Halal Eat Out: Hajah Maimunah – Singapore

Well, I cannot always have nasi biryani anytime I’m in Singapore right? So, I might as well starting to find ourselves a really good alternative and halal as well. Here’s when I finally encountered Hajah Maimunah.

Based on many of my friends’ recommendations and one of the dining highlights in Singapore, Hajah Maimunah has that soft spot for those who seek Indonesian & Malaysian style homey, comfort food.

Tucked in a really nice neighborhood nearby Bugis, Hajah Maimunah at Jalan Pisang becomes a very comfortable place to eat. It is neat and clean, the staffs are helpful, and plenty of mouthwatering offerings that you can choose right away for your nasi lemak combination.

Hjh Maimunah 1

For example, my choice that day was nasi lemak with generous accompaniments of teri kacang (stir-fry anchovies and peanuts), omelette, and the fish balado (fish topped with chilies). Not forgetting also, a scoop of sambal tumis – that’s what they call it there.

Not only that it was spot on from the generous portion and the good taste, which actually a bit too sweet for Indonesian, but it proved me that I can always seek for Southeast Asian cuisine alternative while there.

Perhaps this will work for longer period if one day I had to stay for weeks or months there, but I’d still want to embrace more and more about Indian and Pakistani cuisines while there – since it’s still quite rare even in Jakarta. However, it’s a visit that I must do again in the future and even at other hidden Indonesian/Malaysian cuisines as well.

Let me know which one do you prefer and I will write about it for everyone!

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HJH MAIMUNAH
Halal-certified
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
15 Jalan Pisang, Singapore
T: +65 6291 3132

Opening hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm

Website

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EAT: Holiday Special Treats (JAX, Dec 2015)

Chef Nando shares his secret recipe for a successful Thanksgiving treat for everyone.

November and December are the favorite time of the year for many. Not only that there’s Thanksgiving with its famous treats, it’s also the season for trips and holidays. Perhaps even some of us have already planned to make this season the most exciting part of the year.

Fernando Sindu, the energetic chef with enormous creativity flair that we once interviewed back at Benedict, has decided to share the readers of JAX with his finest recipe for the holiday. For this occasion only, he has whipped us all with an easy recipe to follow but certainly, a very wholesome one.

The challenge would be the time consuming part during the cooking. However, for those who are aware with his renowned might and magic in the kitchens of Umabo and Benedict, it’s definitely a must-not-miss opportunity to challenge ourselves in the kitchen with this one.

This time, Chef Nando decides to substitute the turkey with chicken to make the whole cooking process simpler. As for the rest, he has prepared a good stuffing but with the use of apple as a twist and an ounce of sentimentality.

“I used to visit my friend’s home back in NY for the Thanksgiving dinner. What I remembered most is the scent of the herbs when I entered the house. There’s this smell of sage, thyme, and the lemony scent that made it all so good”, confesses the chef.

Aside from that, Chef Nando uses mashed sweet potato instead of the regular potato and pairing it with the good old cranberry sauce. Additionally, he’s also preparing the very quick and easy cream cheese potato salad for you to try.

He also shares us some tips and tricks to make the whole cooking process went well. “Firstly, the brining process of using salt and sugar is very important so that the chicken wouldn’t dry out when cooked. Secondly, we have to make sure that the skin should be crispy and the meat wholly cooked by putting some butter. Lastly, the stuffing should be made drenched by eggs or liquid. This time I will be using chicken stock and apple cider”, shares the chef.

There’s one last note also for us to be aware of and that came from the roasting process.

“The rule of thumb is to roast the chicken in high temperature first to get that crispy skin and next in low temperature to make sure that the meat is well-cooked”, says Chef Nando.

It has become apparent that this will be the Thanksgiving treat that everybody will be longing for in their homes.

Meanwhile, we welcome you to give it a try and we wish you a happy holiday!

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RECIPE:

Apple-sage stuffing roast chicken with sweet potatoes mash, country gravy, cranberry sauce, and cream cheese potatoes salad.

Yield: 4 people

Roast chicken 

chicken, large broiler, 900g-1100g                1ea
butter                                                                               40gr
thyme, sprigs                                                               1ea
salt and pepper                                                           as needed

Apple sage stuffing  

apples, medium diced                                               50gr
bread, medium diced                                                30gr
onions, medium diced                                              25gr
celery, medium diced                                               5gr
carrot, medium diced                                               5gr
garlic, chopped                                                            5gr
shallots, chopped                                                       5gr
apple cider                                                                     25ml
eggs                                                                                   1ea
salt and pepper                                                           as needed
thyme, parsley, sage                                                 5gr

Sweet potatoes mash

sweet potatoes                                                       50gr
pumpkin                                                                      50gr
butter                                                                           20gr
cream                                                                           10ml
milk                                                                               10ml
salt and pepper                                                       as needed

Turkey gravy

chicken stock                                                             200ml
bones/wing tips                                                        50gr
flour, all purpose                                                      20gr
butter                                                                             15gr
onions and carrot                                                    20gr
salt and pepper                                                         as needed

Cranberry sauce

frozen cranberry                                                    200gr
sugar                                                                              40gr
lemon juice                                                                10ml

Cream cheese potato salsa

baby potatoes, cooked, cut half                      200gr
cream cheese                                                             30gr
mayonnaise                                                                 20gr
red onions, bronoise                                              10gr
chopped herbs                                                           5gr
salt and pepper                                                          as needed

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/holiday-special-treats/

Dish That I Crave: Negiya’s Menyadon

Since the day Fitzroy started it around a couple of years ago, Jakarta has been in constant fever with menyadon or what the Australian would call their version of gyutandon.

Negiya as one of the latest proponents of this comfort food that boasts its lineup of good looking rice bowls. While Negiya’s twists for chicken bowls and even the salmon do look good, by my choice should start from the most basic and yet also one of the premium dishes there – the beef tongue rice bowl or the menya gyutan don.

Negiya 1

The very big downside of my first visit at their Kota Kasablanka’s latest outlet was the service. Despite the early good attitude, the waitress forgot to put my order at the POS and I had to wait a long time after my wife’s beef togarashi don.

I was happy with the taste and everything, except that there was too many chilies while I actually asked it to be reduced initially – thanks to the forgetful waitress.

Now, I am craving again the dish all over again. Hopefully this time Negiya has already improved the service part. All I have to do next is lay back, relax, and wait for another Negiya’s magical twist of comforting Japanese rice bowls.

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NEGIYA DONBURI
Not halal-certified
Unsuitable for vegetarians

Addresses & opening hours: https://www.facebook.com/negiyajkt

QuikSkoop™: Decanter

It took me years to ever finally see Decanter again. Just as I still remembered like it was back then, I am finally home.

It’s not that I came too often back then but surely there was a time when I used to go out with my colleagues from my previous career. Friday night is the time we had been looking for the whole week and we usually went out to try new places to eat and having that cuppa late at night.

Well, Jakarta’s dining scene back then was not as colorful as it is today but certainly there were places that we can always visit from time to time. Decanter was among the most exciting in Kuningan and the one that still stands tall against other come-and-go competitors coming from nearby office buildings and also with the tenants of Setiabudi One and Pasar Festival (now known as Plaza Festival).

My recent visit was originally to exclusively meet Chef Johannes Pratiwanggana. I was quite surprised to find out that Decanter houses one of the most senior chefs that Indonesian culinary scene ever has for the past few decades and also among the rarities that is still very active until this day.

Decanter 1

Of course, he wouldn’t let me go without actually tasting some of his best in Decanter. It was late in the afternoon and dinnertime will happen in an hour or so. Despite of that, Chef Jo – as he’s usually called, presented two lovely dishes that day.

The first one was the rigatoni with spinach and pesto made from sundried tomato. It was a balance mixture between heartiness and the refreshing taste from the pesto. The single serving of it was already very generous and Decanter can also prepare the patrons sharing portion which I deem would be a really good try for group of friends and colleagues for solid lunch or dinner.

Decanter 2

The second one was that perfect duck confit accompanied by oven-roasted potatoes. It’s actually rare to find a really good duck confit lately for me, but Chef Jo’s version is not just crispy on the outside but the in-depth flavor inside is not to be taken lightly at all.

Well, that was one helluva nostalgia. It was short but intimate, it was not at all splurging but instead, comforting. Despite the growing pains coming from the competition, Decanter actually has all that it needs to beat the odds.

If we can appreciate what Chef Jo has to offer, judging from his vast experience and finesse, Decanter is that one place to go for your weekend dates, business lunches, and even for some personal time alone.

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DECANTER
Not halal-certified, smoking is allowed
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Plaza Kuningan, Jalan Rasuna Said, Jakarta – Indonesia

Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 12am

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Food Trip: Hiroshima & Ehime, Finding Seafood at its Best

The Foodie Magazine has the opportunity to pioneer its way through the regions less heard back on our trip to Japan and here we came up with best places to eat while in Chugoku and the western part of Shikoku.

Japan is all about perfection on what we see and what we experience, including of course, every part of my foodie exploration during my recent trip there.

Treading a road less traveled to the Chugoku area where the famed city of Hiroshima resides and a bit to the south, heading to Ehime prefecture across the narrow sea to the Shikoku island, I was held in awe with not just the how this western part of the big Honshu island has to offer with its beautiful nature but also with the food.

From the city of Hiroshima to the heart of Ehime in Matsuyama, hereby The Foodie Magazine shares you the best places for traditional fares and seafood as the main star.

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HIROSHIMA-STYLE OKONOMIYAKI

Okonomiyaki is ubiquitous in Hiroshima that it is even can be seen from the moment I put my footsteps on the city’s main train station. Everyone was seen having it for lunch or dinner and long queues are seen on many places.

Despite having the literal meaning of ‘cook as you please’, how people actually cook this Japanese pancake is actually very straightforward. In Hiroshima, after the batter has been set, the cook will then stack it on a bed of cabbages in abundance, bean sprouts, tempura crumbs and pork.

Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (2) Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (3)

An egg is then cracked open and cooked for a moment before being topped with the okonomiyaki. Lastly, taking an advice from an old friend, I decided to instead ask for seafood as a substitute for the pork. With the special sauce topped on it and sprinkles of togarashi to whip up its spiciness, it was perhaps one of the best okonomiyaki I ever had.

At the Full Focus Building on the 6th floor, get yourself caught in a maze filled with okonomiyaki shops where people would choose their favorite shops to enjoy the slice of Hiroshima’s best with good drinks and good friends.

Full Focus Building, 10-1 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima

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ALL ABOUT OYSTERS AT KAKI-YA

The beauty of Itsukushima Shrine and its legendary torii are known worldwide and this site is not only Japan’s third most famous tourist spot, but also one of the world’s heritages.

Right in the heart of the shopping street of the island’s only town, there’s one famous restaurant where people would queue long for its grilled oysters. Kakiya is the name and arriving early before lunch saved me a good seat to enjoy the lunch. The restaurant itself has been featured in publications such as Hiroshima’s Michelin Guide and Lonely Planet Japan.

Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (4) Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (5)

For a lunch set that consists of grilled oysters, fried breaded oysters, and oysters rice with miso shiru; it was a kingly gift that gave me power to explore this majestic island and preparing myself with the manju making class at the island’s best shop for the delicacy – Yamadaya.

Kaki-ya, 539 Miyajima-cho, Itsukushima, Hiroshima

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THE FRESHEST GRILLED SEAFOOD AT YOSHIUMI IKI-IKI KAN

One of my best highlights of the journey was the decision to stop by at this rest area on Oshima island before heading to the mainland of Shikoku. With an astonishing view of the world’s longest suspension bridge of Kurushima-Kaikyo, the experience of eating freshly grilled seafood at Yoshiumi Iki-Iki Kan topped any places that I ever visited.

Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (1) Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (7)

Yoshiumi Iki-Iki Kan has its own seafood market where customers can choose what they wish to eat and pay before grilling it. Wide selections from live fish, octopus, oysters, and cockles are available here including skewered meat, corn on the cob, and many more.

Right next door, Yoshiumi Iki-Iki Kan has prepared an alfresco dining room and prepares each customer a charcoal stove. Experience yourself the Japanese way of grilling seafood and enjoy it with a bowl of taimeshi ­or the sea bream rice.

Yoshiumi Iki-Iki Kan, 4530-2 Yoshiumi Chomyo, Imabari-shi, Ehime

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THE TAIMESHI OF DOGO

The sea bream is everywhere to be found in Ehime prefecture and it’s like comparing it to Norway with its salmons. In many restaurants, the use of white rice is often substituted to taimeshi or a mixture of flavored rice with shredded cooked sea bream. Delicious and fulfilling, the taimeshi becomes a great company for any of Ehime’s rich lineup of cuisines.

Hiroshima & Ehime - Seafood (6)

At the Dogo Beer Bakushukan, the tavern serves wonderful cuisines of Matsuyama in addition to the city’s reputation for its beer brewery. The dinner set consists of various choices between chicken and beef, but that day I preferred Dogo Beer Bakushukan’s version of sea bream with rice as a dinner set.

The sliced raw sea bream is served upon rice and then to be mixed with raw egg. Add a bit of soy sauce on it and there you go, a dish to remember when in Matsuyama. After such a wonderful treat, don’t forget to pamper yourself on the bath next door at Dogo Onsen before calling it a night.

Dogo Beer Bakushukan, 20-13 Dogoyunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Jan 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photography by Dennie Ramon