Braise 卤之家, Golden Mile Food Centre: While incredibly delicious, the wait time is unjustifiable

How long are you willing to wait in line for good food? Arguably, long queues around hawker centres have become synonymous with praiseworthy delights. Well, this week’s hot topic around foodie communities goes to Braise 卤之家 over at Golden Mile Food Centre. Being the eager hunter I am when it comes to food gems, I made a trip down to the food hub to check it out.

Braise 卤之家 Shopfront

Now, here’s the thing; I arrive on the dot at 11am and joined the queue (which already had eight people in front of me!) and thought it would take at the very maximum, 20 minutes before it was my turn. To my surprise, the two-man team did not start serving customers in the queue until 30 minutes later, as they were prepping bulk takeaway pre-orders.

Braise Lu Zhi Jia Menu

Once the queue started moving, it became apparent to me that most would order two bowls to dine-in, and pack almost four bowls to-go.  By the time it got to the fifth person in line, two bestsellers—Taiwan Braised Pork Rice (S$3) and the Braised Pork Rib Set (S$5)—were sold out. I think I speak for most of us in the queue that this was pretty disappointing, especially as early customers.

My total wait time? 70 minutes. As dejected as I was, I came for the legendary bowls, of which my expectations peaked, in hopes of making up for the long wait.

What I tried

Braise Lu Zhi Jia - Chef's Set

All that waiting certainly worked up an appetite. I snapped some shots and jumped right into Braised Pork Cheek Set (S$8), otherwise known as Set E or Chef’s Choice. It’s the biggest and priciest bowl on the menu but its portion was definitely worth it.

This bowl came with a large helping of pork cheek, fragrant rice, whole ajitsuke tamago (seasoned ramen eggs), taukwa (pressed tofu), taupok (tofu puffs), shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, and boiled vegetables.

Tender Braised Pork Cheek

With just one bite, it was clear as day why people would queue the bowls at Braise 卤之家. The pork cheek was beautifully tender and utterly flavourful when mixed with the rich and thick gravy. It was earthy and had just the right amount of saltiness, which made every spoonful almost addictive.

The ramen eggs are as is—nothing short of what would you expect from soy-seasoned eggs. A commendable effort to the team for mixing it up with runny eggs, rather than the traditional hard-boiled ones. One for the ‘gram!

Braise 卤之家 beancurd sides (Taukwa & Taupok)

The taukwa and taupok are expected sidekicks when it comes to braised pork rice. A vital role in completing the dish, for which without them, would be a pretty lacklustre bowl.

I must say, the combination of flavours within one unassuming bowl was truly impressive. At S$8, one might think its price tag is on the higher end for a hawker dish, but I think it’s well worth the money. An incredible effort by the chefs who have invested their time, money and heart into perfecting the iconic dish.

Braise 卤之家 - Braised Pork Belly Set with Chilli

Now, for my favourite bowl at Braise 卤之家—Braised Pork Belly Set (S$5). This bowl easily snuggled its way into my heart and left a lasting impression. The toppings are similar to that of the former signature bowl, with braised pork belly instead, and half a ramen egg less.

Tender braised pork belly

As I peeked into the braised pork belly, I couldn’t help but be reminded about my 70-minute wait time. It constantly lingered at the back of my mind: are the bowls more delicious than usually are, because I was starving by the time I got my order? Oh well, everyone’s experience here differs from day to day, I guess.

Now, back to the pork belly. For S$5, this was melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I could be biased towards the cut of pork belly over pork cheek but if you ask me, this would be the Chef’s Special instead! Of course, the luscious gravy changed the flavour game to make this bowl the highlight of my afternoon.

Braise 卤之家 - Pork Belly & Chilli

Before I forget, you have to help yourself to the spicy, tangy, homemade chilli. I’m a huge fan of zesty chilli sauces, and this proved worthy of a shoutout. It takes the already impressive dish up a notch with every bite.

Final thoughts

 Braised Pork Belly Set

While the braised pork bowls at Braise 卤之家 were incredibly delicious, they fell short of justifying the long wait time. While the team is still in the early stages of operations, I am hopeful for the team to improve its operations. For me, a return visit is definitely guaranteed to get my Braised Pork Belly Set, provided the queues vanish once the hype fades.

A friendly suggestion to the management at Braise 卤之家: perhaps introducing a limit of how many bowls each customer can order and takeaway would help avoid popular dishes from selling out too early. Fingers crossed!

Expected damage: S$3 – S$8 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Braise 卤之家

505 Beach Road, Golden Mile Food Centre, #01-104, Singapore 199583

Our Rating 4/5

Braise 卤之家

505 Beach Road, Golden Mile Food Centre, #01-104, Singapore 199583

Telephone: +65 8338 1583
Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm (Tue to Sun), Closed Mon
Telephone: +65 8338 1583

Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm (Tue to Sun), Closed Mon
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