Sunday, February 12, 2017

$20 Good Eats: Uncle Leong Signature (Waterway Point, Punggol)

How much must a meal be priced at to be called "affordable?"

Singapore's food possibly has the hugest price range in the world: We've got s$2 Chicken Rice all the way up to s$530 dinners. We think what is most interesting for the most of us, though, is trying to find a sweet spot somewhere in between - good food that won't break the bank. So for 2017 we're going to look for ho chiak places at (or maybe slightly over) $20 - the price range which, to us, is considered affordable.

Without further ado, our first entry for our $20 Good Eats series is from Uncle Leong Signature in Waterway Point (Punggol)!

Uncle Leong Signature Crab Meat Fried RiceUncle Leong Signature Seafood Fried Rice

With our budget of $20 in mind we skipped past the crab and abalone pages on the menu, and ordered a duo of carbs: Crab Meat and Seafood Fried Rice. Flavour-wise the fried rice was pretty good, with a decent amount of crab meat / seafood, but distinctly lacking in wok hei.

Uncle Leong Signature Minced Meat Tofu

The Minced Meat Tofu was up next: Minced pork, mushrooms, and zha chai (Szechuan preserved vegetable) steamed on a bed of beancurd. Interestingly enough the soy sauce-based gravy tasted a lot like the (also soy sauce based) gravy typically used in steaming fish.

Uncle Leong Signature Chinese Spinach with Eggs

For our daily helping of vegetables we chose the Chinese Spinach with Eggs, flavoured nicely with ikan bilis (anchovies). What we didn't appreciate so much was that no effort was made to combine/mix the spinach - cooked separately and heaped in a lump in the middle/bottom of the dish - with the eggs and gravy.

Uncle Leong Signature Lemon Chicken

Finally, we round out our dinner with a protein: Lemon Chicken. The still-moist-and-juicy chicken was deep-fried well with a crispy crust, but the lemon sauce was just so-so lah (was perhaps a bit too sweet).

We can't quite recall the exact per-dish prices, but we do know that the total bill for four stomachs (of average appetite) was pretty much exactly s$80. The food's solid, if unspectacular, and took a somewhat pedestrian 35 minutes to arrive. Nevertheless felt that it was pretty good value for money for a nice variety of food in air-conditioned comfort.

Uncle Leong Signature is on the B2 level of Waterway Point, Punggol (connected to the MRT station), and is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Lunch set meals are available for 4pax onwards; Dinner set meals from 6pax onwards. Reservations not accepted; Non-halal.

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