Drip Line [West Oakland]

I finally made it out to Drip Line for the Singapore chicken rice. Why did I wait so long? The chicken is a little different than the traditional dish because it’s crispy (menu says it’s flash fried), but it’s just as succulent as it should be. I was too busy enjoying my food and the company to take pictures. Every part of the dish was something I would be happy with on it’s own, and that fact that it’s all together makes it all the more special.

Parking is easy in this neighborhood. If you roast your own coffee, it is down the street from Sweet Maria’s, a green coffee bean merchant. Currently, Drip Line is not open for dinner. The menu was full of other things that looked delicious, I noticed many people eating the black rice porridge, so I’ll be back!



@seamunky I am sorry but I just can’t help but thinking about Masterchef UK again . The skin is crispy! And this place is Singaporean/ Malaysian (and Indonesian?) too!

@wildtomato, thanks for the report. Glad to hear this place is worthy. I wonder if this place finally brings some respectable MY/ SG food to the Bay Area, even if it is fusion.

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Just wondering: do you not like Taste of Sing Ma in Pleasanton?

I forgot about Taste of Sing Ma- haven’t been yet. Do you like it? I just don’t have a lot of occasion to be in the trivalley area.

@Hyperbowler’s report here:

Here you go:
Visited May 2017, lunch for 4 people

Roti Prata: Multi-layered Indian bread with curry dipping sauce.
MR is allergic to rice so she was eager to try the roti. This is the fried flatbread, rolled out in layers so it has a lighter, flakier texture to it than Indian naan. TSM’s roti was a touch more oily than Daughter Thai Kitchen/Oakland, who makes the best roti, but it was very tasty. I thought it better than Teni East Kitchen/Oakland, which we tried with the Meet Up group last month (April 2017). It’s served with the traditional spicy curry dip. We did a double order so each of us got half a freshly-baked roti. Our friends liked both the bread and the dip, separately or together.

Money Bags: Minced chicken and vegetables stuffed in wonton wrap and deep fried.
CR was eager to try this and the kitchen made an extra so that each of us could have one. It’s a variant of an eggroll, but very well executed. The filling is chopped fine enough to fit into a small wrapper, yet retains a good texture. There’s a touch of hoisin in the mix to give it a little unexpected sweetness. These are really just deep-fried chicken wontons, but the presentation is charming and they’re delicious. All of us liked them and would order these again.

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings.
Chicken drummettes have a tendency to dry out when deep-fried. Not many restaurants French them, but it works very well to avoid this problem. Scraping the meat off the bone and rounding it into a ball at the end also makes it easier to eat. TSM did a nice job on these. They were nothing unusual, not a “must have”, but it’s very good and a fine dish to share if you’re looking for small plate dining. They are lightly battered and deep-fried, tossed with a mildly spicy sweet/hot glaze.

Special: Chicken with stir-fried eggplant.
TSM had several eggplant specials on the signboard as we walked in, and we chose the one without the noodles. It was delicious, and I’d love to see this on the menu permanently. The small purple eggplant had almost no seeds, and was cut into thin rounds and quickly stir-fried with tender marinated chicken pieces. This eggplant had more flavor than most varieties, and the only reason we didn’t finish it off was that we were saving room for dessert!

Sarang Potato/Taro Basket Chicken: Sautéed chicken, vegetable, cashew nuts in a fried taro nest (there’s also a seafood version).
The 2014 review of Taste of Sing-Ma by BA Times’ Jessica Yadegaran expressed her disappointment with the taro “nest” in this dish (http://www.mercurynews.com/taste-of-sing-ma-malaysian-favorites-to-pleasanton/). The taro is mashed and shaped into a shallow ‘bowl’, coated with fine panko crumbs and deep-fried. Our group had no problem with it. Perhaps Ms. Yadegaran received one fried in oil that wasn’t hot enough, or it may be the kitchen took her criticism to heart and made some changes. Spouse and I both enjoy the Chinese dim sum lo bak ko, which is similar to this on a smaller scale. MR and CR liked this Malaysian version better than the Chinese dim sum, with MR especially liking how the raw cashew nuts in the stir-fry brought out more flavor in the taro nest. All of us would order this again.

Nasi Lemak: Malaysian special coconut rice served with rendang chicken or beef, boiled egg, cucumber & anchovy.
This sounded so good to Spouse and me that we ordered it even though MR doesn’t eat rice. We chose chicken, since we were getting a separate order of the beef rendang. We were delighted to find everything was served separately on the plate, so MR could try the chicken by itself. The chicken was large cubes, served dry and was surprisingly chile-hot. It was very tasty with good curry spicing, and the coconut rice was one of the better ones we’ve tried. There was a single hard-boiled egg half, a few batons of raw cucumber, and a small pile of excellent dried anchovies in a slightly sweet glaze. I really enjoyed this dish and was impressed.

Rendang Beef: Beef in chef’s Malay dry curry sauce.
TSM has made no changes from Ms. Yadegaran’s 2014 review. This is very good, with tender beef and a fine curry sauce. But it definitely isn’t a dry curry, where the curry is slowly cooked down and constantly stirred until all the liquid evaporates or is absorbed, and the oil starts to separate from the spices. It doesn’t have the complexity of a top-notch rendang, but great rendang is hard to find even in Malaysia. It’s a time-consuming technique, and the recipe itself requires a goodly amount of prep. This was above average for a restaurant rendang, but this isn’t a dish that will ever compare well to a version made by a talented home cook.

Malay Milk Tea (Teh Tarik) Hot / Ice. All of us chose cold milk tea, but I had mine with my meal while the others waited until after we finished lunch. This is similar but not identical to Thai Iced Tea. We all liked it very much. Spouse had hot tea with lunch. MR ordered a Fresh Coconut Juice, which was terrific. A very large coconut that still had some flesh to scoop out, contained a generous amount of excellent coconut water.

Mango Pudding. TSM makes a fine mango pudding. I liked this better than the usual Chinese dim sum versions. It seemed lighter, and the plentiful dice of unsugared fresh mango were the right contrast. The pudding is always made with canned mango juice and gelled with agar-agar.

Mo Mo Cha Cha (Hot): Sweet potato and yam with coconut milk. MR loves sweet potatoes and yams, so she ordered this. It’s a bowl of hot boba tea, with the big tapioca pearls and chunks of sweet potato and yam. If you like boba tea, this is a dessert seldom encountered in a sit-down restaurant.

Sticky Rice with Mango. Spouse ordered this but we were all surprised to find the sticky rice was a bright spring green. This is a very modestly sized dish, serving three at most and preferably only one or two people. The small rectangle of rice was flavored/colored with pandan*. I liked it, Spouse didn’t.

Pulut Hitam (Hot): Creamy black sticky rice with coconut milk. This wasn’t much of a dessert. It had very little sweetness – as far as we could tell, the only sugar was the natural sweetness of adzuki beans blended in with the rice. The coconut milk was just a drizzle. It reminded us more of jook, Chinese rice porridge, than the usual rice pudding. CR and I liked it – I especially like black rice – but it’s more a one-bowl lunch than a dessert. This is filling stuff!

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According to the Chronicle, the chef has now moved to Local Kitchen in SoMa, SF.

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