National Day Cake, Sinpopo Coffee & Bak Chor Mee!

All this month of August, in celebration of our Nation’s birthday, we shine the spotlight on homegrown brands and their success stories. We talk to some of the people working behind-the-scenes who work hard to make things tick and of course, get them to recommend their favourite makan places! This week, we warmly welcome back our Makan Kaki, Lyn Lee, one of the owners of local confectionery Awfully Chocolate & heritage-centric Sinpopo Brand. It’s been 3 years since she was last on-air with us, so we have a lot to catch up on, including the latest offerings from Awfully Chocolate and developments with Sinpopo Brand, which has expanded from a cute restaurant in Katong to a coffee bar and a grocer (Scroll all the way down for pictures & more)!

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Lyn says she was never a fan of Bak Chor Mee until she tried the one from a humble stall in the Tiong Bahru coffee shop at the corner of Seng Poh Road (Block 71). This coffee shop is already famous for Loos’ Curry Scissor Rice and the Vegetarian Bee Hoon, but you’ve also got to try the Bak Chor Mee there, with one caveat – it HAS to be prepared by the Uncle. He made a convert out of Lyn. If the Uncle is cooking it, you’ll see a long queue, but if it’s not prepared by him, there’s something not quite right about the flavours & textures – he really does have the magic touch. Both times in the last month that Lyn has been, Uncle hasn’t been there, so she’s been forced to find another Bak Chor Mee which is more central. She was delighted to discover that an excellent stall from Maxwell Market has popped up at Capitol Piazza.

Guan’s Mee Pok is what Lyn calls “fancy”- you can get add-ons like an onsen egg, yaitori on a stick, dumplings, abalone and other luxe ingredients.

Continue reading “National Day Cake, Sinpopo Coffee & Bak Chor Mee!”

Crackin’ Good Brunch!

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This week, it’s our foodie friend, Chef Anthony Yeoh‘s turn to recommend some yummy eats and as the weekend approaches, brace yourselves for BRUNCH! If you’re looking for something yum in the city/ CBD area, do check out this multi-concept restaurant/ bar on the corner of Tanjong Pagar Road & Tras Street, Crackerjack. There you’ll find a coffee counter brewing till late afternoon, a beautiful cocktail bar that opens later in the evening and then there’s the restaurant that serves delicious new-American food. Chef Tony recently tried their weekend brunch and recommends these stand-out dishes:
The super-comforting Bone Broth, featuring egg stracciatella (like an egg drop they stir in), kale & barley. But truly, the star is broth, which is really flavourful, made in-house and so restorative, especially if you’re at brunch nursing the effects of the night before!

Another great hangover antidote is their Funnel Cake. Why? Well, this is typical American carnival food – batter funneled into hot oil and deep fried to light, doughy, crispy perfection. And we all know fat means flavour and a good way to soak up the sins of the night before! But make no mistake, these are next level funnel cakes – adult funnel cakes smothered with (hair of the dog!) a boozy whipped cream made from Amaretto (almond liqueur), along with candied bacon and bananas. This is a delicious, high-brow / low-brow play on an American classic.

The play doesn’t stop at Funnel Cakes – try Crackerjacks’s play on corned beef hash, their Sweet Potato Hash! This hearty plate featured house-made breakfast sausage crumbled on sweet potato, along with sauteed capsicum, kale, caramelised onions and an egg. Stick-to-your-ribs good!

Finally, Chef Tony recommends the QFC – Quinoa Fried Chicken. It’s a boneless chicken thigh encrusted with quinoa, which is a super food, a grain that’s high in antioxidants and protein. So could this possibly be healthy in an, er, deep-fried way? Haha. Jicama (Bangkwang, which we use in Popiah) slaw and homemade spicy banana ketchup complete the crunchy chicken dish. With this weird & wonderful banana ketchup, you get a distinct caramelised banana flavour, and a pleasing sauce that’s tangy and spicy at the same time.

TASTE:
CRACKERJACK
43 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088464
Open Daily: 9am – 12 midnight (mon – fri), 10am – 12 midnight (sat) & 10am – 4pm (sun)
Tel: +65 81211462

Run to Ronin

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Missed out on-air? Listen to this week’s episode here!

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French Toast
French Toast

This week, our Makan Kaki Aun Koh is going out on a limb to share with you his favourite cafe, because this will upset a lot of his friends, who love this hidden gem with a passion. Ronin Cafe is also a favourite of Aun’s wife and 3-year-old son, who insists on a visit every weekend as a family. Aun himself can be found there 5 times a week minimum, having a quick coffee or lingering over a work meeting. Ronin is your typical hipster coffee joint in that it embodies that interesting, bohemian spirit, but let’s be clear that it’s not all style and no substance. The coffees are phenomenal, but definitely try their food, which is far from an after-thought – their menu is small, but really well-executed. Besides a selection of sandwiches, Aun really recommends you try their 2 breakfast items (which are available all day): French Toast & Scrambled Eggs, both of which he believes are the best in Singapore! These scrambled eggs are amazing – so fluffy and rich, thanks to lots of butter and cream, but not overcooked. If you’re a fan of the undercooked Aussie style of Scrambled Eggs King Bill Granger, these are the eggs for you! And you can order them with sides like avocado, bacon or sausage (the one below is lamb).

Scrambled eggs, lamb sausage
Fluffy, Buttery, Creamy – Best Scrambled Eggs in Town!

Then there’s lunch. Japanese Curry Rice fans, be warned this special is limited to only 12 portions per day and they go really fast. In fact, for all the time Aun spends at Ronin, he’s only been able to enjoy the Curry Rice ONCE! He tells a funny story of when he arrived one day, delighted to think he was just in time for a tasty portion, only to be told his wife had ordered the very last plate just before him! It really is delicious stuff, strictly first-come-first-served, no special treatment! Although if you start showing up often enough, the staff remember what you like without you having to tell them!

Japanese Curry Rice
Japanese Curry Rice – Only 12 Portions per day!

This is what Aun likes: Ronin’s signature coffee drink, Wicked, a decadent, addictive Mocha Mint drink you can have hot or iced.

Wicked (Mocha Mint)
Signature Drink – Wicked (Mocha Mint)

Want more? Aun waxes lyrical about Ronin Cafe, amongst other Singapore faves, for The Guardian here!

TASTE:
RONIN
17 Hong Kong Street
Open Daily: 8am – 8pm
(be warned, this place is so hip, it has no signboard & no phone!)