Je viens d'avoir quarante ans. Et alors je suis officiellement d'âge mûr 😁. Mais contrairement à beaucoup de mes contemporains, je suis parfaitement contente de vieillir, même si je suis maintenant considérée (par la société, surtout en Asie) comme trop âgée 😨.
Je suis toujours en bonne santé donc je peux faire tout ce que je veux, j'ai une vie confortable et je n'ai besoin de rien, j'ai l'amour d'un bon homme et je suis entourée de mes proches, alors que qu'est-ce qu'il y a de malcontent?? La perte de sa jeunesse? la baisse de son taux métabolique? l'apparition de rides? Ben oui, bien sûr! C'est le passage du temps, non? On vieillit, c'est une certitude de vie, donc on devrait essayer de faire de son mieux, et alors sois juste content, ouais? Après tout, "il y a un temps pour tout, un temps pour toute chose sous les cieux", non?
Des connaissances m'ont demandé comment j'avais passé mon anniversaire, et au risque de paraître banale, je n'ai rien fait (sauf pour dormir trop, comme toujours 😂😂). Mais aussi, j'ai toujours cru que si l'on vit pleinement sa vie tous les jours, si l'on utilise au meiux chaque jour, puis on serait content tous les jours. En plus, toute saison, tout ciel, sont bons quand on est deux: tant que j'ai Mon Bou qui me rend heureuse tous les jours, chaque jour serait un jour spécial, non? Et car je vis ma vie comme ça, je n'ai pas besoin de commémorer encore un autre jour spécial. N'est-ce pas?
Famous Kitchen was a discovery made during Phase Two, when WFH was in full swing and we were due a change-up from the same 'ol repeats for takeout. I was also missing Malaysian cuisine (back when leisure travel was a thing, we'd do a weekend sojourn to Penang/Kuala Lumpur just to have our fill of their amazing street food) and so on a whim, I googled "KL" + "Hokkien" + "Singapore" and voilà, The Famous Kitchen showed up as the top result.
As I'd never heard of said restaurant (also because we haven't really found a local rendition of KL Hokkien noodles comparable to the best in Malaysia), we managed our expectations when placing the order for a dinner-time delivery. And so, notwithstanding our low-ish expectations, we were blown away by the fantastic food. What made it all the more amazing was that the food kept very well in spite of the extended journey required to deliver said dinner to our home.
Indeed, I did not realise how far Famous Kitchen is until we drove up North for a recent dinner at the restaurant itself (*post note to self: do not guzzle water just before making the drive at peak hour on a Saturday because my bladder felt every minute of what seemed painfully interminable).
A tip if dining on a weekend: be sure to make reservations. Even with its somewhat ulu-fied location, the restaurant was a bustling full-house and we had trouble getting the (frenzied but really nice) staff's attention just to take our order.
A specialty for good reason, the Deep Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Beancurd ($16 for small) was superb: it was flavourful, crispy and luscious. The roasted garlic was a brilliant touch too.
Though not a signature dish, the Prawn Roll ($14 for small) should have been: their ngoh hiang was absolutely smashing, it was the right balance of crunchy and soft. Perfect binge-watching nibbler.
The Honey Roast Chicken ($16 for half) was a promotional item which turned out pretty commendable. The chicken was decently executed, if a tad unremarkable, but the honeyed chilli sauce was what made it pop.
The Steamed Marble Goby with Preserved Vegetables ($72 for 800gm) was a dish we noticed ordered on almost every table. Per KT's recommendation, we requested additional lashings of black vinegar and fresh chilli. The tangy gravy, dotted with hunks of roasted pork belly, was already delightful on its own, but with the added tang from the vinegar and spice from the chili, it really got a boost. It was heady and kicky and a wonderful riot of flavours.
The Fu Yong Omelette ($12 for small) passed muster too. I would have liked a little more wok hei and crisp on this, but hey the plate was wiped clean-off anyway.
The Poached Spinach with a Trio of Eggs ($12 for small) was perked up with lashings of fried ikan bilis, which lent crunch and umami.
A must-try, the KL-Style Hokkien Mee ($12 for small) is possibly the best fry-up I've had this side of the Causeway. It was rich and unctuous, choc-a-bloc with seafood, and generously laden with cubes of pork lard.
Famous Kitchen should really consider selling their chilli, because it is outstanding. We dunked two whole saucers of it into our noodles, imparting a peppy buzz.
We typically reject appetizers, especially if they aren't complimentary (#cheapskatesFTW) but The Husband really liked the refreshingly tart Marinated Cherry Tomatoes ($2.50).
The Famous Kitchen
54 Sembawang Road
#01-01 Hong Heng Mansions
Tel: 6636 8333 / 6257 1843
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner