Simple Fare

Ping Ji Teochew Tzechar @ Serangoon

Located at the junction of Beatty Road and Serangoon Road are two symmetrical colonial shophouses with art deco facade. On the right side in Xin Wang Eating House, Ping Ji runs a tzechar store.

I came here on recommendation from a friend and immediately I fell in love. The dishes here are your classic tzechar but they have the “home cooked” taste. The fish varieties are limited to red grouper, sea bass and pomfrets, but they are guaranteed fresh and not expensive as compared to the price you pay at other tzechar.

The Dinner for 5 Pax

Since this is Phase 2, we are limited to 5 pax per table. But I have been warned about the size of their portions, and so we ordered 5 dishes in total, including an “appetiser” – prawn paste chicken wings. We wanted to order another of their famous dish the har lok (tiger prawns in heavy sauce), but the prawns were sold out. It was only 7.30pm.

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Condiments

Once you finish ordering, the condiments are served. You get the tzechar standards like pickled green chilli, red chilli pads in light soy sauce, their house made sambal belachan, but to my surprise, the pork lard crackling that would go very well with hor fun and other saucy dishes.

1/5 Fried chicken wings in prawn paste 虾酱鸡翼

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Fried chicken wings in prawn paste 虾酱鸡翼

The must-order prawn paste chicken wings. This dish test the standard of the tzechar store – whether got wok hei, whether they recycle their oil, etc. The chicken wings have a very crispy and tasty skin.

2/5 Deep fried sea bass braised in soy sauce 甘味油炸鲈鱼

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Deep fried sea bass braised in soy sauce 甘味油炸鲈鱼

The sea bass is deep fried and then smothered with a savoury dark sauce that is further enhance with a liberal sprinkling of deep fried ikan bills (anchovies). The sauce was so delicious that I wanted to ask for a bowl of plain steamed rice to just mix the sauce and ikan bilis. But keeping in mind we have a fried rice coming.

3/5 Fried rice 江鱼仔炒饭

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Fried rice 江鱼仔炒饭

Some where in the middle of the meal, the fried rice came. The surprise ingredient in the fried rice was the same deep fried ikan bills (anchovies) that were sprinkled liberally in the previous course.

4/5 Sambal clams 叁芭大头

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Sambal clams 叁芭大头

OK, what we colloquially called 大头 is not clams, but brown mussels. It has been mistaken as razor clams because of the longish, thing shell, but it is the warm water cousin of the green mussels. Anyway, we used to get this all the time, these days we don’t get it in seafood restaurants anymore.

They stir-fry them with a sambal sauce that tasted like the chilli crab sauce, a hint of lemongrass and curry leaf. Very delicious, I almost asked for more plain rice.

5/5 Stir-fry vegetable (romaine lettuce) 清炒油麦菜

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Stir-fry vegetable (romaine lettuce) 清炒油麦菜

Simple and nice.

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This is a traditional tzechar stall situated in a typical corner Chinese coffee shop along Serangoon Road that serves dishes filled with wok hei at a reasonable price. Serving portions are quite big and standard size can serve more than 5 pax. The stall is only operated by a couple probably in their 60’s so the wait is rather long but the wait is worth it as the food is good. Uncle is obliging and aunty has a feisty personality which is often mistaken for being rude in the eyes of non regulars.

Can get crowded as many are regulars. No reservation, so come and grab a table in competition with beer-drinking uncles. Slightly better now that Phase 2 is in place.

Ping Ji Teochew Tzechar 平記潮式海鲜煮炒
566 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218181

Date Visited : Jul 2020

PS: It is in the same coffeeshop as the famous Fried Hokkien Mee store. However, the store has not been opened since Phase 1. Seemed like the store owner has not renewed the lease with the coffeeshop.

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