Bee Cheng Hiang is hardly a stranger to any Singaporeans, especially with its strong foothold of 51 stores island-wide.
Having been a monumental Chinese New Year snack on the table each year, I grew up munching on Bee Cheng Hiang’s bak kwa by the slices. Often seen as a traditional icon, I was pleasantly surprised to find Bee Cheng Hiang’s latest concept – Bee Cheng Hiang Grillery – a bold move to feed modern tastebuds and personalities.
Opened at 1359 Serangoon Road, this outlet is given a new lease of life while celebrating local traditions to keep things snugly familiar. Of course, there is also the usual bak kwa displayed temptingly behind casing and a whole range of homemade products on retail.
What sets the Grillery strikingly apart is the exclusive hands-on BBQ area, where you and I can experience grilling bak kwa over charcoal. We can even hop over to the floss-making machine to concoct our own freshly-made pork floss.
A dine-in area springs up at the back of the Grillery, offering a concise bak kwa-inspired asian-fusion menu. Currently in the soft launch phase, you get access to a dedicated list of tapas which would make you see bak kwa in a different light; moving forward, there will be innovative bak kwa salads and other main dishes to grill you alive.
Heighten your experience with premium wines from the walk-in wine cellar. We heard that these wines were personally flown in from wine chateaux in France for a match-making with bak kwa.
The Grillery also caters for occasions/festive seasons, where hampers can be customised or bought in-store.
Food is revered at the Grillery.
The Mozzarella Katsu $10 is a twist from the Japanese pork cutlet. Featuring thick slabs of Bee Cheng Hiang’s signature Gourmet Fusion bak kwa breaded in panko, the center oozed with cheesy goodness while hot. Each bite was crunchy and meaty, delivering an impactful oomph to the overall taste.
The DIY Sliders $14 comes in either Golden Coin (Pork) or Chicken Coin (Chicken) bak kwa served on a long plank with its sauce and garnishing counterparts. Start by stacking those lightly toasted buns with caramelised onions, homemade sambal mayonnaise, shredded cabbages and tomatoes before slapping two decadent bak kwa slices and an adorable fried quail-sunny-side-up to size it up.
Applause to the presentation and really, these mini burgers beckoned to be eaten.
Patatas Bravas $9 resembled a Spanish tapas, where chopped potatoes laid underneath scattered chunks of Chilli Gourmet bak kwa, before being rained with slashes of house-made mayonnaise and tomato reduction. Krispee Frostee, also pork floss, finished off at the peak in a generous heap.
Each mouthful was saucy against the soft textures of potatoes, punctuated with chewy spicy bits of bak kwa.
I mourned the last drip of sauce.
Gourmet Enoki Roll $9.50 took a refreshing turn from the previous bak kwa-centric tapas.
Wrapped in Gourmet bak kwa, one bite in and the sweet glaze coated my tongue wholeheartedly while the grilled enoki mushrooms burst in delightful juiciness.
No regrets ordering the Steamed Egg Custard $5 which complemented well with the tiny bursts of flying fish roes and chewy Gourmet Fusion bak kwa swirled within. The bottom surprised with a layer of caramelised onion, sweeping me back from the disillusion that I am scooping chawanmushi.
Like pairing red wine to meats, the Grillery brings in the similar concept for the Bak kwa dishes where you can choose from a selection of premium wines or request for recommendation from the sommelier. Whether it is the tannin or wholesomeness of wine in your mouth, I would suggest going for at least a glass or two. You would find how marvellously it cuts through the sweet meaty bak kwa, and opens up your appetite for more.
In today’s world where novelty dictates a food trend, and taste becomes secondary to visuals, I am glad that Bee Cheng Hiang does its signature bak kwa a revolutionary justice. While embracing its traditional roots and grilling methods, the supplement of hands-on activities, wine and dine social spaces and gifting options are simply testaments to the success behind the group’s business in bringing out the best of its abilities.
Bee Cheng Hiang Grillery
Tel: +65 6291 5753
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