In a country full of such tasty, diverse and delicious hawker food, it saddens me when you run into overpriced, poor dishes that are apparently "famous" and a "must try". Now I have no idea if Xing Chen Pork Rib Soup, located within Food Republic on the 3rd floor or VivoCity is actually a famous place, but their postings of newspaper clippings citing it as a "must try", and the fact that they have their own reserved seating area within the centre definitely fooled me!
All I can say is, if you know how to boil pork ribs in chicken broth and garlic, well, you have the dish they call their "premium pork rib soup". It's a rather boring dish, and for $8 for 3 ribs (yes, you read that right. I think I was half drunk when I decided to purchase this) they're outright robbing you!
Yes, the pork meat "falls off the bone", but that's what you get when you simmer pork ribs! There's no flavour in the meat itself, the soup is what has all the flavour (from the garlic).
To cap it all off, they wouldn't even let me sit in the "reserved" section after I had purchased the overpriced dish. I had a sesame ball from a stall next door on my tray, and they said they won't allow me in their VIP section without other food on my tray. I was honestly in such disbelief that I shook my head, gave them my death stare, and just walked away.
Glad to say, I will, never, ever, frequent their stall again, especially not with so many other options available at Food Republic!
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