Sunday, November 23, 2014

Handmade Fishballs from a 23 Year Old Hawkerpreneur

It is not often that one sees a young face behind a hawker stall given that most young Singaporeans would rather work in a more comfortable work environment. But it is encouraging that there seems to be a trend in young hawkerpreneurs who might just well be the bastion of hope for the continuation of local hawker food.

I first met Douglas from Fishball Story at the Ultimate Hawker Fest and had to visit his stall again after the event for more of that addictive chilli in his mee pok.


Fishball Story's Mee Pok ($3.50) is very good with soft, not mushy noodles, that had a certainly lightness to it. Doused with crispy lard, oil and heaps of a savoury fragrant chilli paste, the mix sent me to noodle heaven. I thought there was chye poh in the chilli but Douglas assured me there wasn't.

The fishballs are handmade by him (from 4am!) and boasted a firm, slightly rough rustic quality which was pretty appealing.

I certainly hope he won't stop telling this awesome story. Moohehe.


Fishball Story
#01-85
Golden Mile Hawker Centre
Opens: 10.30am to 5pm daily

Chew On This: The fishballs here apparently use no flour! Only beaten sai tor her which is then seasoned and boiled.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tony Bilson x Tandoor

When the email invitation came, I was quite intrigued at how Australian and Indian cuisines would marry. On one hand is renown Australian celebrity chef Tony Bilson, on the other is Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre's Tandoor restaurant. With an open mind (and stomachs), I went, ate and now regurgitate. Moohehe.

The degustation menu started off with the Murgh Badam Ka Shorba (chicken soup brewed with fresh mint and truffles). Slightly thick and creamy, it was comforting though the mint and truffle flavours were hardly noticeable.


Next came the Roomali Red Snapper Chaat (carpaccio of red snapper with tangy chilli and lemon dressing), a beautiful plate of fresh fish slices topped with mussels, clams and caviar. Yes, it was a tad dry perhaps from sitting out a little longer than it should but this lightly flavoured dish paired really nicely with the Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc. Loved the delicate flavours of this dish!  


Tawa Scallops (Indian spiced pan seared Norwegian scallops with saffron and fennel sabayon) featured a plump scallop against an aromatic kaffir lime leaf.


Mooving on to the mains, the Tandoori Australian Squab (bottom) and Tandoori Bharwan Duck (top) were both tender but offered different intensities of flavour. The former was delicate while the latter was more robust. That duck leg was apparently stuffed with foie gras too.


Moore meats! Hurray. Moohehe. Try the Pathar Ka Bataer (stone grilled quail with a black pepper sauce; on the left) and the Vilayati Sarson Gosht (Australian lamb shoulder; on the right). My favourite goes to the lamb. Slow cooked and crusted with a grainy mustard marinade, it was pleasantly meaty with a sweet, savoury flavour, smoky aroma and just a hint of lamby-ness. Excellent!

The meats generally went well with with medium-bodied, high acid Oyster Bay Pinot Noir.


Goat Cheese Pinwheel was a punchy, creamy fresh goat cheese that beckoned for moore naan! Oh the naan here is pretty awesome. ;)


Dinner ended on a sweet note with the flaky Caramelised Cardamom Fig Tart with raspberry sorbet and...wait for it...


Indian spiced chocolate! I'm partial to anything chocolate and not too sweet so this "exotic" creamy version with a hint of bitterness and spices was the perfect ending to the meal for me.

Overall, Chef Tony contributed in the contemporary presentation, the use of non-traditional ingredients and modern cooking techniques like sous-vide while working with Tandoor's head chef Suri to result in Indian flavours with a refined touch. Pretty interesting.    

Thanks to Yan Goh from Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre for the invitation.


Tony Bilson at Tandoor
14 to 23 November
11 Cavenagh Road
Tel: 6733 8333

4-course Lunch Set Menu
12 noon to 2.30pm
$48++ per person

Dinner Set Menu
7pm to 10.30pm
$58++ (6 courses) and $88++ (7 courses) per person

Chew On This: Vegetarian options are available for all set menus.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ultimate Hawker Fest Returns!


Eat and support a good cause at the same time at the Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 on 22 November. Organised by fellow food bloggers MissTamChiak, SgFoodOnFoot and TheSliverChef in support of Touch Community Services, a non-profit organisation which assists the needy, this event aims to raise funds through something close to many Singaporeans' hearts- hawker food.

Expect to taste local favourites from Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh to Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery which are today helmed by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation owners. Several stalls are even fronted by young hawkerpreneurs who left their day jobs to pursue a hawker business.

Fancy an abalone in your Loh Mai Gai? Get it at Geng Shu Mei Shi Shi Jie's booth! Along with other eateries, this bunch of people aim to offer the "ultimate" versions of original dishes using premium ingredients. Think Foie Gras Rojak and 100 Days Corn-fed Anxin Chicken Rice.

Lastly, savour local dishes by celebrity chefs Eric Neo, Tan Yong Hua and Shen Tan as they whip up their versions of hawker nosh.

Check out the full menu here and get your tickets here! Majority of proceeds from ticket sales will go towards supporting over 32,000 beneficiaries of Touch Community Services.

Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 
22 November (Saturday)
11am to 5pm
Suntec Convention Halls 401 & 402

Chew On This: Catch me there! Holler if you wanna graze together...if you don't mind a (hungry) cow. Moohehe.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wet Weather Bak Kut Teh

With the recent bouts of rain, I've seen myself leaning towards certain "wet weather food" like steamboat, porridge, kway teow soup and of course bak kut teh.


This stall in Geylang serves up a comforting brew of Malaysian-style bak kut teh. Gently herbal instead of peppery, it had heady notes of dang gui and felt fortifying enough to battle the chilly weather. Order up the Mixed Bak Kut Teh ($5.50) and get a claypot of tender pork ribs, pork liver, intestines, tau pok and lettuce in a pipping hot broth which was thick yet light.

Ok if at this point, you are wondering how many bowls of rice I had, the answer is just one.... Then it was followed by Hokkien mee, hor fun and claypot rice at other stalls along Geylang, shared with my makan buddy. Moohaha.


Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh
At the junction of Geylang Lorong 21A & Sims Ave (other outlets at Marsiling, Ang Mo Kio & Sin Ming)

Chew On This: Be sure to request for the soup to be hot when asking for a top up of soup as it usually comes from a lukewarm batch. The soup tasted so mooch better hot! #DontSayINeverTellYou

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Boiler Brings Seafood & Beer to Tai Seng Industrial Estate

Seafood-crazy Singaporeans seem to be lapping up the several "seafood in a bag" themed restaurants that have sprouted around the country. The latest such restaurant to hope onto the bandwagon is The Boiler.

I thought it was quite a bold move to start this restaurant in the Tai Seng industrial area but business was brisk on a weekday night when I popped by.


For a fuss-free "bao ka liao" seafood bonanza, opt for the Bombdiggity Bag ($139) which is designed for 4 adults or one very seafood-siao yao gui. Moohahaha. The bag of seafood is poured over a wax paper-covered table for a no-plate and hands-on dining experience. Yummies in this bag include air-flown Dungeness crabs, big prawns, mussels, clams, corn and Chorizo sausage.


Whole lobsters (live and from Boston) can be had for $79 each. Just pick your choice of sauce and dig in!


For something to nibble on before the mains, there's the Bacon Shrimp ($11.90) which turned out dry and didn't quite appeal to me, and the pretty tasty Louisiana Spicy Mid Joint Wings ($8.90).


I really like snacking on the Southern Chicks & Waffle ($9.90). Think crispy nuggets of chicken and waffles with a bit of maple syrup for a savoury-meets-sweet taste combination. I vote this my kinda of dessert! Moohehe.


Drinks seem to be part of the chill out dining appeal at The Boiler. Consider the Beerjito ($9.90)- a refreshing tipple and too easy to enjoy. Sort of like a semi-frozen lightly alcoholic slushy! :p

The combination of bold Southern flavours, fresh seafood and communal dining straight off the table should appeal to most people here.

I'm not the biggest seafood fan around but I think despite the various sauces (Peppa' Butter, The Works & Garlic Butter) being tasty in their own rights, I still prefer my seafood lightly seasoned. But that's just me lah.
  
Thanks to Carrie for hosting me.


The Boiler
18 Howard Road
#01-06 Novelty Bizcentre
Tel: 6635 1285
Opens: Sunday to Thursday, 5.30pm to 10.30pm
            Friday & Saturday, 5.30pm to 12am
Closed: Monday

Chew On This: One for Kronenbourg fans.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Team Thai Lunch

After a grueling work week, the team went for a nice Thai lunch near office. So don't mind the hurriedly taken photos from my iPhone. Moohaha.

We've been to this particular eatery a few times now and like its punchy Thai flavours. :)


The Thai Spicy Pork is my personal favourite with meaty slices of pork tossed in chilli, fish sauce and herbs. There's quite a bit of heat from the chilli after a few mouthfuls!


A table favourite, the Tom Yum Chicken pleased with its tangy, spicy soup. I feel that this one here had a bit of sweetness to it too.


To order another plate of rice, try the Green Curry Chicken with its smooth chicken pieces and creamy gravy redolent of spices. The round aubergines were tender and beckoned for (moore) rice! At this stage, our tongues were feeling the spice but we can't even be sure if it was from this curry. LOL.


As proof that it is one of the simplest yet moost comforting dish, the Pork Omelette was tasty, fluffy
and delightful to eat.

We were surrounded by Thai music, Thai people and Thai flavours. Close ones eyes and be transported to Bangkok. Then it was back to work with an international friend, food coma. Moohaha.


Buengkan Beer House
#01-36
Golden Mile Complex

Chew On This: My colleagues love their iced Thai milk tea and coffee here. Containing quite a bit of milk, these drinks would be perfect to cool the heat from the chilli and spices!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Ramen Ta for 4-stomach Creatures

When I am really hungry and/or greedy (which is like moost of the time. Moohaha!) I head to Menya Musashi for a big ramen fix.

Besides springy noodles and a slab of peppery-smoky chasu, I get to opt for the 5x portion for the Tsukemen at no extra charge! That's a lovely 600g of ramen. :p

A "dry" style of ramen, the Tsukemen ($14.90) comes with a separate bowl of soup for one to dip the noodles in before slurping it up. Unlike its local cousin mee kia ta, there is no sauce or seasoning added to the ramen. The black garlic tonkatsu soup in the small bowl is creamy, rich and a tad salty with a full savoury flavour.  

The refreshing crunchy of thin slices of spring onions and leek between random mouthfuls of ramen helped to cut the richness nicely, adding a reality check to this 600g ramen fantasy.

Menya Musashi
#01-69
Bedok Mall (other outlets available)
Tel: 6844 9373

Chew On This: Though the 5x portion is ordered, this restaurant cleverly serves a 3x portion before giving the diner the remaining 2x once the 3x is finished. Besides preventing food waste if the diner is unable to finish the full 5x, this also ensures the ramen is enjoyed while still springy instead of sitting around too long in the bowl.