It is 12 midnight. You have a craving for french toast and iced milk tea. Where would you go to get these? Thankfully, places like Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe and Kungfu Paradise (amongst a few other such late night Hong Kong food places) open late into the night till around 3 to 4am, giving us hungry people a place to go to when we have such desires at such hours.
Being someone who enjoys hanging out with friends and getting a bite to eat after a long night of salsa dancing when many places in Singapore are not open, I’ve visited these two chain establishments quite a few times. And would now like to share my thoughts on them and how they compare to each other.
I’ll start with Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe. Having patronised various branches of this cafe over the last 5 years or so, I’ve tried quite a number of dishes on their menu. However I believe that the quality has actually dropped over this period of time. Across the Marina Square, ION, Anchorpoint, Plaza Singapura, Cineleisure, White Sands and Coronation branches, the food and service have been quite inconsistent – some good, some bad. But when you’re hungry in the middle of the night, it’s a viable option.
Savoury Meal Options
Unagi Porridge – Love it, with the soft rice and fish immersed in a light soupy broth, egg and seaweed bits floating around in it (may taste a bit too strong for people who are not a fan of seaweed)
Chicken Curry – Thick, rich and flavourful with the aroma of coconut milk, this is on par and even better than some local stalls. The bread is warm and soft on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside if you’re lucky (the bread varies across outlets though, some don’t warm it up for you / bread is not as fresh)
Special Pork Rib Bee Hoon – Tender, fatty pork ribs and savoury fried beehoon, a winning combination (again, varies across outlets though)
Papaya Soup Noodles with Pork Chop/Luncheon Meat/Fish/Seafood – Milky, sweet and salty soup which I really like (most of the time – sometimes it can be a bit too salty). Some of my friends dislike it though, saying it smells like elephants…!
Prawn Egg Hor Fun – Usually smooth and egg-y, with lots of prawns. Nice
HK Style Chicken Chop Spaghetti – Shiok max! Peppery sauce for the chicken and sweet tomato paste for the pasta, quite enjoyable
Pork Chop Cheese Baked Rice – Also quite shiok. Cheesy HK Western style with a touch of Asian
Stir-fried Minced Kailan with Silver Fish – An interesting and fairly healthy dish that was also quite tasty. Good for if you’re on a diet/into healthy eating
I think the Shanghai Chicken Chop rice is pretty good too (tried some off a friend’s plate) and the fried chicken in a basket that my friends had a few times looked really nice and juicy – they said it was quite good too!
Snacks, Drinks and Desserts
Shrimp Paste Chicken – Damn shiok!! Tasty, crispy, juicy and coated with a nice prawn-y batter. But very, very oily
Borsch Soup – Normal and very thin, but one of the cheaper dishes and is a comforting light snack
Bo Lo Bun – Sinful with the huge chunk of butter in it, but is again a cheap and nice little snack
Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Roll – Lovely! Succulent and crunchy. But also very oily
Steamed Custard Bun – So-so, the taste was not bad, but there were coarse sugar crystals in the oozing custard
Har Gao, Siew Mai etc – So-so
Teh-type Drinks – Quite tok cong Watermelon Ice – Popular with all us salseroes as it is just so refreshing Mango Snow Ice – Gigantic but not really that spectacular…
Rice Balls in Ginger/Peanut/Sesame Sauce – All not bad, though on one visit the black sesame soup was sour
French Toast (with or without Ice Cream) – The ice cream lends a nice touch and the fried crispy exterior of the toast is enjoyable, but the centre part is kinda too white and bland for my liking
Kaya Toast and Eggs – I think Xin Wang does a decent rendition of these, though as expected not as good as Ya Kun or Wang Cafe
On to Kungfu Paradise! This is a casual eatery chain owned by the Paradise Group, which is also behind restaurants like Taste Paradise, Paradise Dynasty and many more. I haven’t tried as many items here, but here goes, for those that I have tried:
Savoury Meal Options
Chilli Crab Seafood Pasta – The flavour of the sauce was quite good, rich and sweet. The seafood was a bit blah though
Chicken Chop HK Noodles – Pretty normal, just tastes like instant mee
Kungfu ‘Master’ Salad – Nice! Crispy fried chicken with salad and a super spicy and sour sauce
Mushroom Salad – Also quite enjoyable, with a balsamic-base sauce and a generous serving of mushrooms
Tom Yam Seafood Soup – Spicy and strong!! And full of seafood. I quite like this
Snacks, Drinks and Desserts
Steamed Custard Bun – This was really rather good! I dare say comparable to dim sum restaurants. Smooth, rich, velvety custard oozes out upon opening
Peanut Butter French Toast – Another winner. So super rich in flavour and tasted like sin, but it was just so delicious – the creamy nutty butter melting in one’ mouth with the crispy, savoury fried toast
Kungfu Bumger – Pretty darn good; tasty chicken thigh, mayonaise and a crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside kind of bun
Durian Snow Ice – Rather nice as well – the portion was a little small, but the yogurt and QQ balls that came with the smooth durian ice were really enjoyable
Drinks – Haven’t really tried any but heard from friends that the smoothie/fun blended shakes of that sort aren’t particularly nice
Here’s a quick table I drew up to compare the two:
|Xin Wang Hong Kong Café||Kungfu Paradise|
|No. of outlets||16||4|
|Latest opening hour||4am||3 or 4am|
|Favourite outlet for late night visit||Marina Square||Bugis+|
|Recommended dishes||Fried Pork Rib Bee Hoon||Steamed Lava Custard Buns|
|Curry Chicken||French Toast with Peanut Butter|
|Papaya Soup Noodles||Kungfu Bumger|
|Black Pepper Chicken Chop Spaghetti||Tom Yam Seafood Soup|
|Watermelon Ice||Durian Snow Ice|
|Price Range||Both about the same, around $8 – $25 depending on what you order|
Overall, I think that Xin Wang has a better variety of savoury meal options and more location choices too, but when it comes to grabbing a bite or snack (like an awesome French toast or steamed custard bun) I think Kungfu Paradise is worth a shot.
Hope this was useful, I wish you all the best in your quest for supper food in SG! Will cover more of such places soon – my favourite hangout of the moment is Seng Kee in the East, super YUMS.