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Food Spy

Singapore’s real culinary treasure

Hawker food has been the go-to choice for foodies in Singapore for generations. Here are some stalls that should be on anyone’s must-try list.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Singapore’s hawker culture was finally inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in late 2020. But those of us who grew up on this sunny little island need no reminding about what treasures our hawker centres truly are.

Pick one from the following list to get started on this mouth-watering treasure trail!

ADAM ROAD FOOD CENTRE

Address: 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876

Foodies love Adam Road Food Centre for its selection of multi-ethnic cuisines. A perennial favourite is Selera Nasi Lemak (#01-02), with every plate of nasi lemak featuring fluffy, fragrant rice, crispy and tender deep fried chicken, moreish otah and lip-smacking sambal.

Bahrakath Mutton Soup (#01-10) serves up hearty bowls of Indian-style, mutton soup, best eaten with a side of toasted french loaf. The mutton leg is the star here, but there’s also tongue, brain or tripe for those in the mood for something more exotic.

For dessert, make your way to Teck Kee Hot and Cold Dessert (#01-31) for their green bean soup and tau suan, said to be one of the best on the whole island. Also popular is their ice kachang, which comes complete with attap seed, rose syrup and sarsaparilla drizzle.

CHONG PANG MARKET & FOOD CENTRE

Address: 105 Yishun Ring Rd, Singapore 760105

Wan Xing Nasi Lemak (#01-134) is one of Chong Pang Food Centre’s many claims to fame. The stall sells Chinese-style nasi lemak with its signature green-tinged rice, redolent with the aromas of coconut and pandan leaves. You can opt for the set meal or pick from a selection of dishes like fried chicken wings, otah, fish fillet and fried eggs to compose your perfect plate.

Another stall that has got foodies raving is Ho Heng Kway Chap (#01-140). Its rendition of rice noodles in warm broth, paired with an assortment of braised tau pok, pork meat, pig intestine and boiled egg, makes for a satisfying meal any time of the day.

Right next door is Super Penyet (#01-141), known for its excellent Ayam Penyet comprising fluffy and fragrant rice, flavourful and crispy fried chicken and an intriguing homemade sambal blend with chilli, shrimp paste, shallots, lime and tamarind.

LAU PA SAT

Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

More than its colonial-era architecture, Lau Pa Sat is known as one of the best spots to feast on satay in the bustling Central Business District. Indeed, the iconic Satay Street – located right by the hawker centre – comes alive after sundown and on the weekends, where hungry diners chow down on skewers of grilled, spiced meats dunked in a sweet peanut sauce.

Venture into Lau Pa Sat proper and you’ll find many more culinary delights. Seek out Shi Hui Yuan (Stall 23), a Michelin Bib Gourmand award recipient for the past five years, for their Singapore-style hor fun, served up with slices of tender braised chicken and a 30-year old family-recipe herbal sauce.

Another classic is Seng Lee 259 Prawn Noodles (Stall 10), known for its rich and flavourful noodle bowls made with slow-boiled prawn stock.

MAXWELL FOOD CENTRE

Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Maxwell Food Centre is, of course, where you can find the famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice (#01-10/11), which beat even Gordon Ramsey in a hawker food face-off back in 2013. Not that anyone who’s tried the divine pairing of tender boiled chicken and fluffy rice cooked in chicken stock would have expected any different.

There are many more treasures to be found too. For instance, Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake (#01-05) is one of the last few hawkers that specialise in this traditional deep-fried snack filled with juicy oyster, prawn and minced meat.

If you’re hankering for Cantonese-style congee, you can’t go wrong with Zhen Zhen Porridge (#01-54). Think piping-hot bowls of silky smooth rice congee cooked to perfection with your choice of fish, chicken or pork. Add a raw egg for extra richness.

Another can’t-miss stall is Popo and Nana’s Delights (#01-70), which offers up hearty home-cooked Peranakan and Eurasian meals. Choose from classics such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Beef Rendang, Chap Chye and Shepherd’s Pie.

NEWTON FOOD CENTRE

Address: Newton Circus, 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495

Newton Food Centre is a long-standing favourite of foodies – local and foreign. It has shaken off its prior reputation as an overpriced tourist-trap by focusing on delicious hawker dishes, some of which are easily the best on the island.

Guan Kee Grilled Seafood (#01-53) is well-known for its BBQ stingray, grilled to perfection and served smothered in generous amounts of sambal chilli. Another stall that also regularly sees long queues is Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette (#01-53). The crispy, chewy oyster and egg omelette is well worth the extra calories.

Head to Hajah Monah Kitchen (#01-83) for a satisfying plate of nasi padang. The stars here are the beef rendang, assam fish and sambal goreng – each dish full of rich, multi-layered flavours best slowly savoured.

Meanwhile, Indian Palace (#01-61) offers classic Indian dishes that are just as good as any restaurant. You can find popular choices such as butter chicken, mutton rogan josh, kadai paneer, biryani and naans.

TEKKA MARKET FOOD CENTRE

Speaking of biryani, Allaudin’s Briyani (#01-232) at Tekka Centre is a long-time favourite among those who love the dish. Since 1968, the stall has kept to its signature of heaping portions of Basmati rice cooked with spices, topped by an equally generous portion of chicken or mutton, with a side of crispy pappadums.

Temasek Indian Rojak (#01-254) is another beloved choice. Featuring a selection of freshly fried doughs and fritters, sausages, vegetables and egg, with each bite dunked into a sweet and spicy chilli peanut sauce, there’s nothing quite as spectacular or satisfying.

End off your meal with an ice-cold bowl of chendol from Lim Chendol (#01-315) – a simple but delectable combination of pandan jelly and kidney beans on a bed of shaved ice, with generous drizzles of gula melaka syrup. The stall’s other two offerings, pulut hitam, and ice kachang, are also well worth a try. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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Featured Food Spy Shape Up

Why a Mediterranean diet could benefit you

Adapting to the Mediterranean diet could offer a wealth of benefits, like improved heart health and lower cholesterol. Here’s your sign to switch up your palate and indulge in healthier food options at HomeTeamNS Clubhouses.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, ELA & SIAM KITCHEN

While the Mediterranean diet – featuring more seafood, more vegetables and less carbohydrates – was discovered in the 1950s by American scientist Ancel Keys, it has remained popular for being easy to adopt as well as relevant; with more studies substantiating its promise of multiple benefits.

HOW DOES IT HELP WITH HEALTH?

The grilled salmon mentaiko rice bowl served at Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier.

Taking inspiration from the typical menus of those living in the region, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco, the Mediterranean diet boosts vegetable intake while cutting back on red meats and refined carbs.

Its most pronounced effect is that on the cardiovascular system – reducing risk of heart diseases, alleviating high blood pressure, and even helping with overall mortality. In a 2018 study of nearly 26,000 women, 25 per cent of those who followed the Mediterranean diet had less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over 12 years. The main drivers for this were attributed to changes in inflammation, blood sugar, and body mass index.

There are also increasing reports that support its role in supporting slow ageing and cognitive health as well, especially for men.

The Mediterranean diet fundamentally does this in two ways, by upping nutrient intake through generous servings of vegetables and fruit, and by relying on the use of monounsaturated fats. One of the biggest changes is using olive oil, which is a healthier fat that lowers total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. For proteins, the diet prefers fish like sardines, mackerel, tuna and salmon. These meats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation within the body, and the polyunsaturated fats also reduce blood clotting, lower the risk of stroke and heart failure. They also help the body with building brain cell membranes.

Ms Jessica Bayes, the lead researcher for the UTS study found that the increased intake of fibre from the diet of nuts, fruit and vegetables contribute to healthy microbial growth in the gut, and that in turn stimulated more production of serotonin – the chemical which makes us happy.

Add to that the nutrient-rich properties of staple ingredients like tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K) or chickpeas (vitamin B9, copper, manganese and iron), your diet will protect and energise with its natural goodness.

SO WHAT DOES THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET CONSIST OF?

Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok also offers traditional Greek soups like Fasolada.

One advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it involves shifting your dietary preference than cancelling intake altogether.

Replace refined grains with whole grains and benefit from the added nutrients and fibre while enjoying your carbs. Swap out fried sides like fries and chips and opt for hummus, beans or salads instead. Feeling peckish? Try snacking on nuts and seeds instead of processed treats.

The meat department also needs some rotation. Try to reduce their intake to twice a week as you will be getting plenty of good protein from legumes. Also, move away from red meats and choose fish and other seafood instead.

While following the menus of this region may have you thinking that it’s pizza, pasta and ice-cream all the way, know that while those items do feature in the cuisine, the locals take them in moderation, and tend to eat them in smaller portions with plenty of sides of legumes, vegetables and fruits. This is because items like pizza can contain too much processed red meats and use refined flour, while ice cream contains added refined sugar.

AND IT’S EASY TO START

The Steamed Seabass in Chili and Lime dressing served at Siam Kitchen in HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Luckily for us, Singapore has excellent access to affordable imported ingredients, which means kickstarting a Mediterranean diet is within reach! Many of the ingredients that grow on the sunny Mediterranean belt can be found in local farms as well, like tomatoes and greens.

To start, try swapping out one of your sides, or have a meal lean into the principles of more vegetables and white meat. Make small decisions; like replacing desserts full of refined sugar with fruits, or using the rich regional spices or cheese like feta and goat to flavour your food.

Singapore’s vibrant food scene also makes it easy for one to adhere to the diet. Whether it’s chowing down at Singapore Food Festival or one of the eateries at HomeTeamNS clubhouses, you can always easily find meals that line up with the diet.

For example, the Steamed Seabass at HomeTeamNS Khatib’s Siam Kitchen is one item with the fish healthily simmering in a chili and lime dressing. At Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, the Pan-seared Scallop Rice Bowl and Grilled Salmon Mentaiko Rice Bowl fulfil the white meat quota with sides of edamame beans and cherry tomatoes. And if you’re looking for the full experience, Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok offers a delicious Greek menu with pita bread, cucumber yogurt dips, traditional salads and soups like the Fasolada, and marinated servings of chicken and octopus to complete your meal.

If you’re a HomeTeamNS member, kickstart your Mediterranean diet and enjoy 10 to 15 per cent off the total bill at the HomeTeamNS eateries above. Just flash your digital membership card in your HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout.

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Food Spy Lifestyle

The smart snacker’s guide to healthier treats

When the munchies strike, instead of reaching for comfort food that’s deep-fried, greasy or sweet, why not include some healthy snacks in your diet?

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Maybe you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy — but it’s the Chinese New Year period and the pineapple tarts are calling out to you. How do you satisfy your desire to indulge, without feeling guilty about increasing your cholesterol levels and risk of diabetes?

Rather than avoiding these treats altogether, it’s better to take a balanced approach by including some healthy snacks in your routine. During a long day at work, snacking can take the edge off your hunger to prevent you from overeating at the next meal, and provide a much-needed energy boost if your blood glucose levels fall sharply.

And if you can’t resist the urge, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends maximising nutrients while minimising calories: Choose snacks that are below 200 calories a serving while providing useful nutrients such as fibre.

Read on for game-changing tips on reshaping your snacking habit into a healthier one — without losing any crunchy or sweet satisfaction.

SUBSTITUTES FOR SUGAR, SALT AND MORE

Air-frying snacks uses very little oil but produces a similar taste and texture as deep-frying.

Home cooking is generally healthier than buying curry puffs and samosas from hawker centres and restaurants – but if you’re overly reliant on deep-frying or reaching out for the salt shaker in your kitchen, you won’t be getting any of the health benefits from preparing your own snacks.

If you’re craving hot, crispy fries, try oven-roasting or air-frying (with very little oil) your own sweet potato fries, which offer more Vitamin A than potato fries. Tip: If using an oven, switch it to convection mode, as the dry and hot air circulation allows for crispier edges.

Once your homemade healthy snacks are done, it’s tempting to salt them as heavily as many eateries do. To avoid hypertension (also known as high blood pressure), try low-sodium salt instead, which substitutes the mineral potassium for about a quarter of the salt content. Potassium tastes similar to salt, but has been known to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health instead.

For sweet treats, healthier, less-processed sweeteners can sometimes offer more complex and satisfying flavours compared to plain white sugar. For example, you can mash dates to sweeten cakes or cookies, or swirl honey into yogurt as a simple dessert instead of reaching for the ice cream.

A SYMBOL TO LOOK OUT FOR

Products with the Healthier Choice Symbol meet the Health Promotion Board's nutritional guidelines – signalling that these are healthier food options.

Instead of heading straight for the familiar packaging of old snack favourites at the supermarket, look for a different sign instead: The red-and-white pyramid of the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS). This indicates that the product is a healthier option that meets HPB’s nutritional guidelines.

This means that the item generally contains less fat (both total and saturated fat), sugar and sodium. Beneath the HCS’ pyramid symbol, you’ll also find a line indicating the main health benefit of the item. For example, if the snack is a bag of dried apricots, you might find a line stating “No added sugar”, or if it’s a box of crackers, the line might read “Trans-fat free”.

For more sinful options like chips and ice cream, the HCS will indicate if a serving is less than 100 calories or 200 calories. (Before dishing it up, don’t forget to check the product’s nutritional information for how big a serving size should be!).

KEEP IT NATURAL

If reading ingredient labels just isn’t your thing — or perhaps you’re in a rush — there’s an even simpler way to make sure you’re biting into some healthy snacks. As the award-winning science and food writer Michael Pollan wrote: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”

This means sticking to snacks that are as unprocessed as possible, such as dried or fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables. Try toasting chickpeas in the oven with just a sprinkle of salt, or slicing up mangoes or papaya for an easy snack. For a spicy Mexican-style twist, drizzle lime juice and a light dusting of salt, chili powder or paprika over the fruit.

He also recommends sticking to items that have five ingredients or fewer, as well as items that have a short shelf life. For example, choose buns that are baked fresh with no preservatives instead of those in the bread aisle of the supermarket with expiry dates that stretch days or even weeks ahead. Not only do these long-life options contain artificial preservatives, they’re also likely to be laden with unhealthy sweeteners such as refined sugar or corn syrup.

Whatever you decide to munch on, it’s important to do so in moderation and with an understanding of your body’s needs. Happy snacking!

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Food Spy Lifestyle

Feelgood festive treats for Chinese New Year

From hampers to hotpots, there are plenty of options to help your family make the most of the festive period.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS, SHUTTERSTOCK

Holidays are great, though having Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year so close together often has us asking the perennial question: Where’s a good place to eat?

The good news is that organisations like HomeTeamNS offer numerous deals that help make those celebrations a little easier – and more affordable – to plan.

SIAM KITCHEN

We’re all missing Thailand’s mouthwatering cuisine so it’s a good thing we have plenty of authentic options like Siam Kitchen at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse.

This halal-certified eatery’s secret lies with their bona fide Thai chefs, so every serving of Tom Yum or pineapple rice is satisfyingly authentic. HomeTeamNS members can look forward to a Chinese New Year menu for two or five from S$48++, or enjoy 10-per-cent off for other classic favourites on the menu at checkout. Valid from 10 January to 28 February 2022.

SUKI-SUKI THAI HOT POT

Photo: HalalFoodHunt

What’s Chinese New Year without a little hotpot? Indulge in tradition while adding a twist with Suki-Suki Thai Hot Pot over at HomeTeamNS Khatib. From thin slivers of halal beef and chicken to home-made fish paste, as well as a colourful and tantalising array of Thai desserts, you’ll have an Insta-worthy table that tastes as good as it looks. Diners can also opt for a seasonal special of Tomato Soup.

From 10 January to 28 February 2022, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10-per-cent off their bills at checkout. With lunch buffet sets starting at just S$19.90++, it’s the perfect place to have a casual meal with some hungry friends.

FUJI IZAKAYA BAR

Photo: Fuji Izakaya Bar

Yusheng (tossed raw fish salad) is a lunar new year staple. If you’re looking for an alternative, how about trying the Sashimi Combo Sets starting from S$138.80 at Fuji Izakaya Bar at HomeTeamNS Khatib? You’ll have plenty of fresh fish to bring on the luck, and other optional add-ons like seafood, grills, ramen and rice bowls from their extensive menu.

Want to add a little extra buzz to the outing? Order up some beers or the award-winning “Izumofuji Daiginjo” sake. For all a la carte items from the menu, members enjoy 10-per-cent off at checkout till 3 February 2022.

HEAVENLY WANG

Photo: Heavenly Wang

Over at the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse, Heavenly Wang has a festive creation of their own. The “Wang”derful Blossom Bundle, at just S$6.60 (U.P S$7.40) for HomeTeamNS members, celebrates Asia with some distinctive flavours and is available from 5 January to 15 February 2022.

The Yuzu Ham Blossom Toastie combines the savoury with the citrusy. Follow this up with the Iced Osmanthus Pineapple Tea – a refreshing beverage fragrant with floral and fruit.

To enjoy these benefits, just present your HomeTeamNS membership card during billing.

NOEL GIFTS

Photo: Noel Gifts

When visiting someone’s house, it’s always a good idea to bear gifts to offer good tidings. Pick from Noel Gift’s large range of flowers, gifts and hampers suitable for all budgets and receive 8-per-cent off for any Chinese New Year Collection order of S$80 and above.

Whether it’s a spectacular arrangement with tangerines or an abundant arm of symbolic delicacies, you’ll have until 12 February 2022 to pick those goodies for your loved ones. To enjoy the discount, HomeTeamNS members just have to retrieve the promo code from your HomeTeamNS mobile app and use it during checkout from Noel Gift’s website.

GRAND HYATT SINGAPORE

Photo: Grand Hyatt Singapore

Adding some elevated dining to your feasts is now a whole lot easier. Grand Hyatt presents their Lunar New Year menu, with a generous 15-per-cent discount for all HomeTeamNS members till 15 February 2022 with the promo code from your HomeTeamNS mobile app.

Savour the stunning Bountiful Treasure Pot (Pen Cai) and usher in its abundant blessings, or ring in the same with the Sauteed Hybrid Grouper served with mushrooms, snow peas and an XO chili sauce. They even have an option for vegetarians – the plant-based Organic Vegetable and Truffle Yu Sheng.

NOVOTEL SINGAPORE

Photo: Novotel Singapore

Novotel Singapore is finding inspiration from a collaboration between Food Exchange and Ancient Taste (Gu Zao Wei) – a restaurant with a zero-waste precept. You’ll find familiar classics like Shrimp Paste Chicken and Fu Yong Egg on the menu, but the highlight has to be their claypots, available in fish head or a more collagen-filled mix of braised phoenix claws, pork tendons and premium Chinese mushrooms.

If you’re having a party of four to six, opt for the convenient Gu Zao Wei Set. As HomeTeamNS members, receive 18-per-cent off from now till 15 February 2022 and apply your mobile app’s promo code upon checkout.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL

Photo: Mandarin Oriental

If you prefer to place your orders at the same place, check out Mandarin Oriental’s offerings. The luxury hotel has anything from dishes like yu sheng, roasted goose and pork roulade to pineapple tarts and lavish hampers. There’s even Nian Gao (sticky cake) for some traditional blessings. With their elegant packaging and elevated menu, members will appreciate the 15-per-cent discount on all items (except hampers). Enter your HomeTeamNS mobile app’s promo code to enjoy the promotion from till 15 February 2022.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION MARINA BAY

Photo: Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

The Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay opened to much fanfare, partly because the lauded Peach Blossom restaurant made a welcome return. The hotel has launched an exclusive hamper, Treasure Pot and six-course meal experience on their website

You’ll be able to enjoy a 20-per-cent discount before 30 January 2022 and 15-per-cent discount thereafter until 15 February 2022.

 Email promotions.prsmb@parkroyalcollection.com or call their hotline: +65 6845 1118. Visitors to the hotel enjoy the same discount. Just present your HomeTeamNS card at the promotions counter, which is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm, at the hotel lobby. Order more than S$100 and get a complimentary bottle of Peach Blossoms’ Homemade Sakura Ebi Chilli Sauce worth S$28 – a wonderful way to fire up the festivities.

Be on the lookout for more mouthwatering treats next month and don’t miss out on any promotions! Find out more about HomeTeamNS members’ deals and treats.

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Food Spy

Travel to eat with HomeTeamNS

Take a global culinary journey without worrying about Vaccinated Travel Lanes or long queues to clear customs.

TEXT AND IMAGES: HOMETEAMNS

What’s one of the best parts about an overseas holiday? Eating abroad like a local and treating yourself to authentic foreign food – without wondering if the recipe has been “localised” to suit Singaporean tastebuds.

The good news is, the recent Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) announcements mean that travel opportunities are gradually increasing. If your favourite holiday destination isn’t on the VTL list, you can still sample global cuisine right here in Singapore! And if you’re a HomeTeamNS member, you could enjoy a good deal in the process, so bon appetit!

INDULGE TEPPANYAKI & GRILL HOUSE

This eatery, located at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse, is known for serving Western cuisine with a delightful fusion of Asian flavours. As far as fusion cuisine goes, the restaurant makes it possible to well, indulge in popular treats. Burgers? Check. Pasta and rice dishes? Check. Grilled meats and fish? That’s just the tip of the culinary iceberg!

Location
HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-04
Singapore 329979

JOM MAKAN SEAFOOD

If you’re craving for crustaceans or longing for lobsters, this Muslim-owned restaurant is the place for you. It’s known for a variety of dishes including staples like Sambal Sotong, Sambal Stingray, the Shovel Seafood Platter, and barbecued dishes. For a truly local take on a seafood dish, nothing screams “SG” like their Maggi Goreng Lobster.

*Halal Certification pending.

Location
HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-07
Singapore 329979

SELECT GOURMET KITCHEN

Miss Hong Kong cuisine but don’t fancy jumping through the extra hoops needed for a VTL flight there? Select Gourmet Kitchen offers a taste of the foodie delights you’re after. They serve an array of Hong Kong favourites like their Signature HK Wanton Noodle that is made with premium Kurobuta pork and fresh prawn wantons. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 15-per-cent discount off their food bill (not applicable with ongoing promotions, discounts or vouchers).

Location
HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Singapore 659003
2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7
#01-09B

SWATOW CITY

What happens when Teochew cuisine meets Hong Kong Dim Sum? You get the delectable menu at Swatow City. Whoever said that revenge is a dish best served cold didn’t try Swatow City’s Teochew Cold Crab, which uses yellow roe crabs whose natural sweetness has been magically preserved by the restaurants skilled chefs.

It’s also known for other dishes like Black Truffle BBQ Duck, Siew Mai with Fish Roe and Steamed Prawn Dumplings.

Location
HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Singapore 659003
2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7
#02-05

SUKI-SUKI THAI HOTPOT

Say “sawadee ka” to this homely Thai-inspired restaurant that features an all-you-can-eat Halal buffet menu. With a variety of soup bases to choose from, dig in with quality ingredients including thinly sliced beef and chicken, home-made fish paste and unlimited fresh vegetables. Continue the post-buffet festivities with crowd favourite desserts like Mango Sticky Rice and Thai Pudding.

Members enjoy 10-per-cent off their total bill. The All-Day Buffet Set for 2 promotion is available for S$35 nett from Mondays to Thursdays and S$41 nett from Fridays to Sundays. This deal includes the Regular Buffet and a free flow of drinks for two diners.

*Suki-Suki Thai Hotpot is Halal-certified.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#01-01
Singapore, 267944

SIAM KITCHEN

If one Thai restaurant is good, two is even better. Siam Kitchen serves authentic Thai fare, prepared by a culinary team that includes chefs from Thailand. Tuck into familiar Thai street food favourites like Green Curry with Chicken, Phad Thai and Thai Olive Fried Rice. The All Day Set for 2 is available from S$42++.

*Siam Kitchen is Halal Certified.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#01-01
Singapore, 267944

FUJI IZAKAYA BAR

If indulging in Japanese food is your cup of tea, this recently-opened Japanese restaurant could be just right for you. Step right in and you’ll instantly feel like you’re transported to Japan! It serves a large variety of Izakaya food, dons and ramen. Drinks include exclusive Yukari-flavoured cocktails and award-winning Izumofuji Daiginjo sake. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 10-per-cent discount off their total bill.

Location
HomeTeamNS Khatib
2 Yishun Walk
#05-01
Singapore, 267944

What are you waiting for? Make your way around the world right here with HomeTeamNS! Find out more about HomeTeamNS members’ deals and treats.

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Food Spy

Food for the soul

Fruits and vegetables are good for the body, but what can be considered good fodder for our souls?

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG
PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS, SHUTTERSTOCK

For some it’s soup. Others, something deep fried and crunchy. Food cravings can happen when it’s chilly or if we’re a little fatigued or under the weather, but only certain types can give us that something extra to brighten our moods.

Like how the rodent in Ratatouille won over the heart of the difficult critic with his childhood dish, most soul food conjures feelings of warmth and comfort through their links with fond memories. In Singapore, thanks to our racial diversity, we often have more than one favourite dish that will send us to gastronomic heaven and instantly warm the cockles of your heart.

SATISFYING MAINS

No other dish says “Singapore” quite like it. Whichever brand you favour, from Maxwell’s Tian Tian to the premium Chatterbox variety, Hainanese chicken rice dominates most lists as the food that best says “home”. It checks all the right boxes when it comes to a nourishing meal –dancing with savoury and spicy notes (when you add that tangy chilli), and combining tender slices of chicken mixed with flavoured grains. Then that little bowl of clear soup comes in just right, to help you wash it all down.

Then there’s the Ramly burger. What started as an unassuming item at pasar malams (night markets) quickly became a staple, found sometimes even at Muslim hawker stalls because it’s just that good. The famous burger is unpretentious, messy and delicious. It usually couples a thin fried egg skilfully wrapped around the patty, then drowned in black pepper sauce, mayo and buttery magic. One chomp, and you’ll be sold.

While chicken soup is often said to be good for the soul, we’d prefer to have a serving of Indian soup kambing. It takes the place of a main because it’s incredibly rich, featuring intense flavours heady with spice. The signature yellow soup comes from turmeric – which is said to offer anti-inflammatory properties. Mutton is a rich source of high-quality protein and many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Hearty and flavourful – we like!

NOODLY GOOD

Noodles are enjoyed all around the world, but for locals, a rich and creamy bowl of laksa hits the spot every time. Recipes differ slightly, but the robust bowl can always be counted upon to include belacan (shrimp paste) and chilli paste, shallots, blue ginger (galangal), and turmeric in its signature coconut milk broth. The tedious process of making this soup base makes this a dish of love, and the glassy thick white noodles are the perfect match to the intense flavours.

At the other end of the spectrum, ban mian comes in a clear soup but it’s no less flavourful. This is Asia’s version of chicken soup, with the savoury broth made punchy by fried anchovies and minced pork. The dish usually comes with an egg and fresh vegetables, making this truly a balanced bowl. And one of the ban mian’s best feature is how you can pick and choose the type of noodles that go in. From flat squares and thin noodles to transparent vermicelli, the options allow you to find the texture you want for this classic.

And how can one go wrong with mee rebus? Although there is a clear variety in Terengganu, the ones we know in Singapore are of a thicker consistency, made delicious with sweet potatoes. This deep, earthy base is mixed with beef or chicken stock for an amazing combination and comes with yellow noodles to give it that oh-so-homely taste that satisfies. If you have two servings, we won’t judge – the dish is often smaller in portion so go ahead!

SOULFUL SEAFOOD

No local food list would be complete without seafood dishes. Many of us will have fond pre-pandemic memories of tucking into mouthwatering chilli crab and barbeque stingray dishes with family members and friends. Whether to celebrate a special occasion or “just because”, these communal meals played a part in forging the ties that bind for many of us.

Opening at HomeTeamNS-JOM in late-2021, Jom Makan Seafood is a Muslim-owned eatery that serves a variety of signature dishes, like their Shovel Seafood Platter and Maggi Goreng Lobster. And what seafood meal would be complete without dishes like Sambal Stingray and Sambal Sotong.

Orchid Live Seafood, located at HomeTeamNS Khatib is offering a 1-for-1 deal on its popular Boston Lobster dish as well as 10-per-cent discounts off all orders, while stocks last.

SWEET SPOTS

Sometimes, a little goes a long way. Soulful food is often uncluttered by complicated cooking, and nothing speaks of such simplicity more than a traditional pairing of youtiao (fried fritters) and a soya bean drink.

It’s just two strips of flour fried in oil – with a shockingly symbolic past referencing a traitorous advisor and his wife in ancient China. But  somehow, every munch of this doughy pastry fulfils, especially when washed down or soaked in the milky soya bean drink.

Dip in. Bite down. Be happy in its simplicity.

The ubiquitous kaya toast combines the sweet coconut egg jam with a touch of salty butter (choose frozen for that old-school kicker) – the perfect filling to make this an ideal snack any time of the day.

Local food empires were built upon its flaky toasted crust, and when paired with a local cup of Nanyang coffee or tea, instantly conjures scenes of a raucous kopitiam.

Being the global city that we are, it’s only natural that some Western items have become included in this soulful list. Jewel Cafe, located at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse is offering a buy-2-get-1-free promotion on its gelato.

There are, as it turns out, many ways to lift one’s spirits and fuel the soul, and these gastronomic delights are just the tip of the iceberg. Bon appetit!

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Food Spy

Ice-cold ways to beat the heat

These shops are the reason why there’s never a bad time for ice cream in Singapore.

TEXT: RAYMOND TAN

The bad news: Singapore’s weather typically ranges from warm to … well, warmer.

The good news: That’s great if you’re an ice cream lover.

Gone are the days when your only options for frozen desserts were mass-produced supermarket treats. Over the past decade, homegrown ice cream brands have proliferated all over Singapore, and there is now a wide variety of ice cream shops in Singapore with different niches and specialties. We suss out some of the best ones to check out.

BIRDS OF PARADISE

Photo: Raymond Tan

Birds of Paradise quickly shot to fame when it opened in Katong in 2016. It has since opened a second outlet in Jewel and even garnered a recommendation from Michelin Singapore. They are the only ice cream concept that specialises heavily in botanical-inspired flavours, using spices, herbs and even flowers, as ingredients for their frozen treats.

Their bestselling flavours are the light, floral White Chrysanthemum and the fruity-minty Strawberry Basil. We recommend ordering your ice cream with a cone instead of the cup – their cones are thyme-infused and hence, extra fragrant.

Just a warning, though: Expect extremely long queues on the weekends.

CREAMIER

Photo: Raymond Tan

Sometimes, less is more. Creamier doesn’t really bother with newfangled or esoteric flavours, instead keeping to more tried-and-tested favourites. But their classic flavours are done perfectly. Bestsellers here include Earl Grey Lavender, Salted Gula Melaka and Blue Pea Vanilla. Their Roasted Pistachio flavour is a must try – creamy, nutty, and sweet without being cloying. Get your ice cream with their fluffy and fragrant waffles.

DOPA DOPA

Photo: Raymond Tan

The flavours at Dopa Dopa are often on rotation, but the one that we almost always end up going for is Roasted Pistacchio, which is appropriately nutty. Their Hazelnut ice cream is also delicious – if you find it too sweet, wash it down with one of the many flavours of tea they offer, preferably with something light and floral like Osmanthus.

Dopa Dopa offers the option to have your ice cream wedged in the middle of a croissant so if you’re not in a rush, ditch the cup or cone and get your ice cream fix in the form of a sandwich.

ISLAND CREAMERY

Photo: Island Creamery

Local flavours can be luxurious too. Case in point: Island Creamery’s many distinctly Singapore-inspired concoctions. Their signature Mao Shan Wang durian ice cream stands out from other durian ice creams with its creamy texture, rich flavour, and unapologetically durian-esque fragrance. The durians used in the recipe are sourced from a well-known store in Ghim Moh and are very fresh – hence the strong aroma. Other must-try locally inspired flavours include Chendol – coconut ice cream sprinkled with red bean, pandan jelly and swirls of gula melaka –  and Teh Tarik, made with freshly brewed black tea blended with evaporated milk.

BUTTERKNIFE FOLK

Photo: Raymond Tan

If you’re looking for nostalgic flavours such as Milo Dinosaur or Teh Tarik, you can’t beat Butterknife Folk. Of all the ice cream shops on this list, none offer as many local flavours – more than 40! – as them. The gelato specialist serves an eclectic range, including savoury and boozy creations, but we recommend you try one of their uniquely Singaporean flavours, such as Ondeh Ondeh, Rojak, and – wait for this – Chicken Rice, which contains dark soy sauce and chicken rice chili swirled into the gelato base.

THE HUMBLE SCOOP

Photo: The Humble Scoop

Going local is the name of the game at The Humble Scoop, a modest ice cream parlour tucked away in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre. The ice cream here is all homemade and many flavours feature a local or nostalgic element. Popular flavours include In-Kueh-dible, a salted coconut and gula melaka creation; Cereal Killer, which is made with cereal and milk; and Milo. There’s also a range of sorbets available, including guava with sour plum.

KIND KONES

Photo: Raymond Tan

Kind Kones’ frozen treats are perfect for socially-conscious diners. They’re made without dairy, eggs, refined sugar, preservatives, and additives. Their entire array of ice cream is vegan-friendly; some are even keto-friendly. They even offer gluten-free options.

Their flavours are rich and robust, and certainly don’t come across as “diet ice-cream”. Stand-out flavours include the Keto Chocolate Sorbet, Coffee Chocolate Fudge Swirl, Pandan Gula Melaka, and Passionfruit Sorbet. Have your ice cream together with a vegan brownie for the ultimate guilt-free indulgence.

MOOSH SOFTSERVE

Considering how airy and light soft-serve ice creams are, it’s easy to dismiss them as mild, unsatisfying versions of their creamier and heavier cousins. Moosh Softserve breaks all the stereotypes of soft serves.

Light in texture but big on flavour, their soft-serve ice creams make for a satisfying cold treat. At any time, Moosh Softserve offers four to five flavours of soft serves, and bestselling ones include Ondeh Ondeh, Nutella Brownies Cheesecake, and Smores (pictured). Their soft serves are embellished with a generous toppings, such as marshmallows and cookie crumble, for added texture and fun.

UDDERS

This homegrown ice cream franchise is one of the brands responsible for bringing about Singapore’s  ice cream renaissance in the early 2010s. They have an array of unique flavours, such as the boozy Baileys & Bourbon, the locally inspired Champion Chendol, and the decadent Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla. Have your ice cream together with their uber fluffy, ultra-crispy signature waffles, and you’ll find yourself in dessert heaven.

FAT CAT ICE CREAM BAR

Just as its name suggests, Fat Cat is a shop that wears its mischievous heart on its sleeves. They’re one of the most adventurous and experimental ice cream parlours in Singapore, with a wide variety of flavours that range from classic (Chocolate, Vanilla) and alcoholic (Butter Beer) to local-inspired (Durian) and floral (Osmanthus Honey).

Many flock here to try their smoked ice cream flavours, such as Hay & Honey and Smoked Peppermint, which have a savoury element to them. The ice cream bar is also well-known for their pillowy-light charcoal waffles, which can be crowned with toppings of your choice, including salted egg yolk custard sauce and maple syrup.

COOLMAN FROYO

Image: Coolman Froyo

From the signature all-time-favourite parfait to a scrumptious Nut-Tell-Lah Waffle, chill out with Coolman Froyo on a sunny day, and enjoy 20 per cent off your desserts! Refresh your palate with their amazing variety of smoothies, milkshakes, fruit juices and frozen yogurt.

To unlock the promo code, download the HomeTeamNS mobile app, then download the Coolman Froyo app to place your order. Don’t forget to enter the promo code before making your payment! This promotion is valid till Dec 31, 2021.

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Food Spy

Get into the Singapore Spirit

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Food Spy

A sweet, savoury, sensational Singapore

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Food Spy

Put a new thematic spin to your game-night eats