Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yet Con - The Last Bastion of Authentic Hainanese Restaurants

Mention Chin Chin and Swee Kee and the older generation will muster a wry smile as these were the legendary foundations of authentic Hainanese cuisine.

They were also the early establishments of what had become common fare then, with the likes of Hainanese chicken rice, Hainanese pork chops and chap chye.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Chef Movie Review - Opens in Singapore 5th June, A Salivating andComforting Indie Flick

Writer/Director Jon Favreau's latest film sees him returning to his roots, a small indie picture that starts off with the main protagonist seeking to rediscover his passion and roots, and ends up being a feel good road trip between father and son.

The first half of the movie deals mainly with Carl Casper (played by Favreau himself) trying to break free of his comfortable but soulless head chef position, and despite support from his family and friends, it is not until his hilarious turn in trying to learn how to deal with social media that forces him to involuntarily quit his job and finally find his true self in plying his trade in a food truck.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee - The Hype Factor, Chinese Carbonara

Hype is a strange thing. Too little of it and you might think it is not worth checking it out. Too much of it and you worry that it won't live up to expectations.

And so it is with Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee that has been imported from Kuala Lumpur onto our shores, and the famed 3 hour queue that was famously reported when it first opened its doors for business.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Taiwan Railway Bento - A Delightful Rice Box, Chicken Rice Bento Anyone?

Bento is essentially a rice box that commuters take and consume on board trains in order to save time and money.

Over the years, bento boxes have become increasingly popular in Asia, and though it probably originated in Japan, it has also found a wide following in places like Taiwan.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cooking With Sitong and Chef Peter - How to Make Classic Spaghetti Vongole

Learn how to cook a classic Spaghetti Vongole with singer/songwriter Lin Sitong and Pietro's Chef Peter Neo in this exclusive video.

Sitong and Peter demonstrate how to cook this classic and famous Italian pasta dish. It may look simple, but it takes skill to perfect this delicious dish.

Filmed on location at Pietro Restorante Italiano.
Shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 5S.
No clams were injured during the filming of this video.
In Mandarin Chinese with little or no English subtitles whatsoever.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oz Speciality Coffee - Behind the Magic Curtain, A Delightful Cafe Surprise

Sometimes, appearances can be deceptive. From the exterior, it looks just like a simple little cafe serving light pastries and coffee.

Inside the air-con area, there is hardly any seating save for a bar counter with only a few stools. Most of the tables are outdoors, which can be quite challenging for diners on a hot summer day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Natalie Hiong - Singapore's Next Generation of Singers/Songwriters

Growing up in a family of musicians, it was natural for Natalie Hiong to be touch with music from a very young age. Her first instrument was the piano, followed by the violin, and she even played the oboe at one stage!

She joined the choir and from there on, she fell in love with classical music, especially Broadway musicals, which explains her love for writing musicals later on.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Silver Cocotte - Baked Eggs with Bacon and Onion

It's been awhile since i last posted a recipe, and what better way to share one than this simple but utterly delicious dish of baked eggs.

Eggs cocotte is simply baked eggs, usually with some garnish or ingredients interspersed to give it more depth and texture. Largely french inspired, it is not that common in cafes and restaurants here these days.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Man Coffee - Singular and Whimsical Brekkie Delights

Take a stroll past all the multitude of cafes and food outlets along the row of shophouses along Upper Thomson and you might just miss One Man Coffee.

Why? Because it shares the same premise as Crust Pizza, which happens to only operate from 5pm everyday. One Man Coffee operates from morning until evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wonderkid Hawker - Jalan Sutera Char Kway Teow in Johor Bahru

Now, this is something you don't see often in Singapore. A 16 year old boy frying char kway teow along a street side market. Come to think of it, you'd probably be easier off striking lottery than to witness this happening here.

Teck Meng is the name of this wonderkid, and where you will find boys his age lounging in MacDonald's and Starbucks in Singapore, this impressive lad is working his socks off to help the family business.

Rahmath Muslim Food - Prata Extraodinaire

You would not think to find one of the best prata places in an industrial estate, but that was exactly what I discovered last week at Defu Lane.

It used to go under another name, and the owner of that previous stall was actually working at the now infamous Jalan Kayu prata house. He has since settled in India, but his nephew, Haja is now manning the shop.

His uncle used to run this place for more than 20 years, and Haja has also been working and learning from his uncle for the last 7 years.

As such, he was pretty confident of his own prata making skills and has renamed this shop to his sister's name, Rahmath.

Nestled within Soon Soon Lai Eating House, the stall is almost hidden from view in one far end of the kopitiam. This is really a hidden gem in the truest sense of the word.

Kosong Plain

As with any prata I try for the first time, I opted for the generic plain kosong prata to gauge just how good Haja's prata was. And boy, was it marvelous.

It was well rounded, super crisp on the outside and the delicious dough properly cooked through. There was no hint of chewiness at all, and the inner texture was utterly perfect.

Kosong on top, Egg and Onion below

Simply put, this is one of the best pratas around. Just take a look at the picture and you will be salivating already.

Onion Prata

The onion prata was equally delightful. Shaped into a murtabak like square, every inch of the exterior was crisp and beautifully fried. That extra sharpness and sweetness from the onions gave the prata an extra sense of depth.

Curry Chicken

The curries were served were also brilliant, though slightly greasy. It had an assam tinge which gave it a nice acid that went well with the richness of the fried dough. The pratas were so good, that even on its own, it was pure bliss.

Haja at Work

Despite the brilliance of the cooking here, Haja seemed quite despondent as he was complaining to me the business at this eating place was not really that bustling. Hiding in that corner, I won't be surprised either.

He is thinking of moving to a proper shop of his own, but laments that the current rentals and manpower is putting him off on that decision as well.

All I know is that it will be a pity if he decides to quit one day, as his prata is head and shoulders above the more illustrious ones out there, and that includes the likes of the present Jalan Kayu, Thomson Prat and the rather overrated Sin Ming Prata these days.

Here, the prata is not deep fried to a oily dark dough like the one in Thomson, but rather, each and every prata is cooked to order. That alone is worth making the trip here.

If you want to know how a great prata looks and tastes like, come here. It is not just great, it is one of the best.

Rahmath Muslim Food
32 Defu Lane 10
Soon Soon Lai Eating House
Stall 12, deep inside one far end of the kopitiam

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GRUB at Bishan Park - Dining in the Gardens

To be honest, I have never liked Gardens By The Bay that much. It feels forced, and the layout is just horrendous for folks who don't drive.

Bishan Park, however, is a whole different kettle of flowers. It was revamped only a couple of years back, and what was originally just a huge grass patch has now turned into a vibrant park filled with little ponds and walkways.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rumah Sayang Cafe - A Gem of a JEM

Mention malls and the last thing you think you'd find is a decent nasi padang or zhe char eatery in it. Most malls tend to fill their F&B spaces with the usual suspects of Din Tai Fung, Crystal Jade etc.

And so, it was a lovely surprise to find Rumah Sayang that is serving tasty local delights in the basement of JEM.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Havelock Road Block 50 Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles - An Oldie But Goodie

There is a more famous hokkien mee stall residing in ABC Brickworks Food Centre, but we were looking for another stall that is somewhat, more subdued.

It is operated by a 70 plus year old uncle, known only as Mr Seah and it seems he has been doing this for quite some time.