At this point, it’s no secret that I love Taiwanese food. From comforting braised pork dishes to crispy giant fried chicken cutlets and addictive bubble tea, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the Taiwanese cuisine. Hence, I was excited to check out +886 Bistro, a modern Taiwanese eatery in Jalan Besar.
+886 Bistro was founded by Tony, who used to spend his June and December holidays in Taiwan, where his grandmother owned an eatery in Shuanglian. Taiwan’s country code, +886 is of significance to Tony, as when he was younger, he would have to go to the phone booth with a phone card and dial the numbers to communicate with his family in Taiwan. Hence, the name “+886 Bistro” came to be. I love it when an establishment has a story behind its name.
You’ll spot +886 Bistro when you look out for its blue and white-themed store. The interior of the eatery was spacious and welcoming, with plenty of seats for patrons to choose from.
The menu was full of both traditional and innovative dishes, with some dishes being invented by Tony himself!
What I tried at +886 Bistro
We started off with a classic Taiwanese dish, the Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice (S$5.80), containing premium Japanese rice, superior soy sauce and pork belly braised for more than 24 hours. The dish was garnished with spring onions, and sweet and spicy turnips.
You can’t go wrong with a simple bowl of braised pork rice, and +886 Bistro’s take on the dish hit all the right spots. The rice was fluffy and soft, soaking up the savoury soy sauce nicely. The pork belly had a melt-in-the-mouth texture and had been marinated beautifully. The Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice reminded me of the authentic braised pork rice from street eateries in Taiwan.
A dish unique to +886 Bistro was the Truffle Scallion Udon (S$9.80), which put a spin on the traditional scallion chicken rice dish as it was made with udon, shredded chicken and truffle oil.
I was delighted at the strength of the truffle aroma throughout the entire dish. The soy sauce base soaked into the udon noodles nicely and gave them a flavourful and umami taste.
The shredded chicken was a little on the drier side, though its stringy texture paired perfectly with the thick and bouncy udon noodles.
Yet another creative dish at +886 Bistro was the Ah Bao Braised Pork Fries (S$11.80), which combined braised minced pork with golden shoestring fries, three types of cheese, mayonnaise and spring onions.
It was a super generous portion of fries and I loved the amount of ingredients loaded on it.
The minced pork was tender and well-marinated with tons of savoury flavour and a chewy texture. The cheese was stretchy and salty, while the mayonnaise added a bit of sweetness and creaminess to the dish. The only downside would be that the fries got soggy quite fast because of the amount of sauces in the dish, so be sure to chow down on this quickly.
I loved this dish, and would honestly prefer to get the Ah Bao Braised Pork Fries over other regular cheese fries!
Ah Bao Braised Stew (S$7.80) consisted of radishes, Taiwanese glutinous rice cake, mushrooms, quail eggs, meatballs and fish roe strips that were braised in the same sauce used as their braised pork.
I liked how there were many different elements within the dish, making it a sensorially exciting dish to savour. Each element was flavourful from the marination, and my personal favourite was the Taiwanese glutinous rice cake, which had a chewy, mochi-like texture.
Fried chicken is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods, so we had to try the Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken (S$8.80), a fried chicken thigh chop glazed with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The gigantic chicken chop was incredibly crispy on the outside, while the meat on the inside was tender and soft. The honey glaze gave the chicken a nice sweetness, and every bite was utterly addictive.
The Imperial Pork Chop (S$8.80 for two pieces) did not disappoint either. These boneless fried pork chops were created using a recipe that originated from Tony’s great grandparents.
The huge pork chops were similarly very crispy on the outside with a nice and chewy interior. The dish was seasoned nicely with salt and pepper, giving the pork a flavourful and slightly salty bite.
Given the sizes and quality of the Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken and the Imperial Pork Chop, I definitely found them to be worth their S$8.80 price tags!
We also got the Crispy Enoki (S$5.80), and decided to choose the Truffle flavouring for an additional S$1. The enoki was crispy and the truffle aroma was strong. Lovers of deep-fried enoki must try this snack!
I don’t normally order drinks at restaurants, but +886 Bistro’s selection of beverages were too enticing to pass up. Tony personally recommended the Yam Milk (S$5.50), made with homemade yam and fresh milk. We also opted to add on boba for an additional S$0.50.
The yam was creamy and natural-tasting, with just enough sweetness to enhance its earthy flavours. I could certainly see why this was a popular drink!
The Passionfruit Yakult (S$6), on the other hand, was refreshing and tangy. I loved biting into the crunchy passionfruit seeds, and the slightly sour flavours complemented the milkiness of the yakult nicely.
For dessert, we had the Sweet Potato Taro Balls (S$5.80 for five pieces), which were deep fried balls made with sweet potato and stuffed with taro filling.
The sweet potato balls were chewy with a glutinous, mochi-like texture, while the taro was smooth and earthy. The balls were dusted in plum powder, giving them a unique sour and sweet taste that made the dessert all the more palatable.
Finally, we ended our meal with the Yam Brulee (S$5.20), an invention created by +886 Bistro. The dessert consisted of a silky creme brulee pudding with a crispy torched surface, topped with creamy orh nee.
The earthy orh nee and the sweet, eggy pudding created a smooth mouthfeel and tasted absolutely amazing together. The slight crispy texture of the creme brulee, paired with the smooth, velvety orh nee and pudding, made this a unique and enticing dessert that I would certainly try again.
I was thoroughly impressed by the dishes at +886 Bistro. With most dishes being priced under S$10, +886 Bistro offers an affordable yet delicious and authentic Taiwanese meal. Aside from providing familiar and comforting dishes, I was also delighted at the number of innovative and unique creations that can’t be found anywhere else.
+886 Bistro is a spot that I would definitely return to in the future!
Expected damage: S$6 – S$18 per pax.
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