Woo Ricebox: From Taichung to Jurong Point

I rarely travel to Jurong West, mainly because the mere thought of the travelling on the East West line any further West of Jurong East evokes some serious memories; young foolish love and of tutorial-hugging days. Bittersweet, mostly of the caustic kind - crowded 179s and deep-seeded hatred for the academics despite my Dean's list beginnings. Long story cut short, I avoid heading to Boon Lay and for good reason too since rarely is there a joint, worth the heartache nor the travelling.

Woo Ricebox on the other hand is an exception. An authentic Taiwanese ricebox since 1939, it now has established itself as a household name in Taiwan with more than 200 stores under its wing. Speaking of Taiwan, I have always been amused at how commuters can practice so much discipline while granted the autonomy to tuck into their take-aways while on public transport - carriages are left spick and span with no lingering odors or pungent food stenches and containers are carefully disposed of after the feast. I suppose, if granted with the same permission to do so in Singapore would lead to dire and extremely unsanitary circumstances on our trains.

Reminiscent of the times I've spent frolicking in Taiwan, the rice box selection, complete with regular Taiwanese food fare and sides makes for a rather budget friendly meal. Especially apt when it comes to dining in the heartlands. 

The Railway Pork Chop Ricebox ($9.90) as tiny as it seems, reveals a massive palm sized succulent pork chop smothered in a spiced sauce leaning over pickled veggies, braised tofu (inconceivably lean), broccoli and pearl grained rice, specially imported from Taitung for that healthy all-in-one convenient meal. CBD warriors, fret not as there is a branch in Ocean Financial Centre, to resolve your hunger issues.

New to the menu is Woo's Pork Chop Noodles. Toss it when its still hot and you're very much guaranteed a delectable bowl of sauce coated noodles boosted with the likes of thin fried pork chop and braised egg.  I had a mini fall-out with the noodles after a couple of photography opportunities, the dry mix not appealing to my senses. Thank goodness for the 狮子头 Lion's Head Soup that came to the rescue - large pork meatballs stewed with napa cabbage - is a great addition to your Taiwanese rice box meal; especially for those who have a preference for wetter compositions . 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what doesn't work, let's talk about what does. The Spicy Drumstick Ricebox ($8.90) was quickly wiped up. The presence of a juicy chicken thigh, bound in crispy golden brown skin with a spicy marinade is hardly subtle. So is the Braised Minced Pork Ricebox (6.80) which in my honest opinion could have use a larger ratio of fatty mince to better absorb the flavors of the braising liquids. Snacks such as the Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken ($4.20) and Fried Sweet Potato ($3.50) are wonderful additions to the meal and a good representation of Taiwanese street food culture - everything deep-fried and tossed in a flavoursome blend of spices. 

The Crispy Wrap ($3.90) held little prospects but blew my expectations out of the water with its deep-fried crispy taco like skin holding nuances of five spice; this wrapped around carefully julienned strips of pork belly and pickled carrots and cucumbers presented a treat that I would so happily devour every afternoon.

Take note that there is also a premium gong cha located inside the Woo Ricebox Restaurant - hence you'll get to enjoy both Taiwanese delicacies in one spot. However, administration of unique beverages at this outlet warrants a higher pricing. My best advice would be to grab a cold one during after lunch hours, plop down on the white sofas lining the "al-fresco" seating of the establishment and enjoy the free WiFi. 

Woo Ricebox
63 Jurong West Central 3
t: 6316 4468

Operating Hours: 
Mon - Sun: 11am - 10pm

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