Sik Bao Sin (or Desmond's Creation as its named for its chef-owner), is another one of those second generation hawkers. Spawned from Sik Wai Sin several streets away along Geylang Road, Sik Bao Sin is the offshoot of one of two sons of the founder at the former. While Sik Wai Sin is now charged by the elder son Steve, the younger son Desmond decided to make his own way with his own cze char joint. It's a no-frills place serving up a decidedly limited menu dominated by sauteed dishes, which Desmond specialises in. It's not to say that there's some kind of juicy family feud, both brothers are still close, and the whole family has purportedly blessed Desmond's venture.
We were lucky to have dined right when they opened for business one early Friday evening, as the small-ish shop space was completely packed by the time we finished our dinner and left.
While I found the place charmingly old-school, the Hubs thought the food relatively middling. He makes a fair point: while the cooking was competent and food hearty enough, it was also lacking that something special, which makes cze char food 'pop'. It might be the mellower flavours of the food, or the lack of a distinctive 'wok hei', but Sik Bao Sin wasn't outstanding enough to warrant repeat visits.
The bestseller, Tofu Prawns ($19), lush with an egg-drop gravy, was velvety and redolent of garlic notes. Delightful when slathered over white rice, but wasn't memorably punchy.
The Ginger Chicken ($19) was surprisingly sweet-ish, as the chunks of ginger were candied with honey accents. I would have preferred this simply savoury, sans the sweet elements.
The swimmingly fresh and hugeeeee Prawns with 'Special Sauce' ($33) were burnished with some kind of sticky-sweet-unctuous glaze, like a mix of marmite and oyster sauce, enlivened with lashings of spring onions.
The star of dinner, was the Garlic Fried Kailan ($12) wonderfully crunchy and delicately slicked with light soy so it didn't detract from the natural taste of the greens.
The Watercress Soup ($19) needed a little salt, but it was delicious in its simplicity and homespun goodness.
Sik Bao Sin (Desmonds Creation)
592 Geylang Road
Tel: 6744 3757
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 9.30pm for dinner;
Closed on Mondays