To most, Taiwan is known as the land of night markets, deep-fried goodies and shopping districts. Boasting such a vast selection of edible delights to feast on, it’s definitely hard to cope with the post-holiday blues.
Should you find yourself missing their famous braised pork rice (lu rou fan) or oyster mee sua, Nan Tai Eating House over at Kim Keat Road has you covered. Located between Whampoa Hawker Centre and Shaw Plaza, Nan Tai Eating House offers a quiet retreat to enjoy real-deal streetside comfort food, the way they do in Taiwan.
Their menu selection is small yet good enough as it covers all the grounds of popular Taiwanese street food. We ordered their Vermicelli with Oyster (S$5) and House Special Braised Pork Rice (S$5.80) as well as side orders of Salted Crispy Chicken (S$5) and Fried Seafood Tempura (S$4).
Despite the humble price, the serving portions were extremely generous. The bowl was filled with a mountain of rice and diced pork belly. It might not be as melty as the ones in Taiwan, but we liked that it wasn’t as fatty while still having a satisfying chew to it. The sauce was mellow and made the whole dish lightly savoury and wonderfully delicious.
While the braised egg didn’t have much to boast about, the preserved vegetables helped to cut through the meatiness of the dish. As it was a really big bowl, the vegetables were necessary to change up the flavour profile of the dish, allowing you to thoroughly enjoy the dish.
The Vermicelli with Oyster was served in a similarly large bowl, and they definitely did not skimp on the oysters. The fat plump oysters were soft and creamy and slid down our throats effortlessly. The clear starchy broth was flavourful, only needing a dash of pepper to go along with it, and the noodles were still slightly firm, allowing the broth to cling onto every strand without breaking apart.
Perhaps our favourite dish was their Salted Crispy Chicken. The smell of the chicken alone was enticing and mouthwatering. It wasn’t overly salty, and the thin crispy skin helped to retain the moisture of the chicken, allowing each morsel of meat to remain succulent, juicy and tender.
For the uninitiated, Taiwanese tempura shares no similarities with its Japanese counterpart. What it is is a small nugget of fish paste and potato flour, usually served in broth. However here it didn’t deliver on taste nor texture for us—the chewiness reminded us more of soggy fish crisps.
The folks behind Nan Tai Eating House are dedicated to serving delicious and authentic Taiwanese comfort food, allowing us to enjoy true Taiwanese cooking without breaking the bank. Despite the odd location, this is a place to visit over and over again.
Nan Tai Eating House
18 Kim Keat Road
(Closed on Sundays)
Mon to Sat: 12pm – 10pm