Food Picks: Enticing bakes in Ang Mo Kio, lamb shank briyani in Bedok

Clockwise from back row, far left: Honey Cheese Cake, Pandan Chiffon Cake, Multigrain Bun, Matcha Red Bean Bun, Squid Bun and Goji Berry Bun. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Fresh, healthier bakes

While neighbourhood bakeries are a dime a dozen, it is a treat to find those which make their own baked goods in-house.

Competition is keen at Block 339 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 with four bakeries in the same block. But Min Sin Cake House is the most attractive one with its range of about 100 products, including bread and cakes baked on the premises.

Children and adults alike will be tickled by the looks of the Squid Bun ($1.30 each or three for $3.60), which does not contain squid. A chicken hot dog is slit to resemble tentacles and the bun itself is soft and pillowy. 

Squid Bun at Min Sin Cake House. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Head baker Tan Key Wong learnt to make the squid-shaped bun from sweet dough and other buns using tangzhong (water roux dough) from a Taiwanese baker. 

Originally from Segamat, Johor, the 31-year-old came to Singapore when he was 19 to be an apprentice at a bakery. His sister took over Min Sin Cake House in October 2022 when the original owner decided to sell the business after running it for more than a decade.

All the products go easy on oil and sugar and are baked early in the morning.

This may be a neighbourhood bakery, but Mr Tan does not skimp on ingredients. He uses Lurpak butter for items such as the Butter Swiss Rolls ($2.80 for two pieces and $3.80 for three pieces). The sponge cake is light, soft and has a rich buttery aroma.

Butter Swiss Rolls. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The Honey Cheese Cake ($4.80) is a must-try with its cottony texture and savoury-sweet topping of cheese and honey.

Honey Cheese Cake. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The bakery uses fresh juice mixed with pandan essence for its Pandan Chiffon Cake ($3.20 for small, $6.20 for large). The cake has a fine and cloud-like texture.

My favourite item is the old-fashioned Curry Bun ($2.50 for a pack of four pieces). The bread is soft and the spicy potato-packed curry filling is cooked in-house.

Curry Bun ($2.50 for a pack of four pieces). ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The Big Red Bean Bun ($2.80), which has a pumpkin-like top, is packed to the brim with red bean paste.


There is also a selection of more modern bakes, such as the Multigrain Bun ($1.30 each) which looks like a mini bread loaf packed with white and black sesame seeds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds and chopped walnuts.

The Matcha Red Bean Bun ($2), made from tangzhong dough, is soft, slightly chewy and generously filled with Japanese adzuki bean paste.

Multigrain Bun and Matcha Red Bean Bun. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The dough of the croissant-shaped Goji berry bun ($2) is made using Lurpak unsalted butter. Black raisins and juicy wolfberries lend their natural sweetness to the bun which has a cookie-like crust on top.  


Where: Min Sin Cake House, 01-1581, Block 339 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
MRT: Ang Mo Kio
Open: 5.30am to 9pm daily

Prata and briyani round the clock

Lamb Shank Briyani at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

New Mahamoodiya Restaurant in Bedok is known for its golden crispy prata, but the standout dish for me is the Lamb Shank Briyani ($18+). It sounds pricey, but the ingredients used are of premium quality and the portions are sizeable.

The restaurant uses fresh lamb shanks from New Zealand which are slow-cooked in a giddy blend of spices, including turmeric, onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin.

Excess fat is carefully removed from the shank before it is cooked. The result is fork-tender meat which is addictively tasty. The gravy is thick and fresh limes give it a citrusy edge.

The lamb shank is served with a portion of ghee rice so generous that two people can share it.

The restaurant uses premium basmati rice which is cooked with spices such as cloves and cumin. There is cashew and fresh coriander in the mix. 

You also get a papadum, one hard-boiled egg, onion pachady (red onion, cucumber and tomato in yogurt) and a serving of dalcha – lentil stew cooked with potato and fresh mutton bones. 

If you want to skip the rice, order just the lamb shank for $14+.

The 60-seat eatery is open 24 hours and the briyani is available round the clock.

For a vegetarian option, go for the Paper Thosai ($4.20+).

Paper Thosai at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

True to its name, the thosai – which is served piping hot – is papery thin. It comes with three housemade dips – a slightly spicy coconut chutney made from fresh grated coconut and Indian green chillies; a tangy chilli and tomato chutney; and dal which is cooked with potato, brinjal, onion, chilli and garlic.

While Prata Kosong ($2.60+ for a minimum order of two) is the signature, I much prefer the Prata Egg ($2+ each). 

Prata Kosong at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The prata egg, folded into a square shape, has a thinner centre than the kosong ones. The dough is flakier and more crisp. The prata kosong is rounder in shape and has a thicker centre with a chewier mouthfeel.

Egg Prata at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Each prata is skilfully deep-fried in vegetable oil to achieve a golden crispy exterior, without becoming excessively greasy.

The prata comes with fish curry and sambal. Sambal with prata is a Malaysian style of serving prata. The sambal is made from dried chillies, ikan bilis, onion and garlic. It takes four to five hours to prepare each batch from scratch. 

Another popular item is the Maggi Goreng Ikan Bilis With Egg ($7). The sunny-side-up is expertly fried with a liquid yolk. The noodles come with crispy ikan bilis and crunchy onion, but I find it a tad too salty for my taste. 

Maggi Goreng Ikan Bilis With Egg at New Mahamoodiya Restaurant. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The default version of the fried Maggi noodles is “putih”, which means white in Malay. You have to request for the “merah” or red version, the colour is derived not from artificial colouring but a mixture of chilli and tomato paste.

Where: New Mahamoodiya Restaurant, 335 Bedok Road
MRT: Tanah Merah
Open: 24 hours daily
Tel: 6243-2086, 8233-5989

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