon noodles I had selected! Also guys, you gotta add the fried shallots (bawang goreng) because they are delicious and make the already-perfect noodles taste better.

Don’t even get me started on the clams. I LOVE clams omg I am an absolute clam FIEND, and there were SOOOOO many in the bowl! All for S$6.50?!?! It’s madness. The same quantity of clams you buy as an à la carte stirfry dish would’ve easily cost more. 10/10 for this delightful bowl of prawn noodles UGH.

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams3

Plump and juicy clams omg

My friend got the same thing as me but her husband went with the Big Prawn Noodle (also S$6.50) – take a look at the photos here:

Deannas_Kitchen_Big_Prawn_Noodles

Ahem my best flatlay attempt lol I just can’t take good photos most of the time

Deannas_Kitchen_Brig_Prawn_Noodles

Big Prawn Noodle (S$6.50)

Deannas_Kitchen_Clam_Aftermath

The aftermath. LOOK AT HOW MANY CLAMS!!! From just two bowls of Prawn Noodles with Clams ugh!! ❤

Deannas_Kitchen_Opening_Hours

Opening hours for Deanna’s Kitchen

The service here is terrific too you guys. Quick story – after finishing my bowl I went to order 3 more bowls for takeaway. It was almost closing time just before 8pm, and while I was waiting for my order, these two girls came up and ordered what was to be the last couple of bowls. The stall didn’t have enough broth for a full second bowl, and so the co-owner Asri gave a great discount for the bowl! UGH what great customer service. Also because theirs were the last two bowls, he gave the girls all the remaining clams and warned them that they were being given excess clams because the stall was closing, lest they come back next time and wonder why they’re not getting as many clams. Very thoughtful service.

Second story is, I took away those 3 bowls to my Chinese friends who were still working late in the office, and they LOVED it!! One of them said it’s the best prawn mee broth she’d tasted in a long time, and the other one told me she counted TWENTY FOUR CLAMS in her bowl. LOL it’s insane. So yeah while I have no basis for comparison, having never eaten porky prawn mee before, my Chinese friends definitely vouch for the taste and authenticity of Deanna’s Kitchen’s Chinese prawn mee ❤

Go try it soon you guys!

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).