HEAR: Click to listen/download podcast of this week’s deep-fried & steamy double-whammy!
This week I’ve discovered excellent halal food you can order in or takeaway quickly with just a budget $20 & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. At Tanglin Halt Food Centre, I found Warung O.M.C., which stands for Oh My Chicken! And Oh Yes, their Ayam Penyet, or deep fried, smashed chicken is yummy!
Their standard rice set comes with a big piece of chicken, plus lettuce leaves, fried tempeh and fried tau kwa on a bed of what I thought was steamed white basmati rice. But one bite & I realised it was far from plain. It was actually tasty chicken-flavoured rice that complemented the ayam penyet, which was a gorgeous golden-yellow colour from turmeric – very crispy on the outside, moist & juicy on the inside, with an extra topping of battered shards for lots of added crunch.
What really pushed things to the next level was their excellent chilli sauce, which will have you seeing stars! It’s very spicy and you’ll feel the searing heat nibbling on your tongue and lips long after you’ve finished your meal. But the extreme chilli is tempered by a soothing sweetness that just goes so well with the entire plate.
If you want to really treat yourself, go all out with their Ayam Penyet fried rice. You’ll get the same chilli sauce and massive piece of crispy chicken, usually the wing & drumlet portion attached to the breast. These sit on a mountain of nasi goreng.
I reckon the fried rice was made with the same flavourful chicken rice, seasoned bright orange with chilli and fried with red cabbage onion, fish cake, peas, sweet corn and carrot. Hot and fragrant from the wok, this ayam penyet fried rice was decadent and delicious.
Both rice sets were enough to feed 4 people comfortably, but you can also supplement your meal with their mee rebus or mee soto.
The Mee Soto ($3) was characterised by the flavours of clove & coriander, with shredded chicken, bean sprouts, coriander and fried onion topping yellow noodles. If you’re not keen on the alkaline taste & smell of yellow noodles, you can opt for Bee Hoon. Same for the Mee Rebus (also $3), which was pungent with spices. Thick and sweet, I think I detected ikan billis in the gravy. Bean sprouts, lime, fried onion and tau pok completed the dish.
Warung O.M.C. serves their noodles first thing in the morning, but keep in mind you’ll have to wait for later if you want the Ayam Penyet. And I would definitely wait for it – that’s the star dish, after all – they’re not called Warung Oh My Chicken for nothing! I was able to get the standard Nasi Ayam Penyet from around 9am, but the fried rice was only ready around lunch time. You can order via most food delivery apps (see below).
However, I popped by to takeaway this time because I had to collect a rare treat from a neighbouring stall. Popular for their lontong, mee rebus and mee soto, Queenstown Lontong actually shuts down all other food sales to concentrate on their Ramadan specialty – Kuih Jongkong. It’s so in-demand, you can’t just rock up and take away – you have to pre-order by what’s apping them in advance.
Made from a thin batter of rice & tapioca flour, coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka, this traditional kuih jongkong is wrapped and steamed in banana leaf to yield a smooth, creamy, savoury-sweet paste. To me, it looked and tasted similar to hot hoon kueh (sans banana and corn), if it was served in soup!
These beautiful parcels were wrapped in a distinctive style, held together tightly by a couple of strategically placed toothpicks. I did a little research and discovered that in Malay, jongkong could mean ingot, so maybe that’s why they look like wallets or purses, containing treasure within! But I read that jongkong can also mean canoe. Again, it could be because the wrapped parcels look like little boats!
Unwrapped from its green jacket, you’ll see a mound of bright green paste, pudding-like in consistency , swimming in a pool of gula melaka, coconut, pandan and banana leaf infused sauce.
Taste-wise, it’s so reflective of our tropical Asian flavours, delicately flavoured by the earthy gula melaka and creamy coconut, but thankfully not too sweet. When I picked up my pre-order, the kuih had just been removed from the steamer and were still warm in the bag.
They continued to retain their heat so when I got home, I was treated to a truly comforting, belly-warming afternoon tea snack. I chilled the other one in the fridge and it made for a really sublime dessert later on.
All in all, I spent $17.70 on the 2 Ayam Penyet rice sets and 2 Kuih Jongkong, plus parking!
Here’s the breakdown:
Nasi Ayam Penyet – $5
Ayam Penyet Fried Rice – $5.50
(add $0.30 for takeaway containers – bring your own containers to save $ & the environment. I reuse the takeaway containers at home for leftovers and when I give food to friends and family)
Kuih Jongkong – $6 (each $3)
From home to the food centre for takeaway and back, I was done in less than 20 minutes flat. No Joke!
I have to say my trip to Tanglin Halt Food Centre was a double winner with Ayam Penyet from Warung O.M.C. and Kuih from Queenstown Lontong! If you’re popping by for your takeaway, the best time is in the afternoon before 3pm during this circuit breaker season.
Address: #01-17 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
2A Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 141002
Open: 8am–7pm (closed Sundays)
Order via: foodpanda.sg, deliveroo.com.sg, bungkus.sg
Tel: +65 98958581 (call in advance to order then pop in quickly to pick-up. Ample parking available).
Address: #01-21 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
Tel: +65 9182 2189 (WhatsApp Kuih Jongkong pre-orders only)
Opening Hours during Ramadan: 11am – 5pm.