Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Singapore Chom Chom, Melbourne

Lunch today was at a place in the CBD called Singapore Chom Chom.  This place certainly isn't anything special inside.  The tables and chairs are basic, and the wall decor is thin.  Still, it's always full of office workers at lunch.

I have eaten here twice before.  Both times I had the Chicken Kapitan with rice.  The first time with spicy eggplant and the second with spicy green beans.  The second visit was so much better than the first - the chicken wasn't so dry and the green beans were spicy as opposed to bland.  Inconsistency may be the word here, and I am guessing it depends on who the chef of the day is.

The menu is vast and one could, if one wanted to that is, spend a good ten or so minutes going through it.  I decided to go for 'Ban Mian with spicy beef' ($9.50).  Ban Mian is a Hokkien style egg noodle soup. 

The noodles are quite doughy and are usually handmade.  The bowl arrived bubblingly steaming hot and was carried with careful precision (so as not to spill any liquid) by a daring young waitress. 

The bowl also contained a boiled egg, choi sum (chinese vegetable) and slices of spring onion (scallions or green onions).  Although the beef chunks were tender, they weren't spicy in the slightest.  In fact, it wasn't a spicy dish at all.  Did they forget to add any chilli?! 

Seeing as I am used to eating chilli on a regular basis and having inherited a partially Thai palate, I am probably not the best judge.  I can only guess that mortals with regular palates would find it spicy. 

Nevertheless it was extremely hot, in the temperature sense of the word and as you can see, the steam was literally bubbling out of it in the picture below. 

The bowl looked huge and I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish it all.  Thankfully, there wasn't a huge abundance of noodles as these ones were pretty doughy and heavy.  All in all, it was OK - not great, but not terrible either.  Perhaps a little bland for my palate...I have had better though and I can safely say that this Ban Main isn't one that I would come back in a hurry for. 

My lunch companion had the 'Chicken Kapitan with noodles' ($9.50).  The Kapitan looked good with plenty of sauce, a handful of steamed choi sum and a very generous amount of noodles. 

You're not going to get a gastronomic meal here, but then I don't think that is the intention.

Singapore Chom Chom is a quick service, cheap lunch - with huge portions, and free tea or water.  If you need just one meal in the day, come here and you'll be sure to fill up for the rest of the day.

Singapore Chom Chom
188 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: +61 (0)3 9663 3778

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