Best of 2017 – Makan Kakis’ Top Ten List

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Gluttonous Greetings Everyone & Happy New Year!

2017 saw a whole host of new foodie friends joining our rolling panel of Makan Kakis and along with them came a stupendous slew of new & delicious food recommendations. So as we begin 2018, let’s take a look back at some of the most popular makan places that really caught your attention in 2017. Click on each for details & enjoy!

10. Another Best Contender for Bak Chor Mee?
9. Curry Rice that’s a CUT Above!
8. Firebaked Excellence
7. Geylang Hokkien Mee NOT in Geylang
6. Super Crispy Prata
5. Raw Egg Bak Chor Mee?!
4. Nuts about Pistachio Grill
3. Magnificent Mee Pok
2. Karried Away by Kway Chap
1. Die-Die-Must-Try Fishball & Herh Keow

Just wanna listen to the audio? Click here!

Thank you so much for your support of our tasty little segment on Gold 905 and for helping it grow bigger and better. If you like what you hear on air and what you see here on the blog, do share share share! Here’s to yet another year of yum – may your 2018 be overflowing with the best things to eat and drink – Season’s Eatings!

P.S.

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Another Contender for Best Bak Chor Mee?

Today we have a pair of very interesting and talented studio guests who are doing their part to promote culinary & cultural exchange between Germany and Singapore! They are 1-Michelin Starred Chef Oliver Röder from Bembergs Häuschen, famous for putting a modern spin on traditional German & Eifel cuisines, as well as Singapore’s emerging hawker, Kai of Roast Paradise at Old Airport Road Food Centre. Scroll all the way down for his Bak Chor Mee recommendation!

On-air, we had a great chat about their own personal culinary backgrounds, their food philosophies, what they like to cook at home for friends and family when they aren’t cooking for work, and also more about Chef Oliver’s first-time visit to Singapore. Besides experiencing Kai’s pork roasting techniques and sampling his deliciously charred delicacies, Chef Oliver had a wet market visit and a joint cooking collaboration with Kai at the German Ambassador’s residence (see photos below).

Char Siew, dripping with marinade, being roasted over a charcoal fire
Creating sparks with roasted meats!
They actually removed the whole bespoke oven from their stall in Old Airport Road Food Centre, hired a lorry & transported it to the German Ambassador’s home!
Kai and their makeshift meat rack!
Gloriously charred pork, burnished a deep caramel.

HEAR:

SEE:

Kai’s roast meat stall is at the famous Old Airport Road Food Centre, so it’s only natural he gravitates towards makan places close by. Case in point, a nondescript stall in a coffee shop a little way down the road, at Block 21. But it is here that he believes he has found his personal favourite bak chor mee. It’s really the perfect place for really late-nightbirds, or really early breakfasters, since it opens only from 4-10am. What makes the noodles here good (be sure to order them dry with chilli), is the perfect balance that we look for, between the meatiness, the fishiness, the al dente noodle texture, the combination of lard (ask the uncle for lots – it’s extra crispy!), oil and sauces. This is a good, honest bowl of mee pok that really hits the spot.

TASTE:
Handmade Fishball & Minced Meat Noodles
Choon Guan Eating House
Block 21 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390021
Open Daily 4am – 10am (but may sell-out even before 10am, so get there early!)

VIDEO: FISHBALL/ HERH KEOW MEE

File_000 (1)You heard it first on radio, now catch Gold 905’s popular good food guide on video! We’ve upsized your Makan Kakis experience with this new series featuring themed episodes in which Denise from the Lunchtime Jukebox gives you two choices for a specific local favourite. In this first episode, she takes you from Little India to Newton and offers up two delicious options for Teochew Fish Ball/ Her Keow (fish dumpling) Noodles in Singapore, as recommended by her Makan Kakis Chef Anthony Yeoh & KF Seetoh

CLICK to watch the full video!

You can also read more about these two stalls:
Try THIS: Ah Ho Teochew Kway Teow Mee
Or THAT: Soon Wah Fish Ball Noodle

Die-Die Must Try Fishball & Her Keow

HEAR:
Click here to listen to this week’s big, bold bouncing ball of fishy goodness!

SEE:
Our dude with the food, Makan Guru KF Seetoh is back with a recent rediscovery of a fishball noodle stall that has been around forever – hawker legends that hail back to the original Orchard Carpark Hawkers (opposite Centrepoint) in the 1960s. They’ve been plying their trade for decades, doing things old school, the traditional Teochew way. On a recent jaunt to, of all places, Newton Hawker Centre (yes, a bit of a tourist trap, but admit it – there are still a handful of excellent stalls selling excellent food there!), Seetoh decided to try a bowl of fish ball kway teow soup at this stall he’d long forgotten about.

From a pail in which hundreds of dimply golf-ball-sized fishballs floated, the Teochew Ah Hia (big brother) scooped out a few, dumped it into the soup along with a few other choice ingredients and seasonings and served up a piping hot bowl of comfort to Seetoh. First things first, the soup – redolent with the heady aroma of fish bones, which have been roasted, blitzed and added to the stock along with seasonings, this soup is clear, not cloudy and is made even more delicious with a dollop of crispy fried lard bits, a sprinkling of spring onions and tang cai (savoury, pickled vegetable). Next, come the fishballs…

You know a fishball is good when it’s, in Seetoh’s words, “PIMPLY!” The dimply, dappled surface of each enormous fishball is testament to its handmade quality. No machines here! That’s why no fishball looks the same, each is slightly misshapen and yes, “pimply”! Pure fish meat is folded and shaped and kneaded so much so that lots of air (for bounce) and juices get trapped in – the flavour is locked in tight. On first bite, Seetoh noticed just how traditional these fishballs are – fishbones are blended into the fish paste so you get that added fine fishy powder and tiny crunchy bits of extra texture and taste.

And then, as if that’s not enough, next come the Her Keow (or fish dumplings or fish ravioli!). These fat, bulbous dumplings are folded expertly to encase a yummy morsel of meat within – no diet-sized, insipid, flat, all-flour-no-substance factory-made imitations here! These are slippery little nuggets of pure Teochew tradition – hand folded with a “skin” made from actual fish paste and a little bit of flour for resilience (in other words, it’s made from the same stuff as the fishballs!), with a minced pork and tee por stuffing. Tee por is a wonderfully umami ingredient – sundried, smoked sole fish bones that are either roasted or deep-fried, then pulverised into a magic dust that’s sprinkled everywhere for extra deep, smoky fish flavour.

And that, Makan Kakis, is why these guys are still legends. Don’t ever forget them. Seetoh says, “DIE-DIE MUST TRY!”, so head over this evening to Newton and rediscover Soon Wah Fishballs and Her Keow! Seetoh loves the kway teow soup, but for Denise, it’s got to be a bowl of mee pok tah (dry with lots of vinegar and chilli), and a bowl of fishballs, her keow and fishcake on the side. Heaven!

P.S. Read more about these fishballs and her keow on Makansutra.com!

TASTE:
Soon Wah Fish Ball Noodle
Newton Circus Hawker Centre
#01-69
500 Clemenceau Ave North
Open 5.30pm-11.30pm, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays