June 29, 2017

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by Michelin Guide Singapore

HOT on the heels of one-star openings like Tsuta and Hawker Chan’s comes Kam’s Roast – the first global offshoot of one-Michelin-starred roast meat restaurant Kam’s Roast Goose that hails from Hong Kong.

On Nov 19, the eatery will be raising its shutters at Pacific Plaza serving up its signature dishes like roast duck and suckling pig. In this Michelin Guide Singapore exclusive video, we go behind the scenes with founder Hardy Kam to take a look at what it takes to run the well-loved household name, the brand’s three-generation-old legacy and how the owners are preserving the essence of Cantonese cuisine.

 

Kams Roast
#01-04/05/06/07, Pacific Plaza
Follow Kam’s roast Facebook page.
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Special promotion: Get an exclusive, pre-launch taste of Kam’s Roast.
Featured image a screenshot of 记得,一份味道 video.

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by Jonathan Leong

THE craze for spicy food challenges, which for many people started with the Korean spicy noodle challenge last year, doesn’t seem to have abated.

Singapore foodies – or perhaps, just daredevils – certainly love their spice. The Korean challenge – in which consumers had to eat a whole packet of the tongue numbingly hot Samyang Flaming Chicken instant noodles in the shortest time possible – was certainly partly responsible for the increase in sales of the noodles. Sales of the noodle at NTUC supermarket, for instance, doubled from January to July last year.

Many eateries here also have their own challenges, or just mega-spicy offerings on the menu. Here are four options if you’re looking to challenge your taste buds:

 

Jerry’s Insanity Buffalo Wings (Level 6)

Spicy buffalo wings originated from United States, New York, and are basically fried chicken wings coated in a spicy pepper sauce.

At Jerry’s BBQ and Grill, there are six levels of spiciness for diners to pit their taste buds against – ranging from Level 1 (Smokin’) to Level 6 (Jerry’s Insanity).

At Level 6, the buffalo wings come with a hazard warning that says: “Order Level 5 and 6 at your own risk”. The fact that the Trinidad Scorpion pepper is used in the sauce might have something to do with that, seeing as it is one of the spiciest pepper known to man.

The wings are served at four pieces for $15.95 or six pieces for $19.95

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Image is a screenshot from the Jerry’s BBQ and Grill restaurant’s webpage.

 

Location: 92 Club St, Singapore 069460

Tel: 6323 4550

Opening hours:

Mon – Sat: 12:00pm – 12:30am

Sun: 12:00pm – 12:00am

 

Magma ramen

This time-limited offer is currently on at Ramen Champion’s Great World City outlet, from now till Dec 31. Claiming to be the spiciest ramen in Singapore, it comes in four levels of spice.

The more cautious diners can try the normal level of spiciness. Others can choose to up the ante by five, 10 or 20 times the normal levels of spiciness.

The Magma Ramen is priced at $12.80 a bowl. The restaurant warns though, that level 20 is “not for the faint hearted”.

Image from Ramen Champion Singapore restaurant’s Facebook page.

 

Location: Ramen Champion, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City #01-22, Singapore 237994

Tel: 6235 1295

Opening hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm daily

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Spaghetti from Hell (Level 18)

With a sauce made from the Trinidad Scorpion and Bhut Jolokia peppers, which are two of the hottest peppers in the world, this gastronomical challenge is not one to be taken lightly. You even have to sign an indemnity form before you start.

The challenge, at Southwest Tavern, is to finish a plate of the extremely spicy spaghetti within 10 minutes without drinking water the entire time. Whoever can complete the challenge is entered into the restaurant’s wall of fame and gets to chose either a $100 voucher or two towers of Heineken beer to help put out the fire that will likely be raging in the mouth. 

Read how our contributor Ryan Ong survived this dish during a recent visit.

A plate of this hellish delicacy goes for $26 a plate. In case you are wondering, there are no other levels of spiciness – Southwest Tavern’s owner said that Level 18 was in reference to the deepest level of hell in Chinese beliefs. You have been warned.

Image from Southwest Tavern restaurant’s Facebook page.

 

Location: 8 Boon Lay Way, Tradehub 21, #01-33, Singapore 609964

Tel: 6515 4303

Opening hours: 11:00am – 12:00am daily

 

Coco Ichibanya curry (Level 5)

The curry house’s main offering is Japanese curry, which has a slight sweetness to it. But there are customisation options and this is where it gets interesting: diners can choose among seven levels of spiciness for their curries. These are mild, original, medium hot (Level 1), hot (Level 2), extra hot (Level 3), super hot (Level 4) and crazy hot (Level 5).

Prices range from $12 to $16.

 

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Image from Coco Ichibanya restaurant’s Facebook page.

 

Check out Coco Ichibanya’s six outlets here.

Opening hours:

Sun – Thur: 10:00am to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00am to 11:00pm

 

Featured image Kings of the Hot Pepper World by Flickr user Richard Elzey. (CC BY 2.0)

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by Ryan Ong

LAST week, at The Middle Ground, someone pointed out that Southwest Tavern at Boon Lay had a Spaghetti From Hell challenge. If you can eat the whole plate of spicy spaghetti in 10 minutes without a drink, you win two beer towers or a $100 voucher. Now this is the wrong way around: usually you need the two beer towers first, in order to agree to a challenge like that. But because I was born with a deficient sense of self-preservation, I decided to try it anyway.

by Michelin Guide Singapore

IT’S a long way from the seats of our gala dinner up onto the Michelin stage – just as it’s a long journey to success. On the eve of his restaurant’s move to a brand new venue on Dempsey Hill, we go Behind The Scenes with Malcolm Lee of Singapore’s Candlenut restaurant to learn more about the struggles and sacrifices he had to go through to get the restaurant to its current stature, and why he has a love-hate relationship with it – even today.

The Struggles and Sacrifices of Running a Michelin-Starred Kitchen: Malcolm Lee of Candlenut video by Michelin Guide Singapore. Visit Michelin Guide Singapore Facebook page here.
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Featured image a screenshot of  The Struggles and Sacrifices of Running a Michelin-Starred Kitchen: Malcolm Lee of Candlenut video.

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by Wan Ting Koh

THE hawker awarded a Michelin star few months ago for his soya sauce chicken dishes will be opening a new restaurant come November.

Fans will get to taste Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle dishes at an air-conditioned restaurant, called Hawker Chan, just a three-minute walk away from the original stall at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre. The restaurant will be at 78 Smith Street and the chef behind Liao Fan, Mr Chan Hon Meng, will be shuttling between both locations.

Liao Fan’s rise from a hawker stall to restaurant is the latest success story in a line of hawker stalls who have tried to make it big in the past few years by selling their recipes at high prices. Not all were as successful as Mr Chan however.

The chef’s plans were unveiled on Friday (Oct 28) at a joint press conference by Hersing Culinary, Liao Fan’s new partner, and Mr Chan himself. Hersing Culinary is the company that owns the franchising rights of popular dim sum food chain Tim Ho Wan. Its chairman, Mr Harry Chua, said that the Hawker Chan restaurant will have a floor area of 2,000 sq ft, and it can fit 80 diners. He added that there were plans for global expansion for Hawker Chan too.

Even though both admitted that dishes at Uncle Chan would be priced higher than at the hawker stall, Mr Chan was quick to assure that prices would still remain affordable and comparable to dishes served at food courts. The important thing was to ensure that the quality of the food remained consistent, he pointed out.

Liao Fan has been in the spotlight since it was awarded a Michelin star in July this year, with long queues at its current stall spiking the waiting time to some two hours. Mr Chan then wanted to expand his business and sought a partner that could give a $2 million “guaranteed cooperation fee” for his recipe and cooking expertise. At the press conference, Mr Chan clarified that the recipe has not been sold, and that Hersing has invested $1 million into the new restaurant.

 

Here are five other recipes and homegrown businesses that were pegged at high prices:

$42,800

Uncle Chicken Rice stall made the news last month for selling its Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice recipe to two buyers for $42,800 each. But the pricey amount comes with more than a recipe.

The two buyers, Mr Koh Teng Loke, 34, and Ms Cheong Wai Fong, 36, each bought themselves an apprenticeship under Uncle Chicken Rice stall’s owner Niven Leong, 56. The apprenticeship included on-the-job training at the stall in prepping, cooking and, inventory management.

Mr Leong initially put the recipe up for sale in 2014. He received 18 offers but rejected them as he deemed the buyers too commercially driven or unsuitable, he said in a report in The New Paper. He eventually accepted Mr Koh and Ms Cheong as trainees last December and in June this year. Mr Leong said in a Straits Times (ST) report that he would stay on as business adviser for at least 1 1/2 years after both his students start their eateries.

sin-kee

Image from SIN KEE Famous Chicken Rice’s Facebook page

 

$4,000,000

In February this year, the owner of Lana Cake Shop, Mrs Violet Kwan, 88, announced her decision to sell her business, including the shop at Greenwood Avenue and her recipes, to a successor. While she wouldn’t give a selling price, her daughter said that the shop is valued at $4 million. The shop is more than four decades old, and its signature product is its chocolate fudge cake.

There has been no news about any impending sale since Mrs Kwan’s announcement, but if you’re interested in trying the signature chocolate cake, an 800g one goes for $42.

chocolate-fudge-cake

Image from Lana Cake Shop’s Facebook page.

 

$4,000,000

This was the price that a roast meat joint specialising in Guangzhou-style roast meat dishes received from the sale of its shop. Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint, which is along Upper Paya Lebar Road, was sold for $4 million to conglomerate Aztech Group in 2014. The selling price was $500,000 more than what the owners, Madam Betty Kong, 70, and her husband, Mr Ha Wai Kay, 66, had asked for their 1,313 sq ft shop space and her “secret recipe”.

When the business went up for sale in 2012, the original asking price for the recipe alone was $2 million – perhaps not a hefty price tag for a 50-year-old recipe that helps its owners rake in a four-figure daily profit. Kay Lee has since expanded to six other outlets, including one in Bukit Batok which opened its doors in mid-June this year.

In August this year however, the couple were convicted of tax evasion. Ha, registered as the sole proprietor of Kay Lee, was found guilty of evading $54,917.15 of income taxes for 2010 and 2011, and his wife guilty of helping him. Both were sentenced to four weeks’ jail and each had to pay a penalty of $164,751.45, three times the tax evaded.

roast-meat

Image from Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint’s Facebook page.

 

$200,000

Owners of Tai Fatt Hou Cuisine, a stall located in a coffee shop in Bukit Merah, put up their Hakka stewed beef noodles recipe for $200,000 in 2012. The couple behind the stall, Mr Anthony Wong Pak Shin, 67, and his wife, Madam Lucy Tan Li Ying, 65, had said they wanted to retire and could not convince their children to take over the business. Mr Wong had also suffered a heart attack in 2011.

The stall’s specialty was adapted from Mr Wong’s father’s hand-me-down recipe of Hakka carrot and beef stew. It’s unclear if a deal was inked, but a Facebook post from Tai Fatt Hou Cuisine last year said that the owners had ceased operations and would update the page if they resumed operations. However, there hasn’t been a post since.

beef-noodles

Image from Tai Fatt Hou Cuisine’s Facebook page

 

$200,000

Also in 2012, a Bak Kut Teh recipe went on sale for $200,000. This came from the owner of Xiu Jie Claypot Bak Kut Teh, Madam Ang Chiew Huat. Madam Ang, 68, had to close her stall at 79 Telok Blangah after suffering a bad fall. According to ST, Madam Ang has yet to sell the recipe, and her offer still stands. She now runs a stall in Telok Blangah Crescent selling rojak and fried prawn fritters.

Madam Ang said in an ST report last month that she had received some enquiries about her bak kut teh recipe, but she didn’t sell the recipe to them. They were not hawkers and didn’t seem knowledgeable about running a hawker business, she said.

 

Featured image by Sean Chong.

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by Najeer Yusof

INDIAN sweets are not only for prayer but are a part of every happy occasion. From weddings to childbirths and even celebrating personal successes. “People think that Indian sweets are only for Deevapali. No, they are an integral part of our lives,” said Mr Paneer Selvam, 43, co-owner of a sweet store.

Made mostly from flour, sugar, ghee, milk, spices and nuts, these sweets come in an assortment of colours and shapes. There are both milk and non-milk based Indian sweets. For the milk-based ones, sugar is added to the milk and the mixture is heated until it solidifies into a paste-like mixture called Khoya. Then it is mixed with sugar and other spices before being moulded into the various shapes. Roughly 20g of sugar makes up 1kg of any Indian sweet. However due to the thickening of the milk, the sweetness becomes concentrated.

Although there is a variation in the kind of sweets that originate from North and South India, these days one can find both kinds in any sweet store, including the French Corner, a local Indian sweet shop along Race Course Road. It’s co-owner, Mr Selvam, has been in the business of selling Indian sweets for about 12 years. Although he only started French Corner, last year, he had been running the business back in India with his friends. After coming to Singapore, both he and his wife gave up their professional dancing career to sell Indian sweets.

 

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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by Li Shan Teo 

HEARD of pitaya (yellow dragon fruit) from Ecuador? What about the ghost pepper from India?

Well, these exotic produce might be a common sight soon at supermarkets, specialty shops and even market stalls here.

Stores like Fairprice Finest and Cold Storage are bringing in more exotic produce – from countries like Colombia and Ecuador – to introduce some variety to our grocery lists.

Have Singaporeans developed an appetite for the unusual?

Mr Victor Chai, the director of fresh and frozen products for Fairprice told TMG that the supermarket constantly looks for ways to engage its customers and “cater to their evolving lifestyles” by “periodically [introducing] new and unique products”. 

Singaporeans are becoming increasingly well-travelled – according to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study conducted last year, 95 per cent of Singaporeans have travelled abroad for leisure from 2014 to 2015. Introducing new products from “around the world” was therefore one way to engage with the customers of today. 

According to Mr Chai, the exotic produce available generally generate good sales. The moon drop grapes, which were introduced in Fairprice in August, have been “well-received by [its] shoppers” with good sales. Cold Storage is also selling this variety of grapes.

Blueberries, which used to only be available in limited quantities, were also well-received and are now available at majority of Fairprice outlets almost all-year round, Mr Chai added.

As for the yellow dragon fruit, Mr William Lim, the owner of Holland Village Fresh Fruits market stall, said that he had brought in the fruit from Ecuador about five to six years ago. While current sales are not as good as when he had first brought the yellow dragon fruit in, he would still continue to sell them, as he attributed the drop in sales as something inevitable due to the economic downturn – it may also be harder for smaller fruit shops to generate good sales due to their location and comparatively smaller customer base.

Mr Lim also imports the Ecuadorian passion fruit. He chose to import these fruits because Singaporeans are known to like sweet fruits, he said. The yellow dragon fruit and the Ecuadorian passion fruit are both well known for their sweetness.

Here are some interesting finds in the stores:

 

1. Ghost pepper

Touted as one of the hottest peppers in the world, the ghost pepper, also known as Bhut jolokia, measures more than 1 million Scoville heat units. For comparison, it’s 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The pepper is cultivated in India and indigenous to the Assam region in the northeastern part of the country.

While Singaporeans love spicy food, it’s best to be careful with the ghost pepper. According to reports, a healthy 47-year-old man who attempted a super-spicy feat – eating a hamburger served with a ghost pepper puree – tore a hole in his oesophagus and had to be rushed to the hospital.

A seed from the pepper can cause the mouth to feel like it’s on fire for up to half an hour.

Still, ghost peppers can make a great ingredient for many sauces. Just remember not to go overboard.

You can find them at Fairprice Finest at $4.95 per box.

peppers-2

Image from TMG file. 

 

2. Yellow dragon fruit

We’ve all seen the “traditional” dragon fruit with the bright red skin. But yellow dragon fruit are rare and a novelty to Singaporeans. The main difference? The yellow ones are produced in only two countries in the world – Ecuador and Colombia. The flesh is also said to be much sweeter.

The dragon fruit is also rich with health benefits, such as aiding with digestion and improving immunity. Its high fibre content improves the body’s bowel movements, and high levels of vitamin C present in the fruit gives the immune system a boost.

These fruits are being sold at Momobud at $13 per piece.

They’re also sold at Holland Village Fresh Fruits for $8 to $10 per piece. You can also buy them for $28 per kilogram. The market stall is located at No. 1 Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277700.

Image from TMG file. 

 

3. Ecuadorian passion fruit

Unlike the normal dark-coloured variety, the passion fruit from Ecuador – also called the Granadilla – has transparent flesh and is sweet. The fruit is sold with straws at Fairprice Finest, so that consumers can “drink” the pulp.

The Granadilla has many health properties: rich in anti-oxidants, improves and maintains eye vision, alleviates asthma attacks and treats insomnia.

You can buy these passion fruits at Fairprice Finest for $6.50 – they come in a pair.

They are also sold at Holland Village Fresh Fruits at $3 a piece.

passionfruit

Image from TMG file.

 

4. Moon drop grapes 

Local supermarkets have started to import moon drop grapes, and unlike normal grapes, these are somewhat oblong in shape. The skins of the grapes are also darker than that of normal grapes.

The grapes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. They also control your blood sugar, relieve constipation and improve your vision.

Cold Storage sells them at $15 per pack.

You can also find them at Epicure Fine Foods Pte Ltd for $25 (1 kg bag).

moon-grape

Image from NTUC Fairprice. 

 

5. Golden raspberries

Raspberries don’t just come in red. In fact, they come in a variety of colours such as purple or black. The golden raspberries that have recently been introduced in local supermarkets are the sweetest of the group – they tend to have a sweeter and milder flavour compared to their red counterparts.

Like all raspberries, golden raspberries possess a variety of health benefits. They contain powerful antioxidants that inhibit tumour growth and inflammation in the body. The fibre and water content of the fruit also help to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

You can read more about the health benefits of raspberries here.

You can buy the golden raspberries at $7.95 per box at Fairprice Finest.

golden-raspberries-copy

Image from TMG file. 

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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by Michelin Guide Singapore
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OKAY folks, here’s the bad news you may not want to hear: 75 per cent of the seafood consumed in Singapore is not responsibly caught, including many fish varieties found in everyday hawker favourites such as nasi lemak and fish porridge. A worrying thought, given that every Singaporean consumes an average of 22kg of seafood per year.
This is according to the brand new Sustainable Seafood Guide for Singapore, launched by the World Wildlife Fund earlier this week. The guide was put together after surveys of a total of 41 seafood species commonly found in Singapore, and groups some of the most popular seafood species into three categories based on an internationally agreed method to assess seafood sustainability, namely: Recommended, Think Twice and Avoid.
The full selection of the WWF Singapore Seafood Guide. <a href='http://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/wwf_seafoodguide2016.pdf'>Download</a> the guide here.
The full selection of the WWF Singapore Seafood Guide. Download the guide here.
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Among seafood on the ‘Avoid’ list are species that feature heavily in Singaporean cuisine, such as Indian threadfin (locally known as ‘ngoh hur‘) used in fish porridge; silver pomfret, commonly used in Chinese dishes; and yellow-banded scad (or ‘ikan kuning’), a key ingredient in nasi lemak, on top of already controversial species such as sharks, bluefin tuna and rays.
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Common fish species in the 'Avoid' category, and why they made the blacklist. Photo: WWF
Common fish species in the ‘Avoid’ category, and why they made the blacklist. Photo: WWF
But here’s the slightly better news: it is not too late for restaurateurs, chefs and diners to do something about it.
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To translate talk into action, the WWF organised a Sustainable Seafood Forum on Oct 4, gathering together some of the city’s culinary luminaries for a panel discussion and an afternoon of workshops to discuss practical means of integrating sustainability into restaurant and hotel operations. A Responsible Seafood Group was launched the same afternoon, made up of local industry leaders such as Global Ocean Link and Marina Bay Sands. These companies have pledged to work with the WWF Singapore to commit to responsible sourcing standards, and hopefully pave the way for the rest of the industry to follow suit.
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Marina Bay Sands, for instance, has kept sharks fin off the menus of the restaurants it owns and operates since 2014, and now serves selected seafood sourced from suppliers that fish or farm responsibly based on global seafood standards in over 80 dining outlets within its grounds. They also collaborate with the WWF to identify and support key projects and sustainability-led fisheries in the region such as Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia.
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“Progress in sustainability is incremental and collaborative,” said Kevin Teng, Executive Director of Sustainability of Marina Bay Sands. “Innovation isn’t some guy sitting in a room thinking about how to reinvent the wheel. It’s about us getting together, working together, and trying to make incremental progress every single year.”
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“The most important thing to do is to recognise that every time we open our wallets to make a purchase or decide who we are going to partner with, it is a reflection of what we believe in, and the values that we stand for.”

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A bottom trawler scrapes the ocean floor, destroying the marine habitat in the process. Photo: WWF
A bottom trawler scrapes the ocean floor, destroying the marine habitat in the process. Photo: WWF
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Executive chef Lucas Glanville of the Grand Hyatt Singapore, which recently made waves on social media for its groundbreaking effort towards recycling 100 per cent of its daily food waste, believes that the first step towards sustainability, for many chefs, is to start internally – by having a thorough understanding of one’s menu, and stripping away the unnecessary.
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“When we started six years ago, we reviewed everything that we serve and found that we had over 600 seafood items on the menu, a lot of them duplicates – including about 30 different sizes of prawns,” he shared. “We’ve now cut that to less than 100 seafood items, which we spend more effort on to source sustainably.”
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Any initiative – even a small one – counts for something, added Emmanuel Benardos, group general manager of the Unlisted Collection hotel and restaurant group. “Just start. Start with just one product, during one lunch service, or remove a controversial item from your menu and make it by-request only – and get people to ask why,” he said, citing the group’s popular Michelin-recommended restaurant Burnt Ends as an example. The grill-centric eatery doesn’t serve prawns on the menu at all, despite customer requests, because they are rarely sustainably sourced.
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A grilled scallop dish from Burnt Ends. The restaurant has chosen to do away with prawns on its menu as prawn-farming is increasingly associated with the destruction of mangrove areas, coastal pollution, salinisation, and other detriments to the environment.
A grilled scallop dish from Burnt Ends. The restaurant has chosen to do away with prawns on its menu as prawn-farming is increasingly associated with the destruction of mangrove areas, coastal pollution, salinisation, and other detriments to the environment.
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He further highlighted the importance of mobilising one’s entire operations team for maximum impact. “We hold briefings for all our front of house staff to understand and articulate the message, use imagery on our menus to educate, and tap on our marketing team to jump on the hashtags and get the word out on social media.”
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“It’s not about whether we should strive for sustainability anymore, but how to do it quickly, and cost effectively,” added WWF Australia’s Australian Seafood and Fisheries Manager Jo-Anne McCrea in summary.
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This article first appeared on Michelin Guide Singapore. Visit Michelin Guide Singapore on Facebook.

Featured image Seafood by Flickr user LY CHEN. (CC BY 2.0)

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by Li Shan Teo

IF YOU’RE a die-hard foodie, you would have probably caught wind of the country’s latest food trend: poke bowls.

No, they have nothing to do with Pokemon. Instead, poke is a colourful bowl of fish salad that is both Instagram-worthy and fast becoming a favourite for the health conscious.

Since the opening of the first restaurant here that focuses solely on poke bowls (pronounced “poh-kay”) in early October last year, many other places that sell poke bowls have since sprung up. The bowls come in various colours and textures that are bound to whet your appetite – from those that stay loyal to their Hawaiian roots to bowls that are more adventurous on the taste buds.

 

What is it? 

Poke is the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut”. The dish is essentially a Japanese-inspired raw fish salad, originating from the streets of Hawaii. It consists of cubes of raw fish, usually Ahi tuna (yellowfin tuna), served with a bed of salad greens and topped with sauces.

Although it’s commonly served as an appetiser in Hawaii, the poke available here tend to be served as a main course with rice and other options such as quinoa. It’s a style that is similar to the bara chirashi, which is a Japanese dish that features diced sashimi on top of rice. If you’re wondering why there are similarities between the Hawaiian and Japanese dishes, it’s because a sizeable portion of the Hawaiian population has Japanese roots – 16.7 per cent of Hawaii’s population is Japanese, forming the largest group of Asian-Americans.

The dish has also been adapted to cater to the Singaporean palate. Instead of sticking to the traditionally used Ahi tuna, poke bowls here offer a wide selection that range from salmon to chicken.

We’ve compiled a short list of the different types of poke bowls you can find. So dive right in!

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Aloha Poke

The first poke restaurant to open in Singapore in October last year, Aloha Poke is the one to go to for a more traditional take on the salad. The restaurant claims to stay true to its Hawaiian heritage, with its fish seasoned “to perfection”.  This is true, with its fish options more on the side of traditional poke bowls – you can choose between tuna and salmon.

The poke bowls come in three standard sizes: the Lil’ Swell that comes with one scoop of poke (75g), Standard Nalu with two scoops of poke (150g) and Big Kahuna with three scoops of poke (225g). They’re priced at $11.90, $15.90 and $19.90 respectively.

Every bowl is typically served with rice (white or brown) and salad, your choice of poke, and topped off with scallions, pineapple and lime. You may also choose two complimentary add-ons and one superfood from their selection.

To spice things up, Aloha Poke offers three flagship sauces – original, wasabi mayo and spicy.

Image from Aloha Poke’s website. 

 

Marina Bay Link Mall, 8A Marina Boulevard, #B2-46, Singapore 018984
Opening hours: 11:30am – 8pm (Monday to Friday), 11:30am – 2:30pm (Saturday)

92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911 (Telok Ayer MRT)
Tel: +65 6221 6165
Opening hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm (Monday to Saturday), Closed on Sunday

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Rollie Ollie

For a more Asian-inspired bowl, head down to Rollie Ollie, which is touted as an “Asian fusion restaurant with a touch of California style”.

The poke bowls are available in unique Asian flavours such as Seoul Surfer ($13.95) and Thai Twist ($13.95). If you’re craving for some Korean food, the Seoul Surfer will be able to satisfy your appetite with its inclusion of seaweed, sesame seeds and a Korean spicy sauce. If you prefer Thai food, the Thai Twist has Asian ingredients such as mango, coriander, and Thai fish and lemon sauce. The restaurant’s Japanese-inspired bowls are Yuzu Bliss ($14.95) and Wild About Wasabi ($14.95).

To complete your meal, you select your rice preference –  sushi, brown or tea infused rice.

Do note that the poke bowls are only served at the Suntec outlet, and not at Star Vista.

rollie-ollie-2

Image from Rollie Ollie’s website. 

 

Suntec City Mall Pasarbella #01-K42, North Wing 3 Temasek Blvd Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 8188 1531
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm

 

A Poké Theory

If you’re more of a free spirit, then A Poke Theory would be perfect for you. The bowls are fully customisable, giving you the freedom to have the salad you really want.

You get three options for the base: sushi rice, romaine lettuce or lemon herb quinoa. Then you choose from four different flavoured cuts – original shoyu tuna, spicy garlic sesame tuna, spicy mayo salmon or avocado miso salmon.

A regular bowl (100g) of tuna will cost you $11.50, while a large bowl (150g) costs $15. For the salmon, a regular bowl costs $12.50 while a large bowl is $16.50.

The restaurant is also big on “premium” toppings such as kimchi and kale chips, so if you’re craving for something more atas (“high class”), A Poke Theory is the place to be.

a-poke-theory

Image from A Poke Theory’s Facebook page.

 

27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623

Opening hours: 11am – 6pm (Monday to Friday), 11am – 4pm (Saturday), Closed on Sunday

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Katto

Poke bowls can be pricey, especially when many poke restaurants are located in town. So for something a little easier on the wallet, head down to Katto.

Unlike the other poke restaurants, Katto offers an option for a mini size bowl ($7.90). It contains one portion of 70g fish, one base of 250g of white rice, brown rice or salad, and a vegetable side. If you have a bigger appetite, opt for the main size bowl ($12.90), which includes an additional serving of fish and side.

It doesn’t hurt that Katto also offers some fun flavours – entice your tastebuds with chicken rice chilli salmon, creamy goma tuna, tangy thai tuna, classic shoyu salmon and California unrolled salmon.

katto

Image from Katto’s Facebook page

 

1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis Building, #01-21/22, Singapore 138522
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Monday to Friday), 11am – 2pm (Saturday), Closed on Sunday

 

Featured image Poke Bowl by Flickr user Michael Saechang. (CC BY 2.0)

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by Michelin Guide Singapore

PASSION is the most common reason chefs give when asked why they decided to carve out a career in the kitchens. But for Singaporean executive chef Haikal Johari who heads one-Michelin-starred restaurant Alma by Juan Amador, this passion also gives him the drive to live.

The 39-year-old is wheelchair-bound. He was involved in an accident late last year which left him paralysed from the shoulder down.

Chef Haikal Johari, making the final checks just before dinner service.Chef Haikal Johari, making the final checks just before dinner service.

“During my stay at the rehabilitation centre, I was still talking to my staff about new menus,” he said. “My mind was always at work. My body may not move but my mind was like, ‘I really wanna get back really, really badly’.”

This is in stark contrast to the days when he thought he had it all. Regarded as a celebrity chef in Bangkok where he was based, the father of two children had a daredevil streak that would take over whenever he mounted a super bike and raced around the track.

Today, chef Haikal is based back in Singapore and moves around in a wheelchair while being cared for by his wife. But he is not letting his disability hold him down: he still goes to work daily, squeezing in time for physiotherapy in between lunch and dinner service. He gamely takes on the challenge of maintaining the one-Michelin-star rating which was awarded to the restaurant when it was still headed by chef de cuisine Christophe Lerouy.
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A menu revamp showcasing his creations was introduced soon when he took over the reins at Alma by Juan Amador. He also brought in chef Suffian Zaini, an old friend and colleague, to help him manage the restaurant in areas where he is unable to.

“Cooking actually helps me to forget the state I’m in,” he said.

Chef Haikal added: “I can’t walk but at least I can see, be in the kitchen and feel the adrenaline again during service time.”

It would seem like a prophetic fit, as Alma in Spanish means “soul” – and there’s certainly lots of it to be felt at the restaurant.

Watch the video for chef Haikal’s remarkable journey of recovery and why cooking keeps him going:

This Singaporean Chef Defied Paralysis To Lead Michelin-Starred Restaurant Alma by Juan Amador video by Michelin Guide Singapore. Visit Michelin Guide Singapore Facebook page here.

 

Featured image a screenshot of This Singaporean Chef Defied Paralysis To Lead Michelin-Starred Restaurant Alma by Juan Amador video.

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