Cheap & Good: Wok & Roll

SINGAPORE - If there is one thing the owners hope to do at their stall in Circuit Road hawker centre, it is to serve food with a twist. Hence the tagline "taste with a twist" just below the stall's name Wok & Roll.

Fired by a little imagination and lots of passion, Mr Bernard Goh, 43, and Ms Embre Kew En, 34, want to offer fare that will make them stand out from other hawkers.

For starters, they have come up with Thai-Japanese-style crispy fried oysters ($4), served with bonito flakes and topped with Thai chilli powder. It is much crispier than the usual version of oyster omelette.

The omelette stays crispy for about 45 minutes because of a technique they perfected over a couple of months, says Ms Kew.

The big oysters are succulent and the egg mixture is not dry, making it a winner in my book.

Mention beansprouts and one usually thinks of it fried with salted fish and garlic.

Here, cockles and bonito flakes are added to beansprouts to provide an interesting contrast in taste and texture to an otherwise ordinary dish.

The inspiration for Cockles Beansprouts ($4) came from a dish they ate at a hawker stall in Pattaya in Thailand. A little quibble: I would have preferred the cockles to be undercooked just a little to retain their juiciness.

But I really like the fried carrot cake here. If you cannot decide whether to have the "black" ($3) or "white" ($3) version, ask for yin yang carrot cake ($4). Start with the non-oily half which is fried without the sweet black soya sauce first before proceeding to the much-tastier portion.

The tasty fried kway teow ($3) is done the usual way, with a generous serving of small cockles. The photo of the lala beehoon ($4) looks good enough for me to check it out. On its own, it may not stand out and it took a dollop of homemade belacan chilli to perk it up considerably.

Wok & Roll Block
79A Circuit Road, Circuit Road hawker centre, 01-101
Open: 4pm to 2am daily
Rating: ****