Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Canteen

C says:

This is turning out to be quite the Les Amis weekend. Casa Verde yesterday, and The Canteen at Shaw Centre today. Ever since the Posh Nosh chick wrote about the XO sauce Lo Shi Fun (mee tai mak) here, I’ve been wanting to give it a try, but A was loath to pay jacked-up prices for what is essentially hawker fare.

I understand not wanting to pay $16 for a laksa with udon, but if you can get over the mental block of eating designer hawker food, some of the dishes are actually given a sufficiently upmarket twist that you don’t really feel that you’re being ripped off.

We started with the duck spring rolls, served with a chilli mayonnaise. This was quite reasonable - $6 for four spring rolls, which were generously filled with something resembling shredded duck confit. I was very pleasantly surprised with this.

My Lo Shi Fun was everything I expected it to be – fragrant from the XO sauce, slightly spicy, and comfort food at its best. They’re very generous with the minced pork and diced century egg, and they even added some chopped long beans to give some crunch. A generous squeeze of the lime also helped it from becoming a bit too jelak.

A picked the one thing that he wouldn’t compare to a hawker dish – the Hanbaagu, which is a Japanese hamburger steak. It came topped with an egg, and surprisingly served with a bowl of rice. This was fairly ordinary; I much preferred mine.

I would be hard pressed not to order the Lo Shi Fun again, but they’ve also got a soft shell crab mee pok that’s calling to me for our next visit. The place was surprisingly quite empty on a Sunday afternoon, but it started filling up after about 1.30 as we were leaving. They don’t take reservations though, so you just have to try your luck. They open till late on weekends (1 am), and their entire menu is available all day, with the exception of their high-tea set. This consists of various types of thick toasts, I think, and it’s only served in the afternoons.

The place is a lot more casual and less chi-chi than I expected. All in all, not a bad alternative if you’re in the vicinity.

A says:

Food and service are excellent. Location is too if you don’t mind eating in such an open corridor space. Other than the price being on the high side, this place gets top marks for me.

The Canteen
1 Scotts Road
#01-01B Shaw Centre
Tel: 6738-2276
Sun – Thurs: 11.30 am to 11 pm
Fri and Sat: 11.30 am to 1 am

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