Last Updated: June 28, 2018
Nothing beats home-cooked food, especially by my late grandmother. But recently, I’ve tried One Bowl Restaurant & Bar‘s folksy comfort food and I’ve got to say, it comes pretty close.
Chef Tammie Loke, a public-servant-turned-chef, helms One Bowl Restaurant & Bar. Nestled in the shophouse-styled Sultan Hotel at Kampong Glam, I can’t think of a location more fitting for Chef Tammie’s homely traditional cooking.
One Bowl Restaurant & Bar has a posh interior that makes guests feel like royalty. You might even meet Chef Tammie herself, who often whizzes in and out of the kitchen to chat up diners. Don’t fret, she doesn’t bite!
With a cosy bar space for guests to unwind at, One Bowl really puts the “glam” in Kampong Glam.
The restaurant serves up affordable comfort food grounded in traditional cooking. When you visit, you absolutely cannot leave without trying Chef Tammie’s signature char siew dishes.
She only makes the hot-selling pork belly char siew before each meal session, so come early before it sells out!
Her bestseller is this hearty bowl of Signature Char Siew Noodles ($9.90). Filled with thin, springy egg noodles, the dish was completed with beautifully-charred char siew pieces with a sweet, gooey speciality sauce.
The result of three hours of meticulous preparation, the fatty char siew literally melted in my mouth.
The oodles of noodles were also able to hold their own in this char siew dish. While they weren’t smothered in sauce, they were still very flavourful with a tinge of garlic aroma. I can see why this dish is a bestseller.
My only question is: why isn’t there more of the heavenly char siew?
For a smaller taste of the glorious char siew, I strongly recommend getting the Signature Char Siew in Fried Mantou ($5 for 2 pieces, $12 for 6 pieces). This dish combines both char siew and mantou in one for a truly sin-dulgent experience.
Lightly crisp on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside, the mantou was ridiculously good. Top that with sweet, fatty char siew pieces, and the combination is irresistible.
There was even a hint of freshness from the cucumber. With such a thick piece of char siew, it’s hard to believe these dainty buns are only $2 each!
One Bowl Restaurant & Bar also delivered a delicious Braised Tofu with Ginger Sauce ($10). The contrasting textures of the silky tofu and the light crispiness of the tofu skin were especially enjoyable. Albeit a little strong, the ginger sauce gave a refreshing sourness that tied the dish together.
One of my favourite home-cooked treats is my grandmother’s Ngoh Hiang. Naturally, I had high expectations for Chef Tammie’s Ngoh Hiang ($13), and I wasn’t disappointed. Following a traditional recipe, her rendition stood out for the crispness of the skin that crackled with each bite.
These five-spice meat rolls were bursting with pork meat, and the flavour was lifted by some fresh prawn bits. Do make sure to get a bit of the sauce in each bite for a tang of sweetness. My verdict? Chef Tammie’s Ngoh Hiang easily makes a close second to my grandmother’s home recipe!
If you love the Chinese Lap Mei Fan, you have got to try the Claypot Rice ($11.90). This bowl has two kinds of sausage (lap cheong and blood sausage) which makes a palatable mix of sweet and salty flavours.
The claypot rice itself was cooked well, and it was soft but with a slight chew in each grain. I also enjoyed the morsels of salted fish bits in the rice which enhanced the dish.
Be sure to pair it with the homemade chilli sauce that is flavoured with plum, it had my companion raving non-stop about!
Chinese food is essentially a communal affair. So how about getting the Fish Porridge with Special Condiments ($9.90) for the family? Of course, it’s no ordinary congee, because it’s enhanced with Chef Tammie’s secret sauce. Made from caramelised shallots, the dark sauce added a balanced sweet-and-sour flavour to the dish.
The porridge had a good consistency and the flavours were lifted with the sharpness from bits of ginger. While the porridge should be shared, you’ll want to chope the tender fish pieces!
Finally, finish your meal on a sweet note with the Aiyu Jelly with Aloe Vera ($4.80). Considering the hot weather in Singapore, this dessert is just the thing to cool off mid-day.
Adorned with wolfberries, the blend was refreshing and zesty, with some sweetness from the jelly.
Most Singaporeans will admit that nothing comforts the soul more than home-cooked food. With Chef Tammie’s home-style cooking, you will experience a comforting meal that’s just like growing up with Grandma’s cooking!
I am just astounded at how most of the dishes here didn’t even hit $12. I am certain to be back because one bowl is simply not enough at One Bowl Restaurant & Bar.
Expected Damage: $15 – $30 per pax