Last Updated: April 21, 2019
Tie Fun Wan is relatively new in the Farrer Park neighbourhood. It is helmed by experienced owner-chef Ken Chia, a veteran in the hotel restaurant circuit. He has served as Head Chef at Crowne Plaza, before making a name for himself with the homely hit Rice and Fries.
The giant neon sign bearing the restaurant name, as well as the playful, tongue-in-cheek posters lining the walls grabbed my attention.
Tie Fun Wan exudes friendly neighbourhood vibes that simply invited me to come in and chill with my friends over local comfort food.
Tie Fun Wan has four main items featured on the menu, as well as a daily special for variety, and everything is quite affordable. Prices start from S$8 and peak at S$14, and all prices are nett!
We started off with the Honey Wings (S$8 for 5 pieces). Delightfully fragrant and tender, the chicken thigh fillet tore apart easily, revealing succulent, steaming morsels that I couldn’t wait to bite into.
The chicken paired nicely with a sweet honey glaze, which slowly gave way to subtle alcoholic notes. We later found out that the wings were marinated in rose wine, prepared in-house by Chef Ken.
We then tried the raved-about 72-Hr Slow Cooked Beef (S$14). The first thing I noticed was how the slices of tender Australian Angus beef broke apart easily. The beef laid on a bed of Japanese pearl rice drenched in a sweet sauce which complemented its gamey sweetness.
By flame-torching the beef before cooking it sous vide style, this locked in the subtle, charred smokiness that enhanced the entire dish.
I’d recommend adding on a 63⁰ Egg (+S$1.50). The golden egg yolk coupled with silky egg white added a new dimension to the dish, bringing together the sweetness of the rice and gaminess of the meat.
Next up, we tried the Daily Special (S$10), which was Mala Pork Collar with Noodles. The punchy mala aroma hit my nose immediately, and I was looking forward to it. The spice surprisingly only tickled my taste buds and did not overpower the other ingredients. It’s mild enough for anyone, regardless of spice tolerance.
The thick, springy noodles soaked up all that peppery, spicy goodness, but still remained springy and not soggy. These are some of the springiest noodles I’ve had, so you should definitely give them a try.
The peppercorn had that sharp, earthy and numbing bite essential to any good mala dish, leaving a lingering spice on my palate that left me craving more. While the pork collar was slightly dry, it was saved by the mala sauce which coated it generously.
We also had the Teriyaki Chicken (S$8) which featured a generous serving of thick, tender and succulent chicken pieces. The smoky bitterness from the chicken skin’s light char added some complexity to the sweet chicken meat and vegetables.
Lastly, we had the Braised Pork (Lor Bak) (S$8). The juicy little morsels of pork were the star of the dish, and they did not disappoint. Soaking up the sweet soy sauce, they were slightly peppery, which I felt was a nice touch.
I personally felt that the rice was a tad on the dry side. Perhaps my palate is used to Taiwanese style lu rou fan, while this dish was intentionally prepared in the traditional Hokkien style.
Each component was above average individually, but I felt that the dish lacked character to set it apart from dishes found elsewhere.
Tie Fun Wan sets itself apart by providing meals that are worth every cent. Where else can you find food prepared by such an experienced chef, utilising complicated and laborious techniques at such wallet-friendly prices?
My personal favourite was the Mala Pork Collar With Noodles (S$10), which I firmly believe should become a permanent fixture on the menu. The 72-hour Slow Cooked Beef (S$14) comes a close second too.
Tie Fun Wan might be a hidden gem for now, but expect the queues to start snaking as more people discover this promising establishment. Bring your friends and family down, join the ‘fan’ club — I know I have!
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$15 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Tie Fun Wan
89 Rangoon Road, #01-03, Singapore 218375
89 Rangoon Road, #01-03, Singapore 218375