Started in 1954 by the first generation of the Ang family, Elsie’s Kitchen has been serving halal heritage culinary treasures that have captivated the stomachs of many over the years. Revered by many as one of Singapore’s pioneering caterers, the brand draws an appreciation for heritage cuisines passed down from generations to generations.
With a new generation of Angs taking over the reins of the business, Elsie’s Kitchen has undergone re-branding in a bid to keep up with evolving food trends. The catering will be launching a new buffet menu that features both traditional and modern classics that showcase interesting combinations. I recently had an opportunity to try some of Elsie’s kitchen old and new dishes at a media tasting. Here are the highlights –
Signature Muar Mackerel Otah
This appetising Peranakan delicacy tells of a flavourful story. In the 1990s, the second generation of Angs went from door-to-door in Muar town of Malaysia, in search of the ‘perfect otah’. And lo and behold, this ‘perfect otah’ has since become Elsie’s Kitchen’s speciality, reigning as one of their most popular menu items today. The thick slabs of otah are packed with an alluring blend of aromatic herbs and spice. Spicy and savoury, they boast succulent chunks of fresh mackerel mixed with fish paste, creating a harmonious medley of flavours.
Muar Otah Mantou Sliders A refreshed version of the signature Muar Mackerel Otah, the sliders are served with achar relish, a dash of sambal mayonnaise, and a slice of golden-brown mantou. The dish is a symphony of palate-pleasing textures, where the crispy mantou contrasts perfectly with the soft texture of the otah. This is one of the new canapé options that Elsie’s Kitchen will be introducing as part of their new buffet menu.
Indonesian Sotong Panggang
The grilled sotong is succulent and fresh, accompanied by a springy texture and smoky aroma. Coated with a sweet and spicy black sauce, the slices of lime help to add a refreshing zest and fragrance to the dish.
Twice-Cooked Five Spice Lamb with Red Chilli
Infused with the flavour of the five spices and soaked in a rich broth, the delicate slices of lambs are tender and flavourful. The fragrant blend of spices and lamb are a delicious combination, adding an authentic Chinese flavour to the dish.
Nonya Dry Assam Prawn
Fried till it’s slightly charred, the tangy flavours of the Assam accentuate the sweetness of the prawn. The chopped red chili padi and slices of lime add an extra tang to the dish.
“Kra Pow” Thai Basil Bee Tai Mak with minced chicken
Featuring a fusion of Thai and Chinese flavours, this dish has a perfect amount of heat that mingles with the fresh taste of the savoury basil. The combination of the Bee Tai Mak and minced chicken are unique and unmatched, bringing the noodles to a whole new level. This is one of the new menu items that Elsie’s Kitchen will be introducing as part of their new buffet menu.
Kueh Pie Tee
These golden cups of goodness were my favourite treats of the night. Rich in flavours and heritage, this classic dish originates from a handwritten recipe by one of Elsie’s Kitchen’s late directors, Madam Irene Ang. Packed with authentic Nyonya flavours, the fried Pie Tee cases are sweet, crispy and delicate. The Kueh Pie Tee is filled with juicy, sweet turnip, which helps to add a hint of moisture to the snack so that it is not too dry. Topped with fresh coriander leaves and prawn, the bite-sized treat is an explosion of flavours in the mouth. This is certainly a recipe that you must not miss out.
A great bowl of laksa is hard to find but Elsie’s Kitchen’s laksa certainly has the makings of one. The creamy thick gravy of the Nyonya laksa is extremely rich, packed with curry flavours and fragrant coconut milk. The strips of juicy tau pok that are soaked in the richness of the Laksa gravy bursts in the mouth, while the tau gay (bean sprout) adds a crunch to the dish. A steaming hot bowl of Elsie’s Kitchen’s laksa is definitely perfect for any occasion.
“Teh Halia” Cupcakes
“Teh Halia” is a traditional ginger milk tea that is slightly sweet and spicy. Elsie’s Kitchen has created a new way to indulge in this old favourite by transforming it into a cupcake. The aroma of ginger and tea is distinct in every bite of the moist cupcake that is topped with ginger milk tea buttercream.
Lemongrass Meringue Tarts
Lemongrass is often used for savoury Peranakan cuisine, but they certainly taste delicious in desserts as well. Featuring a lovely golden brown caramelization on the surface, the meringue encompasses a delicate and fragrant lemongrass flavour. The crispy tart balances out perfectly with the sweetness of the meringue.
The above article is written by our new writer Tian (instagram) who showcases culinary finds through her lens & journalistic instincts.
21 Second Chin Bee Road, Singapore 618780
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Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays: 9am to 6pm
Saturdays: 10am to 4pm
Sundays / PH: Closed