6 Salivating Choices at Punggol Waterway Point
Punggol used to be an ulu ghost town, but has since gone through an extreme face-lift and become one of the most exuberant neighbourhoods in Singapore. Sitting at the heart of Punggol is Waterway Point which, since its opening in 2016, bustles with life.
With more and more young families immigrating to the north-eastern corner of Singapore, Waterway Point has inevitably become the main source of food for many Punggol-ians. On weekends, the whole population of Punggol will be concentrated here, and you can expect to walk amongst throngs of families as you cluelessly saunter around in search of a place for dinner.
Waterway Point is an integral part of this fairly new and lustrous neighbourhood, and it seems that every big-name franchise wants to have a piece of this cake. Filled with established F&B chains and eateries, you may find yourself uninspired despite the array of choices presented, as you’ve probably seen these offerings countless times. Regardless, don’t let yourself be turned off by the brand saturation! Here are 6 choices that you can consider the next time you’re wandering around Waterway Point.
1. Grove 一素
Marketed as a meat-free, quick service restaurant that caters to the busy lifestyles of Singaporeans, Grove is a brainchild of Elemen – a homegrown vegetarian restaurant chain. Sitting right next to Koufu, this dainty-looking eatery presents you with salivating choices of healthy and natural vegetarian food. They offer bento rice sets, noodles, light snacks and even juices and teas. With its simplistic interior and pastel-toned walls, it is one pretty-looking cafe, I would say.
There is a raging obsession to eat healthy these days, and vegan diets are becoming very popular amongst the young ones. If you belong to that part of the population, you’re in a for a treat! Grove’s Signature Dry Truffle Ramen ($8.80) puts a spin on Chinese la mian, by adding an ‘atas’ touch. Tossed in their homemade truffle sauce, each strand of la mian is thoroughly coated and perfumed by the truffle while staying springy to the bite.
Topped with fresh black fungus, mushrooms and Nai Bai, you can expect a good mix of textures in your mouth even without meat. It is not a looker with its boring colours, but you know what they always say – don’t judge a book by its cover.
Greetings to those at the other extreme end, I can smell your fear for meatless food from here. If one day, you’re unwillingly dragged here by one of your family members or friends, you might find comfort in the Laksa Soup Ramen ($7.80) for your finicky taste buds. Cooked in creamy coconut milk, the soup packs a flavourful punch and warms your stomach with its gentle kick of spice. Topped with tofu puffs, straw mushrooms and vegetarian fishcakes, it is a wholesome and satisfying meal.
2. Uncle Leong Signatures
Taking its first steps back in a humble coffee shop at Ang Mo Kio, Uncle Leong Seafood has since grown its brand and opened three full-fledged restaurants in Singapore. Uncle Leong Signatures is one of them, the others being the famous Mellben Seafood and Mellben Signatures. If you’re reading this near payday or a family member’s birthday, you can consider having a well-deserved celebration here with their juicy seafood and the extensive menu of zi char dishes.
Its name – Shimmering Sand Crab (seasonal pricing) is already enticing, but its mouth-watering presentation deserves a complete 10/10. The juicy orange creature bathes in a generous pool of sauce, which is a well-balanced combination of butter, white pepper, and cheese. It is then sprinkled with piquant curry leaves and golden cereal, which creates a picture of the crab shimmering under the sun in the sand.
Thick and creamy with a light touch of aromatic spices, the sweet and savoury sauce is perfect for dipping the juicy white crab meat. The cereal then provides extra crunch. You can even order man tou to mop up any remaining sauce, which is more socially-acceptable than licking the plate clean.
To all of you who are addicted to caffeine, the Nescafe Pork Ribs ($13.80/&18.80/$23.80) might just be up your alley. This dish features tender pork ribs marinated and stewed for at least 4 hours in the chef’s special blend of Nescafé coffee and spices, wrapped in aluminium foil to capture all the flavours. The intensity of the coffee is successfully brought out, and the deep fragrance of Nescafé lingers in your mouth.
3. London Fat Duck
We have patronised their outlet at Raffles City, you can read our full review here.
This is based on our experience at Raffles City.
Well-known for their Cantonese-style roast ducks, London Fat Duck has been given the premium status of Wagyu duck for its quality meat. Unlike what its name suggests, London Fat Duck is a Chinese restaurant, which specialises in dim sum with a focus on their signature roast meats.
Of course, Braised Duck (Whole: $58 Half: $32) is the thing to stuff your face with at London Fat Duck. The slices of meat feature a well-braised skin with a layer of fat hidden underneath. Rendered fat also infuses the flavourful sauce so that it becomes rich and fragrant. The meat itself is succulent and tender, paired with the sauce, this might be one of the best braised ducks around.
If your sweet tooth is acting up again, you can even try the Durian Mousse ($6.80) here, which is a surprising standout in the menu. In the small bowl sits a generous dollop of rich and luscious durian purée, with a sweet layer of gula melaka. It serves as an indulgent way to end your meal after all the salty roast meats and dim sum.
4. Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh
We have patronised their outlet at Fusionopolis, you can read our full review here!
This is based on our visit at Fusionopolis.
There are tons of bak kut teh stalls out there, but Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh is the one that has its roots all the way back to the 1920s. Travelling to Singapore from China, Ah Hua was intrigued by the taste of Teochew BKT, and pursued culinary success under his village elder, Uncle Rong. Before passing, he named Ah Hua as his successor, giving rise to the name – Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh.
On some days, we just want something familiar and warming in our stomachs. The broth served here is Teochew-style and homely, with a well-balanced peppery flavour. In the piping hot soup, you can find pork ribs that are tender, albeit not fall-off-the-bone soft. Order some youtiao to go along with the clear soup, and get as many rounds of refills as you need.
If you’re looking for something that excites your palate, another note-worthy dish here is their Kong Bak Pau. Go ahead and wedge that fatty, glistening piece of pork belly in between the soft white buns, or just eat the meat by itself. The pork belly is braised in a luscious gravy which brings a bit of tang with the black vinegar in it.
Earlier this year, this Austrian Bakery brought its Devil Cheese Buns to Singapore, and being the cheese-obsessed bunch of people that we are, Singaporeans flocked to this bakery like moths to a flame. I still remember seeing a picture of this glorious-looking chunk for the very first time and travelling here all the way from the West just to get my creepy little hands on it.
The craze for this bun was sadly short-lived, but it was an unforgettable fluffiness in my mouth. That memory lingers even today. The Cheese Bun Original ($5.80) sees a pillowy-soft bun cut in the middle, slathered with an obscene amount of velvety cream cheese, and then dusted all over with milk powder. Despite how heavily creamy it looks, the cream cheese is not cloyingly sweet, and downing the whole bun is not a challenge. For a less sweet option, give their Tiramisu Bun ($5.80) a try as well; The cocoa powder on the outside balances the sweetness of the cream cheese. If you haven’t tried this, stop sleeping on it!
6. Osaka Ohsho
On the outside, Osaka Ohsho looks like a basic Japanese restaurant that sells ramen. Well, you can definitely find ramen here, but the main reason you should be coming here is their delightful dumplings. Translated as ‘The King of Gyoza in Osaka’, this restaurant serves affordable gyoza at only $3.90 for 6 pieces!
Encased in Osaka Ohsho’s wonton wrapper, the filling is a mixture of cabbage, ginger, garlic, and three kinds of pork. While the exterior is pan-fried to a crisp golden-brown, the filling is kept moist and juicy, which is a joy to bite into every time.
For a meal, you can order the Fuwatoro Tenshin Han Set($12.90), which gives you this adorable-looking dome and six gyozas. As cute as it looks, the thick blanket of omelette is done to a fluffy texture and protects the rice within it. The big eggy structure sits in a pool of thick gravy, which resembles the consistency of shark’s fin soup. Get messy with it and mix it around, you’ll find that it is reminiscent of our own mui fan.