It seems like the Korean craze has well and truly taken over our shores and the flame beneath all those army stews doesn’t look like it’s going to be extinguished any time soon.
Now we have what seems to be the first 100% Muslim-owned Korean fried chicken and army stew stall in Tampines called Waker x Oppa!
This duo concept stall is a bit of a hunt to locate, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area, but once you’ve found it, you’ll be glad you made the journey.
The Waker Hot Wings ($7 for three pieces, $13 for six pieces) were a fantastic way to start the meal. The crunchiness blew me away! The dish also thankfully lived up to its name and packed a hot punch, which was really addictive.
Tearing apart the wings, I could see just how juicy and well-cooked they were. These fried birds easily beat out every other fast food fried chicken I’d tasted so far, and only after I’d licked my fingers clean did I learn that they’d been marinated for 12 hours. Super shiok!
Up for a real feast? They also serve Waker Tenders ($7 for five pieces, $13 for 10 pieces) and Waker Original/Hot Spicy ($13 for half chicken, $25 for whole chicken).
The smaller portion of the Waker Original/Hot Spicy comes with two sauces, while the whole bird comes with four sauces. Should that be insufficient for you, there’s also the option to add on any of their homemade dipping sauces for $0.40 each.
Some of their more notable sauces were Wasabi Mayo, Singapore Sambal, Emi’s Sweet Curry, Dak’s Spicy Salted Egg and Dak’s Lime Citrus Mayo.
Personally, I really enjoyed how complementary the Wasabi Mayo was with the fried chicken, as it lent some great acidic and tangy balance to the overall taste.
Moving on to the grills, we had the Basic Set ($14) of the Singa-Korean Hotpot And Grill. Perfect to share between two people, it comes with your choice of soup (just to name a few; Honey Ginger Chicken, Traditional Tom Yum, Herbal Coconut and Singapore Mala).
The Basic Set also comes with Siam Salmon Fishcake, Enoki Mushrooms, Egg Tofu, Fish Balls, Sausages, Crabsticks, Noodles and Egg.
If you wish to beef things up, you can add on one of the assorted platters that range from Chicken ($10) to Beef ($11), Mutton ($12) and Seafood ($13).
Grilling the meat and seafood right above the moat of tom yum soup allowed all the ingredients’ natural juices to overflow and trickle into the soup, contributing extra fat and depth to its flavour.
With a variety of ways to prepare the meats, there were really a lot of different flavours going on. The smell was intoxicating, and I couldn’t wait to dig in!
Surprisingly, I really liked how the seafood turned out, especially the fish. I reckon it’s due to the seafood being able to absorb more of the oils and broth better.
The meats were especially tender and well-seasoned; there’s nothing worse than grilling quality meat that missed out on its chance to shine because of a lack of spices, and there was none of that here.
Another star was, of course, the Army Stew ($18). Although it already comes fully-loaded, you can also treat yourself to more ingredients for a few extra dollars, like Chicken ($4), Beef ($5), Mutton ($6) or Seafood ($7).
My only wish was for it to be a little spicier (but that’s just a preference). The flavours were really intense, and the soup was thick. In comparison to other army stews I’d enjoyed before, this one could very well be one of the best.
Oh, and if noodles aren’t your thing, they also offer Korean Multi-grain Rice for $1.20 per serving. Dribble some army stew soup all over this and let it soak up all the spicy, sour-y goodness!
As I was working on this article, I was reminded of how unforgettably crispy and moist Waker x Oppa’s Korean fried chicken was, and I could literally hear my tummy let out a growl.
If you’re in the area, or if you live nearby, I highly suggest you make a beeline for this place for delicious Korean food.
Expected damage: $7 – $30 per pax