The connection between food and nostalgia is a powerful one. With hawker stalls closing due to the pandemic and activities we previously took for granted no longer possible, more than ever before do we crave simple comforts we remember from better days. Take the simple joy of exploring a night market. From the sprawling Geylang Serai Hari Raya pasar malam to the kind you find in the heartland at the foot of your HDB block, it’ been a long time since we’ve been able to enjoy the riot of sights and sounds, goods for sale and best of all, naughty foods loaded with salt, sugar, fat and carbs.
If you’re looking to rekindle the thrill of biting into a hot, fresh pasar malam snack, wander no more – one of Singapore’s most popular prawn vadai experts has set up shop in the East. Those familiar with pasar malam stalwarts Mr Vadai will tell you how addictive their signature deep-fried snack is. They’ll also tell you it was a game of chance hunting down which night market the vadai stall would pop up at. Those days of playing hide and seek are over, now that Mr Vadai has three brick-and-mortar locations you can visit.
Hi Makan Kakis! This week, it’s our great pleasure to have MasterChef Australia alumni and MasterChef Singapore Judge Audra Morrice with us! Based in Sydney, Australia, Audra was in Singapore for the taping of the current season of the culinary competition and during her time here, she was also able to revisit some of her favourite makan places.
One of them holds tremendous nostalgia for her – of trips back to Singapore with her father and her sons for feasts at this Little India stalwart. Madras New Woodlands Restaurant has Tiffin, Mini Set Meals & Tea-time Specials that can’t be beat. In particular, Audra adores their Appam, which she describes as “phenomenal”. Indeed, she isn’t the only one raving about their culinary delights (hi Sashi Cheliah & Violet Oon!).
Our Makan Kakis Farah & Claudinho of home-based Brazilian Food business Claudinho’s Kitchen are back to share with us their go-to place for an easy-breezy evening out. This is a really relaxed and casual sanctuary that offers up respite in the heart of bustling Haji Lane. Operating out of a cosy 2-storey shophouse, Going Om is a bohemian cafe/ bar that exudes good vibes & serves good food. Upstairs is a yoga space (yes, classes are available), whilst downstairs is all about the dining. It’s the place Claudinho loves to go, especially on a Sunday evening, for its very chill atmosphere. Just rock up, take a seat, have a drink & indulge in good food, in the company of friends. The food, is rather “particular”, as Claudinho puts it.
GOLD 905 DJ Denise kicks off a brand new Makan Kakis series with CNA Lifestyle to find the yummiest local food in Singapore. This week: Absolutely divine appam!
If you live in the West, chances are you’re already familiar with Ghim Moh Market. It’s a veritable treasure trove of all things delicious, including chwee kueh, Hokkien mee and roasted meats. But there’s one breakfast option that has come highly recommended by our GOLD 905 Makan Kaki, The Fabulous Baker Boy co-owner and chef Juwanda Hassim. He swears by the appam found at a stall called Heavens, which has garnered a steady following since it opened back in the ’90s.
Hello Makan Kakis! What do you like for breakfast? For our foodie friend Lyn Lee of Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand, this is where she heads when she’s craving Indian Vegetarian! Go visit the famous Anada Bhavan in the morning and you can choose from 8 different sets of vegetarian breakfasts. Lyn says go with Set #1, which turned out to be entirely delicious. It comprises idly, uppumar, kesari, vadai, coffee or tea and a whole host of chutneys and dips, served on a banana leaf.
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.
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.
Hello Makan Kakis, meet your new Foodie Friends, a Father & Son duo who are wildly passionate about food, especially since they are the team behind Truly Singaporean Tze Char restaurant brand, New Ubin Seafood, known for not just their take on tasty traditional dishes, but also their innovative twist on Western contemporary dishes – perfect beef and heart attack fried rice, anyone?
SM Pang and his son Alex popped by the Gold 905 studio recently to talk about all things food, working together in a family-run F&B business and of course, share with us some of their personal favourites when it comes to eating out here in Singapore.
By the way, they’ve just opened their newest branch at the Ramada Hotel (Zhongshan Park), serving up the same awesome signatures you know and love. Check it out here.
Our Makan Kaki Pastry Chef Janice Wong is back this week to tell us about another one of her favourite places to eat at. When she’s craving excellent Indian food, Little India Institution, Jaggi’s is where she heads.