Coffee with Faye Sai & Manbeer Singh

Coffee with Faye Sai & Manbeer Singh

#saturdaynightsobriety, Drink, People, Profiles
Meet: Manbeer Singh Business runs in his family, but it was really career burnout that brought Manbeer into the F&B industry. In 2016, the ex-lawyer traded in his power suits to open 3rd Culture Brewing Co at Maxwell Food Centre. His mission: curate good-quality craft beers at affordable prices. Business has since expanded to a second stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, and both outlets frequently run sell-out events, such as tap takeovers and hawker food pairings. The brand has exciting plans ahead, including a rebranding exercise and (finally!) the launch of their own brewery in the third quarter of this year. Meet: Faye Sai Together with her siblings Jack and Anna, Faye runs a popular coffee-and-toast stall at Amoy Street Food Centre, called Coffee Break. Every weekday from…
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Sizzling Skewers: Satay versus Shish Kebab

Sizzling Skewers: Satay versus Shish Kebab

#pickmeupmondays, Food
Fire, fire, meats we desire. For centuries, people have been grilling skewered meats over open fire, giving rise to countless variations such as Southeast Asian satay, Indian tikka, Japanese yakitori, Chinese kaorou chuan, Russian shashlik, Portuguese espetadas – the list goes on. Although the ingredients and the way they are prepared may vary, there’s no denying the universal appeal of these smoking hot skewers. Satay Widely lauded as an affordable tasty treat, satay comprises marinated meat chunks threaded on pre-soaked bamboo skewers, slow-grilled over a charcoal grill. It’s a prevalent street food across Southeast Asia, going by the names of sate in Indonesia and Malaysia, sateh in Thailand, and satti in the Philippines. While these regional variations differ in terms of the types of meat and cuts used, one common…
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The Unique Evolution of Singapore’s Cocktail Scene

The Unique Evolution of Singapore’s Cocktail Scene

#thursdaytipples, Boozy, Drink
[Text by Sihan Lee] Singapore might ping on global radars as one of the most important cocktail cities in the world, but a decade ago, the scene was austere. About this time three years ago, I was on the verge of pushing the panic button as we approached the inaugural Singapore Cocktail Festival (SGCF) Village. My first time on the organising committee was best described as a pile of nerves as I witnessed the mammoth logistics it took to set up shop at the old Beach Road Police Station. The learning curve was steep and I have Ivy Woo, founder of Singapore Cocktail Week, to thank for the opportunity to participate in an industry that I’ve grown quite fond of (this can be partially attributed to my hedonistic quest for…
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True Luxury in the Japanese Countryside

True Luxury in the Japanese Countryside

#takemeawaytuesdays, Food, Restaurants, Travel
[Text by Kyoko Nakayama] Wajima city, Ishikawa prefecture. I’m here, in the centre of Wajima, after two hours by bus from Kanazawa. This is where my gastronomic journey begins. I’m here for “DINING OUT”, a premium outdoor restaurant project that seeks to illuminate the hidden food treasures of Japan. Held only several times a year around the country, each DINING OUT session is brought to life by a collaboration of chefs, creators and local residents eager to share the best of what their region has to offer. The session I’m attending is themed “exploring the riches and unravelling the origin of the spirit of Japanese lacquerware.” It’s a two-nights-only pop-up, held in collaboration with Lexus. The venue is secret, even for diners. All we’re told is to meet the driver…
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Hooked: How Japanese Farmers Live as One with the Sea

Hooked: How Japanese Farmers Live as One with the Sea

#takemeawaytuesdays, Features, Food, Ingredients, Travel
[Text by Kyoko Nakayama] Kesennuma (気仙沼) sits on the Sanriku coast in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, a region famed as one of the three most productive fishing grounds in the world. In 1611, Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno proclaimed Kesennuma “the best port in every way”, a sentiment that was to ring true in centuries to come as the city’s port established itself as a popular base for deep-sea and offshore fisheries. Since the late 1950s, Kesennuma has become synonymous with pelagic fishing, particularly of shark, tuna, pacific saury and skipjack tuna. The city owes its success in commercial fishing to geographical advantage – its gulf is deep enough to anchor large fishing vessels, and its bay faces the Pacific where the cold and warm Oyashio and Kuroshio currents meet, generating a…
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A Day with: Nick Chua, Master Baker of Nick Vina Artisan Bakery

A Day with: Nick Chua, Master Baker of Nick Vina Artisan Bakery

#featurefriday, People, Profiles
There’s a fine drizzle in the air as we trudge down silent streets towards Icon Village. Absent of the usual bustle around Tanjong Pagar district, the mall is disconcertingly still, shrouded in darkness. Our destination is ahead: the faint glow of lights at the end of the hallway. Stifling a yawn, I look down at my watch. 3.40am. While my camera crew make a beeline for the coffee machine, I pop behind the swinging door of Nick Vina Artisan Bakery to meet master baker Nick Chua and his two night-shift staff, who are already hands deep in dough. Their motions are quick and fluid; their eyes riveted on the floury moulds scattered across the wooden workbench. As it turns out, they’ve been there since 3am, arranging, shaping, folding and panning…
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7 Dishes by Chef Lim Yew Aun

7 Dishes by Chef Lim Yew Aun

#featurefriday, People, Profiles
“Get me a wood-fired pizza oven from Naples, and I’m in,” was the response Chef Lim Yew Aun gave to cousin-restaurateur Ong Liling when the latter first proposed a joint venture into the F&B industry five years ago. The Hershey-shaped Acunto Mario oven took three months to arrive, and now stands as the centrepiece of restaurant Cicheti at Kandahar Street. Call it good foresight or simply a leap of good faith, the investment paid off big time for the entrepreneurial duo, both of whom were first-time business owners. Despite a slow start, Cicheti grew into a sleeper hit, often drawing hungry crowds from around the hipster neighbourhood. Fast forward to today, Chef Aun and his cousin now own three buzzy Italian concepts across Singapore: Cicheti, a trattoria-style dining spot showcasing…
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The Steaks Have Been Raised

The Steaks Have Been Raised

#supermarketsunday, Features, Food
First things first, biltong is not jerky. If you have tried jerky and hated its cardboard texture, give Baggie’s biltong a try – not doing so would be a big missed steak. While both are cured meats, jerkies are hard cured for 12 hours at 60 to 80̊C heat, which gives them the smoky flavour, but toughens up the meat. Biltongs, on the other hand, are literally just steaks slowly cured with air in a controlled drying box for five to six days. [caption id="attachment_17489" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Marinating the meat with biltong spices[/caption] At Baggie’s, pieces of beef marinated in biltong spices -- comprising mostly coriander, pepper and salt – are hung in the curing chamber till about 50% dry, then taken out for slicing. Customers have a choice of…
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Fizzy Ferments

Fizzy Ferments

#pickmeupmondays, Drink, Features, Non Alcoholic
Ask Melissa Mak how she and her family got into the business of fermentation and she’d probably tell you: it’s written in the stars… or their family name. While trawling through the Internet one day, Mak learnt that her surname in Chinese – Qu – translates to “fermentation starter”. Call it a happy coincidence for the fermentation fan. In 2015, Mak created “SG Fermentation Friends” to share her interest in home-brewing kombucha and kefir. The project ­­took off with alacrity, and before long Mak found herself opening her own brewery, Fizzicle, which specialises in jun kombucha – kombucha sweetened with raw honey instead of refined sugar. [caption id="attachment_17476" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Fizzicle's junboocha, sweetened with raw honey instead of sugar[/caption] Kombucha has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its…
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Spice and Everything Nice

Spice and Everything Nice

#wednesdaykitchenhack, Features, Food, Ingredients
Local cooks in need of special spices know just where to go: Anthony the Spice Maker (ATSM) at Chinatown Complex. The heritage business, which has been around for over 30 years and is best known for their Curry Powder Singapura, is currently helmed by master blender Anthony Leow, who insists on crafting the authentic flavours of Singapore through quality, ethically-sourced ingredients. Recently though, things have been spicing up with the addition of Leow’s daughter, Min Ling. Having helped out at ATSM since her school days, the vivacious 26-year-old decided to join the third-generation family business full-time in 2018. Since then, she has expanded their product line-up to include a new wellness range. [caption id="attachment_17467" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Spice maker Anthony Leow and his daughter, Min Ling[/caption] A self-professed lover of tea,…
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