A corner of Singaporean cuisine in Hanoi
The newly-opened restaurant in Hanoi's Ha Dong District offers authentic Singaporean cuisine.
I can never forget one cold rainy afternoon when I was strolling around Singapore and suddenly came across a shop selling bak kut teh. My tired legs, hungry stomach, wet body and chapped lips from the cold all disappeared after the first sip of the traditional Singaporean soup.
Then, on a cold autumn day in Hanoi, I suddenly felt it again when I tried bak kut teh at Sing Chiak, a Singaporean restaurant in Hanoi.
It is a newly opened eatery on Nguyen Van Loc Street, Mo Lao Ward, Ha Dong District, where many Singaporean, Chinese, and Korean expats gather.
|Sing Chiak is a corner of Singaporean cuisine. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times|
Owner Pham Hang told me that Sing Chiak means "Let's go eat" and the restaurant's menu will not disappoint gourmets with authentic tastes and affordable prices.
First, I ordered bak kut teh or meat bone tea to warm up my stomach. It is a delicious dish that many crave on rainy days, just like I did in Singapore. It's made from meaty pork ribs and various herbs simmered for hours. The broth is rich with herbs while the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily.
The next dish I tried was chili crab, an icon of Singapore's culinary culture that everyone must try when visiting the land of the merlion.
|Crab chili, the iconic dish of Singaporean cuisine. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times|
At Sing Chiak, chili crab is prepared with a high standard of flavor. Fresh crab is cut into pieces, then stir-fried with chili sauce, eggs and tomatoes. Its appeal is the fresh crab meat and the legendary chili sauce of Singaporean cuisine.
Another dish is frog porridge. At Sing Chiak, frogs are cooked in a clay pot in a rich, flavorful sauce and served with plain porridge.
|Frogs are cooked in a rich, flavour-packed sauce in a claypot, and served alongside plain porridge. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times|
After a nutritious and meaty dish of chili crab, a bowl of frog porridge comes in handy. However, if you have room for one more dish, I recommend Hainan chicken rice.
The chicken is prepared according to the traditional Hainan method, which involves boiling the whole chicken and using the chicken stock to make the broth.
Fresh cucumbers are boiled in chicken stock and lightly sprinkled with soy sauce and sesame oil when eaten with chicken rice, adding a rich, addictive flavor.
The dipping sauce that accompanies the rice is a mixture of black soy sauce combined with freshly ground ginger, red pepper and minced fresh garlic.
|Hainan chicken rice. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times|
After the meal, if you want to take home a specialty of Singaporean cuisine, there is Sing Puff, a famous Singaporean snack made of curry sauce, chicken, potatoes and eggs. All the ingredients are mixed together, covered with a doughy shell and then fried. The crispy crust inside is full of fillings that make it craveable and unforgettable.
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