Thirst-quenching cooling brews
If you want to drink liang teh (cooling teas) to quench your thirst in this hot weather, Ming Tai at Upper Cross Street sells a tight selection of ready-to-drink housemade traditional brews.
The medical hall, run by third-generation owner Choong Tzien Tao, has been brewing its own herbal concoctions since 1946. The recipes are handed down from Mr Choong’s grandfather, who started the business.
The mildly sweetened teas are brewed daily in small batches.
Go for the Qing Liang Xia Gu Cao ($2), which is the colour of black coffee. Xia gu cao refers to prunella spike. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is believed to reduce heat from the liver.
For a more palatable brew, try the Qing Ri Ju Hua Cha ($2), which translates to heat-dispelling chrysanthemum tea. In TCM, chrysanthemum is said to be beneficial to the eyes too.
The Yang Shen Yin Hua Cha ($2.50, ginseng honeysuckle tea), has a slightly bitter edge from the ginseng. Honeysuckle is believed to have detoxifying properties.
Where: Ming Tai, 01-150/152 Block 34 Upper Cross StreetMRT: ChinatownOpen: 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays; 10am to 6pm, Sundays and public holidays. Closed on the first and 15th days of each lunar monthTel: 6532-1307
Sedap Singapura Food Fair
Limited-edition ang ku kueh
City Square Mall is celebrating National Day with its Sedap Singapura Food Fair, featuring 20 food and beverage brands selling snacks with local flavours.
The fair runs from Monday to Aug 6.
Must-try items are two limited-edition ang ku kueh from the iconic Ji Xiang Confectionery’s store in Victoria Street.
The Spicy Shrimp Ang Ku Kueh ($7 for two pieces) is generously packed with a tasty filling of housemade hae bee hiam that is sweet, savoury and slightly tangy from the addition of tamarind. The pastel pink skin is delicately thin and slightly chewy.
The Orh Nee Ang Ku Kueh ($7 for two pieces) makes a great snack or dessert.
While yam is not a new flavour from Ji Xiang, this iteration is an upgrade from previous versions, with an unusual coating of purple sweet potato powder mixed with desiccated coconut lending crispness to the mochi-like skin. Inspired by the Teochew orh nee dessert, the yam filling has ginkgo nut and pumpkin added to it.
Sedap Singapura Food Fair
Where: Level One Atrium, City Square Mall, 180 Kitchener RoadMRT: Farrer ParkOpen: Monday to Aug 6, 10am to 10pm daily
Hapiha Mediterranean Fast Food
Handmade pizzas and dips
Enjoy restaurant-quality pizzas and dips at hawker stall Hapiha Mediterranean Fast Food at Beauty World Centre.
Stall owner Klevis Shima, 39, does not believe in skimping when it comes to ingredients and insists on using fine Italian flour for his pizza dough, which he kneads and moulds by hand to order.
The Diavola Pizza ($10 for six-inch, $15 for nine-inch) is utterly worth ditching diet plans for.
Mr Shima uses high-grade spianata calabrese salami from Italy, which does not turn tough or chewy after cooking, even when left to cool.
This pizza works well for takeaway orders as a few minutes in a toaster oven will give you that same fresh-out-of-the-oven texture, complete with melty stretchy cheese.
Instead of standard mozzarella, Mr Shima uses fior di latte (the flower of the milk), a type of semi-soft fresh cheese. The tomato sauce and extra virgin olive oil are also from Italy.
The San Daniele Parma Ham & Rocket Pizza ($13 for six-inch, $18 for nine-inch) features 18-month aged prosciutto, rocket leaves and generous shavings of parmesan. But this pizza is better consumed on the spot as it is not suitable for reheating.
For a quick meal on the go, the Chicken Kebab Wrap ($8) makes a hefty but healthy meal. The wrap is well packed with tender juicy slices of grilled chicken and plenty of fresh crisp lettuce, onion and tomato. Tzatziki sauce, made from Greek yogurt, cucumber and lemon juice, gives a creamy tangy lift to the filling.
Mr Shima makes his own pita bread too, and they are a smashing match with his housemade dips.
My top pick is the mildly spicy and velvety Tirokafteri ($6.80 for 100g, $7.80 with pita bread), which is made from blending roasted bell peppers with Greek yogurt and feta.
Another dip to try is the chickpea and tahini-laden Hummus ($6 for 100g, $7 with pita bread), which comes topped with Italian black olives and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A hint of cumin sets off the earthy and nutty flavours of the dip.
Where: Hapiha Mediterranean Fast Food, 04-55 Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah RoadMRT: Beauty WorldOpen: 11am to 9pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. Closed on Mondays
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