It was awards night that Sunday, but before the big event, we had a few hours to spare as well as a planned trip to visit a home where they still hand made popiah skins aka fresh spring roll papers.
Tiong Bahru Markets
Fresh fruit: apples, pears, mangoes, papayas and pineapples
Eggs a plenty!
Fresh seafood, fish, cockles and prawns
Salmon, fish paste filled vegetables and cartoon shaped fish cakes for the little ones
Crabs, fresh hand made wontons, prawns
A brief pit stop at Bao Today for some food for fuel before we headed back to the hotel to catch up with the others to go to the popiah making session.
Open banh bao
Kway Guan Huat
Meet Michael Ker, a pharmacist and a third generation owner of Kway Guan Huat in Joo Chiat, where he still helps out with the family business hand making popiah skins from a secret family recipe that’s been perfected over the years.
See Michael in action below:
Amazing to see how popiah skins or spring roll paper/wrappers are being hand made. The best part of course, is getting to roll our own popiahs to eat with the freshly made skins! @chowzter7 #chowzterasia #kwayguanhuat #popiah #handmadepopiahskins #sg #singapore #invited #vsco #VSCOcam #instafood #eatoutsg
Dan, Chief Chowzter from Seoul, South Korea giving a go at making popiah skins… it’s a lot harder than it looks as Dan quickly found out after he had to catch the batter before it dribbled out all over the piping hot crepe pans!
After watching the demonstration, we got a chance to roll our own popiahs and then ate them!
They reminded us of Vietnamese cold rolls, but a heavier, warmer and spicier version. They also reminded us of some fresh spring rolls we had in Bangkok, but these were much preferred.
The ChowzterAsia 2015 awards was held at Wild Rocket, with Chef Willin Low serving us ‘Mod Sin’ or Modern Singaporean cuisine. Chef Willin Low worked as a lawyer for 8 years before leaving law in 2005 to pursue his dream in the culinary world and opened up Wild Rocket which is nestled quietly on a hill in Mt Emily Park, away from the bustling city of Singapore. Since the opening of Wild Rocket, Chef Willin has been named and recognised as one of Singapore’s best chef and one who is ‘reinventing the city’s traditional food culture’ by the Financial Times and New York Times. We were in for a treat!!
The restaurant is serene, quiet, modern and modelled after a traditional Japanese teahouse with timber all around acting as an art installation as well as a sunshade.
Sashimi of Hokkaido scallop with shio kombu and truffle infusion
We started off with this amazing sashimi of Hokkaido scallop, thinly sliced and arranged in a flower shape speckled with shio kombu and truffle infusion. We savoured each melting bite slowly but surely with all the ingredients working beautifully together. A stellar start and quite possibly the best scallop dish we’ve ever had. Ever.
Pomelo salad with tiger prawns and frozen coconut dressing
This was a highlight dish for the evening… actually, the highlight dish during our entire trip. Pomelo citrus pieces with plump tiger prawn pieces, crunchy peanuts, fresh mint and coriander leaves and snappy beans with a scoop of frozen coconut dressing. Yes. Frozen coconut dressing.
Absolutely divine. After smashing the frozen coconut dressing through the salad and consuming the light fragrant salad spoonful by spoonful, it was hard to come to terms with an empty bowl! The thought behind the balance, texture and flavours was incredibly impressive. The frozen coconut dressing dissipated on the palate in an instant and coated the other individual elements in each spoonful perfectly, and the sudden drop in temperature on the palate was utterly delightful. Cool and refreshing and then a light creamy texture in an instant with an aromatic finish from the herbs. Stellar.
Roast Chilean seabass with chai poh confit and congee
A beautiful dish of roasted Chilean seabass with chai poh confit on a scoop of congee–a plain staple food that we normally associate with having when we’re sick. A favourite amongst us all with the seabass being incredibly moist and flavourful with the rich, salty and sweet topping of chai poh confit that complemented and balanced very well with the plain congee.
Spanner chilli crab rigatoni with onsen egg
A very flavourful dish of spanner chilli crab rigatoni with an onsen egg. The rigatoni pasta was a bit firmer than what we’re used to, but still tasty with each piece being coated well in the rich chilli tomato sauce with generous pieces of plump sweet spanner crab throughout. All elements were combined with an oozy gooey egg yolk and specks of dried spicy chilli flakes.
48hr beef rib with buah keluak pesto rice
Our final savoury dish was probably our least liked… it was still good, but not as amazing as its previous predecessors. A tender, broke apart piece of 48hour braised beef rib with a rich flavour paired with green vegetable stems and a buah keluak pesto rice.
Salted coke sorbet with lemon
I misread the dessert course as a ‘salted cake sorbet’… so I was a bit dumbfounded when it came out. Heh! Coke… not cake! We didn’t detect much ‘salt’ in the salted coke sorbet, but there was a tinge of tang in the sorbet from the grated lemon zest sprinkled on top. The sorbet felt more like a granita to us, but aside from that, a welcomed and light finish to round off a memorable and delicious meal.
A splendid evening with wonderful company and a meal we won’t forget anytime soon! Definitely on the ‘to-go’ list if you’re heading to Singapore. You can read more about the awards here.
Oxwell & Co
After dinner, we spent our last night in Singapore roaming the streets, checked out the only bar opened in Ann Siang Hill on that late Sunday night and got a late night feed at a Korean bbq house down the street from our hotel. Cheers to a fabulous weekend!
Home made gin and chronics
Meringue style cocktail
Late night feed at a Korean bbq with some Chief Chowzters
[dbites dined at Kway Guan Huat and Wild Rocket courtesy of Chowzter as part of the Chowzter Asia awards weekend, all other locations was independently paid for]
Tiong Bahru Market
83 Seng Poh Road
313 Orchard Road
#01-25B Discovery Walk
P 6735 3045
Kway Guan Huat
95 Joo Chiat Road
P +65 9620 2000
7 days 9am-2pm
Popiah skin making demonstrations:
Hangout at Mt Emily
10A Upper Wilkie Road
P +65 63399448
Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
Sat 12pm-4pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
Oxwell & Co
5 Ann Siang Road
Chinatown Singapore 069688
P +65 6438 3984
Sun-Mon (Don’t even know how we lucked out and got in on that Sunday night! Haha)