Hawker Stall Serves Up Sublime Steamed Fish and Other Restaurant-Quality Cantonese Dishes

DD1Hello Foodie Friends!

Our Makan Kaki, Chef Damian D’Silva of Rempapa and Judge on MasterChef Singapore, returns to catch us up on this third and current season of the reality cooking competition.

Who has impressed him so far?

Why does he think this is the best season yet?

Listen to the podcast now! Bonus: Chef also recommends yet another good place for great food!

HEAR:

SEE:

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In the last 2 or 3 months, Chef Damian’s favourite place to visit for makan has been Haig Road Food Centre. Chef Chik is a stall he came across, run by an ex-hotel chef who specialises in exquisite Cantonese cuisine, particularly steamed dishes and double-boiled soups.

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Chef Damian really loves his fish (especially the head, collar & belly) and is constantly on the hunt for the freshest, best quality  fish dishes around. Chef Chik fully delivers on all counts. In particular, his steamed threadfin belly really stands out for Chef Damian, and he had to try it because it features one of his favourite fish parts!

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The threadfin belly turned out to be perfectly steamed, with flesh that was so tender and a sauce that was just the right balance between savoury and sweet. The simple combination of soya sauce and taucheo (preserved soy bean) also enhanced the natural sweetness of the fish belly.

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When I paid the stall a visit myself, I had to agree with Chef Damian. This threadfin belly dish is a winner and classically Cantonese – clean-tasting yet very flavourful. The fish belly was flaky-firm and very fresh. Where the skin met the meat, there was a lovely rich layer of gelatinous collagen. Minced garlic, coriander & spring onion gave the saucy dish lots of fragrance and flavour, whilst the fresh red chilli added a delightful kick of heat.

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By the way, the steamed dishes are made-to-order, so be prepared for a short wait. Chef Chik has his own pager system for customers’ convenience!

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Unable to resist, I had to give Chef Chik’s famed double-boiled soups a try, choosing one with cordyceps, white fungus and chicken drumstick. The broth had a clean, pure chicken taste, with a pleasantly herbal tinge – sweet and aromatic, but not bitter.

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The cordyceps (or rather, cordycep flowers) were like crunchy-fresh slivers of mushroom and the generous slices of yuzhu (玉竹), along with slippery-smooth, curly fans of white fungus added body and texture to the soup. The chicken drumstick was fall-off-the-bone tender and a meaty treat when dipped in the self-service side dish of pulverised chilli in light soya sauce. Delicious, nourishing and comforting, the soup would be great eaten with rice on a rainy day.

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These two dishes alone barely scratch the surface of what Chef Chik’s menu has to offer and on my next visit, I’ve already decided I need to have the salted fish meat patty and garlic chee cheong fun with prawn!

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TASTE:
Chef Chik
#01-36 Haig Road Food Centre, 14 Haig Rd S(430014)
Open: Wed – Sat 11.30am – 3.30pm (closed Sun, Mon & Tues)
Tel: +65 9011 8979

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