Reopened in a coffeeshop at Block 350 Ubi Avenue 1, Mr Lor Bak serves traditional braised pork with a twist. Inspired by his travels to Taiwan and the Lor Bak we get locally, the owner Mr William Liou has opened a stall serving this humble dish.
Mr Liou creates his own concoction to braise the pork belly, as well as the eggs in. We had a whiff of it, and boy did it smell good! It reminded us of times spent peeking into grandma’s kitchen, trying to see what was for dinner, despite getting chased out countless times.
The Lor Bak has all the spices found in the Peranakan rendition of this dish along with many more that Mr Liou feels will enhance the flavour of the dish. Mr Liou changed the recipe and now the pork is braised for over 16 hours in the flavourful broth, resulting in pieces of tender goodness. (Psst, it’s his secret recipe so don’t try asking for it!)
Once braised, the pork is left in a slow cooker to be gently warmed until it is time to serve. As Mr Liou pulled out the glistening piece of pork out, we couldn’t wait to get in into our tummies. The dark, rich sauce enveloped the pork, shimmering against the lights.
One thing my grandma used to say, “When you eat Lor Bak, the zhup (sauce) also very important”. Here at Mr Lor Bak, the consistency, colour and fragrance drew us in before we even started eating. We were just completely distracted by the notion of tucking into the meat and sauce with some piping hot rice to pay attention to anything else.
When the dish hit the table, we were not disappointed. The 卤肉饭, or Braised Pork Rice ($3) was served with rice, a whole chunk of pork belly, an egg, and black fungus.
An ingredient you don’t often see in your Lor Bak Png (rice), Mr Liou told us that he added black fungus to help reduce jelak-ness (being overwhelmed) from the richness of the pork belly. Oh, and did you know black fungus helps to lower cholesterol levels? You can safely savour this dish with slightly less guilt.
The Lor Bak fell apart as we picked it up with our chopsticks and sure enough it melted in our mouths. The savoury yet caramelised flavour from the sauce left us wanting more. The crunch of the black fungus lent an interesting textural contrast to the dish.
Mr Liou ensures that the eggs are slightly undercooked before braising them in the sauce, ensuring a soft yolk to complement the dish.
Don’t get me started on the chilli; homemade, spicy and flavourful, it was the perfect accompaniment to the braised pork. The spiciness accentuated each mouthful, adding another dimension to the braised pork belly and the sides.
Although we would have preferred more pork on the dish to sate our inner carnivore, we really enjoyed what was put in front of us, and would gladly finish another bowl (or even two)!
We also got some of the new add-ons, Taupok ($0.50) and Preserved Vegetables ($0.50) on the side. The taupok is braised for 10 hours, resulting in a soft spongy texture that is infused with the taste of the braising stock.
The preserved vegetables is another recipe from Mr Liou’s grandmother; a mixture of sweet and salty meicai is cooked with orange peel and old garlic. This results in a tangy side of vegetables with a hint of sweetness that helps to cut through the richness of the meat.
What are you stew waiting for? Drop by Mr Lor Bak at Ubi Avenue 1 to enjoy the rich, fatty goodness that Mr Lor Bak serves!
Expected Damage: $3 per pax