Creature Comforts – Inspired Heritage Food

img_6731HEAR:
Click here to catch up with KF Seetoh and what he’s been up too, including details on the latest on his ultimate food guide, Makansutra 2017 edition!
Click here to listen to this week’s mouth-watering makan recommendation, or simply read on…

SEE:
Our very first Makan Kaki, KF Seetoh is back! He’s got 5 copies of the latest edition of Makansutra for you to win and you can go straight to Gold 905’s FB page to enter our contest! For today, let’s talk Asian Heritage food that’s creative, beautifully presented and completely delicious! Seetoh loves meeting people who love and embrace their culinary heritage and move forward using that history to create amazing meals. Case in point, CreatureS, which serves up “comfort food with an Asian flair while staying true to the origins of the dish”. Check out some of Seetoh’s favourites from this little restaurant dishing out big flavours on colourful Desker Road in Little India:

cod-and-nasi-ulamNasi Ulam balls with Miso Cod. Nasi Ulam, in particular, is such a labour of love, involving rice cooked in rich fish stock and perfumed with lots of finely chopped Asian herbs. CreatureS does theirs Japanese onigiri-style and they are WONDERFUL!

lamb-shank-rendangLamb Shank Rendang. Spicy, rich and fall-apart-fork-tender, add a little lontong and you’re in meaty heaven!

babi-gulingCreatureS’ version of Balinese Babi Guling is another winner, as is their Nyonya-inspired Babi Pongtay, of which the pork belly is outstanding – a deep, burnished soy-brown, the babi is caramelised soft and is absolutely delicious.

babi-pongtayDurian Lovers, you’re gonna combust when you check this dessert out…

durian-cake-2CreatureS’ Durian Cake sounds very simple, but trust us, it is so layered in favour, you’ll want to eat the whole cake, not just a slice.

durian-cake-1Can you imagine smooth Mao Shan Wang durian paste (pungent, unctuous durian meat mixed with cream) layered between soft pandan sponge cake and smothered in pandan-vanilla chantilly cream? They make it a mind-blowing reality at CreatureS and it is a definite must-try!

If it’s yummy, satisfying, Asian-inspired food that stays true to its heritage, this is the place to eat at. Bonus is, CreatureS have got what it takes in both the style and substance departments – skillfully-made, delicious food that still looks great, is beautifully presented and totally instagrammable!

TASTE:
CreatureS
120 Desker Road, Singapore 209639

Tel: 6291 6996

Opening Hours:
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Sunday: 12.00 noon –10.30 p.m.
Friday / Saturday: 12.00 noon –11.30 p.m.
Closed on Mondays.

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Durian Desserts to Die For

HEAR:
Click here to listen to this week’s powerfully pungent episode!

SEE:

durian mousse with ice cream
Durian Mousse with extra durian and ice-cream topping!

This week, it’s all about dessert and who better to tell us about his current favourite than our steward of all things sweet and satisfying, The Fabulous Baker Boy Juwanda Hassim! His latest discovery is a little place tucked away in a corner of Serangoon Gardens and it specialises in Hong Kong-style desserts. Warm almond milk with sesame balls, Mango pudding, Pomelo Sago, you name it, chances are they have it. But the one distinctive treat crowds flock in for is their DURIAN desserts!!!

We are fully aware this week’s episode will cause a great divide amongst foodies – those who adore our spiky, pungent king of fruits, and those who deplore anything to do with it. I’m afraid if you fall in the latter category, hold your nose, close your eyes or surf on to a different post! 😀

Alright, if you’re still here…

YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY DESSERT BOWL’S DURIAN MOUSSE!!!

durian mousse
Durian Mousse

Yes, the smell hits you straight in the nose when you walk in and it’s no wonder – Durian Lovers can’t get enough of the creamy, rich, yet light durian mousse which comes with dollops of extra durian topping and even ice-cream, if you wish!

durian mousse with durian topping
Durian Mousse with extra durian topping!

In Juwanda’s words, this dessert is worth the trek to Serangoon because it has full-on powerful, pungent flavour in every creamy bite. This dessert is available all year-round, even off durian season, so it’s the perfect place to visit for your durian fix, anytime!

mango sago
Mango Sago

dessert bowl

TASTE:
Dessert Bowl
80A Serangoon Garden Way
Opening hours:
Tues – Thurs: 1 – 10.30pm
Fri – Sun: 1pm – 12am
Closed Mondays
Phone: +65 62851278

Hidden Seafood Cze Char Gem in the East

MERRY CHRISTMAS, SINGAPORE!

HEAR:
Click here for this week’s brand-new episode!
Click here to find out more about Lyn Lee and Awfully Chocolate’s Christmas hampers.

SEE:
This week, we have a brand-new Makan Kaki joining our rolling panel of foodie friends! Lyn Lee is a former lawyer who decided to pursue her passion for creating the best chocolate cake she could and ended up starting what we now know as the wildly popular Awfully Chocolate! Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a peek at the specialties they’ve created just for Christmas.

Lyn’s sheer delight for food is catching and we can’t wait to introduce you to some of her favourite places to eat in Singapore over the coming weeks! Today though, Lyn wants to share with us a Cze Char gem she only recently discovered, but is so good that she has returned with friends and family at last 5 times since!

The very colourfully enticing Menu Board

As someone who has lived in the East for 12 years and is a regular at the popular Lagoon Food Centre, it was surprise to her that she had never ever noticed this particular Cze Char stall. Everyone knows the duck porridge, the wanton mee at Lagoon, but if you want fresh seafood and really reasonable prices, all cooked with maximum flavour and skill, then you’ve got to try Eastern Red Seafood.

Crab Beehoon!

Whilst there are many, many delicious dishes you could try (just look at that menu board above!), for Lyn and her family, there are 3 must-order staples when they eat there. First of all, try the Crab Beehoon. It’s served “dry” with a lovely gravy that’s so tasty, you’ll want to drink it! It’s beautifully presented with the whole crab perched atop the beehoon, full of perfectly balanced flavour and super-meaty crab.

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Crab Beehoon in the foreground & children’s favourite Salted Egg Yolk Chicken in the background
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Bamboo Clam Tang Hoon

Next, order the classic restaurant dish of Bamboo Clam Tang Hoon. The fresh clams are expertly cooked with a perfect texture – light and crunchy, but never rubbery. The noodles are bouncy and the garlic is fresh and flavourful.

Close-up on the perfectly cooked, never rubbery clams

Finally, anything with salted egg is a hit with Lyn’s family and  the fresh Carnation Butter Prawns really stand out. But if you have kids with you, take Lyn’s word for it – her children absolutely adore the salted egg fried chicken. Delicious, crispy and tasty.

Why is the food so good here? Apart from the owner’s superior culinary skills, Lyn’s little chat with him revealed that that he has a partner who is in the wholesale seafood business, which means only the choicest, good stuff gets delivered to Eastern Red Seafood for cooking! What makes everything taste even better is knowing your meal isn’t going to burn a hole in your pocket. The food is really reasonably priced, compared to other massive seafood restaurants. Lyn has made it her personal mission to share her discovery of this gem of a Cze Char stall, not only because the food is fantastic, but also because she believes in this humble, down-to-earth owner’s small business and she hopes everyone gets to taste his food and helps him grow his enterprise. Go! Eat! Enjoy! And spread the word!

TASTE:
EASTERN RED SEAFOOD
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway
#01-37
S468960
Open daily for dinner, usually by 3pm.

Denise with Lyn Lee of Awfully Chocolate
The legendary Awfully Chocolate Christmas Hamper

A carefully curated selection of finely tailored delicacies which, thanks to intense research & development, need no refrigeration! You’ve got to taste the Dark Chocolate Biscuit, Salt & Sesame Biscuit, Praline Truffles, Truffle Cubes & Chocolate Velvet Cake! The bottle of Egot Merlot Sangiovese is optional, but a nice touch. Especially since dark chocolate + red wine = healthy heart!

Cookies & Chocolate Truffles Galore in Awfully Chocolate’s Christmas Hamper!

 

 

Middle-Eastern with a Crazy Singapore Twist

HEAR:
Listen to this week’s delicious episode here!

SEE:
This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh of Cocotte & The Provision Shop shares with us one of his favourite places if you want an unusual, unforgettable and yes, absolutely delicious meal…

Artichoke is an amazing restaurant run by Chef Bjorn Shen that showcases a fresh, exciting menu of Middle-Eastern inspired dishes. These are an evolution from the traditional and you’re going to be tasting flavours in combinations so wild and different, your tastebuds will be singing. For example, instead of your regular cucumber Tzaziki, you’re gonna get something else like beetroot Tzaziki, which is really yummy.

But for the ultimate taste experience, Anthony recommends you try the Lambgasm (yes, Chef Bjorn also comes up with interesting names for his interesting flavour combinations!). Why? You will be in ecstasy eating this slow-roasted whole shoulder of lamb. So tender, it can literally be scrapped off the bone with a spoon, the lamb is shredded and then crisped up and served on a giant platter along with pita and an assortment of Arabic condiments, so you can build your own little sandwiches. Be warned: the garlic sauce is particularly addictive.

Another must-try dish is the Fried Chicken (seasoned with Lebanese spices). Deep-fried, then coated in a ridiculous honey glaze and sprinkled with spring onions, this dish is juicy, crispy and sticky sweet. So, so good!

You can’t go to Artichoke without finishing off the meal with a fun popsicle (Chef Bjorn’s latest project) from the new Neh Neh Pop range. Anthony is partial to the Strawberry Pockie – featuring strawberry ripple ice cream, white chocolate dip & strawberry Pocky, all on a stick.

Other awesome flavours to try are the Mango Sticky Rice – coconut rice pudding ice-cream, fresh mango chunks, white chocolate dip, toasted coconut flakes and rice crispies AND the Rocky Road – milk chocolate ice-cream, marshmallows, toasted almonds, dark chocolate dip, pop rocks, Fruity Pebbles and Nerds.

Judging from the pictures and descriptions, you know you’re in for a fun, casual, delicious and surprising time at Artichoke. Just be prepared for the Brunch queues. But believe us when we say the wait is SO worth it!

TASTE:
Artichoke
161 Middle Road (Waterloo Street)
Sculpture square
Opening hours:
Tues – Fri: Dinner
Sat: Brunch & Dinner
Sun: brunch
Reservations: 6336 6949 (Tues – Sat from 3pm)

Appam Adoration

HEAR:
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!
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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!

TASTE:
Heaven’s Indian Curry
Ghim Moh Temporary Market & Food Centre
#01-13
(Beside bus depot)

Sunday Brunch at UNA

The season for gatherings, parties, friends, families and food is nearly upon us and this Sunday, why not celebrate the holiday season with an easy, breezy, big, brunchy affair at UNA? Makan Kaki Shermay Lee highly recommends the Spanish/ French/ Italian/ Mediterranean Brunch there – it’s absolutely delightful and yummy!
Located in the leafy, Colonial enclave of Rochester Park, UNA is a charming restaurant helmed by Jean-Philippe Patruno, who used to be head chef of wildly popular tapas bar Barrafina in London’s Soho. And now, the same delectable food that set London in a tizzy with snaking queues is available here in Singapore and in a beautiful environment.

Be prepared to eat. Go hungry. It’s gonna be really delicious, thanks to Chef Jean-Philippe’s impeccable technical skills and his ability to cook with real depth and honesty. Tapas and brunch foods may seem deceptively simple to make, but trust Shermay, to achieve this sort of flavour, a lot of experience and know-how is required!


A must-try is the Jamon croquetas (ham croquettes) – light, crispy, panko-coated with an oozy, creamy, piping-hot ham and bechamel interior. They are perfection and always a hit with adults and kids alike. Order lots! You’re gonna have to!


For a decadent treat, how ’bout the slow-cooked egg with smoked mash and summer truffles? Rich, over-the-top indulgence from the yolk, smokey potato and earthy truffle. If you like bread, you’ll love the roasted peppers on toast with spicy, fatty chorizo sausage and delicate quail eggs. Or go for one of their toasted sandwiches! If you want something even more substantial, the Spanish fry-up is hearty, filling and really hits the spot.

Leave room for dessert, especially their Churros! These deep-fried Spanish crullers are hard to find and even harder to do right, but UNA does! Light and crisp, not oily at all, but with enough firmness to bite, the Churros are tossed in cinnamon-sugar and come with a dark chocolate Valrhona dipping sauce.

There you have it, for a beautiful Brunch on Sunday, you really can’t go wrong with UNA @ One Rochester, where Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno serves up his home-styled cuisines from Spain, Italy and France, with a full selection of tapas, starters, mains and desserts, backed with a full bar, signature cocktails, with $48++ for free-flow cava and house wine.

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S BRUNCHY EPISODE AGAIN!

UNA
1 Rochester Drive
Reservations: 6773 0070
Open: Mon – Sat 6-11pm
A la carte Mediterranean Brunch every Sunday from 11am to 4pm
http://una.sg/#

 

 

Tippling Club

new-tippling-bar-wide-view

As 2014 draws to a close & we near the season of feasting, you might be looking for a good place to visit for a good splurge. Our Makan Kaki Aun Koh is back with this recommendation: Helmed by British Chef Ryan Clift, who was at the leading edge of molecular cuisine when he first arrived in Singapore, The Tippling Club started out at Dempsey Hill but has since relocated to 3 beautifully refurbished shop houses in Tanjong Pagar. In Aun’s opinion, Chef Ryan is a creative genius in the kitchen who has really honed and developed his skills as a chef and continues to use scientific techniques, not to show off, but to truly make the food better and tastier.

The menus at The Tippling Club are ultra-modern, intelligent and witty and the first thing you’ll encounter when you walk in is the bar, which serves a whole array of delicious tipples, including exquisite hand-crafted cocktails and really tasty bar snacks. Venture further in and you’ll find the dining room, which offers lunch, and 2 multi-course dinner tasting menus, the classic or the gourmand,  with which wines and cocktails are paired. A Vegetarian menu is also available.

You’ve got to check out The Tippling Club’s website for full details on menu items and gorgeous photos! But of all the dishes served, here are a few of Aun’s favourites:

Beef tendon
This is an astonishing piece of culinary wizardry, in which Chef Ryan re-imagines beef tendon, via his scientific techniques, as a crispy-crunchy keropok-esque snack. The texture is light, fluffy and novel, yet the flavour is all there.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 12.18.28 AM
Another of Aun’s favourites is this chicken curry in a glass yogurt jar, that’s essentially a rich, creamy, custard-like dollop of pure flavour. Just a little spoonful gives you the complete satisfaction of a whole chicken curry meal. Incredible.

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Cheesecake served in a humourous, witty way: as little pills in a medicine bottle. Each pellet is tiny, but tastes completely like a decadent slice of real cheesecake!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE AGAIN.

The Tippling Club
38 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: +65 6475 2217
Opening Hours
Lunch:

Mon-Fri 12-3pm
Dinner:
Mon-Sat 6pm till late
Bar:
Mon–Fri 12pm – 12am
Sat 6pm – 12am
Note: the tasting menus at The Tippling Club change seasonally, so do check with them what’s currently being served.

Read Aun’s piece about his Tippling Club experience on Chubby Hubby.

Totally Worth Your Wild Rocket

Crab Ball
Salted Egg Crab Ball

This week, Makan Kaki Shermay Lee proudly recommends a friend’s restaurant that shut its doors for an 8-month hiatus, before re-opening a little more than a month ago. It’s none other than our other Makan Kaki, Willin Low‘s Modern Singapore restaurant, Wild Rocket.

Willin has carved out a bit of a name for himself, giving a refined spin on traditional local dishes he grew up with and his unique brand of “Mod-Sin” cuisine has stood the test of time in a very fickle culinary landscape.

From the beautifully refurbished interiors to the crockery that has been carefully sourced, Willin brings a personal touch to everything at Wild Rocket. It would seem that he’s back better than before, with an interesting menu that serves us some old favourites and a few new ones.

Here are some that Shermay thinks are good ones to try:

The salted egg crab ball is a new addition to the menu and features a perfectly spherical, crunchy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside crab cake, nestled atop a delectable salted egg yolk paste. From Singapore, he takes things in a slightly Thai direction, with the pomelo salad with tiger prawns and frozen coconut dressing, refreshingly perfect for our tropical weather. With its contrasting flavours, textures and temperatures, this salad’s play of hot and cold, spicy and cooling, crunchy and juicy is very exciting on the palate.

Pomelo Salad
Pomelo Salad with Tiger Prawn & Frozen Coconut Dressing

Another must-try is the innovative spin on a child-hood favourite, stir-fried beef and kailan in oyster sauce, except Chef Willin has turned it into a tender beef short rib served with smoked oyster “milk”, mashed potato and kailan leaves. Loyal followers will also be delighted to know Willin’s signature Laksa Pesto Linguini is still on the menu and yes, is still as heady, aromatic and delicious as before. Willin also does a risotto version with Hokkaido scallop (available on the Chef’s tasting menu).

Laksa Pesto Linguine
Lakso Pesto Linguini

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the classic deconstructed Wild Rocket strawberry cheesecake.

Wild Rocket Strawberry Cheesecake
Wild Rocket Strawberry Cheesecake

Otherwise, you’ve got to have a go at another new addition to the menu, the pineapple sorbet with pineapple slices, mint sugar, chilli powder and soya sauce crystals. Yes, soya sauce in a dessert! This is Willin’s crazy, but brilliant tribute to his father’s favourite snack of pineapples with chilli and soya sauce. And if you think about it, we already combine the fruit and sauce in rojak, so why not make that leap into dessert? It totally works, by the way!

Listen to this week’s episode again.

You can also read Makan Kaki & Chubby Hubby, Aun Koh’s thoughts about Wild Rocket here!

wildrocketint
Wild Rocket

Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily
Hangout Hotel 10A Upper Wilkie Road

Open Monday – Saturday:
Lunch 12.30pm – 3.00pm
Coffee, Cocktails and Cotta 3.00pm – 6.00pm
Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Sun)

Reservations: 6339 9448