Balestier’s Best #5: Heavenly Har Cheong Gai & Fish Head Bee Hoon

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881-xo-1Here’s the final installment in our Makan Kaki Shermay Lee‘s guide to the best eats in Balestier and she’s saved the best for last, with a no-frills zi char place that boasts some of the best Har Cheong Gai (Prawn Paste Fried Chicken) she’s tasted. Located in a corner shophouse next to Balestier Plaza along Balestier Road, 881 (XO) Fish Head Bee Hoon is a standalone restaurant that does both its signature Fish Head Bee Hoon & Crab Bee Hoon (dry & soup versions) really well. Shermay recommends you go with friends so you can order more dishes. But yes, the Fish Head Bee Hoon is a must.


Next, definitely go for the above-mentioned Har Cheong Gai, which really is phenomenal when eaten freshly-fried and piping-hot at the table! Their style is to serve only the winglets, but that’s nothing to scoff at, especially since they are the perfect combination: tender and moist on the inside, once you crunch through the crispy, golden-fried outside. A squeeze of lime and a dip of chilli really enhances the distinctive, savoury, prawn paste flavour of these well-seasoned wings – super-yummy!881-xo-2

Another favourite of Shermay’s is the Cereal Prawns – big, juicy and fried so crispy you can eat them whole – shells, heads, tails and all! The milky-salty-sweet crispy cereal coating is extra fragrant with curry leaves and can be eaten like a snack on its own!881-xo-3

Finally, you’ve got to order the deep-fried fish skins. Salted egg yolk seems to be the trend on everything these days, but 881 Have been doing this for ages – it’s not a trend, it’s undeniably tasty! These crispy fish skins come to the table hot off the wok, having been stir-fried in a rich salted egg yolk and crispy egg white sauce, perfumed with red chillies and more curry leaves. You won’t be able to stop at one. In fact, you’ll probably want a whole portion to yourself!881-xo-4

As Shermay highly recommends, eat in a group for more tasty variety! These dishes, all small portions, fed 4 people for only $49.70. Delicious food, value-for-money, what’s not to love?


412 Balestier Road
Singapore 329805
Open Daily: 11am – 11pm
Tel: +65 62545768


Farm-Fresh Food!

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Hail Caesar Salad with House-smoked Chicken

This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Jordi Noguera of FOC shares with us another one of his favourite places to eat at in Singapore. Tucked away in a charming, rustic, corner of Dempsey, you’ll find Open Farm Community (from the same guy behind Tippling Club, Chef Ryan Clift), a restaurant that is doing excellent work in using farm-fresh ingredients, like lots of vegetables to create healthy yet hearty & tasty dishes. Chef Jordi finds the contemporary, yet laid-back style of food & presentation here much like what you’d find in Australia, but you’d be hard-pressed to pin it to any one style. The focus is mainly on sourcing ingredients from local and Malaysian farms (as close as possible, whenever possible) and even cooking produce grown direct from their own edible garden.
Chef Jordi is partial to their pastas, in particular their pesto trofie, with potatoes, french beans & pumpkin chunks.

Minden Road Pesto Trofie with potatoes, french beans & pumpkin chunks

But there are other pastas to choose from, including this gorgeous Mud Crab Spaghettoni.

Mud Crab Spaghettoni

While there is a focus on fresh vegetables, Open Farm Community is far from a vegetarian restaurant – you’ll find beautifully turned out fish, like this Asian-inspired Coconut Laksa Baramundi and also for the carnivores, robust, meaty dishes like braised lamb shank & beef short ribs.

Coconut-Laksa Baramundi
Braised lamb shank, homemade couscous, olives, capers & green peas

Bottom line, if you want delicious, fresh, quality produce prepared meticulously and beautifully presented in gorgeous leafy surroundings, this is the place to be!

ofc-space2 ofc-space

130E Minden Road
Singapore 248819
Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 4pm/6pm – 10pm
Sat – Sun/PH: 11am – 4pm/6pm – 10pm
Mon – Sun: 8am – 9pm
Reservations: +65 6471 0306

It’s Meta-Physical!

Click here to listen to this week’s brand-new episode!

pancakeThis week, our foodie friend, restaurateur, hotelier & judge of Eat List Star Loh Lik Peng returns with another wonderful discovery along his favourite street, Keong Saik Road! In Meta he has found what he calls very modern Korean/ Asian cuisine by young, classically-trained South Korean head chef Sun Kim, who cut his teeth at Waku Ghin in Singapore and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia. He does a bang-up job of reinterpreting his cultural roots using modern techniques. The result is a sublime, super-refined meal that will not disappoint.

Peng was blown away by the Seafood Korean Pancake – wafer thin, fabulously prepared with sea snails, squid, seaweed, kimchi  & a special heirloom chili sauce. Another winner is the Oyster Ginger/Lemon with Pomelo, a perfectly balanced briny bite of hefty, fresh oyster with scattered sacs of bitter-sweet pomelo and a beautifully acidic sauce.

After an 8-course meal at Meta, you leave feeling thoroughly satisfied but not uncomfortably stuffed, which is really testament to the chef doing a great job. This lovely restaurant is a little tucked away, but Peng hopes by sharing, Chef Sun Kim gets the recognition he deserves, for the outstanding food he’s turning out.

Reservations: +65 6513 0898
Lunch: Monday to Friday 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: Monday to Thursday: 6pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 6pm – 11pm

Creature Comforts – Inspired Heritage Food

Click here to catch up with KF Seetoh and what he’s been up too, including details on the latest on his ultimate food guide, Makansutra 2017 edition!
Click here to listen to this week’s mouth-watering makan recommendation, or simply read on…

Our very first Makan Kaki, KF Seetoh is back! He’s got 5 copies of the latest edition of Makansutra for you to win and you can go straight to Gold 905’s FB page to enter our contest! For today, let’s talk Asian Heritage food that’s creative, beautifully presented and completely delicious! Seetoh loves meeting people who love and embrace their culinary heritage and move forward using that history to create amazing meals. Case in point, CreatureS, which serves up “comfort food with an Asian flair while staying true to the origins of the dish”. Check out some of Seetoh’s favourites from this little restaurant dishing out big flavours on colourful Desker Road in Little India:

cod-and-nasi-ulamNasi Ulam balls with Miso Cod. Nasi Ulam, in particular, is such a labour of love, involving rice cooked in rich fish stock and perfumed with lots of finely chopped Asian herbs. CreatureS does theirs Japanese onigiri-style and they are WONDERFUL!

lamb-shank-rendangLamb Shank Rendang. Spicy, rich and fall-apart-fork-tender, add a little lontong and you’re in meaty heaven!

babi-gulingCreatureS’ version of Balinese Babi Guling is another winner, as is their Nyonya-inspired Babi Pongtay, of which the pork belly is outstanding – a deep, burnished soy-brown, the babi is caramelised soft and is absolutely delicious.

babi-pongtayDurian Lovers, you’re gonna combust when you check this dessert out…

durian-cake-2CreatureS’ Durian Cake sounds very simple, but trust us, it is so layered in favour, you’ll want to eat the whole cake, not just a slice.

durian-cake-1Can you imagine smooth Mao Shan Wang durian paste (pungent, unctuous durian meat mixed with cream) layered between soft pandan sponge cake and smothered in pandan-vanilla chantilly cream? They make it a mind-blowing reality at CreatureS and it is a definite must-try!

If it’s yummy, satisfying, Asian-inspired food that stays true to its heritage, this is the place to eat at. Bonus is, CreatureS have got what it takes in both the style and substance departments – skillfully-made, delicious food that still looks great, is beautifully presented and totally instagrammable!

120 Desker Road, Singapore 209639

Tel: 6291 6996

Opening Hours:
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Sunday: 12.00 noon –10.30 p.m.
Friday / Saturday: 12.00 noon –11.30 p.m.
Closed on Mondays.