A bowl of warmth and comfort at the cost of almost nothing

22 02 2012

THE THING about falling in love with food is that you can fall in love with many of them – maybe all at the same time – without having your conscience sneak up on you and eat you up.

So while I still profess undying love for my favorite Tomato Noodle Soup, here in some of the first snaps of anything that was ever taken with my then-brand-new SONY NEX-5D digital camera, I have allowed my eyes and my taste buds to wander, willing to fall.

My (still) favorite – or, one of many – the Tomato Noodle Soup!


I love crispy anchovies in my Tomato Noodle Soup!


...and lots of Taiwan Pechay!

And if having the same things almost daily – sometimes even twice a day, at lunch and then “early” dinner – is any indication, then I must’ve fallen really hard for the Xing Hua Braised Noodles that can only be had at this unassuming eatery at Block 102 Towner Road, # 01-274, Singapore 322102.  The place is called Xing Hua Family Restaurant.  I would fling its glass doors open and suddenly I’d feel at home.  Finally, a restaurant that feels like being with family.  And it has the name to boot!

Growing up in Manila, where there is a Chinatown, I’ve always had the comfort and unapologetic confidence that on a map, I could zoom onto the provenance of cuisines so ubiquitous as Sze Chuan and Cantonese.  And while the very Filipino “Lumpiang Shanghai” seems to have been named without any relation to reality, I very well know where Shanghai is.  And at one point in my life, have actually been there.

But Xing Hua?  I don’t know where it is.  And yes, I just assumed it to be a name that references to geography.  (I would later be told by someone that it does refer to a place on the southeastern part of China.)

Xing Hua Braised Noodles


Xing Hua Braised Noodles... with lots of my favorite Xiāngcài!

I couldn’t be troubled enough with the origin of my dish-of-the-moment’s name to distract me from the bowl of warmth and comfort it has come to mean to meXing Hua Braised Noodles is a noodle “soup” of what I assume to be fresh, handmade noodles simmered in a broth so deep and robust, I could only suspect it to have been made after taking hours and hours to boil chicken and pork soup bones.  The depth of flavor is intensified with the addition of fresh prawns and live clams that in the heat of a rolling boil would open up their bivalves and release their natural salty and sweet goodness to the soup.  The addition of pale and bright greens – cabbage, Taiwan pechay, and chopped up blades of spring onions – perfect the seascape of flavors that are made more earthy by the motley scattering of shiitake mushrooms, slivers of fried beancurd, and golden fried shallots.  And as if an afterthought, but not quite, a spoonful of roasted peanuts and a generous pinch of dried seaweed finish off the dish.

That sounds quite a grand culinary production for a bowl of noodles that sets me back only S$ 4.50.  And whenever the kind kitchen staff obliges me with my oft-asked side of fresh coriander leaves (“Xiāngcài”), I would feel like I’m having a most hearty treat at the cost of almost nothing.

I may wax lyrical, quite poetic actually, about a humble bowl of noodles that one may be quick to assume that there’s nothing more to Xing Hua Family Restaurant.  There is.  No, there are.  And to satiate my ferocious hunger pangs that would just build up during the long walk from the office to their block, I would build in front of me a spread that at the very least would also include the Xing Hua Fried Noodles (fried version of the braised), a small serving of the Chili Live Mussels, a bowl of steamed rice, and a pot of piping hot Chrysanthemum Tea.

The meal would always be satisfying, very much like eating at home.  Only propriety would prevent me from sealing it with the approval that is the scratching of my tummy.  Haha!

Xing Hua Fried Noodles. This is equally sumptuous!


Chili Live Mussels


The clams are always plump and juicy!


My other usuals include this Stir-Fried Brocolli with Scallops... and many others.


Eggplant Fritters with Pork Floss


A tight shot of the eggplant fritters


Garlic Fried Chicken


Yang Zhou Fried Rice


Braised Beancurd Skin with Kailan


An attempt at styling my Braised Beancurd with Kailan


Xing Hua Family Restaurant name card


This is where you'll find it!


Once more with feelings, my favorite garnish, Xiāngcài.

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved




One response

22 02 2012

Yummy^^ You should keep searching for nice food.


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