This week, we meet a new Makan Kaki, head chef of Modern Australian Restaurant, Cheek By Jowl at 21 Boon Tat Street. Rishi Naleendra was born in Sri Lanka, but moved to Australia to study and work. He cut his culinary teeth at renowned restaurants like Tetsuya and Taxi, before moving to Singapore to start his open kitchen restaurant with his wife Manuela. He handles everything in the kitchen and in his words, Manuela handles “everything else”, including the wines!
- Click here to hear our chat about Cheek by Jowl and his approach to cooking for diners.
- Click here for where this chef likes to eat locally when he’s not cooking at his restaurant!
OK, Foodie Friends, time for an oldie but a goodie – Easties will be familiar with this Joo Chiat favourite and it’s no surprise that Chef Rishi has chosen this simple, Mom-and-Pop shop as one of his go-to places for local Indian food. In Sri Lanka, they have something similar but more doughy and chewy, so Singapore-style Roti Prata was a revelation to him. First of all, this is a prata that absolutely lives up to its name – it really is SUPER CRISPY! Crisp & flaky on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside, Chef Rishi says this one is a winner on all counts – flavour, texture are all on point. Dipped into the fish curry that is substantial, tasty and redolent with that seafoody aroma, the prata is really an addictive dish.
Chef Rishi’s been trying to cut down, but when he first moved to Singapore, he couldn’t get enough of this prata – he would usually order up 2 plain pratas, one egg and one plaster. In particular, the plaster is something he’s never seen anywhere else besides Singapore & Malaysia and it reminds him of that typically western breakfast of egg on toast. Prata Plaster is the Singapore version and when you cut into it, that runny yolk, combined with the crispy fried pastry, is in his opinion, ‘perfection”!
Prata Plaster in the making by Mr Moghan & his assistant:
Look at that egg!
The beauteous result:
Mr & Mrs Mohgan, together with their helpers, have a great little business going and see a steady stream of customers everyday. Be prepared for a bit of a wait, but Mr Mohgan does his fastest best. The whole set-up is efficient, and to keep track, orders (both dine-in & takeaway) are handwritten on Mrs Mohgan’s clipboard. Mrs Mohgan is a cute, friendly lady who’s so used to food “tourists”, she amiably moves aside and waits for you to take photos and when your order is ready, she calls you sister or brother with a gentle smile. You gotta go try the Mr & Mrs Mohgan experience!
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata
Poh Ho Restaurant
7 Crane Road, S429356
Open: 6.30am – 1.30pm (closed on Tues/Wed 3rd week of the month)