There’s something about zi char stalls that seem to attract Singaporeans. Although most of the zi char stalls are not located in air-conditioned settings, there are still many people who would brave the heat to have their team lunch at a zi char stall. This is evident from the large groups of office workers who visited Casper Seafood during lunch when we were there.
Founded in 1985, Casper Seafood first started out at Golden Mile Tower selling fish head bee hoon soup, before they became a zi char stall. The stall moved to its current location at Whampoa West in 1994, and is helmed by the husband and wife team, Jee Bah and Xiao Ling.
The brand has two other stalls in Bendemeer Market & Food Centre that sells fish head bee hoon soup, and hor fun, as well as Teochew porridge. The two stalls are run by Xiao Ling’s sons.
Many netizens have raved about the wok hei of the hor fun here at Casper Seafood. In fact, my boss has tried to get a plate of this exclusive hor fun thrice but failed every time as it was sold out.
When asked about their secret to making a good hor fun, Xiao Ling shared that it comes from many years of experience and practise.
Thankfully, the Hor Fun w/Assorted Meat ($4) was still available during our visit. The charred kway teow isn’t freshly cooked, but instead, taken out from a large container and plated. The gravy, which is cooked with an assortment of meat, prawns and fishcake, is then ladled onto the kway teow, covering it in all its goopy glory.
Being food bloggers, our cameras always get first dibs on the food. After the prolonged photo taking session, we delved into the much raved about hor fun, but was greeted with disappointment. The sauce was bland, and there was absolutely no wok hei from the kway teow.
The few of us decided that we shouldn’t lose hope, and ordered another plate of hor fun, this time having it hot on the spot. Thankfully, that worked. The kway teow had its beautiful charred fragrance, although the gooey hor fun zhup was still very bland.
The Sambal Fried Rice ($4.50) was a tasty dish that we ordered. The copper coloured rice was fried with prawns, char siew, egg and spring onion. The homemade sambal did give a good spicy kick, and its flavours were nicely balanced between heat and saltiness. However, there wasn’t much wok hei from the rice.
We also tried the Hotplate Sambal Sotong ($10/$12/$15) which featured rings of tender squid, cooked in the same spicy sambal sauce as the fried rice. It’s uncertain why, but the sambal fragrance seemed to be more prominent in the sambal sotong as compared to the fried rice. Nevertheless, kudos to the chefs who ensured that the sotong was perfectly cooked, without it being too tough or stringy.
The stall helper at Casper Seafood also recommended the Pork Chop & Tangy Sauce ($10/$12/$15). Its Chinese translation is Pai Gu Wang, which is a common dish found throughout zi char stalls, but I thought that its English translation was rather unique. The pieces of pork chop had a good balance of lean meat to fat, and every piece was coated with the glistening ‘Tangy Sauce’. The sauce reminded me very much of marmite, with its sweet, salty and slight tart flavour to it. If I were to dine at Casper Seafood again, it would definitely be something I would reorder.
Although we tried a few of their signature dishes, the stall helper shared with us that most customers would order their Tom Yum Fish Head. As we visited in the afternoon, when the sun was blazingly hot, it isn’t the most ideal condition to have tom yum. Nevertheless, I would definitely go back to try that dish during dinner.
Address: #01-67 Blk 34 Whampoa West, Singapore 330034
Phone: 6297 5350
Opening Hours: 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 11.30pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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