Lin Ji (林記), Viva Business Park: “Lin Ji’s pork braising sauce is a masterpiece on its own”

Stormy days are meant to be spent in bed, cuddling under the sheets whilst enjoying the ASMR of rain droplets trickling down the window. Unfortunately, I was tasked to pick my nephew from his gymnastic class and that was how I ended up at Viva Business Park on a wet, Saturday afternoon.

How does a kiasu aunt kill one-hour of her time when she arrives early? With food, of course.

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Instead of joining the row of parents marvelling at their kids performing cartwheels and flips, I decided to first pacify my growling tummy. A bowl of soupy noodles seemed like a perfect choice for the weather but since the queue for Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu would probably require half an hour’s wait, I opted for the next best option—Pig Trotter Rice from Lin Ji (林記).

The latest endeavour by the same owners of Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu, which is located within the same food court, Lin Ji specialises in Longjiang pig trotter rice, a delicacy commonly found in the Guangdong province of China.

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Intrigued by the old school flavour of the dish they tried during their trip to Longjiang Town last year, the owners decided to learn the ropes from a local chef. After three gruelling months in China, they returned to Singapore and established the eatery in October 2019. 

What I tried

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If you are thinking of vinegar pig trotters or the classic Singapore-style pork leg braised in dark soy sauce, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. Pig Trotter Rice (S$4.90) served at Lin Ji is a milder, toned-down version that despite its look, packed a medley of distinct flavours. 

Chunks of pig trotters glistened under the spotlight as the chef swiftly deboned a generous serving of meat and placed it on a bed of short-grain rice. The rice bowl was then completed with a serving of salted vegetables, a slice of Meatloaf and topped with a heap full of Chinese coriander.

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Braised until the meat was barely keeping it together, it tore apart from the layer of fats with just a slight tug of my chopsticks. The gelatinous layer of collagen was texturally sinful to the lips, leaving a sticky coating after each bite; a foodie’s natural lip balm, I would call it.

Lin Ji’s braising sauce is a masterpiece on its own. Prepared using a mixture of spices along with light soy sauce specially imported from China, the sauce is light enough to be consumed by itself yet, retained a strong herbaceous flavour similar to that used in a bowl of kway chap

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Elevating the brilliance of this dish—in fact all the dishes at Lin Ji—was their chilli. Oh, that saucer of orange concoction is wickedly potent and addictive as it is fiery. Go light on this one as its tanginess will jolt your senses before the heat punches you in the mouth.

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The cold rainy weather called for some comfort to the belly and thus their Mee Sua With Large Intestines (S$5.90) made for an ideal addition. Here, the braising sauce was lightened with the addition of a soup base which tied in perfectly with the thin wheat noodles. 

The only time I ever enjoyed large intestines was when they were fried and loaded with the heady aroma and flavour of wok hei. Lin Ji’s large intestines had a slight musty taste which I felt was too strong my liking. 

The husband, however, enjoyed every single bit of it. “This is considered very clean you know”, he proclaimed as he popped piece after piece into his mouth. 

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I might not be the biggest fan of their intestines, but I sure enjoyed slurping on the silky mee sua which slid smoothly down my throat. A spoonful of crispy fried garlic oil was added into the bowl releasing an intoxicating waft, subtly seducing me. 

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Lin Ji also has a variety of side dishes to accompany your bowl of rice and mee sua. These, however, did not fare as well compared to their outstanding mains. Their Meatloaf (S$3) was one that left me scratching my head.

As much as I relished in its springiness, the dish was rather mundane without much character. In fact, it tasted a lot like regular home-made fish cakes. The question is: why are they called Meatloaf in the first place? 

Final thoughts

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Travelling to Bedok all the way from Punggol is like entering unchartered waters. And I think your girl right here totally deserves a ‘Good Aunty Award’ for doing so especially on a rainy weekend. Thankfully the trip wasn’t a wasted one since I not only got to spend time with my nephew but also managed to find a gem in this rather obscure area.

Fans of stronger flavours might find the dishes at Lin Ji a bit underwhelming, but that’s what makes the dishes here stand out from the crowd. Kayden probably agrees with me too since he wiped out the entire bowl of Pig Trotter Rice by himself after his gymnastic class. After all, who am I to question a ten-year-old?

Expected Damage: S$4.90 – S$8.00 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Lin Ji Pig Trotter Rice

750 Chai Chee Road, Viva Business Park, #01-24, Singapore 469000

Our Rating 3/5

Lin Ji Pig Trotter Rice

750 Chai Chee Road, Viva Business Park, #01-24, Singapore 469000

Telephone: +65 9627 0063
Operating Hours: 10.30am - 9pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 9627 0063

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 9pm (Daily)