Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Recreating the Singaporean Hawkers Street Food Experience at Makansutra

"Street food is a brand, it is a cuisine inherited from our parents and culture..."

K. F. Seetoh, Singapore's highly-acclaimed food personality and expert, brings authentic Singaporean heritage cuisine to the metro with the newly opened Makansutra in SM Megamall. The name combines the Bahasa word for food, "Makan", with "Sutra", a buddhhist term which means "guide," to perfectly describe what it aims to achieve: to serve as the premier food and dining guide with authentic Singaporean dishes handed down for generations. The lively sounds and vibrant aromas of a dozen food stalls come together in the very first Singaporean-inspired hawkers center in the metro. Makansutra is the first of its kind in the country, read on and take a tasty peek inside Makansutra...

Makansutra offers local diners an authentic and tasty bite of Singapore's iconic street food scene with a wide variety of dishes prepared by the Lion State's popular hawkers, transporting you to the famed hawker centers without leaving the metro. Visual elements from K. F. Seetoh's long-running TV program add to the colorful and exciting vibe at Makansutra, promising an entirely new and different yet authentic dining experience.

Located at the second level of Building A in SM Megamall, the spacious interiors feature twelve food stalls offering an extensive array of Singaporean, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, all prepared from scratch and cooked ala minute as you order. It's the variety of dishes, all in one place, that make Makansutra special. 

Inside each stall, the local staff trained by the Singaporean stall owners themselves prepared their signature dishes, with woks, steamers, grills, and charcoal clay pots firing away for the lunch service. The frenzied pace captures that authentic vibe of Singapore's hawker centers to complete your dining experience.

Makasuntra's local partners, chefs JJ Yulo and Him Uy de Baron (L) hosted our special lunch preview, describing the signature dishes of each stall, each recreated from the original Singaporean recipes. At Makansutra, it's all about authenticity, made fresh and served at its flavorful peak... 

...as the different stalls served their specialties. "These foods became iconic and famous, and became big business in many countries. The Philippines deserves this kind of food variety and I hope they enjoy this because Filipinos love and appreciate good, authentic food," explained K. F. Seetoh.  

Chef JJ Yulo believes this innovative dining concept will be accepted by local diners. "Street food in general is not hard to sell. To me, it means fast, casual, delicious, humble, and affordable. We want to expand the vocabulary of Pinoys beyond tapsilog," says Chef JJ Yulo. And that's what you get at Makansutra. Start your authentic Singaporean street food experience with some of Makansutra's refreshing beverages, like the soothing Kopi Terah (P 100, L), an iced coffee and the Green Apple Celery (P 100, R), a fresh ice-blended fruit juice. At Makansutra, you can find other equally refreshing beverages like Sugar Cane Juice with Lemon (P 150), Lemon Barley, Mango Lassi Shake (P 120), Milo Dinosaur (P 150), and Kopi-O (P 80).

After a few sips, the dishes from the different food stalls were then served, starting with the mildly spicy Sambal Kangkong (P 250) from Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee. The crisp freshness of the water spinach deliver a mild sweetness, rounded out by a layer of soothing heat from the spices to kick-off our Singaporean culinary journey.

In rapid succession, the other dishes were then laid on the table, with Curry Flurry's Roti Prata Set (P 250, L), a soft fried flour-based pancake paired with a boldly flavored curry sauce and Alhambra Padang Satay & Muslim Food's Satay (P 270, R), savory chicken skewers fresh off the grill and served with the traditional peanut sauce.

The delicates notes of the chicken are complemented by the subtle smoky hints from the grill, completed by the sweet and savory peanut sauce. At Makansutra's Alhambra Padang Satay & Muslim Food, you can order their signature satay in 10, 20, or 30 sticks. And like they say, once you start nibbling on these tasty skewers, you just can't stop. 

Your Singaporean culinary journey continues with Ah Tee's signature Fried Oyster Omelette (P 260/320), a light and tasty dish with plump oysters. The briny sweetness of the fresh oysters add a distinct layer of flavor to the dish, perfectly tempered by the sharp notes of the vinegar dip making this one of my many favorites at Makansutra. 

Bao Ji Xiang's Paper-Wrapped Chicken (P 280), with tender chicken chunks delicately wrapped in paper preserving its flavorful juices capped by a medley of spices and herbs, offers a new way to enjoy chicken.

The savory notes of the crisp Tofu Skin Wrap (P 250) from Geylang Claypot Rice is another must-try dish at Makansutra. Contrasting textures of soft and crisp layers capped by a sweet sauce combine for a light and flavorful starter. 

And if you just can't get enough of tofu, try the Tofu with Prawns (P 280), also from Geylang Claypot Rice. The silky smooth texture of the homemade tofu just melts in your mouth releasing its subtle nutty notes followed by the briny sweetness of the fresh prawns and the sweet sauce.  

And here's the beef. Gooba Hia's savory Twice Cooked Crispy Beef Ribs with Braised Sauce (P 550) should satisfy any serious beef craving.

Draped in a thick and savory sauce, the twice-cooked beef ribs are tender and juicy with a crisp outer layer for another play on contrasting textures. The rich beefy notes are punctuated by the minty herbs and fresh vegetables for a satisfying dish.

Makansutra also offers set meals, like the traditional Bah Kuh Teh with Sugar Cane (P 300) from Adam's Ribs, served with steamed white rice and braised peanuts. The delicate yet rich notes of the meaty pork ribs simmered in a light broth with herbs and spices is a traditional and popular dish in both Malaysia and Singapore. The sharp notes of the thick soy dipping sauce completes the dish.

Jin Ji Kway Chap and Braised Duck's signature Kway Chap (P 380-for 2/P 550-for 3/P 700-for 4), is another traditional dish, a hefty platter with a selection that includes their signature stewed duck, Chinese-style braised pork offal, yam rice and tamago. The soft and savory textures of each of the components in this impressive dish offer unique flavors, from the richness of the stewed duck and the tamago to the sweetness of the braised pork offals and vegetables. Another favorite.

But there's more. The signature Chicken Claypot Rice (P 280 Small/P 450 Medium/P 540 Large) from Makansutra's Geylang Claypot Rice is a complete meal in itself. Soft and fluffy rice topped with juicy chicken and Chinese pork sausage draped in a sweet sauce cooked in a traditional clay pot over fiery hot charcoal, this dish adds a celebratory vibe to your dining experience at Makansutra. And it just keeps getting better once you scoop deeper into the claypot, with the rice absorbing the rich flavors of the various ingredients.

A hearty bowl of Fish Head Soup Noodles (P 250) from Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee should complement any meal at Makansutra. The mild and delicate flavors of the fish and vegetables and the soft noodles combine for a great side dish paired with the other mains at Makansutra's food stalls, or another meal in itself.

More noodles? No worries. The rich and savory Braised Beef Donburs Noodles (P 280) from Gooba Hia, with fork-tender beef braised for hours in a rich sauce served with soft yet firm noodles, egg, and vegetables...

...and the Mee Siam with Prawns (P 250) from Donald and Lily, are just some of the flavorful options at Makansutra. And that's what makes dining at Makansutra different, you can combine and a build a feast with a variety of dishes from twelve food stalls all in one place. 

None of the dishes have been tweaked or adapted to suit the local palate, it's authentic all the way from starters to mains and desserts highlighting the very best of Singapore's rich culinary heritage. You'll need more than one or even two visits to try all the dishes at Makansutra, and that's all the reasons you need to plan another visit. And I'm pretty sure you'll find new favorites on your succeeding visits.

Cap your feast with Makansutra's specialty Asian iced desserts, like the colorful Ice Kachang (P 200) from the Makansutra Bar and Bites stall prominently located at the center...

...and the indulgent Chendol (P 200), finely shaved ice topped with beans and coconut cream. It's all here. Take a tasty bite of Singapore's iconic hawker centers right here in the metro... at Makansutra.

Makansutra is located at the 2nd Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.

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