The “Western Food” that you can find in Singapore’s many neighbourhood eateries is rather unique experience.While many of the younger ones clamour for michelin-starred duck leg confits or prime cut steaks that costs 20% of your salary sometimes, western food to me growing up meant hearty and mostly sinful servings of pan-sizzled chops and steaks, or breadcrumb-coated cutlets deep fried till golden brown. Served with french fries, (usually) a bun and baked beans and/or coleslaw , the Hainanese-influenced cuisine is regarded as comfort food by many millennials like me.
Like the Rifleman’s Creed:
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life.
To every Singaporean there is a western food stall/store close to their heart. This is mine.
Lucky Western Food
Ah, this brings me back down memory lane. Back when I was still in primary school, my eyes always gleamed with anticipation as I had to walk past the kopitiam right behind after the day’s end. I would catch on to aroma of glorious, deep fried food, and hope that my mum would decide to have lunch (or dinner if I was in the afternoon session) there. It was also my source of sustenance when I grew older whenever I had tuition classes nearby till late.
Originally of Block 466 Crawford Lane (which now houses another modernised, more famous western food stall), the Chua sisters have been griddling steaks and dunking cutlets into deep fryers for “about 30 years”. Just over 20 years ago, they moved to their current location, round the corner at block 462, where they have since stayed. I fondly remember the kopitiam being packed with working adults and students alike during mealtimes, with the latter often eating clandestinely to avoid getting ‘caught’ by their physical education teachers eating sinfully! Nowadays, even though my alma mater moved out to bigger premises, they still get a steady stream of old-timers who can never forget the homely feel of the sisters’ culinary delights.
Different from most western food stalls, their chicken cutlets and chops are marinated with a special and generous mix, while still retaining a well-balanced flavour. For this visit, I ordered my favourite chicken cutlet. Served on a very old-school porcelain plate with side servings of fries, slice o’ garlic bread, slaw and cucumber + tomato slices, it bears the Uniquely Singapore hallmarks of western food. The chicken itself is evenly cooked and when freshly served, tender on the inside and oh.so.crunchy! with the crispy batter on the outside.
Other popular dishes include their chicken chop, fish & chips, as well as the half spring chicken set which only goes for $5 (I recall they have not raised their prices significantly for a while already), but of course to keep you in suspense, I’ll let you, the readers, try it out for yourself.
Quietly serving their fare day in, day out, the Chua Sisters managed their long running popularity with a steady stream of old timers, even as the neighbourhood slowly faded off only to receive a recent wave of rejuvenation with some hipster cafes and even a michelin-starred stall nearby.
While I remember prices used to be much lower back when I was still in primary school (more than 15 years ago!), the ladies I endearingly call ‘auntie’ managed to keep their prices very competitive, with a whole spring chicken set going only for $9, and a beef steak/lamb chop set for only $7!
While it’s nothing too outstanding to rave about, it represents the brand of western cuisine found nowhere else in the world, and reminds you of home even if you are still at home.
The Chua sisters have built up Lucky Western Food with a good brand of local fare over the decades, and the experience speaks for itself. Hail the O.G. and queens of Crawford Lane!
Lucky Western Food
Wiseng Food Place
462 Crawford Lane
Opening Hours: 12pm-9pm Daily, closed on Sundays (may close earlier!)