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This week, our Makan Kaki Cheng Hsin Yao (owner of Picnic Food Park, creator of Omakase Burger, Seizan Uni Ramen & Supergreek grain bowls) recommends the king of comfort food – zichar! And when he wants his zichar fix, he heads to an unlikely place – mainly because from the exterior, it looks like a proper air-conditioned Chinese Banqueting Restaurant, and not the space that usually occupies a kopitiam. But trust him, therein lies the beauty of the food at Gim Tim Restaurant – you get the best of zichar cooking techniques with restaurant quality ingredients in one tasty, happy marriage!
Gim Tim has been an Ang Mo Kio stalwart of Hokkien & Cantonese cuisine since 1975, so no wonder Hsin Yao says their food is tremendous – good wok hei, good flavours without relying too much on sauces, plus the quality of their meat & seafood is really fresh and excellent.
Hsin Yao is a big believer in the classics, so despite the other tempting banquet dishes like Buddha Jumps Over the Wall and Fish Maw soup, he recommends you try his favourite sweet and sour pork. Yes, it’s a ubiquitous dish found on most zichar menus, but it’s extremely difficult to find well-executed versions. That’s why Hsin Yao appreciates Gim Tim’s -tender, juicy sweet and sour pork that just bursts with moisture & flavour.
Also delicious is their Crispy Chicken coated in Sotong (squid) Paste, which is similar to har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken, but a little more unusual). When you bite into the chicken, the crispy skin crackles appealingly and you get a strong umami taste from the sotong paste. So for deceptively simple dishes done right, do give Gim Tim Restaurant a go. Besides their fancy Chinese banquet-style dishes, their classic zichar dishes also will hit the spot!
Gim Tim Restaurant
157 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, #01-546, S(560157)
Open Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm; 6 – 10.30pm
Tel: +65 64597766