Sunday, January 1, 2012

Singapore Food Republic by Nasi Lemak

Mmmm...until now the sweet gingery taste lingers in my mouth.
Food, Fotography (I know, seemed to be spelled that  way  too!) and Family... The three F's that mark my happiness right now which brings forth both madness and sanity in my life.  Which happens to be H.K Tan's  favorite topics as well.   H.K. as he wants to be called is the man behind the much raved about Singaporean restaurant,  Nasi Lemak.  
It's one out of Bhog's bucket list, not for me though.  It used to be his dream for me to go with him in Singapore and try out the famous hawker foods that boosted Singaporean tourism.   Till finally we were able to have it exactly as how it should be at Nasi Lemak's Robinson's Galleria site.   I already did a blog about it though, so this time, excitingly, let me give you Singapore  Food Republic (Nasi Lemak's sister restaurant), which is now near me and housed  just in front of  St. :Luke's Hospital at The Fort.   
As I was waiting for my friends at this newly opened restaurant,  the gracious service attendant immediately handed me a glass of cold water and the menu, then I asked her if wifi is available and voila, the password was given unhesistantly.   But then I was approached by H.K. Tan, the Singaporean Culinary consultant of the two  branches and asked me if I like drinking coffees, (well yeah, I'm a self-proclaimed  coffee gourmand or lover.) I said yes.   "I will have you taste Malaysia's best coffee..."   Now were talking...
As the mug of coffee landed on the table, he immediately had it removed and replaced,  for the mug used for that is not he right one.   The girl mistakenly used the mug for the Teh Tarik.  That's how a restaurant should run, according to a standard that was set, and discipline is the utmost and most convenient practice his staff should have.  
So how's the coffee, you ask?  It is actually sweeter than I thought.  If you ask for coffee at Singaporean Food Republic they'll give you Kopi Tarik.  Authentic Malaysian ground coffee differs from ours in that since our soil has high acidity, our beans tend to be bitter while theirs is less bitter and tends to be sweet.   What makes their coffee more interesting is that they put butter as the sugar caramelizes in the process and adds condensed milk to the concoction. Tarik means pull, coffee mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly between two vessels over a height, as if one is pulling or stretching  the liquid .  This process is said 
to cool the coffee to drinking temperatures, and helps mix the coffee more thoroughly. 

That may also explain why it has the frothy top. 
After that short intervention, he then approached me while I was trying to take my first shot of the day, and one of the most spectacular thing happened.   Someone cared enough to share photography 101 with me.   I do admit, I still have to tinker with my gadget more often and know not just the basic of photography.   H.K. got me to tour and see a glimpse of Singapore's night scape without having to go anywhere else, just a few steps up the second floor dining.
At the room upstairs,  a spectacular  night view of Singapore Harbor will mesmerize you.  As a matter of fact H.K.  was the one who took the shots for this Singapore landscape as well as all the food photos around the restaurant, including those in the menu, fascinated yet?
When my friends came, they were given, Teh Tarik.   The process was the same as that of the Kopi Tarik, except English teas were used.
The classy and streamlined interiors measure up to the dining comfort needs of the BGC or Makati community.
Starting off with something definitely unique and reminiscent of my elementary years.  The Crispy Baby Squid.  It's sweet and slightly spicy .   There is something really intriguing about this, how'd they make it so crispy and  remarkably addictive?
Mmm...the best Xiao Long Bao my palate have tried.  The semi-transparent skin of the small steamed bun still drive me nuts.  When served onto the table, the buns are best to be eaten while they are hot. They’ll taste even better  after a dip in the vinegar with ginger slivers.
The ultimate chicken dish known to any Singapore themed restaurant.  though comparable to the likes of Singapore Chicken Rice or Wee Nam Kee's.   Authenticity speaks for itself here.   I won't go over the intricacy of the preparation of this dish, but rather let me give fine highlights of one of my favorite Chicken dish.  First, the dish comes with an aromatic pandan jasmine rice.  Then, a bowl of steamy and comforting soup.  Let me also tell you about the condiments that goes with an order.  the dark soy sauce, the chili sauce, and the sweet ginger sauce.
 Let's get moving with these Stir-fried Noodles with Sea foods.  A steal and perfect snack with the family and with friends.   It's like having pancit but in an extra-ordinary way.  Would die for a recipe of this.  As a matter of fact, I never knew and was never taught how to cook Pancit.   Maybe a few more dinner or lunch with these could give me the idea of how.   Do you think H.K. would share it?  Nah, I'd rather have it here.

Oh yes, they are inviting. ..  At first it looked like it's smiling at me, and told me to eat them hurriedly.   Roast Pork with Man Tao.   Imagine a sliced  pork roast with the sauce on a bed of lettuce on a man tao bun.   A filling out- of- this world sandwich.
Fried Singapore Hokkien Prawn Mee.  Richly flavoured with goji berries and served with the medicinal and another  right in your face comforting soup.    I'm sure in one way or another, you've encountered goji juice as a health drink, but have you heard about goji berries on a dish?   Well,  the antioxidant rich fruit is just but an ingredient in one of the best cooked prawn I have had in my entire life.  Chinese know this berry or it's extract to prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels;
Curried Crab, now at Singapore Food Republic, you can't go wrong at how you enjoy your food, whether you use chopsticks or spoons and forks or just your fingers, what matters to them is that you enjoy every bit of the food served on your table and you get to have the finest Singaporean cuisine, without having to travel to Singapore or Malaysia.   Haha, I guess you have figured out how I ate my portion of this gigantic crab and tasty, and have not been shy of licking my fingers at that. .
Another belachan infused vegetable dish.  Stir Fried Kangkong with Baichan.   Baichan give the Malay edge to this dish, with  a number of spices that comprises it.  
You see in Malay and Singaporean cuisine, chili is sacred, having four to six different chillies are staple in each dish.   The traditional way of preparing and serving each dish on the menu are kept to a close watch, making sure that every dish is worth having.
I've come to love both Nasi Lemak and Singaporean Food Republic because it defied my  expectations of the Singaporean and Malay cuisine which I thought was unbearable spicy.   It was unlike any  Eastern we had ever eaten, and really demonstrated that just like cuisine at home, the food in here has its own distinct and  variations.
Not to mention having met H.K. Tan, was an honor.   Like my husband's Singaporean employers, have the unspoken character that defined the  resilience of  the Singapore community , economically and mentally speaking.

Also, to usher in a season of  gastronomic indulgence and photography, H.K. Tan, welcomes everyone to a session of Food Photography and grubs at  Singapore Food Republic for a mere cost of  P150 for the food only and  a free workshop of Food  and  Landscape Photography.
The schedule is still tentative though,  we need some raise of hands or head counts before going through the whole prep.  
Comment here if you are interested for the FREE PHOTOG workshop and lots of grubs plus maybe we could also chance a cooking show...
So are you in or are you out?

Singapore Food Republic
Address:   4th  Ave cor 31st  St.  , Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Opposite St Lukes Med Ctr and Opposite HSBC.
Contact  number:  925 1988


  1. Hi dear! The foods presented here look really interesting. I love Asian foods a lot and I really suddenly felt so hungry seeing all those photos. I also love to try other Asian dishes especially the spicy ones.

    You have a great blog here, thanks for dropping by my site and for inviting me to visit yours. I had a great time here!

    Happy new year! :)

  2. Stir fry noodles and the shrimp looks yummy!

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  11. Wonderful post! All the food looks so delicious! I am really feeling hungry now.. A coffee cup also so yummy and healthy. I just love coffee and Kopi luwak is my favorite. Thanks for the nice post.
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