Posts tagged Singapore

Singapore week! Cafe Mix, Shangri La

Sydney Food Blog Review of Cafe Mix, Shangri La: Singapore Chilli Crab

I have a confession: I have been so busy eating, that I’ve actually not had enough time to blog. I know, #FoodBloggerProblems, right?

But finally, FINALLY, I’m sitting down to write the recap of Shangri-La’s Singapore Week at Cafe Mix. Because there’s nothing like putting the words “Singapore” and “all-you-can-eat” together to get me all hot under the collar.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Cafe Mix, Shangri La: Satay Sticks

Oh look, proper satay sticks, and not the massive chicken breast monstrosities that we usually get in Sydney!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Cafe Mix, Shangri La: Singapore Chilli Crab

Each table also got a single Singapore Chilli Crab to share, which, while authentic in its sauce, was a bit of a waste of time on the size. See, with crab, there’s always a effort-to-enjoyment ratio. The meat that you get from all the work picking the crab clean should be worth the time taken to do it. And with this, it was just a bit, well, imbalanced.

And my golden ratio was violated.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Cafe Mix, Shangri La: Pandan Roulette

Sydney Food Blog Review of Cafe Mix, Shangri La: Passionfruit Panna Cotta

The rest of the offerings – chicken rice? YAAASSS – was actually quite authentic and well-done, considering that it can be hard to get the specific ingredients and skill in Sydney. The chicken was silky and tender, and the condiment game was strong with this one.

The dessert spread was the most impressive of the lot, mixing traditional dessert items, like Pulut Hitam, a black glutinous rice and coconut porridge, with more modern takes like the pandan roulette. Oh and the pandan gelato? Smooth as silk and rich like a colonial master. Best pandan gelato I’ve had, well, ever.

It was a great way to ease some of the homesickness I’ve had for Singapore food, without the hassle of you know, actually leaving the country. And the best part of the Shangri-la wasn’t even that they flew the chefs in, oh no, it was the service. The waiters were omnipresent and invisible all at once, and missing cutlery and drinks mysteriously appear before we even think to ask for them.

Well done, Shangri-la, well done. *slow claps*

This meal was independently paid for.
Shayan Quarter @ Cafe Mix
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9250 6206
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/sydney/shangrila/dining/restaurants/cafe-mix/

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Chicken Rice Chronicles: Rasa Delights, Eastwood

Review of Rasa Malaysia, in Eastwood

I’m not the most nationalistic Singaporean you’d find around, but one thing I AM very proud of is the Chicken Rice. First concocted by the Hainanese who migrated to Singapore “back in the day”, this has become a national treasure, and one of our most famous exports.

Most countries in the South East Asian region now have their own versions of Chicken Rice, with our closest neighbour (and fellow foodie community) Malaysia having the most variety!

And when it comes to food, more variety = more deliciousness. Always.

Deep fried chicken rice balls

One such variation are Chicken Rice Balls. You’d think it’s just a case of rolling the rice up into balls, but you’d be wrong. There are so many things to consider: to sauce or not to sauce, chicken in or on the side…and at Rasa Delights in Eastwood, it’s whether to deep fry it.

Yep, when you think that Chicken Rice can’t get any more decadent, you can always roll it into a ball, crumb it in panko and deep fry the sucker.

Deep fried chicken rice balls

Here, it’s pre-sauced and mixed with bits of chicken, crumbed with panko (a Japanese breadcrumb made with white milk bread) and served with Japanese mayo on the side. Kinda like if a Japanese person decided to attempt a Singaporean classic I guess. Not quite the pay off we were hoping for, but points for trying.

Chicken Laksa

Of course, just as a measure of quality, we also ordered the Chicken Laksa. Strips of poached chicken sits atop noodles in a shrimp/chilli/coconut broth. While it hit most of the flavour notes, this particular bowl unfortunately wasn’t thick enough for my taste. Good laksa, to me, is meant to be gao – a Hokkien term for a thickness or richness that you look for in things like Laksa, or, you know, milk teas.

I was severely lacking the shrimp and eschallot mince that is meant to make up most of the soup, much like how assam laksa has flakes of sardine all through it. Not bad for a laksa in Australia, but not quite the laksa my mother has spoilt me with growing up.

Hainan Chicken Rice, with an extra fried egg on the top

So back to the chicken rice it is. I must say that this hits most of the marks for me – silky chicken, glossy rice cooked with chicken fat – BUT I have an issue with the sauces. And to a South East Asian the condiments are half the battle. There have been long, snaking queues in Singapore just for good chilli alone. Well, there’s been long snaking queues in Singapore for not very much, but you know what I mean.

The chilli lacked body, and the ginger sauce was weak. AND WHERE IS MY SOY DRIZZLE. True chicken rice, to me, has to be completed with a soy drizzle that is made of soy, chinese rice wine, and chicken stock that is made from cooking the chicken. Keeps the chicken thoroughly seasoned and keeps the rice juicy. And we like it juicy.

Service wise, they were polite and very accommodating, and they checked in on us often enough without hovering. So that was nice.

I’m still a bit pouty about the lack of condiments, but not a bad option to satisfy cravings for Malaysian food if you happen to be in Eastwood.

This meal was independently paid for.
Rasa Delights
80 Rowe St
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Phone: 02 8040 4605
Website: https://www.facebook.com/rasadelights.au

Rasa Delights on Urbanspoon

Singapore Family favourite: Prawn Paste Chicken Recipe

It’s funny how smells and memories work. There are so many stinky things in the world that I associate with deliciousness – durian, fish sauce, sauerkraut, blue cheese…all these smells make my mouth water and my tummy rumble, even though there are some who would turn their nose up in disgust. I guess it comes from growing up in Singapore. Once you start associating stinky with delicious at a very young age, you start getting very excited to try the weird and wonderful. And hey, if nothing else, it’s a great ice breaker at a party.

Fermented shrimp paste is one such favourite that really baffles my friends. This stuff hits your nostrils the moment the seal on the jar is open, and has a somewhat sour/salty aroma that is quite similar to fish sauce. But add that to chicken and the deep fryer? And you’ve got prawn paste chicken (had jeong gai), a local favourite that graces almost every special occasion, family gathering, and children’s birthday party.

Trust me, this stuff is freaking delicious.
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Feeling Crabby? Singapore Chilli Crab Fried Rice Recipe

Chilli Crab Fried Rice Recipe

I may be a very hardworking *ahem* eater, but I’m actually quite a lazy cook at home. And let me say this:

There ain’t no shame in using modern conveniences!

I do love making a lot of things from scratch, but there are just some sauces that take so much time and effort that it’s really worthwhile getting a good packet sauce mix, for the convenience. Sambal belachan, for example, is one of those that’s full of pungent fermented-shrimpness and takes ages, so JUST BUY THE DAMN BOTTLE.

And Chilli Crab, for me, is one of the other. Sure, make your own when you have the time, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy a weekend meal on a weekday. You just need a little helping hand. So this Singapore Chilli Crab Fried Rice uses packet Chilli Crab sauce, bottled sambal belachan, frozen vegetables, and a tub of picked crab meat.

And it’s frickin’ delicious, in 40 minutes or less.

Chilli Crab Fried Rice Recipe

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’3′]

Things You Should Do In Singapore

When friends used to ask me about what they should do when visiting Singapore, I would draw a complete blank. After all, growing up in a country doesn’t necessarily enable you to look at it through tourists eyes. To me, eating has always been the only thing worth doing, and I would always make my recommendations accordingly.
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Slake, Singapore

You know you’re getting older when you get together with a girlfriend you haven’t seen in ages, and you find yourself talking about…houses. Weird, isn’t it, when you find yourself suddenly all grown up and not even resisting the idea! Even the setting’s grown up – we ate at a swanky new gastropub in Singapore – Slake.
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Happy Singapore National Day!

I am Singaporean. It may explain a lot about my queueing habits and my obsession with getting value for money, but being Singaporean is more than that. Political stability – and we shall not discuss the specifics of politics here – have allowed me to use my little red passport to travel just about anywhere I’d like to in this world, and the mishmash of cultures and languages have allowed me a better food knowledge, exposure and understanding than I would have if I was born anywhere else.
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Singaporean Foods You Should Try

Whenever I mention that I’m from Singapore, I inevitably get asked about Chilli Crab and Chicken Rice. And while they might be our most popular exports, Singapore is so much more than that. Yes, go to your Tian Tian Chicken Rice if you absolutely have to, but trust me, you’ll wanna hit up a few other dishes that you won’t get a chance to try otherwise. Here’s my list of Singaporean foods that will get you eating like a local!

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A Little Street In Singapore

Ah Singapore. I think I have a love/hate relationship with it. After all, it’s where I spent my best childhood years, and my worst teenage ones. And despite my distaste for the humidity that poofs¬†my hair into the worst version of a 70’s afro (blessed with sleek Asian hair, I was not) and the heat that makes me sweat like a criminal on trial, I do have a fondness for the people and the food – because you can find nothing like it in any other part of the world. So once in a while I visit. And when I do, it’s a whirlwind.

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