Monday, November 23, 2009

feels like home @ Linda's Home Kitchen.

Linda's Home Kitchen
206 Telok Ayer Street

Tel: 65 6284 7272

Opening Hours: 11.30am - 3pm; 5.30pm - 10pm Daily

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It's been a hectic 2 months since Linda's Home Kitchen opened its doors. I feel like I now have 2 jobs and although I can no longer differentiate between weekdays and weekends, I'm having fun. Linda, who is my Mum by the way, has always loved cooking. She loved to cook for family and friends as much as they always enjoyed coming over to our place to have a meal. It's always been a thought of the family to put her food out there; the food that the family has always been proud of but it was only until a few good months earlier that we really decided to put our plans into action.

Linda's serves good ol' traditional style home cooked food. As my family is Hakka, one would find quite a number of Hakka dishes on the menu along with dishes from other dialect groups. A lot of the recipes were handed down from my grandmother and many were also adapted by my mum through her years behind the stove. Although we've moved the cooking from a home kitchen to now, an industrial kitchen, the flavours are just like what I always have at home including the important part of not adding any MSG to the food.

The menu includes favourites of the family but I have a couple of personal favourites which I'd like to share with you.

Linda's Ngoh Hiang

This is a huge hit with the family during the get-togethers. Mum does this awfully well since she's Hokkien and she's always proud that her meat and seafood mixture does not contain any flour unlike many Ngoh Hiangs that are sold elsewhere. I'm always grabbing for the ends of the roll cos that's my favourite part!

Hakka Braised Vinegar Pork

This is a recipe that was passed down from my grandma. It's always been something that we could only get at home since I've never seen this sold anywhere else. It's basically pork belly braised with radish & dried chillies in white vinegar. Although mum had modified it a little by choosing a slightly leaner pork belly, I believe Grandma would be proud that many people will get to try this dish.

Hakka Yam Abacus

The family grew up eating this when we used to live across the Causeway so it's always been a family favourite. However, all the versions that we've tried always had more flour than yam thus making the abacus springier. Ours is different as we put more yam so that the taste of yam comes through and with a softer texture. We then stir fry it together with minced pork, black fungus, yellow beancurd and dried cuttlefish. This is one of the most popular items on our menu since this dish is synonymous with the Hakkas and there aren't many around who make theirs like we do.

Deep Fried Hakka Pork Belly marinated with Fermented Beancurd

This is a crowd pleaser especially for beer drinkers. While I'm not a fan of alcohol, D and I are big fans of this dish. It's one of those where you can't stop after one piece. The dish is simple but the flavours really come out as you chew on the meat. YUM!

Hakka Yong Tau Foo

The special part of this dish is in the meat stuffing. Mum does this the traditional Hakka way by using a generous amount of meat and some salted fish. The original Hakka Yong Tau Foo uses only beancurd but we've modified it and included eggplant, bittergourd etc.

Minced Meat Omelette simmered in Tomato Sauce

My siblings and I grew up eating this. According to Mum, she learnt how to make this from Grandma although I have no recollection of Grandma making it. It's a simple dish really with minced meat wrapped in a fluffy omelette soaking in a tomato gravy but I guess it's memories of eating it during the growing up years that makes this dish extra special for me.

Stir-fried Mee Pok with Eggplant & Minced Meat

Mum usually makes this for brunch on Sundays when we're not out looking for new eats. It's excellent when eaten with Mum's homemade sambal belachan.

Food has always been what brings my family together. That's the basis of setting up the restaurant; a family sitting together to enjoy a good home-cooked meal. It feels like home when I'm at the restaurant and I hope you feel that way too when you visit.

See you soon!

* photos by Marc Wang Photography