New discovery yields a Singaporean favoriteBy Sandy Daza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
My Sunday routine has consisted lately of badminton in the morning, church at noon, a late lunch at either Podium or anywhere in Megamall, followed by a nice quiet movie with cheese popcorn and a bottle of chilled water.
For my late lunch, I first walk through both malls and pass by the various dining places, including the fast-food area just to see which cuisine jumps out at me and looks like it will satisfy a craving.
At the confusing Megamall food court, I sometimes end up with a bangus belly from Reyes Barbecue, a palabok from Razon’s, a veggie dish from Bodhi the vegetarian dining place, and a fresh buko juice from Louie’s.
I have been to the basement level of Megamall for my siopao and mami fix at Masuki, a delicious sandwich place right across it with unusual fillings and a reasonable price to match, Yabu at the Atrium for the chicken version of this fantastic crispy Japanese concoction with a spicy curry sauce on the side, that Ramen place just right across Yabu, the Spam counter on the second floor and a few others.
Change in the routine
Last week, my routine changed after our driver took a two-week vacation to New York (in Cubao). I had to forego badminton to drive my mom to church. That was fine with me. I wanted to have a late lunch with my mom and her trusted aide, Edna. On the way to church, I tried to “brainwash” her into having Yabu for lunch. Out of the different dining places I suggested, Hainanese Chicken Rice was what she craved for. I knew just the place.
I pretended to ask what they wanted but knew very well they would make me choose. So I ordered Bak Kut Teh for Edna, Hainanese Chicken Rice for mom and Laksa.
Bak Kut Teh is a herb-scented soup with tender chunks of pork spareribs. This is like their version of sinigang. It is usually served with rice for breakfast in Singapore. Sarap. I tried the broth.
My mom’s Hainanese Chicken Rice was also a winner. I loved the thick and sweetish soy sauce that comes with it plus the ginger and spicy sauce that you dab over the boneless chicken. (Stevie’s Hainanese is still the best I’ve had in Manila. Also try his Vietnamese fresh spring rolls. Call 0906-5084155 or 8968940.)
I finally found my Laksa in Manila. Although it looked a lot smaller than the picture, the taste more than made up for it. The thick coconut sauce was mildly spicy with a slight taste of lemongrass and kaffir lime. It had prawns, fish cake, bean sprouts and the taste I’ve been looking for. Many have claimed a good Laksa but this version for me is up there. I loved it. I know I enjoyed it so much for a few days after the lunch, I was still thinking about it. When I like something, I have it for days on end. Next Sunday again.
On our way home, I treated my mom to a delicious Sebastian peanut butter bar which we initially agreed to share but never got to me.
I skipped my badminton and movie but I had a great time with my mentor and foodie adviser, Nora Daza!
Ang Mo Kio Singaporean Restaurant is at 3/F Podium, Mandaluyong City. Call 6967025