The Place Located at Tiong Bahru, Cheng’s @ 27 dishes out modern Hainanese Zi-char food at a cosy coffeeshop run by the closely knitted Cheng family. Now managed by the Cheng siblings, the brother-sister combo worked with much ease during the busy weekend evening when we visited. Passionately introducing each of their dishes to diners, it is evident that the owners have immense pride of their humble establishment. This is truly a hidden gem in the Tiong Bahru enclave.
Tables lined the outside corridor of the small shop front, with basic decor that characterises the serene nostalgic vibes of the Tiong Bahru neighborhood.
The Food Read some raving reviews of the food here, and I was excited to finally get the chance. First up, the Crispy Chicken with Ginger (S$15) started the dinner on the right groove. The slightly crisp fried chicken, with vinegar ginger sauce, make this dish a delectable mains to go with steamed rice.
The Prawn Roll (S$15), or more famously known as ‘Hei Zho’ locally, is likely fried twice. First intact as a roll, and second sliced up into small chunks to achieve that crunchy texture. While I have enjoyed better Prawn Roll elsewhere, the rendition here hit some right notes.
I strongly recommend you to go for the Pig Trotters Bee Hoon (S$20). That umami, and well-seasoned bee hoon, make this dish a very enjoyable one. Good for sharing, we had the small portion and shared it happily amongst 5 diners.
While we were meant to try their popular Salted Green Mustard Duck Soup, it was sold out during our visit. Our next best option was to settle for their Sliced Fish Soup (S$15), which turns out to be an amazing choice. Light, yet sweet, soup base with sliced fish, greens, tomatoes and other constituent ingredients make this soup irresistible.
Other mains to complete the dinner include the Hong Kong Cai Xin (S$10), and the Omelette (S$12).
For desserts, there are a couple of highlights at Cheng’s. First up, the restaurant will serve up their Kaya Biscuits complimentary to all diners, to end the dinner on a sweet note. That said, we do recommend you to add an order of the Gula Melaka Cake (S$40) here. More popularly known as Pandan Chiffon Cake, the rendition here is generous with gula melaka, and has a moist texture. My only qualm will be the high price tag, as compared to the popular Bengawan Solo’s Pandan Chiffon Cake retailing at S$15. Despite that, it is most definitely worth a try, and perhaps you might like Cheng’s more – and we will tend to agree.
I could not resist another order of dessert, the Kueh Kosui (S$6 per box) which seems to us as the next obvious choice. The kitchen could afford to step up more on the gula melaka element here.
Rants The menu does not state the prices for each dish, so you have to check with the staff before ordering.
Will I Return Again? A definite yes. I enjoyed the zichar dishes here, and while the menu is not extensive, I am already looking forward to returning to savour more of Cheng’s.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Cheng’s @ 27
27 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6223 7883
Daily: 10.30am to 2.30pm; 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Closed on Tuesday
Ranted by The Rantee