Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Food Republic @ VivoCity

Final installation of the exaggerated Mum visit saga.

We were at VivoCity. One of the latest, biggest shopping malls on the island.

I insisted on an extravagant lunch as the girls will be leaving in a few hours. But they were more interested in shopping. Thank you, Chrismas Sale. And you too, Daiso, for the super long queue and the very affordable S$2.00 items. So, the quickest fix for the hunger pang was doing lunch at Food Republic, a neo-classic food court on the third floor of VivoCity.

Well, I wouldn't call that a quick fix as finding seats during lunchtime can prove to be a game of chess, not with me but Garry Kasparov, that is. Once you've conquered a table, you proudly (and slowly) sit on your victory throne, sympathising those still in search of a seat (complete with the 8-beat tsk, tsk, tsk sound effect that would make any beatboxer proud).

Didn't want to revisit the famous stalls, I went for the rather low-profile Beef Hor Fun (stir-fried flat, broad rice noodles with beef). I must apologise for not remembering the price. But it should be in the S$5-6 range. And it did not take me long to realise why people flock to the Hokkien Prawn Noodle stall instead. The whole dish was bland, with just a minimum hint of soya sauce.The amount of sauce was also overwhelming. As you can see, I had to resort to lots of pickled green chilies to perk up the tastebuds. There weren't much ingredients in the noodles too, except for some beansprouts and pieces of beef. But if you are really hungry and taste is not of a concern, the generous portion should attract you. To be fair, I thought the pieces of beef were fresh and smooth (not from the starch coating).

As stated earlier, Mum really knows best. Not just about their children, but also food. Look at what she ordered. The infamous Depot Road's Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa (around S$6-7) that was worth queueing up for.

Served piping hot, the curry was rich and aromatic, thanks to the generous amount of coconut milk. Spiciness was kept minimum, just the way I like it. The al dente thick bee hoon (vermicelli) was the perfect choice as it was rather bland au contraire to the flavourful curry. Other ingredients in the curry included slices of fishcake, hard-boiled egg, beansprouts and dried beancurd. As with any typical Singapore-style laksa, chopped kafir lime leaves were added to provide a touch of freshness to the dish. Thoughtful, I reckoned. Heck, the aroma was so invigorating, the family next to us couldn't resist but to queue up for a pot of magic.

The girls also bought some fried fritters and soya bean milk. The fritters were huge and soft, with crispy skin to boost.The soya milk was dense and flavourful too.

I'll definitely be back to savour the rest of the hawker delights. Ok, higher-priced hawker delights. And brush up my chess skills too, in the meantime.

My initial plan to wrap up their visit with a light dinner at Golden Mile Food Centre was scrapped as the girls continued their cardio workout until the last hour before boarding the bus back to KL.

Food Republic
1 HarbourFront Walk
Singapore 098585
Tel: (+65) 6276 0521


teckiee said...

I always liked Singapore's soya bean drink. No matter how yucky, still nicer to many stalls in Malaysia.

JOjo said...

Hahaha, shopping=cardio???
Anyway, my friends have been telling me the prawn noodles are fantastic, but i really din have time to go. Should make a trip down for the prawn noodles.
Apparently all food republic outlets served good prawn noodles. =)

Simon Seow said...

Ha ha, I'll be coming to Singapore to visit my mum and sister during CNY. Food Republic, here I come.

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh I think The Pavilion Food Republic must be mirror of the this one, must visit and wallop all those food, one by one! shall we all foodbloggers have a go!lol

Alexander said...

Ha. That is a good comment. Most of the time food from food courts aren't that good. I don't mean all, just most of it. :P

Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

ekeng said...

i tot it's Food Republic,Pavilion..haha :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

teckiee: guess they are using real whole soya bean...i used to enjoy the one at petaling street (opposite mata kucing drink). even the tau foo fah (plus brown sugar) was good. dunno whether if it's still around...

jojo: yupe, the queue can be long...even at the kl branch. tried the one at wisma before, many times...hehe...the aroma from the char is wonderful. must eat with the chili paste+lime juice :)

simon seow: thanks for stopping by! seems like lots of people are coming over to sg this cny. and i'm going back to kl..hehe...dunno whether the stalls are open or not during cny but remember to play your chess game well, ya! :)

big boys oven: i want! i want! when ar? you know my schedule lar..haha...weekend only :( ...try the prawn noodle and the toast. the yau char kway also ok lar :)

alexander: yupe, i agree. some stalls are included just to fulfill the quota..hehe...but i must say most singaporean foodcourts are alright, in terms of taste...and cleanliness too! :)

ekeng: hehe...no lar, i still cant find time to eat there...even when i'm there, i'll be spoilt for choice! haven't even tried kampachi and yo sushi...j.co donut also...sigh...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

so this is the 1 pavilion built theirs after?.. haha yes sometimes the underdog isnt exactly the best..

tankiasu said...

Foodcourts in Singapore are worth trying even though the prices are higher than usual. But unlike Malaysia's, you can actually find some gems in those foodcourts there.

ling239 said...

so u have the map in hand ? crossing out those forgetable ones ? :p

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe: yupe, i guess so. I love food republic but am saddened by the fact that we are not able to create a Malaysian foodcourt in the pavilion. Well, then again, everything at the pavilion are imports anyway..hehe…yeah, will take note of underdogs, especially when it comes to soccer gaming in Singapore..haha!

tankiasu: I agree! Food republic, for example, is quite selective when it comes to choosing the tenders. Stalls are only offered to well-known hawkers. Ok, some are overrated, but in general, I guess quality is ensured in one way or another. Darn, I’m thinking of the hokkien prawn noodle again..haha!

ling239: no need map…all inside my brains already, hehe. Nowadays, when I visit certain foodcourts, I will automatically queue up at my favourite stalls, without having to think! Really like food zombie :>

Xiu Long Bao said...

ehh, who said there is no good food in singapore? made me worry over nothing...

wenching & esiong said...

The food seems quite expensive even though it's only food court. Haven't been to Singapore for a long time. Anyway, fortunately the curry was good.

Simon Seow said...

There are a lot of good food in Singapore. You just have to know where to look.

Anonymous said...

I love the chess metaphor to finding a seat in a crowded hawker centre... I think you're a seasoned player though, hahaha.

And trust S'poreans to be better at branding: Food Republic? Marketing themselves as a Republic of Food? Respect from me, man. :)

Jason said...

Erm... eat beef noodle with pickled green chillies?? Won't that overpowering the taste of the beef?

Nic (KHKL) said...

xlb: aiyah, everyday eat claypot laksa meh? haha...should prepare for the worst mah...when you see the next post, u'll kill me..hohoho...think of what you wanna eat next week, ya :)

wenching & esiong: yupe, the curry is good! wonder if they have it in the pavilion...given the location, i think the price is ok...hey, if you plan to come over, let me know :)

simon: i agree. i like the fusion stuff here...but sure won't be able to get kl style hawker food...i hope i didnt scare xlb too much...will try to bring her to some really good eateries!

kenny: the whole direction of food republic itself is pretty clear...famous and some "legendary" hawkers..nothing less. though some tend to be overrated, i thought the quality is there ;)

and i suck in chess..hehe! i prefer word e-games :>

jason: no choice bcos the dish was pretty much tasteless. so, need some flavourful condiments to whip up my appetite. though i would have prefer chili sauce, the chicken rice type...yummy!

Xiu Long Bao said...


i wan sushi, sashimi, soba, matcha ice cream, dimsum and dessert. Not that mch lar.

Nic (KHKL) said...

xiu long bao: not much hor? :P

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina said...

Talking abt food @ Food Republic Vivo City, I have tried a few dishes at different stores..

I really like their Minced Meat Noodles set with their handmade meat ball..

Just been there yesterday to eat.. I think evryone should try..

Enjoying eating ..