The Bedok Marketplace Review: Ballistic Meatballs + The Chop Chop Selections + Spies And All Things Nice

Remember Kampung@Simpang Bedok, the ill-fated social enterprise hawker centre that closed down end 2013? They have now renamed it as The Bedok Marketplace, and the place is now anchored on a concept not unsimilar to Salute Kopitiam at Alexandra. This will be the East's equivalent of the hip Kopitiam.

The good thing about such hawker centres is that you get plenty more interesting variety, but at lower (or higher depending on how you see it) prices, while not compromising on quality. The place is decked out in a retro black-white whimsical theme.

Ballistic Meatballs
This must be the first stall I have seen in Singapore, specialising solely in meatballs. Just looking at the menu got me excited.

Ballistic Meatballs Menu
We were there to try the meatballs, but the wraps seemed equally tantalising, partly because of the good variety of  interesting sauces.

What we ordered: Signature Ballistic Meatballs, Plain Jane Meatballs, Chilli Crab Meatballs, Salted Egg Yolk Fries, Crispy Wild Mushrooms

Crispy Wild Mushrooms ($3),  Crispy Crab Balls ($10.50)
The Crispy Wild Mushrooms wowed surprisingly, for something that I admit I dismissed as too common to have anything worth noting initially. Ballistic's version however, has a thin crispy batter that is just the right balance of salty peppery. I couldn't stop. At just $2 with any meatball order, this is a must-order. The Salted Egg Yolk Fries however, lacked the kick we were looking for. Probably needs a little more salted egg in the sauce.

Crispy Crab Balls ($10.50)
This was the shop's special when we popped by, in celebration of SG50. The Crispy Crab Balls, served with two mantou buns and chilli crab sauce, are made from crab meat and clams rolled together and coated in a crispy panko batter. One side was soaked in chilli crab sauce, which made it mushy moist, but at the same time, you can still get the crispiness on the other side. The chilli crab sauce complemented the meatball very well. This was our group favourite.

Ballistic Signature Beef Meatballs ($5.90), Plain Jane Meatballs ($4)
The Ballistic Signature Meatballs  did deliver, with the flavourful beef meatballs crispy on the outside, revealing an inner melted cheese filling. This came in closely to the Chilli Crab Meatball for me, so if the special is out, this is good. The Plain Jane chicken meatball however, was a tad too salty and its slightly flat shape caused it to be a little flat in the mouth in terms of texture, compared to the other completely rounded meatballs.

Judging by the meatballs we had, this stall well gives IKEA a run for their money. 

The Chop Chop Selections

It is all about the chops here, with a display that boasts of premium looking meat cuts. Luckily for meat-lovers, a plate here ranges from the high single digits and mid tens, which is reasonable if you are paying for quality cuts.   

Steak ($18.50)
The steak, done rare here, was chewy and soft. However, it could do more on the smoky grilled flavour and the flavour of the meat itself, especially for the price. The sides did better. The potato cubes, according to my foodie companions, were just the right crunchiness without being mushy.

Baby Back BBQ Ribs ($15.90)
Apparently another signature of the stall, other than the steak, is the Baby Back BBQ Ribs. The sauce coating the ribs were great, but the meat itself was a little dry though.

London Fish and Chips ($9.90)
Of the 3 dishes we ordered, the London Fish and Chips would be my pick. For the value-for-money price point, the fish used is a quality fish with flaky white flesh. The batter wasn't too thick nor greasy either.  

Spies and All Things Nice

The pie flavours are what's distinctive about Spies. They do some specials like Basil Chicken pies, but a good part of its offering is locally-geared - the Babi Pongteh, Laksa, and Beef Rendang flavours are some of it. Each bite-sized pie goes at $2.50, but the pies also come in meal-size (for 1 pax) and larger party pies sizes.
From Background: Chicken Laksa Pie, Beef Rendang Pie.In the foreground: Basil Chicken and Babi Pongteh (from left to right)
Among the four flavours we got, the Babi Pongteh pie with moist pork pieces that were perfumed with the braised dark sauce worked for me the most. 

They also do dessert tarts. The almond tart which we packed home had a wobbly light yet full-of-almond flavour custard, whereas the pulut hitam pie which we chose was also decent. Think the signature black glutinous rice dessert, in pie form. I still prefer it in its cupcake form though.

Chilli Crab Kueh Pie Tee (not launched yet)
In conjunction with SG50, the stall will also be launching its SG special of chilli crab kueh pie tee. Courtesy of the stall owners, we got to taste it first. The chilli crab sauce could do with more heat and slightly more of its gravy in the cups. Overall, it was still pretty satisfying. 

The Bedok Marketplace
348 Bedok Road
Singapore 469560
Opening Hours: Respective stalls differ. Check their Facebook pages