Wanton Mee – Wan of Singapore’s Most Wanted!

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Hello Foodies! We see the return of last week’s Makan Kaki, Head Chef of Burnt Ends, Jake Kellie, who’s off to Western Australia this weekend to headline the Feast in the Forest at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. We caught him just before his departure to recommend more makan and he offered up his favourite Wanton Mee stall at Hong Lim Food Centre, which sees relentlessly long lines at lunchtime. Of course, Singaporeans know that a long queue means good things at the end of the wait and Chef Jake is no exception – he’s willing to wait in line because their noodles are just that good! A typical visit to Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist sees Chef Jake start off with some crispy, tasty, deep-fried Wantons that are packed full of minced pork and shrimp.

To follow-up, he gets a bowl of dry Wanton Mee with Char Siew. He loves the fat, juicy parcels of boiled dumplings floating in soup, which he scoops into his noodles and mixes in with the sauce. This way, the soft, pillowy, boiled Wantons take on lots of flavour from the sauce mixture.

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Late-Night Chinese Food

Meet our new Makan Kaki, Jake Kellie! He’s the award-winning Head Chef of Burnt Ends, a modern Australian barbecue restaurant just off Keong Saik Road and he’s also representing Singapore at Western Australia’s festival of food and wine, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape (November 16-18). He’s bringing his Burnt Ends barbeque skills to the Feast in the Forest event at the gorgeous Leeuwin Estate, where he’ll be cooking Wagyu beef and Octopus en papillote, amongst other delicious things. The highlight of this feast has got to be the 5m long grill pit, so have a listen to Chef Jake talk about his headlining fiery, smoky feast here.

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In what has become a late-saturday-night ritual, Chef Jake and the rest of the Burnt Ends Kitchen crew make it a point to unwind after service at this casual Chinese eatery which is a stone’s throw from where they work. Dong Fang Mei Shi (东方美食), or Oriental Chinese Restaurant, is a wildly popular  Northeastern & Sichuan Chinese restaurant that sees brisk business in the heart of Chinatown and it is the perfect place for hungry chefs at the end of a long day, because the food is hearty, tasty, reasonably priced and the place is open till 7am!

Chef Jake’s absolute favourite thing to order is the Pork Rib with Eggplant – a piquant, saucy dish that marries crispy chunks of pork rib with tender eggplant that has soaked up all the flavour from the tasty, spicy, sticky, savoury gravy. Chef Jake likes to get some man tou to run through the dish, mopping up all those delightful juices.

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Margaret Drive Hokkien Fried Prawn Mee

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Greetings Greedies! Boy, have we got a treat for you this week! Our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh (Chef-owner of Summerhill) casts his culinary net once again around his Ghim Moh neighbourhood to bring us his recent discovery. Remember the good old Margaret Drive Hawker Centre?  Lots of delicious things were served there, but sadly it’s since been demolished and all that’s left is a barren field. All the hawkers disappeared, leaving many of us wondering where they went. Well, Chef Tony can tell you where at least one of those hawkers moved to – the fried Hokkien Mee stall is a quite a new to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre, but it always sees long queues and sells out quickly. Whenever Chef Tony visits at noon, everything’s been snapped up and the stall’s neon red CLOSED sign is all lit up.


When Denise paid them a visit just before dinner time at 5pm, sure enough, said neon sign was on, but delicious smells were wafting from within. The chef-owner was hard at work, prepping for dinner. At this point, there were already 5 people queuing in anticipation for the stall’s opening. When his wife finally arrived, the neon sign flipped from red to green and finally, it was OPEN for business!


So why is this stall so popular? Is it nostalgia? Possibly. But Chef Tony says this is really good stuff and it’s the broth that makes this Hokkien Mee so special. It has a natural sweetness from a combination of squid, prawn heads & pork bones bubbling away in a giant pot right next to the wok. The broth is rich, savoury and is what makes this Hokkien Mee so delightfully sloppy, wet and messy – exactly how Chef Tony likes it!
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Taufik Batisah on Hot Chicken, Steak & Nasi Padang

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In this video, Taufik Batisah introduces Denise to some of the signature items on the menu of his restaurant, Chix Hot Chicken, including the INSANE HOT CHICKEN (so spicy it made them both cry!)

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These sliders are arguably one of the BEST things on the menu! Huge, juicy pieces of boneless chicken, coated with a super crispy batter, sandwiched between two small, pillowy buns and slathered in their house-made tangy pink mayo. You can order the chicken in the level of spice you prefer and it packs a powerful flavour punch. So, so good!

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Klang-Style Claypot Bak Kut Teh

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Listen or download the podcast for this week’s makan session with Chef Damian D’Silva, Judge on Masterchef Singapore!

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This week, our Makan Kaki is Executive Chef of Singaporean Heritage Restaurant Folklore & Masterchef Singapore Judge Damian D’Silva! A self-professed true blue Singaporean, he loves slurping soup, and eating with his hands, that’s why he’s recommending we try his favourite Klang-Style Bak Kut Teh. Generally, you’ll find two kinds – the dark, herbal kind and the lighter, peppery kind. What’s wonderful about this particular stall in Upper Changi, is that their Bak Kut Teh is a unique combination of both the herbal and peppery, giving you a beautifully balanced dish that is not too herbal nor in-your-face-spicy!

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Of Burgers, Chicken Rice & Prawn Mee

Greetings, Makan Kakis! This week, our newest foodie friend is Moe Ibrahim, the founder & CEO of Deelish Brands, the restaurant management company that has brought Californian fast-casual chain Fatburger to Singapore.

As a hotelier and entrepreneur, he’s especially passionate about the quality of the ingredients and the service at Fatburger Singapore, so have a listen to what he has to say about their Fresh, Authentic & Tasty burgers here:

Originally from Jersey City, USA, Moe has had 20 years of living in Singapore to really get to know our local food and develop a love for chilli & spice.  A self-confessed East Coast boy, he has a couple of neighbourhood favourites to recommend:

First of all, the hawker classic that everybody loves, Chicken Rice! Moe loves the stall at the corner of Upper East Coast Road & Jalan Tua Kong – mainly because of the people there. The Uncle used to race cars and is a real character, while the Auntie always serves him extra chicken. To Moe, it’s all about the service and people putting in that extra touch.

Peking Roasted Chicken Rice
Soy Eu Tua Coffee Shop
15 Upper East Coast Rd, S(455207)
Open Daily: 9am – 7pm

Another favourite of Moe’s is the Prawn Mee along East Coast Road, which sees long queues all the time. He prefers having the dry version and with the smaller (not giant tiger) prawns because they have more flavour.

Beach Road Prawn Mee Eating House
370 East Coast Road, S(428981)
Open: 8am – 4pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Tel: +65 6345 7196

 

 

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chwee Kueh

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This week, our Makan Kaki is none other than MasterChef Australia 2012 finalist, MasterChef Asia Judge and current MasterChef Singapore judge, Audra Morrice. And in keeping with all the judges’ busy schedules, she’s sent me on a mission to takeaway her favourite Chwee Kueh in Singapore. Trying it for the first time, Audra assures me that I’ll be sold from the very first bite, because these folks at Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre do it so well. This is one queue Audra will join because it’s so worth it!

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THIS CHICKEN RICE WILL HAUNT YOU!

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Listen or download the podcast for this week’s interview with Chef Ming Tan, Guest Judge on Masterchef Singapore:

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This week, our Makan Kaki is F&B consultant, Co-owner of Park Bench Deli & guest judge on Masterchef Singapore, Ming Tan. His favourite chicken rice is one that his family has followed for decades since he was a young boy, from one location to the next, until its current home at Holland Drive. This rice is what Chef Ming calls “WORLD CLASS”. It is a rice that haunts him and he craves when he’s away from Singapore. So much effort and thought has been put into the making of this rice, that it simply blows him away.  This is Cantonese-style rice and it’s the fragrance & texture achieved through a judicious cooking process that gets him every time.

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