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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Kreta Ayer, Kingsford

Singapore har mee at Kreta Ayer, Kingsford
Singapore har mee $11.80

The toughest thing about the menu at Kreta Ayer is deciding where to start. There are 217 things to choose from on the menu at this Singaporean restaurant. You’d have to be Godzilla to get through it all, but wait - they have that too. Order the 'Godzilla' and you’ll score a beer mug of icy cold Milo or Horlicks, topped with Empire State Building proportions of cream.

Dining room at Kreta Ayer, Kingsford
Kreta Ayer dining room

Kreta Ayer has only been open since June but they’ve already attracted a loyal patronage of local uni students. The dining room is long and bright, filled with dark brown timber tables and benches. Everything is DIY, from the cutlery to the tissue box, to ordering. Pick the person with the neatest writing, fill out an order docket and hand it to your waiter.

You could start with entrees of roti canai with curry sauce, ngoh hiang five spice rolls or beef and chicken satay or do as we did and skip straight to the mains. Portion sizes here are uni-student generous, so save your stomach. The Singapore har mee prawn noodle may have a pale broth but it still packs plenty of prawn-flavoured punch. You’ll get six prawns, a whole boiled egg, green veg and a bowl full of slippery, chewy noodles.

Sambal la la pippies
Sambal la la $14.80

Finding traditional la la clams in your char kway teow is always worth celebrating but really you may as well go the whole shebang and order a whole plate of them. Go mild with Thai sweet basil sauce or a little spicier with sambal chilli. Scrape them out of their shells with your teeth until your lips are sticky.

Oyster omelette
Oyster omelette $14.80

Singapore chilli soft shell crab
Singapore chilli soft shell crab with crisp rice noodle $18.80

Then there’s the soft and fluffy oyster omelette, stir-fried white radish cake and bak kut teh, that delicious pork rib soup. Our pick is the Singapore chilli soft shell crab, a mountain of crustaceans piled onto a disc of crispy fried noodles with spicy tomato sauce.

Durian ice kachang with black sesame ice cream
I love durian ice kachang $6
with black sesame ice cream $3

There are 25 desserts on offer, from lychee parfaits to mango puddings and banana fritters with ice cream.

Deep fried durian ice cream
Kreta Ayer deep fried durian ice cream $5.80

The “I love durian” ice kacang isn’t for everyone, but aficionados will dig the entire durian pod served with this shaved ice dessert. They even have deep fried durian ice cream. That one's for die-hard fans.

Kreta Ayer, Kingsford

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Kreta Ayer on Urbanspoon

Kreta Ayer
466 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9663 3888

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am-10pm

This article appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/08/2014 11:29:00 pm


  • At 1/08/2014 11:48 pm, Anonymous Tina @foodfortina said…

    Ooh yes! A place close to uni :) I hope to try this place out soon :)

  • At 1/08/2014 11:48 pm, Anonymous ragingyoghurt said…

    i've never seen this many prawns in a bowl of prawn noodles, even in singapore! amazing.

  • At 1/09/2014 12:48 am, Blogger Vivian - vxdollface said…

    singapore chilli soft shell crab and noodles omg my jaw just dropped! must have this now!!

  • At 1/09/2014 1:48 am, Blogger Sherrie Huang said…

    Can't say I'm the biggest fan of durian having only tried the icecream, but maybe the fresh fruit will be different? Woo for the black sesame icecream on top of the ice kechang!

  • At 1/09/2014 2:05 am, Blogger Sinjon said…

    I was there a couple of months ago and i did not enjoy myself in this restaurant. The wonton noodles is not the one we have in Singapore. Instead they serve the "soupy" version not the "dry" one we normally have. The menu stated that black sauce was served with it and we assumed it was the dry version but the dish was served with a saucer of dark soy sauce which is not even needed for the soupy version of it. Furthermore, the laksa lacked the coconut taste and it tasted more of curry noodles rather than laksa. This is not an authentic Singaporean food restaurant in my opinion and there are other better ones out there.

  • At 1/09/2014 5:09 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I would share the durian ice cream creation with black sesame with you.

  • At 1/09/2014 8:08 am, Anonymous Mary @ beyondjelly said…

    I can't imagine cold horlicks with cream. Will have to try it sometime... And that crab! But I think I'll bypass the oyster omelette - I've never learnt to appreciate them.

  • At 1/09/2014 9:06 am, Anonymous john | heneedsfood said…

    What? No Godzilla? Was hoping to see you sucking down one of those. The crab looks divine.

  • At 1/09/2014 9:33 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sherrie - I find the durian flavour more intense in the fruit (naturally) but it's one of those polarising foods. Once you get a taste for it though, there's no looking back!

    Hi Sinjon - Thanks for your thoughts on this restaurant. I'm not Singaporean so appreciate your insights. Would be curious to know which restaurants you think serve more authentic Singaporean foods? Always on the lookout for tips!

    Hi John - Haha I was saving my stomach for dessert but yeah it's been ages since I've had Milo. Should make a Godzilla at home soon!

  • At 1/09/2014 11:01 am, Blogger Amy zhong said…

    the lala clams look great! kingsford has so much to offer, i should go that way more often.

  • At 1/09/2014 11:13 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Ooh, that's a good price for clams. So many hawker stall favourites! I must have walked past this the other night and not even noticed...

  • At 1/09/2014 11:14 am, Anonymous Daisy@Nevertoosweet said…

    I can see why it's so popular with Uni students everything's so reasonably priced especially the clams not even $20!

    I'd love the Ice Kachange as well but probably not the durian ice-cream hehe

  • At 1/09/2014 12:03 pm, Anonymous ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    Kingsford is such a competitive eat street because of uni students.

    Hats off to these kind of restaurants offering a wide variety and need to work so much harder at such reasonable prices too.

  • At 1/09/2014 12:18 pm, Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said…

    217!!!! Wowza thats one big menu!!!!

  • At 1/09/2014 1:08 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    deep fried durian ice cream? SO THERE

  • At 1/09/2014 1:23 pm, Anonymous Kelly @ MsBrulee said…

    Everything looks legit delicious! I'm having trouble deciding what to have when I get there but durian ice cream is a definite yes.

  • At 1/09/2014 4:57 pm, Blogger Sinjon said…

    Hi Helen, I personally liked the curry chicken from the Malaysian food stall next door. As for the wonton noodles, i have not found any. There used to be Asiana Restaurant in Randwick which had good minced pork noodles but it has closed down about 1 year ago.

  • At 1/09/2014 5:35 pm, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    OH MY!!! I LOVE the look of that Durian Ice Kacang! I may need to get myself one STAT!

  • At 1/09/2014 6:23 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    That place looks really fun! I'd love to try durian fried ice-cream! And the clams! :)

  • At 1/09/2014 8:47 pm, Anonymous Arwen (Hoglet K) said…

    A Godzilla milo sounds magnificent - what a great name. I like the sound of the slippery chewy har mee noodles too.

  • At 1/10/2014 11:51 am, Blogger vegeTARAian said…

    217 menu items? Holy heck, I think I'd just jump straight to the dessert section.

  • At 1/10/2014 10:36 pm, Anonymous JJ - 84thand3rd said…

    I wouldn't even know where to begin but that soft shell crab and sambal clams sound like a pretty good option!

  • At 1/10/2014 11:30 pm, Anonymous msihua said…

    Arrgh! What is Sg Har Mee?? Whyyyyy.. but it does look good. I shall stand that, that is a Penang dish :P

  • At 1/10/2014 11:30 pm, Anonymous msihua said…

    Arrgh! What is Sg Har Mee?? Whyyyyy.. but it does look good. I shall stand that, that is a Penang dish :P

  • At 1/11/2014 8:12 am, Anonymous ZL said…

    The oyster egg looks great! ;)

  • At 1/11/2014 10:59 am, Blogger Alice Lau said…

    Another place for amazing street food and home style dishes, count me in! The first time I tried an oyster ommlette I was in Hong Kong, it was so delicious. I've always wondered why more people don't make them here!

  • At 1/11/2014 1:26 pm, Anonymous Chris @ MAB vs Food said…

    Everything looks great! Those prawns look amazing. and so do the clams :9

  • At 1/12/2014 1:26 pm, OpenID mrdleu said…

    Love those lala clams, they look so vibrant and delicious. I guess they disappeared quickly

  • At 1/12/2014 8:19 pm, Blogger Shanshan Lam said…

    I want every single thing you ordered right now. I want to consume it all and I want to consume it all now.... *drools*

  • At 1/13/2014 10:57 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sinjon - Thanks for the tips. A shame that Asiana closed!

    Hi msihua - Lol duly noted :)

  • At 1/14/2014 12:07 am, Anonymous sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    The food looks great, I am a bit of a sucker for Singaporean food. Though, 25 desserts of offer? OMG, that's totally amazing.

  • At 1/14/2014 12:07 am, Anonymous sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    The food looks great, I am a bit of a sucker for Singaporean food. Though, 25 desserts of offer? OMG, that's totally amazing.

  • At 1/14/2014 10:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks great, but why do all these Sing/Indo/Malay restaurants have to congregate around the one area (Kingsford), rather than share themselves around (eg, near Mac Uni would be good for me)!!!

    Just a note on the la la - these are what we know as pipis. The clams that traditionally go in char kway teow are different.


  • At 1/14/2014 10:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Specifically, the shellfish in char kway teow are cockles or "hum".


  • At 1/16/2014 10:56 pm, Blogger Winston said…

    Okay honestly, I am so blown away by all the places you've shared in Sydney. Want to make another trip there so badly would hit you up for food spots and catchup right away! Most people assume that just because I'm Malaysian, I can't stand Singapore but they cannot be more wrong. I think Singapore is a beautiful city and I so enjoy my trips there each time. And omg the food. Just cannot get enough of the food! I would struggle just as much as you when it comes to deciding what to order too =/

  • At 1/22/2014 3:27 pm, Anonymous billy said…

    Random Fact - Kreta or Kereta = Car, Ayer or air = Water. But here referring to a place in Singapore called "buffalo cart water" which is the old Chinatown in SG along the river.

  • At 1/22/2014 10:55 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Stan - Argh of course! Had a brain freeze. Thanks for the clarification.

    Hi Billy - You are clever. The front two tables actually resemble buffalo carts.. well they have large wheels on each side.

  • At 1/30/2014 4:19 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    Oh wow, I'll have to show my father-in-law this post, he goes absolutely mad for anything durian!


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