Luscious & Lemak x 2 – Laksa & Chicken Curry!

Back with us is MasterChef Singapore judge, Chef Damian D’Silva of Singapore Heritage restaurant Rempapa (check out their Deepavali specials below) . A while back, he took us to one of his favourite stalls for Cantonese-style steamed dishes – Chef Chik at Haig Road Food Centre. We return to the same food centre to visit another stall for “Chinese-style lemak laksa” that Chef Damian really enjoys!

Click to listen/ download podcast of this doubly lusicious & lemak episode!



At Goody N Jolly, their laksa is prawn based, with a rich coconut broth and a rempah that has Chef Damian’s seal of approval.


This is the Prawn + Cockle version ($6), which comes with thick vermicelli, taupok, sliced fishcake, hard-boiled egg as well as prawns and cockles, of course!


Laksa gravy was indeed rich and coconutty, yet light but not cloying. Gentle heat came from the large dollop of sambal on top, which was  unusual and delicious – tangy and full of savoury umami!

Not a fan of cockles? There are other versions of the laksa to choose from – prawn + taupok ($5.50), shredded chicken + prawn ($6) and shredded chicken + taupok ($5).


Another must-try at Goody N Jolly is the curry chicken ($7), which you can enjoy with bread (local-style French loaf) or rice. I went for the laksa, but will return for this delectable curry, which turned out to be a complete revelation!

IMG_4982It came served piping hot in a large ceramic bowl filled with generous chunks of chicken that featured fork-tender meat and creamy-soft potatoes.


And you’re gonna want to drink up ALL the delcious gravy! Robust, deeply savoury & lip-smackingly tasty, the curry was rich in spices but not too hot. Lots of curry leaves added even more depth of flavour.


If ever you’re craving for a luscious, lemak and spicy meal, double your pleasure with the local delights served up so well at Goody N Jolly. By the way, if the name sounds familiar, they used operate from B1 of Parkway Parade, so if you’ve ever wondered where they went, they relocated 10 years ago to Haig Road Food Centre! Conveniently, they also run the drinks store (of the same name) right next door, which means a thirst quencher right after your hearty meal is literally just a step away.

Just note that they only open for laksa and curry chicken business only 4 times a week – Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday. Also, their curry is often sold out before 3pm so get there early!


Goody N Jolly (CDC VOUCHERS accepted here)
Haig Road Market & Food Centre
14 Haig Rd, #01-71, Singapore 430014
Open: 9.30am – 6pm (Closed Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays)


This Deepavali season, Chef Damian D’Silva continues his Cultural Celebration Series at Rempapa with 2 special dishes – one South Indian and one Northern Sri Lankan – which Chef Damian D’Silva learned from his beloved Grandad.

rempapa_deepavali_kool_4Kool ($80++, serves 4), a Northern Sri Lankan specialty follows a recipe belonging to a neighbour of his Grandad. The hearty soup consists of fresh seafood such as fish, crab, prawns, and cuttlefish; as well as vegetables such as long beans, sliced tapioca, and jackfruit seeds. Cooked brown rice and odiyal flour (from a root of the palmyra tree) are added to thicken the soup. Spicy and tangy, this robust stew takes 3 days of preparation, so it be sure to order 3 days in advance!

rempapa_deepavali_lamb dhalcha_1
Lamb Dhalcha ($60++ serves 4) is Chef Damian’s Eurasian interpretation of a traditional South Indian lentil stew, using his Grandad’s recipe that features smoked bacon bones. Lamb ribs, lentils and potatoes are spiced with cumin, fennel and coriander and cooked in coconut milk and tamarind juice for a rich, hearty, meaty treat to be eaten with chapati.

Only available till Monday 24 Oct – book ahead & get more info:
Tel: +65 9459 1603
Online: Click to reserve.


Continue reading “Luscious & Lemak x 2 – Laksa & Chicken Curry!”

CDC Voucher Best Eats – Loaded, Lemak Laksa!

Fresh off his win in July, MasterChef Singapore Season 3 winner Johnathan Chew, whose grandmother once sold kway chap & braised meats, suggested that I visit a relative’s stall for laksa that was “a cut above the rest”. Intrigued by the aspiring chef’s deep familial ties to hawker food, I headed for a kopitiam in the Tiong Bahru area to suss things out.


Lau Jiang Fishball Minced Meat Noodle, Laksa is run by Johnathan’s aunt, Ms Alexandrea Eng, whose her father started their original stall in 1971 at an HDB block along Alexandra Road. After the building went en bloc twenty years ago, they moved to their current location in Jalan Membina. The stall first established itself selling traditional Teochew-style bak chor mee, but they decided to diversify after the move by adding laksa to their menu.

Continue reading “CDC Voucher Best Eats – Loaded, Lemak Laksa!”

Our Fave National Eats Revisted Part 3 – Laksa Lemak

We complete this 3-part National Day series for the month of August by revisiting a special feature on a creamy, spicy, local noodle favourite. Over the years, different hawkers have found fame with their own special version of laksa lemak, so whether you prefer your laksa with or without hum (cockles), or noodles eaten with a spoon instead of chopsticks, here are three places recommended by Gold 905 listeners that we think are noteworthy:

HEAR: Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s spicy, coconutty, umami episode!

1. Katong Laksa

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, there are several laksa stalls all bearing the name of the East Coast area from which they started, each with their own fanatical following. But let’s not argue which is the best or the most original. This is just one of many delicious laksa experiences worth enjoying, especially when you meet the chatty man behind Katong Laksa, located at a row of shophouses along Changi Road, Mr George Ng. It was started in 1955 by Mr Ng’s father, who learnt the recipe from one of the original purveyors of the dish, nicknamed Janggut, aka Bearded One.

photo by Kelvin Chia

Second generation hawker George said he has three secrets to preparing laksa, based on Janggut’s orginal recipe, but he won’t share those with anyone. He was willing to reveal this little nugget though – he refuses to use pre-packaged coconut milk. He extracts it himself daily with a special machine that saves him time and effort. He told me proudly, “I bought it for $8000 from China. Coconut milk must always be fresh, otherwise the laksa gravy won’t as rich or tasty.”

Indeed, it was exactly as he said – a really enticing bowl of steaming hot laksa that carried the glorious fragrance of spices & shrimp. It had good colour, brightened by shiny orange spheres of oil floating atop a creamy broth that was absolutely jam-packed with goodies.

In my bowl, I could see the rempah had cooked down, leaving a fine sediment that mixed beautifully with lots of umami ground hae bee (dried baby shrimp) to really thicken the coconut milk. Little curds had formed, white specks dispersed throughout the broth, which George said is deliberate, “My fresh coconut has a lot of good fats and I want to see all those little white dots forming.”

For $5, a medium-sized bowl was filled with beansprouts, 4 slices of prawns, a spoonful of cockles and thinly-sliced fried fishcake. To finish, he garnished with a generous portion of fresh shredded laksa leaf and a dollop of his homemade chilli paste. It had a very pure chilli taste and a slight tang to lift the richness of the gravy. George was happy to disclose his simple recipe, “It’s just dried red chilli, season, add a little bit of the laksa rempah, grind to a paste and that’s it.”

Rich, creamy and super flavourful, George Ng’s Katong Laksa puts the luxe in laksa. You don’t need extras like lobster or abalone for that touch of luxury, it’s all in his lemak gravy, baby! Also, as he explained, “Passion. You don’t have that, forget it!”

Address: 307 Changi Road, S(419785)
Opening hours: 8am – 3pm (closed on alternate Tuesdays).
Tel: +65 90237360 to order in advance or for pick-up.

2. Sungei Road Laksa

For those who want a lighter, milder laksa, Sungei Road Laksa is a name that really needs no introduction. Honed from years of experience, this is an extremely well-oiled machine, run with absolute precision and calm. The day I visited, three ladies were hard at work preparing for the start of business. Bowls were being portioned with thick bee hoon, ingredients carefully laid out, large battered silver pot full of their famed gravy at the ready, sitting over a charcoal stove that was being stoked.

Served in light pink bowls on dark blue trays, the Sungei Road Laksa was cut into shorter strands and eaten with a spoon. Their gravy had a thinner, soupy consistency, with a hint of coconut milk. At first, I thought it wasn’t anything to shout about, but the savoury crustaceous broth base really developed in natural sweetness with each spoonful. The flavour took a more subtle approach, gently coaxing tastebuds awake. Then said tastebuds came roaring to life when their hae bee-heavy chilli paste was mixed in, along with finely julienned laksa leaf, which was by far the freshest and most aromatic I had tasted.

Ingredients like cockles, thick slices of fried fishcake and beansprouts were included in generous portions. For an additional $1, I ordered extra cockles, which were really plump, juicy and very fresh. Those little jewels of briny-sweetness were definitely a highlight.

Ultimately, Sungei Road Laksa is a great choice if you appreciate a more delicate, less cloying experience. This is a good bowl you can slurp down to its last drop without feeling guilty or uncomfortable. And at just $3 per dainty serving, it was easy on the wallet and the stomach.

Address: 27 Jalan Berseh, #01-100, S(200027)
Opening hours: 9.30am – 4pm (closed on Wednesdays)

3. 928 Yishun Laksa

Head to Yishun Central for what many say is the best laksa in the North of Singapore. And after enjoying two bowls in one day, I have to agree. 928 Yishun Laksa gets its name from its location at a block of flats. The 20-year-old family business operates out of a ground floor space tucked away in a corner. You might miss it if not for the persistently long lines. So make sure you know your orders well and pay up as briskly as they serve you – they have a never-ending stream of customers to feed.

At just $3.30 for a big, delicious bowl, I was pleasantly surprised at how many ingredients they packed in. Besides the hearty portion of chewy, al dente thick bee hoon (yellow noodles and thin bee hoon were other options), I found thick slices of fishcake, cockles, half a boiled egg, surimi (imitation crab stick), beansprouts and my favourite fried tofu puffs. Add $1 for extra cockles and fifty cents for all other ingredients.

Their laksa gravy had the boldest seasoning of the lot, aromatic with herbs, spices and dried shrimp, which were amplified by the superb chilli paste. This was the most significant component, showcasing the deep, funky brine of hae bee chased by a spicy kick. Though not as lemak as some Nyonya laksa, there was enough coconut milk in the gravy for it to have a silky richness.

928 Yishun Laksa’s affordable prices, punchy flavours and plentiful ingredients keep customers coming back and so would I. Even after a 25-minute drive to Yishun and 20-minute wait in line, I would return to empty two solid, satisfying bowls in just ten minutes again!

Address: 28 Yishun Central 1, #01-155, S(760928)
Opening hours: 8.30am – 7pm (closed on Wednesdays)

Best Eats in Katong Shopping Centre Basement

Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s trio of good eats!



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!


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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

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.


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!

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!

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.

Irene Ang Recommends Shiok Old-School Laksa

Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s spicy, lemak episode!


70d24b6d-95ac-47ea-94a5-6d4d41b944d6This week, our Makan Kaki, Fly Entertainment CEO and owner of Bar NKD, Fry Bistro & Soi Candy Thai Noodle and Seafood Bar, Irene Ang returns with a recommendation I really had to persuade her to share. This is her (until now) secret, go-to place for one of her favourite local dishes, LAKSA!


Due to the recurring F&B COVID-19 restrictions, when she’s not ordering in, she’s been making it a point to explore the Ang Mo Kio area near where she lives to support hawkers as much as possible. She joked that she was reluctant to reveal her Laksa place because she knows people will complain that they’ll have to queue for longer than before once word gets out! Fortunately for us, I managed to twist her arm and she finally shared that she has to visit this humble stall at Mayflower Food Centre at least once a week for her spicy, lemak fix. It’s a stall that’s been there for a long time and according to Irene, is usually run by an old uncle who only accepts standard orders for his coveted Laksa, because the queues are usually long.


Of course, I had to go check it out for myself and after doing a little research because Irene could only tell me the location of the stall, but not its name, I discovered that Quan Xing Mei Shi is the only stall at Mayflower Food Centre that sells Laksa. For some reason, it was closed the 2 times I paid it a visit – both times on a weekday morning at 9am, right smack in the middle of their alleged opening hours. Persevering, I was third time lucky. At the stall were an affable man and woman, but no sign of the “old uncle” Irene mentioned. Turns out, the younger gentleman is the son and he was the one who served me. I quickly dapao’d two portions to go (both for me, just in case – I’d worked so hard for my Laksa!).


Thoughtfully packed separately in bags (I paid extra for the reusable bowls in these photos) – the blanched noodles, beansprouts, sliced fish cake, a dollop of chilli paste and a generous scoop of laksa leaves went into one bag, whilst the hot gravy, thick-cut taupok (tofu puffs) and cockles went into the other. I would have preferred that the cockles were packed with the noodles instead to prevent overcooking, but they were so generous with the little shellfish (I counted at least 12), I really couldn’t complain. At least they were sweet and fresh and didn’t end up rubbery!


As Irene was telling me, the stall doesn’t usually accept any special orders – you take your Laksa as they make it – absolutely no permutations, except you can choose between yellow noodles or thick bee hoon (chu mi fen). Even without the old man there, I didn’t dare push my luck with his son and obediently went with their standard, which was a good portion. Irene loves that one can have a whole bowl of this Laksa and not feel too full or jelak.


Continue reading “Irene Ang Recommends Shiok Old-School Laksa”

Laksa Lemak Worthy of a MasterChef!

Hey Makan Kakis! Look who we have as this week’s guest? Fresh from his triumph at MasterChef Singapore Season 2, Winner Derek Cheong joins Denise online & on-air to chat about his journey to being Singapore’s new MasterChef.


  • Click to listen/ download podcast (Part 1) – Derek talking about his reaction to his win in the MasterChef kitchen, his thoughts on the judges, the biggest lessons he’s learnt along the way and what he’s doing with his $15,000 cash prize (only what a “mad scientist” would buy!).
  • Click to listen/ download podcast (Part 2) – How Derek put his 3rd year engineering studies on hold to join MasterChef, who his culinary hero is, which culinary books have inspired him, the first dish he ever cooked and his ideal dinner party guest/ meal.
  • Click to listen/ download podcast (Part 3) – Derek recommends his go-to place for his ultimate comfort food, Laksa and reveals his exciting new job.


Despite his reputation as a fine-dining chef and “mad scientist” with a penchant for molecular gastronomy, MasterChef Derek Cheong maintains that he’s still a “Hawker Boy” at heart. So when he’s in need of a bowl of coconutty comfort, this famous Laksa brand is his absolute go-to. 328 Katong Laksa is one of the handful of Katong rivals for good reason. It really is very, very good.

Continue reading “Laksa Lemak Worthy of a MasterChef!”

Penang-Style Char Kway Teow & Fried Chicken?


Hello Foodie Friends!

Today, our Makan Kaki is Host of Talking Point, Steven Chia, who has previously regaled us with tales of his investigations into bread, instant noodles and bubble tea. This time, he joins us to talk about FRIED CHICKEN!

Why can’t Singaporeans get enough of it? Just how many varieties are out there in the market? Is there such a thing as healthy fried chicken? And what happened to Steven when he subjected himself to a Talking Point experiment to eat fried chicken everyday for 2 weeks straight?

Steve gives us a little taster of what to expect in his  2-part Talking Point special – catch it this week (15 April) & next (Thurs 22 April), 9.30pm on Channel 5 or via CNA!

And with all his food adventures, we had to ask him – where he goes for his favourite foods. Keep reading for his makan recommendation!




One of Steve’s family favourites is a Malaysian-Chinese restaurant in the West Coast area that serves up classic Penang-style dishes. In particular, Steve loves Penang Island Kitchen’s char kway teow ($12). It’s not too oily nor sweet, has lots of wok hei and is fried with lots of egg and bean sprouts, just the way Steve likes it. Packed with a generous poriton of lup cheong (chinese sausage), sliced fish cake and prawns, this noodle dish really hits the spot!


Continue reading “Penang-Style Char Kway Teow & Fried Chicken?”



Our hawker culture has officially been added to the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! In celebration, let’s go back and explore some of our best-loved hawker dishes, as voted by GOLD 905 listeners earlier this year. Simply scroll through & click on the list I’ve conveniently compiled for you below.

With sincere thanks to all the hawkers past, present and future, for all your hard work, expertise and contributions to Singapore’s unique food heritage. We salute you!

For more, come back often and explore my entire archive of delicious Makan Kakis recommendations!

x denise

  1. Click the pic below for Chicken Rice options:

2. Click the pic below for Laksa options:

3. Click the pic below for Chilli Crab options:

4. Click the pic below for Hokkien Mee options:

5. Click the pic below for Rojak options: