5 Little Bears 五只小熊 is a small Taiwanese restaurant in Paya Lebar Square serving popular Taiwanese food such as Honey Glazed Chicken Chop, Braised Pork Rice, Oyster Vermicelli and Sour Plum Sweet Potato. They also have bubble tea and papaya milk. It is well patronised even though it has only a few tables for dine-in customers. Many are happy to wait in queue for the few seats in the restaurant or to buy to take way.
5 Little Bears had been very popular in Far East Plaza before relocating to Paya Lebar Square. The stall sells Taiwanese street food. It was started by a Taiwanese who came to Singapore and missed the familiar taste of simple food found in street stalls of Taiwan. You can thus expect 5 Little Bears to serve authentic Taiwanese street fare.
The restaurant in Paya Lebar Square is quite attractive looking with its red brick walls and lanterns. There are a few simple tables and basic stools. You place your order at the counter in front and pay there. A buzzing device will be given and you collect your food and beverage when the device buzzes.
There is quite a wide selection of items on the menu including fried fish bento, pork chop bento, sesame seed chicken, teriyaki chicken and oyster mee sua. Snack items include fish tempura, crispy mushroom and crispy sweet potatoes. There are also small appetizer dishes.
We have tried their braised pork rice ($5), teriyaki chicken bento ($7.50) and beef noodles ($8.50). When you order a bento or main dish, you can add $1 for a cup of winter melon tea, jasmine green tea or Taiwanese black tea. Their portions are quite generous and you will find plenty of vegetables added. The amount of the leafy vegetables in the beef noodles soup would easily be the equivalent of a plate of a la carte vegetables served in some of the noodle chain stores.
The braised pork rice was very well balanced. The pork had a good mild flavour and was not oily. It was a nutritious and delicious meal in a bowl. The teriyaki chicken bento came in a Styrofoam tray (on a subsequent visit, we saw that they had switched to using bento boxes – see photo below). It did not look pretty but there was much to enjoy. The sauce on the chicken was not over-powering and allowed you to enjoy the crispy skin and the tender meat underneath.
The beef noodles would be one of the best Taiwanese beef noodles we have tried in Singapore. The stock was light but had rich complex flavours. The beef came in thick cuts with some gelatinous sinew or tendon embedded in the meat. The beef was tender and the noodles were soft and chewy. The crunchy pickled vegetables provided a contrasting texture which greatly added to the enjoyment of the noodle dish.
It is easy to understand the popularity of 5 Little Bears. They have a system which is quite efficient and we never had to wait for more than a few minutes after ordering our food. There is a variety of options, the quality of food is good and the portion is fairly generous. They serve simple delicious food at reasonable prices. We wish there are more places like the 5 Little Bears.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
5 Little Bears 五只小熊
60 Paya Lebar Road, #B1-09
Tel: +65 6702 1098
Opening hours : 11.30 am – 9.30 pm
Nearby MRT Station: Paya Lebar