The flurry surrounding our nation's jubilee has gotten even us, the plebeians, all hyped up and raring to join in. And what better way to demonstrate our patriotism than to show some love towards local cuisine and unite in our past time of eating? Besides the Cheng Tng Cocktail from Blackbird, we have found (and even tried a few) more eye-opening creations from our fellow countrymen, such as the Laksa Maki and Chendol Xiao Long bao.
The Satay Burger ($17) is essentially elements of a satay platter deconstructed, then put back together in the form of a burger. You get marinated chicken thigh sandwiched by rice patties, a salad with raw onions and cucumbers, and a miniature jug of peanut sauce to go with it. While the dish was enjoyable and well executed (especially the chicken, which was tender and nicely spiced), we felt that $17 was a little too steep for satay, burger-fied or otherwise. They also have a Duriancanboleh ($8.50, wordplay on crème brulee), which is made of extra smooth durian custard that goes well with the scorched sugar layer. The Quarters, 16 Enggor Street #01-09, Singapore 079717 (Image: Mandy How)
The idea of Teh Tarik Éclairs ($4.50) was definitely appealing to us, and we weren’t disappointed by this version of it. The cream is lightly infused with the scent of teh tarik and enclosed by soft choux pastry, then finished with chocolate icing. The tea flavour not only gave the éclair a unique spin, but it also wasn’t excessively sweet. On the other hand , the Durian Madeleines ($2) were overshadowed by the lovely éclairs and perhaps, other durian inventions out there. The madeleines were dense and pungent with the smell of durian, but durian fanatics might prefer actual durian puree in the cakes instead of an infusion of it. Available in all Artisan Boulangerie Co. outlets. (Image: Mandy How)
Unfortunately, the Laksa Maki ($9.90) didn’t turn out as intriguing as it sounded. What you get is basically Laksa presented in the form of a sushi, with no rice involved. However, the sushi elements (seaweed, cucumber etc.) were not the best complements, and the resulting taste was rather discordant. It wasn’t bad overall; in fact, the gravy was quite pleasant. But for its price, you could buy 2 bowls of Laksa and enjoy it without having to peel the seaweed away first. Reddo Sushi, Bugis+, 201 Victoria Street #04-13, Singapore 188067 (Image: Mandy How)
And then some more…Besides the few above, there are actually more quirky dishes that we didn’t get to try, but will most probably incite slackened jaws or an overwhelming impulse to try them out – read on to find out more! (And who says Singaporeans aren’t creative?)
The Chendol Xiao Long Bao ($78 with a 5-course meal) comes with coconut, grass jelly, and red beans, and pandan-infused har gow skin, plus a side dip of gula melaka as “vinegar”. We imagine that this cute and ingenious dessert makes sure all the elements of a chendol bursts in your mouth, and with textural variations too. It is no wonder that the vivid green dumpling seems to have hulk-smashed its way into the hearts of many Singaporeans. The same restaurant also has Chilli Crab Ice-Cream in one of their savoury dishes, so curious cats can check out 2 novelties at once. Restaurant Labyrinth, 5 Neil Road, Singapore 088806 (Image: Restaurant Labyrinth’s Facebook page)
Of course we’re not going to exclude chilli crab from this list! These Crispy Crab Balls ($10.50 for 4 pieces) have battered exteriors that hold a compact sphere of fresh crabmeat and clams. Served with chilli crab sauce and deep fried mantous, this could be the cheaper and less messy alternative to the actual thing itself. Ballistic Meatballs, Simpang Bedok, #02-02/03 Bedok Market Place, 348 Bedok Road, Singapore 469560 (Image: Ballistic Meaballs’ Facebook page)
An enterprising and original concoction, the Kaya Toast Cocktail ($23) is made with mount gay rum, peach liqueur, kaya jam, English breakfast tea, honey, fresh lemon juice, egg white, and actual kaya toast stacked on top. While it may not be for everyone, it certainly sounds like an interesting drink that has to be tried at least once.
Bitters and Love, 36 North Canal Road, Singapore 059292 (Image: Instagram user @regina_chin)
Written By Mandy How