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






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


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.


Chicken Rice Secret is in the Sauce!

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

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.

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


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.

Continue reading “Unbeatable Kampung Chicken Rice”

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


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


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

Chicken Rice to usher in the Rooster Year!


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

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!

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.

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.

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

Have You Tried This Chicken Rice?

Poached Hainanese Chicken Rice via https://www.facebook.com/weenamkeechickenrice

Click here for the lip-smacking chicken rice on-air audio!

Our Makan Kaki Chef Seita Nakahara of One Michelin Starred Terra Tokyo Italian Restaurant returns this week and surprised all of us with this little nugget of info about his culinary past – he actually grew up in Singapore! He moved here from Japan when he was 12 and as a student, has fond memories of hitting up the hawker centres for chicken rice. It’s his favourite local dish and he recalls eating it almost everyday after school. In fact, he learnt to handle spicy food from first eating chicken rice chilli!

Poached & Roasted Hainanese Chicken via https://www.facebook.com/weenamkeechickenrice/

Now he’s all grown up and back in Singapore with his own restaurant, he still enjoys his chicken rice and the popular Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant is his favourite place to go. Certainly a familiar and popular name for us Singaporeans, Chef Seita explains that for him it’s their combination of everything, especially the sauce, the fragrant rice and even the clear soup that he enjoys so much. Plain and simple, Hainanese Chicken rice is really the most accessible local dish to start off with for visitors and a great springboard into other local delights. And if it’s a consistently delicious plate of smooth chicken with flavourful rice, soup, garlic-ginger sauce, dark soy sauce and chilli sauce, Chef Seita’s choice is Wee Nam Kee!

United Square
101 Thomson Road
Singapore 307645
Open Daily: 10:30 am – 10:30 pm
Tel: 62556396




Balestier’s Best #1: Chicken Rice

This week sees the return of one of our original Makan Kakis, food consultant, award-winning cookbook author and now founder-owner of a new food manufacturing business, Shermay Lee!

Our foodie friend also wants to kick off a little tour of the Balestier area and some of her favourite places for all things delicious. At our first stop today, Shermay recommends classic and traditional Hainanese-style cuisine at Loy Kee Chicken Rice. Of course, all passionate Singaporean foodies may argue that’s not the best chicken rice and sure, Shermay concedes – if you have a favourite, support it! For Shermay, Loy Kee is her go-to for Chicken Rice for these reasons:


  1. Location – Loy Kee is in a charming stretch of shophouses, very traditional, nostalgic and even better, air-conditioned! Also, Loy Kee is not some soulless franchise, there are only 2 outlets – one in Woodlands and one along Balestier Road. IMG_8528
  2. They serve both the poached and roasted versions of chicken, which means you don’t have to choose – have both!IMG_8530
  3. Taste and quality, but more on this later!

The story goes that the senior Mr Loy came to Singapore from China’s Hainan Island in the ’40s and then in 1953, together with his wife, perfected their recipe for chicken rice & porridge to open a stall at Raymond Market. Since then they’ve moved to Balestier and opened another outlet in Woodlands using that same traditional recipe to great success. The business is now run by Mr Loy’s son James & his wife.


So back to taste & quality – in Shermay’s opinion, for $7+ they offer a lot. Get the Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice Set which is Item #1 on their menu. Just look at that, beautiful, smooth, tender & juicy poached and roasted chicken, along with a mound of fragrant rice, oyster sauce veggies, watercress soup and all the condiments. They have got the flavour balance just right and simply put, this is value-for-money, delicious Chicken Rice in a wonderfully historic part of Singapore with great ambiance.

While you’re at Loy Kee, you’ll get true-blue Hainanese cooking, so why not branch out from the Chicken Rice and try their porridge, signature Beef Stew and other Hainanese-style dishes off their extensive menu?

342 Balestier Road
Singapore 329774
Open Daily 9:30am – 8:30pm
Tel: +65 62522318

*all pictures courtesy of Shermay Lee