Famous JB101 Firewokz: Expect A Taste Of Old-School ‘Wokmanship’ At This Zi Char Restaurant

Friday, October 21, 2016

Famous JB 101 Firewokz
21 Bukit Batok Crescent, Wcega Tower #02-01, Singapore 658065

Contact: (65) 6304 3112
Website: Firewokz Facebook
Opening Hours: Daily from 11am-10pm, closed on Sundays

Hidden in Bukit Batok's industrial epicentre, Famous JB101 Firewokz is a zi char restaurant manned by the acclaimed head chef of Malaysian restaurant, "Restoran See Hai Johor". He has decades of experience, and after a long hiatus, he is picking up his work again and stepping back into the kitchen.

The restaurant promises to deliver a taste of old 'wokmanship' through their dishes, and diners are recommended to throw in two-dollars more to add chilled crab meat into their classic dish for an additional sweet and umami seafood flavour.

Now, here lies the big questions: Will we be able to taste the promised "old wokmanship"? Is it really worth going for the $2 chilled crab meat option?

In my honest opinion, no and no. Read on to find out why and more.

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White Bee Hoon ($4/$7/$9)

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Sambal Prawn ($16/$20/$30)

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Western Butter Sliced Fish ($10/$15/$20)

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Assam Fish Head ($20/$22)

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Hokkien Fried Noodles ($4/$7/$9)
Using their special thick noodles

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San Lao Hor Fun ($5/$8/$10)

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Mongolian Spare Ribs ($10/$15/$20)

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Salted Egg Sotong ($10/$15/$20)

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Pork Ribs Rice ($5.50)

Rating: 2.9/5

My two cents:

Famous JB101 Firewokz is located in the open-air food court within WCEGA tower (click here to view it on Google map). It is not your most accessibly-friendly location, as there is no MRT stations in the vicinity and only a handful of buses that travel to the region.

When we arrived at a quarter past seven, the place was eerily quiet. Less than half a dozen people were there for dinner. We wondered how their business could have survived till thus far and concluded that it was probably due to the office workers who would dine at the food court during lunch hour for the sake of convenience.

To be really honest, the food served was edible and pretty alright. However the low rating given was a result of mismatched expectations; they did promise a taste of old-school wokmanship and I tasted none in their dishes. Also I felt that for a regular portion of their meat and seafood dishes, the prices were a tad too steep.

Perhaps I am being too strict. Perhaps I should have taken the press release with a pinch of salt. My bad?

Regardless here are some of the dishes that we did enjoy and would recommend you to try at Famous JB 101 Firewokz:

  • Sambal Prawns

    If you are a fan of good ol' spicy sambal and prawns, this dish is made for you. We liked the fragrance of the sambal and the use of fresh prawns. Do note though that alike most prawn dishes, you gotta get your hands dirty in order to get the good stuff!

  • Assam Fishhead

    Assam Fishhead is one of my favourite fish dishes, and I am glad that the chef did not hold back on the assam paste for this one. It was spicy, it was sour. I like the addition of eggplants, okra (lady's finger) and tomato, which helped to dial back on the spiciness of the dish. The fish head used is your usual snapper, and it was fresh and tender. This was definitely one of the best dishes of the night!

  • Salted Egg Sotong

    This is not your usual café-style salted egg, where there is more custard than salted egg. We are talking about all of the good stuff here, where the salted egg is grainy and savoury and gives a umami rush. Each piece of sotong is well-coated in the salted egg mix, and deep fried to crisp.

  • San Lao Hor Fun

    I like the silky texture of the kway teow, combined with the savoury thick gravy that the noodles were stir-fried in. A generous portion of sliced fresh fish were given, and the beansprouts were plump and juicy and and had a crunch when bitten into. If you need some carbs in your meal, opt for this instead of a bowl of white rice, you'll thank me for it!

For more information on Famous JB 101 Firewokz, do check out their Facebook page.

Note: This post was sponsored by Famous JB 101 Firewokz.