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!
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!
HEAR: CLICK HERE for this week’s fluffy, spicy episode!
This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh takes us to Tekka Market for his usual Prata fix. Run by a cute, friendly Malay couple, Prata Saga Sambal Berlada serves up delicious fried pastries with a little twist. In a world of crispy-style tissue pratas, this is one stall that does things old-school.
Soft, fluffy (Pakcik smashes each square pastry with his hands to fluff them up after frying), with a touch of surface crispness, this traditional prata stands apart from others with its accompanying curries. Why? The answer is in the name of the stall! The flavour of the dish is enhanced with a dollop of spicy-sweet SAMBAL!
The sambal completely changes the taste of the curry – choose from chicken or fish – and gives it a unique lift. So if you think you’ve tried everything you needed to try when it comes to prata, pay this stall a visit! Sambal prata is certainly a first for us Makan Kakis! And actually, even if you don’t fancy the sambal, just the plain prata is of incredible quality and definitely worth a try.
Above is 2 plain pratas with fish curry and sambal, but as you can see below, they serve so many other variations, including onion, egg, cheese and even murtabak!
TASTE: Prata Saga Sambal Berlada
#01-258 Tekka Market and Food Centre
665 Buffalo Road, S(210665)
Open Daily: 7am – 4pm
In a hurry for curry? Click here to listen to this week’s on-air episode!
This week, our foodie friend Chef Tony Yeoh continues his guide to good eats in the Jalan Besar area with a popular Chinese-style curry rice restaurant. If you haven’t already, you must try the Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice, which as it often happens in Singapore, isn’t actually at Beach Road! Everything is done assembly-line style – you approach the food counter, peer at the shelves of mouth-watering cooked dishes and start picking whatever you want to go on top of your mountain of white rice.
What you end up with is a huge sloppy mess that doesn’t look pretty, but tastes just beautiful! So the way it goes, choose what you like to go with your rice: deep fried breaded chicken chop or pork chop, soya sauce chicken, curry chicken, kong bak (fatty pork belly stewed in soy sauce), fried egg (hor bao dan), fried fish cake, whole fried fish, the list goes on…
Once you’re done choosing your dishes, everything gets cut up into smaller pieces with scissors, stewed cabbage in soya sauce gets added on the side and then at end of the assembly line is a big pot of curry gravy, which gets ladled on top of your entire plate of food.
Everything becomes one homogenous, sloppy curry mixture. The curry is not too lemak or creamy, it’s a little starchy, with a hint of spice but not too spicy. This mild curry is far from boring though and ultimately, it really is the delicious glue that holds all dishes together on your plate.
With every bite you eat, you get a distinct taste of the curry and a little of everything else and that’s what Hainanese Curry Rice is all about. It’s quick, it’s dirty, it’s down-to-earth, local fast-food.
This place is always packed at lunch, but the great thing is, it’s open practically all day, from lunch through to late night supper! But if you want to beat the crowds, go between 2-5pm – you’ll still get plenty to choose from.
TASTE: Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice (Jalan Besar)
229 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208905
Open Monday – Saturday: 11am – 3.30am
Want to listen to this week’s spicy, aromatic episode? Click HERE!
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:
I 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!
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.
Instagram-worthy chicken biryani (below). The rempah is lemak and lovely and one of the defining things about this as a dish.
Lunch date: Biryani complete with famous Islamic’s homemade spicy achaar and lamb curry.
Obviously I am straight in there! I can’t possibly let a plate of biryani sit in front of me and get cold….
It’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!
Click HERE for a taste of this week’s mouth-watering episode!
SEE: Upper Thomson Road has turned into quite the bustling haven for cafes, restaurants and other eating places, but tucked behind in Sin Ming is an outstanding coffee shop that boasts a variety of excellent food stalls, which deserve a mention in this week’s episode of Makan Kakis. And to tell us all about it is food writer & co-author of food guide Eat. Muse. Love. Toh Mu Qin. Jing Fa Coffeeshop hosts a revelation of hawker favourites and in particular, Mu Qin is partial to the Prata served up here.
These individually made-to-order, made-from-scratch (not mass produced in a factory) pratas are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and deliciously aromatic with those buttery-sweet flavours in the dough. Choose from rich and creamy chicken, fish, vegetarian or mutton curries to go with your prata. Their Nasi Briyani is also worth a try, especially if you have it with the killer fried chicken!
For fans of Char Kway Teow, you might remember the wildly popular Armenian Street stall that has been shut for many years, but what a pleasant discovery that a branch has popped up in Jing Fa Coffee Shop and yes, it’s very good!
Another favourite of Mu Qin’s family is the Economical Rice Stall which always sees long queues especially during lunch time, which means whilst the food is really wonderful, you won’t always get all of what you want, given the high demand. But still, if you have the time and patience, the wait is worth it.
If it’s just a morning cuppa and a little bite for breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the kaya toast, soft-boiled egg set at Jing Fa.
TASTE: JING FA COFFEESHOP
Block 24 Sin Ming Road
Open daily 6am – 12 midnight (but food stalls close at around 6pm)
Click here for this week’s fluffy, fermented episode!
SEE: If you live in the West, chances are you’re familiar with Ghim Moh Market, a veritable treasure trove of all things delicious. However, the original has been under renovations for a while now and thankfully many stalls have been relocated to a temporary market & food centre, including our Makan Kaki, Juwanda The Fabulous Baker Boy‘s favourite – something he calls a “lost art”. So it’s time for the unique Indian classic, APPAM, to be found!
You’ve got to pay a visit to Heaven’s Indian Curry in Ghim Moh for this nostalgic culinary tradition – they’ve been around for decades and produce excellent Thosai, Putu Mayam and yes, Appam. Understand that it is really quite rare to find the fresh, made-from-scratch kind and also understand that this is truly one of the go-to places for authentic, delicious appam, which is essentially a little pancake made from a fermented rice flour batter that is delicately cooked in a hot mini-wok.
The result is a light, tangy pancake that has lovely, paper-thin crisp edges and a middle that puffs up like a little globule due to the fermentation at work. When paired with orange sugar and coconut, you will rediscover the lost art of eating appam. In Juwanda’s words, you have a sweet and zingy dish that is simple, unadulterated, yet really amazing.
Since opening in the 90s, Heaven’s Indian Curry has spawned several other branches, started by the original owner/ chef’s son, but nothing beats the first and original stall! Try it – we hope you like it as much as your Makan Kaki!
With the History of Singapore Part 1 on till the end of the week, our Makan Kaki has been staying away from all the spicy foods she loves to protect her voice, but oh boy, when the stage show is wrapped, Selena Tan is definitely headed for a curry in a hurry! And when it comes to curries, this Dim Sum Dolly insists on legendary local institution Samy’s. She has been eating there with her family – Mum, dad, brothers & sisters – since she was 7 and till this day, they still go there for all things delicious and spicy!
Why? Well, in Selena’s words, there’s nothing like Samy’s Masala Chicken – she craves it, she eats it there, she takes it away and she even orders in bulk for parties – it’s that good! The secret is in the complex flavours and spices used – there are many layers to the taste and as you eat the chicken with lots of masala gravy, you get a real party of flavours in your mouth before the spice hits you. Another must-have is the addictive fish head curry with it’s thick, luscious gravy that you’ve got to scoop up with lots of crispy pappadum. The added lady’s fingers and brinjal just take this signature dish over the top for our vegetable-loving Makan Kaki! Speaking of veggies, do get the whole set meal on a banana leaf (as seen above) for longbeans, cabbage, daal, rice (or naan if you prefer) and all the different curries like Selena’s beloved Masala Chicken!
Hello! We have a brand-new Makan Kaki joining our esteemed group of Gastronomical Gurus and she is none other than Founder/ Big Boss of local Theatre Company Dream Academy, fellow Dim Sum Dolly and my friend, Selena Tan! It’s not hard to see how much Selena loves her food and she has many wonderful places to recommend, but to start things off, she absolutely HAS to start with the one who started her love for food – her adorable mum, Daisy!
Daisy has always loved to cook – from her days of growing up in a kampong and trading recipes with the aunties there, along with learning from her own mother and her mother’s mother, this original Kampong Bahru girl has amassed an impressive array of local and Peranakan dishes that are simply too good not to share! That’s why she decided to open up a humble little stall at Tiong Bahru Market to begin with. Fast forward a few years and that stall has since become a full-fledged family restaurant in the Clementi/ West Coast area, called Daisy’s Dream Kitchen. Selena and her brother are in on this venture and the food has loyal fans flocking back for more.
It was really hard to get Selena to narrow down a list of her favourites, but here are some of hers (and mine!):
Delicious, deep-fried appetisers hot from the wok! Daisy’s wildly popular Ngoh Hiang (juicy little pork and prawn balls with lots of garlic and crunchy water chestnut). Sedap with her addictively pedas and limey sambal belacan.
Crispy-fried, well-seasoned chicken wings – MORE please!
Instead of the usual Ayam Buah Keluak, Daisy’s serves Babi Buah Keluak – pork that is fall-off-the-bone tender, a thick rich gravy and that quintessential black gold – smooth, nutty, salty, bitter-sweet-spicy filling you must gorek lovingly from the shells to mix with the killer lime sambal belachan and white rice!
Here are a couple more good ones – the tangy, earthy Black Ink Sotong. Assam is used very liberally in this unique squid dish. And Lagi best! An acquired taste, but Sambal Petai with ikan billis is pungent, tasty and has lots of crunchy texture. Also, look out for the weekly/ bi-monthly specials that always has diners requesting they be added to the permanent menu:
From Nonya Chap Chye, to deep-fried ikan stuffed with sambal, to Bakwan Kepiting (pork ball soup), to otak-otak and chicken curry, a meal at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen is like coming home to family, and a heart-warming home-cooked meal that is both delightful & delicious!