Saturday, May 13, 2017

JB Ah Meng Tze Char Restaurant (新山亚明小厨) in Singapore, not Malaysia @ 534, Geylang Road Lorong 30 [Singapore]

The past three blog postings were on food and accommodation at Johor Bahru (JB) and i think it's time for me to go back to my Singapore roots although in this particular case, the abbreviated JB still appears since it's part of the restaurant's name.

Be warned of two things - only cash was accepted and i would strongly, strongly recommend you make a reservation. We arrived at 5.30 pm and although first in the queue, all the tables were reserved and the staff released a table to us under the condition that we must evict by 7 pm. 

There's a separate section in the unit next door which was air-conditioned and if you couldn't stand dining under a fan in hot and humid Singapore, do make it a point to reserve a table a few days beforehand. 

Given the limited time, we chop-chop ordered the dishes we wanted to try and it's so beneficial to have a list of signature dishes included in the menu; made our job so much easier.

While waiting for the food, let's have Jovyn to entertain you with her funny expressions! You can only see them in photographs as she would be too shy to show you in "real-life".

Fried Garlic Chilli Clams - known affectionately as lala, i used to abhor this as i associated them with oysters and cockles which i don't quite like. Thankfully, i had since disassociated them and thoroughly love clams them now! 

The ones at JB Ah Meng were rather meaty and infused with appetizing bits of garlic coupled with tiny bursts of spiciness! Garlicky with an appetising aroma; throw one clam into your mouth and let your tongue unleash the magic!

Brinjal Potato with Chilli - the English name of this dish is so boring and you must refer to the actual Chinese term which is 地三鲜; a dish from Dongbei, China that uses eggplants (also known as brinjal), potatoes and capsicums (also known as chilli peppers).  

First time our family had this; we were darn impressed although mom failed to replicate it in her own kitchen. The version at JB Ah Meng tasted as nice as our first time and was so addictive; you can literally snack them in a movie theatre! 

Cameron Highland Dragon Vegetables - i have been to Cameron Highlands countless times yet i don't remember eating the dragon veg before. Anyway, it was surprisingly good and i can savour the wok hei from the vegetables that were stir fried with pork and crunchy bean sprouts. p.s. i had the thin strips of vegetables stuck in between my teeth! 

King Pork Ribs - tender, fatty, juicy although a bit too much tomato sauce for my liking. Nevertheless, it's good to have a bowl of rice accompanying this dish and do look out for the piece with a thicker layer of fat; they usually taste better.

3 Delicacy Beancurd - not exciting about it except for the strips of cuttlefish that caught our attention for its impossible softness! 

Salted Egg Prawn Ball - one of the signature dishes, we initially balked at the higher pricing but how to resist salted egg stuff?! 

I think i can recognise shapes pretty well and doubt this is in the shape of a ball. Furthermore, it was far from satisfying with a saltier, rather than sweet-salty, flavour. 

We can't help but noticed on many tables that the deep fried bits in the bowl of Salted Egg Prawn Ball were generally left untouched. They were actually corn cobs and tasted surprisingly good with a balance of both sweetness and saltiness! Now, could the restaurant consider having a separate dish known as salted egg corn cobs and priced it much lower?! 

JB San Lou Bee Hoon - stir fried with cuttlefish, this San Lou bee hoon featured the burnt crispness that many diners enjoy from across the causeway. Having dined at the original San Lou fried bee hoon stall in JB, this was actually pretty good although the original store was a notch better. 

White Pepper Crab - the white pepper crabs was tagged prominently as a special recommendation in the restaurant and this was unique as most tze char restaurants prefer to go with black pepper crabs, chilli crabs, salted egg crabs etc. 

The shells were already cracked for the customers' convenience and i must say this plate of crabs was indeed enjoyable with a numbing spiciness from the aromatic white pepper! Did they import the pepper from Sarawak?!

My family was split on their review of the white pepper crabs as some would still prefer chilli crabs, butter crabs etc. However, all agreed that the crabs were really fresh and juicy! 

Time check - 6.53 pm; we had controlled our time well. 

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Location
534, Geylang Road and 
Corner of Geylang Lorong 30,
Singapore 389490

Map
As above.

Operating Hours
5.30 pm to 2.30 am

Reservation
6741-2418

As mentioned earlier, reservation would be better as the queue can be irritating long and you have to endure the pollution from the road too.

Can't bear the wait for a table? Ask for takeaway and don't blur blur stay in the queue. Just walk into the eatery and order it from one of the waiters / waitresses. 

Pricing
Fried Garlic Chilli Clams (Small) - S$16.00
Brinjal Potato with Chilli (Small) - S$12.00
Cameron Highland Dragon Vegetables (Medium) - S$18.00
King Pork Ribs (Medium) - S$18.00
3 Delicacy Beancurd (Medium) - S$18.00
Salted Egg Prawn Ball (Medium) - S$30.00
JB San Lou Bee Hoon (Big) - S$14.00
White Pepper Crab - S$76 for two crabs
(Inclusive of GST)

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