Encik Tan at JCube

Encik Tan
JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1
B1-K05
Singapore 609731

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7/10
Average spend per pax: S$5-7

Hey guys! So it’s been a while since I last posted – have been kind of busy with unimportant things like bingewatching The Night Of – omg!! Have you guys watched it? It’s a new HBO miniseries about this well-behaved, 2nd-gen Pakistani college kid in Queens, who goes out one night, meets this cool girl, ends up sleeping with her at her place after trying some drugs and drinks, wakes up downstairs in her kitchen, goes back upstairs to sheepishly put on his clothes and bid her goodbye, only to switch on the light and discover her in bed all bloodied up and stabbed to death!!! He inexplicably grabs the knife and hides it in his jacket, runs the hell away in his dad’s cab that he’d snuck out in earlier, gets caught for making an illegal left turn, is detained, found with the bloody knife, and is charged with murder. The rest of the series explores the possibility of his culpability, other suspects, the criminal system in America and ugh the horrible things that go on in prisons like Rikers Island. It’s FASCINATINGGGGG please go watch now. It’s not on Netflix though! I had to procure it via other means if you catch my drift.

Anyway I digress. I’m actually here to write a review of Encik Tan, the halal chain that serves Chinese hawker fare at very reasonable prices and in air-conditioned comfort. I LOVE Chinese food, great prices and air-conditioning, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I went over like a moth to a flame. I went to the JCube one which is closest to my home, but they have 10 outlets in total – 3 in the west, 6 in the east and 1 at Bugis.

Here is a look at the menu:

Encik Tan - Menu

I’m kind of a fishball fiend and I enjoy eating fishballs either fried on their own, or cooked in soups and instant noodles! My go-to is Dodo chilli fishball added to Mama creamy shrimp tom yam instant noodles, together with some enoki mushroom for texture! SO YUMMY UGH.

Which is to say, it was an easy decision for me to get the Fishball Noodle (S$4):

Encik Tan - Fishball Noodles Dry

Fishball Noodles (S$4) – 6.5/10

I was really hoping for more, but the fishballs were not terribly fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good enough, but I have tasted better, fluffier, Teochew-style fishball that I was really hoping would be similar to these ones. These just weren’t as tasty or as tender as I would’ve liked. (using tender to describe fishballs is making me a little uncomfortable, I won’t deny it). I liked the soup though! It was light and salty – the perfect broth.

Noodles – I found them a little dry and hard – perhaps more chilli oil would solve that? So overall not terribly fantastic, but I suspect I’ll keep coming back here for my halal fishball noodle fix since the outlets are pretty accessible. If you guys know of a better halal fishball noodle place, let me know!! 6.5/10

My friend opted for the Signature Noodles (S$5) which comes with not only fishball but also fishcake slices, along with some chicken ball (that’s the brown thing):

Encik Tan - Signature Noodles

Signature Noodles (S$5) – 6.5/10

My friend also found the noodles and ingredients pretty average. Nothing to write home about but hey it’s cheap and it fills you up. She rated it a 6.5/10 too.

Encik Tan - Noodles

Group shot LOL

After having the noodles, I was feeling a little unsatisfied so I decided to spring for a plate of Fried Oyster Omelette (S$5), because truly I can’t resist the fluffy goodness of a fried oyster omelette:

Encik Tan - Fried Oyster Omelette

Fried Oyster Omelette (S$5) – 7.5/10

This was pretty yummy! I can’t stand spring onion, which there was SO MUCH OF. I much prefer when they have coriander, but thankfully the fried oyster omelette itself was really yummy!! It was really fluffy and soft in parts, and crispy at times too. My two gripes are that I found only one sad oyster in the whole omelette, and the chilli dipping sauce that they provided wasn’t as good. 7.5/10

All in all, I thought Encik Tan is a decent place to go if you’re craving halal Chinese food – the fact that it has its own seating sure beats having to find tables in regular foodcourts or coffeeshops. I might come back for the fried oyster omelette and try the carrot cake too while I’m at it.

Encik Tan
JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1
B1-K05
Singapore 6097

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 6.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$5-7

Cahaya Restaurant at Far East Plaza II

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

Opening Hours
Daily 11:30am to 09:00pm
Notes: No GST, no service charge, cash only!

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Average spend per pax: S$8.50

A quick review for you guys today on my favourite Far East Plaza food joint, Cahaya. If you remember, in my last review of Cahaya, I talked about the beef fried rice with chicken topping as my plate du jour. Recently my lunch buddy and I hopped onto a new ride – a plate of Hokkien Mee (S$4) each, and a small serving of the Oyster Omelette (S$6) to share.

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So much green and yellow it’s like I’m in Brasil (spelling so step)

Here is a closer look at the Hokkien Mee (S$4):

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First of all, give it up for halal hokkien mee!!! The unhalal ones are so very unhalal, since they are fried in lard, and it’s hard to even find no pork/no lard versions, so to have a halal-certified version is God-sent. I love Cahaya’s hokkien mee since it’s really very moist; the noodles and taugeh are soaked in flavourful broth so that each bite is really juicy and savoury. Most importantly, the taugeh is well-cooked and not bitter with rawness eww. As you can see, they are also really generous with the fish cake, which I love. In addition, there are two small prawns included, but I wish they also had squid, which would complete the plate. Beggars can’t be choosers though, because I think for S$4 a plate, you’re really getting your money’s worth.  A special mention is merited by sambal that comes with the noodles, which is REALLY yummy – spicy and a little sweet, with a hint of belacan. Pro-tip: ALWAYS ask for extra sambal! 9/10

One day I was reading in the New York Times about how Chomp Chomp the hawker centre actually opened up a restaurant in Greenwich Village, in NYC, and I got this MASSIVE craving for oyster omelette, so instead of our usual side of fried wantan, we went for the Oyster Omelette (S$6) in a small portion – there’s also an S$8 serving – :

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Yummm look at the crispy edges and the slightly browned parts!

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Oystersssss

The omelette is way delicious, and very umami. The oysters themselves were surprisingly decent, contrary to my expectation that they were going to be mediocre or not so fresh, since I figured a place like Cahaya would probably not move much oysters in their inventory. I stand corrected, and am very happy to to say the oyster omelette at Cahaya is very good, especially when you have it with the special chilli dip that they provide. My only wish is that they would garnish the omelette with a few sprigs of coriander, because that would be SO DOPE. 9/10

Ultimately Cahaya Restaurant remains my Far East Plaza favourite for lunch, but of course you guys can check it out anytime between 1130am to 9pm, I love the place because it’s simple, cheap, and SO good.

Here’s a look at the menu again!

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

Opening Hours
Daily 11:30am to 09:00pm
Notes: No GST, no service charge, cash only!

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Average spend per pax: S$8.50