Mod-Sin – a term coined by pioneer restauranteur chef Willin Low describes modern Singaporean cuisine, a creative reimagining of local flavours that are close to our hearts.
From familiar dishes like chilli crab to har cheong kai (prawn paste chicken), and even hae mee (prawn noodles), chefs have been cooking up a bevvy of innovative Mod-Sin creations in an attempt to elevate traditional foods and tantalise our taste buds.
While nothing will ever replace hawker food, some of these innovations sure hit the spot for our palates. Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the most unique Mod-Sin foods that can easily be delivered to your doorstep for your enjoyment in the comforts of home.
1. Bao Makers
The very first bao (包) concept store in Singapore, Bao Makers attempt to elevate the classic Chinese buns for the modern palate by filling them with a flurry of local and international flavours.
Bao Makers take our taste buds on a gastronomic world tour as we thread through iconic Singaporean flavours like chilli crab, salted egg, or pork belly filling to more unfamiliar but delectable tastes of Japan with salmon mentaiko, and even journeying to the West with truffle mushroom stuffing. While these fresh ingredients are extremely flavourful and cohesive, the entire bun is surprisingly light so it doesn’t feel so jelak.
Although you can order each bao individually, we suggest that you take home a Bao Box of 12 here for S$46 to try out every single flavour (and have a few extra for indulgence sake). You definitely won’t regret it!
2. Ebi Bar
Newly opened at the fringes of Orchard Road, Ebi Bar plays up the local prawn noodle by fusing it with Japanese flavours for a unique Eastern twist.
Their signature “Chao-Da” Charred Ebi Noodles is a must-try on our watch as the chefs have painstakingly prepared the broth for over eight hours. The result is a rich and flavourful umami prawn broth that has over 40kg worth of boiled down shrimp shells and heads for that extra shrimpy goodness. But that’s not all, the dish is topped off with a pair of charred Tiger Prawns that replicate the taste of charcoal with its smoky flavour.
If noodles are not for you, Ebi Bar also has a “Pao Fan” option which replaces the noodles with rice and crispy puffed rice toppings. Try it for yourself here at only S$14.90 per bowl.
P.S. Read our in-depth review here for more items to try from Ebi Bar!
Founded by the heirs to Fortune Food (a Singaporean brand known for their popiah skins), Souperstar builds on the family legacy by offering local popiahs but with a modern twist.
While they do offer you traditional popiah, they also have a plethora of other fusion flavours including modern sesame chicken, sweet Thai chicken, Japanese-inspired seafood wasabi mayo, as well as an Indian chicken masala. You can accompany this hearty popiah with their Western-style soups such as corn chowder, Boston-style chowder, classic french onion, creamy tomato basil, or spice things up with the chef’s special, a creamy Thai tom yum.
The popiah starts at S$3.30 per pop while the soups start at S$5.90 per bowl. However, you can also opt to purchase the Souperstar signature Souper Combo which includes a popiah and soup of your choice. Place your order here.
4. A Noodle Story
Unlike the previous stores that creatively reinvent an iconic local dish, A Noodle Story puts a spin on Japanese ramen and Hong Kong wonton noodles by incorporating Singaporean flavours and modern European techniques.
The signature and only dish on the menu is the Singapore-style Ramen that comes in two sizes, small (S$9.90) and medium (S$12.90). Each bowl is meticulously decorated with tender Japanese pork belly cha-siu, Hong Kong-style wontons, soy flavoured egg, crispy Idaho potato wrapped prawns, and sliced scallions that sit on top of thin egg noodles that remain springy with every bite. No wonder it was featured in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list!
While this dish sounds so gourmet, you’ll be happy to know that A Noodle Story is actually a humble hawker stall hidden at Amoy Street Food Centre. Show your support here.
Run by the creator of “Mod-Sin” chef Willin Low himself, Po restaurant presents a contemporary Singaporean concept by offering a variety of local classics and elevated Singaporean staples.
While their signature dish is a popiah platter, another stand-out food on the menu we think is worth the hype is the Wagyu Short Rib Rendang (S$48) which uses very succulent spice-braised wagyu short ribs in a sinfully rich gravy of coconut cream and topped with a delicate side of wheat lace crepes.
If rendang does not appeal to your taste buds, Po also offers Carabinero Prawns & Konbu Mee (S$34) which puts an umami spin on our local favourite Hokkien Mee. Cooked with Mediterranean wild red prawns, juicy pork belly, lardon & sakura ebi, this luxe dish truly takes the local staple to another level.
To wash down these delicious mains, Po features a local beer label, Brewlander & Co, that also creates unique, local interpretations of classic beer styles on their menu. Try them out for yourself and put your order in here.
6. SG Umami
Co-founded by Mediacorp actor and television host Ben Yeo, SG Umami offers a Japanese-Western-local fusion in two different lunch and dinner menus.
In the day, Yeo serves up a flavourful Japanese take on our local prawn noodle soup which uses tonkatsu broth cooked prawn noodle-style, accompanied with chewy ramen noodles you won’t be able to stop slurping.
At night, the stall transforms into an izakaya by selling a variety of tapas dishes such as Har Cheong Gai, Mala Beef Balls, and even Tamago with Mentaiko Mayo. You’ll also find thin-crust pizzas topped with a fusion of flavours like Hawaiian, Japanese Unagi, or Mentaiko Scallops on the dinner menu.
At the moment, SG Umami is still in its soft launch stage due to current dine-in restrictions and is only selling its Umami Pizzas on Deliveroo.
7. Frosted by Fang
If you’re craving for something a little more sugary but still captures Singaporean flavours, Frosted By Fang is the place to go.
Founded by self-taught baker Lee Su Fang, she creatively taps into the local heritage to create swiss rolls with familiar flavour profiles such as pandan gula melaka, orh nee (teochew sweet yam paste), and even pulut hitam topped with a side coconut pastry cream.
However, she does not sell these individually but as part of a mixed box (S$28 – 30) for her weekly bake sales. Look forward to other tantalising creations such as a hojicha apple mochi cake, blueberry cheesecake crumble bar or lychee, rose & raspberry teacakes that are sure to satiate your sweet tooth.
Check out her Instagram for her latest goodies and head over to her website to make your order.
8. Kele Roll Cakes
Another swiss roll delight to sink your teeth into, KELE Roll Cakes offer premium Japanese swiss roll cakes in an array of delectable flavours catered to local tastebuds.
Each swiss roll is generously filled with flavourful creams such as Mao Shan Wang, D24 Durian, Avocado Gula Melaka, or even Special Pandan, but still remains surprisingly light for you to take another bite.
Our favourite definitely has to be the Black Charcoal Mao Shan Wang (S$15.90) which features a decadent and rich Mao Shan Wang durian purée that retains its distinct bittersweet flavour in cream form, and a black charcoal sponge cake that nicely balances out the richness of the filling.
Pop over to the website to place your order or check out other artisanal flavours available in store.