When mummy suggested to have Sembawang white beehoon for dinner, my first reaction was, "Aiyah don't want lah. Sembawang so far, so hot, and you want to queue meh?"
I then realized she meant the branch at Toa Payoh near where she stays. Oh yes, there is air-conditioned comfort and the queue wasn't too long since we chiong-ed for early dinner.
For those who have yet to know, the popular Sembawang White Bee Hoon at Jalan Tampang's You Huak Restaurant has went on to open more branches at Punggol, Sun Plaza and Toa Payoh since the 2nd generation owner took over. It is now rebranded as White Restaurant, The Original Sembawang White Beehoon, in relation to their signature dish.
The menu seemed to have expanded quite a bit, with selections of Squid, Fish, Meat, Crustacean, Egg, Beancurd, Vegetable in a variety of preparation style and sauces, not unlike a zhi char stall.
For a convenient one-dish meal, Rice and Noodles options are available, including Salted Fish Fried Rice ($6), Mee Goreng ($6) and Hor Fun ($6). There is also the newly-launched Ah Gong Specialty Braised Duck ($12/$18/$28) which I think would be perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice, but we are creatures of habit and ordered our familiar favorites.
Signature Fried Mid Wings ($8/$12/$18) for chicken wings crazy PinkyPiggu? Definitely haha! Very enjoyable as it arrived hot and crisp, the meat was well-marinated and moist too. The Meat & Seafood Roll ($10/$15/$20) was just as agreeable. I like it that both dishes were not too greasy even though it's deep fried.
Bittergourd with Egg ($8/$12/$16) is a homely dish that was nicely-executed with eggs cooked to a soft fluffy bite completed with slivers of thinly-sliced bittergourd.
I remember the taste of The Original White Bee Hoon ($6/$10/$15) to be just as homely. Simple, delicate yet highly addictive when I first had it back then at Jalan Tampang, but this time round, that feeling of satisfaction was disappointingly lacking.
Though the rice vermicelli's texture wasn't of the springy kind, it still had a pleasant bite without being overly soft. Unfortunately, the broth wasn't flavorsome enough and lacked that oomph. Mummy who usually doesn't like to waste food told me, "don't eat the sotong, too hard and rubbery!". I took a bite anyway and indeed, the squid was overcooked.
With every business expansion, there is always the challenge of maintaining consistency across the various outlets. I'm now wondering if the food at the original store is still as good, and how are the other branches faring.
We wouldn't mind visiting White Restaurant again for a quick, fuss-free meal if there is no queue. Not fantastic, but still okay lah. Just have to manage our expectations a bit.
White Restaurant, The Original Sembawang White Bee Hoon
Address: 22 Jalan Tampang (opposite Sembawang Shopping Centre), Singapore 758966
Contact: +65 6257 2002
Opening Hours: 11.30am-10.30pm / Closed on Wednesdays
Address: The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point Road, Singapore 828694
Contact: +65 6702 2002
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-2.30pm & 5pm-10pm
Address: 20 Sembawang Drive, #03-12 Sun Plaza, Singapore 757713
Contact: +65 6483 2002
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-10pm
Address: 600@Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-10, Singapore 319515
Contact: +65 6255 2002
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-2.30pm & 5pm-9.30pm
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subjected to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.