Saturday, June 8, 2013

Singapore Food Republic: Cool Singaporean Flavors at The Fort

Like an old friend, HK Tan warmly welcomed us to his restaurant, Singapore Food Republic, and promised authentic Singaporean flavors for lunch. As we settled down to our seats, HK Tan gave a brief overview on the lunch menu. This was going to be another great lunch.

Singapore Food Republic is HK Tan's second Singaporean restaurant, with another, Nasi Lemak, located at Robinson's Galleria. Singapore Food Republic offers traditional and iconic Singaporean dishes, from beverages to mains, all the way to desserts.

Inside, Singapore Food Republic's spacious interiors are modern yet homey, with a cool casual vibe. Two floors are available for more seating options, and we go up the second floor dining area. I start with a Singapore Sling...never too early for a cool cocktail.

The refreshing cocktail was just perfect for the summer afternoon. Next, we were served a round of Singapore Food Republic's signature Teh Tarik, a pulled milk tea that was fun to watch being prepared, and refreshingly good too.

Rich, creamy and refreshing, a cool beverage before lunch at Singapore Food Republic. Then, the first of many dishes arrived...

Bah Kut Teh (P 420), pork ribs simmered for hours in a clear broth infused with secret herbs and spices, served with dark premium soy sauce topped with chopped chili. HK Tan demonstrates the proper way of enjoying the traditional dish: first, pull some tender pork meat from the bone, add some rice and a little soy sauce. Singapore Food Republic serves a dark and thick premium soy sauce laced with chili, add more chili for a little kick, and enjoy.

Hainanese Chicken (P 388), best with Hainanese Rice (P 40). Perhaps the most iconic of all Singaporean dishes, Singaporean Food Republic's version is way up there. Served with the traditional sauces including soy, chili and garlic, and a bowl of rich broth, it's a complete meal. The chicken is unbelievably tender, and effortlessly slides from the bone, a personal favorite.

This. Probably the best fish head curry I've tried in the metro. Singapore Food Republic's Fish Head Curry (P 485), a classic dish with real Singaporean flavors is a definite must try. I'm not normally a fan of dishes with fish heads, but this one was different. The curry had a layer of tart tomato flavors that enriched the sauce. The sauce alone and vegetable were great with rice.

Kang Kong with Sambal Blachan (P 228), fresh and crunchy kang kong stalks sauteed with sambal, a mildly spiced vegetable dish that goes great when paired with the mains.

Nasi Lemak Set (P 299), a complete meal served with rice steamed in coconut milk and pandan, papadam, acar, egg, Satay, Kuning fish, ikan bilis, peanuts, tender barbecue chicken, and sambal chili. Another classic Singaporean dish, with a variety of flavors and textures, all in one plate. The fragrant rice topped with egg provides a good base to add the different flavors like sambal, fish and vegetables. And as HK Tan enthusiastically demonstrated, you can mix up all the ingredients and enjoy all the flavors in every spoonful.

As we happily cleaned up the remaining dishes on the table, we were then served dessert. The classic Onde Onde (P 168), kneaded glutinous rice and flour dough balls infused with pandan essence and stuffed with gula melaka (palm sugar), and coated with grated coconut. An exotic dessert that's somehow familiar, yet deliciously different. A cool sweet ending to cap a feast of Singaporean flavors.

Authentic flavors, great value for money. It's great to know that real authentic flavors are never far away...
Special thanks to HK Tan (L) and Spanky Enriquez (R) for a cool Singaporean lunch at Singapore Food Republic.

Singapore Food Republic is located at Unit 8, Commercenter, 4th Avenue corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig or call 925-1988 for inquiries. 

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