Last Updated: February 10, 2018
Famously known for housing the Michelin-starred bak chor mee stall, Tai Hwa Eating House at Crawford Lane is also home to Happy Chef Western, a great alternative for those who can’t see the appeal of queuing too long for a bowl of noodles.
There’s a huge menu that spans across the entire wall near the stall, so take your time and try not to get confused by the numerous options available to you.
I went for the Chicken Kiev ($10) to start. You’ll get a choice of two side dishes so I went with the mashed potato and vegetables. I thought the chicken was done pretty decently; the breading wasn’t too thick and the meat was still tender and juicy. The main selling point is the cheese within, but that was a little lacklustre in my opinion.
It wasn’t stringy enough, and I felt that parmesan or cheddar could have been blended into the cheese mix to add a little saltiness and flavour. The side of mashed potato was smooth, albeit a little grainy, but I would forego the vegetables because they were bland and a little on the mushy side.
The presentation of a dish is crucial, and sadly, the Pork Ribs ($9) couldn’t deliver on that aspect, but flavour wise, it was my favourite. The sweet-spicy sauce went perfectly with the tender meat that practically fell off the bone.
I chose the fries and potato salad with this and I was absolutely in love with the salad, which was well-seasoned with nice chunky potato bits. The fries were decent, devoid of the dreaded sogginess while being appropriately salted.
The Sirloin Steak ($9) was the last dish I had with coleslaw and fries. I requested for it to be done medium rare, and I kept my expectations low, as I usually would with all Western hawker centre stalls.
When it was served, it was still pink in the middle which was good, although it was a little on the tough side. The flavour of the beef wasn’t too prominent, and the pepper sauce was definitely decent.
I usually avoid coleslaw because I’ve had a bad experience with rancid slaw before, but this isn’t too bad, with the mayonnaise still sweet and not watery.
I wouldn’t say that Happy Chef Western is the first place I would think of when asked about Western hawker stalls, but for the price, I would very gladly drop by to have another plate of the Pork Ribs if I’m in the vicinity.
Expected damage: $10 per pax