Teochew Heritage Food

Click here to listen to this week’s tasty Teochew episode (podcast also available for download!).

Greetings, Greedies! Our Makan Kaki Chef Daniel Tay really does adore his Teochew Cuisine and this week, he returns with another one of his favourite restaurants in the East of Singapore. It’s a heritage family restaurant with over 40 years of history, so rest assured that you’ll get high quality, authentic, tasty Teochew dishes here at Chin Lee.

Chef Daniel’s must-try recommendation is the classic Steamed Pomfret, with shitake mushroom, tofu, sour plum and ginger in a clear, fragrant broth.

Continue reading “Teochew Heritage Food”


This Zichar Takes the KEK!

timdWe have a new Makan Kaki, everyone! Chef Tim Ross-Watson is from the UK, but has been in Singapore for almost a decade now and is the owner of a funky little Modern European Restaurant/ Bar on North Canal Road called PYXIEMOSS, that serves cocktails, small sharing plates and late night treats. Check back here soon for Denise’s take on the PYXIEMOSS experience – suffice to say if a chef can get her to eat & ENJOY an entire dish made from celery (and she hates celery), he needs to be a part of the Makan Kaki gang!

Click to hear parts 1 & 2 of our intro to Chef Tim – he talks about his new restaurant, his rebel approach to food & memories as a kid raiding the cabinets for Sherry and learning to make satay on the streets of Indonesia.
Click here to listen to his first Makan Kakis recommendation, or read on for the details!

When Chef Tim first arrived in Singapore 10 years ago, this was one of the first restaurants he visited. Since then, he’s gone back again and again because you’ll get quality local food there and once they get to know you, the staff are just awesome (especially the old auntie who’s taken a shine to him). Keng Eng Kee Seafood, or KEK, has been a Bukit Merah Zichar stalwart for many years, first starting out in the 1970s at Havelock Road, before establishing themselves in Alexandra Village. This family-run restaurant continues their tasty trade through to the third generation with many mouth-watering signature dishes that shouldn’t be missed. Here are just some of Chef Tim’s favourites:

kek-coffee-pork-ribsCoffee Pork Ribs – they certainly don’t skimp on the coffee powder coating here! The oyster sauce & coffee marinade gives the crispy on the outside, tender on the inside pork a gorgeous caramelised glaze. This dish packs some caffeinated punch!

marmite-chixMarmite Chicken – sticky-sweet and savoury, with that unique, yeasty, umami flavour from its love-it-or-hate-it essential marinade ingredient!

1654480_593566227391234_1658888347_nSteamed Sri Lankan Crab with spring onion & ginger. A simple, clean dish that lets the natural meaty sweetness of the crab shine through.

salted-egg-crab-kekSalted Egg Crab – for when you don’t want simple or clean, but you wanna get down & dirty with a decadent crab dish that’s full of rich, creamy, salted egg flavour.

773731_408397185908140_2139325282_oAdding to this list of must-try dishes, Denise (who also goes quite regularly) loves their classic signature dish, the Mingzhu Rolls. These crispy little addictive bites are essentially Tau Kee (dried beancurd skin) stuffed with prawn, ham, mushrooms, salted egg yolk and greens, then rolled and deep-fried. Grab, crunch, drool, repeat. Chef Tim also recommends the claypot frog legs, deep-fried seafood youtiao with mayo and beef bee hoon in gravy – all are very, very good, if you want to order more. And why not? Go in a big group and order the whole lot! That’s what KEK & Zichar is all about – lots of dishes, lots of sharing and lots of full, but satisfied bellies after!

Keng Eng Kee Seafood 瓊榮記海鲜
Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-136, Singapore 150124
Open Daily: 12:00pm to 2:30pm; 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Reservations: +65 6272 1038

P.S. The younger chef, Wayne, has started his new spin-off KEK restaurant in Pandan Gardens, where he is serving up his own progressive version of the Zichar classics you love from the original KEK, all in air-conditioned comfort. You might want to check that out too!

Teochew-style Fish Porridge

Click HERE to listen to this week’s tasty Teochew episode!

This week, our ever-reliable, down-to-earth Makan Kaki Chef Daniel Tay waxes lyrical about his Teochew roots (his mother is) and recommends one of his favourite restaurants for tasty Teochew delicacies. This is a restaurant that has been recommended before, but has since moved from its original location at Beach Road to larger premises at Phillips Street.

Chao Shan Cuisine is a classic restaurant that has been serving up yummy Teochew classics for years and Chef Daniel has gotten to know its boss, Ah Liang, well enough to ask for fresh recommendations each time he visits for a meal. Certainly, from Pomfret to Threadfin, Ah Liang is the man to tell you which fish of the day is the freshest. Business is brisk at Chao Shan, which sees customers returning for Chef Daniel’s favourites like steamed fish,  Jellied Pork Trotters and crispy-fluffy oyster omelette.

48919cb0b079923b270775fbfb671a45But of all the dishes you can find at Chao Shan, this is, hands down, Chef Daniel’s ultimate comfort food: fresh fish slice porridge. There’s just something so wholesome, virtuous, pure, simple and yes, comforting about the watery rice delicacy. Chef Daniel swears by the basic ingredients – fresh fish slices, rice, stock, salt, ginger, coriander and spring onions – that come together in one steaming bowl of heart-warming simplicity. Don’t go to Chao Shan without trying this dish!

17 Phillip Street
Grand Building
Singapore 048695
Open Daily: 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5:30–10PM
Tel: 63362390

For more pictures, descriptions and our other Makan Kaki Willin Low‘s review of Chao Shan from 2 years ago when it was still located at Beach Road, click here!

Best of 2015 – Makan Kakis’ Top Ten List!

MAKANKAKISTOPTEN2015Hello Makan Kakis,

2015 has been such a delicious year and as we usher in a brand new year of eating, let’s take a look back at the makan places that really caught your attention & appetites! The following Top 10 list features a great variety of yummy hawker stalls, restaurants and dishes that grabbed the most views on our blog. Click on each for details & enjoy!

10. Tasty Teochew at Lee Kui
9. Luscious Burgers with a Buah Keluak twist!
8. Lor Mee with Crispy Battered Fish
7. Ayam Penyet Obama!
6. Killer Kway Chap
5. Outstanding Roasted Meats – Char Siew & Sio Bak
4. Local & International Buffet at a hidden Oasis
3. Nor’s Nasi Padang
2. Jaggi’s Northern Indian
1. Mee Rebus, Soto Ayam & Satay POWER!

Thank you so much for your support of our tasty little segment on Gold 905 and if you could, do help spread the word about Makan Kakis! Here’s to a hearty 2016 full of delicious things to eat! Season’s Eatings & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Terrific Teochew

This week, our Makan Kaki Willin Low tells us about one of his favourite restaurants, which serves up tasty, traditional Teochew cuisine from within its cramped, no-frills quarters to many satisfied stomachs daily. And who needs frilly surroundings when the food’s this good?

You’ll find all the usual Teochew favourites here, like steamed pomfret with preserved plum, braised goose with tofu and orh nee (yam dessert with lard & ginko)…

Steamed Pomfret
Braised Goose with Tofu
Orh Nee

… But what Willin really loves & recommends you try, are these 2 other phenomenal dishes executed to yummy perfection:

1. Chai Por Char Kway Teow
Fried flat rice noodles with preserved turnip. It’s packed with umami flavours and that all-important wok hei.

2. Orh Luak
The fried oyster omelette is awesome, with crispy edges, fragrant egg and plump, wobbly oysters bursting with briny flavour.

Be sure you call for reservations before going, this place is always packed!


Chao Shan Cuisine
85 Beach Road
Tel: 63362390
Open Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6-10pm

Searching for that Elusive Putu Piring

Kueh Tutu

A couple of weeks ago, your Makan Kakis told you about that rare Malay delicacy, the gula melaka stuffed rice flour cakes, Putu Piring. 

Now, when we said rare, we didn’t mean for it to be that hard to find! So to all who scoured Eunos Crescent for a taste of Kurnia Putu Piring, we apologise profusely.

If you haven’t already read our update, sadly, Kurnia has had to shut its doors, but we were fortunate enough to be contacted by the previous boss himself, Mr Ahmad Kassim, who whilst hunting for new shop space, still does catering for office functions, house parties, etc.

He will personally come to you with his steamers and make his irresistably fluffy, oozy treats for you on-the-spot! Story is, he’s the brother-in-law of the famous Haig Road stall owner and his putu piring are just as good, if slightly bigger in size.

To try Kurnia Putu Piring, call Mr Ahmad Kassim @ 81306472.

Putu Piring – Kueh Tutu’s softer, fluffier, oozier cousin


Or to try the other delicious version, visit:

Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
970 Geylang (Onan Road)
Mr Teh Tarik
Opens after Hari Raya break from 20 Aug 2013
11am – 10pm
Tel: 96883067

Blk 14 Haig Road
Haig Road Hawker Centre


Putu Piring

This week, we talk about a hard-to-find steamy delight that is light, fluffy and airy, oozing with gula melaka and covered in a snowy layer of coconut! In Singapore, we call it the Malay version of the more common kueh tutu, but texture-wise, putu piring is worlds apart.

Haig Road boasts a famous version, but for an equally good, if not even better putu piring, try this one Seetoh recommends. There’s always a queue because the Pakcik here takes extra care that the muslin cloth that covers the rice cakes, through which the steam permeates to imbue each cake with moisture, is absolutely taut, smooth and wrinkle free.

Each cake is lovingly hand made from rice flour, filled with earthy gula melaka, then steamed in little upside-down funnels. Just one bite and your teeth sink into the fluffy rice cake to release the meltingly sweet gula melaka inside, plus the grated coconut gives a contrasting slight saltiness that balances all the flavours.


Kurnia Putu Piring
Blk 7 Eunos Crescent
Fook Wong Kopitiam
Open: 5.30 – 9pm

Apologies from your Makan Kakis if you went all the way to Eunos and couldn’t find the stall…
Mr Ahmad Kassim, the guy behind Kurnia Putu Piring is now currently in-between shops, but still caters. He got in touch with us personally and we found out that he is actually the brother-in-law of the famous Haig Road Putu Piring guy! If you want to try what he does best, you can call him:


If you have private parties and functions – he’ll come to you and make his famed putu piring on the spot!