Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun: Unique chee cheong fun with Japanese unagi at Holland Drive

Chee cheong fun has always come in the same old options of char siew and prawns, so coming across unusual flavours is something that calls for my immediate attention. Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun was an attention grabber when I noticed their list of unique flavours.

I would classify myself as an adventurous eater, so this not-so-typical chee cheong fun stall is right up my alley. As it’s located at Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, I was glad that it wasn’t too out of the way. There were many parking lots available around the area as well, so that is probably why this market is filled with people and long queues during lunch hour.

I spy with my little eye… Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun! Once you exit the stairwell at the main entrance, you’ll be able to see the store directly on your left. I didn’t expect to find their stall so easily, as I perpetually have difficulty locating stalls especially when many of them have similar signboards.

There you have it. Their signage stands out as compared to the rest because of its prominent maroon colour. You’ll see their line-up of 7 different chee cheong fun variations available for your fancy. You can expect the normal offerings, as well as unique renditions like smoked salmon, liver sausage and unagi.

What I tried at Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun

Their plates of chee cheong fun did not look dissimilar. In fact, they looked identical! It was difficult for me to differentiate between my orders just based on visuals alone. I tried the mushroom, char siew, and unagi, all of which were freshly made to order.

My expectations for this were pretty high, considering how I was wow-ed by my previous experience at Xin Kee Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun.

Let’s get into the Unagi Chee Cheong Fun. Da Chang Jin Chee Cheong Fun has limited portions of this flavour a day, so to find out that they still had a portion for me at 11am made me extremely elated. Come early if you don’t want to be disappointed!

Each plate of Unagi Chee Cheong Fun costs S$5, which led my brother to comment that he’d rather save costs by satisfying his unagi cravings here than spend on an expensive bowl of Japanese unagi don elsewhere. If you really want to make this Japanese-esque, you can add ebiko for an additional S$1.

I was caught by surprise after trying a bite of it as the sweet teriyaki hit me first, and I marvelled at how the pairing of the rice rolls and unagi skin went pleasantly well together. If you were expecting crispy grilled unagi like how it’s usually served in Japanese dons, it isn’t the same here at Da Chang Jin Chee Cheong Fun. Their cooking method of the unagi is different— plus, it’s portioned into the rice rolls for an easier bite! Its porous texture is what makes it ideal especially when it’s enveloped in a rice roll, as the meat soaks up all the juices. This was super flavourful and totally unexpected, as strange pairings like this could’ve gone awfully wrong.

My kaypoh self went to pry and asked how they did it. The chef mentioned that the unagi is steamed together with the rice rolls, which is probably why it tastes so moist and soft! Did I mention that they had no bones as well?

Next up, we have the Mushroom Chee Cheong Fun (S$3.50). Even though it was the second cheapest item on the menu, it delivered quite well. The rice rolls were stuffed with a good amount of enoki mushrooms, giving an earthy taste to the rice rolls. In addition, it also gave a nice chew in juxtaposition to the silky layers of the chee cheong fun.

Add a bit of chilli and chye poh (preserved radish) to each roll for a further enhancement of flavour. It introduces saltiness and sweetness to the already awesome dish! The chye poh was super addictive too… I couldn’t stop myself from munching on it.

Good news is that they gave large portions of the chye poh— in fact, I was given about two large spoonfuls, which is great because more for me!

Last but not least, I tried the Char Siew Chee Cheong Fun. Even though it was priced at S$4, Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun wasn’t stingy at all with the rice rolls stuffed with chunks of minced char siew.

I felt that this option filled me faster as compared to the other 2, as it was meatier. Alternatively, it could’ve been due to their generous portions too!

It was very easy to continue going at my meal. Their silky rice rolls were probably the reason why, as they were easy to slurp and savour, making it super palatable. Throughout my meal, I found no difficulty consuming the rolls, nor did I ask for more sauce. It just goes to show how smooth the rice rolls were!

Final thoughts

If you asked me to choose a favourite, I don’t think I can give you an answer because I’d be torn for choice. All dishes delivered in terms of execution and flavours, and all were unique in their own manners. What I really liked about Da Chang Jin Handmade Chee Cheong Fun was their ability to differentiate from the norm, even when it came to sides as well. It shows how well adapted they are, especially when it comes to the ever-changing tastes of the Singaporean palate.

If I were to come again, I am definitely going to have a go with their smoked salmon and liver sausage options… Who would’ve thought about all these strange pairings? Well, I guess we’ll never know until we try it!

Expected damage: S$2.50 – S$6 per pax

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