3 Meals a Day: One of the best salted egg chicken dishes in Singapore, hidden in Sim Lim

Hidden in plain sight! That was my first reaction when my colleague, chef-turned-writer Aaron told me about a restaurant in Sim Lim Square that he liked. 3 Meals a Day it’s called and I hadn’t even had one meal there.

My only excuse is that, being a computer geek, I’d literally never eaten at Sim Lim, preferring to spend every last minute there ogling at tech that’s way outside my budget. That was going to change this day in the best way possible.

3 Meals a Day - exterior & interior
3 Meals a Day - exterior & interior

3 Meals a Day is shop #02-01, meaning it’s the first shop in one corner of the second floor. It’s location in that very weirdly-shaped corner of the floor means that its floorplan is equally weirdly-shaped. Still, the place has a bright and airy feel to it.

3 Meals a Day - Feature wall
3 Meals a Day - Feature wall

The décor is fun and personal. One of the walls is replete with over a hundred photos of smiling diners posing for the camera. Another is dedicated to the theme of ‘Home’ with inspiring and touching quotes. Most of the other walls featured posters and large, stylised characters.

Mandy, the manager told me that the majority of the crowd is made up of returning customers, some of whom eat there almost every day. I could tell that wasn’t an exaggeration from the constant banter between staff and diners.

What I tried at 3 Meals a Day

When I asked for suggestions, staff recommended the Salted Egg Chicken with Rice (S$5.90). I decided to add Egg (S$0.60) to my order because I had heard good things about it.

3 Meals a Day - Salted Egg Chicken with Rice
3 Meals a Day - Salted Egg Chicken with Rice

The Salted Egg Chicken with Rice arrived pretty quickly. I think the plating was done well, very neat and tidy, although heaping everything to one side made the serving seem small (it wasn’t). Resisting the urge to go ham on the keropok, I responsibly started with the chicken.

Blown. Frickin’. Away.

3 meals a day - closeup of salted egg chicken

Subtly spicy but superbly creamy, the curry chicken was so good that I had to stop in surprise. It’s hard to gauge whether it was actually the best I had ever tasted but I am quite sure it’s very near the top of the list.

There was cut red chilli here, too, but it still lacked the high kick of spiciness that the chicken was dealing out left, right and centre. I am a pretty weak spice eater and it really surprised me how good I found the curry. The chicken was so delicious that I didn’t care about the heat and powered right through it.

It was even better with the egg, with the gooey golden goodness adding wonderful texture to every bite. I enjoyed the combination so much that I hardly touched the rice.

3 Meals a Day - Cereal Fish with Rice
3 Meals a Day - Cereal Fish with Rice

My order of Cereal Fish with Rice (S$6.50) with Egg (S$0.60) took about 10 minutes to arrive. It had been raining that day (and all week!) so to get it fresh out of the kitchen, steaming hot was a real pleasure.

There were 5 pieces of fish, all very crisp and— my favourite part— covered in pork floss. Also on the plate were another 4 small-ish pieces of keropok. Crispy crunch + crispy crunch + crispy crunch was how I saw these 3 parts.

The fish was good! I love that it wasn’t as salty as some other places tend to make it. The pork floss, usually my favourite part of every dish it is in, was just an extra bonus. It was sweeter than what you get at other places. Me with my sweet tooth loved it like nobody’s business.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, too. It was really good but, in my opinion, it just couldn’t compare to the chicken in terms of flavour. The spiciness factor also wasn’t there.

The only complaint I can make about either dish is that the egg could have been a little more runny— I love the gooey goodness that infuses rice with its subtle savoury loveliness.

3 Meals a Day - 3 Layer Tea Ice
3 Meals a Day - 3 Layer Tea Ice

For drinks, I had been recommended the Three layer Tea Ice (S$2.70). I usually have my drink with my meal but on this day, I left it till the end because I didn’t want to dilute the flavours I was enjoying so much.

Final thoughts

3 Meals a Day - full meal
3 Meals a Day - full meal

I love it when a seemingly ordinary place surprises the heck out of me with delicious food. 3 Meals a Day is one of the very rare hidden gems that gave me this very unique pleasure.

It’s amazing that a reasonably small, rather nondescript, partly chaotic, very casual little place can dole out such good fare and go largely unrecognised.

I was doubly shocked that all this subterfuge was going on at Sim Lim Square, a place where I usually spend several hours whenever I find the opportunity to escape there.

What had I been doing not eating here ever before? If you haven’t, either, now’s a good time to go!

Expected damage: S$5.90 – $10 per pax

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