It's that time of the month again! No, no, no. It's not what your are thinking and that sentence wasn't a complaint.
Makankakis dinner! The first Makankakis dinner for 2008 was set at Le Wai Tian.
Hungry and hungry, I was looking forward to the food. It was my first time there and I've heard good things about its food. So imagine my delight when the first dish made its appearance!
Deep Fried Pork Belly sounds like a whole load of FAT and nothing else. Well, there were skin and small waves of meat. While I generally do not appreciate pork belly for its ultra-high fat content, the one here made a great start to dinner. Fried till its skin was crisp while the bits of meat remained tender, it was moreish. The fats melted with each bite and the juices that oozed out were heavenly with rice. It's a good thing that I didn't get the 'fatty'/'grossed out' feeling here. Yum.
For soup, we had the Fish Maw Crab Meat Soup. It was unfortunately a case of Crouching Fish Maw Hidden Crab Meat. Or maybe it was just my bowl. Taste wise, a dash of pepper and a splash of vinegar perked up this soup. Warm and not too thick, it was comforting though nothing to shout about.
Prawn Paste Chicken seems like a favourite order at cze char places. The ones here were juicy and crispy. Personally, I would have prefered a stronger dose of prawn paste and felt that Prawn Paste No Enough.
Thankfully, it wasn't the Curse of the Golden Flower with respect to the next dish, Lotus Cabbage. The cabbage was braised till soft with cubes of tau kua (pressed beancurd) in a gooey, tasty sauce. I was digging around for lotus roots to no avail. I guess the name referred to the presentation of the cabbage.
The Curry Fish Head soon followed which triggered more orders for rice. The curry was lemak (thick, rich) without being overly so. The fish tasted fresh and was constantly attacked by chopsticks. Fish are friends, not food. Oh common! Don't be a clown(fish). It was Red Snapper by the way.
Black Pepper Crabs were gooood. The sauce had enough of a peppery kick and the flesh of the crustacean was firm, without sticking to the inner surface of the shell.
And the roe was so sinful! It had a very rich taste that made Ewan pass me some after he had decided that he cared for his heart and cholesterol levels.
After two seafood dishes, pork made its appearance again. The Chinese really like their pork. This time, it came in the form of Deep Fried Pig Trotters in Herbal Sauce.
The crackling was well done and fragrant. The meat was tender and the herbal sauce seemed to help cut back some of the oilyness. This was one hot Babe: Pig in the City.
As if the intestines cried out for more fibre, the Sambal Ti Wang Miao ( some kind of leafy shoots fried with chilli) was served up. It was a nice contrast of the heat from the chilli against the slimey texture of the vegetables. It may sound rather mind-boggling but it was a good change from the usual kang kong (water spinach).
Like towards the end of most Chinese wedding dinners, there was a noodle dish. The KL Hokkien Mee was decent but I think it lacked the kind of punch I was hoping for. Still, there was no need for the Mee Pok Man.
For desserts, it was Fried Ice Cream. While there was a period of time long ago when fried ice cream was THE food trend, I have never tried it. The version here was delicious. The 'crust' tasted like fried bread and encased a solid (in the states of matter sense) ice cream. While I believe that the ice cream was one of those generic tubs found in supermarkets, the blend of hot and cold, savoury and sweet was simply alluring.
There you have it. 10 courses for January Makankakis Dinner 2008. Oh wait, as Mia pointed out...there's a skinny epicurean and a hungry cow at the table!
Soon the Hor Fun (Fried Rice Noodles) was ordered and served. While the noodles were fried relatively well, the sauce was thick and bland. This rendered the Hor Fun flat(in the taste sense).
When people are not satisfied, they order more. And this time we decided on the Yang Chow Fried Rice. Oh man! The wok hei (literally the breath of the wok) was beautiful. Nothing like hot fried rice with good wok hei.
When people are happy, they order some more. Stephen ordered the Salted Fish Fried Rice. Again, it was well done. This time with the slightly smokey, salty impartations from the salted fish. Now I wonder if they also do a Beef Fried Rice...Mmmm. This could be Fried Rice Paradise.
I had an enjoyable time and thanks to Andrew & Tony for organising, Denis for the lovely Riedel glasses and to all the Makankakis who made it a night of food, wine and fun. Oh and I can't leave out the guy who passed me some crab roe. Haha. Glad you could make it for this one, Ewan! Hope you enjoyed yourself and cheers to more to come.
Le Wai Tian
324T Changi Road
(Between Eunos & Kembangan MRTs)
Chew On This: By signing up at http://www.makansutra.com/forums/singapore/viewforum.php?f=2&sid=7a6e7802eae71bc5b6584528cea5895e. It's a monthly thing!