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.

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Firebaked Excellence

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

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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

Deli Sarnies Done Right

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Click here to listen to this week’s fresh-baked sandwich extravaganza!

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Hey Hey, Makan Kakis! Are you looking for great Deli-style sandwiches that are chock-a-block with decadent ingredients? This is one place that we’ve mentioned before but bears repeating because it really is that good! This week, our foodie friend Chef Tim Ross-Watson of PIXIEMOSS recommends chef-favourite, Park Bench Deli, for a Europrean-American sandwich in which you get more filling than bread, about 70% filling : 30% bread – talk about more bang for your buck! These guys don’t skimp at all. in fact, they sometimes cut out some of the bread so they can cram more luscious filling in! And what do they do with the excess bread? Cleverly make croutons for other dishes, of course!
So what’s good to eat? Just about everyone recommends the sinfully-delicious PBJ Sandwich, a massive sweet treat featuring 3 layers of overindulgence – picture this: 2 slices of bread flanking thick slatherings of peanut butter and jelly, with a centre layer of sweet corn bread, all of which is battered in cornflakes and pan-fried in butter! Crunchy, oozy, ridiculously delicious – this is a must-try!
If you want a savoury, main course type of sandwich, Chef Tim recommends the fried chicken katsu sandwich, which is juicy and crispy. You get a panko-crumbed chicken thigh, tonkatsu sauce, japanese cucumber, shredded cabbage and lashings of Japanese mayo – MMMM!  Try also the Vietnamese-inspired Bahn Mi sandwich, which is full of this porky goodness:
You get slabs of melt-in-your-mouth slow-braised pork belly in a pillowy French Baguette, along with lots of pickled julienned veg and coriander. Perfectly balanced flavours of fatty, piggy richness and crisp, tangy pickle. Soooo good!

TASTE:
PARK BENCH DELI
179 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore, 068627
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10.30am – 10pm; closed 4  – 5pm;  Sat 10.30am – 4pm
Tel: +65 68154600

Balestier’s Best #3: Traditional Local Bakery

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LISTEN to this week’s freshly-baked episode here!

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This week, our Makan Kaki Shermay Lee returns with Part 3 of her Balestier guide to food and suggests strolling onwards from Lam Yeo Coffee Powder for something that goes great with coffee – baked goods!
Shermay confesses that prior to her research, this was a place she knows not actually by name, but by sight & smell! Just walk down Balestier road, turn left at Whampoa Drive and follow your nose to Ghee Leong, or Sing Hon Loong Bakery, as both its signboards testify. It is quite a sight to behold because it’s one of the few remaining traditional local bakeries in Singapore. From the cash register counter to the mosaic floors, Ghee Leong/ Sin Hon Loong is a charmingly authentic bakery captured in time.
burnt tops

Older workers in their shorts and slippers working in super-silent, super-efficient sync to produced loaf after loaf of freshly baked bread. Now, we’re talking about the distinctly old-school, traditional style bread with the high, burnt domes and the pillowy-soft insides. Honestly, you could stay and watch for ages as the uncles work tirelessly, turning out piping hot bread from searing tins to cool on the enormous mobile vertical racks, before dexterously slicing off the burnt bits and crusts with their trusty serrated knives.

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Speaking of pillowy-soft bread, another fun thing you can do is get them to make you a sandwich to takeaway. The quinesstentially local white, crustless slices of bread are slathered with lots of Planta and either kaya or peanut butter – your choice!

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IMG_0639Also available are crusty baguettes (jiam tao lor ti perfect for dipping into curry) and all manner of confections,like the savoury-sweet melba toasts, coconut & red bean buns.

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Crispy Sugar Toast
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Coconut Bun
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Red Bean Bun

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TASTE:
GHEE LEONG/ SING HON LOONG BAKERY
4 Whampoa Drive (just off Balestier Road)
Open 24 Hours
+65 62560878

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Best Artisanal Bread!

HEAR:
Listen to this week’s freshly baked episode here!

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This week’s recommendation comes from our Makan Kaki Anthony Yeoh of Cocotte & The Provision Shop and is pretty close to his heart, seeing as it’s a beautiful bakery started by his one-time Pastry Instructor back in his cooking school days. Chef Frederic Deshayes has opened a wonderful French Boulangerie called Do.Main Bakery in Katong, where he and his dedicated team produce luscious pastries both sweet and savoury and possibly the best bread in Singapore.

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2kg Natural Starter Bread
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Baguette!
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Brioche, Challa, Focaccia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why? He uses a natural yeast starter for his dough, which he has been developing for quite a while – it’s alive, you have to feed it and nurture it and the longer you develop it, the better the flavour of your dough. That’s why many hard-core chefs travel with their natural starters and literally treat it like their baby! In fact, Many bakeries in France have had the same natural starter for hundreds of years and continue to produce some of the most amazing breads! In America, they refer to this type of bread as Sourdough, but in France, it’s just bread!

So what’s good at Do.Main? Virtually everything from savouries, to desserts to baguettes! But Chef Anthony recommends you try their Natural Starter Bread, which is so delicious, so flavourful and mind-bogglingly affordable! You can see a picture of their enormous 2kg version above, but their 1kg loaf is a mere $10, which in Chef Anthony’s humble opinion, is really cheap – such great value for money considering the amount of work and skill that goes into the making of said bread. You mustn’t leave without taking home a loaf!

But first, the little bakery/ cafe is a beautiful space, so stay… inhale the baking smells, watch the team in their glass jewel box making the breads and pastries by hand and of course taste!

TASTE:
Do.Main Bakery
226 Tanjong Katong Road, 437015
Open Daily except Mondays
Tue – Thu: 8am – 9pm
Fri – Sun: 8am – 10.30pm
Tel: +65 63481406
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