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May 2017

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Update: Mum’s Recipe Nonya Laksa is back open! At their original location, but newly renovated!

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This post will be the first of a new series of my new workplace #hitwTaiSeng.

Just a mention about laksa to just about anyone in Singapore will stir up a heated discussion (pun intended) on cultural authenticity; which stall/shop gets it and which stir up mass-produced modern versions. If there’s anybody brazen enough to blatantly ignore traditional ‘guidelines’ and STILL call themselves authentic, it’ll surely kick the hornet’s nest (and trust me, they usually don’t last).

Mum’s Recipe Nonya Laksa

The thing about food in Singapore is that it always has some degree of social connotations. Like how owner Leslie Chua recounts, this recipe which his mum had learnt from a nonya neighbour and eventually got the whole kampung (village) into her cooking every Sunday brunch (it’s common for everyone’s house to be ‘open house’ 24/7 in a kampung). In his words:

The laksa was an instant a hit with everyone! After that, laksa became the most requested item at our weekly Sunday brunch fest, followed by popiah.

One of the first things you notice when you arrive at the stall nested in a coffee shop along Macpherson Road is a huge metal pot with a brick charcoal stove to keep the gravy inside warm, reminiscent of the old days.

Mums Recipe Nonya Laksa Mums Recipe Nonya Laksa

In true perenakan style, the serving is simple: generous amounts of (peeled) prawns, fresh cockles (optional), and fish cakes. In the kampung days, there were no ‘holy grails’ of what to put in a nonya laksa; whatever you can get, it goes in. Hence, you will see different versions of the same dish all over Singapore and Malaysia. One common feature though, is the preference of short strands of rice vermicelli that if you wanted to, can be eaten with just a spoon. The curry itself is not that spicy, and tastes rich and creamy with all that coconut mmm-milk goodness. For those with iron-clad tongues that just love copious heaps of chilli in everything you eat, you can add dollops of red chilli paste and finely chopping laksa leaves to taste.

Mums Recipe Nonya Laksa Mums Recipe Nonya Laksa

…and remember! You don’t waste even a single drop of that glorious laksa curry! You can definitely tell that the customers enjoy it when every bowl is almost-literally licked clean!

Mums Recipe Nonya Laksa

Satisfied customers! #laksa #foodstagram #foodporn #singapore #food #foodie

A post shared by Mum’s Recipe Nonya Laksa (@mums.recipe.laksa) on

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Situated some distance away from any semblance of a MRT station, it is best accessed by bus or walking (if you’re in the area)

Price:
$4.50 for a bowl of laksa with generous toppings (just look at the pictures yo)? Sign me up!

Quality:
The taste of the curry is rich enough, and ingredients fresh. I preferred it to be a bit more piping hot though. I’ve also added a good amount of chilli for some more oomph and it was W-O-R-T-H!

Overall:
Reminds you of mum, it will… no seriously take the chance to go hug your mum

More Information

Mum’s Recipe Nonya Laksa
458 MacPherson Rd
Singapore 368176
Tel: 9865 8616 (advanced orders available)
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A Bagel is a Doughnut with the sin removed – Anon.

Random fact: contrary to some beliefs, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King John III Sobieski over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It is however, thought to have appeared at around the same century with it being mentioned as a gift for women in childbirth. Whatever the truth of its origins, the bagel (believed to be derived from the transliteration of the Yiddish ‘beygl’, which came from the Middle High German ‘böugel’ or ring) made its way from western Europe to the North America by means of Polish Jew immigrants, it developed into a totally different food culture with the round staple in New York (read: Bagel Brunch in New York).

Two Men Bagel House

Not to be confused with two other guys nearby, Two Men Bagel House started what they claim to be Singapore’s first out and out bagel house since 2014 “located in the depths of Icon Village“. Bros Jerome Lam and Jereborne Lam (real bros or not, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re good bros)  dish out freshly baked, handmade rings of different flavours.  From caramelised onion (my favourite) to multi-grain or melted cheddar cheese , they don’t make that many for each variation (about 9 usually, check their menu for a list), so on busy days some could run out before you can even smell (if you smell…) any trace of bagel goodness!

A usual favourite of mine whenever I’m there would be their all-day breakfast selections, endearingly named with porcine names like Porky, Piglet or even Babe, with one aptly named spam because of the namesake topping. The “bagelwiches” are served piping hot to order and cut in half for easy devouring. Although you have to get ready some napkins because it WILL get messy.

Hold your piggies everyone. Other than some ham, they also have a fuller-bodied menu with pork ribs, beef briskets and more. From time to time, they also have random special edition creations whenever the bros feel inspired! Also , as long as you’re someone who sell bagels,  you MUST have ‘schmears‘, or basically spreads if you so prefer something a bit less savoury and voluminous. Like cream cheese for example!

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
You’ll need to wind around the back wing of icon village, away from the main walkway of big chain restaurants and outlets to find the corridor they’re at, but nothing too challenging if you follow your nose!

Price:
A small premium to pay (about $10-12+ for the regular bagels, and $4-6 for schmears) for freshly baked bread and made to order bagelwiches, but nothing too surprising given its CBD environment

Quality:
The breakfast bagelwiches could get a tad oily (expected), but otherwise I’ve got nothing on them!

Overall:
They ain’t no jabronis, they’re got thick rings!

Bonus: Watch a video made by some NYP mass communications students!

More Information

Two Men Bagel House
16 Enggor Street
#01-12
Icon Village
Singapore 079717
Tel: +655094125
Email (orders in advance/catering): hello2men@gmail.com
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Want to tell me about a hole in the wall in your neighborhood? Write to me!

Also like my facebook page and follow me on Instagram to stay updated on the latest hole in the wall reviews!