Focus on Females in F&B: Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand’s Lyn Lee Loves this Char Siew

img_7728Hi Makan Kakis, 

This week I had the honour of visiting Foodie Friend Lyn Lee at her latest F&B project for a meal and chat.

Lyn is no stranger to us in Singapore, as the founder of Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand, but this is really the first time I’ve had a chance to delve a little deeper into how her business started and what makes her tick.

Over coffee and pandan coconut drinks; crayfish curry, beef cheek rendang and more at the new Sinpopo Flagship Restaurant at Tangs, Lyn looked back on the last 25 years and waxed lyrical on a whole range of topics.

From how Awfully Chocolate was born from one single chocolate cake recipe; to branching out into Sinpopo Brand; to advice for budding F&B entrepreneurs, to championing young talents (there’s an Awfully Chocolate “scholarship”!); to who she’d invite to her fantasy dinner party (3 letters and a legendary local leader might ring some bells) – have a listen to what she had to say in the podcasts below.

As always, she was also ready with a makan recommendation, one that will please lovers of chicken rice and roasted meats!



Lyn’s always been tremendous at sniffing out some of the best Eastside eats and this one ranks high on her list for excellent chicken rice and roasted meats like char siew and siew yoke (crispy pork belly). It’s a stall located in an old corner coffeeshop along Tanjong Katong Road and she used to visit it almost every week. Pre-Covid, the stall would see long lunchtime queues at least 20 customers deep.


When I went to check it out on a Sunday morning right at opening time, there were already 3 customers ahead of me at 9.15am. An attractive array of freshly-roasted delights hung enticingly in the stall’s glass display – slabs of crispy pork, chunky strips of char siew, glistening roasted ducks, whole roasted chicken and even a couple of poached chickens (pak cham gai in Cantonese).

Continue reading “Focus on Females in F&B: Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand’s Lyn Lee Loves this Char Siew”

Focus on Female F&B Entrepreneurs: Chef-Owner of Morsels Recommends Old-School Prawn Mee


Greetings Makan Kakis!

This week, as we continue to celebrate females in the F&B industry, I catch up with a Foodie Friend whom you might already know.

Chef-Owner of Morsels, Petrina Loh first appeared on my show back in 2016 and as she celebrates the 10th Birthday of her restaurant this year, let’s find out what she’s up to, what she’s learnt along the way and future plans for Morsels.

Chef Petrina also dishes advice for aspiring F&B entrepreneurs and for the ladies, why self-care and solo time is so important.

She also shares who she’d invite, what she’d serve and what song she’d play at her fantasy dinner party. A French chef made good in the USA, lots of vegetables and U2 just might be on the menu! 

Also, if you love a comforting bowl of prawn noodle soup, Chef Petrina recommends one that gives her old-school vibes – it tastes just like the kind she enjoyed as a child. Have a listen to our podcasts below for all the details!



Here it is, fellow greedies! One of Chef Petrina’s favourite Prawn Noodles, found at good food haunt Redhill Market & Food Centre. She recommends it for its simplicity and natural, old-school taste.

Continue reading “Focus on Female F&B Entrepreneurs: Chef-Owner of Morsels Recommends Old-School Prawn Mee”

Focus on Female F&B Entrepreneurs: Gek Pang of Surrey Hills Grocer Recommends Epok-Epok

img_7541Hello Makan Kakis, 

International Women’s Day was just yesterday (8 March) and all this month, we’re featuring inspiring female F&B entrepreneurs, like our new Foodie Friend Pang Gek Teng.

She’s the Founder of Aussie-inspired Surrey Hills Grocer, a one-stop shop for quality produce & products from Down Under. Gek’s expanding F&B empire includes cafes within the grocers and a deli in the CBD. 

Get to know Gek better in the podcasts below, where she shares how she picked herself up after the pandemic ended her chain of F&B stores in Melbourne.

The pet-lover also shares future plans for the doggie parallel universe of Surrey Hills – Furry Hills!

Plus: Gek’s sound advice for aspiring F&B entrepreneurs and details of her fantasy dinner party – who would she invite? What food & drink would she serve? What music would she play? Hint: She has divine plans!

And for fellow epok-epok lovers, Gek recommends a must-try, super-crispy Eastside Stall.



What’s not to love about a deep-fried pastry parcel filled with a tasty filling? These simple, old-school epok-epok come highly recommended by Gek, who says she has zero complaints about them. They are always done right and always go down an absolute treat when she orders them for parties. When I popped down on a Sunday evening, the queue was about 6 people deep, but I didn’t really have to wait too long for my turn. If you don’t want to read everything in this post, you only need to know one thing about Yang’s Epok-Epok: CRRRISPY!!!

Continue reading “Focus on Female F&B Entrepreneurs: Gek Pang of Surrey Hills Grocer Recommends Epok-Epok”

Must-try Thai – Get It Before It’s Gone!

All this month, in honour of International Women’s Day, we’re paying tribute to inspiring female F&B entrepreneurs and who better to highlight than my wonderful Makan Kaki Cynthea Lam of Wellness Company Super Farmers? If you haven’t already, do get to know her and her business better here from our very first podcast!


Click to listen/ download this week’s tasty and nostalgic Thai episode.


Cynthea’s favourite is Thai cuisine, largely in part due to growing up with her beloved helper from Thailand. So when she’s craving Thai comfort foods, she heads on over to Beach Road stalwart and one-stop-shop for all things Thai, Golden Mile Complex – of course! Sadly, we only have till May 2023 before the building closes for good (many tenants have moved or are in the process of moving). Still, this is a good place to go for now.


Cynthea has been patronising this familiar first floor restaurant at Golden Mile Complex for a long time. Opened by a Singaporean and his Thai wife in 1985, Diandin Leluk is split into two sections. One side (see above) operates like a little canteen, selling snacks for dine-in or take away (I particularly am addicted to their packets of crispy pork crackling and chicken skins!). This section is also where Cynthea’s favourite papaya salad is prepared. Just across from this is the larger seating area of the restaurant.


While you can easily have a massive feast at Diandin Leluk (like I did with my family in the video above), Cynthea’s go-to dishes are quick, convenient and simple. She recommends the pork ball noodles and papaya salad, or som tam.  Three versions are available on the menu and Cynthea says som tam pu plara is the one you’ll want to go for.

Continue reading “Must-try Thai – Get It Before It’s Gone!”

Secret DIY Chee Cheong Fun Worth the Hunt!

Hi Makan Kakis, this week’s episode is dedicated to the Chee Cheong Fun lovers! The best steamed rice noodle roll has to be tender, silky and delicate, but a good roll is hard to find. Lucky for us, Masterchef Singapore Season 3 Top 4 contestant Sharlene Tan is back to share with us her secret place for excellent local-style chee cheong fun! It’s not found in the shops or at a restaurant or hawker stall and will require a little effort on your part, but boy, is it worth it!

Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s saucy D-I-Y epsiode!


Foodies may already know about Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory, a home-grown brand that manufactures small-batch artisanal soya sauces, vinegars and other condiments. Located in the depths of the Defu Lane industrial estate, did you know you can visit Kwong Woh Hing to pick up your orders of sauces, pastes and spice blends? Sharlene revealed that their sesame paste is the perfect pairing for Chee Cheong Fun, which you can order and make yourself at home.

Continue reading “Secret DIY Chee Cheong Fun Worth the Hunt!”

Yummy Gourmet Pizzas Found at Hawker Centre

Hi Makan Kakis, it’s World Pizza Day! So of course we’re celebrating with a pizza recommendation. Try these delicious gourmet pizzas served up in a casual, hawker centre setting…

Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s flame-kissed episode!


That’s My Pizza at Bukit Timah Food Centre is less than a year old and is run by affable lady bosses – and former colleagues – Ailyn Khoo & Christina Chan.


Check out their humble hawker stall that specializes in gourmet pizzas topped with premium ingredients, some with an Asian-inspired twist, like kimchi bacon, curry chicken, korubuta chashu & mala smoked duck.

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Tasty, Traditional Charcoal Steamboat with Fish

Hello Makan Kakis, with the Lunar New Year looming, how about some reunion dinner inspiration in the form of a hearty steamboat meal? Our Foodie Friend, restaurateur Jason Ong of Uni Gallery & Caviar, returns with this tasty and traditional recommendation for old school charcoal steamboat that’s economical, chock-full of ingredients and great for sharing!


Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s bubbling hot & steamy episode!


So if you’re craving for the nostalgia and taste of charcoal steamboat, check out this stall at Whampoa Market. According to Jason, there are two sections – one is the very busy hawker centre that comes alive at night and then there’s the other section that’s mostly open for the daytime crowds. It’s in that quieter-at-night section you’ll find steamboat stalwart Xin Heng Feng Guo Tiao Tan. The stall’s name is slightly misleading in Mandarin, because it simply touts kway teow noodles, which is but a small part of their menu!

Continue reading “Tasty, Traditional Charcoal Steamboat with Fish”

This Briyani is a Chef Favourite!

Hello fellow Foodies! This week, our Makan Kaki – F&B entrepreneur, consultant and host of CNA’S Food To Change The World – Chef Ming Tan is back with a recommendation for “second to none” Briyani that boasts fluffy & fragrant rice, tender and tasty meat plus a few other additions that take it to the next level. First introduced to Chef Ming by his buddy, local celebrity chef and TV personality Shahrizal Salleh (Chef Bob), Geylang Briyani Stall is run by Hamid and his family. Chef Ming is partial to the mutton briyani, but they also have a chicken version worth trying.



Some highlights of Hamid’s mutton briyani:

First, the plate is messily laden with flat scoops of their long grain basmati rice that looks bejeweled, alternately glistening bright yellow, orange and pale white. With good quality basmati rice served here, you also get a slight scent of rose and pandan. The rice is also seasoned and spiced with a hint of the curry they cook their the chicken and the mutton in, which enhances the flavour and aroma of the tasty dish. Next, the meat of your choice is placed atop the bed of rice and a little bowl of curry is served on the side. Also on the plate is a dollop of pickle that’s almost like a thick chutney – it’s fruity and sweet to give balance to the very savoury rice and meat.

According to Chef Ming, the mutton is wonderfully tender after stewing in its spicy sauce, but I had to take his word for it. By the time I rushed down after work at 2.30pm (they close at 3pm), they were sold out. Thankfully, they still had chicken briyani, which I gamely ordered for a taste.

A large, whole chicken leg smothered in sauce sat on its bed of rice, but interestingly (and perhaps because I was so disappointed the mutton briyani was sold out), the little bowl of curry on the side was redolent with the distinct aroma of mutton and packed with bits of brinjal, carrot, potato and chilli. The chicken was tender and moist. The rice in itself was already delicious, but drizzling the curry all over intensified the flavour and unified the entire dish of meat and carbs.

However, the crowning glory has got to be their fried shallots, an essential crispy garnish they painstakingly prepare from scratch daily. In fact, when I paid a visit to the stall at Chef Ming’s behest, I witnessed a little mountain of shiny purple shallots being sliced and prepped for frying.

It takes skill to achieve such a beautifully burnished cook – they have chew, they have crunch and are so dark you might think they are burnt, but oh no, the deeply caramelised shallots retain an irresistible sweetness and fragrance. So be sure to ask nicely for some – they’ll take your briyani to the next level. 

For Chef Ming, the individual components of the dish are tasty on their own, but mixing everything together makes the briyani a dish to be savoured slowly. Wash it all down with some teh halia and you’ll dreamily drift through the rest of your day totally satisfied.

Chef Ming’s advice is to get their early, as the queues can be long. You’ll want to be there just after they open, say by 11am latest. But rest assured their service is quick, efficient and with a smile. The line moves pretty quickly because they have the experience and the advantage of a small, specialised menu. Chef Ming can’t recommend Geylang Briyani Stall enough – go and try for yourself & see whether this suits your taste! After sampling the chicken briyani, I know I will be returning to sink my teeth into the mutton version!


Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre
1 Geylang Serai, #02-146, Singapore 402001
Open Tues – Sun: 10.30am – 3pm (closed Mondays)
Tel: +65 9170 9700