Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue Western Food 夜来香
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue (夜来香) is a Western food stall offering common fares like Chicken Chops, Pork Cutlets, Beef Steaks and Fish & Chips in Maxwell Food Centre. The hawker stall started its business in 1976 at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre before moving to its current location in 2015.
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue faces the Maxwell Road and is very popular among office workers in the area due to its big servings at affordable prices. Their dishes are made to order and customers could watch them being prepared while waiting for their food to be ready. Long queues are often seen during lunch and dinner hours.
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue Western Food Menu
Below are its menu items and prices:
- Chicken Chop 鸡扒 – $7.50
- Chicken Cutlet 炸鸡扒 – $8.00
- Pork Chop 猪扒 – $7.50
- Pork Cutlet 炸猪扒 – $8.00
- Fish & Chip 炸鱼扒 – $8.00
- Lamb Chop 羊扒 – $16.50
- Lamb Rack
- Mixed Grill 什锦扒 – $22.50
- Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Beef, Bacon & Sausage
- Sirloin Steak 牛扒 – $20.00
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue Western Food Review
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue offers the typical Western cuisine we would usually find in Singapore’s coffee shops and hawker centres. It has been in operations for more than 40 years and is currently helmed by its second-generation owner at Maxwell Food Centre. As the hawker centre is adjacent to URA Centre and Ministry of National Development, and near to office buildings in the Tanjong Pagar area, the stall is mostly patronised by office workers during lunch and dinner hours.
Our office is about 10 minutes walk away and we have visited this stall for more than 20 times over the years. Similar to many others, we were attracted by its affordable yet huge portion of chops, steaks and cutlets that are always served hot. For this review, we arrive at around 7pm on a Friday evening and there were 4 to 5 customers crowding in an unorganised manner in front of its stall. For those who are new to this stall, the queue is often lined up by the lady boss who will take the order from each queuing customer. There is also a policy by the stall that customers have to stay in the queue after making their orders (yes, you can’t go around the hawker centre to get other food!).
As such, we were a little surprised about the unorganized crowd who appeared to have made their orders as they were standing more than 2 metres away from the stall-front. We then walked towards the stall to place our order. As the lady boss was away, only her husband (the second-generation owner) was the only person in the stall.
The owner saw us and instead of trying to take our orders, he shouted at us to ‘stand back’ from the counter. It sounded as if we have entered a restricted military zone! Subsequently, he left us there while turning his back on us. We did not know if he ultimately intended to take our order. If not for this review and that we had pretty good experiences for the past 6 years, we would have walked away. There is no reason for anyone to be shouted at, and more so for a pretty regular patron.
The lady boss returned in a minute and it seemed she she knew what transpired. She tried to salvage the situation and talked to us very very nicely while taking our orders. We ordered a Chicken Chop ($7.50) and a Chicken Cutlet ($8.00). It took about 10 minutes before our order was ready. We took the food and went to the vacant seats nearby.
Despite being feisty and rude, the owner managed to do his cooking job well. The Chicken Chop was juicy, well marinated and paired well with their brown sauce. The Chicken Cutlet was hot and crunchy on the outside, while retaining its tenderness on the inside. Both came with generous servings of the mains and sides that comprised of fries and mixed beans. Our Chicken Chop got an extra serving of Singapore-style sauerkraut (cabbage achar without chili and sesame) to make up for the buns that had ran out. It was a pity as their buns are usually served with Lurpak butter (a pretty atas Danish butter that retails for around $8 for 250g at Cold Storage).
In summary, we had a full meal as usual though we were somewhat dismayed with the buying process. We would rate their food quality a 4.2/5, their value-for-money a 3.8/5, their service a 2.5/5 (considering the attempt the owner’s wife to salvage the situation), and the environment a 3/5. We had planned to write a recommendation for Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue prior to this visit but decided otherwise after our unhappy ordering experience. While we may not boycott them, we would be less enthusiastic about visiting them again like before.
If anyone is considering dining at Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue, we suggest you order only when the lady boss is around and if you are willing to wait in the queue without being able to place orders with other food stalls. Despite being reasonably priced for its portion and quality, the average price for one dish costs around $7.50. It is still rather expensive for a hawker stall.