Mind-blowing Steam Boat

This week, our Makan Kaki Aun Koh shares with us his mind-blowing experience at a Chinese restaurant he never expected would have such superior steamboat.

If you like dipping raw meats in boiling stock round a communal pot, this isn’t for you, because this steamboat takes that self-serve concept and elevates it to decadent proportions.

First of all, this is a place that requires TWO days’ notice, because of the sheer amount of preparation required and the sheer number of premium, fresh ingredients that need to be sourced. That’s why this is no ordinary steamboat – this is exquisite, special occasion steamboat, that is, admittedly, expensive. However, once you’ve had the experience, you’ll find the $180 per head price tag truly value-for-money. Here’s why:

You get a private room that seats 2-6 people (6 is the max because of the personalised service) AND  a personal chef. After you sit down at the table, you’ll notice a large, empty claypot in front of you. Just as you wonder what you should do next, the chef begins his magic. Using herbs, chicken, Korean Ginseng, stock and wine which he flambes to great effect, your steamboat broth is piping hot and ready for its first tasting within minutes. You’d never believe a broth could be this tasty after such a short time, but it is.

Next, comes a full parade of the freshest, top-quality, premium ingredients, including abalone, lobster, crab, tiger prawns, whole grouper, pork, beef and the most exquisite, hand-made dumplings, all of which the chef will personally cook for you. That’s right, you don’t have to lift a finger except to bring perfectly prepared, perfectly cooked morsels to your mouth!

Just when you think things can’t get any better, at the tail-end of the steamboat feast, the chef places all the lobster and crab shells, the grouper head and other tasty bits he’s been saving back into the broth and adds rice to make an immensely satisfying seafood porridge that gets simmered and reduced till the flavours are intensified. It’s the perfect, comforting end to a near-perfect steamboat meal. You will literally stagger out of the restaurant rubbing your warm belly!

Please, do go try this MIND-BLOWING steamboat experience – it’s worthy of a special occasion, worthy of the price tag! And don’t forget to book in advance!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S STEAMING EPISODE AGAIN!

The Art of Eating Steamboat @ Man Fu Yuan
Intercontinental Hotel
80 Middle Road
Reservations: +65 6338 7600

Want more pictures and details? Read Aun’s steamboat story on his website, Chubby Hubby.

Spanish-style Brunch and a Show!

Via Catalunya

This week, Makan Kaki Violet Oon is back with a great place to recommend for a fun Sunday meal. Catalunya serves up a passionate brunch definitely worth experiencing, not just because of its location – spectacular views from a pod set in the waters of Marina Bay – but also because of its Spanish-style buffet, complete with music, dancing and lots of theatricality! Just like going to the theatre, it’s a snazzy meal & show served up in four acts. Brace your bellies, appease your appetite, this is an eating-entertaining marathon than runs almost 4 hours!

When you step in just after 12 noon, the lively atmosphere will get you – there’s a DJ spinning tunes and oh, the spread of food! From the buffet of starters, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the huge selection of breads, cheeses, salads, Spanish cured meats (Violet’s favourite!) and more, all found dotted around the restaurant at various food stations.

You’ll also find typically Spanish eggs and potatoes (tortillas) and made-to-order grilled sandwiches. But just when you think this is just an ordinary buffet brunch, wait for it…

Via Catalunya – Signature Roasted Suckling Pig

The next Act begins at about 1.30pm with the waitstaff dancing in with impressive main courses, like the flaming salt-baked whole fish, veal shank, lamb thigh and their famous suckling pig with tender flesh and crispy, crackling skin.

With that party going on in your mouth, how can you resist the party going on outside? Some diners even get up to dance to the DJ’s beats, which of course, adds so much to the festive vibe of this place! So if you want a unique brunch full of Spanish flavours and a flair for the theatrical, Catalunya’s Sunday Brunch is a great experience. You’ve got to try it at least once – brings lots of friends, family and stay all the way till 4pm, for a really good time!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE HERE!

Catalunya
The Fullerton Pavillion
82 Collyer Quay

Brunch every Sunday, 12.30 – 4pm

$98++ per person, including juices, tea and coffee.
Add $48++ per person for unlimited Cava and cocktails.

Reservations: 6534 0886

Hokkien Mee that’s Hainanese?

hainan hokkien mee
Click for more of Willin’s Instagram pictures!

People often ask our Makan Kaki Willin Low what’s his favourite Singapore dish and for someone who loves hawker food, it’s a question that’s virtually impossible to answer since he’s the kind of foodie who goes to a hawker centre and sees at least 10 things he wants to order! However, if pressed, the one dish Willin always craves is Hokkien Mee.

His cravings take him back to his army days when he couldn’t wait to book out just so he could rush to his favourite stall for a noodle fix. While that stall is sadly no longer in operation, there is another he turns to when the the craving strikes. It goes by the rather contrary name, Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee – is it Hainanese? Is it Hokkien? But rest assured, it’s 100% true-blue Singaporean and 100% true-blue shiok!

In Willin’s opinion, a good Hokkien Mee has to fulfill his exacting standards:

  1. THIN Bee Hoon must be used because it absorbs the sauce (and flavours) better.
  2. Speaking of better sauce absorbency, the Hokkien Mee also needs to be dry, not soupy. A wet, sloppy Hokkien Mee is a bug bear and Willin has been known to leave soupy noodles out till the gravy gets re-absorbed by the bee hoon for maximum flavour penetration!
  3. It needs to be served with 2 kinds of chilli – sambal belachan and fresh-cut. A good Hokkien Mee starts with a good stock, but even a mediocre stock can be lifted by the strongly-flavoured sambal. That’s why it’s a useful dollop of spiciness to have on your plate, although no worries with this particular Hokkien Mee, since its stock is excellent. Also, Willin swears by this method – eat the noodles with the sliced chilli, then eat the protein (sotong, prawns, etc.) with the sambal.
  4. Lastly, pork belly has to be used, so thinly sliced that it’s barely noticeable, yet very present in taste.

Happily, Hainan Hokkien Mee combines all these elements into one glorious plate of slippery bliss, infused with that incredible aroma and fragrance known as “wok hei”. After all, the uncle behind the stove has been frying Hokkien Mee for more than 30 years!

Listen to this week’s episode again here!

Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee 海南福建炒虾面
505 Beach Road
#B1-34
Call: 62946798
Open: Thurs – Tue/ 11am -2pm, 3-9pm, Closed Wed

Totally Worth Your Wild Rocket

Crab Ball
Salted Egg Crab Ball

This week, Makan Kaki Shermay Lee proudly recommends a friend’s restaurant that shut its doors for an 8-month hiatus, before re-opening a little more than a month ago. It’s none other than our other Makan Kaki, Willin Low‘s Modern Singapore restaurant, Wild Rocket.

Willin has carved out a bit of a name for himself, giving a refined spin on traditional local dishes he grew up with and his unique brand of “Mod-Sin” cuisine has stood the test of time in a very fickle culinary landscape.

From the beautifully refurbished interiors to the crockery that has been carefully sourced, Willin brings a personal touch to everything at Wild Rocket. It would seem that he’s back better than before, with an interesting menu that serves us some old favourites and a few new ones.

Here are some that Shermay thinks are good ones to try:

The salted egg crab ball is a new addition to the menu and features a perfectly spherical, crunchy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside crab cake, nestled atop a delectable salted egg yolk paste. From Singapore, he takes things in a slightly Thai direction, with the pomelo salad with tiger prawns and frozen coconut dressing, refreshingly perfect for our tropical weather. With its contrasting flavours, textures and temperatures, this salad’s play of hot and cold, spicy and cooling, crunchy and juicy is very exciting on the palate.

Pomelo Salad
Pomelo Salad with Tiger Prawn & Frozen Coconut Dressing

Another must-try is the innovative spin on a child-hood favourite, stir-fried beef and kailan in oyster sauce, except Chef Willin has turned it into a tender beef short rib served with smoked oyster “milk”, mashed potato and kailan leaves. Loyal followers will also be delighted to know Willin’s signature Laksa Pesto Linguini is still on the menu and yes, is still as heady, aromatic and delicious as before. Willin also does a risotto version with Hokkaido scallop (available on the Chef’s tasting menu).

Laksa Pesto Linguine
Lakso Pesto Linguini

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the classic deconstructed Wild Rocket strawberry cheesecake.

Wild Rocket Strawberry Cheesecake
Wild Rocket Strawberry Cheesecake

Otherwise, you’ve got to have a go at another new addition to the menu, the pineapple sorbet with pineapple slices, mint sugar, chilli powder and soya sauce crystals. Yes, soya sauce in a dessert! This is Willin’s crazy, but brilliant tribute to his father’s favourite snack of pineapples with chilli and soya sauce. And if you think about it, we already combine the fruit and sauce in rojak, so why not make that leap into dessert? It totally works, by the way!

Listen to this week’s episode again.

You can also read Makan Kaki & Chubby Hubby, Aun Koh’s thoughts about Wild Rocket here!

wildrocketint
Wild Rocket

Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily
Hangout Hotel 10A Upper Wilkie Road

Open Monday – Saturday:
Lunch 12.30pm – 3.00pm
Coffee, Cocktails and Cotta 3.00pm – 6.00pm
Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Sun)

Reservations: 6339 9448