Nasi Jenganan & Rawon!  


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Click to listen to this week’s gravy-laden rice episode!

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This week sees the return of our Makan Kaki, Batik Fashion fashion designer, avid home cook & rice-mad “Nasi Girl”, Oniatta Effendi. There’s not a day that she doesn’t eat rice, so really, you should trust her when she says this makan place that specializes in two unusual rice dishes is SO GOOD! Have you heard of Nasi Jenganan or Nasi Rawon? Frequent customers to Bedok Corner Food Centre may be familiar with these complete plate meals, but Denise confesses to never having heard of them till now. And after a trek to the East to try Oniatta’s recommendation, you have a convert in Denise.

Here’s why:

Both dishes come with the same ingredients – steaming hot rice, Paru (fried beef lung), Begedil & Sambal Sotong. The difference is in the wonderfully aromatic and tasty gravies poured over each rice dish.

For Nasi Jenganan (which is only available on Sundays), the gravy is a thick, peanut sauce with a spicy chilli kick that’s not too sweet. So deliciously rich and nutty, it smothers a serving of boiled kang kong, bean sprouts and fried bean curd. Everything mixed together is a wonderful experience of textures and spicy-savoury-sweet flavours.

The Paru is delightfully crisp & springy, yet tender, with a hint of that beefy, metallic offal flavour (but not unpleasantly so). The squid is soft and yielding having been simmered in a sweet and spicy sambal.

The Begedil is outstanding here, as it is cooked to order and arrives on your plate fresh out of the kwali, hot and crispy on the outside, meltingly soft and creamy on the inside.

As for the Nasi Rawon, the gravy is an earthy sauce made from Buah Keluak! The bitter-sweet, pleasingly muddy flavour of this nut is cooked with beef shin, seasoned & sweetened, then poured liberally over the rice plate, till every ingredient is bathed in the liquid black gold!

Chunks of meaty beef shin soaked in the Rawon sauce dot the plate & with the addition of a mind-blowing sambal chilli that’s salty & tangy, you have the perfect balance for the sweet, earthy Rawon gravy.

The rice is topped off with crispy, sweet and spicy Serunding, which takes the entire plate just over the top!

Satay Solo also serves classics like Satay, Ayam Penyet as well as Mee Soto, but truly, it’s their Nasi Jenganan & Rawon you should try. Just remember the Nasi Jenganan is served exclusively on Sundays only and Satay Solo sees long queues from as early as 8am. But thankfully when we went on Sunday at 12.30pm, we still managed to get 2 plates of Nasi Jenganan despite the queue! While you’re at Bedok Corner Food Centre, Oniatta also recommends the Chang Tng stall for an icy dessert to complete your meal!

TASTE:
SATAY SOLO
1 Bedok Road, Bedok Corner Food Centre (opposite Bedok Army Camp)
Stall No. 9, Singapore 469572
Open 7am – 10pm (Tues – Sun, closed Mon)
Tel: +65 97110116

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Try this Seafood Restaurant’s MEAT!

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CLICK for audio of this week’s beefy, fatty episode!

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This week, Chef Tim Ross-Watson invites us to revisit a well-known seafood restaurant, not for its seafood, but oddly enough, for its top-notch meat dishes. New Ubin Seafood doesn’t really need an introduction, except to say this place has been consistently good and it’s still making headlines after a recent move from Sin Ming to Hillview.

So the usual suspects like crab, cereal prawn & 3 egg veg aside, Chef Tim reckons the best thing on their menu is their steak, which is juicy and done to your preference.


It comes with crispy and fluffy potato wedges on the side, along with sea salt, caramelised onions, ketchup and english mustard, but really what you want to order along with the meaty platter is their dirty fried rice.

All the pan drippings and caramelised bits at the bottom of the pan (i.e. the “dirty” pan) are used to fry rice to a deep, dark burnished deliciousness. Beef trimmings are added to the hot pan and tossed in the rice and beef fat till crunchy and oh so good.

You get a sinfully rich beef fat fried rice packed full of flavour and texture. Some customers also call it heart attack fried rice, for good reason! Take note though, you need to order the steak to get the fried rice. Remember: no steak, no rice, no joy!

To up the coronary-destroying factor, Chef Tim suggests ordering a side of foie gras egg – essentially, a decadent sous vide egg with generous chunks of goose liver – and then mixing the whole lot in with the fried rice. What you get is a ridiculously luxurious, calorific, fatty flavour bomb in your mouth! Chef Tim’s final recommendation is the Kurobuta pork jowl satay, which is tender and charred to perfection.


So really, you do get the best of both worlds at New Ubin – great seafood, but also really excellent meat dishes that are absolutely irresistible! What also makes this restaurant different is, despite its humble, casual setting, they have a very impressive range of wines and the affable boss Mr Pang has been known to join diners for a glass of whisky or 2!

TASTE:
NEW UBIN SEAFOOD
63 Hillview Avenue
Lam Soon Industrial Building
#06-00
Singapore 669569

Open Daily: 11AM – 2PM; 5.30 – 10.30PM

Tel: +65 6466 9558 / +65 9740 6870

A-MAZE-ing Mod-Sin at Labryinth

HEAR:
Click here to listen to this week’s Mod-Sin episode!

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This week, our Makan Kaki Chef Anthony Yeoh is back with a brand new appointment as Executive Group Chef of restaurants Artichoke & Bird Bird, and also a brand new recommendation. Adding to his growing list of chefs helming local restaurants (these are his peers, whom he thinks are doing an excellent job and deserve a shout out), he wants to highlight the food being served at modern Singaporean restaurant Labyrinth at the Esplanade. The Chef-Owner behind this innovative restaurant is Han Li Guang, who has a real knack for combining refined Western techniques with the familiar flavours of foods we grew up with here in Singapore. A lot of the food you’re gonna try at Labyrinth will look nothing like what we know, but once you have a taste, bam! You instantly make that connection. Case in point, a couple of dishes from their lunch menu that blew Chef Tony away  (keeping in mind they change their menu often to showcase the amazing things they can do):

The Curry Chicken Rice is a modern take on the humble Hainanese curry rice. This hawker classic is usually a brown pile of yummy slop on your plate, but at Labyrinth, everything is elevated. First of all, it’s really quite aesthetically pleasing, resembling a garden almost. Secondly, the method of preparation and the taste! Instead of white rice, you get a fragrant, nutty, curry-spiced quinoa, a delicious “clay” potato that looks like a rock and the chicken comes in form of a light, delicate, mousseline ball.
The other outstanding dish was the Beef Satay. Wagyu ribeye is sous vided till tender then served with ‘ketupat’ which turned out to be an oniony-peanut mochi! Again, not instantly recognisable to the eye, but your tastebuds will jump with joy and recognition of that distinct local satay flavour!

So for a surprising treatment of familiar Singapore flavours, using modern Western cooking techniques, Chef Han & his team at Labyrinth are leading the charge, keeping traditional tastes alive through creativity and innovation. For a spot of fine-dining in a beautiful setting, featuring elevated Modern Singapore cuisine, do pay a visit to Labyrinth!

TASTE:
Restaurant Labyrinth
Esplanade Mall
8 Raffles Avenue #02-23
Singapore 039802

Opening Hours:
Lunch 12 – 2.30pm (Tue – Fri, except PH)
Pre-Theatre 6pm (Thu – Sat)
Dinner 6.30 – 11pm (Tue – Sun)

Tel: + 65 62234098

Satay So Sedap!

lau-par-sat-satay-stall-8-assorted-satay-chicken-babat-muttonHEAR:
Click here to listen to Fir Rahman’s satay recommendation!

SEE:
This week, our Makan Kaki and actor Fir Rahman (currently starring in Toy Factory Productions’ Prism at the Drama Centre till 5 Mar) returns to tell us about his favourite place for satay. When it comes to these traditional Asian skewers of marinated meats, Fir’s go-to is Lau Pa Sat, but amongst the many stalls there plying their trade by night, which should you choose? Fir’s choice is Stall Number 8 for one very simple reason – friendship! His friend’s dad sells satay at stall 8, so not only does he get a delicious meal, he gets treated very well. Ok, so even if you don’t have that friendship connection, this satay is worth a try – choose from meats like chicken, beef, mutton (Fir’s favourite), babat (tripe), and even whole prawns on skewers. Fir loves the strong, gamey flavour of the mutton because it goes very well with the peanut sauce, which is earthy, spicy-sweet and holds up well to the meat. But the mutton is so tasty, you can even eat it alone. And if mutton’s not for you, Fir also recommends the extra spicy chicken chilli padi satay! Add onions, cucumber and ketupat, you’re in charcoal BBQ heaven!
lau-par-sat-satay-stall-8-shopfrontTASTE:
Best Satay Stall 8
Lau Pa Sat Satay Street (outdoors)
18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Open daily: 7pm till late.

More Than Just Prawn Noodles & Nasi Lemak

Everyone knows Adam Road Food Centre is a great place to go for famous Nasi Lemak & Prawn Noodles, but this week, our brand new Makan Kaki, The Fabulous Baker Boy Juwanda Hassim, suggests we look closer for other delicious options. Having grown up a stone’s throw from the hawker centre, Juwanda reveals his three favourite stalls:
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1. Zaiton Satay, run by the affable Yusoff, serves up flavourful skewers of charcoal-grilled meats, ranging from chicken, to beef, to mutton. These aren’t just sticks of minced mush, but proper chunks of spice-infused marinated meat, with just enough fat to keep things moist and tender.
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But the real winner and star of this stall is the savoury sauce – a little sweet, very peanuty, with a powerful, spicy kick that goes tremendously well with the satay. Take a look at that “cauldron” of hot, simmering sauce – you know that it’s good when they sell out in no time!
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2. Another favourite is the stall that serves up piping-hot bowls of Sop Kambing. Bahrakath Mutton Soup is the King of all mutton soups, as far as both Juwanda & Denise are concerned!
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They both agree on its irresistable taste – throat-ticklingly peppery, satisfyingly savoury, comforting and full of meaty flavour without being too gamey. This is a standard serving of spicy soup with boneless meat, but you have lots of other options, if you prefer different parts – leg, tongue, brain, tripe and Juwanda’s top choice, RIBS!
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3. If meats aren’t your thing, head to Adam Seafood BBQ for their signature panggang stingray, slathered in sambal chilli.
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This BBQ stingray is always fresh, smokey and charred from the grill, but still juicy and packed with flavour from the sambal, which is a little sweet, not too fiery, yet perfectly balanced. For Juwanda, eating is always more pleasurable when the dish holds a certain nostalgia and this one does – he’s been eating the stingray here since he was a teen and it still tastes the same!
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Be sure to ask for their ridiculously good chinchalok dipping sauce too if you’re eating here. It’s so addictive, Juwanda can eat it alone with a spoon – the salty, shrimpy stuff should be sold in jars!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S TRIPLE-WHAMMY EPISODE AGAIN!

Adam Road Food Centre
Zaiton Satay (Open Daily, 8am – 9pm)
Bahrakath Mutton Soup (Open Daily, 1pm – 3am)
Adam Seafood BBQ (Open Tues – Sun, 4.30pm – 12 midnight)

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Juwanda & Denise