19th May 2012
Angku Kuih, translated as Red Tortoise Cake, is a Nyonya speciality. Nyonyas are people of Chinese origin who settled in the Straits of Malacca, which is the busy shipping lane that goes around Singapore and made Singapore into the city that it is, founded on the shipping trade and to this day the busiest port in the world. Although it is a familiar everyday snack in Singapore, the tortoise symbolises longevity and it is often served at Full Moons (a baby’s first month celebration) and was served recently at my Great-Aunt’s 90th birthday party.
This will be an unusually small supper menu for us this time - but for those that know these dishes, I think they will be all that's needed :-)
For those that don't know them - providing you actually like crab and chicken of course - give it a whirl, you might find some new favourite dishes. Actually my father has lived and eaten well all over the world in his 72 years, and black pepper crab is probably his favourite dish of all time. It's what I made him for Father's day. And Hainanese Chicken Rice is mine. My sister loves them both....
These are THE classic Singaporean dishes that are very hard to get in this country. All these dishes in Singapore would be made by a specialist - you'd almost never find one place that served them all at the same time; which is why you can't find them on restaurant menus here in the UK. Actually it’s difficult often to differentiate Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese cooking but I think Black Pepper Crab is truly something that was invented in Singapore (in the last 20 years or so) – now copied by Malaysia but I had it there first. And I firmly believe it was the Singaporeans who elevated Hainanese Chicken rice to the heights that it has (the 5* hotels all compete to produce the best version), even if it originated on Hainan Island in China. I ate it in China and it was most disappointing!
Black Pepper Crab - come prepared to get your fingers dirty! KFC's finger lickin' good has nothing on this stuff.... they will be served with home made steamed buns (Man Tou) to mop up all that delicious sauce.
Hainanese Chicken Rice – people always ask me for my favourite dish – well, this is it!
Bean Sprout Salad
Stir Fried Aubergine
Black Bean Peppers
and a selection of Nyonya Kueh for dessert - kueh dadar, kueh talam, angku kueh, perhaps others. These are the Malaysian/Singaporean equivalents of dessert, made with fresh coconut milk, glutinous rice flour, local palm sugar, and yellow beans.
For bookings please drop us an e-mail on email@example.com; cost will be £40 of which £35 will go to MSF.