We go toe-to-toe with Derrick Tan of SG Food on Foot at the Siam Square Mookata buffet.
The down-to-earth aviation specialist tells us about his favourite MRT stop amid chuckles
and meaty conversation.

Who: Derrick Tan (www.sgfoodonfoot.com)

Blogging since: 2010. The concept arose while dating his then-girlfriend (married last year)–they’d travel home via the MRT: “Which station to go? What food is there for our dinner?”  His special skill: great sense of direction.

With more MRT stations opening” ¦ “That’s the beauty of it. I’m even hoping for the MRT line to
be extended to Malaysia.”  He updates previous blog entries with alternative routes, and visits nearby eateries prior to station openings.

The most happening line: The North-East Line (NEL). “It covers Hougang, Serangoon, VivoCity,
Outram, Chinatown and Little India–it’s a multicultural line. Punggol is also up-and-coming.”  Favourite station is Farrer Park for its mix of interesting cultures: old heritage along Kitchener Road like Hillman Restaurant and a vegetarian restaurant with great-grandmother-esque
curios, staples like scissors-cut curry rice, bak kut teh and PUTIEN restaurant, and trendy eats like Grub Noodle Bar, Old Hen Coffee Bar and Hungry Heroes.

Looking forward to: The northern part of Downtown Line for Bukit Timah (1Q 2016). “Most
drive there now, but the MRT stops will make it really accessible.” 

What about the fare hike? “I have to top up more often, but it’s part and parcel of my travel costs, as blogging is still a passion and it’s part of my three meals. I actually have a car at home, but that’s more for my property agent wife. I enjoy taking public transport, as you can think through things and sit back and enjoy. I even saw an uncle doing tai chi on the train.” 

Helping others: Raised funds for Touch Community Services via the Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014, together with Miss Tam Chiak and The Silver Chef.

Ultimate comfort food: Sungei Road Laksa, make it two bowls. (From Lavender MRT, walk
through the HDB flats for about 10 minutes.)

Don’t offer him: “I don’t eat a lot of carbs, ’cause I find they make me very fat (chuckles). I cut
these to maintain my weight.”  Also nay for food that’s too exotic.


The buffet: Siam Square Mookata at #01-309, 134 Jurong Gateway Road ($29 nett per person, daily 12pm-11pm)

Time of visit: 8 February, 12pm

Initial doubts: “When the concept of mookata was introduced, I wondered how people could eat
like that. I couldn’t accept the pork lard dripping into the soup and making it oily. Slowly I accepted it, and now find the soup aromatic.” 

Strategy: Go low-carb, pick the meats and seafood. Start with the meat, then when the soup is
more flavourful, add in the seafood and the fish/meat balls. “Actually, those contain flour and fill you up too.”  Focus on protein, and try not to drink so much water.

Best dish: The black pepper beef was nicely marinated with a peppery kick. Interesting items
were the Fuzhou fishballs while the fish ’pasta’ which had a nice springy texture.

The sauces: The spiciest sauce is “Wah, shiok ah! Maybe can ask if they sell it.”  The mildest is sweet, very kiddy, and the medium one is more Thai.

Not on his mind: “I like innards like liver (didn’t order), but I will be more cautious with new dining
companions. Usually I go through the menu for unique items.” 

Shouldn’t have ordered: The veggies were too shredded but you “can’t blame them due to the
mookata ’moat’ size.”  The chicken was too fatty and sliced too small but tasted OK.

Most memorable: The non-stick pan.

How many BiTES?
Taste: 3.8/5
Value for money: 4.2/5
Service/Ambience: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 4/5