Friday, November 16, 2012

Ang Mo Kio: A True Taste of Singaporean Hawker Cuisine

It's always great to know that one can find true authentic flavors, and when you're craving for that distinct taste of Singaporean hawker cuisine, you don't need to go far.

Named after a district in north central Singapore famed for its food markets and local cuisine, Ang Mo Kio's menu is inspired by the district's hawker food stalls, using only the freshest ingredients and cooked from scratch for that distinct and authentic taste of Singaporean hawker cuisine.

Conveniently located at the 3rd Level of The Podium, just look for the brightly colored red wooden tables and stools outside the restaurant, and that distinct flavor of Singapore is never too far away. We recently sampled some of Ang Mo Kio's signature dishes, and it was an awesome experience.

As you enter Ang Mo Kio's rustic and minimalist interiors, you are surrounded by the casual feel and vibe reminiscent of a typical Singaporean hawker food stall. The simple whitewashed tables and wooden stools give it a rustic look that adds to one's overall dining experience. Cushioned benches are located on one side of the restaurant should you opt for softer seats, but the wooden stools, at least for me, are just perfect.

Ang Mo Kio's signature dishes were then served, starting with Chicken Satay (P 35/stick, minimum of 3 sticks) with peanut sauce.

Grilled perfectly, the light outer char added a delightful crispness to the well seasoned and tender chcken satay. The richly flavored made from scratch peanut sauce rounded out the flavors. Great as is or with rice, a  cool dish to start the dinner.

Next up, the Hainanese Chicken (P 998 for one whole chicken, four servings of rice and vegetables). Beautifully plated, the whole chicken is sliced to thin bite-sized pieces and delicately arranged, drizzled with a light soy sauce and sesame oil and topped with coriander.

A classic Singaporean favorite, and pretty much the national dish of Singapore, Ang Mo Kio's Hainanese Chicken is definitely one of the best in the metro. Soft, tender and juicy chicken steamed to perfection, the subtle yet rich flavors of the succulent meat almost melt in your mouth.

The whole chicken serving is good for four, or two really hungry dudes, but half chicken and smaller portions are also available.

And to complete the Hainanese Chicken, the traditional ginger, chili and dark soy dips are included. Nothing like a combination of these sauces with Hainanese rice to go with the tender and juicy Hainanese Chicken, just perfect.

Ang Mo Kio's BBQ Chicken Wings (P 45/piece, minimum of three pieces) marinated in a sweet sauce, big on flavor with a light crispness. Great when paired with Ang Mo Kio's chili sauce for a little kick and soothing heat.

Laksa (P 308), loaded with fresh seafood including plump prawns, clams and fish cakes, and enriched with coconut cream and curry spices. Dried shrimp is also added providing another level of flavor in Ang Mo Kio's Peranakan version of Laksa. A meal in itself, hearty and comforting.

Char Kway Teow (P 480 good for two to three, P 220 for singe serving), a classic noodle dish with bold flavors. Flat rice noodles stir-fried over high heat with both light and dark soy, chili, prawns, clams, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. Classic street hawker food.

Hokkien Prawn Mee (P 550 good for two to three, P 275 for single serving), a hearty dish made with yellow wheat noodles combined with vermicelli (bihon), and loaded with bean sprouts, prawns, eggs and pork belly. Add some sambal and kalamansi and mix it all up. The combination of flavors and textures makes this dish a must try.

Oyster Omelette (P 168), a rich egg dish loaded with oysters and topped with green onions. The delicate crispness of the onions, the soft oysters and richness of the eggs makes this a great side dish. Add some chili sauce and this simple dish bursts with so much flavor, a real treat.

Beef Rendang (P 436 for a large serving, P 218 for single serving), tender beef stewed in coconut milk and a rich paste of freshly ground spices including ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemon grass, garlic, shallots and chili.  The tender chunks of beef easily break with a fork or chopsticks, and each bite releases the medley of spices that enrich the dish. Perfect with rice, a great main dish.

Sambal Chinese Kang Kong (P 168), a light vegetable dish of water spinach sauteed in a wok over high heat with spicy sambal sauce.

Bak Ku Teh (P 558 for two to three, P 285 for single serve), which literally means "meat bone tea" is a richly flavored pork rib soup. The pork ribs are stewed for hours with a blend of fragrant herbs and spices like garlic, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and coriander. The steaming hot broth is light and very comforting. The pork falls off the bone with minimal effort, and the subtle pork flavor is richly enhanced by the spices. The rich combination of spices reflects the region's historical significance as a major stop along the historic spice route.

Sambal Egg Plant (P 168), another great vegetable side dish, quickly stir-fried egg plant cubes over high heat with sweet and spicy sambal sauce.

Cereal Prawn (P 628), another Ang Mo Kio signature dish of crisp, deep fried prawns served with crunchy grain oat flakes. Amazing textures and flavors. The freshness of the prawns become evident in the dish, with the prawns having a subtle and sweet flavor with a nice, firm crunch.

And the simple, rustic interiors provide a dramatic backdrop to these amazing dishes. The kitchen provides an amazing show during peak hours, where one can see the dishes prepared expertly by Ang Mo Kio's chefs and kitchen crew.

And don't forget to check out the boards for the daily specials, all freshly prepared. As Ritchie Baldonado, Ang Mo Kio's owner proudly reiterates, only the highest quality and freshest ingredients go into every made from scratch dish. And clearly, you can taste the difference.

The rich culinary heritage of Singaporean hawker cuisine is perfectly recreated in this cool place, and  one's dining experience is even made more memorable by the friendly service. Special thanks to Ritchie Baldonado and Ang Mo Kio's courteous staff for an amazing dinner, I will definitely be back. Hungry for authentic Singaporean hawker cuisine? Check out Ang Mo Kio and taste freshness and authenticity in every bite.

Ang Mo Kio is located at The Podium, 3rd Level, 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. For reservations and inquiries, call 696-7025 or e-mail at

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  1. It was a very satisfying dinner. See you again soon Gerry! :)

    1. Hey Mich, awesome dinner! See you at the next food trip!

  2. For a minute I thought you really were in Singapore..hahahhaa..good post and yummy hawker food.

    1. Hi Jen, thanks! Really cool to have a taste of Singapore right here, great to hear from you Jen!

  3. You truly do take amazing photos and I think you capture the real essence of it all.

    1. Hi cquek, thanks, but I still have lots to learn...great to hear from you!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi pinkc00kies, I couldn't agree with you more, thanks for stopping by!

  5. love everything we had in Ang Mo Kio! :)


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