Bai Le Seafood Tze Char (百乐海鲜煮炒) 2


A great experience calls for a return visit. (Review on my first visit to Bai Le here!

It was hardly surprising that the moment my family decided on going out for Tze Char, everyone suggests going back to Bai Le again. 

This time round, they had new promotions again! 3 dishes were going at $12 each. They were the Crispy-skin Chicken with Garlic, the Thai-style Fried Fish and Chilli/Black Pepper Crab at $12 per crab (with minimum order of 2 crabs). 

It's honestly pretty smart of the stall owners to constantly churn out new dishes and value-for-money promotions. It keeps the crowd coming, and true enough, when we went, it was really crowded. We had to wait for about half an hour before our dishes were presented to us. I guess they were understaffed that day. However, the staff were all really cheery and service was great despite the crazy dinner crowd. 

Being the health-freak that I am, I can't stand meals without veggies. So here's some Stir-fried Kai Lan with garlic. Crunchy, refreshing and simple. 

This is the amazingly worthy $12 dish! The Thai-styled Fried Fish (Grouper). It was obviously crispy, but I'd say that it would be a lot nicer if the chef was more generous with the sweet, sour and spicy Thai sauce. The sauce tasted of pineapples and lime, and it really reminded me of the achar I used to make during my secondary school's Home Economics Cooking classes. haha.

The Yang Zhou Fried Rice was quite tasty. I liked how the rice was neither too hard and dry, nor too soggy and sticky. It was fried to the perfect moistness and the grains separated easily. The umami flavour of the ingredients was infused into the rice.

  More veggies! Stir-fried Nai Bai Cai with Garlic. Fresh and leafy!

The Salad You Tiao with Pork Floss was awesome! It was piping hot when it arrived at our table, and the crisp outer skin served as a great contrast to the soft inner squid filling. Mayonnaise dips go well with it!

Their Fish Maw's Seafood Soup was delightfully tasty. The chicken stock wasn't too overwhelming for I could still taste the freshness of the seafood ingredients like sliced fish, prawns, crab meat, and fish maw. Combined with vinegar and pepper, it really tasted like the Shark's Fin soup served in those high-class restaurants.

The Crispy-skin Garlic Chicken was roasted to the ideal crispness. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the flesh was still tender and succulent. The flavour of the spices was infused into the meat such that every single bite was an enjoyment.

Although the Chilli Crab was at a discounted price of $24 for the entire dish, the taste wasn't as good as I had expected. Firstly, the chilli gravy tasted strange. Normally, chilli crabs have this slight ketchup-y taste but this particular version didn't have any. I couldn't quite put my finger on what weird ingredients was added into this dish. Personally, I thought the closest taste I would associate with it was of chopped peanuts and herbal soup. An eccentric combination indeed. I would say it was one of the worse tasting chilli crab dishes that I've ever tasted, on par with Ban Heng Restaurant's Chilli Crab. (Ban Heng's review here!) My recipe for chilli crab is definitely better than theirs! (Recipe here.)

The Hotplate Tofu was subpar. Well, I would say my recipe for hotplate tofu tastes better than theirs! (Recipe here!) Mistake number 1: they didn't use egg tofu. Though the tofu was silky, it lacked the added flavour that makes it stand out from any other typical tofu dish. I realised the chef wasn't as liberal in using as great a variety of ingredients in this dish. Mushrooms bring out the umami taste in many kinds of dishes. By skimping on the use of mushrooms, you're most likely going to compromise the taste of the dish. The egg layer was also too dry, with none of the semi-cooked feel of the egg in an authentic hotplate tofu dish. This showed that the egg was probably left on the hot plate for too long before it was topped with the gravy and tofu. Uh oh, pretty presentation can't always make up for unsatisfactory flavour.

The Cereal Prawns were of a decent size, fleshy, but the meat was a little too tough for my liking. Guess I can't be too picky for it's hard (and there's actually a trick) to keep prawns tender after they've been through such heavy frying together with the cereals. Good thing was that the cereal was crunchy and sumptuous. 

We had 10 dishes and the bill totalled up to only around $170. I can see your jaws dropping and your eyes popping. YES. You didn't read it wrongly. Prawns, fish, crabs, the works. EVERYTHING less than 200 bucks. Pretty insane, huh? 

Best deal ever! Even if the taste of some dishes didn't exactly meet the mark, the price is definitely a steal. 

Overall, it's a rather decent meal. I foresee more future visits, especially if the stall keeps introducing new dishes! :)

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