Fragrant Garden: Superb Teochew Cuisine
For us foodies, finding hidden gems like Fragrant Garden is as exhilarating as someone pulling a jackpot or hitting a hole in one. It is what we live for. To find it, eat it and tell the world about it -- that must be the Gospel according to St Gastronomique.
Singapore’s Top Ten Hawker Dishes:The Ultimate Food Trail!
I know what foodies visiting our island want. They are here for two or three days, and they just want a short list of the best hawker food that our island can offer. I know because when I visit other countries, that is the kind of article I need. It's too much work to look through hundreds of blog posts to plan a food trail. Just tell me 10 of the best places to eat so that I can get an overview of Singapore food. Alright, after scouring the island for the last 8 years and having published two guide books on Singapore food, viz The End of Char Kway Teow and Only The Best, here are the 10 places which I would bring visitors to when they visit the island.
Lee Fun Nam Kee Soya Sauce Chicken: A tale of three Nam Kee’s
What makes Lee Fun Nam Kee different is that they specialize in Soya Sauce Chicken rather than white chicken, but not just any Soya Sauce chicken, theirs is the Hainanese version of Soya Sauce chicken made from 15 different herbs and with a braising sauce which can trace its lineage back to 1968.
Crosta Pizza: Restaurant quality pizza for $11!
Although it lacks the sexy leopard spots of a Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN), the new pizza crust is a huge improvement over the one I last tasted. It is made with Italian 00 flour and left to rise for 6 hours before it's punched down and left to ferment overnight. It is then stretched by hand and baked in the 280 degree C wood fired oven for 4mins. It won't qualify for VPN status but it is as good if not better than 95% of the pizzas I have eaten at Italian restaurants here in Singapore.
7th Mile Seafood: Heading West for Crab Bee Hoon!
The draw card for 7th Mile Seafood is their Crab Bee Hoon which is cooked by a chef who used to work at Ming Kee Seafood. When I was on my Crab Bee Hoon hunt way back in 2007, Ming Kee was one of those places that was well known for their Crab Bee Hoon. At the time, the gold standard was still Sin Huat, but people are often put off by the infamy of Sin Huat whose seafood meals can cost the same as those from top end seafood restuarants. So, Ming Kee was a good alternative.
Sum Kee Food: It’s about the Sauce!
Sum Kee does their sauces really well. I especially like their sliced fish with bittergourd and chilli black bean sauce. This is a sauce that you can easily make yourself at home and it will be quite tasty. However, the sauce here has just got that X factor, X being the secret ingredient that they have added which gives it that extra dimension which you will spend the rest of the meal trying to figure out.
Top Ten Things to Eat in Singapore: Hawker Food!
I have been asked on many occasions by overseas visitors for suggestions on what to eat when they visit Singapore. After writing this blog for the last eight years and having published two books, I feel that I am ready to pen some thoughts on 10 things that any visitor coming to Singapore must eat.
Cereal Sotong/Prawn Recipe
This recipe is actually very easy and you should be able to get it right the first time. The cereal mix can be used for prawns or squid or any even pork and chicken although the most commonly used meat is prawns. Here I am using squid only because I came back from a fishing trip with a whole lot of squid. But you can easily substitute the squid for prawns to make the classic dish.
Indo Sumatera: Putu Bambu in Chinatown!
I never expected to see putu bambu in Singapore. It is a dish that is commonly found along the streets of Indonesia. But I happened to chance upon it while walking in Chinatown one day. I must admit that I have never paid much attention to the street side stalls in Chinatown as I had assumed that most of them are catering to the tourists. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a very personable couple busily making the steaming hot snacks. I was even more surprised to find out that they had been doing this for 20 years and was still very much under the radar -- or at least the ieat radar.
Sean Kee Braised Duck: Gorgeous Gooey Goodness!
Braised duck has never been on my "shiokfood" list until now. Comfort food yes, but it had never hit that "Shiok" level for me. You know, the level when you are compelled to shovel the next spoonful of food into your mouth in order to continue experiencing that state of euphoria? Shiokfood is the kind of stuff that you can't help but keep eating until 1. The food runs out, 2 The money runs out, 3 Your wife runs out. Ok, I was just joking about no. 3. It's not a good reason to stop eating shiokfood.
Hakumai Sushi: Great Value Omakase!
Let's face it, eating Sushi in Singapore is expensive. Ok, maybe I should qualify that. Eating GOOD sushi in Singapore is expensive. But both "Value" and "Quality" are subjective terms. What I find "good" might not be good enough for some and what I consider "cheap" might still not be cheap enough for others. So, when I say that I found a good Sushi Omakase place which is value for money, I have to spend the next few hundred words to properly define what I consider good and cheap so that you know what to expect.
Pine Garden’s Cakes: HDB Sponge for the Next Generation!
Don't go to Pine Garden's expecting the type of cakes that cost $6-$10 which you find at upmarket French sounding bakeries. What you will find there are the simple down to earth cakes which come in many flavours that are built on the familiar old school HDB sponge cake template.
Sliced Garoupa with Ginger and Green Onions recipe
Stir fried sliced grouper is one of those classic dishes that you order at the restaurants as well as the Cze Char. It is also one of those dishes that you probably have at home. But you probably wonder how they get the fish so tender and smooth at the restaurant! The key is a […]