Soup or Dry, This Prawn Mee Hits the Spot!

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Our Makan Kakis Lambert Chen (co-owner of Seafood Restaurant Diamond Kitchen & Modern Japanese Izakaya iKO) is back this week to tell us about his favourite place for Prawn Noodles and it’s a stall at Adam Road Food Centre that really needs no introduction. Adam Road Noo Cheng Big Prawn Noodle has been around for decades and Lambert finds himself returning often for a hearty prawn-centric meal.

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This Penang Char Kway Teow Hits The Spot!

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IMG_2848Our Makan Kaki, the guy behind premium online seafood delivery platform Ooster Bay, as well as restaurants Uni Gallery & Caviar, Jason Ong is back with another yummy recommendation and this time, it’s for a quick & tasty dish conveniently found at a mall! Great World, to be exact. How appropriate, as the mall brings the flavours of the world to you, so you don’t need to travel for a taste of Penang Char Kway Teow!

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Usually, a thinner flat rice noodle is used in the Penang-style, which is lighter and much more savoury because it doesn’t contain the thick, sweet, dark soy sauce used in our local version. It’s for this reason that Jason prefers the Malaysian version, which isn’t sweet. Even when ordering local Char Kway Teow, he asks for the dark sauce to be left out. So really, Penang Char Kway Teow is perfect for his palate.

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Dumplings, Putien-style Lor Mee & Zha Jiang Mian

img_1983Hey Makan Kakis!

This week, we welcome the return of Chef Ming Tan, who was last with us when he was guest-judging Masterchef Singapore. Lots has happened since and he’s now Brand Director of The Refectory a multi-label F&B lifestyle hub which includes GLEAN Café, BRDL Bar & Restaurant and The Dining Hall. He’s also currently hosting CNA’s Food to Change the World (on every Monday or catch up on MeWatch).

Before he recommends his first makan place, we catch up with Chef Ming on those projects and also ask him the usual fun, food-related questions. He tells us the weirdest thing he’s ever eaten, corrects Denise on how to eat his beloved Dutch Gouda cheese (this might involve tiny cubes & Tupperware) and which two famous dead people he’d invite to his fantasy dinner party. Listen to our chat right now!

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Chef Ming has been returning to this stall at Newton Hawker Centre for his noodle fix these days, because he can’t get enough of their Zha Jiang Mian (he has a special way of ordering it and we’ll get to that later), even though they are known for their Putien-style Lor Mee. Stall number 50: Pu Xin serves up a range of Chinese dishes like noodles and dumplings that really hit the spot when you’re on the prowl for some late-night eats.

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Spicy Specialty Prawn Noodles!

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Hello Makan Kakis, so the most-coveted dish of 2021 on this blog was prawn noodles. It would seem you can’t get enough of this beloved hawker dish, so how lucky are we that our Foodie Friend, author and chef of private dining outfit Fatfuku, Annette Tan is back to recommend one of her favourites?

Taking us on another traipse to the East, she loves this particular place for prawn noodles and returns often for a satisfying lunch (but this place is open all-day for breakfast to dinner, 9am -9pm). Joo Chiat Road is renowned for its cornucopia of delicious things to eat and before you conclude Annette is referring to (darling of many foodies) Da Dong Prawn Noodles, she’s instead offering up an alternative found just a few doors away – East Treasure Specialty Prawn Noodle – which she prefers.

Why? Well, just take a look at these lovely, vibrant bowls of intense prawniness! At East Treasure (by the same folks behind Aston’s), you’ll find various types of prawn noodles, from their Classic Prawn Noodles to Supreme Prawn Noodles (with prawns, pork belly slices, pork rib and pork tail), but the one Annette always goes for is their Penang Big Prawn Noodles (yes even the prawns come in different sizes – you can choose between the regular-sized or larger ones). 

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GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ZICHAR (EAST COAST RD)

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Hi Makan Kakis! This week, our foodie friend Lyn Lee of Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand returns to take us back to her beloved Katong neighbourhood for one of her favourite zi char places.

Sin Hoi Sai Eating House on East Coast Road is a familar Katong family-run business that Lyn has been patronising for a long time, so much so that matriach Madam Yap has become a friend. According to Lyn, Madam Yap has been working since she was 14 years old and her brother is the head chef in kitchen of the zichar restaurant they started in 1981.

Covid-19 safety measures and dining restrictions really hurt them, but it’s heartening to see them still soldiering on and making efforts to pivot. Whilst dining groups remain painfully small, kerb-side pickups and online orders/ delivery are available.

So what’s good to eat at Sin Hoi Sai? Read on for Lyn’s recommendations!

Continue reading “GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ZICHAR (EAST COAST RD)”

Authentic Thai Food by Home-based Indian Chef Raised in Bangkok

Our Foodie Friend Annette Tan of FatFuku Private Dining returns this New Year to tell us about her delicious collaboration with Luke’s Lobster and their first-year anniversary in Singapore. They’re celebrating with a limited edition menu of signature rolls that have been given a local twist by homegrown chefs, like Annette. Here, she tells us about her Peranakan-inspired Sambal Achar roll. Listen now and scroll down to the end for more lobstery details!

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Annette also recommends one of her latest Instagram food discoveries – @part.thai. A home-based private dining experience started by Le Cordon Bleu Paris-trained chef, Rishi Arora. Having worked extensively in the corporate F&B industry and as the co-founder of Bangkok’s award-winning Tribeca Restobar, Chef Rishi certainly has the culinary chops.

With @part.thai, he creates bold, punchy dishes that draw on his memories of growing up in Bangkok. For Annette, it was love at first bite and good news if you can’t snag a coveted private dining booking, Chef Rishi has a smashing takeaway/ delivery menu which I gamely ordered from.

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What I experienced with @part.thai (even in a regular delivery) was beautifully-prepared food that was lip-smackingly delicious, spicy and like a comforting hug from Mother. In fact, Annette’s favourite dish is Mama Knows Best (based on a beloved recipe from Chef Rishi’s mum), best described as fish, tiger prawns, chicken or tofu ($25/ $35) given a liberal tom-yum-esque marinade then fried to spicy, tongue-tingling perfection.

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Best Eats in Katong Shopping Centre Basement

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This week, our foodie friend Lyn Lee of Awfully Chocolate & Sinpopo Brand is fresh from her visit to an East-side haunt of hers, a place that’s been around for decades and was once the “hippest mall” in Katong. Eastsiders are no doubt familiar with Katong Shopping Centre, once full of tailor and dress-making shops, now filled with maid agencies and tuition centres, along with even a Ghostbuster shop! But this historical mall is probably best known for its culinary delights, found especially in the basement food court. Many swear by the chicken rice found there, literally called Delicious Chicken Rice, but there are many other yummy dishes to try, which Lyn recommends. The day she was there recently, the chicken rice stall was shut so she managed to snag a hard-to-find table in the always-busy food court, the better to enjoy her favorite dish from there – LAKSA YONG TAU FOO!

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Located in the corner, Katong Yong Tau Foo sells a variety of dishes, but Lyn’s go-to is choose-your-own yong tau foo in laksa gravy, with your choice of noodles. She always goes for the instant mee, which are cooked to al dente, QQ perfection.

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A basic bowl of Laksa Yong Tau Foo costs $5.60, including noodles and six other ingredients (your choice, see the selection in the photos above).

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According to Lyn, what she loves is that that the Laksa gravy is tasty yet not too overwhelming that you forget you’re actually eating yong tau foo.

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Indeed, when I stopped by to give it a try myself, the gravy was mellow and creamy from coconut milk, but not cloying or overly rich. Mildly spicy, you can ask for more sambal chilli if you prefer more kick. A sprinkle of finely-chopped laksa leaves add that quintessential fragrance and flavour to the dish.

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My portion cost $9.80 because, greedy me, I chose 11 ingredients, including fishpaste-stuffed tau pok, beancurd skin, brinjal, chilli, capsicum, mushrooms and vegetables.

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This made for a very hearty, belly-warming meal that was full of umami and spice you like from laksa, combined with the freshly-made goodness of yong tau foo.

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Lyn also found a stall in the food court she reckons hasn’t been there for very long. Specialising in Malaysian-style Chinese delicacies, Ipoh Tuck Kee Son’s Dai Loke Mee was a marvelous discovery that she highly recommends.

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For just $5, she got a fresh-from-the-wok serving of fried noodles in a dark brown sauce that looks very similar to the famous KL-style Hokkien Mee. The noodles were thick, tender, yet with a pleasing chewiness, stir-fried in a silky dark soy-based sauce.

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Juicy whole prawns, fresh cai xin, pork slices and (most unusual but welcome) sections of small powder intestine made up the ingredients of the Dai Loke Mee.

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The distinct metallic offal taste of the small intestines delighted, along with the crunchy slivers of fatty pork slices.

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And dotted here and there, were crispy little gems of pork lard, adding texture and flavour to an already tasty dish. The saucy, garlicky noodles had that coveted wok-hei and you could really taste the char from a well-seasoned pan.

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For even more flavour, don’t forget to add their house chilli sauce and pickled green chill slices!

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photo courtesy of Lyn Lee

We’ll soon be hurrying back to sample more of the dishes from their extensive menu, especially since this seems to be a well-oiled set-up, with the kitchen equipment of a zichar restaurant and signature noodle dishes that look very enticing.

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One last honourable mention from Lyn is the fried carrot cake, which sadly, was sold out when I visited (it must be that good!).

IMG_4375Lyn says that this is an excellent carrot cake – generously fried with egg and particularly impressive because of the extra topping of chye poh (preserved radish). Look at those giant shavings of the salty-sweet pickle on top of the black version!

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photo courtesy of Lyn Lee

And there you have it, besides the famous Delicious Chicken Rice in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre, there are quite a few more wonderful stalls to check out in the same food court. So whether its Laksa Yong Tau Foo with Maggi Mee, or Malaysian-style fried noodles, or Chye Tow Kueh, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

TASTE:
Katong Shopping Centre Basement Food Court
#B1-85/87, 865 Mountbatten Road, S(437844)

  1. Katong Yong Tau Foo, open 9.30am – 8pm (closed Thursdays)
  2. Ipoh Tuck Kee Son (怡保德记仔), open daily 11am – 3pm; 5 – 9.30pm
  3. Wah Soon Kei Carrot Cake, open 10.15am – 7pm (weekdays), 9.15am – 7pm (weekends & public holidays), closed Tuesdays.

Double Prawn Power – Hae Mee & Fried Hokkien Mee

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Hi Makan Kakis, this week our foodie friend, Fly Entertainment CEO and owner of Bar NKD, Fry Bistro & Soi Candy Thai Noodle and Seafood Bar, Irene Ang returns with another solid makan place for us to check out. Last time she was with us, she recommended her favourite old school laksa lemak, which often sees long queues. But if youdon’t fancy the wait, you must try another stall in the same Mayflower Food Centre – 3 Sisters Prawn Noodle. Irene says their specialties are also very good!

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Their Prawn Noodles (soup & dry), as well as Fried Hokkien Mee boast old-school flavours too. And in case there was any doubt, the stall is really run by 3 sisters! According to Irene, there you’ll see the eldest sister in charge, taking orders, a 2nd sister cooking prawn noodles and a 3rd sister frying the Hokkien Mee.

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You have to admit, it’s a brilliant idea to sell both types. The same fragrant prawn stock from the prawn noodles is used in the making of their hokkien mee, which brings a lovely synergy to both dishes, whether you enjoy your noodles soup, dry or drenched in gravy!

Continue reading “Double Prawn Power – Hae Mee & Fried Hokkien Mee”