Bearing the namesake of a hawker stall-filled district in Singapore, our own Ang Mo Kio reflects the colorful diversity of Singaporean cuisine and even promises to serve a true authentic Singaporean cuisine experience. In fact, even the interior and layout of the whole restaurant is reminiscent of the atmosphere of hawker centers in Singapore.
And before I jump in to share with you the dishes we got to try at Ang Mo Kio, let me first disclose that this restaurant visit was way back in November of last year. While I'm not one who delays restaurant reviews for this long, shit happens. In my case, my hard drive got busted and it took quite a while to have my files recovered. So expect a few late reviews popping up from time to time. (Now back to regular programming.)
When it comes to Asian cuisines, I feel like Singaporean fare is one of the ultimate of its genre since it's a product of many culinary influences. So now, let's both take a tour around Malaysia, China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and even the Philippines through these Singaporean dishes at Ang Mo Kio.
To whet our appetite, let's have the Roti Prata (P50 per piece) -- a light and slightly flaky flour-based pancake served with a curry sauce on the side. Having this dish served on our table, it reminded me of the first time I got to taste roti prata way back in elementary. I sure didn't know what this thin bread was, but eating it after dipping in a curry sauce was a fireworks in the mouth. And once you've started munching, it sure is hard to stop.
Next, let's have a plate of Chicken Satay (P35 per stick; Minimum of 3 sticks). While the skewered pieces may look rather small, they're perfect teasers before a good meal. These marinated then grilled chicken satay was already quite good on their own, but pair them with the sweet peanut sauce and your palate will sure to have a great pre-party.
While I'm not a Cereal Prawn (P628) kind of girl, I can't deny that I enjoyed every piece of this seafood treat. I love my prawns plain, steamed or sautéed, but these prawns with grain oat flakes and stir-fried in butter give every bite a perfect crunch. The coating also adds an enjoyable slight sweetness that goes well with the juicy prawn meat. Yum!
You also shouldn't miss the Chicken Wings (P45 per piece; Minimum of 3 pcs.), especially if you're a big chicken wing lover. For a restaurant specializing in Singaporean cuisine, I didn't expect that these BBQ wings would taste this good! They were so tender and so succulent with every bite unlocking an explosion of sweet and savory flavors.
When it comes to Singaporean fare, ordering the Hainanese Chicken (Whole P998) is a must! This whole white chicken steamed and bathing in light soy sauce just looked so glorious on the tabletop. Served with 4 cups of fragrant rice, some vegetables and its garlic, chili and dark soy sauce accompaniments, every bite was simply oozing with juicy, meaty chicken goodness. And although I personally don't go too gaga over Hainanese chicken, I found myself relentlessly digging in with this one.
Another very Singaporean item is the Laksa (P308) which is a rich and creamy bowl of coconut milk-infused spicy noodle soup with clams, prawns, fish cakes, dried shrimp and hard-boiled egg. And while I may have missed trying laksa when I was in Singapore, I sure feel like this hearty bowl is more than enough to satisfy my laksa craving.
Noodle lovers shouldn't miss the Hokkien Prawn Mee (Single P275; For 2-3 P550). This serving of yellow wheat noodles combined with Vermicelli tossed with beansprouts, prawns, eggs and pork belly slices, and comes with sambal (chili paste) and calamansi on the side, is a hearty noodle dish that will surely deliver. Every forkful was satisfying both for the palate and the stomach with its light-flavored taste and saucy goodness.
If you're more into savory noodle dishes like me, then the Char Kway Teow (Single P220; For 2-3 P480) is perfect for you. Stir-fried over very high heat, this plate of flat rice and thin noodles with light and dark soy sauce, chili, squid, prawns, shrimp paste, beansprouts and greens, is sure to create fireworks in your mouth like it did with mine. Munching through the soft yet firm mix of noodles was also a delight on its own.
For veggies, try the Sambal Eggplant (P168) -- a plate of sliced eggplants sautéed in a sweet and spicy sambal sauce which is somehow similar to our very own bagoong alamang (shrimp paste). This dish might be simple, yet I really enjoyed eating this together with some Hainanese chicken and spoonfuls of rice.
This plate of Sambal Chinese Kang Kong (P168) is another sambal sauce-infused vegetable dish worth ordering. Like the eggplant variant, this is also sautéed with a sweet and spicy sambal sauce. However, if you love your mellow-flavored kangkong (since sambal is a lot spicier than bagoong), then you can order this just sautéed with garlic.
The most comforting item for the night was the Bak Ku Teh (Single P285; For Two P558), a traditional Chinese pork ribs soup simmered in a complex mixture of various herbs and spices including star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, garlic and coriander. While I believe there's no actual tea in this bowl, each spoonful somehow gave off a hint of tea flavor. The meaty pork ribs on the other hand, was also very tender and enjoyable.
This Beef Rendang (Single P218; Big P436; With Nasi Lemak Rice P258) dish is definitely one of the tastiest items of the night. Cooked with coconut milk and ground mixture of ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, garlic, shallot, lemon grass, chilies and other spices, every chunk of beef in the pot is not only tender and so meaty, but also packs a lot of earthy, savory and spicy flavors that you're sure to get your appetite for rice on.
For drinks, Ang Mo Kio offers an interesting line of both the all-time favorites and some unusual beverages. I got myself a Rose Milk Tea (P70) which was creamy and had a nice rose water flavor. The beau on the other hand, got himself a refreshing and vibrant yellow-colored Fresh Mango Juice (P75). And if you're curious, the brown drink in the background was one of our companions' order, a glass of Milo Dinosaur (P75).
By the way, there's currently an ongoing deal for Ang Mo Kio's Hainanese Chicken or Roasted Chicken with vegetables and rice either for 2 or for 4, available at Groupon Beeconomic. So make sure to check this deal out before it's over!
Our visit to Ang Mo Kio at The Podium was indeed like a trip to the Ang Mo Kio district in Singapore, just minus the airfare and lodging expenses. Everything we had, from the meal starters to the entrées, and even up to the drinks, were all of great quality rivaling those I've tried when I went to Singapore. True enough, Ang Mo Kio serves authentic Singaporean cuisine as promised. And with reasonable pricing and friendly service, we're sure to return for yet another food tour around Asia.
Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ang Mo Kio Singaporean Hawker Cuisine, The Podium
3/F The Podium, 12 ADB Ave., Wack- Wack
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
(02) 696-7025; (0917) 823-4317