COCONUTS HOT SPOT — Upmarket food courts in Singapore are already far and few between, and ones with Halal food stalls are even rarer. Enter Makanista, the dining hall recently opened by Food Junction that offers Instagram-worthy local delights with a slightly atas twist.
Currently in the process of applying for Halal certification, Makanista opened its doors on Apr 4 at Tampines Mall as a foodie-focused concept that merges Singaporean classics with trendy schmaltz. This spot is made for you if dishes such as French chicken curry pasta and okonomiyaki prata entices your hunger instead of culinary confusion.
Occupying a sprawling 2,800 square feet space that can seat approximately 130, the chic industrial aesthetic and vibrant palettes of Makanista’s cafe-like interior is crafted to pull in millennials and the millennial-minded. Food-wise, there are only four stands to choose from: the chicken rice stall, the yong tau foo stall, the Western stall, and the prata (and desserts) stall.
Those four stands however offer a bumper crop of creative takes on hawker favorites alongside unmodified classics. The chicken rice stall for example offers combo meals inspired by the traditional Javanese style of Nasi Ambeng, so the dish arrives on a rattan tray for everyone to dig in together. Combo meals differ in sizes — single ($8.50), duo ($16.50), trio ($23.90), quartet ($29.90) — and comes with a choice of chicken, including Thai and Mala (Sichuan-style) flavors besides the standard Hainanese and Roasted versions. Sides include Japanese soft boiled egg, vegetables in oyster sauce or fried tofu, and (ugh) bean sprouts. Standard-sized chicken rice dishes are available too at $5.50 for the classic flavors and $5.80 for the Thai and Mala ones.
Over at the Western stall, folks can get their cafe cuisine on with the likes of the beef hamburg and fries ($10.90) — sunny-side up egg and grilled beef patty topped on a mound of chips before black pepper and truffle cheese sauce gets poured over it. Another key highlight of the stall would have to be the French chicken curry pasta ($7.50), a deliciously lux upgrade to standard chicken curry noodles. As an unspoken rule, fried chicken is mandatory at kopitiam Western food stalls, and $7.50 gets you six pieces of wings slathered in a choice of spicy honey mustard, pesto cheese or Indonesian sweet soy sauce.
The yong tau foo stall is nothing to rave about really, aside from the choices of thicker soup bases such as satay sauce, curry gravy and soto ayam broth. The prata and desserts stall, however, really shine with meaty entrées such as the chicken luncheon and floss prata ($8.50), special tandoori chicken prata ($8.50) and the Japanese-Indian okonomiyaki prata ($7.00). The brave and the bold will be blissed out with their signature mutton prata burger ($8.50): a Ramly Burger-influenced patty topped with fried egg, sautéed onions, mayonnaise and black pepper sauce before being wrapped and sealed in prata. Glorious.
In lieu of uppity desserts such as cupcakes, ganache or rainbow cakes, the sweet treats are also prata-based, which is perfectly fine by us. The syrupy assortment includes banana, chocolate & almond prata ($2.80), caramelized condensed milk prata ($2.10) and the best one of the lot: PB&J prata ($2.80).
Makanista is at Tampines Mall, #01-42/43/44. Open daily 8am-10pm.