Looking for delicious Japanese rice bowls, but don’t want to spend too much? Bowl Chap, the new kid in Ayer Rajar Food Centre, is the place for you. When I asked Jin Rong, the owner, how he came up with the stall’s name, he said, “My mother always says I bo chap. Since I’m selling rice bowls, I thought ‘bowl chap’ would make a very Singaporean and catchy name.” Jin Rong and his girlfriend run this business together.
The menu is kept simple, with only five dishes. Choices might be limited, but the well-portioned and affordable rice bowls will satiate any cravings.
The Chicken Karaage with Tonkatsu Mayo Rice Bowl ($ 4.90) was a star. The well-seasoned and juicy chicken, together with the house-made tonkatsu mayo, was really palatable. The fragrant white and black sesame seeds added a light crunch to each bite. It is hard to resist the sinful combination of fried chicken and mayo, but the horenzo (AKA Chinese spinach) and cherry tomatoes will make you feel less guilty! I loved this dish, and I’m sure you will too.
I also tried the 5 Spice Apple Braised Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($ 5.80). The pork belly is braised in 5 spice powder and apple gravy overnight, so the flavours can fully permeate the meat. If you are worried that the flavour of the 5-spice powder might overpower everything, I’m here to assure you that it doesn’t. The tender pork belly was savoury and sweet, and pretty addictive. I loved the crunchy black fungus which complemented the meat and rice perfectly. Kudos to Jin Rong for coming up with such an interesting dish!
The Black Sweet Vinegar Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($ 5.80) brings Chinese and Japanese flavours together. The pork belly is braised in vinegar overnight to ensure that the flavours are completed locked into the meat. The meaty pork belly, was indeed, suffused with tanginess and sweetness. If you like vinegar, or sour-savoury dishes in general, you’ll probably enjoy this.
Each dish comes with a bowl of house-made miso soup and an onsen egg, which we all love and can’t go without. A simple addition of fried popiah skin that’s seasoned with smoked paprika and seaweed turns each rice bowl into a work of art. It’s great that Bowl Chap delivers in the aesthetics department as well.
As you can see, Bowl Chap is certainly not stingy with the portion or ingredients. Their rice bowls did not disappoint, and I will definitely come back again.
Address: 503 West Coast Drive, Ayer Rajar Food Centre #01-80, Singapore 120503
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 11am to 2.30pm, 4.30pm to 7.30pm, Sat: 11am to 3pm, Closed on Sun
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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