Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What to Eat in Singapore: For the First Time Visitor (Part I)

(Read here for Best Singapore Crabs)
(Read here for Best Brunch Spots in Singapore)

I was going to wait at least a few more months before making any posts specifically about Singapore dining.  I wanted to make sure I tried out every worthwhile eatery in every corner of this Lion City before putting it in print (it's a small country, it almost seemed possible).  

But with friends from all over the world coming to visit Singapore and instead of retyping emails over and over again about my current favorite food stalls, I shall publish my recommended Shiok Eats list for the First Time Visitor.

In great detail, I can vividly recall the first time I tried dishes that were uniquely Singapore years ago.  My first bakuhteh, my first laksa, my first hokkien mee, my first roti prata, my first rojak, my first chili crab, etc..  I also vividly remember my first time going to Mambo Jambo at Zouk, but that's another topic not appropriate for a food blog...(I highly recommend it for my American compadres if you want a glimpse of a bizarre Asian dance party unlike one you've ever seen before!)

I'll save all the details on particular food visits and condense my recommendations to a list for easy viewing.  I'm sure this list will evolve and grow over time as I spend more time in Singapore.  In the meantime, the first timer to Singapore can't go wrong with these recommendations.  I guarantee the food won't disappoint:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Food Diary: Last two weeks in the little red dot (Singapore)

Hawker food included: hokkien char mee (black), hokkien hae mee (white), pontian wonton noodles, Portuguese egg tarts
Restaurants visited: Tippling Club, Mellben Seafood, TWG, Tanjong Beach Club

Photo loaded entry!  Click to read full post.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gastronommy TV: Sneak Peek [video]

Last month, I mentioned Cookyn with Mervyn and an upcoming video.  Here's a sneak peek of the intro!  Let us know what you think!

Film, edited and produced by Mike Foong

edit:  Here is a link to the full video.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Food Diary: Home cooking (Singapore)

Thurs 3 June 2010
Dinner, Singapore
NOMsrades: Brandon, Adrian, Kimmy, Nikki, Warren, Shupe, Mommy Mah

paella: saffron, chorizo de bilbao, glass prawns, cockles

Long overdue, made dinner for the Mah's!  Getting the proper Spanish ingredients are tough and expensive to get in Singapore, it seems.  Instead, I replaced a lot of ingredients, such as basmati for the paella (thanks to Mervyn for that idea).  

I completely forgot to take photos.  I was a bit rushed on the whole thing since I had a late start.  Luckily, Brandon Lee took some photos of the paella on his iPhone.  Resulting Menu: ricotta cheese dip (not so Spanish, but I didn't have time for my manchego & jamon creation--it'll be for lunch tomorrow), prawn ceviche, seafood & chorizo paella, and roast chorizo & potatoes with thyme.  Kimberly ended up taking over for dessert with a peach and strawberry crumble--thank goodness because she's a brilliant baker and I'm not.  My original menu ended up not taking effect... another time, I guess!

Everything turned out to be edible enough, considering it was my first home attempt at paella.  I just wish I had a cast iron pan so I could get more of that nice thick bottom layer of crispy paella.  The main dish was inspired by Ruth Reichl's paella recipe with some personal twists. It was all gone by the end of the meal, so either it wasn't so bad or they were just starved by the time dinner was served.

Wild Spot Prawn Ceviche with Wild Rocket
(or salmon, Hokkaido scallops, fresh white fish)
adapted from Cookyn with Mervyn

18 spot prawns, peeled and tail intact
2 tbls shallots, chopped
2 tbls jalapeno/green chili, chopped
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig coriander, chopped finely
1 lemon, juiced
2 large limes, juiced
50gm wild rocket

1. Mix all ingredients (except prawns and wild rocket) and season with salt and pepper.
2. Pour marinade over the spot prawns and leave for 15 minutes (longer for scallops).
3. Serve marinated prawns with wild rocket and a final crack of salt and pepper.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food Diary: Adam Road Food Centre (Singapore)

Monday 31 May 2010
11:30pm Singapore
NOMs Comrade: Adrian

I'm embarrassed to post the hour at which we ate... Late night supper!  I'm currently compiling a "Singapore Eats" list and want to get it posted by next week.  There are a bunch of places I still need to revisit for better photos or a re-taste to double check my choice.  There are only so many meals in a day, so lately there have been a number of extra visits late into the night.  The things I'm starting to do for this site.  Ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the nasi lemak stall I was looking for wasn't even open!  ARGH.
So to console my poor self, I ate something else.  :)

Noo Cheng Adam Road Prawn Noodles: I'm a noodle kind of girl.  I tried Noo Cheng's prawn noodles two weeks ago.  It was good, but definitely not the best I've had in Singapore.  Adam Road seems to be better for Malay food than anything else, but I wasn't in the mood for it.

I had the pork rib noodles, this time with rice noodles (SGD$3).  I could not be bothered with peeling otherwise mediocre prawns.

Coupled with teh tarik (unfortunately, I forget the stall name)

Tek Kee Hot & Cold Desserts: Disgusting pigs we are, we even finished off with a late night dessert.  But I felt less guilty once I noticed that there was a constant lineup of 4-5 people in front of this stall at 1am.  Fellow oinkers.

My first ching teng.  The numerous press articles posted on the stall highlighted their ching teng and its relative cheapness compared to other stalls.  Still, even at SGD$1.50, it's really just a bowl of shaved ice.  Nice profit margins, I imagine.

It's much more simple and modest than other versions of shaved iced I've had (usually drowned in condensed milk, corn, jelly and other goodies).  Still, I enjoyed the bits of dried longan, ginko nuts, clear jelly, and rock sugar flavors.  Looks like I'll have to add ching teng to my Singapore hunting list.

Adam Road Food Centre
2 Adam Road
Singapore, Singapore 

Food Diary: Hainanese Curry Rice (Singapore)

I really don't like when people update their twitter/blog/facebook/myspace with constant posts about EVERY.LAST.LITTLE.THING they put in their mouths.  This might seem a bit silly coming from someone who has created a whole damn blog about food, but I've seen people update with photos of the iced tea they're drinking or the remnants of an insignificant granola bar wrapper.  Frankly, I don't care!  Don't clutter my RSS feed or Twitter with that nonsense!  Those of you who are culprit to these habits should just join Eat.ly and leave it there.

I'm mostly just whining--it doesn't actually offend me that much.  I'm just not into keeping strict hour-by-hour food diaries nor do I have any interest in following NYTimes' Sam Sifton's regularly updated food journal (I can't believe some people who religiously follow it sometimes even criticize his eating habits.. cuh-razy!).

However, there are times when I simply have an unusual meal--for better or for worse-- and want to share it on this blog without going into a full fledged review (takes a lot of time: 1+ time visiting, fact checking, chef chatting, putting it off for a month when the timing is better, etc).  In the recent past, I just uploaded photos of interesting eats as I went along, but that's mostly me being lazy and finding an alternative to constantly having to update this blog when I was busy.  But no more of that.

And so, my occasional and sporadic Food Diary begins now!

Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:45pm Singapore
Temperature: ridiculously hot
NOMs Comrades: Adrian Mah, Guozheng He

Closing time at 2:00pm after a long hot day.  This probably looks really unappealing to some of you, but I assure you, everything was clean and tasty.

Far far away from our stay in Holland Village, we arrived at Pasir Panjang Food Centre.  Our friend, Guozheng insisted that he knew the best Hainanese Curry Rice stall in Singapore.  I didn't really know what Hainanese Curry Rice was, but I assumed it was the usual white rice + chicken curry usual and nothing more.

While many Singaporeans are heading home from Zouk at 2am, the Feng brothers are waking up and preparing their stall for a 4am opening.  

Barley drink, the milky colored beverage is a popular choice amongst local Singaporeans.  I normally go for lime juice, but that day I wanted something less tangy (I love sour flavored drinks) yet still very refreshing.  Barley is that drink.  I love all the soft barley bits at the bottom too!

The food comes speedy fast.  We barely get to our seats before Mr. Feng comes by shooting plates onto our table.  I'm surprised at the number of dishes that endlessly arrive.  I originally imagined Hainan Curry Rice to mean a plate of rice and a bowl of curry, end of story.  Instead, our white rice was covered in a generous dose of curry and charsiu sauce, and the equally important numerous dishes that came out.

Hainanese pork chops, Hainanese sotong curry (squid), Hainanese stewed cabbage, lor bak, crispy fried prawns, tea eggs, fried eggs with sweet soy sauce. 

A delicious melody of ingredients on my rice.  Curry is not usually associated with Chinese cuisine...except for the Hainanese, it seems!

Guozheng and Mr. Feng!  The other Mr. Feng is a bit camera shy and stood off to the side.  

Despite our late arrival when the stall was about to close and the blazingly hot day, Mr. Feng greeted us happily and warmly.  Originally founded by Guozheng's grandfather, the stall has been open for over 40 years after he had first immigrated to Singapore from Hainan, China.  

It was my first experience with Hainanese Curry Rice as you can tell, but considering the numerous awards posted on their stall and my happy belly, Guozheng may just be right in boasting that this is one of the best Hainan Curry Rice stalls in Singapore!  And as with most hawker stalls in Singapore, the price is shioktastically cheap at around SGD$6 for all of that.

Feng Kee Hainanese Curry Rice
209 #01-41 Pasir Panjang Rd
Pasir Panjang Food Centre
Tel: +65 9650-9647
Hours: 4am to 2:30pm

As you can see, there's a "Food Diary" tab that has been added to the site.  I'm having some problems getting my entries to post there separately.  In the meantime, they'll be posted on the regular feed here.


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