Quan Lai Kway Chap 泉来粿汁
560 MacPherson Rd
Sin Fong Restaurant 新峰餐室
T: +65 6744 1252
Opens Daily: 0800 to 0030hrs (Unless Specified)
Kway Chap, to confused locals & modern Chinese descendants, is the braised assortment of meats, bean-curd sticks, pig organs, peanuts & pickled vegetables. But in truth, is none other than the large folds of rice sheets, boiled & served with a dash of dark soy based braised sauce.
Quite often, people rate & weigh Kway Chap by the braised meats & assortments, instead of the bowl of rice sheets; which really is what the name of the dish is about- Kway Chap 粿汁… (*Gasp, was that an ‘Aha’ moment for you?).
During the earlier centuries (AD 15-19 century) when Chinese merchants traded & settled everywhere (I don’t know of any major port city without a Chinatown), they brought with them sundries & preserved food produces that wouldn’t go bad to fast, given the long perilous journey across the South China Sea/ Indian Ocean. Others brought with them, hand me down recipes from past generations, and among the whole long list, Kway Chap – a renowned Teochew dish.
In all my years, I’ve visited many spots for Kway Chap, and I have to say that the secret is in that dash of dark soy based braised sauce. Case in point, here, Quan Lai Kway Chap 泉来粿汁
Quan Lai’s specializes in braised duck & pig organs, and they set themselves apart in brewing a special sauce- drizzled on almost anything they serve on the menu. And is why, I’ve enjoyed & on many occasions, craved for their Kway Chap, beginning since my early adolescence.
We, Chinese are probably the most frugal & “greenest” people on the planet. If we have to take a life of a creature, we tend not to leave anything to waste. In this feature, I went sub-stream, picked stuff that common folks would rarely touch…
The Braised Pig’s Skin is just the top layer without the fats, light bouncy texture, The Ears are thin sliced about the width of Kway Teow, crunchy & bouncy. The Large Intestines are soft with nice chewy texture in between. The Taupok (deep fried porous tofu) is thorough soaked with the braised sauce, cut into bite sized portion, put it in the mouth & let the juices burst.
What’s impressive is, the assortment has a fragrant soy infused flavor with hue of sweet after taste, accompanied with fresh cut pineapple cubes & thin sliced cucumber. And all topped with a starchy herbal sauce, that adds to the dynamism to the taste.
The signature that everyone unanimously raves about, is none other than the Crispy Fried Large Intestines. Braised and then deep fried. The crust is crisp, and the middle is chewy. Light bounce in every bite, and not lacking in flavor. Try it for yourself!
Some may argue that the Kway Chap is made & distributed island wide by the one & only noodle manufacturer, and I’d agree. However, the same ingredients in the wrong hands can be disastrous too.
The done-ness is just nice, sheets of rice noodles are nicely scalded & served whole, slithery smooth & doesn’t tear easily- so you can enjoy it in folds. The same starchy herbal sauce is also dashed in the Kway Chap, making it unique & irresistible.
I don’t know about you, but under normal circumstances, I have 2 servings, sometimes 3 servings of the Kway Chap. Good enough to eat it on its own.
I’ve known of many who have since grown to become fans of Quan Lai Kway Chap. Perhaps, you would to?