Candlenut Cravings

HEAR:
Click here for this week’s pungent Peranakan episode!

SEE:

We feature another hot favourite amongst chefs here in Singapore, especially if you want good old Peranakan comfort food served with both a nod to tradition and to imagination, innovation and modern technique. Our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh says you’ll get the best of both worlds at Candlenut, run by talented young chef Malcolm Lee. Previously located at Dorsett Residences near Outram MRT, this Michelin-starred restaurant has since moved into the swanky Dempsey area and yes, was arguably best known as the place where you could get served the rather unusual Buah Keluak ice cream! But Chef Malcolm is no one-trick pony and he uses Buah Keluak expertly in a couple of other dishes Chef Tony wants to highlight. For the traditionalists, you can’t go wrong with Candlenut’s Ayam (chicken) Buah Keluak, but if you’re keen to try something a little more unique, you’ve got to order the Wagyu Beef Shortrib Buah Keluak.

You have that distinctively pungent, bitter, very earthy taste of the black gold encased in the nut, which is the perfect accompaniment to the Wagyu shortrib. This is one cut of beef that is fatty, sinfully marbled and stands up well to the slow-cooking process, yet emerges absolutely tender and melt-in-the-mouth. Employing modern cooking technique, Chef Malcolm sous vides the beef and buah keluak together for a thorough infusion of meat and marinade. All you need is mountain of white rice to go with this supremely flavourful dish.

Another dish you’ve definitely got to try is the yellow coconut curry of crab, which is Chef Malcolm’s take on Prawn Nanas. Here, Blue Swimmer, or Flower Crab is used for its sweetness of flesh, along with an aromatic rempah. Mixed with the creaminess of the coconut and you’ve got an outstanding curry that again, only needs white rice as the perfect accompaniment.

Although Chef Malcolm serves food with a modern slant, make no mistake, fresh rempahs made from scratch, spice by spice, herb by herb, ingredient by ingredient. What many customers don’t realise how much effort goes into the preparation of Peranakan food. This is back-breaking, time-consuming work, well worth the price tag (though some have been known to say the food is expensive), because you have this labour of love lavished over fresh quality ingredients. We’re pretty sure even the staunchest of Peranakan food purists will enjoy the surprises Chef Malcolm brings to his respectful take on classics.

TASTE:
CANDLENUT
17A Dempsey Road, S249676
Open Daily: 12 – 2.30pm; 6 – 9.30pm (Sun – Fri) & 12n- 2.30pm;  6 – 9.30pm; 12 – 2.30am (til late on Sat)
Tel: 1800 304 2288

Advertisements

Refined, Contemporary Peranakan Cuisine

chef jordi nogueraWe have a new foodie friend joining our panel of culinary personalities this week! Please meet Chef Jordi Noguera of FOC Restaurant. Today, we talk about this hot Catalan-inspired culinary destination on Hong Kong Street, their plans for more FOC outlets, Chef Jordi’s approach to food and also what he likes to eat since moving here to Singapore…

HEAR:

  • Click to hear more about FOC (it sounds so naughty! LOL) – the space, the food, the drinks and some of the must-try dishes at this cutting-edge Catalan inspired bar-restaurant.
  • Click to get to know Chef Jordi’s food philosophy and why he eats his Hainanese Chicken Rice with garlic mayo!
  • Listen to this week’s mouth-watering Peranakan episode here!

SEE:
candlenut3
Chef Jordi recommends Peranakan food with a contemporary twist at Candlenut. He found his entire encounter with the unique cuisine really amazing, especially since each dish is carefully sequenced for maximum flavour. For a visitor to Singapore, Candlenut is a wonderful, elegant introduction to the varied herbs, spices, flavours and heritage of Peranakan cuisine. That said, for dinner, you really can’t go wrong indulging in their tasting menu, which promises an experience like stepping into Grandma’s house for a lovingly home-cooked meal. With witty reference to their ‘ah-ma-kase’ menu, you can expect weekly changes because they use only the freshest ingredients available each day.
candlenut2candlenut4

For a refined restaurant that really cares about preserving old traditions, yet pushing new boundaries (Hellooooo BUAH KELUAK ICE-CREAM!!!), do pay a visit soon to Candlenut. Chef Jordi dined at their current location at Dorset Hotel, but hears they will be moving soon to Dempsey.

candlenut1
TASTE:
CANDLENUT
Dorsett Residences
331 New Bridge Road
#01-03
Singapore 088764
Tel: +65 81214107

Open Monday – Saturday:
Monday to Friday 12 noon – 2:30pm; 6 – 10pm
Saturday 6 – 10pm
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

Classic Peranakan – Magnificent Matriarchal Meal!

guan hoe soon

HEAR:

  • We talk about Peranakan cuisine and the importance of food heritage with Awfully Chocolate’s Lyn Lee here!
  • Click this for this week’s Mothers’ Day meal recommendation – a treat for the whole family!

SEE:
Mothers’ Day is just round the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a marvelous matriarchal meal at the oldest Peranakan restaurant in Singapore? Our Makan Kaki, Awfully Chocolate’s Lyn Lee, shares with us her family’s favourite place and also her ideas for sweetening mum’s special day with a chocolatey gift set (scroll all the way down for Awfully Chocolate‘s Mothers’ Day selection)!

Lyn is a busy working mother of 3, but always finds time to find us great places to try, because she believes food is a huge part of being a mum. But on this special occasion, apart from feeding the family, it’s time to feed yourselves with something really spectacular. In Lyn’s humble opinion, nothing comes quite close to the complexity and depth of flavours wrung from traditional Peranakan cuisine, with its complicated preparation and balancing of both Malay and Chinese ingredients. Lyn married into a Peranakan family (in fact, her husband’s grandmother used to sell Satay Celup many moons ago!) who swear by this particular restaurant for authentic Nyonya food. It’s true that everyone claims their own homecooked Peranakan food is best, but for those occasions where it’s simply too much work, this Katong institution is a sedaptastic MUST!

Guan Hoe Soon has been around since 1953 and claims to be the oldest Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore. With decades of food heritage under their belt, you can be assured of quality dishes here. Lyn can’t get enough of their addictive appetiser (she’s not sure of the name, but she is 100% sure of the taste!), which beats a packet of peanuts anyday:

IMG_2124
The addictive appetiser!

This is a wonderful combination of chicken gizzard, liver and heart chopped up and tossed in a fiery sambal and balanced with crunchy-cool cucumber. Don’t be shy to ask for more! Her family always does! When it comes to Peranakan food, there are just some classics you absolutely need to have, one of which is of course Ayam Buah Keluak:

IMG_2131
Classic Ayam Buah Keluak!

To the uninitiated, the black nut is an acquired taste – earthy, almost like a pungent tabacco, but once you learn to love its heady bitter-sweet richness, you’ll be digging in with bare hands to “gorek” the goodness out of the shells!
IMG_2133IMG_2134
At Guan Hoe Soon, they do it a lovely way by mixing minced meat with the black gold filling before stuffing it back into the shells for a texture with more bite. This is a must-try with a mountain of rice!

IMG_2130
Chap Chye

Nyonya Chap Chye, the classic saucy mixed vegetable dish is another must, for freshness, crunch and the wonderful sauce, which mixes so well together with everything else on your plate! Be sure to contrast your meal with something crispy and deep-fried. Lyn recommends their delicious Noh Hiang. And next, even though it’s not necessarily Peranakan, you’ve got to order the Crab Foo Yong!

IMG_2129
Crab Foo Yong

This beautiful golden eggy omelette with chunks of sweet crab is a hit with the kids and adults alike. Plus, it’s such an old-fashioned dish, it’s rare to find a place that does it well. Luckily, Guan Hoe Soon does!

IMG_2132
Bakwan Kepiting

While they also do a wonderful Itek Tim (salted vegetable duck soup), Lyn’s family favourite is the Bakwan Kepiting, a clear broth studded with bamboo shoot meatballs, that her children absolutely love. Lyn has managed to convince them that our local version of meatballs are far more impressive than the western variety!

IMG_2123
Dinner Crowd at Guan Hoe Soon

So there you have it, the favourites of Lyn & her family, after which they always wash everything down with a light, sweet dessert of old-fashioned Gula Melaka Sago or Chendol or Bubur Chacha.

IMG_2121
Antiques displayed at The Oldest Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore

For a hearty, traditional Mothers’ Day meal, you really can’t go wrong with Guan Hoe Soon – Lyn urges everyone to go and try it, support it & be very proud of our Singapore food heritage, of which Peranakan food holds an important place. Its complexity, labour-intensive preparation and unique flavours are worth celebrating and preserving!

IMG_2145
Step in for a really fantastic meal!

TASTE:
GUAN HOE SOON RESTAURANT
38/40 Joo Chiat Place S(427762)
Tel: 6344 2761
Open Daily: 11am – 3pm; 6 – 9.30pm

MAKE MUM’S DAY EVEN SWEETER WITH THIS GIFT SET FROM AWFULLY CHOCOLATE!
If you happen to be in the Katong Area for the Nyonya makan at Guan Hoe Soon, you might also want to pop across to the Awfully Chocolate outlet there to grab Mum a lovely sweet gift!
Print

M-Day 2016 Gift Set

To purchase this for mum, visit any of their stores, including their brand new outlet at Marina Bay Link Mall!

 

Best of 2015 – Makan Kakis’ Top Ten List!

MAKANKAKISTOPTEN2015Hello Makan Kakis,

2015 has been such a delicious year and as we usher in a brand new year of eating, let’s take a look back at the makan places that really caught your attention & appetites! The following Top 10 list features a great variety of yummy hawker stalls, restaurants and dishes that grabbed the most views on our blog. Click on each for details & enjoy!

10. Tasty Teochew at Lee Kui
9. Luscious Burgers with a Buah Keluak twist!
8. Lor Mee with Crispy Battered Fish
7. Ayam Penyet Obama!
6. Killer Kway Chap
5. Outstanding Roasted Meats – Char Siew & Sio Bak
4. Local & International Buffet at a hidden Oasis
3. Nor’s Nasi Padang
2. Jaggi’s Northern Indian
1. Mee Rebus, Soto Ayam & Satay POWER!

Thank you so much for your support of our tasty little segment on Gold 905 and if you could, do help spread the word about Makan Kakis! Here’s to a hearty 2016 full of delicious things to eat! Season’s Eatings & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hamburgers with a Luscious Local Twist!

HEAR:
Audio for this week’s episode!

SEE:

hambaobao-buah-keluak-burger
Photo courtesy of Makansutra.com

HE’S BAAAAACK! With more awesome recommendations for unique local delights, there’s never a dull or untasty moment with Makan Guru KF Seetoh! This week, come with us to Upper Bukit Timah for a delicious & unusual hamburger – a BUAH KELUAK HAMBURGER! The brainchild of youngsters Ryan & Claire, they actually quit their jobs to start up this hambuger stall with no prior experience, because they believed so much in their product. And boy, does their product deliver in the taste department! Imagine if you will, that strange, earthy black nut usually used in chicken or pork curry – the buah keluak paste is extracted, mixed with spices, added to minced meat, shaped into patties and seared-to-order right before your eyes. The buah keluak meat patties are sandwiched between buns and topped with Nyonya chap chye! The combination of textures and flavours is incredible, so hurry to Beauty World for this hamburger with a luscious local twist!

READ MORE ABOUT IT ON MAKANSUTRA.COM!

TASTE:
HAMBAOBAO
Block 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#04-49
Beauty World Centre
Open Tues – Sun: 12 pm to 8 pm (Closed on Monday)