Cai Lin Ji is a famous Chinese breakfast store now open in Jurong Point
When it comes to breakfast, Wuhan’s iconic breakfast culture comes to mind. Breakfast lovers can rejoice as Cai Lin Ji, a famous breakfast eatery in China, has just opened their very first overseas outlet here in Jurong Point.
Cai Lin Ji is widely known as one of the most established breakfast spots in the Hubei province, having a reputation for offering one of the best noodles in China. With a history dating back to 1928, Cai Lin Ji first started as a small eatery at Man Chun Road in Han Kou. They now have more than 100 eateries to their name and are famous for their re gan mian, AKA hot dry noodles━a top breakfast choice in China. This Singapore store is their first international outlet.
Food at Cai Lin Ji
The menu is similar to what you would find in their Chinese outlets, providing street food and delicacies that can be found in the Hubei province: re gan mian, beef noodles, steamed buns, beancurd skin rolls and more.
We started with their perennial classic, Zha Jiang Hot Dry Noodles ($7.90++). This dish is tossed in a sesame and garlic-based sauce, and topped with minced meat, preserved vegetables, and spring onions.
They drowned the noodles in a generous amount of dark soya sauce, which blended nicely with the nutty sesame paste.
The minced pork was cooked till tender and full of flavour, with a sweet-savouriness from the sweet bean sauce.
The noodles, on the other hand, I found to be a tad too dry for my liking. While I appreciated that they didn’t clump together, I would recommend mixing them into the sauce as soon as possible, to prevent them from becoming too stiff. Otherwise, the noodles were plentiful and there was enough sauce for them to be well-coated in it.
Every bite had a good textural contrast between the tender minced pork and the slightly chewy noodles.
We much preferred the next dish, their Xiang Yang Beef Noodles ($10.90++).
The bowl came piping hot and greeted us right away with its fragrant aroma.
The broth was rich and savoury, boasting also a robust beefy flavour. It was spicy and had a slight tanginess, reminiscent of suan la tang. Fair warning, this gets spicier as you eat, so be prepared!
I liked that the noodles did not get soggy easily and maintained their springy, bouncy texture.
I thoroughly enjoyed the beef! It managed to retain a distinct beefy flavour without being overpowered by the spiciness of the soup.
To share, we got their Steamed Dumplings ($4.90++), which are not to be confused with xiao long bao (XLB).
It’s a meat bao that I felt was too much bun and too little minced pork filling, though the bao was fluffy and soft, and the meat well-seasoned.
Snack-wise, we got their Three Delicacies Dou Pi (two for $8.50++). Instead of the beancurd skin roll you get in dim sum, this dish is a street staple stuffed with meat and glutinous rice.
The dou pi is fried on a flat pan, which gives it a slight crisp and a beautiful golden brown colour.
This hearty dish comes with a generous filling of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, meat chunks, and glutinous rice.
Given how hearty and filling it is, their dou pi is a must-try, and could easily stand as a main dish on its own.
Ambience at Cai Lin Ji
Cai Lin Ji sits on the third floor of Jurong Point, located next to Boon Lay MRT Station. The eatery is hard to miss with its bold red signboard and brightly lit interior. I’d recommend visiting outside of peak hours to avoid the lunch crowd as the queue can get pretty long then.
Overall, while not all the dishes we tried were to our liking, I appreciated that the food was priced reasonably and came in generous portions. If you’re curious about Wuhan’s breakfast culture and want to savour legit breakfast dishes, do pay Cai Lin Ji a visit!
Address: 1 Jurong West Central 2, #03-56, Jurong Point, Singapore 648886
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 10pm
Cai Lin Ji is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Ke-ian J Leong.
This was an independent visit by Eatbook.sg