STAY HOME & EAT – DIY Wanton Noodles

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Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s delightfully do-it-yourself episode!

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Bee Kee Wanton Noodles created in my kitchen from their DIY kit!

This week, let’s bring on the best of both worlds and combine cooking at home with hawker quality wanton mee, all in a DIY kit delivered straight to your doorstep. You may already know Bee Kee Wanton Noodle in Lorong Lew Lian for their truffle & traditional wanton mee and now you can reproduce the latter in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Here’s what you get in the kit: 40 wantons, 10 bundles of noodles, 3 jars of sauces (crispy lard chunks sold separately).

I filled up a quick online order form for the Bee Kee wanton noodle kit, consisting of 10 bundles of their fresh thin egg noodles, 40 freshly wrapped pork wantons and 3 jars of sauce – homemade chilli, fragrant oil & signature soy sauce. Delivery was prompt and I received a text message with cooking instructions that were easy to follow and foolproof. I managed to turn out delicious wanton noodles of my own in less than 5 minutes!

Continue reading “STAY HOME & EAT – DIY Wanton Noodles”

STAY HOME & EAT – Halal Yong Tau Foo (6 Flavours!)

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Click to listen/ download the podcast of this week’s saucy, soupy episode!

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What else can we stay-home circuit breakers order in or takeaway with just a budget of $20 enough to feed 4 people? Da Jie Niang Dou Fu & Hainan Chicken Rice is worth a try! No prizes for guessing what they specialise in, but what’s unique is – their food is halal. For a family with different tastes, I’d say go for their Yong Tau Foo – for a minimum order of 5 pieces at 80 cents each, you get a massive variety of ingredients to choose from within their refrigerated display. Whether you love deep fried goodies like wantons, chicken nuggets, prawn wrapped in potato and yam rolls, or toufu stuffed with fishpaste, fishballs and beancurd skin, or veggies like eggplant, lady’s finger, bittergourd, chinese cabbage, xiao bai cai, kang kong, as well as instant noodles, chewy glass noodles, mushrooms, sausages and more. Best of all, everything 6 different flavours, including tom yam & their healthier soup option.

Continue reading “STAY HOME & EAT – Halal Yong Tau Foo (6 Flavours!)”

STAY HOME & EAT – Ayam Penyet Fried Rice & Kuih Jongkong

HEAR: Click to listen/download podcast of this week’s deep-fried & steamy double-whammy!

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This week I’ve discovered excellent halal food you can order in or takeaway quickly with just a budget $20 & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. At Tanglin Halt Food Centre, I found Warung O.M.C., which stands for Oh My Chicken! And Oh Yes, their Ayam Penyet, or deep fried, smashed chicken is yummy!

Their standard rice set comes with a big piece of chicken, plus lettuce leaves, fried tempeh and fried tau kwa on a bed of what I thought was steamed white basmati rice. But one bite & I realised it was far from plain. It was actually tasty chicken-flavoured rice that complemented the ayam penyet, which was a gorgeous golden-yellow colour from turmeric – very crispy on the outside, moist & juicy on the inside, with an extra topping of battered shards for lots of added crunch.

What really pushed things to the next level was their excellent chilli sauce, which will have you seeing stars! It’s very spicy and you’ll feel the searing heat nibbling on your tongue and lips long after you’ve finished your meal. But the extreme chilli is tempered by a soothing sweetness that just goes so well with the entire plate.

If you want to really treat yourself, go all out with their Ayam Penyet fried rice. You’ll get the same chilli sauce and massive piece of crispy chicken, usually the wing & drumlet portion attached to the breast. These sit on a mountain of nasi goreng.

I reckon the fried rice was made with the same flavourful chicken rice, seasoned bright orange with chilli and fried with red cabbage onion, fish cake, peas, sweet corn and carrot. Hot and fragrant from the wok, this ayam penyet fried rice was decadent and delicious.

Both rice sets were enough to feed 4 people comfortably, but you can also supplement your meal with their mee rebus or mee soto.

The Mee Soto ($3) was characterised by the flavours of clove & coriander, with shredded chicken, bean sprouts, coriander and fried onion topping yellow noodles. If you’re not keen on the alkaline taste & smell of yellow noodles, you can opt for Bee Hoon. Same for the Mee Rebus (also $3), which was pungent with spices. Thick and sweet, I think I detected ikan billis in the gravy. Bean sprouts, lime, fried onion and tau pok completed the dish.

Warung O.M.C. serves their noodles first thing in the morning, but keep in mind you’ll have to wait for later if you want the Ayam Penyet. And I would definitely wait for it – that’s the star dish, after all – they’re not called Warung Oh My Chicken for nothing! I was able to get the standard Nasi Ayam Penyet  from around 9am, but the fried rice was only ready around lunch time. You can order via most food delivery apps (see below).

However, I popped by to takeaway this time because I had to collect a rare treat from a neighbouring stall. Popular for their lontong, mee rebus and mee soto, Queenstown Lontong actually shuts down all other food sales to concentrate on their Ramadan specialty – Kuih Jongkong. It’s so in-demand, you can’t just rock up and take away – you have to pre-order by what’s apping them in advance.

YOU MUST PRE-ORDER! Pick up is super-fast, with all the orders arranged neatly – they check your name against their ledger book.

Made from a thin batter of rice & tapioca flour, coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka, this traditional kuih jongkong is wrapped and steamed in banana leaf to yield a smooth, creamy, savoury-sweet paste. To me, it looked and tasted similar to hot hoon kueh (sans banana and corn), if it was served in soup!

These beautiful parcels were wrapped in a distinctive style, held together tightly by a couple of strategically placed toothpicks. I did a little research and discovered that in Malay, jongkong could mean ingot, so maybe that’s why they look like wallets or purses, containing treasure within! But I read that jongkong can also mean canoe. Again, it could be because the wrapped parcels look like little boats!

Unwrapped from its green jacket, you’ll see a mound of bright green paste, pudding-like in consistency , swimming in a pool of gula melaka, coconut, pandan and banana leaf infused sauce.

Taste-wise, it’s so reflective of our  tropical Asian flavours, delicately flavoured by the earthy gula melaka and creamy coconut, but thankfully not too sweet. When I picked up my pre-order, the kuih had just been removed from the steamer and were still warm in the bag.

They continued to retain their heat so when I got home, I was treated to a truly  comforting, belly-warming afternoon tea snack. I chilled the other one in the fridge and it made for a really sublime dessert later on.

Kuih Jongkong production in progress!

All in all, I spent $17.70 on the 2 Ayam Penyet rice sets and 2 Kuih Jongkong, plus parking!

Here’s the breakdown:
Nasi Ayam Penyet – $5
Ayam Penyet Fried Rice – $5.50
(add $0.30 for takeaway containers – bring your own containers to save $ & the environment. I reuse the takeaway containers at home for leftovers and when I give food to friends and family)
Kuih Jongkong – $6 (each $3)
From home to the food centre for takeaway and back, I was done in less than 20 minutes flat. No Joke!

I have to say my trip to Tanglin Halt Food Centre was a double winner with Ayam Penyet from Warung O.M.C. and Kuih from Queenstown Lontong! If you’re popping by for your takeaway, the best time is in the afternoon before 3pm during this circuit breaker season.

TASTE:
Warung O.M.C.
Address: #01-17 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
2A Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 141002
Open: 8am–7pm (closed Sundays)
Order via: foodpanda.sg, deliveroo.com.sg, bungkus.sg
Tel: +65 98958581  (call in advance to order then pop in quickly to pick-up. Ample parking available).

Queenstown Lontong
Address: #01-21 Tanglin Halt Food Centre
Tel: +65 9182 2189 (WhatsApp Kuih Jongkong pre-orders only)
Opening Hours during Ramadan: 11am – 5pm.

STAY HOME & EAT – Thai Stewed Beef Boat Noodles & More!

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Click to listen/ download the podcast of this week’s beefy, brothy bowl of bliss!

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This circuit breaker season, as we all continue to stay home, I’m hunting down delicious food you can order in easily with a budget of around $20 including delivery fee & enough to feed 2 – 4 people. This week, I recommend a stall called Yuan at Ghim Moh Market that specialises in Thai stewed beef noodles. I went straight for their recommended signature beef combination boat noodles.

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stewed beef noodles still in their delivery container

At just $8 for a hugely generous portion, you get a choice of thin or thick bee hoon, kway teow or tang hoon. I went with the latter and it was a wonderful choice. The food was delivered still hot, with the beef broth packed separately to prevent sogginess. The tang hoon, or glass vermicelli, travelled well and arrived slippery-smooth yet springy. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t plain, but rather, seasoned and stir fried – good enough to eat dry on its own.

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stewed beef noodles in my serving bowl – presentation is key!

The great thing about a soupy dish is you can always reheat the broth for a piping hot meal. Pouring the hot soup over, I was rewarded with the mouthwatering mingling of rich beef broth, naturally sweetened with onion, dark soya sauce and spices. The soup was slightly herbal in flavour, which combined well with the garnish of  fragrant fried garlic, bean sprouts, shallots and spring onion. Topping it all off was a combo of tender stewed beef shank, lip-smackingly soft beef tendon, as well as slices of beef (beef balls are usually included, but due to Covid-19 affecting supplies, these are temporarily out of stock). Thai gun powder, or chilli flakes, is a must for added kick and I even mixed in a whole container of their chilli sauce which was awesome. Chillies and vinegar perfectly balanced heat, saltiness, sourness and a touch of sweetness to really brighten the whole bowl of beefy brothy bliss!

Continue reading “STAY HOME & EAT – Thai Stewed Beef Boat Noodles & More!”

Next-Level Mee Rebus & Satay

Noodles make me happy. Swimming in soup, or tossed in a sauce, they’re a comfort food like no other. Especially when they come covered in a rich, spicy sweet potato gravy. Literally “boiled noodles” in Malay, mee rebus is one local dish that transcends its rather plain definition. But what can take already transcendent mee rebus to a whole other level?

Two words. Satay Sauce.

Imagine thick, chunky, peanut sauce cascading over thick, smooth sweet potato gravy, blanketing boiled yellow noodles. These were noodles that took me beyond happy to joy unlimited.

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Extra Special Mee Rebus with hard boiled egg, whole chicken leg and satay sauce topping

This revelation was all thanks to my Makan Kaki, Juwanda Hassim, chef and owner of The Fabulous Baker Boy Bakery & Café. A childhood favourite he thought he’d lost forever, Rahim Muslim Food was a popular stall amongst Juwanda’s classmates when it was still operating out of an old shophouse near their school in Upper Serangoon. Fortunately, we managed to hunt down its current location in Ang Mo Kio, where I discovered why theirs is next-level mee rebus.

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Chicken Satay

And their satay is pretty extraordinary too!

with Mr Rahim & his daughter Fida
Mr Rahim & his daughter Fida with Denise


TASTE: Rahim Muslim Food is located at 453A Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Chong Boon Market, #01-01, Singapore 560453. It’s open Mondays to Fridays 12.30pm to 7.30pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11.30am to 7.30pm.
Tel: +65 97867362

HOKKIEN MEE WITH KILLER SAMBAL

Hello Makan Kakis!

In the labyrinth of stalls at ABC Brickworks Food Centre, one man has been quietly serving up outstanding hokkien mee since the 1980s. Only recently have his noodles been making a bigger noise, thanks to a Michelin Bib Gourmand mention. My Makan Kaki Koh Han Jie, Head Chef of Elfuego and quite the gourmand himself, recommended that I get in line despite the longer queues, to try Mr Toh Seng Wang’s expertly fried noodles. Which got me thinking – what makes this hokkien mee so special that people are willing to queue for a taste of it? You’re about to find out…

Click the links below for more on the perfectly fried hokkien mee from Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng:

TASTE: Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Hokkien Prawn Mee is located at ABC Brickworks Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-13, Singapore 150006. It’s open Thursdays to Tuesdays, 3pm to 10.45pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Tel: +65 98629296
*NOTE: ABC Brickworks Food Centre will close for Renovation Works From 16 Mar Till 15 May 2020. So hurry to get your noodle fix by the end of this week, or you’ll have to wait a month!

Char Kway Teow Worth Waking Up at 6am For!

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Click here to listen/ download podcast of this wokalicious episode!

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Char Kway Teow remains one of the most popular local dishes for us Makan Kakis, so get ready for a real treat today. Our Foodie Friend Shawn Kishore of The Salted Plum returns with his recommendation, a place he calls one of his all-time breakfast places.

“Char Kway Teow for breakfast?” We hear you say. The answer is YES and you’ll understand once you get a taste of this Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee’s specialty.

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Continue reading “Char Kway Teow Worth Waking Up at 6am For!”

Mind-blowing Zi Char at Maddie’s Kitchen

Say you’re walking along Orchard Road and the craving for hor fun strikes. Aside from run-of-the-mill food courts, where can you go for an excellent meal of zi char favourites?

This literally happened to my Gold 905 Makan Kaki, creator of Omakase Burger and owner of Picnic Food Park, Cheng Hsin Yao and his friend from out of town. Fortunately he already knew of one place he could recommend. A place that many fans are calling the best zi char you can get in the Orchard area.

Tucked away behind clothing boutiques, game shops and hair salons in Far East Plaza, this hidden gem has only been open for about a year and a half, but business has been so brisk that they’ve had to relocate from a small unit on the fifth floor to their current bigger space on the second floor… Click the links below for more on Maddie’s Kitchen!

It’s all in the family at Maddie’s Kitchen: Denise with chef-owner Seoh Mui Leng & her father-in-law Danny Ng.

TASTE:  Maddie’s Kitchen is located at #02-10/11/12/13, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213. It’s open daily, 11am – 9pm.
Tel: +65 63650501