HEAR: Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s cheeky episode! SEE:We welcome back our Makan Kaki Lennard Yeong, who is both the in-house Chef with Miele & a World’s 50 Best Restaurants Tastemaker. This… More
Chef Aun of Bar Cicheti, an intimate Pasta & Wine Bar in Chinatown, is our new Makan Kaki and this down-to-earth, self-confessed heartland guy says while he’s trained extensively in Italian cooking, especially with wood-fired pizzas and pastas, his personal tastes remain firmly in Asia. He loves Chinese food, especially dishes with a good smoky wok hei (breath of the wok). He popped by the Gold 905 studio this morning to chat about the two kitchens he’s in charge of (Cicheti in Arab Street & Bar Cicheti in Jiak Chuan Road) and also to tell us more about his favourite MEE POK!
- Click here to listen/ download podcast of Chef Aun talking about Bar Cicheti (Part 1).
- Click here to listen/ download podcast of Chef Aun talking about Bar Cicheti (Part 2).
- Click here to listen/ download podcast of Chef Aun’s Bak Chor Mee recommendation!
Chef Aun keeps returning to this stall in Opal Crescent for his Bak Chor Mee fix because he says their noodle texture is different and outstanding. They know how to cook them just right. Whether it’s Mee Pok (broad flat noodles) or Mee Kia (thin noodles), MacPherson Bak Chor Mee never serves noodles that are under or overcooked. Take it from a chef who makes pasta from scratch every single day – Chef Aun knows his noodles and these are al dente perfection!
This week, we welcome a brand new Makan Kaki! Meet this Foodie Friend who has an exuberant appetite for food, life and travel – Lennard Yeong – you may find him familiar since he was one of the finalists of MasterChef Asia. Previously an engineer, he’s now a self-taught cook, TV host and also an official World’s 50 Best TasteHunter – a network of foodies who spotlight new restaurants, exciting dining collaborations and up-and-coming cuisines in the restaurant world. He is also an in-house Resident Chef for Miele, one of the sponsors of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 – the annual list of the world’s finest restaurants, which will be revealed at an awards ceremony taking place at Sands Theatre on 25 June. There are a whole slew of culinary events in the lead-up to the awards, featuring some of the world’s best chefs at the 50 Best Masterclasses, #50BestTalks series and curated gastronomic experiences throughout Marina Bay Sands.
- Click here to listen/ download podcast for Part 1 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants & Lennard.
- Click here to listen/ download podcast for Part 2 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants & Lennard.
- Click here to listen/ download podcast for Lennard’s Prawn Noodle recommendation.
As a self-professed “very Cantonese boy”, Lennard enjoys soups very much, and that’s why he’s recommending his favourite prawn noodles that come with an awesome broth and a kicky chilli. The lady behind 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles is a third generation hawker whose family operates out of Whampoa, but her stall is actually in Tekka Market, Little India. As described on the stall’s Facebook page:
Click here to listen/ download podcast of this week’s steamy bundles-of-joy episode!
This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Ming Tan of Jam @ Siri House takes us to the North-East of China, by way of a no-frills, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Chinatown called Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家 (referring to people from China’s North-East). There, they serve a whole array of dishes that have become comfort food for him. First of all, North-Eastern Chinese cuisine is characterised by punchy flavours and very hearty servings of carbs like noodles and dumplings, to complement the harsh weather and the traditional farming labourers’ need for food that can fuel their hard work out in the bitter cold. But this type of cuisine also makes sense for us here in Singapore because we enjoy peaks of flavour and North-Eastern food is full of punch for our palates!
Eating at Dong Bei Ren Jia is quite the experience because it’s noisy, smells of food (they must use a ton of garlic everyday!) and it’s always packed full of customers, but the food still comes out quick and hot. It is also Chef Ming’s go-to haunt for dumplings – steamed, pan fried, they’ve got it all. But as a dumpling purist, Chef Ming is all about the steamed pork and chive dumplings, none of those fancy maroon truffle confections you might find at other establishments!
At Dong Bei Ren Jia, keeping in mind the North-East weather, you get a dumpling that has a more robust skin, made from a relatively high protein wheat flour. The skin is a little thicker, with a delightfully al dente bite just like a good noodle, so that it can hold up to the good amount of well-seasoned pork filling within.
The intensity of the Chinese Chives complements the pork perfectly with its garlicky edge. The pork isn’t too finely minced, but the fibres have been sufficiently beaten into a delicious bundle of chunky meat. When you first bite into the dumpling, it looks nondescript, plain, even. But trust Chef Ming – everything comes together beautifully. The skin has that wonderful resistance and the meat within is luscious and yields tenderly.
The trick is to just take a small initial bite to break into the skin and reveal the dumpling’s contents, so that you can commence dipping! That’s why Chef Ming enjoys the platter of freshly julienned ginger and proper black vinegar they serve with the dumplings. This black vinegar (Zhenjiang Chu) from China’s Jiangsu Province is famous for its fragrance and rich, complex flavour with a slightly herbaceous undertone that goes so very well with the dumplings. The lick of the acidity from the vinegar, coupled with the pin-prick of warmth from the fresh ginger pairs beautifully with the with the meaty savoury-ness of the dumplings and there’s a lingering flavour of ginger and garlic from the chives to end off your bite of dumpling.
That’s why Chef Ming loves this deceptively simple dish, for it’s layer upon layer of flavour and texture. Each time, he easily orders and polishes off two plates, then moves on to something just as delicious, in Chef Ming’s mind.
Do try Dong Bei Ren Jia’s dish of beancurd strips, that look like Fettucine noodles. They have a great tofu flavour and chewy-firm texture. The strips are dressed with a tasty seasoned chilli oil and served chilled – so tasty & refreshing!
DONG BEI REN JIA 东北人家
22 Upper Cross St
#01-22 Singapore 058334
Open Daily: 11am – 11pm
Tel: +65 62245258
Meet our new Foodie Friend, Head Chef at Jamie’s Italian (Vivocity), Ashley Lim! First of all, with the sad news of the branches in England going into administration, the good news for Singapore foodies is that it’s business as usual at both Jamie’s Italian outlets here. As such, Chef Ashley and his team continue to serve their customers with passion and pride.
In our interview:
- Click here to listen/download podcast for Part 1 – more about Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Ashley, Jamie’s Italian Singapore and their signature dishes. In fact, you can also watch Chef Ashley in the kitchen making their famous prawn linguine here!
- Click here to listen/download podcast for Part 2 – what Chef Ashley cooks at home and what he looks for when dining out.
- Click here to listen/ download poscast of Chef Ashley’s slurpilicious ramen recommendation.
As a first recommendation, Chef Ashleyshares with us his favourite Japanese noodle place in Singapore. This might be a point of contention for ramen lovers, because everyone has their go-to restaurant, but in his humble opinion, he thinks Sanpoutei has the best ramen in Singapore. This Japanese ramen chain is always reliable and has different options for noodle-lovers. Continue reading “Ra-Ra for Ramen!”
Click to listen/ download this week’s pastariffic episode!
This week, our Makan Kaki Annette Tan of private dining experience FatFuku waxes lyrical about a lovely little spot in Chinatown, off Keong Saik Road. It’s Singapore’s first pasta and wine bar, where you can sit at their counter and watch them make fantastic, tasty pastas and little sharing plates. Or if you prefer, they have tables in their intimate space too. The food at Bar Cicheti is amazing and they also recently started a wine programme, in which they introduce diners to wines sourced from regions that are off the beaten path. From biodynamic to organic to sustainably-farmed wines, they would be more than happy to recommend a good glass that will pair well with your pasta and other sharing plates. Annette has not been disappointed so far and though not a big drinker, she has always enjoyed the enhanced flavours of the wines served.
But let’s talk about the food! Continue reading “Divine Pasta & Wine!”
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s bouncy, fishy epsiode!
Hello Makan Kakis! Sometimes, we need reminding just how good a long-standing stall is and this is definitely a stalwart that deserves repeated recognition. So for lovers of fish ball noodles and in particular, the addition of that Teochew accompaniment herh keow (fish dumplings), remember Soon Wah, located at Newton Hawker Centre. This week, our Teochew foodie friend behind the homegrown F&B brand New Ubin Seafood, SM Pang explains why this is the real deal.
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s hot episode of carby comfort!
Greetings Greedies! This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Ming Tan of JAM @ Siri House returns with one of his most favourite dishes of all time. So where can we find the best Cantonese Pei Dan Chok (Century Egg Porridge) in Chef Ming’s opinion? Surprisingly, at any of the Imperial Treasure outlets! This Singapore success story in F & B really excels in the most basic and simplest of things and if they’ve got that right, you know everything else delicious will follow. Specifically, Chef Ming is drawn to the transcendental porridge lovingly and painstakingly created by the chefs at Paragon’s Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck. Yes, it’s funny one would go to a Peking Duck restaurant for pork and egg porridge, but trust him, it’s really really good! But before we get to that, of course their Peking duck is fantastic, as are their roast meats. And there are 2 other dishes Chef Ming wants to highlight.
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s wok fried episode!
Our Makan Kaki Annette Tan of FatFuku private dining is back to tell us about one of her Regular Zichar haunts in the East – a place that offers up rather unique dishes, alongside the usual classic Zichar staples like sambal seafood, rice & noodles. Jin Hock Seafood is a very humble stall at the bottom of a block of flats in Chai Chee, but flavour-wise, everything is punchy, full of wok hei, smoky and really delicious. One of the things she likes to order is their Crispy Salted Egg Bitter Gourd (see above). Now, she doesn’t usually eat bitter gourd, but theirs is so good she’ll make an exception at Jin Hock. The key is in the treatment and preparation of the bitter gourd, which is sliced really thin then allowed to dry out a little. They then coat the bitter gourd slices with salted egg and deep fry them till they resemble crisps – SO addictive! Bonus is the curry leaves, red chillis and crunchy ikan billis scattered throughout this dish.