What does Food Vlogger & Globetrotter Mark Wiens Like to Eat When He’s In Singapore?

Welcome to a very special edition of Makan Kakis!

Our new Foodie Friend Mark Wiens is a globetrotter and food vlogger who has 9 million subscribers & 2 billion views on his wildly popular YouTube channel, Migrationology. Fans will be thrilled to know he was recently in Singapore for an exciting project and I got to catch up with him on his new food series with HBO Go – Food Affair with Mark Wiens. We also got to chatting about his favourite local eats, what keeps him motivated, who he’d invite to his dream dinner party and he also recommends some of the best things to try at Dempsey Road institution Samy’s Curry Restaurant.


Watch the interview video PLUS Denise challenges Mark to a food trivia game – SWEET, SALTY & SOUR – where every correct answer wins him a local snack prize!



Following Makan Kaki Mark Wiens’ recommedation, I returned to Samy’s Curry Restaurant to grab a takeaway of his Top 3 dishe to try. On the side of the dining area is a takeout counter where the practiced staff are ready to take your orders and asssemble them briskly (I wasn’t leaving without extra papadums!).  


The staff scoop your orders from their long display of mouth-watering dishes and as they pack them up, you head to the cashier inside to pay up before returning to collect your takeaway.


I may have over-ordered, but it was, afterall, for a family meal! Someone else brought roti prata – plain and egg – to add to the pot-luck party, so it turned out to be a massive feast.    


Besides extra papadum, fish cutlets, crispy spiced cauliflower 65, palak paneer (spinch and cottage cheese), mutton mysore and biryani (comes with free sides of cabbage curry and dry potato curry potato), I dutifully asked for Mark’s must-try Fish Head Curry, Black Squid and Masala Chicken.


Mark’s absolute favourite at Samy’s Curry is their Fish Head Curry, a spicy, tangy, savoury, meaty behemoth packed with extra veggies like lady’s finger & brinjal. This was a medium order and there was ample fish to feed 5 with leftovers for the next day (the dish tastes even better overnight!). In Mark’s words, you’ll want to drink down every drop of that delectable curry gravy! 


The Masala Chicken is another good choice, with a lots of heat from chilli and spices, savouriness from the chicken meat and a slight sweetness to balance it all. They were generous with their portions of chicken legs and the thick sauce tasted even better licked off fingers after tearing into the chicken with our bare hands!


Mark’s third recommendation was the black squid, which really tasted like a uniquely Singaporean, cross-cultural amalgamation of flavours. It was piquant, packed with chillies, whole garlic cloves, curry leaf and other herbs and spices that came together beautifully with a gentle heat and a whole lot of umami. The tender squid brought a ton of buncy texture and umami.


Assembling the perfect plate for a fully satisfying curry feast from Samy’s…


Samy’s Curry Restaurant is not a local culinary stalwart for nothing. Its history spans decades from its start at Tank Road in the 1960s to its move to Dempsey in the 1970s, where it has remained ever since. It has certainly played a big part in the food memories of many, including myself, who fondly remember boisterous family feasts there. The flavours are nostalgic, the menu is varied (both Northern & Southern Indian favourites are available) and you really can’t go wrong with Mark’s Top 3 choices, especially the Fish Head Curry! Wanna learn more about its history? Watch out for the episode which features Samy’s Curry in Mark’s new series Food Affair with Mark Wiens, which debuts Friday 18th November 2022 on HBO Go!  


Samy’s Curry Restaurant
Blk 25 Dempsey Road Singapore 249670
Open: 11am – 3pm (Lunch); 6pm – 10pm (Dinner); closed on Tuesdays.
Tel: +65 6472 2080

CDC Voucher Best Eats – Prata with a Spicy, Stir-Fried Twist!

Hello Makan Kakis! We continue our Makan Kakis x CNA Lifestyle series featuring some of the best eats to spend your CDC vouchers on with a popular South Asian street food – the lesser known kothu prata.

Having had a taste of it once before, I was delighted to discover that a stall at Taman Jurong Food Centre has brought the stir-fried snack straight from the streets of Tamil Nadu to us here in Singapore. Indian Tiffin Centre has been operating for more than twelve years and is known for their traditional Indian vegetarian dishes like idly, thosai and uthapam. However, kothu prata is one of the more unique items to try on their menu…


Continue reading “CDC Voucher Best Eats – Prata with a Spicy, Stir-Fried Twist!”

Spice Queen Recommends Awesome Appam!

Rempapa_National Day 2022_Vasun and DamianThis National Day season, Chef Damian D’Silva collaborates with local culinary talents to present a series of exciting ‘4-hand’ experiences marking Singapore’s birthday. At his restaurant, Rempapa, he showcases local food traditions through what he calls Singapore Heritage cuisine and in his first multi-cultural collaboration, we met guest chef Marvas Ng (Executive Chef of Path) last week. Continuing Rempapa’s Cultural Celebration Series, today, we meet new Foodie Friend Vasunthara Ramasamy (Vasun), MasterChef Singapore Season 2 contestant, passionate home cook and the Spice Queen behind private dining experience Cutlery Optional. Scroll down for her awesome appam recommendation, or read on for what’s cooking in her collab with Chef Damian!

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When Damian was a judge on MasterChef Singapore Season 2, Vasun was a contestant whose thosai he became a big fan of. Vasun’s made-from-scratch thosai stand out because of her years spent perfecting the recipe and studying the science of fermentation. She has developed a time-honoured method, involving a long and slow fermentation period of up to 16 hours, which captures the deep and complex nuances of the thosai she grew up enjoying. Now, we get to enjoy her labour of love on 13 August, when Vasun and the Rempapa team will present a heritage South Indian set lunch featuring a spread of thosai, chutneys and sides, as well as an assortment of kuehs for dessert.


Here are some highlights of the menu, starting with this unique appetiser. Kuzhi Paniyaram with Chutney & Podi is a well-known snack in the Chettinad region.

The ball-shaped crisp dumplings, studded with ginger, coriander, and green chilli, are made with a fermented batter of ponni raw rice and topped with green coconut chutney.


Offered on the side is peanut podi – this specialty from Andhra Pradesh is made with two types of chillies, white sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, jaggery, asafoetida, and toasted dried coconut meat. Each Indian household has its preferred podi variation; Vasun has fond recollections of her grandmother preparing the condiment, which lends distinctive aromas, textures, and flavours to dishes.


The golden brown Masala Thosai is made with parboiled rice and Vasun’s personal blend of dried lentils, then stuffed with a flavoursome potato palya. The spiced filling is made with waxy potato, onion, green chilli, coriander, turmeric, curry leaves and mustard seeds cooked in coconut oil, then finished with a touch of ghee.


The Egg Podi Thosai is served as an accompaniment to Rempapa’s Sri Lankan Chicken Curry. Made with the same batter as masala thosai, this thosai variation is served with egg, minced onions, green chillies, coriander, and peanut podi. The curry is prepared with dry spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and star anise tempered in ghee, followed by a wet spice paste of Bombay onions, Bentong ginger, and garlic. Kampong chicken thigh and meat curry powder are added, then a touch of coconut milk is poured in just before the chicken is cooked through and fresh calamansi juice is added to finish.


Vasun presents three chutneys – Green Coconut Chutney, Tomato Thokku, and Kaara Chutney – that offer layers of texture and flavour to accompany the thosai. Mildly spicy, the Green Coconut Chutney highlights the refreshing profiles of coriander and green chillies, while the Tomato Thokku features tangy notes from fresh tomatoes and tamarind, along with a myriad of spices and herbs. Smoky and spicy, the vibrant Kaara Chutney is a Tamil Nadu-style chutney made with dry red chillies, garlic, and shallots.


This Indian set lunch by Rempapa and Vasun is priced at $68++per pax for a minimum of 4 diners. Served communal style, it comprises 3 thosai, 3 chutneys, 3 sides, and 1 dessert. Available only on 13 August, Saturday, for 2 seatings – 11am to 1pm and 1.15pm to 3pm.
Online Reservation here.
Tel: +65 9459 1603
Email: papa@rempapa.sg




Vasun often spends her early mornings shopping in the Tekka area for her Private Dining groceries and recently, she reconnected with Little India tiffin stalwart, Madras New Woodlands Restaurant. In particular, she really enjoys their appam, which she describes as “how it should be”.

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These cute, curved UFO-shaped fermented batter “pancakes” are thick and spongey in the middle, yet light and springy, with a pleasing tang you can really taste, thanks to the gentle fermentation of the rice flour, yeast and coconut milk.

Continue reading “Spice Queen Recommends Awesome Appam!”

Shrimply Addictive – Crispy & Fluffy Prawn Vadai

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.

Continue reading “Shrimply Addictive – Crispy & Fluffy Prawn Vadai”

MasterChef SG Judge Audra Morrice Loves This Appam!



Appam photo courtesy of Audra Morrice.

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!).

Continue reading “MasterChef SG Judge Audra Morrice Loves This Appam!”

Om Sweet Om! Fusion Food & Chill Vibes

Click to listen/download podcast of this week’s fantastically fusion episode.


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.

Going Om’s twist on an Indian street food classic – Pani Puri using Kueh Pie Tee cups!

Continue reading “Om Sweet Om! Fusion Food & Chill Vibes”

Heavens Appam is Divine!

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.

TASTE: Heavens is located at 20 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-26, Singapore 270020. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, 6am to 1pm. Closed on Mondays.

Indian Vegetarian Breakfast!

Click here to listen/ download podcast of this week’s veggie-tastic brekkie episode!


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.

Continue reading “Indian Vegetarian Breakfast!”