Nasi Nasi Very Nice!

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Click here to listen to this week’s steaming hot episode!

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Oniatta Effendi, our gregarious foodie friend, gets even more animated when she talks about Nasi Padang because she is, as we have previously discovered, a self-confessed “Nasi Girl” – she has to have rice with every meal, including breakfast! As early as 7am, Oniatta can be found up and ready for a steaming hot plate of Nasi Padang from her favourite place in Singapore. Warong Pariaman has a very special place in her heart because this is where she met her husband Nizam and its also her favourite because of the nostalgia factor – shes been eating there with her family since she was a young child.

Warong Nasi Pariaman has its beginning back in 1948 as a family-run corner coffeeshop at Kandahar Street. For the uninitaited, Nasi Padang hails from West Sumatra in Indonesdia and Pariaman is the name of a city there. Essentially, you get hot, fluffy white rice that is paired with a variety of dishes, sides and condiments. If you enjoy rich flavours of coconut, chilli, lime, lemongrass and lengkuas (galangal), then you’ll love Nasi Padang!

Oniatta recommends their signature dish of Ayam Bakar (see above: barbequed chicken in a mild coconut-spiced gravy). She calls this one of their “hard core” dishes, along with Rendang Daging (beef (simmered in chilli, spices and coconut milk), Ikan Bakar (charcoal-grilled fish marinated in tamarind sauce, slathered in a sweet black soya sauce with fresh onion, green chilli and lime) and Sambal Goreng (fried long beans, beancurd & tempeh), but you’ll probably have to wait till about 10am for these to be ready for eating!

But early-riser Oniatta has simple tastes, when she gets there at 7.30/8am she is very satisfied with their delicious Ayam Gulai as well as Sotong.

If you’re wondering, Gulai is a rich and spicy Indonesian curry-like sauce paired with poultry, beef, mutton, offal, & seafood, as well as fruits and vegetables unripe jackfruit & cassava leaves. Gulai is packed with spices like coriander, black pepper, galangal, ginger, chilli pepper, shallot, garlic, fennel, lemongrass, cinnamon, caraway and turmeric (which gives it its vivid, deep yellow colour), all of which are ground into a paste and cooked in coconut milk with the meats, seafood or veggies. Piled on a heaping plate of hot rice, washed down with a bracing cup of teh, this is a breakfast that hits the spot for her!

Breakfast not your thing? No worries! Warong Pariaman is open all day for lunch and dinner too. With such a wide and varied menu, youll be spoilt for choice from one of Singapores oldest Nasi Padang institutions!

TASTE:
WARONG PARIAMAN
736/738 North Bridge Road Singapore 198704 (Behind Sultan Mosque)
Open Daily: 7:30am – 8:00pm
Tel:+65 62922374 / +65 62925958

Dive into this Kacang Pool!

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Click here to listen to this week’s episode of Deliciousness!

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This week, our foodie friend and cook-performer in Singapore Festival of the Arts’ forthcoming O.P.E.N. KITCHENS, Asha Adnan, introduces us to a retro restaurant that’s a throwback to the 70s/ 80s. Mukmin Restaurant features several established stalls serving up really delicious home comforts. Case in point, Kacang Pool, which Asha describes as a Malay take on hummus. Asha loves the texture and taste of this dish, which comes with chopped green chillies, red onion and a fried egg on top. Better yet, you can ask for a runny centre (Asha recommends you do) and sop up all the eggy, kacang goodness with the toasted French bread served on the side!

If you’re early enough and lucky enough to be there on Fridays, be sure to get in line to grab the freshly fried Goreng Pisang (batter-fried banana)  – sweet, savoury and so irresistible – BEFORE 2pm. They sell out really quickly, a testament to how good they are!  And don’t forget to ask for the crumbs – you know, those crunchy bits of excess batter? Other must-tries at Mukmin include their Lontong Goreng, Mee Soto & Laksa. It’s really a restaurant that has everything tasty under one roof! 

TASTE:
MUKMIN RESTAURANT
Block 129 Bedok North Street 2, #01-26, Singapore 460129
Tel: 64434724
Open Daily: 7am – 10pm

Nasi Lemak to the Max!

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This week, we introduce you to TWO new foodie friends who are avid and prolific cooks, soon to be seen in the Singapore International Arts Festival’s O.P.E.N. Kitchens, a series of interactive and delicious culinary performances, in which you get to prepare a meal with them, whilst enjoying stories and perhaps even songs! Please meet Asha Adnan of Asha & Co. and Oniatta Effendi of Baju by Oniatta, both with wonderful stories and dishes to share (Listen to the audio of them sharing above)! For today’s episode of Makan Kakis, we begin with self-confessed “Nasi Girl” Oniatta recommending a restaurant that ruined her for ordinary Nasi Lemak. She says this place turned her into a Nasi Lemak snob and no other will do. Nestled in a cosy part of Ann Siang Hill, Coconut Club has made waves with their instagrammable environment and food, but aesthetics aside, this is really a solid, outstanding plate of coconut rice and dishes. The brainchild of 3 friends who went to a Nasi Lemak convention in Malaysia, Coconut Club was opened with the best quality in mind.
Nasi Lemak in itself is a basic comfort food, but Coconut Club really elevates the humble home dish with their expert handling of quality ingredients – from the otak-otak to the fried chicken, everything is truly sedap, says Oniatta. And on days their sambal lala is available, be sure to get your order in ASAP – soooo good!
Be sure to leave room for their array of coconutty desserts, traditional kueh-kueh, from Kueh Salat to Kueh Bingka Ubi.
Coconut Club lives up to its name with their Kueh Ko Swee or Kuih Kosui, absolutely smothered with grated coconut!
Oniatta has since discovered that the intense coconut flavours that pervade all their dishes come from special coconuts they source at a secret plantation in Malaysia…
Finally, wash all that coconutty goodness down with a excellent teh tarik or kopi, from Master Desmond, who usually plies his trade outside Changi Prison but was lured over to Coconut Club to serve up his fantastic drinks. All in all, Oniatta says whilst there has been a lot of hype about Coconut Club and their “atas” Nasi Lemak, the $12.80 price per plate is more than worth it!

TASTE:
COCONUT CLUB
6, Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069787
Open for lunch: 11am – 3pm (Tuesday – Sunday)
Open for dinner: 6 – 9.30pm (Tuesday – Saturday)
Tel: +65 6635 2999

Must-try Nasi Lemak – Surprising Discovery at Secret Location

Old-fashioned Nasi Lemak (photo courtesy of makansutra.com)

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Click here for awesome audio – this week’s secret & surprising discovery of local breakfast delights hidden in the East!

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This week, what a special treat! Fresh off the presses of eating guide Makansutra 2017, our Guru of Gluttony KF Seetoh reveals a recent gem of a discovery. This is a place recommended by a friend who also introduced him to the famed JB Ah Meng, so you better believe this is gonna be good!

Definitely a bit of a secret, off-the-beaten-track place, you’d never guess this simple, average, neighbourhood mama shop/ convenience/ provision shop/ minimart would be dishing out yummy old-fashioned local breakfast delights on a daily basis. You know the kind of convenience store in the void deck of your flat? This is what we’re talking about! And early every morning, you’ll see a rack full of hot, home-cooked packets of Nasi Lemak for sale at this Pasir Ris void deck. The food is prepared by someone who lives nearby and brought in fresh daily. The lemak is not too heavy, rice lightly fragranced with coconut and a little salt, so it doesn’t overpower the delicious fried fish (Ikan Kuning). This old-school delight also includes a little packet of ikan billis & kacang, as well as a fried egg on the side with a slice of cucumber for fresh crunch. Seriously, get there early to get it hot and when you unwrap the banana leaf, the smell of the Nasi Lemak will transport you! So good, so simple, so unadulterated.

But that’s not all, grab a packet of their Nasi Sambal Goreng and some Mee Siam too. In particular, Seetoh loved the latter. The Mee Siam isn’t much to look at, sitting in its plastic container, but he swears the moment he took that first bite with a squeeze of lime, he had a “Ratatouille” moment. 😀 You know in the movie where the food reviewer gets swept back to a moment in his past and has the most sublime taste experience (actually, watch it here – it’s such an evocative scene!)? Same experience for Seetoh – it took him right back to his SJI days, in his white shirt and shorts, tie double-pinned so nobody could flick it, standing on the field waiting to play football with his friends before heading across to the sarabat stall for Mee Siam.The flavour of the Pasir Ris Mee Siam gave him those memories and more! Its a distinctively nostalgic taste that he’s been searching for that he hasn’t been able to find till now.

Now you know why it’s sold out usually by 10.30am and people in cars line up to swing by and pick up breakfast on the way into the city for work! So if you’re hankering after a taste of the past, you’ve got to try these home-cooked delights (apparently, the minimart gets their supply from a lady who lives in the area and has her own home kitchen catering business). Read more about it on page 156 of Makansutra 2017, or online here.

***UPDATE***
Since this was published, we have returned a couple of times and discovered that the supplier of the nasi lemak to this minimart has changed and it is no longer the same one described by Seetoh. If you happen to go for the nasi lemak now, be warned, it’s gonna be a generic packet mass-produced by a factory that supplies many places.

There’s been crazy-enthusiastic response to this week’s makan recommendation – thanks for sharing it on your FB and telling your friends! But we did get a call from the lady who runs the mini mart because of the sheer number of people turning up for the home-cooked breakfast delights. She’s completely overwhelmed, so go easy on her, ok?

Just to clarify, she caters the food to sell, she does not prepare it herself!

Also, the food we mention in this post may not always be available, so visit at your own peril! Try your luck, you may get the Nasi Lemak or some other form of packet rice.

Seetoh was lucky enough to get a taste of all 3, but apparently, the Mee Siam may not be available currently.

TASTE:
Pasir Ris Mini Mart
Block 773 Pasir Ris St 71, #01-380
Hot food available daily 7.30am-12noon (but usually sells out by 10.30am!)

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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Best of Boon Lay!

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Click this to hear all about the best eats in Boon Lay!

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This week, co-author of local food guide Eat. Muse. Love. Toh Mu Qin wants us to check out the many delicious things on offer at Boon Lay Food Village. There, you get all-day dining at its very best. You’ll be spoilt for choice from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, to every other meal in between! Here are a few highlights of Mu Qin’s favourite things to eat there:

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First of all, no Westie worth their salt wouldn’t be aware of Power Nasi Lemak (some say the best in all of Singapore), so let’s start here. This is one stall that takes pride in the quality of their food – freshly prepared ingredients, yummy flavours and everything kept piping hot. The deep-fried chicken is particularly good here – well-marinated, juicy and tender on the inside, shatteringly crisp and golden on the outside. The otak-otak (fish paste) is also a must-try, since it comes with a separate coconut milk sauce to drizzle over, cutting through the spice & adding to the creamy richness of the fish. The fried ikan billis & roasted peanuts are also worth mentioning, as is the sensational sambal chilli, which balances a mild sweetness with the heat of the chilli. Power Nasi Lemak is open till late, making it a perfect stop for dinner/ supper. In fact it’s usually open from 6.30am – 3.30am!!! Find it at #01-106.

And if you’re looking for something else to satisfy those dinner cravings, you might also want to try the stall serving up sizzling seafood on hotplates! Be warned – spicy to the max, but oh-so-good! Try the BBQ sting ray, sotong, lala and chilli kang kong at Sin Chew Huat Mei Xiang Hotplate Stingray #01-117.

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If you happen to be at Boon Lay Food Village earlier in the day, Mu Qin also recommends the carrot cake or Wanton Mee for breakfast. The latter also comes with the option of stewed chicken feet and shitake mushrooms – yum! Check out Lian Yi Wanton Noodle at #01-161.

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Final recommendation: Bak Kut Teh Bee Hoon in a claypot – simple, flavourful and comforting! Kam Hiang Food Stall is at #01-118.
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TASTE:
BOON LAY PLACE FOOD VILLAGE
221A/B Boon Lay Place
S641221

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Paru in Your Padang

HEAR:

  • Click here to find out more about Loh Lik Peng’s stint as judge on Eat List Star.
  • Click here to hear more about our new Makan Kaki, his hotels, restaurants and favourite food.
  • Click here to listen to this week’s makan recommendation – Nasi Padang, anyone?

SEE:

We have a new Makan Kaki to introduce to you this week! Please meet hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, the man behind the Unlisted Collection brand of hotels and restaurants. No stranger to Singapore’s F&B scene, he’s also currently one of the judges on Mediacorp’s online culinary competition, Eat List Star. His many restaurants offer up all manner of cuisines, but on a personal level, Peng’s all-time favourite food is very local, very delicious, very spicy and very varied. He absolutely loves Nasi Padang above all else and today, he shares with us his regular haunt.

Quite the favourite of many restaurateurs, Peng picks Yanti Authentic Nasi Padang as the place for Nasi Padang (Indonesian-style rice with dishes) for several reasons. Besides being conveniently located along Keong Saik Road, near his Hotel 1929 and restaurants Ember, Burnt Ends and Esquina, Yanti serves up two of his must-have dishes – Sotong Hitam, or the black ink squid and a rare find these days, Paru, or the cow lung. But the array of dishes on offer is simply staggering and you’ll be spoilt for choice. From begedil to ayam goreng to sambal udang, there’s a lot to take in…  
Yanti sees a steady stream of customers at lunch and dinner, many of whom are regulars. Why do people keep going back? Everything tastes really good, is well-prepared with quality ingredients (the spices, in particular, are imported from Indonesia for that authentic flavour), and while can cost more than others, is definitely worth a visit!

TASTE:
YANTI AUTHENTIC NASI PADANG
45 Keong Saik Road, S(089149)
Tel: +65 63249268
Open Daily: 8am – 10pm

Denise with new Makan Kaki & Eat List Star Judge Loh Lik Peng

Makan Peranakan!

HEAR:
Listen to this week’s on-air episode here!

SEE:
This week, Wild Rocket’s Willin Low is back with his favourite place to eat whenever a craving for Peranakan food hits – PERAMAKAN at the Keppel Club!

Nasi Ulam

Now, as someone who cooks and eats so much for a living, Willin often has to sacrifice carbs to maintain his weight. Except when it comes to Peranakan food – these occasions call for rice by the plateful, especially if the rice happens to be that Nyonya delicacy, Nasi Ulam! This delicate, herb rice salad is labour-intensive because of the sheer number of ingredients required for prep and that’s why if you want to enjoy it at Peramakan, you have to order it off-menu in advance. That little effort on your part will reap huge rewards in the flavour department, especially when eaten with lots of sambal belacan!

Satay Babi Goreng

The usual suspects are all delicious at Peramakan, like their Babi Pongtay & Ayam Buah Keluak, but Willin’s newly discovered favourite dish is the Satay Babi Goreng! This is not satay on skewers, but big chunks of pork simmered in a spicy coconut gravy that is mouth-wateringly rich and delicious. Perfect with the Nasi Ulam!

TASTE:
PeraMakan
Level 3, Keppel Club
10 Bukit Chermin Road
Open Daily: Lunch 11:30am – 3:00 pm
Dinner 6 -10pm
Reservations: 63772829 / 62701618