A Food Lover's Guide to Mod Sin
Hawker favorites get a makeover in Singapore's Mod Sin movement.
What’s Mod Sin, you say? It’s shorthand for modern Singapore cuisine, or the food movement that re-imagines all your favorite hawker goodies like chicken rice, laksa, or chili crab in a different, more exciting way.
But how do you know if a dish is Mod Sin? Aside from the familiar Singaporean flavors, the dishes possess a sense of inventiveness and a keen eye for presentation. And of course, they’re available in establishments with sleek environments that only serve to heighten your gastronomic experience. Singaporean lawyer-turned-chef, Willin Low, pioneered this movement in the mid-2000s, and since then, the cooking style has exploded into the scene, spurring a new generation of chefs who rethink nostalgic food.
On your next trip to Singapore, make sure to take your family and friends to try delectable Mod Sin dishes at these spots:
Begin your indulgence at Chef Low's Wild Rocket.
The Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road
Singapore Fried Noodles
(Image courtesy of Wild Rocket)
After an eight-month break, the restaurant has reopened at its original Mount Emily location. What’s new? The Chef’s Table, an eight-seater bar that offers an omakase menu. Here, Low promises to experiment with new techniques and flavors so that familiar dishes keep evolving. The restaurant's Singapore Fried Noodles, for example, is a mainstay on the omakase menu but the execution will change regularly to reflect Chef Low’s different interpretations and variations of the dish. The restaurant's latest version is a symphony of king prawns, konbu, and house-made chili padi flakes. Set menus are also available, offering delectable dishes such as the Blue Swimmer Crab Congee Soup (served with a silky egg emulsion), Salmon and Baby Octopus Red Cargo Rice Donburi, and Coconut Ice Cream with Salted Gula Melaka. And how’s this for reinvention? Chef Low transforms Singapore’s famous chili crab dish into a Crab Meat Linguini with a spicy tomato cream.
Craving for comfort food? You can’t go wrong with family-owned Violet Oon's Kitchen.
881 Bukit Timah Road
(Watch out for its re-opening in June 2015!)
Kuay Pie Tee
(Image courtesy of Violet Oon's Kitchen)
Singapore's celebrity chef Violet Oon, the mother of Nyonya cuisine, a blend of traditional Chinese and Malay cooking styles, reinvents well-loved hawker favorites as she infuses Nyonya influences in her Mod Sin pasta dishes. The Black Pepper Prawn reimagines Singapore’s famous pepper crab in piquant black pepper sauce with fresh prawns and spaghetti, while the Buah Keluak fuses minced prawns, chili padi, and coconut milk with delicate angel hair pasta. For those who love laksa, be sure to try the Dry Laksa, which has rice noodles tossed in laksa pesto and topped with prawns, tau pok, and bean sprouts.
Finally, for a sweet ending to your foodie trip, make a beeline to 2am:dessertbar.
21A Lorong Liput, Holland Village
(Image courtesy of 2am:dessertbar)
Helmed by Janice Wong—the Paris-trained chef whose boundless ingenuity results in cutting-edge creations—the restaurant specializes in desserts that promise multi-sensory experiences with dishes that taste as good as they look. Her Shades of Green, a mélange of pandan gula melaka custard with pistachio sponge and coco mousse showcases a stellar combination of texture and flavor. It’s a feast with every spoonful – now that’s a dessert like no other. For chocoholics, the sweet-salty Chocolate H20 is highly recommended, with 72-percent dark chocolate, salted caramel and yuzu sorbet.
These mouthwatering Mod Sin dishes perfectly capture the balance between traditional hawker flavors reimagined with modern techniques. Time to plan your next international food crawl and indulge in these delightful creations!
Want more delectable dining recommendations for your next trip to Singapore? Check out YourSingapore's website and Facebook page for more info! To help you get the most out of your trip, take advantage of special airfare deals, stay at a participating hotel for 2 nights and get the 3rd night free, shop till you drop during the Great Singapore Sale for a chance to win S$500 daily, and have a gastronomic adventure with exclusive dining discounts from various establishments. To find out more about the exciting Golden Jubilee deals, visit www.yoursingapore.com/goldenjubilee.
And to add excitement, here's Up Dharma Down's latest music video for their latest song "All the Good Things" shot at and inspired by Singapore’s must-see locations!
Watch the music video:
Watch how Up Dharma Down got inspired, too: (video)