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.

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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!

TASTE:

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

Fluffy, Fragrant, Boneless Lamb Biryani

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Mask on and Denise can still smell the deep aroma of this Biryani!

Chef Shen Tan of private dining experience Ownself Make Chef & Thank Goodness It’s is back for another delicious round of makan and this time, she’s taking us to a Little India restaurant that serves up a wonderful Hyderabad-style Dhum Biryani. Marinated meat is layered with rice and meticulously cooked in a unique dough-sealed pot to lock in the juices and flavours, for maximum meat tenderness and rice fluffiness.

Chef Shen went for the easy-to-eat Boneless Lamb Biryani ($14.90), which did not disappoint. The rice was fluffy and aromatic; the lamb was beautifully seasoned, moist and tender with lovely, spicy, complex notes. Cherry tomato, a hard boiled egg and fried shallots garnished the dish, which was generous enough for 2-3 people to share. Every mouthful brought bags of punchy flavour! And when Denise decided to order some for home delivery, the dish was just as Chef Shen described and the extra tub of curry was very much appreciated, perfect for slopping all over the meat and rice.

Continue reading “Fluffy, Fragrant, Boneless Lamb Biryani”

STAY HOME, EAT & DO GOOD – MURTABAK & BRIYANI

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Have a craving for Murtabak or Briyani? I did! So I decided to give a newcomer to the growing list of alternative food delivery platforms a whirl and ordered from North Bridge Road halal restaurant Al-Tasneem via BYSGFORSG.  This is a 100% volunteer-run, not-for-profit initiative to help local F&B establishments increase their revenue during this difficult period. Which means no admin fees for vendors, just a small 5% commission off the total bill, all of which is donated to YMCA’s “Wok The Talk” initiative, which in turn helps feed the vulnerable in the community. For a flat fee of $5 for delivery (all of which goes to the hard-working delivery folk),  you get a hot meal of your choice conveniently delivered to your doorstep. And my mighty meal of Murtabak and Briyani did indeed arrive hot, on-time and smelling absolutely mouth-watering.

Continue reading “STAY HOME, EAT & DO GOOD – MURTABAK & BRIYANI”

Brilliant Biryani

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This week, author of Singapore’s first English-Tagalog Cookbook, A Helping Hand and our favourite Changmoh, Frog Michaels joins us to reveal her husband’s family’s favourite Makan place. All five generations have been eating here for years and remains it a firm favourite, particularly with her Singaporean mother-in-law, who has been eating here since she was a little girl. So if you fancy a spicy Biryani done right, look no further than the famous Islamic Restaurant on North Bridge Road.

Frog says there is nothing that compares to how Islamic do theirs and she once tried to trick her mother-in-law with a different Biryani only to be discovered. The taste is that distinctive! In fact, because Frog’s mother-in-law has moved to live in the U.K., Frog very often takes away the Chicken Biryani, freezes it before packing it in her suitcase when she flies over to visit. And guess what? It defrosts and heats up beautifully, retaining its gorgeous flavours! It’s all in the spicy rempah, with which they cook the rice and chicken.

Frog enjoys a chicken breast and Biryani with some refreshing minty-cucumber yogurt on the side. There are lots of other dishes to choose from at Famous Islamic, whether you like yogurt-marinated chicken on skewers or mutton curry, there’s something for everyone!

Read all about it in Frog’s own words:

fullsizerender-4I don’t care if it was ” the first” (see text on sign above) or voted “Singapore’s best”. It’s my favourite! Here am I with the current owner, (third generation no less) Kalil. This place is like a Patek Phillippe watch: you don’t own it, you pass it on to the next generation!

fullsizerender-5 I love the dark green, jewel-like interior. The old restaurant didn’t used to have much air con but this one does (they moved about 10 years ago) and it’s packed at lunchtime. Best time to arrive? 11.30am.

img_3673 Instagram-worthy chicken biryani (below). The rempah is lemak and lovely and one of the defining things about this as a dish.

img_3677 Lunch date: Biryani complete with famous Islamic’s homemade spicy achaar and lamb curry.

img_3698 Obviously I am straight in there! I can’t possibly let a plate of biryani sit in front of me and get cold….

img_3712It’s housed in a beautiful old shophouse. Just make sure you get there before the bus loads of foodies arrive. Ooops – looks like they’re here already!

TASTE:
FAMOUS ISLAMIC RESTAURANT
745 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198713
Open Daily: Mon-Sun 10am– 10pm
TEL: + 65 6298 7563

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!

Northern Indian at Jaggi’s

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A little bit of everything, including Papadum & Naan

This week, The Fabulous Baker Boy Juwanda Hassim recommends the meat & vegetarian heaven that’s called Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine in Serangoon’s Little India. It’s not very big (maybe a 60-seater) or very fancy and when you first enter, it looks a bit disorganised – you order from the counter (there’s usually a crowd), but the staff are knowledgeable and generally polite – when in doubt, just point at what you like.

Choose whatever you like at the counter

They do great kebabs and Tandooris. Oh, the Tandooris – from the verdant green coriander-marinated kind to the spicy bright orange kind, it’s all good. Juicy, not dry, perfectly balanced with smokiness, spices and full-on flavour.

Look at those generous portions of chicken – Tandoori & in the Dum Biriyani

Close up on the Mutton Kebabs, Chicken Dum Biriyani & Tandoori Chicken

Be sure to order the Butter Chicken – Juwanda is not the only one who swears theirs is the best in Singapore! It’s tender, rich, comforting and goes so well with the Rotis or Biriyani.

Close up on the Butter Chicken, Aloo Gobi & Raita

Most of their vegetarian options are delicious, but Juwanda’s all-time favourite is the potato-cauliflower Aloo Gobi.
All in all, Jaggi’s is perfect for a party of both meat-eaters and vegetarians – do not miss this!

Enter for a great meal!

TASTE:
Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine
34/36 Race Course Road
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat: 11:30 – 15:00
Mon – Sat: 18:00 – 22:30
Sun: 10:30 – 22:30
Phone: +65 62966141

This Biryani is Da Bomb!

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When our foodie friend & resident hot dog man Kelly Koh isn’t serving up dangerously delicious dogs at The Rockin’ Diner, he’s out venturing beyond his beloved home turf of Katong for more yummy makan places to try. Surprisingly, his favourite place to chow down on biryani isn’t in Katong and this week, he reveals where to find what, in his opinion, is the best Mutton Dum Biryani in Singapore.

The meat is cooked together with the rice in the same sealed pot till it’s fork-tender – dry, but super-soft. This Dum Biryani is all about texture and how tender mutton can be. And you don’t have to worry about the pungency of the meat – the mutton is decidedly un-gamey after being so skillfully good for hours with the rice & spice. In fact, you get a lovely fragrance from the spices, but it’s not so spicy that it blows your head off. You can get a little extra kick from the curry gravy if you ask for it, but really, all you need is an unadulterated plate of the mutton and rice, with a little fresh salad of cucumber, onion & carrot on the side.

TASTE:
Bollywood Biryani
B1 Cafe
Basement 1
Peninsula Shopping Complex

Tandoori Corner

Happy Lunar New Year of the Goat! Are you looking for something delicious to eat on this first day of the Chinese New Year? First of all, you’ll need to find someplace that’s actually open! Here’s our Makan Kaki Don Mendoza to the rescue with a tasty Tandoori recommendation.

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What you missed on air – audio for this latest episode of Makan Kakis!

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via TANDOORI CORNER

It’s a simple, casual little restaurant at Balestier Plaza, facing Balestier Road, that has made a name for itself with its excellent, value-for-money food, especially Don’s favourite, Dum Briyani – Mutton, of course. For those averse to the gaminess of the meat, don’t worry – it’s not too pungent and fall-off-the-bone tender, as would be expected from meat & rice cooked to perfection in a sealed container. All this, for only $8.50!

Since it opened about 6 years ago, Tandoori Corner has dished out classics like Tandoori Chicken, Rogan Josh, Dal, Paneer Makhni, Naans, of course Briyanis and much more. A testament to its quality of food is their second outlet at Boon Tat Street, but really, on this Public Holiday, go to the original, which is open!

TASTE:
Tandoori Corner North Indian Curry House
400 Balestier Road
#01-12 Balestier Plaza
Open Daily
Lunch: 12 – 2.45pm
Dinner: 6 – 9.45pm
Tel: 62500200