Homey goodness from One Bowl Restaurant and Bar
Go to One Bowl Restaurant and Bar for comforting and tasty food
She retired from her senior post in the government sector earlier this year and cooked privately for friends and family.
She is always lamenting the drop in standard of our local cuisine. Now, Ms Tammie Loke is having it her way in her littleplace in town, one bowl at a time.
The One Bowl Restaurant and Bar menu, barely more than two weeks old, looks like what someone would cook to show off at a home party.
Her bragging rights come from the dozens who recommended the food to their friends and returned for more. I saw familiar faces the second time I went in a week.
The humble menu is a collection of little bowls of one-meal wonders or snack platters.
"I wanted to please more than just friends. I want everyone, even strangers, to come eat, enjoy their company and then gather feedback from them," said Ms Loke.
She has an ardent partner in Ms Annie Chiam, who is always around with a ready smile and readily pitches their signature dishes.
The both times I was there, I had to order the Signature Char Siew in Fried Mantou ($10 for 6).
The soft, crispy and sweet mantou felt perfect for the humble fatty and meaty piece of char siew that was paired with a slice of cucumber. It was not difficult to dig in to three of the char siew sliders in a go.
I had to have the Crispy Prawn Fritters ($10) again for a simple reason - the ridiculously crispy and firm batter.
The vegetables and prawns were just a good excuse to order it. Dip the prawn in the homemade Thai chilli. You might want to wash the fritters down with a cold one from the bar.
A comforting break from these sinful starters was the Fish Porridge with Special Condiments ($8.90).
The flavour was enhanced by Ms Loke's secret "special" ingredient, which I felt was like a little ladle of caramelised shallot chutney.
The sweet and roasty taste, with shreds of ginger, lifted the fish porridge, a perfect foil to the two fried starters.
Ms Loke's speciality is clearly her soft and tasty char siew, which is featured in the Signature Char Siew Noodles ($8.90).
The thin Cantonese-style wanton mee used was light and al dente. The sauce came sans sambal but with touches of soya sauce and hints of sesame oil.
The chunky and fat slices of char siew sat temptingly atop the noodles. I now know why this is a signature dish.
Then came the Claypot Rice ($10.90) that was not quite the bold and loud hawker version but served in a dainty little soup pot.
Though it lacked the charred flavour I like, the grains came firmer, moist and flavourful. The salted fish, fried Chinese sausage slices, chicken and spring onions were as homely as it came.
Desserts, such as the ice cream and sorbet, were a bit sad as they all came from suppliers, but I know Ms Loke is thinking of introducing her homemade longan and red date soup.
One Bowl Restaurant and Bar
101, Jalan Sultan, #01-02, The Sultan Hotel Lobby