MAKAN KAKIS BEST OF 2019!

Gluttonous Greetings Makan Kakis!

As we hurtle towards 2020 and a brand new year of feasting, let’s take a little look back at the best of 2019 – here are the most popular makan places that really caught your attention. Click on each for details & enjoy!


1. Indian Fish Head Curry Expert Recommends Chinese Assam Fish Head Curry


2. Charming Italian in Serangoon Gardens


3. Pasta Expert Recommends Best Bak Chor Mee

Just wanna listen to the TOP 3 audio/ download podcast? Click here!

BONUS:
Here’s the rest of the TOP 10 BEST MAKAN PLACES! Looks like 2019 was the year of Bak Chor Mee, Kway Chap & Char Kway Teow – you couldn’t get enough of these local faves, Makan Kakis!

4. FANCY Bak Chor Mee
5. Excellent Zichar Faves in the East
6. Kway Chap to Celebrate the Year of the Pig with Duck Thrown In!
7. Kway Chap & Ramen with a Michellin Connection
8. Makan Kakis’ Fave Char Kway Teow?
9. Putting the CHAR in Char Kway Teow
10. Flawless Flying Wanton Mee

If you like what you hear on air and what you see here, do share the good food with your good friends and tell them about Makan Kakis on Gold 905! Cheers to another year of yumminess – may your 2020 be bursting with the best things to eat and drink – Season’s Eatings!

P.S.

 

Pasta Expert Recommends Best Bak Chor Mee!

Chef Aun of Bar Cicheti, an intimate Pasta & Wine Bar in Chinatown, is our new Makan Kaki and this down-to-earth, self-confessed heartland guy says while he’s trained extensively in Italian cooking, especially with wood-fired pizzas and pastas, his personal tastes remain firmly in Asia. He loves Chinese food, especially dishes with a good smoky wok hei (breath of the wok). He popped by the Gold 905 studio this morning to chat about the two kitchens he’s in charge of (Cicheti in Arab Street & Bar Cicheti in Jiak Chuan Road) and also to tell us more about his favourite MEE POK!

HEAR:

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Chef Aun keeps returning to this stall in Opal Crescent for his Bak Chor Mee fix because he says their noodle texture is different and outstanding. They know how to cook them just right. Whether it’s Mee Pok (broad flat noodles) or Mee Kia (thin noodles), MacPherson Bak Chor Mee never serves noodles that are under or overcooked. Take it from a chef who makes pasta from scratch every single day – Chef Aun knows his noodles and these are al dente perfection!

Continue reading “Pasta Expert Recommends Best Bak Chor Mee!”

Divine Pasta & Wine!

HEAR:
Click to listen/ download this week’s pastariffic episode!

SEE:
This week, our Makan Kaki Annette Tan of private dining experience FatFuku waxes lyrical about a lovely little spot in Chinatown, off Keong Saik Road. It’s Singapore’s first pasta and wine bar, where you can sit at their counter and watch them make fantastic, tasty pastas and little sharing plates. Or if you prefer, they have tables in their intimate space too. The food at Bar Cicheti is amazing and they also recently started a wine programme, in which they introduce diners to wines sourced from regions that are off the beaten path. From biodynamic to organic to sustainably-farmed wines, they would be more than happy to recommend a good glass that will pair well with your pasta and other sharing plates. Annette has not been disappointed so far and though not a big drinker, she has always enjoyed the enhanced flavours of the wines served.

But let’s talk about the food! Continue reading “Divine Pasta & Wine!”

Charming Italian in Serangoon

HEAR:
Click here to listen/ download podcast of this week’s pastarrific episode!

SEE:
Hello Makan Kakis! Looking for a palate cleanser after all the Chinese New Year feasting? Or maybe a charming spot for a Valentines’ tete a tete? Let’s go for a rustic Italian meal then! This week, our Foodie Friend Chef Shen Tan reveals a recent discovery she’s willing to trek from the West all the way to Serangoon Gardens for. Casa Manini is a little Italian restaurant that serves up good, honest, family-style cooking and is a wonderful find if you’re craving pasta. Everything is reasonably-priced and prepared by the chef who serves up his own personal family favourites. In fact, this place has a great back story – according to Shen, the chef and his wife used to work for Bulgari before taking the leap from fine jewellery to fine Italian food!

Hailing from Lombardy in Italy, Chef Fulvio’s Lasagna and Pasta Carbonara are Shen’s absolute favourites, particularly their signature pork and beef Lasagna, which she says is so hearty, rich and down-right delicious.

Continue reading “Charming Italian in Serangoon”

You’ll AMÒ these Pizzas & Pastas! 

HEAR:
Click to hear this week’s incredibly Italian episode!

SEE:

Spaghettoni with whole boston lobster & tarragon for two!

There’s a new place that our Makan Kaki, Chef-Owner of Morsels, Petrina Loh has just tried along Hong Kong Street. Located conveniently for Chef Petrina, she often runs errands along that stretch, picking up her traditional chinese herbs for her own restaurant from just across the street. If there’s parking, she always takes advantage to hop out in search for something good to eat. And boy, is Amò GOOD! It’s a pizza-pasta place started by Italian restaurateur Beppe De Vito, of Il Lido fame and also, the man behind Baci, a recent 1 Michelin Star awardee. So, one would have high hopes for this casual eatery, no? And apparently, recent discovery Amò does not disappoint. Highly recommended by her other chef friends, how can you resist comfort food like Italian pizzas and pastas done exceedingly well?

Tagliolini with spicy young cuttlefish & squid ink

For Chef Petrina, the home-made pasta with spicy young cuttlefish with squid ink on the side was outstanding. So tasty & deeply umami, the tender squid pairs perfectly with the al dente Tagliolini, which she says delightedly, is like a cross between mee pok and mee kia! What’s brilliant is that you can ask for extra spice and the staff very obligingly bring out the fiery good stuff for you to add. The kitchen is aware of how some Singaporeans like their meals spicy and have concocted an insane chilli paste, made from chilli padi, garlic, salt and olive oil, all whizzed up fresh in a blender. It’s got tremendous kick and a freshness that balances the searingly hot burn, but use sparingly – you’ve been warned!

Olive you! ❤

Another lovely touch is the wooden bowls of yummy stuffed olives you get served with every meal (perfect with a refreshing Aperol Spritz – cocktail of Prosecco & Aperol). Chef Petrina can’t get enough of these briny spheres of deliciousness! Sourced from from Beppe’s family’s olive farm, these are plump little green morsels, stuffed with peppers and exploding with appetite-whetting flavour.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

If you’re looking for a yummy starter, try their zucinni flowers, unusually stufffed with a fluffy, creamy, light-as-air Mortadella filling, along with pistachio & lemon honey.

As for the pizzas, Denise (who also has been) recommends two excellent ones. Made meticulously with a starter that is lovingly tended daily, this mother dough births pizza bases full of flavor and texture. They are at once crisp, wonderfully blistered and charred on the edges, as well as delightfully tender and chewy in the centre. Taking an average of only 5-10 minutes to cook in their wood-fired oven, the toppings elevate the simple pizza to a whole other stratosphere!

Try these:

Bone Marrow Pizza

The Bone Marrow Pizza with fresh radish, wild garlic pesto and anchovy salsa verde, is rich and luscious from the marrow, yet fresh, zingy and astringent from the greens and pesto. This is a beautiful foil for the very decadent, very savoury Truffle Pizza, which is pretty much THE BEST in Singapore at the moment.

Truffle Mushroom Pizza

Loaded with layer upon layer of aromatic fungi flavour, the Truffle Mushroom Pizza boasts a creamy truffle-marscapone base, wild mushrooms, Tuscan pecorino, a scattering of microgreens and is finished with fresh truffles shaved very liberally all over the top. So delicious, so addictive, so fragrant, you may want to finish the entire pizza yourself!

Amò lives up to its name – you can really feel the love here – from the lovingly prepared, on point, super-delicious food, to the casual, lively atmosphere, to the wonderfully attentive staff (Hi Jody!) – this is one Italian restaurant that’s far from run-of-the-mill & should not be missed!

TASTE:
AMÒ – CASUAL ITALIAN RESTAURANT
33 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059672
Open for Lunch: 12 – 3pm (Monday – Friday) / Dinner: 6 – 11pm (Monday – Saturday)
Tel: +65 67237733

A Singaporean does Italian!

HEAR:
Ciao! Click here to listen for incredible Italian!

SEE:
This week sees the return of our inimitable Chang Moh, writer, columnist & cook-book author of A Helping Hand Rowena “Frog” Michaels, who first discovered this charming Italian place in Tiong Bahru. From those early days, it’s since moved to the Bugis Area, but is no less delicious and charming! But just to avoid confusion, the following pictures were taken by Frog at their first outlet in Tiong Bahru. Ah Bong’s Italian starts and ends with its Singaporean owner-chef Chris Ng, who is a wonderfully friendly guy with a great story behind his restaurant.

He studied at LSE before becoming an accountant based in the UK, which, as the gateway to the rest of Europe, allowed him to eat his way across the continent. In his travels, Chris fell head over heels in love with Italy and its food. So he packed things up, returned home to Singapore and started Ah Bong’s Italian!

In Frog’s words, Chris sells beautifully simple, authentic pasta dishes made with premium ingredients. To keep things straight forward, there are three dishes a day. The menu changes daily. Here they are eating some smokey aglio (Frog) and truffle comfort eggs (Chris):

Delicious pastas being prepared fresh, ala minute! And just in case you’re wondering how good or authentic Ah Bong’s Italian can be, Frog can testify to bringing her Italian friends for a meal there and they absolutely loved it. If that isn’t a great endorsement of the taste and quality of Chris’s food, then we don’t know what is!

Frog’s favourite menu items include the truffled mac & cheese and the spicy crab linguine, but look out for what he has on his chalkboard – the dishes change daily and Chris just might be able to do you a special order if you ask nicely! 😉 Prices are affordable, the food is delicious, what more could you ask for?

TASTE:
Ah Bong Italian
103 Beach Rd (Tan Quee Lan Street area)
#01-02 (below Marrison hotel)
Singapore 189704
Open Daily: 12 – 2pm; 6 – 9pm

Super-Fresh Tokyo-Italian

denise & chef seita

Denise & Chef Seita Nakahara

Hello Makan Kakis, Denise here. A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to dine at Terra Tokyo-Italian, helmed by chef-owner Seita Nakahara, and what a special meal it was!

Chef Seita spent his teens in Singapore before working in restaurants across Tokyo, Florence, Sicily & Torino, honing his skills in Italian cuisine. His style of Italian cooking focuses on only the very freshest produce he can source directly from fishermen and farmers in Japan & Italy, which he then prepares with a very light Japanese touch, allowing the natural flavours of his ingredients shine through.

  • Listen to Chef Seita on The Lunchtime Jukebox talking about his food philosophy and restaurant here.
  • Listen to Chef talk about his culinary roots and what kind of food he enjoys going out to eat when he’s not cooking for others.

From his humble beginnings in the kitchen helping his mother, to his training across Italy, Chef Seita’s approach to food is always to keep everything simple, without using a lot of spices or herbs to cover the flavours or fragrance – something he says he learnt from those hours spent cooking with mum. The affable, ever-so-polite Chef Seita’s love for the food and his passion is evident in the sublime plates of food that emerged from the kitchen.

His Omakase menu changes all the time, depending on the seasonal produce available and out of his creative mind, Chef Seita keeps things exciting for his customers – he enjoys being surpised and surprising diners – that’s why he will never serve you the same thing if you are a returning guest (not unless you insist, of course!).

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Service is wonderful, with very friendly staff, who are patient and careful to explain everything that has gone into each dish you are served. Your meal begins with two things:

  1. A  box of fresh ingredients presented with a flourish, so you know what you’re going to be eating, and…

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2. A really delicious homemade foccacia bread, served hot with a porcini mushroom butter I wanted (and did) to eat on its own!

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I have to say after that lovely start, nothing I was served afterwards disappointed. In fact, everything was eye-rollingly tasty – check out what else was on the menu when I dined at Terra Tokyo-Italian:

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The Uni bruschetta is the perfect embodiment of Chef Seita’s food concept – bringing the best of Japanese & Italian together – generous little mountains of fresh sea urchin jiggling atop crisp toasted bread.

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Super-fresh shellfish – Akagai, okagai, Hokkaido asparagus, cherry tomato drizzled with dill sauce.
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Another one of my favourites (and this is saying alot because I’m not a fan of tomato sauces) – the Ise bay spiny lobster linguine. Perfectly portioned, the handmade pasta was also perfectly al dente and coated in a rich, yet not cloying tomato sauce. It was light yet creamy was complemented by a succulently-sweet grilled lobster from Japan’s Ise Bay.
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Score! Managed to scoop out the lobster meat in one whole juicy chunk! And you can bet I sucked out all the briny juices from that lobster head – sooo yummaaay!

IMG_0349Ama-dai tile fish with Mediterranean sauce, Hokkaido shaved button mushroom, Japanese bamboo shoost with crispy fish skin.
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Tender Tochigi beef with mushroom sauce, charred Japanese cabbage, mustard and chives & caramelised onion – really clean, simple and absolutely satisfying, The beefy flavour really comes through thanks to Chef Seita’s delicate touch.
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Homemade Tiramisu with Japanese strawberries – an appropriate end to my Tokyo-Italian experience. This Tiramisu was again, perfectly-portioned, not too sweet and very light.

Chef Seita’s very Japanese sensibility truly shines through in his respect for his ingredients and his guests and I can’t recommend Terra more if you love Italian Cuisine but want something surprising, very fresh and light. The Omakase Menu is tailored to suit your dietary restrictions and you can choose the number of courses you enjoy. I had 7 courses (possibly more), but so light was Chef’s touch, I didn’t walk out of Terra feeling uncomfortably full, just very satisfied and with a huge smile on my face!

TERRA
54 Tras St
Singapore 078993

Open Hours:
Mon – Fri 12:00 pm-2:00 pm, 6:30 pm-10:00 pm
Sat 6:30 pm-10:00 pm

Phone: 6221 5159

Freshest Seafood, Southern Italian Style

via Gattopardo

HEAR:

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Today, a new foodie friend joins us and he’s the guy behind the World Gourmet Summit, Mr Peter Knipp! More than 3 decades ago, he came to Singapore to work as a professional Chef at a hotel before breaking out to start his own Food & Beverage Consultancy and 20 years ago, World Gourmet Summit was born! As a man whose carer has been built around and through food and drink, you can trust Peter to have some great makan places to share.

  • Click here & here to find out more about this year’s World Gourmet Summit – Peter Knipp gives us the insider’s run-down!
  • Click here for this week’s ocean-fresh makan recommendation!

SEE:

via Gattopardo

This week, Peter recommends a wonderful Italian restaurant whose chef hails from Sicily and is dedicated to presenting diners with the freshest, tastiest seafood prepared according to his Southern Italian roots. Chef Lino Sauro’s contemporary Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare on Tras Street will certainly excite your palate, because whilst he remains true-blue to his Sicilian roots, he gives his food a little Asian touch after spending so many years here in Singapore.

via Gattopardo

When Peter dines at Gattopardo, he forgoes ordering from the menu and leaves it up to Chef Lino to surprise him with between 5 to 7 courses of sublime small plates. From his sea urchin to hamachi to raw marinated langoustin, his focus is on giving diners a gastronomic journey of the palate through the freshest seafood. Let the Maitre D’ help you pair your meal with the right Prosecco or wines and you’ll have a beautiful experience at Gattopardo! This is one Italian restaurant that stands out from the many others in Singapore and Peter cannot recommend it enough.

via Gattopardo

TASTE:
Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare
34/36 Tras Street
Singapore 079026

Open

Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm; Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Saturday
Lunch: Closed; Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Sunday
Closed

Tel: (65) 6338 5498 / (65) 9325 8843