I just realized that I hardly know anything about Malay food. Sure, I am familiar with nasi lemak and there are several dishes at the nasi padang stall which I order regularly, but my knowledge of the history of our local Malay food is barely at the pre-school level. I met some Malay friends recently and had a very interesting conversation with them which sparked a new found interest in Malay cuisine.
The California roll was created over five decades ago in Los Angeles by Chef Ichiro Mashita who substituted tuna with avocado during the tuna off-season. He thus started the American sushi revolution which soon gave rise to sushi rolls named after the other states. In Seattle, they made their rolls out of smoked salmon and called it, surprise surpise, the Seattle roll. The Philadelphia roll had cream cheese in it and in New Mexico the sushi roll gets spiced up with chillies!
This year, he came up with the Alfredo, which is a murtabak filled with rosemary roasted chicken which he cooks in the tandoor, portabello mushrooms, white sauce and mozzarella cheese. The flavours are closer to what you would find at an Italian restaurant than what I expected. I had thought it would taste really local, but they actually used fresh rosemary and made the white sauce themselves! 4.25/5
We might be worried about the disappearance of certain hawker dishes like char kway teow or satay beehoon, but not zi char. Zi char is alive and well and it is easy to understand why. Whereas Singaporeans would complain about a plate of char kway teow which costs $6, no one blinks an eye at a plate of fried vegetables with oyster sauce that costs $8 at the zi char. Zi char is good business, which is why there are a lot of zi char out there. The real challenge with zi char operators is how to come up with a few signature dishes which will help them stand out from the crowd.
Blue rice is currently the in thing! It’s actually not a new thing but an old thing, but somehow it has recently become THE thing! Blue food really does capture the imagination doesn’t it? There are not many foods that we associate the colour blue with. One can think of blue cheese and blueberries perhaps, […]
I am sure most Singaporeans will be familiar with the Yaowarat district in Bangkok. It is popularly known as the Chinatown of Bangkok and it is where you go for Thai-Chinese food. I haven't really explored the food at Yaowarat much even when I was living in Bangkok in the early 2000's. The place is a traffic nightmare and I remembered it for its numerous shark's fins restaurants!
JB Ah Meng burst into our Zi Char scene in 2009 with their white pepper crabs going for $20 for 3 . I still remember reading about them in the forums and promptly made my way down to sample the food. They have made great strides since then and even gotten themselves listed in the […]
The formula for success in hawkerpreneurship can be summarized thus: Good(taste + quality + price) = Success Bai Nian is a fine example of how this formula works. In just three short years, Andy Pang went from the timber business to running three busy yong tau foo stalls and an entire food court! How did […]
Folklore: Damian D’Silva’s Homage to Singapore Cuisine
Our kakis meets each Wednesday to try out new places and, in short, Folklore is the best meal we have had this year. It is rare to find a restaurant where the kakis are unanimous in their praise and where each and every dish was greeted with mouths filled with food and eyes twinkling with satisfaction.
Sin Kee Seafood Soup: Something’s brewing up North!
Crayfish has been enjoying a surge of popularity in recent years with the increasing number of stalls serving seafood white beehoon. It was once considered the poor man’s lobster, but something that used to cost $12/kg just 5 years ago is now commanding $17/kg and this blog post isn’t helping to put a damper on the […]