Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe

February 08, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe
23 Serangoon Central
#B2-15 NEX

1 Harbourfront Walk
#B2-26A VivoCity


https://www.facebook.com/taileiloikeiSG


Delicious Pork Chop Buns

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 4
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $13 per person.


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Founded in 1968 in Taipa, Macau, Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe has grown from being a humble coffee stall to an international brand franchise. Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe is best known for a signature Macau speciality, the Pork Chop Bun, and their version is made with large pieces of Brazilian pork.

Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe patterns itself after a fast-food concept. Ambience at Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe is clean and functional, with many wooden tables and metal chairs laid out in tightly packed, linear fashion in its small floor space. Interior lighting is warm but dim, and the openess of the place leads to a relatively high ambient noise level.

Due to its fast food concept, you'll largely be doing self-service. Service staff at Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe are friendly though, and able to make recommendations. However, ordering, payment, and collection of orders are all self-service. I also notice staff clearing empty / dirty tables quickly and efficiently, a critical action due to the small floor space and limited seating at Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe. I'm also thankful for the staff who guided me when ordering, saving me money.

The menu at Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe is limited, but the few items they have are done very well. Food at Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe are largely Macau classic favourites, and all are tasty and flavourful. Portions are quite large, more than enough for 1 person, and prices are comparable to other fast food brands, budget about SGD $13 or so per person.


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Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe Menu



The Macau Curry Fish Ball (SGD $4.90) has soft, bouncy fishballs in a savoury, slightly spicy curry sauce / gravy. I felt the curry was a little too salty for my liking, but I loved the nice, bouncy texture of the fish balls.

Macau Curry Fish Ball


Macau Curry Fish Ball



The house Signature Pork Chop Bun (SGD $6.90) only has 2 main ingredients, a large, thick slab of Brazilian pork chop, lean without much fat, marinated in house secret spices then grilled till juicy and tender, with a slight crust. Sandwiched between a house recipe baguette bread / bun, which is soft, fluffy, and tears off easily, this is a winner. It's full flavoured, and delicious. Highly recommended!

Signature Pork Chop Bun



The Polo Pork Chop Bun (SGD $7.90) has that same great tasting, large slab of juicy, tender, marinated pork chop. But here it's sandwiched between a polo bun instead. I like the slight crisp crust of the polo bun, which has just a hint of sweetness. But it's much more messy to eat with your hands, as it's slightly oily.

Polo Pork Chop Bun



The Macau Milk Tea (SGD $2.30 Hot / $2.80 Cold) is a decent choice of drink here, with a deep flavour of tea and milk. You're able to taste the different layers within the beverage.

Macau Milk Tea



The Bouncy Noodles With Chicken Wings & Luncheon Meat (SGD $8.90) is a full meal on its own. The noodles are al-dente, with a slight bite, yet still soft, and savoury from soaking in the soy sauce gravy. The vegetables of Chinese broccoli / kai-lan are fresh and lend a crunchy texture, while the chicken wings are crisp yet juicy, with a delicious skin. I also liked the large slab of luncheon meat, which is soft and savoury. However, the egg wasn't that great, halfway between an overeasy and a sunny side up egg, it had a semi solid yolk, neither runny nor hard.

Bouncy Noodles With Chicken Wings & Luncheon Meat



The Serradura Sawdust Pudding, here known as Sawdust Cake (SGD $3.50), is a Macau classic dessert, adapted from Portuguese cuisine. A chilled, layered dessert confectionery, the Serradura Sawdust Pudding is made with vanilla whipped cream, condensed milk, and finely crushed digestive / Marie biscuits. The combination of sweet with crunchy is pretty good, though somewhat heavy as a dessert due to the cream.

Serradura Sawdust Pudding


Serradura Sawdust Pudding



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Update Sep-2016: Tai Lei Loi Kei Cafe has changed their concept, moving away from fast food, becoming more like a quick, casual dining restaurant. They've also updated and expanded their menu, but sadly, have dropped the use of premium Brazilian pork. They now use a more cost-affordable (cheaper) cut of pork, lower in quality, but still rather decent. Sad, as they've lost that unique edge.

Wanted to get something else, but it was sold out, so the staff recommended me the Salted Egg Pork Chop Bun (SGD $8.90) instead. While the house recipe baguette bread / bun still remains as soft, fluffy, and good as ever, the pork is now leaner and less fatty, less savoury, and deep-fried instead of grilled. This also means it's less juicy. The salted egg sauce is terrible, being the powdered processed version, not the stir-fried version. Skip this.

Salted Egg Pork Chop Bun (SGD $8.90)



A new dessert item on the menu, the Portuguese Egg Tart (SGD $1.50) is decent. The best thing about this is the crisp, flaky pastry tart crust, which shatters beautifully when bit. The eggy custard within is sweet with a hint of smoky, but not as soft and wobbly as it should be.

Portuguese Egg Tart (SGD $1.50)






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