Two Chefs Eating Place
Squirrelled away in the heart of an HDB warren is this in-the-know zhi-char joint, where generations come together to feast on old-fashioned fare like smoky coffee ribs, thickly sauced tofu braised with tiny pinheaded mushrooms, butterpork ribs and excellent salted fish fried rice that’s showered with fried anchovies. The dishes – which come in super-sized portions, even the small orders – come out fast and furious, while the matronly and scarily efficient Cantonese- speaking staff could teach everyone in town a thing or two about service.
These pork ribs do not come easy though be prepared to queue for up to an hour on weekends for a seat at this bustling joint. Small groups of about 2-3 usually have a shorter waiting time. It can also sometimes be difficult to get service as the restaurant is usually busy so place your orders before you are seated if possible so you can get your food ASAP. An auntie will usually come round with a notepad to take your orders while you're in the queue.
Other than the pork ribs I recommend the cereal prawns and the egg with chai por!
I recently had dinner there with a few friends, and the zi char served there was really satisfying, albeit pricey for the small servings. Perhaps it's a plot to make you crave the food. If it was part of their plan, they definitely owned it! Other than the famous buttered pork ribs, we ordered the tofu with golden mushroom, salted egg prawns and a plate of vegetables. I do not usually like tofus, for they are so soft and mushy, but this dish was delectable - the tofus were crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, and the sauce complemented it really well. The salted egg prawns were another amazing dish. Every single prawn was so awfully yummy! And they are really generous with the sauces, which are so good you can literally lick them off the plates.
Oh, despite it being a hawker place, reservations are possible, so if you are heading for dinner there, do reserve early! Or else, be prepared for a long wait. Although they own the whole hawker area by night, the fans they garner is no joke!
Once again, the only qualms I have of this place is that the servings of the food are really little for the price. I can probably finish a small serving of buttered pork ribs and salted egg prawns by myself. Definitely worth going back to though!
"This has got to be good," I remember remarking to a friend.
And indeed, the food at Two Chefs Eating Place proved well worth the wait for me.
I know this would probably sound cliche by now, but saying that the butter pork ribs were amazing is no understatement. Apart from the tenderness of the pork, the topping added a unique sweet and salty blend to the dish, which made it particularly memorable. I remember a friend being so inspired by the taste that she even contemplated adding milo powder to her own food at home!
The kangkong and braised tofu were another two dishes that I savoured greatly - for some reason, they were a lot more flavourful than similar dishes at other eating places that I've tried.
The food did not sit well with everyone, however: some of my friends found the general tastes too strong and the topping of the butter pork ribs too "synthetic" for their liking. I guess it's difficult to please everyone!
Nonetheless, it's a zi char place I would definitely recommend going to at least once, for the originality of their dishes.
Of course, the hype was all about the butter pork ribs. The place serves them with milk powder(?) sprinkled on top and it makes the dish into a surprising combination of sweet and salty.
My friends and I came back here multiple times for the butter pork ribs but do try to avoid dinnertime so you can get a table without waiting!
The food arrived within 15 mins which was pretty fast considering the overwhelming crowd queuing at the stall.
First to arrive were the "milk powder" pork ribs. We were intrigued by the powdery crumbs generously sprinkled over the ribs. The crumbs tasted like a mixture of cereal, butter and cheese and were highly addictive. All of us clearly enjoyed this dish and greedily licked up every single crumb (only to complain of a bad sore throat later in the evening).
The next dish to be served was the house special beancurd. This was undoubtedly the most well received dish. Although it didn't look very appetizing on first sight (brown gooey mess), the rectangular cubes of tofu were so smooth and silky.
One of their signature dishes is steamed cockles with garlic chilli. I'm not a fan of cockles but tried one under the cajoling of my friends. Surprisingly I found it to be refreshingly light and delicately flavored.
The sweet potato leaves arrived and there was nothing spectacular about this dish but at least it was well executed. The serving was generous and the sambal boasted sufficient punch.
This is definitely a zi char stall worth going and be sure to make reservation beforehand.
Their prawn paste chicken wings were good too! Very crispy and fragrant. To top it off, the price is very very very affordable for such great food like that. I am definitely adding two chefs into my favorite tze char list.
We did not regret the long wait for a table nor the long find for this place. What can I say? I have never tasted pork ribs like this before! The way it was cooked with the special ingredient which tasted like milk powder to me, complemented perfectly with the soft, tender but not dry meat. I gobbled the boneless meat almost instantly.
Looking around, there were many people there to enjoy the food, with many people ordering the same few signature dishes. More importantly, the bosses were not at all bossy, they were nice, warm and friendly, what a good attitude!
I would be back for more, no doubt.