New Ways to Eat Old Favourites

Creative offerings connect a new generation of diners to some traditional food and drinks

Issue: Sep 2015

New versions of foods grandma and grandpa grew up with will surely draw the Millennials with their creativity and bring generations together
New versions of foods grandma and grandpa grew up with will surely draw the Millennials with their creativity and bring generations together

Few things can bring people together like food which melds cultures on a plate. Just look at the different types of fusion foods available. Through food, bonds are built. The popularity of family meals that encourage sharing is proof of that. And through food, we can transcend time. How? By giving old favourites a new twist to appeal to Millennials who have a hunger for food trends, of course.

1. Eat Your Tea

With this <em>Teh Halia</em> Cupcake, you can have your tea and eat it too!
With this Teh Halia Cupcake, you can have your tea and eat it too!
Photo credit: Twelve Cupcakes

Grandpa and grandma drank theirteh halia(ginger tea). The milk tea infused with ginger is a Malayan brew which traces its origins to post World War II sarabat (drink) stalls run by Indian Muslims. Today, it is still the preferred cuppa to accompany a freshly tossed prata (Indian fried flour pancake).

There is a whole new way to enjoy this traditional drink. Introducing the Teh Halia Cupcake. With the heady aroma of ginger and the strong taste of tea in every bite, it is like having your afternoon tea with cake all rolled into one.

Chendol, orh-nee, and ice-kachang in their new incarnations - these cupcakes will surely wow a new generation of foodies
(Left to right) Chendol, orh-nee, and ice-kachang in their new incarnations – these cupcakes will surely wow a new generation of foodies
Photo credit: Twelve Cupcakes

By the way, some traditional local desserts have been given a makeover as well. Chendol, orh-nee, and ice-kachang now comes in cupcake flavours, too.

2. Chilli Crab in a Bag

Steaming, spicy goodness of chilli crab minus the mess
Steaming, spicy goodness of chilli crab minus the mess

There are few dishes that say ‘Singapore’ quite like chilli crab. It was created right here in 1956 by a husband-and-wife team who sold the stir-fried mud crabs in a chilli and tomato sauce from their pushcart. Locals revel in cracking the crabs to get at slivers of juicy meat and then mopping up the thick eggy gravy with bread or mantou (steamed buns).

The Millennials’ way to enjoy this somewhat messy dish is in a neat all-in-one package – the Chilli Crab Xiao Long Bao. Almost twice the size of a regular xiao long bao (steamed dumplings), these are filled with minced pork and chunks of fresh crab meat and bursting with a spicy-sweet crab-based broth.

Also available is the hassle-free Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Bun. This dish encases chunks of chilli crab and fresh pork along with a full-bodied gravy that packs in the heat in a pillowy soft steamed bun. It is chilli crab and mantou in every bite minus the mess. These little pouches of steaming, spicy goodness are available only seasonally, though. So keep an eye out for them.

3. Have a Slice of Laksa

Forget your bowl, now you can have a slice of laksa with Singa Laksa
Forget your bowl, now you can have a slice of laksa with Singa Laksa – doughy pizza base slathered with laksa sauce and topped with fresh crab meat, squid, tuna, prawns, laksa leaf, tau pok (fried beancurd) and mozzarella cheese
Photo credit: Pezzo

Laksa (rice noodles in a spicy coconut broth) is usually enjoyed in a bowl. The popular Peranakan dish can now be savoured in a slice. Singa Laksa features fresh crab meat, squid, tuna, prawns, laksa leaf, tau pok (fried beancurd) topped with mozzarella cheese. The fragrant laksa leaf is the first hint that this pizza is a fitting tribute to the local delight. Bite into it and the flavourful laksa sauce confirms it. The addition of tau pok, a laksa must-have is particularly thoughtful. Why bother with a bowl when you can simply pick up a piece of laksa?

4. Rendang in a Burger

Rendang is given a new treatment as a slider with Mini Pulled Pork Wet with Rendang Burger that is perfect with a drink
Rendang is given a new treatment as a slider with Mini Pulled Pork Wet with Rendang Burger that is perfect with a drink
Photo credit: Hood Bar and Cafe

Rendang is a spicy meat dish from the Minangkabau ethnic group in Indonesia. The festive favourite was the number one dish in CNN International’s list of ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick)’ in 2011. Usually eaten with rice, the traditional dish is wooing a new generation of diners in its incarnation as a slider. The Mini Pulled Pork Wet with Rendang Burger is tender pork shreds soaked in luscious rendang gravy between puffy burger buns that fit nicely into the palm of your hands. A perfect companion for your Happy Hour drink!

5. Milo Dinosaur with Bite

Milo Dinosaur Sundae Dirt Pot is a remake of the drink, featuring Milo ice-cream with a layer of Milo powder on top
Milo Dinosaur Sundae Dirt Pot is a remake of the drink, featuring Milo ice-cream with a layer of Milo powder on top presented in a pretty flower pot complete with gummy worms, and a shovel
Photo credit: Swensen's

Milo is a chocolate malt drink from Australia. In Singapore, many people, baby boomers and beyond would have grown up drinking Milo. About 20 years or so ago, a new interpretation of this drink came onto the scene. The Milo Dinosaur is ice-cold Milo served with a heap of Milo powder on top. It was a natural progression really because children have been stealing spoonfuls of the chocolatey treat to eat for generations.

Now, lovers of the innovation can delight in a new permutation of the drink. Milo Dinosaur Sundae Dirt Pot is exactly what its name suggests – Milo ice-cream with a layer of Milo powder on top presented in a pretty flower pot complete with gummy worms, a pretty gooseberry, and a shovel. You can even take the pot and shovel home when you are done. A Milo Dinosaur with bite indeed!

6. Grass Jelly Freeze

Grass jelly is a jet black Asian jelly made from the leaves and stalks of the mesona chinensis plant. Often sold as together with the milky white soya bean curd in every Singapore hawker centre, it can be eaten as a dessert or served as a drink. But that is old-school grass jelly.

Instead of being served in jelly form or as a drink, Grass Jelly Shaved Ice is crushed ice in grass jelly flavour topped with an assortment of ingredients
Instead of being served in jelly form or as a drink, Grass Jelly Shaved Ice is crushed ice in grass jelly flavour topped with an assortment of ingredients
Photo credit: BlackBall Singapore

Grass Jelly Shaved Ice is crushed ice in grass jelly flavour. This forms the base of the new-style dessert. Top that with an assortment of ingredients from matcha balls, sesame balls, sweet potato balls, and taro balls to pudding, beancurd, jelly, grass jelly, nata de coco, yam, sweet potato, and beans – and you have an explosion of flavours and textures in your mouth!

Thanks to these creative twists to traditional hits, bridging the generation gap could not get any yummier.

Dine with us:

BlackBall Singapore
www.blackball.com.sg
Bedok Mall #01-03
Bugis+ #01-14
Plaza Singapura #06-11/12

Din Tai Fung
www.dintaifung.com.sg
Junction 8 #01-41
Raffles City #B1-08

Hood Bar and Café
www.hoodbarandcafe.com
Bugis+ #05-07

Twelve Cupcakes
www.twelvecupcakes.com
Junction 8 #B1-19A
Bugis Junction #B1-03B
IMM Building #01-124
The Star Vista #01-47

Pezzo
www.pezzo.com.sg
Bugis Junction #B1-K04
Bukit Panjang Plaza #01-39
ION Orchard #B4-51
Rivervale Mall #01-K5
The Star Vista #B1-37B
Bedok Mall #B2-K1
Lot One Shoppers’ Mall #B1-23

Swensen’s
www.swensens.com.sg
Bukit Panjang Plaza #03-04
IMM Building #01-111
ION Orchard #B1-31
Junction 8 #01-39
Plaza Singapura #03-23
Bedok Mall #01-77

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