January 18, 2016

Truly Test Kitchen @ Jun Jie Industrial Building, Macpherson ~ Young Singapore Hawkers Selling Curry Rice! Quality Food At Great Value & Big Portion!

"Are you sure here got things to eat?" The kind taxi uncle drove me around Jun Jie Industrial Building twice, helping me look out for a food canteen before I checked the address again and realized that Truly Test Kitchen is located within level 7. Okay, a hungry PinkyPiggu is a blur PinkyPiggu :p

It has been quite some time since I last went for Truly Curry Rice. The stall has moved away from Telok Blangah to its current 3000 square feet premises at Macpherson industrial area just a few months ago, and has now evolved to become Truly Test Kitchen.

The expanded space is able to accommodate the ideal concept that the young hawker entrepreneurs (Deniece, Joel and Joshua) has in mind: Five unique food stalls to provide quality food at great value, all housed under the same roof, singlehandedly created and meticulously managed by the same team.

These include Truly Curry Rice, Miàn, Handmade Meatball Porridge & Traditional Yam / Carrot Cake, Truly Western and a Drinks stall.

Prices are kept affordably low with most dishes averaging $3.50, and portions are certainly generous for what you are paying.

Most of us would probably describe Truly Test Kitchen's location as "鸟不生蛋" (where birds don't lay eggs), even more so when the building looked rather deserted at 11.30am on a Saturday morning. But it was for good reason this group of food bloggers agreed to meet at that timing, because that's when the full smorgasbord of the extensive menu will be ready.

Being on level 7 doesn't seemed to put the humble eatery at a locational disadvantage compared to a more visible ground unit, though Joel shared very realistically that, "this is what we can afford to pay."

"But we will be so good that people are willing to come up for it!"

True enough, the crowd started streaming in soon after noon. Patrons are predominately factory and office workers in the vicinity, with the majority coming in support of the flagship stall, Truly Curry Rice.

There is just something about a plate of White Rice ($0.50) coupled with a few favorite meat and vegetable Dishes ($0.50 to $1.50 per dish) and doused generously with curry gravy that made the combination so comforting to have.

It was a return to the memory of what we've previously enjoyed, with popular items such as the Deep-Fried Pork Cutlet and Chap Chye still competently executed. Newer dishes such as the Braised Radish and Stewed Bittergourd were very well-received too.

Fans of curry might also like the Curry Chicken Noodles ($3.50) from the Miàn stall which features a plethora of noodle dishes. The Homely Noodles ($3.50) allows us to customize each bowl to our liking from the choice of noodle (yellow noodle /bee hoon / kway teow / maggie mee), soup base (curry / ikan-bilis soy), meat (chicken / pork / beef), with egg and vegetable of the day completing each order.

My personal favorite stall is the one offering Handmade Meatball Porridge & Traditional Yam / Carrot Cake.

Our bowl of Pork Ball Porridge ($3) was nothing fancy, just a nostalgic rendition of Cantonese-style congee but much effort has been put into it. Each pot is stirred manually for 2 hours straight to achieve that smooth, gooey consistency. No addition of starch, but only using pure rice grain exactly like how we would cook it at home. Taste might come across as a tad bland for some, but it suited me just fine (and perhaps those with lighter palates too).

The pan-fried Yam Cake ($2), Carrot Cake ($2) and Pumpkin Cake ($2) are all lovingly made from scratch, and just need a little chili to elevate the enjoyment a notch higher.

We couldn't believe it when we were told about the prices at Truly Western. Curry Chicken Penne and Seafood Aglio Olio at $3.50? Fried Chicken Chop with shoestring fries and smokey beans with sausage in mushroom cheese sauce as a $4 value set (choice of protein + carb + side + sauce)? No no, our ears did not hear wrongly and your eyes are not playing tricks on you now.

The Chicken N' Waffles ($4.50) could possibly be the cheapest in Singapore. Though the waffle's texture wasn't the most perfect, and the mix of savory sauce with sweet maple syrup was too funky for me to accept, there's no denying that the succulent piece of deep-fried chicken thigh and a commonplace café item at this price point is unbeatable.

Joel also highly recommended the Pork Chop Baked Rice ($4.50), a house signature which is reminiscent of what we usually find in those Hong Kong-style cha chaan tengs. Look at that stretchy mozzarella cheese, Joel ensured that only quality ingredients are used for his food.

Running a stall itself is challenging enough, and what the founders of Truly Test Kitchen are doing right now is by no means an easy feat at all. To live out their dream by placing all they have physically and financially on the line, their passion and determination are truly put to test.

Truly Test Kitchen
Address: 153 Kampong Ampat, Jun Jie Industrial Building, #07-05, Singapore 368326
Contact: +65 9008 3285 (for preorder)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-4pm / Closed on Sun

Prices stated are nett (no service charge & GST)

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