Heart Attack Fried Rice

Greetings Greedies! Please meet our new Makan Kaki, Jeremmy Chiam! He’s the Chef-Owner of Le Binchotan at Amoy Street, a unique restaurant that combines classical French techniques with fresh Japanese produce and the art of Japanese charcoal grilling. This is a place you can go to for excellent lunches or better yet, unwind after work with a cocktail, sake or whiskey and a really delicious dinner in a super-cool space featuring domed ceilings, wood panelling & looks like an underground bunker.

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So where does a chef like Jeremmy go after a long hard week of service at his restaurant? Our new Makan Kaki is all about creature comforts, kicking back at a down-to-earth, fuss-free eating place with his family. That’s why on Sundays, he heads to New Ubin Seafood for Cze Char – it’s casual and has a varied menu with something for everyone from his parents to his son.

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Johor Bahru Found in Geylang!

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Click here for this week’s wok-fried episode!

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Greetings Greedies, get your guts ready for a veritable Cze Char FEAST at a Geylang institution that is far from unfamiliar. In fact, we’ve covered it before here on the Makan Kakis blog. However it’s SOOO GOOOD that its virtues bear repeating, so here goes…

Michelin Bib Gourmand-mentioned JB Ah Meng is a long-time favourite of chefs not just because it’s conveniently open late (perfect for after-service suppers), but also the food is legitly tasty. Our Makan Kaki Petrina Loh of Morsels, like so many other chefs (including our other foodie friends KF Seetoh, Rishi Naleendra & Chef Daniel Tay), makes a beeline for JB Ah Meng whenever she can with colleagues and friends when she’s in need of her JB Cze Char fix.

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So Good, it Feels Like a SIN (Hoi Sai)!

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Click to hear this week’s seafoody episode!

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This week, our Makan Kaki, Lucha Loco’s Chef Jason Jones returns to tell us where lots of chefs go for dinner. This is usually a very late dinner, in the wee hours, after 1 or 2am, when service at their own restaurants is over, clean-up is complete and they can finally emerge from their kitchens for a bite to eat. Chef Jason’s favourite is local Tiong Bahru seafood zichar institution because it opens from 5pm – 5am (perfect timing!) and of course, the food is up to scratch for professional chefs’ palates.

Continue reading “So Good, it Feels Like a SIN (Hoi Sai)!”

Fat, Lucky & Quintessentially Singaporean

Hi Makan Kakis,

All this month we’re celebrating Singapore’s 52nd Birthday by asking our rolling panel of foodie friends what they consider some of the most unique Singaporean food, so you can really look forward to a very sedap and patriotic August 2017!

This week, I’m thrilled to welcome yet another Makan Kaki, who’s long been an avid cook and entertainer, besides holding down her career as a food writer and award-winning book author. Please meet Annette Tan, who’s been making headlines after her private dining concept took off in a big way! She’s the brains, beauty and brawn behind FatFuku, which offers you the experience of dining at her home as she whips up a menu from her childhood memories. From her family’s Chinese New Year staple of Mee Siam fried into a crispy pancake, to Curry Devil Pie inspired by her Eurasian friends to her Bak Kwa Jam Baklava, Annette is all about re-imagining local favourites that are hearty, witty and delicious. Today, she kicks off our run-up to National Day with her recommendation of a quinessentially Singaporean-style restaurant in the East Coast…

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Annette grew up and still lives in the East, so trust her as she takes us for a deliciously retro feast at Hua Yu Wee, a very traditional, Singaporean Seafood restaurant, which has been serving hungry Singaporeans classic zichar dishes since the 1970s. Annette has been eating there since she was a child and she remembers her cousin’s Grandma living just next door, so they literally used to bang on the Hua Yu Wee’s fence, calling out, “Auntie, chao fan (fried rice)!”. Hua Yu Wee remains a neighbourhood stalwart, operating out of the very same house it began in, one of the last structures of its kind along East Coast Road. It exudes the charm and culinary bustle of a bygone era and its retro, nostalgic atmosphere is probably also what keeps diners flocking back again and again. That, and the undeniably yummy food, of course!

There are a handful of dishes that Annette always orders when she visits Hua Yu Wee and we recommend you do too! Definitely get the Chilli Crab, which Annette says is, in her opinion, one of the best in Singapore.

On balmy evenings, bring your own booze, sit outside in the backyard at one of their stone tables and get your hands dirty digging into this awesome Chilli Crab.

Indulge in crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside deep-fried Man Tou, succulent fresh crab with a thick eggy gravy that’s sweet, but with enough spice to balance things out. This is truly a taste of old Singapore!

Be sure to add the classic Cantonese Har Lok (fresh prawns wok-fried in a sweet caramelised soy gravy with ginger and spring onion) to your order and get that sauce all over some fluffy white rice.

Hua Yu Wee is known for their traditional dishes, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t kept up with times, bringing together classic cooking with little modern twists. For example, try their Lala Clam Hor Fun, which is soft and silky but topped with a crispy garnish of deep-fried noodles for texture. The Feng Sha Chicken is also a wonderful rift on Ayam Penyet.

This is the Chinese version of flattened chicken – roasted to a mouth-watering golden-brown, this chicken is indeed flat (in fact, if you order it as takeaway, it comes in what looks like a pizza box tied with pink rafia string!), juicy and boasts a crispy skin to die for!  Add their sambal or the addictive spring onion, garlic, ginger dipping sauce and fireworks will go off in your mouth!

Hua Yu Wee remains a charming throwback to old Singapore, from the chatty staff still dressed in their “SQ” batik-print shirts & kebayas, to the colonial house it still occupies, to the open courtyard for al fresco dining (although back in the day, it used to be much closer to the beach and the sea!). If you prefer dining in air-conditioned comfort, sit inside the house and also watch out for the “show” – the long kitchen is housed separately and the line of cooks juggle live seafood, roaring flames and hot woks is indeed a sight to behold!


TASTE:
HUA YU WEE
462 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 466508
Open Daily: 4 – 11.30pm
Tel: +65 6442 9313

 

3 Crabs, 3 Places

CRABS GALORE!

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Click link to hear about the 3 different places you need to visit for crabs done 3 different ways…

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This week, Cheek by Jowl‘s Head Chef Rishi Naleendra is back to share with us his favourite places for all things crab! As a Sri Lankan – Australian expat in Singapore, he’s had the chance (thanks to fellow local chef’s recommendations) to try A LOT of local crab delicacies and here’s his verdict on where to get the best Chilli, Black Pepper & White Pepper Crab in Singapore. If you’re serious about crab, you’re going to have to go to 3 SEPARATE restaurants for the 3 different types!

White Pepper Crab from JB Ah Meng
San Lou Bee Hoon from JB Ah Meng

Luckily, for White Pepper Crab & Chilli Crab, all you have to do is head over to Geylang Road, starting off with White Pepper Crab at Cze Char institution, JB Ah Meng. Small, but sweet, these crabs pack a unique white pepper punch with a lot of briny flavour. While you’re there, be sure to order Chef Rishi’s other favourites like the famous San Lou Bee Hoon (crispy, crusty vermicelli, almost like a charred pancake!) and the fried eggplant.

For Chef Rishi’s favourite Chilli Crab, it’s got to be a little ways down the road to No Signboard Seafood for arguably one of Singapore’s national dishes. Drenched in a rich, spicy, eggy chilli-tomato gravy, No Signboard’s Chilli Crab is the best because of the careful balance of sweet, salty, spicy and tang.

Chill Crab from No SignBoard
Black Pepper Crab from Sin Hoi Sai

Finally, for the Black Pepper Crab, Chef Rishi heads to Tiong Bahru’s Sin Hoi Sai. Not too sweet, yet sticky, spicy and earthy, these onyx-glazed crabs are pricey, but the best in his opinion.

Notice that these 3 restaurants are all late night eateries, perfect for hungry supper-goers, or famished chefs looking for good food after they finish their own kitchen service and close up shop for the day!

TASTE:
NO SIGNBOARD SEAFOOD
414 Geylang, Singapore 389392
Open Daily: 11am – 1am
Tel: +65 68423415

SIN HOI SAI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Block 55, Tiong Bahru Road #01-59, Singapore 160055
Open Daily: 5pm – 5am
Tel: +65 62230810 / +65 62243905

JB AH MENG
534 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389490
Open Daily: 5.30pm – 2.30am
Tel: +65 67412418

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

Food with the White Attitude!

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Click to hear what Mu Qin has to say about this Sembawang Zichar institution!

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This week, our Makan Kaki, co-author of food guide Eat. Muse. Love. Toh Mu Qin takes us to the north of our little island for some superb Zichar at a Sembawang institution. White Restaurant sees long queues at all its outlets and the original one in Sembawang serves up platter after platter of their signature famous White Bee Hoon. What Mu Qin loves about this classic dish is the light, tasty, milky-white gravy and fresh seafood like prawn and squid. The Bee Hoon is tender and springy without being mushy and the shreds of omelet scattered throughout add another dimension. Their sambal chilli is also the highlight here, very spicy with an extra tangy kick, which pops on the palate and extends your appetite! Essentially, this is a very simple dish using very simple ingredients, but one that White Restaurant takes utmost pride in. Make no mistake, it’s a simple dish, but complex in flavour and it takes great skill from the chef control the fire for the wok and the cooking time to produce plate after plate of white bee hoon perfection! This is a definitely must-try when you pay a visit to White Restaurant.

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Other dishes Mu Qin would recommend include the fried home-made tofu, which sees silky soft mashed tofu encased in a crisp batter and deep-fried to a golden-brown, crusty, more-ish snack. While you really can’t go wrong with anything deliciously deep-fried, it’s that wonderful contrast between the crunchy outside and the soft inside that makes this tofu dish so yummy.

If you, like Mu Qin & Denise, are a fan of the salty, pungent, fermented goodness that is Black Bean Sauce, you’ve also got to order the Leather Jacket fish stir-fried with black bean, chilli, garlic and crunchy veg. The fish is always fresh, tender, yet firm and tasty.img_8722So there you have it, just a few quick and delicious dishes you’ve got to try. White Restaurant has established itself as the originator of the famous White Bee Hoon and it’s definitely worth the trek to Sembawang for a taste of Zichar heaven! If not, check out their website for their other outlets, spanning from Toa Payoh to Punggol!

*all pictures courtesy of Toh Mu Qin

TASTE:
WHITE RESTAURANT
22 Jln Tampang, Singapore 758966
Tel: 6257 2002
Open: 11.30am to 10.30pm (Closed on Wednesday)

Where Chefs Eat: MARCO PIERRE WHITE

15193499_1099079410191279_938305902716050813_nThis legend of the culinary world popped by the Gold 905 studios to have a quick chat, to the delight of Denise, who is a self-confessed Marco Pierre White fangirl – embarrassingly so! But before we get to the good stuff, here’s a quick intro to the original Rockstar Chef: Marco Pierre White, dubbed the “godfather of modern cooking” and a game-changer for British cuisine, was the youngest chef to ever acquire three Michelin stars. His celebrated memoir/ cookbook White Heat is highly regarded as one of the most influential cookbooks for chefs. Chef Marco has appeared on MasterChef Australia Seasons 6, 7 and 8, MasterChef South Africa and MasterChef New Zealand as guest chef. He’s in town to helm the kitchen of the MasterChef Dining & Bar pop-up at Ash & Elm (Intercontinental Singapore), along with other top MasterChef personalities Audra Morrice, Woo Wai Leong, Luca Manfe & Reynold Poernomo.

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  • Click here – Chef Marco talks about the best meal he’s ever had, what he likes to cook for himself at home and what he’d do if he wasn’t a chef…
  • Click here for Chef Marco’s current favourite place to eat at in Singapore!

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When asked where & what he likes to eat when he’s in Singapore, Chef Marco was only too happy to share a recent discovery of his located in the East Coast. This no-frills restaurant that only just opened earlier this year is responsible for wholesome, tasty Cantonese classics at affordable prices. Think a zichar joint in air-con comfort! Eat First is a family-run business, with the son cooking up a storm in the kitchen & the mum out in the front taking care of guests. The food here is, as Chef Marco says, “very, very simple, very real and of extraordinary good value” and he mentioned two dishes in particular that he really enjoyed, exactly because of their simplicity and home-cooked authenticity:
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The wok-fried beef and vegetables and the steamed minced pork with salted fish come highly recommended.
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You might be wondering how such basic dishes can impress a chef of Marco’s ilk, but this is really testament to his personal approach to food – keep it simple, real, generously portioned, delicious and piping hot! Add a family passionate about serving diners good food from their hearts, what more could you want?

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EAT FIRST 食之為鮮
891 East Coast Road, Singapore 459094
Open Daily: 11:45AM – 2:30PM; 5:45PM – 9:30PM
Tel: 6443 8434