Best of Zichar Techniques with Restaurant Quality Ingredients!

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Click here to listen/ download the podcast of this week’s tasty episode!

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This week, our Makan Kaki Cheng Hsin Yao (owner of Picnic Food Park, creator of Omakase Burger, Seizan Uni Ramen & Supergreek grain bowls) recommends the king of comfort food – zichar! And when he wants his zichar fix, he heads to an unlikely place – mainly because from the exterior, it looks like a proper air-conditioned Chinese Banqueting Restaurant, and not the space that usually occupies a kopitiam. But trust him, therein lies the beauty of the food at Gim Tim Restaurant – you get the best of zichar cooking techniques with restaurant quality ingredients in one tasty, happy marriage!

Continue reading “Best of Zichar Techniques with Restaurant Quality Ingredients!”

Jin Hock is Jin Ho (So Good!)

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Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s wok fried episode!

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Our Makan Kaki Annette Tan of FatFuku private dining is back to tell us about one of her Regular Zichar haunts in the East – a place that offers up rather unique dishes, alongside the usual classic Zichar staples like sambal seafood, rice & noodles. Jin Hock Seafood is a very humble stall at the bottom of a block of flats in Chai Chee, but flavour-wise, everything is punchy, full of wok hei, smoky and really delicious. One of the things she likes to order is their Crispy Salted Egg Bitter Gourd (see above). Now, she doesn’t usually eat bitter gourd, but theirs is so good she’ll make an exception at Jin Hock. The key is in the treatment and preparation of the bitter gourd, which is sliced really thin then allowed to dry out a little. They then coat the bitter gourd slices with salted egg and deep fry them till they resemble crisps – SO addictive! Bonus is the curry leaves, red chillis and crunchy ikan billis scattered throughout this dish.

Continue reading “Jin Hock is Jin Ho (So Good!)”

Excellent Zichar Favourites in the East

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Click here to listen/ download podcast of this week’s wokalicious episode!

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Hello Makan Kakis, if you’re looking for comfort cooking that hits the spot and wok-breathed delicacies created with punchy flavour & flair, then you’ve got to try this casual Zichar place in the East, where you can bring your own wines or whiskeys. So says our Foodie Friend, co-owner of Asian Tapas Bar, The Wine & Gourmet Friends, William Seah. Wee’s Family Coffee Shop in Bedok Reservoir has been getting rave reviews for their signature Salted Egg Crab, which William has a weakness for. Very rich, very savoury, very tasty sauce paired with succulent and sweet crab meat – what’s not to love? This Zichar restaurant is the family business of another wine consultant friend of William’s, Milton. That’s why if you love to pair your local dishes with alcohol, this is the perfect setting. Wee’s Family Coffee Shop encourages BYOB, no corkage!

Continue reading “Excellent Zichar Favourites in the East”

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

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.

HEAR:

  • 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

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!

HEAR:
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!

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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!

11088853_815490398532148_3208758887333391615_nTASTE:
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!