Murtabak sandwiches on Rangoon.
Together with friends I was attending a climbing/belaying course at Little India and during our lunch break we strolled around looking something that wouldn’t take too long. We ended up at the little ran down hawker center of ‘9-9 Food & Beverages’ because the prata stall on the outer corner caught our eyes.
Since it was a long while since I had one I ordered the ‘Mutton Murtabak‘. It took quite some time to be prepared as I think the uncle first had to fire up the flat grill but when it finally came out on that fake banana leaf plate it looked like perfect triangles from a really big meat sandwich. The dough was pretty thin and was nicely browned and crisped up by the grill. The filling of mutton mince and onions had a delicious fragrant spice to it which I liked a lot and all held up pretty well without falling into pieces and making it less messy to eat. Dipped into the curry gravy rounded everything up nicely and added some more heat to the dish.
Atmosphere here is close to zero, cleanliness still tolerable even though some hungry birds were hanging around the open-face shop, obviously not too impressed by the scarecrow CDs hanging from the ceiling but this all aside, they make some pretty flavorful feel-good-food down here, that’s satisfyingly tasty and comes at an ok price.
9-9 Food & Beverages
95 Rangoon Roadt
1F Trads Buidling
Don’t let it go to your head.
We came back here and this time after along while ordered their famous ‘Fish Head Curry‘ again. The head was humongous, mean looking and meaty. It was beautifully soft and tender, especially the cheeks that were freak’n awesome. The gravy was quite liquid, milky, oily and deeply rich with a fantastic heat that sneaked up on us the more we ate. A beautiful dish that probably will never win any beauty contest but who cares, it’s the inner values that matter, right?
The service today was terribly awful though. First our order of ‘Naan‘ was completely forgotten, after another 15 minutes waiting the wrong order showed up and when we had pretty much finished all our other dishes and were fully stuffed finally the right breads came along. As always the staff was very polite and friendly but unfortunately there wasn’t even the slightest attempt to service recovery. And then those weird iPads again, which become even weirder in a restaurant where you usually eat with your hands, I just don’t get it. This was the first time of my many visits here that the service was that screwed up so as long as this doesn’t become a pattern and the food stays delicious I don’t see any reason not to come back.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
54 Race Course Road
Tel: +65 6293 8682
Dude, Where’s my Marrow?
Wow, my friend was really super hungry so everything had to be decided rather quickly and be at best around the corner. From the places I had lined up close by most weren’t open so we head over to Jalan Besar to check out ‘Suprette’ in the basement of the Kam Leng Hotel I had read about. We were greeted warmly by the staff and the interior seemed nice and cosy, something similar to a small bistro.
My friend had the ‘Suprette Burger‘ and I ordered the ‘Hanger Steak & Marrow‘ which was the actual reason I had this place on my radar in the first place. When it came to the table it looked pretty tasty, all meaty with a mountain of golden fries. The hanger steak was brilliant, even though cooked slightly over medium and somewhat coldish, it had this rich beef flavor, more rustic and was completely lean which was totally my thing. The fries on the contraty were like hot sticks, crispy and so perfectly salted that I didn’t touch the salt shaker even once for the whole dinner. One thing I missed though was the bone marrow which I thought to remember from pictures of other blogs. I wasn’t quite sure so I asked the staff if it maybe was incorporated into the sauce or something which I didn’t really get a proper answer to and the sauce surely was creamy and delicious but nothing about it really reminded me of buttery marrow. After i had finished up my meal another gentlemen approached us and told me politely that I would now get a two dollars rebate as normally this dish was including half a grilled bone of marrow which they ran out of about a week ago. Usually I would have said something but I wasn’t really in the moment then and actually was quite puzzled realizing I just ate a multilated dish and only was told about it afterwards. Not cool man.
At last ‘Suprette’ really is a nice place close to home with some wicked free flow fries and great steak but honestly, this situation could have been handled so much better. I think it’s ridiculous to hold a grudge over something tiny like half a missing bone so when I’ll eventually get over this tragedy in my life I will return here to finally try a flawless and completely intact hanger steak and this time I just buy myself an extra portion of marrow for the two dollars that I saved tonight.
383 Jalan Besar
Kam Leng Hotel Lobby
Tel: +65 6298 8962
A Pumpkin From Heaven
It was a laid back Sunday afternoon watching a movie with friends and after being back home we all felt hungry but were too lazy to make a big effort. I then mentioned that I had some great ‘Dan Dan Mian‘ at the signature Chinese restaurant of the Park Royal Hotels and apparently that was reason enough so we located the closest Park Royal and were on our way.
Wandering around the restaurant looking for the bathroom i spotted a dish on another table that I just had to have. What caught my eye was their signature ‘Pork Belly Pumpkin‘ and since we weren’t super hungry I ordered a smaller version for S$26. When it came to our table it looked absolutely beautiful, a whole pumpkin from the oven, filled up with big glazed and braised pork belly cubes. The pork belly pieces were mega tender and soft and the fat melted between the meaty parts and fused into the magical gravy that had a sweet roasted aroma with a soya infused richness that made this the perfect sin. The pumpkin that was baked until soft soaked up the delicious sauce and made it by far the best pumpkin I have ever had.
Besides this outstanding vegetable and the noodles we also had their ‘Cucumber & Chili‘ as an appetizer which were great, steaming hot, slightly sour and fiercely spicy which i considered fun to eat.
I think I mentioned before that I am not a big fan of these nicer sit down Chinese restaurants but ‘Si Chuan Don Hua’s’ food is just so good. I really have to come back and give their ‘Dim Sum‘ and ‘High Tea‘ a shot.
Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant
Park Royal Hotel
181 Kitchener Road
Tel: +65 6428 3170
Dig In…With Your Hands!
A good old friend is back in town and he wanted to go back to his favorite Indian place in Singapore ‘The Banana Leaf Apolo’ on Racecourse Road in Little India.
As an appetizer we ordered the ‘Fish Cutlets‘ which had a nice soft, completely unfishy texture with only a hint of fish taste to them that was accompanied by a nice herb & spice mix as well as whole bay leaves. All served cold with a green tangy mint gravy. My favorite, the ‘Fish Tikka‘, is marinated in a delicious red gravy and was grilled perfectly sealing all the juices within each tikka cube. It tasted very light and fell apart easily so I didn’t really need to chew. Another meat dish we ordered was the ‘Chicken Korma‘ which was heavily rich and creamy. Not being an expert in Indian cooking, I believe that korma is usually cooked with yoghurt and cream but here the gravy also had a light coconut taste to it. It was good but I felt heavier with every bite. Lastly a vegetarian ‘Gobi‘ (cauliflower) dish with onions which was the only really spicy food we had but unfortunately there were rather few gobis and much more onions in it.
Some people might say that the Apolo is a place for tourists but it is still my go to place for Northern Indian food. The choice is huge and the dishes taste great and the only reason I don’t come here more often is that I’m scared I would soon roll my way around.
Use your hands peeps!
The Banana Leaf Apolo 54 Race Course Road Singapore 218564