This 13-month-old cha chaan teng at Hillion Mall in Bukit Panjang serves Cantonese comfort food at fairly wallet-friendly prices. The self-taught Malaysian chef-owner, Dry Chu (yes, really), 37, prides himself on the fact that mostly everything, including the char siew and polo bun here — is made from scratch in his kitchen.

For research, Dry (who declined to be photographed for this story) ate his way around Hong Kong to get a better taste of the local cuisine and experimented with recipes for two years before setting up shop. The extensive Chinese-Western menu may be inspired by traditional HK-style cha chaan teng nosh, but Dry takes some liberties here and there by tweaking some of the dishes because he finds Hongkong flavours a little too bland.

The star dish on the menu is the less common “black” char siew, using chilled Iberico pork belly from Spain because the fat is more flavourful. Marinated with 
sugar, five-spice powder and dark soya sauce, the pork belly is cooked for 1.5 hours in a combi steam oven.

Check out the photo gallery above for our review of the dishes here.

Kowloon Bay HK Cafe #01-07, 17 Hillion Mall, Petir Rd, S678278. Tel: 6266-2062. Open daily. 11am-10pm. Last orders at 9.30pm.

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