Wow, I've really gotten backed up, haven't I?? Because most TV shows go on summer break, I'm most engaged socially and am never around at home. And, because I'm not home, I don't get down to blogging. This was eaten a while back, just before the National Day long weekend.
Long Ji is a relative newbie in the Tiong Bahru dining scene. Apparently, it's no longer just the revolving door of hipster cafes that find the heritage estate so attractive. Located across the alley from Tiong Bahru Bakery, and a little behind cze char-heavyweight Sin Hoi Sai, the small-ish coffeeshop establishment has been doing a roaring trade since it set up shop late last year. Possibly even better than when the chef-owner was toiling in the kitchens at the now-defunct Golden Spoon Seafood (it was "that other restaurant" across the carpark from Por Kee).
I love crabs (so much I eat them at least once a week!) so when photos of Long Ji's crab bee hoon began popping up on my newsfeed on a daily basis, I thought I'll make a point to try the signature dish, see if it was worth the hype.
The impressive-looking Long Ji Crab Bee Hoon ($), a towering mound of bee hoon drenched in broth with a crab sitting pretty atop, was pedestrian. A little disappointing, after all that hype. The lard-tinged broth was sweet but lacked depth, and needed a little spice or piquancy to kick it up several notches. I had to ask for copious lashings of fried garlic crisps, and sambal, for heft.
The highlight of dinner turned out to be the Fermented Pork Belly ($15 for small), another signature dish. The bite-sized strips of pork were scrumptious- flavoursome, and juicy. Elevated by that awesome sambal that was at once punchy and lively. Now, these would make the perfect TV snack come fall TV permieres. I'll return just for these.
The Cereal Pumpkin Beancurd ($18 for small) was also lackluster. It was creamy and sweet enough, but one-dimensional in flavour, and missing in that well-rounded savoury component.
Long Ji Ji Zhar
57 Eng Hoon Street
Open Wednesdays to Mondays from 5pm to 10.45pm; Closed on Tuesdays
Tel: 9790 5682