Ice Cream Café with a Savoury Noodle Secret

You might have heard of a now defunct stall at Tanglin Halt Food Centre called Aw’s Signature Minced Pork Noodles, which made a name for itself with delicious, ingredient-laden bak chor mee. But almost as quickly as it rose in popularity, it closed down, much to the disappointment of customers in the know. One of them was my Makan Kaki, Chef Shen Tan of private dining experience, Ownself Make Chef and Gastrogig’s Thank-Goodness-It’s home delivery concept.

So imagine my delight when she revealed it had re-opened, albeit in a surprisingly different set-up, just a stone’s throw from its former location. She recommended that I head down to The Milky Way Homemade Ice-Cream And Coffee cafe for my bak chor mee fix, but with the added bonus of dessert.

The man behind the noodles (and now, ice cream) is Terence Aw, a self-taught cook and former police officer who left a decade-long career in law enforcement to pursue his passion for cooking. After a lot of practice and pointers from fellow hawkers at Tanglin Halt Food Centre, Terence’s bak chor mee, with its unique taste and plentiful ingredients, really took off and gained a loyal fan following.

He credits Chef Shen for helping to get the word out and helping to jump start his business. In fact, she’s still doing so, now that he’s added custom gourmet ice creams to the menu at his new location. But more on that later.

First, I was hungry for a taste of the noodles I had been hearing so much about. My order for the best-selling dry kway teow (flat rice noodles) cost $5.80 and came served in a bowl piled with meaty, golden-brown ingredients. Beside it was a separate bowl of soup swimming with greens and more meaty ingredients. No wonder it used to be called Aw’s signature minced pork noodles – Terence had created a noodle dish that was entirely his own – it didn’t look like the typical hawker centre variety and was unlike any other I’ve tasted.

Find out why by clicking the links below:

Delicious Dim Sum!

HEAR:

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photo via kai garden facebook

This week our Makan Kaki, Chef Shen Tan of Ownself Make Chef returns to catch up with us & share her latest discovery, which actually comes at the recommendation of a foodie friend of hers via Instagram. And she was happy to report, this discovery did not disappoint! Now, when it comes to a whole menu of delicious delicacies, there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like dim sum, right? And some of the best Chef Shen has had to date, comes from Kai Garden.

Continue reading “Delicious Dim Sum!”

Kueh-Kueh & Gelato

Yes, Denise is wearing a kueh-print dress for this interview!

HAPPY NEW YEAR MAKAN KAKIS!!!

New year, new Foodie Friend! Please meet Christopher Tan, an award-winning writer, co oking instructor and photographer, who recently launched a fantastic new book, The Way of Kueh: Savouring & Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts.

Essentially, this is his love letter to kueh (pun fully intended!), our collective Singaporean varieties both sweet & savoury, with a hope that people will return to making kueh at home to preserve this waning food heritage. Packed with useful recipes & cooking tips, fascinating interviews with Singapore’s kueh-makers and beautiful colour pictures, Foodies, this is a one book to add to your collection!

The Way of Kueh is the first book to explore and celebrate Singapore’s diverse kueh heritage across all major communities. It aims to inspire and encourage Singaporeans to make and enjoy kueh together with their families and friends, and to celebrate, preserve and progress this rich and meaningful part of our national food heritage. The Way of Kueh is a project supported by the National Heritage Board.

You can get it all good book stores (choose from 2 covers!) and for more, do follow Christopher on his instagram @thewayofkueh.

In our chat today, we talk about the conception of The Way of Kueh, our local kueh culture, heritage, traditions and kueh-makers and what recipes you can expect from the book.

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photo: Christopher Tan

Christopher’s first recommendation of the year is a proudly Singaporean gelato shop called Tom’s Palette, known for their superb quality ingredients and unusual flavours. What really appealed to Christopher was the fact that owner Chronos Chan uses no emulsifiers, stabilizers or artificial additives in the making of his mouth-watering gelato. Ingredients are carefully sourced and kept as natural as possible, but what they produce is mind-blowingly good.

Continue reading “Kueh-Kueh & Gelato”

Tantalising Tonkatsu


He’s back! Chef Daniel Tay, who was last here in 2015 during Chinese New Year, returns with more goodies to share. His family bakery, Old Seng Choong, has a newly-opened store at Clarke Quay Central (Eu Tong Sen St), where you can try before you buy! Some of the yummy things on offer include Hae Bee Hiam Pineapple Tarts and cookies in a myriad of local flavours, ranging from Putu Mayam & Gula Melaka to Satay & Cereal Prawn. Take home some delicious Nian Gao, Red Date & Yam Cakes, all in time for Chinese New Year! But for his first recommendation in 3 years, Chef Daniel wants to share his favourite place for Japanese breaded pork dish, Tonkatsu.

Continue reading “Tantalising Tonkatsu”

Best of 2017 – Makan Kakis’ Top Ten List

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Gluttonous Greetings Everyone & Happy New Year!

2017 saw a whole host of new foodie friends joining our rolling panel of Makan Kakis and along with them came a stupendous slew of new & delicious food recommendations. So as we begin 2018, let’s take a look back at some of the most popular makan places that really caught your attention in 2017. Click on each for details & enjoy!

10. Another Best Contender for Bak Chor Mee?
9. Curry Rice that’s a CUT Above!
8. Firebaked Excellence
7. Geylang Hokkien Mee NOT in Geylang
6. Super Crispy Prata
5. Raw Egg Bak Chor Mee?!
4. Nuts about Pistachio Grill
3. Magnificent Mee Pok
2. Karried Away by Kway Chap
1. Die-Die-Must-Try Fishball & Herh Keow

Just wanna listen to the audio? Click here!

Thank you so much for your support of our tasty little segment on Gold 905 and for helping it grow bigger and better. If you like what you hear on air and what you see here on the blog, do share share share! Here’s to yet another year of yum – may your 2018 be overflowing with the best things to eat and drink – Season’s Eatings!

P.S.

You’ll AMÒ these Pizzas & Pastas! 

HEAR:
Click to hear this week’s incredibly Italian episode!

SEE:

Spaghettoni with whole boston lobster & tarragon for two!

There’s a new place that our Makan Kaki, Chef-Owner of Morsels, Petrina Loh has just tried along Hong Kong Street. Located conveniently for Chef Petrina, she often runs errands along that stretch, picking up her traditional chinese herbs for her own restaurant from just across the street. If there’s parking, she always takes advantage to hop out in search for something good to eat. And boy, is Amò GOOD! It’s a pizza-pasta place started by Italian restaurateur Beppe De Vito, of Il Lido fame and also, the man behind Baci, a recent 1 Michelin Star awardee. So, one would have high hopes for this casual eatery, no? And apparently, recent discovery Amò does not disappoint. Highly recommended by her other chef friends, how can you resist comfort food like Italian pizzas and pastas done exceedingly well?

Tagliolini with spicy young cuttlefish & squid ink

For Chef Petrina, the home-made pasta with spicy young cuttlefish with squid ink on the side was outstanding. So tasty & deeply umami, the tender squid pairs perfectly with the al dente Tagliolini, which she says delightedly, is like a cross between mee pok and mee kia! What’s brilliant is that you can ask for extra spice and the staff very obligingly bring out the fiery good stuff for you to add. The kitchen is aware of how some Singaporeans like their meals spicy and have concocted an insane chilli paste, made from chilli padi, garlic, salt and olive oil, all whizzed up fresh in a blender. It’s got tremendous kick and a freshness that balances the searingly hot burn, but use sparingly – you’ve been warned!

Olive you! ❤

Another lovely touch is the wooden bowls of yummy stuffed olives you get served with every meal (perfect with a refreshing Aperol Spritz – cocktail of Prosecco & Aperol). Chef Petrina can’t get enough of these briny spheres of deliciousness! Sourced from from Beppe’s family’s olive farm, these are plump little green morsels, stuffed with peppers and exploding with appetite-whetting flavour.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

If you’re looking for a yummy starter, try their zucinni flowers, unusually stufffed with a fluffy, creamy, light-as-air Mortadella filling, along with pistachio & lemon honey.

As for the pizzas, Denise (who also has been) recommends two excellent ones. Made meticulously with a starter that is lovingly tended daily, this mother dough births pizza bases full of flavor and texture. They are at once crisp, wonderfully blistered and charred on the edges, as well as delightfully tender and chewy in the centre. Taking an average of only 5-10 minutes to cook in their wood-fired oven, the toppings elevate the simple pizza to a whole other stratosphere!

Try these:

Bone Marrow Pizza

The Bone Marrow Pizza with fresh radish, wild garlic pesto and anchovy salsa verde, is rich and luscious from the marrow, yet fresh, zingy and astringent from the greens and pesto. This is a beautiful foil for the very decadent, very savoury Truffle Pizza, which is pretty much THE BEST in Singapore at the moment.

Truffle Mushroom Pizza

Loaded with layer upon layer of aromatic fungi flavour, the Truffle Mushroom Pizza boasts a creamy truffle-marscapone base, wild mushrooms, Tuscan pecorino, a scattering of microgreens and is finished with fresh truffles shaved very liberally all over the top. So delicious, so addictive, so fragrant, you may want to finish the entire pizza yourself!

Amò lives up to its name – you can really feel the love here – from the lovingly prepared, on point, super-delicious food, to the casual, lively atmosphere, to the wonderfully attentive staff (Hi Jody!) – this is one Italian restaurant that’s far from run-of-the-mill & should not be missed!

TASTE:
AMÒ – CASUAL ITALIAN RESTAURANT
33 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059672
Open for Lunch: 12 – 3pm (Monday – Friday) / Dinner: 6 – 11pm (Monday – Saturday)
Tel: +65 67237733

Firebaked Excellence

Fruit & Nut Loaf (L), Sourdough (R)

HEAR:
Click to listen to this week’s firebaked episode!

SEE:
This week, our Makan Kaki, writer, homecook and founder of private dining experience FatFuku, Annette Tan returns with another delicious recommendation from her home turf in the East of Singapore. Firebake – Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant is an awesome casual dining establishment that has seen packed houses and lots of return regulars since it opened earlier this year.

Cast-Iron Stove from the 1880s!

What’s unique about Firebake is how they cook their food – they are the proud owners of 2 wood-fired ovens built from scratch using fire bricks & volcanic lava, amongst other exotic materials, the better to withstand the searingly hot temperatures of the burning wood within. They also have a beautiful cast iron stove that dates back to the 1880s, sourced from Europe, painstakingly restored, shipped to Singapore and now fueled by charcoal or wood, to produce gorgeous, smoke-tinged dishes.

Built-from-scratch brick oven & loaves

From the wood-fired ovens come wonderfully dense loaves, churned out daily. Sourdough is a house speciality not to be missed. Only organic flour imported from Western Australia is used. Even the wood for the ovens is specially imported!

fruit & nut!

Another absolute must-try is the fruit and nut bread, which is perfect with their mind-blowing chicken liver pate. Annette love, love, LOVES the pate, which is made from equal parts butter and chicken liver, so you can imagine how decadent it is. Funny thing is, while sinfully buttery, the pate is light as air and supremely silky. Apart from luscious, no other adjectives can describe just how tasty, rich and fresh this chicken liver pate tastes! Slather the earthy pate thickly over the sweet fruit and nut bread, and you’ve got a perfect pairing.

Luscious pate with fruit & nut bread

steak with chimmichurri & jerusalem artichokes

In fact, everything on the menu has been created with their house-made, fire-baked breads in mind. All dishes are designed to pair well with the breads, including the thick, perfectly medium rare steaks served with Jerusalem artichokes & Chimmichurri sauce, as well as the mussels & chorizo served in a cast iron pot.

mussels in cast-iron pot

In Firebake, you get an honset-to-God hard working bakery, whose staff return daily, even on off-days to feed the starters (mother dough) & the fires, so that everything runs smoothly and their customers get their freshly baked goods day in, day out. Rejoice! Their famous sourdoughs and fruit and nut loaves are available for takeaway.

Hello, Mother!

Firebake stands out because everything from its people to the equipment has been passionately invested and it really shows in the food. So next time you’re looking for excellent baked breads and hearty meals made from quality ingredients, all cooked to fired perfection, you’ve got to head Eastside to Firebake!

TASTE:
Firebake – Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant 
237 East Coast Road Level 1
Singapore 428930
Open Times:
Tue-Wed: 6-10pm
Thu-Fri: 11.30am-3pm, 6-10pm
Sat-Sun: 8.30-11:30 am, 11.30am-3pm, 6-10pm
Closed Monday
Tel: +65 64401228

VIDEO: CURRY PUFFS WORTH THE CALORIES

Hi Hungry People! Have you heard? My Makan Kakis radio show on the Lunchtime Jukebox is now an online series! This month, it’s all about everybody’s favourite spicy, crispy snacks – CURRY PUFFS! Watch all the delicious, deep-fried foodie action unfold on Gold 905’s FB, or visit 8Days.sg, as I take you from East to West for some of the best! With thanks to my Foodie Friends Chef Willin Low & Actor Fir Rahman for their recommendations.

You can also read more about these two curry puff options:
TRY THIS: SHA ZAH CONFECTIONARY
OR THAT: FONG’S DEE CURRY PUFFS

Missed my 1st video episode on Fishballs and Herh Keow? Click here to catch up!