Food – the diversity of food is what one misses, among other things, in Singapore. One has a gamut of choices of what to have for a meal with a friend or alone. This time my gal-pal and I decided on a Hong Kong meal. Streats Hong Kong Café was the chosen dinner venue when I dropped by Singapore for a visit. Located at one of the newest mall in the Garden City, City Square Mall on Kitchener Road, Streats Hong Kong Café was no hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It boasted four more outlets on the island namely Liang Court at River Valley Court, IMM Building at Jurong East, Bukit Panjang Plaza at Jelebu Road and eHub Downtown East at Pasir Ris Close. It’s good news not so much because of the number of outlets one can go to but the fact that it has a halal kitchen. It meant that my gal-pal’s list of dining options was slowly getting longer! In the previous years, one could count on one’s hand the number of restaurants in malls that had a halal kitchen. Fast food joints like KFC, Long John Silver, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s were the usual choices for Islam devotees wanting meals in the malls as most halal-certified restaurants were either in hawker centres or in far-flung places. We were always hard-pressed to look for a halal-certified restaurant to dine in. Comparing Indonesia and Singapore, the latter, obviously, pales in comparison in terms of halal-certified dining options as there are myriad choices and the given fact that majority of the food places are halal certified in the former.
Streats Hong Kong Café’s halal menu offered a vast range of choices, but wasn’t strictly Hong Kong. It combined Hong Kong and Singapore dishes. I was only able to pick out three distinctly Hong Kong dishes – dim sum (mostly steamed buns and dumplings), the spicy chicken dish and some noodle dishes that made use of vermicelli-like noodles and slivers of roasted duck as garnishing. The chatter of the diners before us, however, provided that typical Hong Kong vibe together with the tiny white cups of Chinese tea and the rapid turnover of old and new diners.
Notwithstanding the diluted Hong Kong menu, we caught up with each other’s lives over hefty servings of crispy silver fish (a bit salty), Chongqing chicken (spicy!), carrot cake with XO sauce (mildly spicy), and chicken siewmai (no great shakes). Adding a little more punch to my gal-pal’s palate was her “jug” of Salty Dog. Dressed to look like margarita, the innocuous drink belies a very salty punch once you bite into the plums resting at the bottom of the glass. I was less adventurous – Chinese tea was good enough for me.
Before we knew it, we were the last customers to leave the place. The good part was we weren’t chased out, which other establishments would have done by either playing the music far too loud that you couldn’t hear yourself talking or being told bluntly that they’re closing hence you had to leave.
This is one halal food adventure greatly enjoyed and I know there will be a lot more to come. Singapore, without a doubt, won’t disappoint on that note.
Streats Hong Kong Café
180 Kitchener Road #01-01 City Square Mall
Tel: +65 65093902 | Fax: +65 6509 3904