The open-air back-alley JB Ah Meng in Lorong 23 that most are familiar with has shifted early Jan 2017! Good news, it is now located at a brighter, semi air-conditioned location in Lorong 30, more spacious and cooler yay!!
Well in case you have been wondering, JB Ah Meng is locally owned and not originated from JB (Johor Bahru – Malaysia). The chefs, however, are from across the causeway and the restaurant does serve JB inspired dishes like San Lou Bee Hoon. Ahhh.. now we know!
The menu at JB Ah Meng may not be as sizeable when compared other Zi Char / Restaurants; but I love that their dishes are not quite the usual Har Cheong Gai (Prawn Paste Chicken), Pai Gu Wang (Pork Ribs), Sambal Kang Kong (Morning Glory) we get elsewhere.
A great ‘snack’ to begin the feast will be the Deep-Fried Fermented Bean with Pork Belly (S$18 - Medium) dish. Nicely marinated with a subtle hint of the red fermented beancurd and 5 spice powder, these crunchy bites are rather addictive!
The Fried Garlic Chili Clams ($24 – Medium) seemed to be on many on the patron’s table, so we decided to jump onto the bandwagon too! Fresh plump clams evenly coated with fragrant garlicky sauce, personally I would have liked more kick from the chili but no doubt the zup (sauce) goes perfectly on top of a bowl of rice!
I’ll be honest, vegetables dishes are usually to balance or less the guilt of a feast and it isn’t often that I will think much of these ‘side kicks’. Over here, the Salted Black Bean Fish with Vegetable [Indian Leaf Lettuce) (S$15 – Medium) & Brinjal Potato with Chilli (S$12 – Small) looked unassuming but were both very flavorsome and had us stunned like vegetables! Only wished the Salted Black Bean Fish Vegetable dish used a little less oil.
Over at JB Ah Meng, they added some twist to the already very popular Salted Egg Prawn Ball (S$20 - Small). Crispy corn kernels are added to the Salted Egg Prawns to give it a nice crunch and bite, overall an enjoyable dish especially so for Salted Egg lovers.
Another crowd’s favourite will be the famous White Pepper Crab (2 Medium Crabs at S$84). I don’t know if the auntie loved us or what, but we got two meaty crabs with chunks and chunks of roes! The crabs were tossed in power buttery white pepper sauce & lotsa spring onions but you could still taste the sweetness of the crab meat! Mmm lip-smackin' deliciousness with some heat!
JB San Lou Mee Hoon (S$14 – Large) was tasty but did not wow. Having read reviews of the dish being crispy-charred and bursting with Wok-Hei flavor, we did not experience any of the said. In all fairness, the 'flattened' noodles were moist and they were not stingy on the ingredients.
Even though the place was super crowded, the staff were never rude but extremely quick! Auntie who took our orders was not pushy and she gave us great recommendations (not just dishes but the size we should order). The other staff members remembered every single of our requests each time. Kudos!
Is it worth the hype? I say YES, in fact I am looking forward to my next visit. Extremely reasonably priced Michelin Bib Gourmand venue, and please remember to call to make the reservation to avoid disappointment!
JB Ah Meng
Address: 534 Geylang Road Lorong 30, Singapore 389490
Opening Hours: 5.30pm – 2.30am Daily