Tian Yi Vegetarian Food
Location: Blk 527 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-143
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 6am–1pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday.
Tian Yi is located in a large hawker centre named Cheng San Market & Cooked Food Centre. For those who want to experience what a true hawker centre atmosphere is like, then I would recommend visiting this place. If you're someone who spends most meals eating in a clean, quiet, air-conditioned food court - Then you are not experiencing what true authentic Singapore dining is all about. A true Singapore eating experience belongs in these slightly dirty, chaotic hawker centres. So come out of your air-conditioned bubble and experience real Singapore culture! More and more of these rustic hawker centres are disappearing, and with them, a portion of Singapore culture also fades away.
Although Chicken Rice is not signposted or mentioned at all on the exterior of the stall, I noticed a number of people ordering it, so was curious to try myself. Be warned, they probably don't have chicken rice available all the time. The quality of this dish was very high. I usually don't like the mock chicken to be made from beancurd sheets, however this version had fantastic flavour (incredibly authentic chicken taste). The rice also had the same delicious flavour, and I really liked the fresh coriander, which was added to this dish. The coriander mixed with the beancurd worked beautifully together. On the left hand side is a spring roll, which I bought for an additional 50c.
Price: $2.50. 8/10
Kway Chap is the dish that most people come to Tian Yi to order. However, it is only available on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. This popular teochew dish can be broken down into two separate components. On the first plate (pictured), we have mock intestines, fried tofu, salted vegetables and tau pok all placed in a shallow braised sauce. Fresh coriander again on top. The ingredients really absorbed this braised sauce well. The richness of the sauce, the saltiness of the vegetables and the freshness of the coriander all worked incredibly well together. Now lets move onto the final component..
Needless to say, the one remaining vital ingredient is the kway or rice flour sheets. The texture of the kway was top notch, and you can really tell the freshness in the texture. The kway is swimming in a dark soy broth, which doesn't have the potency of the braised sauce on the other plate. A welcome addition to the broth was the goji berries inside. One final praise should be addressed to the deliciously aromatic chili paste, which the ingredients can be dipped in, to give an added kick to the dish. For such a meager price, one can enjoy one of the most satisfying meals Singapore has to offer. Food lovers, I urge you to visit and enjoy!
Price: $2.50. 9/10
Conclusion - I am so often used to visiting places that have huge reputations for serving 'fantastic' dishes, and ultimately being disappointed. The kway chap at Tian Yi, however, surpassed my expectations. It was a truly delicious and affordable offering, that every food lover in Singapore should try at least once. Unfortunately, the awkward opening times might make visiting this place a challenge, for those with inflexible schedules. But my advice is do you best to visit, as you will not be disappointed.
Food - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 10/10