So Kai turned 24 a while back (wow, one year older already! hahaha), and because it was right smack in the middle of the NDP busy period, we couldn’t take time off for a proper celebration. I decided to split her celebrations into three different parts over a period of time, of which I’ll slowly blog about here. We started off with a dinner on the day itself, followed by our favourite spa retreat a while later, and ended off with a very belated staycation at Fullerton Hotel after NDP ended!
We were actually supposed to head down to Keppel Island for a nice dinner on her birthday night when Kai suggested I try SPACE @ My Humble House by Tung Lok Group. She had dined there previously with her colleagues and felt that the price was extremely reasonable for the food and ambience, so well, since she’s the birthday girl, why not?
SPACE is located on the second level of the Esplanade, tucked in a very quiet corner just below the library (and if you’ll know where Kenko is, it’s just next to it too).
It serves local favourites such as char kway teow, chicken rice and congee, but before you judge any further that you’re paying big money for miserable hawker fare, read on and you’d be surprised you might end up agreeing with me that it actually is worth it.
I ordered one of their specialities – Hai Nan Chicken Rice ($12), which comes complete with soup, tender and juicy chicken slices, and a bowl of really fragrant rice. I’d prefer roast chicken any day but the succulent white chicken they serve really melts in your mouth. The chilli sauce has a tinge of saltiness in it too, a tad different from those you get at hawker centers.
When I eat chicken rice, I tend to drench my chicken in as much sauce as I can (you know, the sauce at the bottom of the plate made up of soy sauce and god knows what else). I know it’s unhealthy but I love such sauces, and it really adds on a different taste to the sometimes blend chicken you get.
Kai ordered their Poached Seafood Rice in Claypot ($12), which to me, is basically seafood porridge.
I admit my first impression of the seafood rice wasn’t fantastic (the low lighting didn’t help), and I thought “huh, you’re paying $12 for a bowl of over-watery porridge? But boy was I wrong. Mixed with fish, scallops and squid bits, their seafood rice (or rather porridge, I’d call) was extremely fragrant, especially the soup (although I suspect it’s the MSG that makes it appealing LOL). Their fish slices were fresh, unlike some eateries where you could still get a whiff of ‘fishiness’ in it.
To complete our meal, we called their Fried Carrot Cake with X.O. Sauce ($14), which I felt was just mediocre. I’ve eaten better carrot cakes elsewhere, and for this particular dish, I must agreeing with the saying that “hawker food tastes the best at the hawker centre”. Topped with tau ghey, prawns and supposedly X.O. Sauce, I felt the carrot flavour was too overwhelming whereas the fried egg didn’t stand out that much. As usual, when they say “X.O. Sauce”, you normally can’t taste any of it -.-
All in all, I must say that for around $40++, we had a very satisfying meal although it was just merely chicken rice, porridge and carrot cake. The ambience was good, and the fact that SPACE was located in a corner meant that we had all the privacy that we wanted, and that we don’t get the main bulk of noise from the shopping areas (I really don’t like dining amongst the very noisy shopping crowd).
If you’re looking for a place to have a quiet meal with your loved ones or even colleagues, do drop by SPACE and try out their selection of local cuisine! You can find their menu online here!
Then again, if your taste buds are itching for something of higher quality and better ambience, you can try out the more “atas” My Humble House (which is just next to Spaces).
SPACE is located at:
The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
8 Raffles Avenue
Tel : +65 6423 1881
Opening Hours :
Lunch : 11:45AM – 3:00PM
Dinner : 6:00PM – 10.30PM
Lunch : 2:30PM
Dinner : 10:00PM