Madam Wong's Fusion offers Western hawker food with gourmet sides

ST PHOTO: KENNETH GOH

Western food stalls in hawker centres and coffee shops are now offering more fanciful side dishes. Instead of the usual baked beans and coleslaw, more restaurant-style sides are crossing into hawkerfood territory.

One of them is angel hair pasta or capellini, popularised by casual French restaurant Saveur in Purvis Street and Far East Plaza. One of its more prominent dishes is angel hair pasta with sherry-minced pork and sakura ebi.

At two-month-old Madam Wong's Fusion in Amoy Street Food Centre, angel hair pasta is one of the gourmet side dishes that diners can choose from. The pasta is blanched and tossed with olive and truffle oils, parsley, salt and black pepper. Though served cold, the noodles are springy.

I like the wide variety of side dishes that accompanies options such as grilled salmon, beef striploin and battered and fried dory fillet.

Each plate comprises a meat or fish; a choice of angel hair pasta or garlic fried rice; two choices of vegetables, including roast potatoes with rosemary and thyme, sauteed mushrooms and salad with fruit; and sauces such as sweet and spicy barbecue and mushroom cream. Prices start at $5.90 for a chicken cutlet set.

Madam Wong's Fusion is named after Madam Wong She Kim, 61, a semi-retired hawker who partnered her godson Wong Pak Mun, 26, to open the stall. He used to work as a chef in Mezza9 restaurant in Grand Hyatt Singapore and likens his menu to "restaurant-style food served at an economy rice stall".

I order the Marinated Chicken Thigh Boneless Set ($6.90, above). The meat is marinated overnight with English and Dijon mustards, which keep the meat moist and flavourful.

Of the four sauces, the Japanese curry sauce stands out for its odd, mustard-like yellow tint. The creamy curry has a feather-light hint of spiciness that is quickly overwhelmed by the sweet and milky flavours. The "Katsu Style" Pork Cutlet ($5.90) is coated with fine biscuit crumbs, which make the slab light and crispy to bite into.

I am a fan of Western hawker food and, with so many creative and new sides, I do not think I will get bored of eating them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2015, with the headline 'Western hawker food with gourmet sides'. Print Edition | Subscribe