It all started when Shaun Ng came to the US and had dreams of opening his own Singaporean restaurant. He partnered with Robert Zuetell and his wife, Gina Galvan, who own a restaurant concept business. Together, they researched and, at the time, SoCal had just started on the up-climb to Southeast Asian food like Vietnamese and Thai. With the upfront costs of opening a restaurant, it was just too soon to know if it would work. Last year, Robert saw the huge popularity of gourmet food trucks and decided to do some field work. He attended the 1st Annual OC Foodie Fest and it just amazed him – a sold out event and every single truck had an hour plus long line. The light bulb lit up so bright that even his sunglasses couldn’t shield it. They needed to bring Singaporean Street Hawker food to SoCal and the food truck was the ticket. On October 10, 2010, Chomp Chomp Nation debuted with a truck designed in the Year of the Tiger with coloring distinctive to tigers – orange with black stripes.
Like a tiger, Chomp Chomp Nation has been prowling the streets of SoCal delivering tasty Singaporean delights that appeal to the American palate. Robert took a lot of time with the menu as typical dish names in Singapore were simply too foreign for SoCal unless you were from Singapore or you had been there before. In order to bring guests in, he chose names that infused American iconic dishes and used presentations that were familiar. He did a great job. He brings them in with the name and then they come closer to read the description. As I watched, about 90% of the people went from the menu right to the order window. It was amazing!
Let’s start chompin’! The Singapore Sling Wings are marinated in the famous Singapore Sling drink, cooked and then rolled in a Cherry, Pineapple, Lime BBQ sauce served with Yeo’s Sweet Chili dipping sauce, Tiger Slaw and Root Chips. This item is the perfect example of hooking me in with the name. It’s one of my favorite drinks. The wings were perfectly cooked. The sauce was more tropically sweet in flavor causing a luau in my mouth. The order comes with 4 wings which is a great portion. I would “sling” up another order of these any day. Thumbs up, way up!
SingaporeSatay Skewers – Surf and Turf Combo is three skewers served with Tiger Slaw, rice cubes, and Satay peanut sauce. The shrimp is cooked to perfection – crisp texture and seasoned just right. The beef is super tender and flavorful, just comes right off of the skewer. The slaw was a little overbearing on the vinegar, but otherwise refreshing. The satay peanut sauce is da bomb! It wakes up your senses and taste buds with a smooth yet zippy flavor. Use the rice cubes to sop up any leftover sauce. It’s good to the last drop! Thumbs up, way up!
Crispy Wrap Shrimp is served with Tiger Slaw and sambal aioli for dipping. These are the best fried shrimp you’ll ever have. The crispy wrap is almost like silk strands that lovingly wrap around the shrimp. It’s a beautiful presentation in itself. The shrimp come out perfectly cooked. The tails are crispy too so you can chomp on them like shrimp chips. The sambal aioli is the perfect choice – sweet and creamy, sort of like a Singaporean cocktail sauce but much better. Perfectly executed! This needs to go on the regular menu! Thumbs up, way up!
Kaya Coconut Stuffed French Toast is a fresh baked artisan brioche sandwich of Kaya coconut jam coated with a vanilla egg batter, drizzled with coconut syrup, condensed milk, sprinkled with Chomp Chomp dust and served with a tropical fruit medley. French toast isn’t just for breakfast anymore! This dish is outstanding! You will definitely have an OMG moment or two! The French toast with the Kaya coconut jam hits you like freight train of flavor! It’s decadent and just mind-blowing. It’s one of those dishes where you should close your eyes as you eat it. It whisks you away and you don’t even hear what’s going on around you. Your taste buds take over all of your senses and it’s all about the flavors. The tropical fruit medley (papaya, pineapple, dragonfruit, Asian pears, etc.) are all in here. The only place I usually get to eat such lush, fresh, tropical fruit is when I go back home to Hawaii. It was so good, it made me home sick. Thumbs up, way up!
The root chips (taro, lotus root, potato, and sweet potato) were perfectly fried to perfection and reminded me of home. They were served with aromatic yogurt dipping sauce. It was a refreshing change to the standard ranch dressing. Thumbs up, way up!
Tiger Blood Tea is made with hibiscus and lychee gel cubes on the bottom. I’m not a tea drinker, but I LOVE this drink. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It has a refreshing tropical fruit flavor. I LOVE lychee so the gel cubes were AWESOME! No boba for this gal! All I have to say is, “WINNING”! Thumbs up, way up!
Follow the Tiger and get your Singapore Street Hawker food now! Check out Chomp Chomp Nation’s website for the nearest food truck spot near you. You don’t want to miss it!
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
- Wednesday, October 26, 2011 – Orange County United Way Fundraiser (Santa Ana) from 11:00am-2:00pm and Troy High School (Fullerton) from 5:00pm-9:00pm
- Thursday, October 27, 2011 – SoCo Collection (Costa Mesa) from 11:00am-2:00pm and Best Buy (Orange) from 5:00pm-9:00pm
- Friday, October 28, 2011 – Parker Properties (30 Enterprise, Aliso Viejo) from 11:00am-2:00pm and SoCo (Costa Mesa) from 4:30pm-8:30pm
- Saturday, October 29, 2011 – SoCo Farmers Market (Costa Mesa) from 9:00am-2:30pm and Noble Aleworks (1621 S Sinclair St Ste B, Anaheim) from 5:00pm-9:00pm
- Sunday, October 30, 2011 – OC Great Park Farmers Market (Irvine) from 10:00am-2:00pm
For more information:
Chomp Chomp Nation
Trucking around Southern California