In case you missed it, K-pop supergroup BTS is the latest stars to collaborate with fast-food giant McDonald’s for the latter’s celebrity signature orders programme. The hotly-anticipated BTS Meal was delayed as a result of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) but should still be launching next week on 21 June. It will comprise of nine-piece Chicken McNuggets, large World Famous Fries, a large drink, and exclusive sweet chilli and cajun dipping sauces inspired by popular recipes from McDonald’s in South Korea.
Inspired by signature orders, we thought it would be interesting to ask some of Singapore’s food-loving tastemakers and creatives to share the must-have dishes at their favourite dining spots. From cherished hawker stalls to healthy alternatives, here’s what these eight tastemakers have to say about their choice meals.
THE SIGNATURE DISH: The Bincho Grilled Salmon Salad from Spago Dining Room by Wolfgang Puck which she calls her very own “made-to-order” meal. She changes the rice to fries and instead of dessert, she opts for an extra round of tuna tartare cones with a slice of warm walnut and cranberry bread.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “The ‘Wendy set’ consists of the bincho grilled salmon salad that’s like a single dish protein bowl and it tastes like bibimbap which I love!
I do know replacing rice with fries (my all-time comfort food) isn’t helping with my attempts of achieving a low-carb diet but I just love fries and I’ll always ask for chili and ketchup to go with them. They’ll give me two types of chili sauce: a Sriracha and a sweet Thai Chili sauce which have the kind of spicy levels that I like!
My choice of starter is always their signature tuna tartare cones. And instead of the usual bread basket, I get a warm walnut and cranberry bread that’s only available for dinner but they’ll serve it to me at lunch anyway because I love it!”
WHERE TO FIND IT: L57 Sands SkyPark, Hotel Tower 2, Marina Bay Sands; tel: 6688-9955
THE SIGNATURE DISH: White Carrot Cake from Chey Sua Carrot Cake in Toa Payoh.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “When it comes to carrot cake, I’ve always been a black over white kinda girl. But all that changed once I had my first bite of the white carrot cake from Chey Sua. It’s fried till it resembles a crisp, eggy pancake of sorts and evenly coated with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce so every bite is perfectly flavoured, fluffy, and absolutely sublime – well worth the 45-minute average wait-time!”
WHERE TO FIND IT: #02-30 Block 127 Lor 1 Toa Payoh
THE SIGNATURE DISH: Thunder Tree Lei Cha Kolomee from organic vegetable farm Fire Flies Health Farm.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “It’s one of the best lei chas, in my opinion. By incorporating noodles with an Asian pesto alongside fresh, locally grown pesticide-free veggies from their farm, it truly fits the concept of farm-to-table.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: 62 Lim Chu Kang Lane 2 Lot 75; tel: 6793-7875
THE SIGNATURE DISH: Pani Puri from modern Indian grill restaurant Thevar.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “I love the interpretation of Indian culture via Southeast Asia in a truly modern way – expertly executed by a multicultural kitchen team.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: 9 Keong Saik Rd; tel: 6904-0838
THE SIGNATURE DISH: Nasi Lemak from Ponggol Nasi Lemak.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “My favourite dish comes from the Ponggol Nasi Lemak branch at Tanjong Katong Rd. It’s my comfort food and the go-to stop upon landing in Singapore after each flight. I love that it’s delicious and how the quality has remained the same after so many years.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: 238 Tanjong Katong Rd; tel: 6287-0020
THE SIGNATURE DISH: A full-course round of Kyuri, Sari Gowari Morohaku Sake and Okonomiyaki KD from Katong Diner.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “Since the pandemic struck, private home dining has become a new way to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
At Katong Diner, their Japanese-inspired menu coupled with a cosy dimly-lit ambience brings back memories of dining in a Shokudo on the streets of Japan, but with a modern twist.
We started off with the Kyuri, a pickled cucumber appetiser, along with the Sari Gowari Morohaku sake from Fukui. But the star of the night was definitely the Okonomiyaki KD which is one of their crowd favourites. It filled our palates and stomachs with a punch of umami yet savoury and sweet flavours.
Their menus change regularly and is perfect for an intimate group dining with your friends or family.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: Message them on Instagram at @katongdiner.
THE SIGNATURE DISH: Tyma Chicken Tangine from La Fez Bakery & Cafe.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “This quintessentially Moroccan cafe is tucked away in the neighbourhood of Siglap. Its chicken tagine tugs my heartstrings! This traditional dish – a stew with rich aromatic spices cooked in a ceramic tagine – bursts with flavours of Morocco. This dish reminds me of life before Covid-19 where we could step outside our little red dot, travel and explore cuisines from all walks of life.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: #01-03A 907 E Coast Rd
THE SIGNATURE DISH: Prawn uni paste with coriander, spring onion and brown butter toast from Rebel Rebel Wine Bar.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “This dish will have a special place in my heart because I enjoyed it over my birthday celebration and it brings me fond memories of the times spent with my friends.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: 14 Bukit Pasoh Rd; tel: 6224-5466
THE SIGNATURE DISH: The Original 18” Pie done New York-style with buffalo mozarella, mozarella, parmesan, basil and optional roasted garlic from Lucali BYGB.
WHY SHE LOVES IT: “As a huge pizza lover, I’ve been wanting to check this out for quite some time. I definitely couldn’t miss this out when the restaurant opened here.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: 66 Kampong Bugis, Level M; tel: 8284-1325
Text: Margaux Levy/Female