What a name to call a restaurant – Enjoy Eating. And that’s exactly what this place is all about – enjoy eating no matter the cuisine.
Enjoy Eating House was started in 2018 as a small eating house in Jalan Besar founded by two childhood friends, James and Joel, and was inspired by cuisines that they grew up with.
This is their flagship store that had a very eclectic interior design with faux period pieces like posters and trinkets that came from an era that we were having fun. So we knew we would be on a nostalgic trip dining here.
Filial Pie Tee
A Peranakan appetiser Chef Joel regularly prepares for his family featuring fresh prawns, conpoy and stock-poached jicama in six handmade pastry shell.
The first item was kueh pie tee, which they named tongue-in-cheek “Filial Pie Tee”. The jicama filling were rough chops and were thicker than most that I had before. It was a flavourful filling with bits of sweet prawns. The process was to take some of these filling and put them into a small pastry cup and then topped with eggs bits, sweet sauce and a super spicy chilli. Then you popped one of these bites into the mouth, and the repeat the process. There were only 6 cups, but enough fillings for at least 10.
Singapore Style Chilli Prawns
Fresh prawns cooked in a sauce inspired by the famous Singapore chilli crab. Great for mantou dipping!
Next up, the perennial favourite chilli crabs served with an easier to eat crustacean. The Singapore style chilli prawns had the same sauce as the national dish, and came with fried mantou to dip in the sweet, slightly spicy sauce. And the prawn was shelled which them easy to eat as well.
Also known as Kiam Chye Ark, this duck soup with tart flavours will certainly whet your appetite.
Salty mustard green boiled with duck and tomato, a very simple yet difficult to master soup that Nonya and Teochew love equally. My mom used to prepare this and she swore by soaking the salted mustard green to remove the excess salt. Their version was must more saltier, but still packed the meaty sweetness of the duck.
Enjoy Four Tresaures Soup
Rich, dense and flavourful soup featuring abalone, scallop, fish maw and crab meat.
This is the a great alternative to the shark’s fin soup. The Four Treasures are abalone (small Dalian abalone), scallops (one that has been sliced into two), fish maw (the deep fried stomach of big fishes like tuna, threadfin, etc; the most expensive ingredient here, but the ones they used are normal ones) and crab meat (just a sprinkling of it, from blue swimmer crab). Great soup, and value for money too.
Ugly Cabbage in Fish Sauce
Within its simple and unassuming appearance belies its strong, wok hei-infused flavour.
“Ugly” cabbage is supposed to be hand-torn cabbage, but it was cut with a knife. Therefore it wasn’t so ugly after all. Sautéed with fish sauce (too much I felt) and sprinkled with deep fried garlic, it had plenty of wokhei as advertised.
Hainanese Kurobuta Pork Chop
Everyone’s favourite comfort food taken to the next level with juicy kurobuta pork and plum wine marinated tomatoes.
I grew up with Hainanese pork chop rice at the school canteen – a thin wafer of pork loin that had been hammered so much it was twice its original size, coated with breadcrumb and deep fried. This pork chop was then smothered with a Maggi tomato sauce base that watered down and then thickened with cornstarch, with added frozen peas and carrots. Their version was similar in taste – kudos to them. But the main difference was the Kurobuta pork loin – so succulent and tasty with equal amount of fat and meat. Delicious and nostalgic, just like school canteen.
Grandma’s Te Kah Bee Hoon
Tender braised pig trotter wok-fried with rice vermicelli. A secret recipe passed down from Chef Joel’s beloved Grandma.
Many restaurants will do this fried bee hoon with Narcissus brand canned pork leg – the fatty, oily meat was canned so long that it simply disintegrated into the bee hoon, imparting them with this salty, satisfying flavour. Grandma’s version used home-braised pig trotters. The braised pig was still holding to its form and texture. The skin and fats were soft and not greasy. It did not have that level of saltiness like the canned version, and had a strong five-spice taste.
Chef Joel’s Mee Kia 2.0
A much raved about dish by Chef Joel throughout his career. Given a reinvention to celebrate the opening of ENJOY’s flagship!
I have not tasted version 1.0, but this was an upgraded since they moved their flagship store from Jalan Besar to this new location in Stevens. The pork cheek charsiew was delicious; I liked the chargrilled crust with the well marinated meat that was not too sweet. The noodles was thin egg noodles mixed with truffle oil. The sous vide egg was runny and added a creamy texture when mixed in together with the noodles, but I prefer the noodles on their own. The chilli could do with more kick.
Har Jeong Sotong Kia
Deep fried baby squid marinated in prawn paste and served with oyster mayo. Oceanic umami in every bite.
One word – salty; may three words – salty like hell! I don’t know how they kept the baby squid so tender and juicy despite deep frying, but the harjeong batter was s beer killer. Perhaps it was meant to be a bar food rather than a proper course, as this place turned into a bar in the evening. I am rather curious what kind of atmosphere and vibe it will have – Sinpopo perhaps?
Chendol Panna Cotta
An Italian twist on a classic Singaporean dessert. Pandan noodles and fragrant Gula Melaka atop sweet coconut cream pudding.
The local favourite given a modern twist with a coconut panna cotta drizzled tin a Gula Melaka caramel sauce. The green pandan strips were made in-house and had a very strong pandan flavour, and the azuki beans were sweet and soft.
Teochew Orh Ni
A Traditional Teochew dessert. Sweet yam paste with coconut milk and gingko nuts.
Orh ni or mashed taro paste is a very traditional Teochew dessert, and usually made very sweet because of the sweet tooth of the Teochew palate. The ultra tradition method uses the pork lard to mix with the taro for an ultra-smooth paste with great flavours. The modern healthier version uses vegetable oil and the finished the coconut milk. I am not sure if the modern take was any healthier but it was less tasty for sure.
Call them eclectic, call them comfort food, call them whatever you want, they serve a cuisine that is quite polarising. The familiar flavours like harjeong and braised pig’s trotter, using alternative methods or ingredients to present them. And then you have the traditional dishes deconstructed and given the Western twist. It was a fad that I could not fathom, because some of them got it so wrong. But then, there’s those that got it right.
Enjoy Eating is one of those that got it right; 50% nostalgia, and 50% solid cooking but 100% a dining experience with excellent service and an ambience to match. Price was above average but nothing extravagant, this would be a nice good eat to come for lunch.
Enjoy Eating House and Bar
30 Stevens Rd #01-07, Novotel on Stevens, Singapore 257840
Tel : +65 8511 1478
Visited Mar 2023
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