STAY HOME, EAT & DO GOOD – MURTABAK & BRIYANI

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Have a craving for Murtabak or Briyani? I did! So I decided to give a newcomer to the growing list of alternative food delivery platforms a whirl and ordered from North Bridge Road halal restaurant Al-Tasneem via BYSGFORSG.  This is a 100% volunteer-run, not-for-profit initiative to help local F&B establishments increase their revenue during this difficult period. Which means no admin fees for vendors, just a small 5% commission off the total bill, all of which is donated to YMCA’s “Wok The Talk” initiative, which in turn helps feed the vulnerable in the community. For a flat fee of $5 for delivery (all of which goes to the hard-working delivery folk),  you get a hot meal of your choice conveniently delivered to your doorstep. And my mighty meal of Murtabak and Briyani did indeed arrive hot, on-time and smelling absolutely mouth-watering.

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STAY HOME & EAT – Bak Kwa Bao & Chiffon Cake!

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This week, have some tea time treats with a BAK KWA twist! Chop Hup Chong is a company that has been manufacturing barbecued meat products or bak kwa in the North of Singapore since the 1970s and if you’re looking for something fun and unique to eat, try their unique bak kwa bao and bak kwa chiffon cake. These are available for delivery straight to your doorstep and for under $20, you’ve got satisfying snacks for 3 – 6 people settled!

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STAY HOME & EAT – Charcoal-Roasted Meats

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As we count down to the easing of the circuit breaker, how about a charcoal roasted meat feast? This week, have a gorgeously smokey set meal from RV Roasted Delight delivered straight to your doorstep at a reasonable price! Their meal sets for three to 8 people range from $21.80 to $71.80 and set meals for two range from $18.80 – 20.80, which is the one I chose. Package C for 2 consists of ¼ roast duck (upper quarter – which means I got a lovely juicy leg, breast meat and a little rib meat), plus an extra choice of 2 meats – choose from roast duck, chicken, char siew, roasted crispy pork belly or sausage. I went with the classic combo of roasted pork and char siew. White rice and oyster sauce vegetable with fried shallot rounded off the meal.


The roasted duck, in my opinion was the clear winner – really beautifully seasoned, with quite a refined taste that wasn’t too game-y or overpowering.

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STAY HOME & EAT – DIY Wanton Noodles

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Bee Kee Wanton Noodles created in my kitchen from their DIY kit!

This week, let’s bring on the best of both worlds and combine cooking at home with hawker quality wanton mee, all in a DIY kit delivered straight to your doorstep. You may already know Bee Kee Wanton Noodle in Lorong Lew Lian for their truffle & traditional wanton mee and now you can reproduce the latter in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Here’s what you get in the kit: 40 wantons, 10 bundles of noodles, 3 jars of sauces (crispy lard chunks sold separately).

I filled up a quick online order form for the Bee Kee wanton noodle kit, consisting of 10 bundles of their fresh thin egg noodles, 40 freshly wrapped pork wantons and 3 jars of sauce – homemade chilli, fragrant oil & signature soy sauce. Delivery was prompt and I received a text message with cooking instructions that were easy to follow and foolproof. I managed to turn out delicious wanton noodles of my own in less than 5 minutes!

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STAY HOME & EAT – Crispy Shrimp Paste Fried Chicken!

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Ah Tan Wings have great what’s app service – very accommodating & prompt! I was able to use my own takeaway containers to reduce waste.

Are you looking for a yummy, affordable circuit breaker meal you can have delivered or pick-up quickly? If you’re craving something deep-fried and delicious, you’ve got to try har cheong gai, or shrimp paste fried chicken – our local version of fast food – from Ah Tan Wings.

2 giant Atas Cutlet sets (enough to feed 4) & 4 extra chicken wings

I have to say, what an excellent find! Their fried chicken is super-tasty, reasonably priced and pre-ordering was easy via WhatsApp for next day pick-up and my meal tuned out to be impressive.I ordered  2 Atas Cutlet Sets at $6.80 each, which came with a massive piece of crispy, golden-brown chicken thigh coated in their signature shrimp paste batter, served on top of a mountain of chicken rice, a fried egg boasting a still slightly runny centre & lots of crunchy-fresh Japanese cucumber slices.

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STAY HOME & EAT – Halal Yong Tau Foo (6 Flavours!)

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What else can we stay-home circuit breakers order in or takeaway with just a budget of $20 enough to feed 4 people? Da Jie Niang Dou Fu & Hainan Chicken Rice is worth a try! No prizes for guessing what they specialise in, but what’s unique is – their food is halal. For a family with different tastes, I’d say go for their Yong Tau Foo – for a minimum order of 5 pieces at 80 cents each, you get a massive variety of ingredients to choose from within their refrigerated display. Whether you love deep fried goodies like wantons, chicken nuggets, prawn wrapped in potato and yam rolls, or toufu stuffed with fishpaste, fishballs and beancurd skin, or veggies like eggplant, lady’s finger, bittergourd, chinese cabbage, xiao bai cai, kang kong, as well as instant noodles, chewy glass noodles, mushrooms, sausages and more. Best of all, everything 6 different flavours, including tom yam & their healthier soup option.

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STAY HOME & EAT – Ayam Penyet Fried Rice & Kuih Jongkong

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This week I’ve discovered excellent halal food you can order in or takeaway quickly with just a budget $20 & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. At Tanglin Halt Food Centre, I found Warung O.M.C., which stands for Oh My Chicken! And Oh Yes, their Ayam Penyet, or deep fried, smashed chicken is yummy!

Their standard rice set comes with a big piece of chicken, plus lettuce leaves, fried tempeh and fried tau kwa on a bed of what I thought was steamed white basmati rice. But one bite & I realised it was far from plain. It was actually tasty chicken-flavoured rice that complemented the ayam penyet, which was a gorgeous golden-yellow colour from turmeric – very crispy on the outside, moist & juicy on the inside, with an extra topping of battered shards for lots of added crunch.

What really pushed things to the next level was their excellent chilli sauce, which will have you seeing stars! It’s very spicy and you’ll feel the searing heat nibbling on your tongue and lips long after you’ve finished your meal. But the extreme chilli is tempered by a soothing sweetness that just goes so well with the entire plate.

If you want to really treat yourself, go all out with their Ayam Penyet fried rice. You’ll get the same chilli sauce and massive piece of crispy chicken, usually the wing & drumlet portion attached to the breast. These sit on a mountain of nasi goreng.

I reckon the fried rice was made with the same flavourful chicken rice, seasoned bright orange with chilli and fried with red cabbage onion, fish cake, peas, sweet corn and carrot. Hot and fragrant from the wok, this ayam penyet fried rice was decadent and delicious.

Both rice sets were enough to feed 4 people comfortably, but you can also supplement your meal with their mee rebus or mee soto.

The Mee Soto ($3) was characterised by the flavours of clove & coriander, with shredded chicken, bean sprouts, coriander and fried onion topping yellow noodles. If you’re not keen on the alkaline taste & smell of yellow noodles, you can opt for Bee Hoon. Same for the Mee Rebus (also $3), which was pungent with spices. Thick and sweet, I think I detected ikan billis in the gravy. Bean sprouts, lime, fried onion and tau pok completed the dish.

Warung O.M.C. serves their noodles first thing in the morning, but keep in mind you’ll have to wait for later if you want the Ayam Penyet. And I would definitely wait for it – that’s the star dish, after all – they’re not called Warung Oh My Chicken for nothing! I was able to get the standard Nasi Ayam Penyet  from around 9am, but the fried rice was only ready around lunch time. You can order via most food delivery apps (see below).

However, I popped by to takeaway this time because I had to collect a rare treat from a neighbouring stall. Popular for their lontong, mee rebus and mee soto, Queenstown Lontong actually shuts down all other food sales to concentrate on their Ramadan specialty – Kuih Jongkong. It’s so in-demand, you can’t just rock up and take away – you have to pre-order by what’s apping them in advance.

YOU MUST PRE-ORDER! Pick up is super-fast, with all the orders arranged neatly – they check your name against their ledger book.

Made from a thin batter of rice & tapioca flour, coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka, this traditional kuih jongkong is wrapped and steamed in banana leaf to yield a smooth, creamy, savoury-sweet paste. To me, it looked and tasted similar to hot hoon kueh (sans banana and corn), if it was served in soup!

These beautiful parcels were wrapped in a distinctive style, held together tightly by a couple of strategically placed toothpicks. I did a little research and discovered that in Malay, jongkong could mean ingot, so maybe that’s why they look like wallets or purses, containing treasure within! But I read that jongkong can also mean canoe. Again, it could be because the wrapped parcels look like little boats!

Unwrapped from its green jacket, you’ll see a mound of bright green paste, pudding-like in consistency , swimming in a pool of gula melaka, coconut, pandan and banana leaf infused sauce.

Taste-wise, it’s so reflective of our  tropical Asian flavours, delicately flavoured by the earthy gula melaka and creamy coconut, but thankfully not too sweet. When I picked up my pre-order, the kuih had just been removed from the steamer and were still warm in the bag.

They continued to retain their heat so when I got home, I was treated to a truly  comforting, belly-warming afternoon tea snack. I chilled the other one in the fridge and it made for a really sublime dessert later on.

Kuih Jongkong production in progress!

All in all, I spent $17.70 on the 2 Ayam Penyet rice sets and 2 Kuih Jongkong, plus parking!

Here’s the breakdown:
Nasi Ayam Penyet – $5
Ayam Penyet Fried Rice – $5.50
(add $0.30 for takeaway containers – bring your own containers to save $ & the environment. I reuse the takeaway containers at home for leftovers and when I give food to friends and family)
Kuih Jongkong – $6 (each $3)
From home to the food centre for takeaway and back, I was done in less than 20 minutes flat. No Joke!

I have to say my trip to Tanglin Halt Food Centre was a double winner with Ayam Penyet from Warung O.M.C. and Kuih from Queenstown Lontong! If you’re popping by for your takeaway, the best time is in the afternoon before 3pm during this circuit breaker season.

TASTE:
Warung O.M.C.
Address: #01-17 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
2A Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 141002
Open: 8am–7pm (closed Sundays)
Order via: foodpanda.sg, deliveroo.com.sg, bungkus.sg
Tel: +65 98958581  (call in advance to order then pop in quickly to pick-up. Ample parking available).

Queenstown Lontong
Address: #01-21 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
Tel: +65 9182 2189 (WhatsApp Kuih Jongkong pre-orders only)
Opening Hours during Ramadan: 11am – 5pm.

STAY HOME & EAT – Thai Stewed Beef Boat Noodles & More!

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Click to listen/ download the podcast of this week’s beefy, brothy bowl of bliss!

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This circuit breaker season, as we all continue to stay home, I’m hunting down delicious food you can order in easily with a budget of around $20 including delivery fee & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. This week, I recommend a stall called Yuan at Ghim Moh Market that specialises in Thai stewed beef noodles. I went straight for their recommended signature beef combination boat noodles.

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stewed beef noodles still in their delivery container

At just $8 for a hugely generous portion, you get a choice of thin or thick bee hoon, kway teow or tang hoon. I went with the latter and it was a wonderful choice. The food was delivered still hot, with the beef broth packed separately to prevent sogginess. The tang hoon, or glass vermicelli, travelled well and arrived slippery-smooth yet springy. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t plain, but rather, seasoned and stir fried – good enough to eat dry on its own.

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stewed beef noodles in my serving bowl – presentation is key!

The great thing about a soupy dish is you can always reheat the broth for a piping hot meal. Pouring the hot soup over, I was rewarded with the mouthwatering mingling of rich beef broth, naturally sweetened with onion, dark soya sauce and spices. The soup was slightly herbal in flavour, which combined well with the garnish of  fragrant fried garlic, bean sprouts, shallots and spring onion. Topping it all off was a combo of tender stewed beef shank, lip-smackingly soft beef tendon, as well as slices of beef (beef balls are usually included, but due to Covid-19 affecting supplies, these are temporarily out of stock). Thai gun powder, or chilli flakes, is a must for added kick and I even mixed in a whole container of their chilli sauce which was awesome. Chillies and vinegar perfectly balanced heat, saltiness, sourness and a touch of sweetness to really brighten the whole bowl of beefy brothy bliss!

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