I made another rare trip east just for food. The place was at the newly renovated Bedok Marketplace, more commonly known as Simpang Bedok Food Centre. Where most hawker centres have many stalls, this one only has 15.
The stalls have undergone extensive reconstruction to look like a row of shophouses. Currently, most stalls are occupied, but some are still setting up
What is interesting here is that there is a mix of local cuisine, like chicken rice and yong tau foo, and other more specific cuisines like yakitori (Japanese skewers), ramen, Vietnamese and even a meat grill! That said, the prices of food here are slightly higher than normal hawker fare.
Since the weather was very hot, I got myself an apple juice from the juice bar. The one-week-old stall did not have a menu yet, but the stall owners strongly recommended their Red Apple Juice ($2.50) which was made from Washington Apples. Very distinctive reddish colouration and sweet taste.
The stall I came to visit was The Burning Oak, a yakitori stall which uses binchotan, a high quality Japanese charcoal, to grill their skewers. The charcoal is made using Japanese Oak, which is denser and more able to retain heat while burning.
The Burning Oak celebrated their grand opening on 24 March, hence accounting for the numerous flower arrangements around the stall.
This dish is still nameless at the moment but totally memorable. The soft-boiled eggs went really well with the bonito flakes and signature house sauce. However, it got a bit too salty towards the end when there was little egg left but an abundance of sauce.
Japanese Curry Risotto Balls ($), which were the bomb! It is so difficult to get perfectly cooked risotto, and they had done that in Japanese style. This, while not yakitori, was the most impressive dish I had.
A platter of yakitori (from left): Negima (chicken thigh, $2), Tsukune (chicken meatball, $2), Wagyu Beef Short Ribs ($6), Pork Belly ($2) and Iberico Pork Cheeks ($5).
Both chicken dishes were poorly executed. The chicken thigh, served with leek, was overcooked and had a bitter aftertaste. In addition, the chicken meatballs had only flavour on the outside and was very mushy inside.
I enjoyed the texture of the Iberico pork cheeks which was accompanied by apple puree and extremely generous amounts of saffron. The pork belly was also pretty good, with the help of the capsicum sauce.
I saved the best for last! The 72-hours stewed wagyu short ribs were so tender! And it was a steal at only $6.
The Burning Oak
348 Bedok Road, #02-16
Opens daily from 1200-1430hrs and 1730-2200hrs