How great does a home-cooked meal sound, especially if you’re a foodie thousands of miles from home? New supper club concept NOSHtrekker takes you into Singapore’s most legendary kitchens…
NOSHtrekker builds on the idea of supper clubs and takes you into the heart of people’s homes for a meal at their table and a peak into their way of life. In-laws, grandparents or guests in town? Looking for a unique cultural foodie experience to share with your kids? NOSHtrekker offers dining experiences that are a world away from hawker meals and restaurants. Think of it as an invitation to a friends’ dinner party – just a friend you haven’t met yet.
There is a smorgasbord of NOSHtrekker ‘edible tours’ to choose from, from barefoot dining and eating spicy Indian-Muslim food with your hands to Peranakan-Cantonese cuisine to a taste of macrobiotic meals in the HDB flat of a holistic energy healer.
Having lived in Singapore for seven years, it still fascinates me to experience different foods and cultures in this melting pot of a city. NOSHtrekker opens the door into carefully selected NOSH host homes, each offering a different cultural adventure, each host with an interesting story and personality to regale you with personal foodie stories and interesting tales about Singapore.
Masala Mistress – South Indian Spiced Brunch
We checked out the Masala Mistress tour promising a peek into the spice queen’s world – Kerala-style brunch, barehanded. Dhershini – aka the Marsala Mistress owns the Indian restaurant Chat Masala and has written many a cookbook. We arrived at Dhershini’s East Coast home – a lovely open plan house with a little alfresco patio where Dhershini welcomes guests over traditional sweet Keralan coffee and a tasty crispy snack – Murukku. Later on she tells us how to make Murukku with protein rich urud dal flour and shows us her nifty kitchen gadgets for doing so.
Brunch is served at her dark wood dining table; Dershini explains each dish and intertwines stories of growing up in Singapore. To start, Uppuma: a South Indian breakfast staple of dry roasted semolina mixed with sweet raisins, roasted cashews, chillies and of course spice and fried curry leaves – a couscous style dish bringing elements of sweet, crunchy and spice together. This is eaten with our hands alongside bananas and a bright orange sugar.
Subsequent dishes include the deep flavoured, tender goat curry and little pillows of putu made from ground rice flour and grated coconut which you crumble up with your fingers and dip into the curry. This is accompanied with one of my favourite dishes – the tantalising tomato chutney made of coconut, tomatoes and topped with toasted mustard seed, chillies and crispy curry leaves – so good you’ll want to beg for the recipe. Appams sizzle in pans at the open plan kitchen next door– these are wonderful fermented rice flour pancakes, lacy and crispy on the outside and spongy right in the middle, delicious when dipped in sweetened coconut milk and accompanied with a steaming cup of Teh Tarik.
The NOSHtrekker experience is a foodie and cultural adventure – it’s about the food, of course, but more than that, it’s the opportunity to be welcomed into someone’s home to get a snapshot of a different way of life and to be treated like a long lost friend over an interesting and often eclectic meal in Singapore (and countries beyond!).
Great Gift Idea:
Family Friendly – A Trip to Pulau Ubin
This is one for the family – equally interesting for visitors to Singapore as it is for families who live here. One of the only houses on Pulau Ubin opens its doors for lunch and a peak into this old kampong style living. The trip to Pulau Ubin is an adventure in itself – hop on a bum boat for a ride across the sea then meander through the forests of the island till you reach this kampong house where you’ll sample slow cooked beef rendang, roti and old-style village life.
NoshTrekker meals start from $50 per person. Check the website for more details.