Open For Business: Makanista, Took Lae Dee and The Hungry Caveman

Steak sauce with green peppercorns is easy to make and rewarding.
Steak sauce with green peppercorns is easy to make and rewarding.
Steak sauce with green peppercorns is easy to make and rewarding.

Using green peppercorns in my steak sauce gives it an addictive heat


The 130-seat Makanista, which opened in Tampines Mall last month, serves local fare with a creative twist.

Its Yong Tau Foo (dry/soup $6.50 a bowl) includes a choice of seven items and rice or noodles and a soup base that can be changed to Soto, Mee Siam (above), Satay and Curry (all $7.50).

Its Western cuisine features items such as the signature Beef ($10.90) or Chicken ($8.90) Hamburg & Fries, the signature Spicy Honey Mustard, Pesto Cheese or Kicap Manis-flavoured wings ($7.50 for six pieces), similar to Korean-style fried chicken.

The Prata & Desserts stand serves Murtabak, Traditional and Sweet Prata, Drinks and Dessert.

The standouts are the Specialty Pratas - Chicken Luncheon & Floss ($8.50), Special Tandoori Chicken ($8.50), Okonomiyaki ($7) and the signature Mutton Prata Burger ($8.50), Makanista's rendition of a Ramly burger-meets-murtabak.

Where: 01-42/43/44 Tampines Mall, 4 Tampines Central 5

Open: 9am to 10pm (Mondays to Fridays), 8am to 10pm (weekends and public holidays)

Info: Call 6260-6002 or go to


Took Lae Dee, reputedly Bangkok's most famous 24/7 restaurant chain, has opened at 18 Tai Seng in the Upper Paya Lebar district.

This marks the first time in 45 years that the brand is setting up a new branch outside Thailand.

Took Lae Dee is Thai for "cheap and good" and prices at the 60-seat quick-service restaurant here start at $3.80 (all prices nett).

The signature Pad Krapow ($3.80; $5 with egg) features minced chicken or pork with chilli, basil leaves and rice.

The Pad Thai (chicken $5, prawn $6.20), rice noodles stir-fried with eggs, tamarind pulp and fresh bean sprouts, comes in different versions such as Pad Thai Hor Kai in egg wrap ($8).

Other must-try Thai classics include the Tom Yum Thai Spicy & Sour Soup (above, chicken $6.80, seafood $8).

Other dishes include Kao Moo Kra Tiem Prik Thai (fried pork with garlic, pepper and rice, $6), the Khao Kluk Kapi (fried rice with shrimp paste, $8.80), Yum Woon Sen (Thai spicy vermicelli salad, $6) and Pad Pak Boong (Thai morning glory, $5).

Pair the food with Took Lae Dee Iced Milk Tea ($2.80) or go with the Iced Butterfly Pea Tea ($2.80).

Where: 01-34/35/K9, 18 Tai Seng Street

Open: 11am to 9pm daily



Barbecue restaurant The Hungry Caveman in Orchard Central serves an array of barbecued food.

Meat lovers can go for its sausages and meat skewers. The Signature Lamb ($2.20++ a skewer), a best-selling item, and Australian Grain-Fed Beef ($2.60++) come highly recommended.

Its marinated Chicken Mid-joint Wings ($2.80++) are also a hit, with flavours such as Xiang La, Spicy Cajun, Honey Glazed or - for the adventurous - Extreme Spicy.

There is also something for those who favour seafood. Try the Spear-The-Salmon Skewers ($3.80++) and Premium Scallop with Garlic Vermicelli ($4.80++ a piece).

Vegan? Go for its vegan-friendly choices such as Oyster Mushroom ($2.20++ a skewer), Shiitake Mushroom ($2.20++) and Grilled Sweet Corn ($2.60++).

In addition to grilled skewers, the restaurant also serves ready-cooked dishes like The Hungry Caveman's Healthy Soup ($7.50++), known as Ge Da soup in Chinese, a comforting dish with noodle bits, tomatoes, finely diced vegetables and a beaten egg.

Where: 06-25 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6634-8871 or go to

• Opening a restaurant? Send the details to

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 20, 2018, with the headline 'Open For Business'. Print Edition | Subscribe