If you’ve ever studied or worked at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), you’ll do a double take when you walk past Osa Kaki Fuyong at Beauty World’s food centre. The Japanese fusion stall, which opened in early September, serves a slightly elevated version of the polytechnic’s best-loved dish.
Chances are you’d have queued up for the super popular (and original) “Kaki Fuyong” dish at the polytechnic’s canteen.
Sold at the Japanese Cuisine stall at NP’s Makan Place food court (which is open to the public), generations of students have eaten it and curious first-timers have joined the queue because #FOMO. Yes, even this writer, who is an NP lecturer, has succumbed. This dish is so popular, that it even inspired a student web series named after it.
So, what is Kaki Fuyong? It’s a hybrid Japanese-Chinese dish of kaki (oyster in Japanese) and egg (a la the popular zi char egg dish fuyong dan). It’s served sizzling in a round hotplate which, like all hotplate dishes, just makes your canteen meal feel a little more special.
“I’d say our Kaki Fuyong is an ‘upgraded’ version of the NP recipe as we have adjusted it based on what we like, and also offer more variety [of toppings] in our menu,” says Jack Lim, who adds that “we really love the NP Kaki Fuyong, that’s why we decided to bring this to Beauty World Centre”.
Imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery though the NP stall does not have a monopoly on the yummy hotplate egg dish, of course. We’ve also heard of similar offerings at Nanyang Poly and NTU.
Ironically, the stall at NP (which we hear has been sold to a new vendor) no longer serves the eggy dish with oysters, only with chicken karaage (S$4), pork (S$4) or grilled saba fish (S$4.50). Each portion comes with rice and miso soup.
In comparison, Osa’s version starts from S$5.50 for their cheapest chicken karaage set, served with a bowl of rice. Miso soup with salmon or beef costs another S$1.50.
KAKI FUYONG ORIGINAL, S$5.50
Call it nostalgia. This dish that started it all is still our favourite. They are quite generous with their oysters, which is briefly simmered in a sweet-salty sauce. We counted at least 10 smallish ones. If only they were as big and plump as the ones pictured on their signboard but at S$5.50, we can’t complain.
A translucent teriyaki-esque glaze cloaks the oysters and seeps into the fluffy omelette. It crisps up at the edges, just the way we like our hotplate dishes. It’s not quite as satisfying as orh luak, but still very appetising,
We recommend eating it with the plain white rice that comes with your main dish though for just S$1.50, you can swap your rice with a heaving bowl of Japanese curry udon. That would overpower the original sauce, though.
BEEF KIMCHEESE FUYONG, S$7.50
The Kimcheese range is the least popular of the three but we actually really enjoyed this. Piquant kimchi and a slice of cheese, which is blow-torched before serving, add sour and savoury notes that cut through the richness.
SALMON CURRY FUYONG. S$6.50
You get a decently-sized piece of fried salmon. The home-made Japanese curry is also, well, decent. Not the best we’ve had, but competently executed.