It’s a tough time to be a foodie, with Singapore going into Heightened Alert phase where all dining-in is not allowed. Most of us have resorted to “dabaoing” our food or trying our hand at cooking at home. Whichever you choose, there’s always a way to still enjoy your nosh no matter what phase we are in.
Just ask foodies Kai Ying and Jia Fa – the DJs from 88.3JIA share with us below on their favourite food, delivery options, plus ways to make your takeaway dishes more palatable. Kai Ying is currently the host and Assistant Programme Director at 88.3JIA, and she has a passion for TCM, travelling and exploring different countries, cultures, histories, music, and good wine. Jia Fa is the host and Music Director of 88.3JIA, and is known for his good fashion sense (he was nominated for the ‘Most Stylish DJ’ award in 2013) and being a gym enthusiast.
You can catch both Kai Ying and Jia Fa on 那些下班教我的事 as they co-host the programme on weekdays, 5pm – 8pm on 88.3JIA.
1. During this Heightened Alert phase where restaurants, eateries and F&B establishments are all closed for dining-in, do you find yourself cooking more at home or do you opt more for takeaways and food deliveries?
Kai Ying: We would have home-cooked meals most days, and food deliveries about three to four times a week. Usually during the weekends because it’s nice to take a break, and also enjoy the convenience of not having to wash up.
Jia Fa: I am quite fortunate in the sense that I stay with my parents, thus my meals are sort of taken care of and I do receive some media drops from time to time, plus I order quite a bit of food to try too, so my fridge is quite packed as of now.
2. If you’ve been cooking at home more, can you share what are some of your favourite dishes you like to prepare? Do share the recipes if you have them.
Kai Ying: One of my favourite dishes to prep is Kay’s Lazy Rendang. You can mix your own rempah, but I use the ready-made ones bought from the supermarket, thus the name ‘Lazy’. A chef had recommended this brand, and it is one of my favourite pastes now. If you want the brand of the paste, you can DM me on my Instagram @883kaiying!
Instead of chicken, you can substitute it with other meats, or even vegetables like pumpkin etc to make it vegetarian.
Here’s the recipe!
Brine 8 chicken drumsticks (about 600-800g) for an hour. Then rub half a pack of paste on the chicken. Let them sit for another 30mins.
Put drumksticks in pan to brown them briefly. Add in 1 small pack of coconut milk (about 200ml). Pour in 200ml of water slowly. If you like it more concentrated, use less water.
Add in 2 pieces of kaffir lime leaves and heat until chicken is cooked and tender. I like to squeeze 1-2 limes into the gravy as well because the acid can cut through the fats and spice very nicely.
Jia Fa: I can’t cook and I tend not to invade the holy grail of my mum’s.
3. Are there any current favourite food delivery apps or service you always choose?
Kai Ying: I have no loyalty to any platform, just whichever has the best promo codes, or deliver the food I want. I usually have some cash on hand to tip the delivery people separately. But if the food I want has a high delivery fee, I will still go ahead and order.
Jia Fa: I don’t really use food delivery services often to have a favourite [less than once per month], I usually order direct from the restaurant/hawker stall and opt for pick up.
4. Do you have any favourite foods or restaurants you tend to order from that you can recommend?
Kai Ying: To satisfy my burger craving, I’ll get them from Wildfire Burgers. The patties retain their juiciness, and the burgers stay fluffy even after delivery. I also order from Kitch, Les Amis’ cloud kitchen, when I want a variety of food, from pizza to prawn noodles. If you like desserts, try Fat Kid Bakery’s bombolinis.
Jia Fa: I recently tried One Pot 一锅 where they offer superb value for money steamboat sets. They make the yummiest fish dumplings where the skin is gooey enough and yet it is not too thick. Their prawn wantons are especially fresh loaded with tonnes of ingredients.
And did I mention their sets for 2 starts from just $30?
5. What about the best hawker dishes around Singapore in your opinion? Where do you go for these?
Kai Ying: Oh gosh… where do I begin? I love Hokkien mee, and would usually order from either Simon Road Hokkien mee in Kovan, or Come Daily Hokkien mee in Toa Payoh. One is more of the moist type, the other is the drier kind. Best char kway teow? Outram Park CKT at Hong Lim food market. If you are a porridge lover, check out Sin Heng Kee’s meatball century egg congee.
Jia Fa: I really like going to Amoy Food Centre and whenever I have a craving for prawn paste chicken, I will head to Quan Ji located at level one at the corner of the food centre.
Their prawn paste chicken is perfectly fried with umami and their chilli which is laced with lime and vinegar goes so well with the wings. And don’t forget to order their off-the-menu Golden Egg noodles which is not only good for IG, but tastes very good too.
6. Some people find takeaway dishes unappetising, preferring to dine in. Do you have any tips to make your takeaways more palatable?
Kai Ying: Reheating on the stove helps, and even putting the food on pretty tableware can help to make the food look better, and taste better.
Jia Fa: An air fryer or a steam toaster comes in handy at these times.
7. Do you know that SAFRA is running several Dabao Deals at its clubs? Have you tried any of the deals yet? If not, which are the ones you are most interested to try?
Kai Ying: I didn’t know, but now I do, and I am going to take the opportunity to try Sakunthala’s Restaurant for some mutton briyani, as well as Siam Kitchen to get my tom yum goong fix!
Jia Fa: Now that you have informed me, I am keen to try the Wing Zone as I am always on the lookout for the perfect fried chicken!
8. What’s the first thing you would go for dining-in, or the first place you will go to dine in, when this Heightened Alert phase ends?
Kai Ying: Japanese omakase. I miss having that in a restaurant, watching the chefs at work while eating fresh slices of sashimi, and sushi. Then washing it down with a nice glass of sake. Oiishi!
Jia Fa: I had a booking at FatFuku, one of the highly sought after private dining venues but it was cancelled due to the introduction of the Heightened Alert measures then. Hopefully, I will be able to snag another booking soon, if not Restaurant Euphoria will be at the top of my list!