In case you have no time to read this entire post, I can easily convey all I need to say into one sentence. If you like roast pork, then a visit to One Bowl Restaurant in The Sultan Hotel, Singapore should be on your to do list. Although the roast pork is referred to as char siew in the menu, it does not look like the regular char siu that we are used to. Instead of thin slices of mostly lean meat with red colouring at the edges, the char siew at One Bowl Restaurant were partially fatty pieces, cut into thick slabs and without any colouring. More oily than the usual kind but perhaps that is what gives it its rich taste.
We have not passed by this stretch of Jalan Sultan in a while, nor heard of The Sultan Hotel but were glad to have stopped by this part of Singapore. It has a mix of old and new Singapore. The area is atmospheric and the restored shophouses that have been combined to create the Sultan Hotel looks beautiful. The (often messy) back lanes that separate the rows of shophouses have been tastefully transformed into an attractive mini bamboo forest.
The Sultan Hotel is unostentatious. A simple reception greets visitors. The One Bowl restaurant lies right behind it. In the morning, it serves breakfast to hotel guests. It is at lunch and dinner that the magic char siew is served.
The One Bowl restaurant is quite small. The wall adornments made from spoons and the irregularly shaped table tops gave the place a busy look. For such an out-of-the-way place we were surprised to see that most tables had a reserved sign placed on them when we were there for lunch on a weekend. We would recommend you make a reservation in case you are thinking of visiting them.
One Bowl Restaurant Menu
Here are pictures of the One Bowl Restaurant menu. Char siew is of course the highlight here. In addition to the char siew platter ($15 per 200g), the roasted pork also makes an appearance in different forms such as the signature char siew noodles ($9.90) and char siew in mantou ($12 for 6). Other local favourites like ngoh hiang and nasi lemak etc complete the menu.
I will show you the secret weapon straightaway. These stacks of char siew had been roasted till the fatty bits had caramelised. Each piece has a good mix of fatty and lean meat. I am prepared to suffer at the gym for this.
We also tried a few of other roast pork incorporated dishes – the char siew noodles and the char siew buns, and they were great. But the similar taste may get too monotonous after a while. It is best to order a mix of non-char siew dishes.
The yellow wine chicken which was a special item for the day. The dish of chicken wings cooked in a broth with Chinese wine was quite average and did not leave an impression.
The braised tofu ($10) and ngoh hiang ($13) were both very good. These delicious local items make this a worthwhile place to visit even without the char siew. Another dish worth trying is the claypot rice – rice cooked with chicken, salted fish and Chinese sausages.
Good char siew and red wine are good friends. A bottle of 2012 Chateau de Beaucastel was introduced to help reduce the oiliness of the meal. Overall, the standard of food at One Bowl Restaurant was high and reasonably priced.
And do leave some space for dessert. The aiyu jelly with aloe vera ($4.80) was a refreshing end to the meal.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
One Bowl Restaurant & Bar
The Sultan Hotel
101 Jalan Sultan
Tel: (65) 6723 7101
Lunch: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM (Last Order 2:45 PM)
Dinner: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Last Order 9:30 PM)
Nearby MRT Stations: Lavender, Nicoll Highway
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog