STAND-OUT HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE

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Click here to listen/ download podcast for this week’s POK-POK-POPULAR Chicken Rice!

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It’s Singapore’s Birthday Month! And in our month-long series on home-grown brands, we see the return of Alex Pang, Director of New Ubin Seafood – a truly Singaporean Tze Char restaurant brand known for not just their take on tasty traditional dishes, but also their innovative twist on Western contemporary dishes. Dining out on the tastiest dishes Singapore has to offer is a tradition with the Pang Family and many of Alex’s favourite makan spots are places he’s been frequenting with his parents since he was a child.  Case-in-point, Alex’s favourite Chicken Rice restaurant at Far East Plaza, a place his Mum has been taking him to since he was 5 or 6 years old – and it’s still there! He says you can’t get more Singaporean than  sharing a Chicken Rice meal with your family. And while yes, where to find the best Chicken Rice will remain a highly debatable subject, Alex maintains that amongst the many places he frequents, this place really has the stand out Chicken Rice for him.

Continue reading “STAND-OUT HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE”

The Great Indian Food Fest & Great Soya Sauce Chicken Rice

Hello Makan Kakis! Meet our new Foodie Friend S. Mahenthiran, Honorary Secretary of Indian Restaurants Association Singapore, organizers of The Great Indian Food Fest (from July 19-28 ), to celebrate the rich history, culture and evolution of Little India and its diverse cuisine.

Sixteen food carts have been set up along Campbell Lane for the public to indulge in little seen or heard of Indian, as well as Chinese and Malay, dishes from the 1960s, like Putu Bola and Kuli Paniyaram (which you can have savoury & spicy, or as a sweet dessert). Visitors can also take part in a guided heritage food trail through Tekka Centre involving food tasting and interaction with hawkers. Free activities like the parrot fortune teller, snake charmer and henna art have also been brought in to enhance the experience. Look out also for Singapore’s only authentic kacang puteh man, who usually can be seen at Peace Centre – he makes his appearance at the Great Indian Food Festival too! So if you’re hankering after a cherished taste of flavours from the past, or looking for a fun, tasty & educational experience for the younger ones in your family, this is the place to be! You still have time to head on over to the Great Indian Food Fest on Campbell Lane. It’s on daily till Sunday, 10am – 10pm.

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Mahen also happens to come from a proud culinary heritage – his family owns & runs Gayatri Restaurants, which was started by his father 23 years ago in 1996. From the age of 14, after starting to help out at the restaurant and really getting involved in the nitty gritty – washing dishes & scrubbing pots in the kitchen – his passion for food and the family business was sparked. Today, Mahen is the Director of Gayatri Restaurant and when he’s got a Sunday off from his busy job, he usually ends up at a place he’s been eating at with his parents since he was a kid.

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Of Burgers, Chicken Rice & Prawn Mee

Greetings, Makan Kakis! This week, our newest foodie friend is Moe Ibrahim, the founder & CEO of Deelish Brands, the restaurant management company that has brought Californian fast-casual chain Fatburger to Singapore.

As a hotelier and entrepreneur, he’s especially passionate about the quality of the ingredients and the service at Fatburger Singapore, so have a listen to what he has to say about their Fresh, Authentic & Tasty burgers here:

Originally from Jersey City, USA, Moe has had 20 years of living in Singapore to really get to know our local food and develop a love for chilli & spice.  A self-confessed East Coast boy, he has a couple of neighbourhood favourites to recommend:

First of all, the hawker classic that everybody loves, Chicken Rice! Moe loves the stall at the corner of Upper East Coast Road & Jalan Tua Kong – mainly because of the people there. The Uncle used to race cars and is a real character, while the Auntie always serves him extra chicken. To Moe, it’s all about the service and people putting in that extra touch.

Peking Roasted Chicken Rice
Soy Eu Tua Coffee Shop
15 Upper East Coast Rd, S(455207)
Open Daily: 9am – 7pm

Another favourite of Moe’s is the Prawn Mee along East Coast Road, which sees long queues all the time. He prefers having the dry version and with the smaller (not giant tiger) prawns because they have more flavour.

Beach Road Prawn Mee Eating House
370 East Coast Road, S(428981)
Open: 8am – 4pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Tel: +65 6345 7196

 

 

THIS CHICKEN RICE WILL HAUNT YOU!

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Listen or download the podcast for this week’s interview with Chef Ming Tan, Guest Judge on Masterchef Singapore:

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This week, our Makan Kaki is F&B consultant, Co-owner of Park Bench Deli & guest judge on Masterchef Singapore, Ming Tan. His favourite chicken rice is one that his family has followed for decades since he was a young boy, from one location to the next, until its current home at Holland Drive. This rice is what Chef Ming calls “WORLD CLASS”. It is a rice that haunts him and he craves when he’s away from Singapore. So much effort and thought has been put into the making of this rice, that it simply blows him away.  This is Cantonese-style rice and it’s the fragrance & texture achieved through a judicious cooking process that gets him every time.

Continue reading “THIS CHICKEN RICE WILL HAUNT YOU!”

Chicken Rice Secret is in the Sauce!

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Click to listen/ download podcast for this week’s saucy episode!

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Hello Makan Kakis! This week, our foodie friend Audrey Lee of Little House of Dreams tells us all about her favourite place for Hainanese Chicken Rice, which you’ll find at a stall in Jurong East. Xing Yun (meaning lucky) does brisk business, serving up platters of boneless poached chicken that is soft and tender, sitting atop fragrant rice. But what sets this apart from other chicken rice places is their sauce! A light, tasty, aromatic combination of soya sauce, sesame oil and other secret ingredients, Audrey can’t get enough of it and always orders an extra bowl to drench her chicken rice with.

Continue reading “Chicken Rice Secret is in the Sauce!”

Unbeatable Kampung Chicken Rice

Greetings, Makan Kakis, we start 2018 with a brand new foodie friend, one who’s no stranger to the F&B business, having successfully started his own Chinese casual dining restaurant that broke even within 3 months of its opening, probably due to their signature recipe for saucy, succulent Char Siew (which you can see and read about here). Please meet Anthony Ung of CHAR Restaurant

CHAR Restaurant first appeared on the dining scene in Singapore in 2014 when it was launched by Vietnam-born, Birmingham-UK-raised Anthony & his brother Alvin, a chef by profession. With his 30 years of experience working in Chinese restaurants in Birmingham from dishwasher to head chef in traditional Chinese cooking, Alvin’s culinary expertise combined perfectly with Anthony’s meticulous science and IT background & passion for experimenting with Western food preparation techniques on Asian ingredients and produce. They definitely hit on a winning formula and after a wildly successful run at their original location along Guillemard Road, Anthony and his Singaporean Wife are delighted to have moved CHAR to a bigger, brighter space along Jalan Besar.

HEAR:
Click here to listen to Anthony’s story about fleeing Vietnam to the UK and how Char got started in Singapore
Click here to listen to Anthony’s culinary influences, childhood food memories and why he loves Chicken Rice
Click here to listen to Anthony’s recommendation for his favourite Chicken Rice in Singapore

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Anthony professes an obsession with our local Chicken Rice, which he ate everyday for 3 months when he first moved to Singapore, leading to a 5 kg weight gain, which also means he’s eaten his way through many plates, many brands and many types to arrive at the conclusion that this is HIS FAVOURITE Chicken Rice and in his humble opinion, THE BEST in Singapore.

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Joo Chiat Jems

firdeniseThis week, an unsuspecting Makan Kaki joins us with not one, but TWO delicious Eastside recommendations! I say unsuspecting only because actor Fir Rahman popped by the Gold 905 studios to catch up on his latest stage project (hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed role in Boo Junfeng’s film The Apprentice and TV’s Lion Moms) with Toy Factory Productions, called Prism. But since he’s quite the foodie, I also got him to spill some secrets…

Joo Chiat Road is a regular haunt for Fir & his family and this week, he takes us there for 2 of his favourites, starting with Hainanese Chicken Rice that is halal! This place is a must for chicken rice lovers – the chicken, roasted or poached is tender and juicy, the rice moist and flavourful, the chilli spicy and tasty, the deep-fried dumplings an absolute indulgence.

evertop-roasted-chicken-rice

Evertop Chicken Rice (Halal)
89/91 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427383
Open Daily: Mon – Sun 10am – 10pm

evertop-shop-signage

Another must-try when you’re on Joo Chiat Road is a shop that evokes a lot of memories for Fir. Conveniently ocated just outside the mosque, he remembers always stopping here to grab a hot snack after Friday Prayers. Sha Zah Confectionary serves up all sorts of crispy snacks in the form of Karipap & Epok-Epok. The latter is smaller, crispy, deep-fried and comes with different fillings like potato, chicken and vegetables.

The Karipap comes in 2 shapes – you know the large rectangles are filled with meats and the triangles are filled with potato, but Fir always zooms in for his favourite Mutton Chilli Padi Karipap!

shazah-karipap-epok-epokYou get chunks of mutton with searingly-hot chilli padi that makes for a super spicy but sensational snack. The Karipap is baked crisp & flaky, but make no mistake, this isn’t for the calorie-conscious! As Fir puts it, it’s the oil that makes it taste so good! Beef Rendang, Chicken Chilli Padi and regular beef, chicken and mutton variations are also available.

Sha Zah Confectionery
105 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427398
Open Daily: 10am – 8pm (Mon-Sat); 10am – 6pm (Sundays)
Tel: 6344 6692

shazah-shopfront

Want to LISTEN to this week’s yummy on-air episode? Click HERE!

Chicken Rice to usher in the Rooster Year!

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Click here to listen to this week’s fragrantly fowl episode!

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This first week of the Chinese New Year, what better way to usher in the Fire Rooster than with a luscious plate of Singapore’s favourite chicken rice? Our intrepid Guru of Gluttony and Makan Maniac behind the Makansutra, KF Seetoh is excited to reveal his die-die-must-try recommendation. Arguably, chicken rice is a subjective thing – everyone has their favourite, but you simply cannot dispute the fame of the Sin Kee name. Seetoh waxes lyrical about the famous stall run by the Leong family in Margaret Drive back in the 70s – anyone else remember it? Sadly it disappeared, then reappeared in Mei Ling Street under the skills of one of the sons, Benson Leong. But then again, that disappeared too. Seetoh chooses not to speculate on the story, although he was pleased to find the other headline-grabbing brother Niven Leong operating his version, called Uncle Chicken in Bedok and that’s where he found Benson helping out briefly. But foodie friends, rejoice, because Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice is back, alive and clucking in Holland Drive!

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Benson Leong, like his brother Niven, with years of training under the watchful eye of his late father, has reopened in a koptiam and within the first week of his stall reopening, Seetoh was there to give the chicken rice a try. Things weren’t quite in fully operational mode then (they are now), but the chicken rice was exactly as Seetoh remembers it back in the good old Margaret Drive days.

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Benson uses BIG birds (over 2kg), so that the cuts of chicken parts are chunky and substantial. He uses a bold hand and with his trusty blade, those thick, juicy chicken breasts get a special “slam & chop” that tenderizes the skin-on meat, flattening it and making it slightly crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth.

As for the rice, this is tried and true, from scratch, quality stuff! The rice is first dry-fried with chicken fat, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, pandan leaf till all the aromatics penetrate the grains, before a sinfully rich chicken stock is added. The result, a gently steamed chicken rice that’s firm to the bite, slightly oily (but not unpleasantly so) and packed with “chickeny” flavour!

The chilli is also on point. Though, watery-looking, it packs a punch with its balanced combination of dried and fresh chillis, garlic, ginger, kalamansi and vinegar. It’s tangy, sharp and spicy with a bite, all at the same time!

So if you’ve been searching for that old Sin Kee taste you’ve yearned for and you want a chicken rice that ticks all the boxes, you’ll find it in the ressurected Sin Kee Famous Cantonese (yes, NOT Hainanese!) Chicken Rice, run by Benson Leong.

You’ll find more details the 2017 edition of Makansutra or online here.

TASTE:
Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice
Blk 40 Holland Drive, Chang Chen Mee Wah Coffeeshop
Open daily: 11am – 8pm

* all photos courtesy of Makansutra.com