Kun Shu Food Stall 根叔美食世家 – Upmarket Food At Hawker Prices

This is 根叔 (Gen Shu). He was a former chef in Shang Palace Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. For the past 8 years, he has been dishing out his Cantonese style of breakfast and lunch specialities at a hawker centre in Toa Payoh neighbourhood. Now we can get “atas” (high class/upmarket) restaurant food at hawker prices. Yay!!!

I still wasn’t feeling well after my Kukup trip and my makan kakis compromised by eating somewhere closer to my home in order that I need not spend too much time traveling.

The cab fare from my place to Toa Payoh is normally below SGD7 but I do not know why this one way trip at non-peak hour cost me SGD17.10. The cab driver had the cheek to ask me for 10 cents after cheating me SGD10! I was not in the mood to argue so I paid up and got off.

Gen Shu's stall is located inside this Toa Payoh Vista Market in Lorong 4.

Gen Shu’s stall is located inside this Toa Payoh Vista Market in Lorong 4.

Smart coming at us with more food.

Smart coming at us with more food.

When I arrived at the table, warm and hot foods were already laid. Good old (pun intended not intended) Smart came at us with more food 😉

Let’s see what we had.

糯米鸡 (Nuo Mi Ji in Mandarin or Lor Mai Kai in Cantonese) is steamed glutinous rice with boneless chicken.

糯米鸡 (Nuo Mi Ji in Mandarin or Lor Mai Kai in Cantonese) is steamed glutinous rice with boneless chicken.

生炒糯米饭 or literally raw cooked glutinous rice.<br />It means that the rice was wok-fried till cooked and not steamed like the one in photo above - Lor Mai Kai 糯米鸡.<br />Surprisely, the rice here was not mushy unlike the typical ones we get from other food centres.<br />How do I describe the texture? It is grainy (一粒一粒 "jit liap jit liap") but not hard.

生炒糯米饭 or literally raw cooked glutinous rice.
It means that the rice was wok-fried till cooked and not steamed like the one in photo above – Lor Mai Kai 糯米鸡.
Surprisely, the rice here was not mushy unlike the typical ones we get from other food centres.
How do I describe the texture? It is grainy (一粒一粒 “jit liap jit liap”) but not hard.

芋头糕 Yam Cake with a bouncy bite.<br />The translucent cake with savoury bits are yummy!<br />It could do better with more yam cubes though.

芋头糕 Yam Cake with a bouncy bite.
The translucent cake with savoury bits are yummy!
It could do better with more yam cubes though.

荔枝湾艇子粥 - This boat porridge's origin is from the Lychee fruit? Lol...<br />Anyway, 荔枝湾艇子粥 (Hong Kong's Lychee Wan's Teng Zai Jook) is the famous thick congee with lots of yummilicious ingredients.

荔枝湾艇子粥 – This boat porridge’s origin is from the Lychee fruit? Lol…
Anyway, 荔枝湾艇子粥 (Hong Kong’s Lychee Wan’s Teng Zai Jook) is the famous thick congee with lots of yummilicious ingredients.

In my humble opinion, this is best that you can get in Singapore, after having this dish at several places before. The ingredients in this bowl were very generous!<br />Loved it, loved it, loved it!

In my humble opinion, this is best that you can get in Singapore, after having this dish at several places before.
The ingredients in this bowl were very generous!
Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Have you seen fried beehoon (炒米粉) as white as this?<br />Eat it with the boatman's porridge. They are a perfect match!<br />The springy texture of this dish was to my liking although it was a tad bland.<br />Mix with some chilli sauce and it should be delicious.<br />I didn't add any chilli sauce as my cough was still bothering me.<br />I had it with the porridge and it was good.

Have you seen fried beehoon (炒米粉) as white as this?
Eat it with the boatman’s porridge. They are a perfect match!
The springy texture of this dish was to my liking although it was a tad bland.
Mix with some chilli sauce and it should be delicious.
I didn’t add any chilli sauce as my cough was still bothering me.
I had it with the porridge and it was good.

五香 (Ngoh Hiang in Hokkien) or 腐皮卷 (Fu Pei Kuen in Cantonese) is meat roll.<br />I'm a meat eater, remember? I needed meaty proteins so this dish makes up for that :D

五香 (Ngoh Hiang in Hokkien) or 腐皮卷 (Fu Pei Kuen in Cantonese) is meat roll.
I’m a meat eater, remember? I needed meaty proteins so this dish makes up for that 😀

Time to tuck in.

Time to tuck in.

根叔 (Uncle Kun) and I. I looked haggard and he looked chirpy even though he was already at work for more than 6 hours.

根叔 (Uncle Kun) and I.
I looked haggard and he looked chirpy even though he was already at work for more than 6 hours.

The many dishes that Kun Food Stall serves. There's also soup so be sure to asked for some when you eat the glutinous rice.

The many dishes that Kun Food Stall serves.
There’s also soup so be sure to asked for some when you eat the glutinous rice.

Restaurant quality food at hawker prices, what can beat that?

Restaurant quality food at hawker prices, what can beat that?

If there’s such thing as “Officer and Gentleman” then my version for 根叔 would be “Chef and Gentleman”.

Meeting 根叔 (Gen Shu in Mandarin meaning Uncle Kun) is a humbling experience. I did not sense any snobbish attitude from him. He was so friendly and sincere, I thought I was visiting my uncle’s stall. Not that I’m very much younger than him, lol…

I saw a lady dabao (orders for food to go) about 20 packets of food and asked 根叔 where most of his customers are from. He said that his customers come from all over the island but the majority of them work in the area. Since the Housing Development Board and a lot of real estate agencies are also situated in Toa Payoh, many property salespersons frequent his stall to dabao food whenever they have a conference meeting or seminars.

Gen Shu advised that big orders from an organisation should call in advance so that he could prepare the necessary ingredients and estimate the cooking time to match its collection. He dislike turning away other walk-in customers when he had to sell in bulk to those who do not pre-order saying it wasn’t fair to the rest who’d traveled all the way there. Considerate groups that call in advance can create a triple win situation for all – they get their food without much waiting time, the walk-in customers don’t have to go away without being able to taste his fare and Gen Shu gets the sales.

That said, I’m planning to go back to try Gen Shu’s steamed rice (S$3.80 a pot) and there are plenty of yummy flavours to choose from! His Steamed Rice Pots definitely looked better than the Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish and Rice 鹹魚蒸肉饼饭 I had at Macau Airport.

Kun Shu Food Stall 根叔美食世家
Unit 01-03, Blk 74,
Toa Payoh Lorong 4.
Singapore 310074.

Tel: 85567133 (please call ahead for big take-away orders or you may be disappointed).

Operating hours: 6am to 1.30pm. (Closed on Mondays.)

Happy eating 😀

By the way, my cab fare back was SGD6.70!

One of The Bonding Tool FB reader, Doug Xiaoloong commented on one of my postings, “I have full admiration for this guy! A skilled chef dishing food out for the masses, and he doesn’t talk upmarket either. Gen Shu, my man!!!”

Watch The Silver Chef’s production on Kun Shu Food Stall:

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Comments
15 Responses to “Kun Shu Food Stall 根叔美食世家 – Upmarket Food At Hawker Prices”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    Considering how much you seemed to have eaten, did you call up first to avoid him turning away walk in customers? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. he reminds me of the chef in “Eat Drink Man Woman” (Ang Lee), not the father, but his best friend who remained the head chef. One of my favorite movies.

  3. BG says:

    Hi Sam,

    You always tempt me with good food 😛

    I went there this morning (Sun). Luckily I was a slightly early. After I got my food and seat, the queue start forming.

    Did not manage to eat everything as their food portion is quite big. The food is delicious but cold (definitely not piping hot or warm). The staff were friendly and patience.

    IMO, for breakfast, their price is well above the standard price in hawker center.

    • Sam Han says:

      Sorry to hear that the food was not piping hot, must 根叔 know about this. The staff are family members and I’m happy you find them friendly and patient. Their rental is very much higher than the rest of the stalls there as they were “new” comers on the block. I hope their bigger portions and quality ingredients would be able to justify the amount they charge. I will definitely let Kun Shu know your feedback, thanks a lot! 😀

      • BG says:

        Aha, I went there again, today, for lunch. I ate the 荔枝湾艇子粥 and indeed they were generous with ingredients. The porridge was warm, so this time it is OK. Delicious and it is quite feeling because their porride is thicker than those normal porridge in food court and even restaurant. Delicious,

        I also have the soup of the day, wow, it was piping hot, but strangely and contrary to their other dishes, the serving (bowl) is small. The soup was well cooked, better than any 老火汤 that I have tried, absolutely delicious, yummy !!!

        I wanted to try the steamed rice, but my stomach have no more space. WIll do try it the next time in I am in Toa Payoh Vista..

      • Sam Han says:

        Wow! That was a happy meal indeed. You sounded very satisfied with the meal, lol… 😀

        They have a dish called “big bowl rice”, which is supposedly the signature – brinjals with minced pork (if you like eggplants). Give it a try, but it’s pricier than steam rice. Bring someone along so can share the dishes 😀

  4. I always frequent Toa Payoh where my bestie lives (very near to this place somemore!) but she never mention this gem to me. I must go check it out soon! I love steamed rice! Ooooh yummy!

  5. Zen.S says:

    OMG! Cantonese style food that is nice in Toa Payoh, how come i don’t know haha. Thanks Semi for the tips. Will go and try this coming Sunday, dam~~ is only Monday now -__-

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