Chief Wong, the restaurant will make you travel to Singapore through the flavors
By Elsie Mendez
It seems that there is nothing to stop Daniel Ovadia in this race by open places with concepts for other interesting and even little known, as is the case of Boss Wong, the restaurant through which we can travel to Singapore with the dishes that compose the menu of this space located in the Shopping Center Santa Fe, in the west of the city of Mexico.
Chief Wong is the restaurant number nine in the group that built Daniel Ovadia, along with his partner Salvador Orozco, Bull & Tank, and in another moment, I platicare with more detail as he was born, and of what is to come (if come two new openings) to the delight of those who love to eat tasty.
I’ve never visited Singapore, which prevented me from qualifying if what Daniel is proposing is good in terms of authenticity and how close are the dishes and recipes of traditional of this country; but I have someone that has travelled to Singapore countless times and able can express their opinions with all of the law if what they presumed to be the chef is more attached to the original taste or not, so I asked him to accompany me to guide my steps in this kitchen totally unknown to me, and probably for many more in Mexico. Because if you like us to know or not is another story, and what makes what you think of the kitchen can be so subjective.
Why is Singaporean cuisine? – You ask the chef Ovadia. I realize that it is a country to which you have been traveling lately – up to now they have had three trips, and what more you like to the chef of Singapore is that it is a very young country and the most western of all the eastern countries. Singapore became independent of England just 52 years, which makes it an oriental country with a lot of western influence by English and also Dutch. Laksa is for example a pad thai that is made with long pasta, and that in Singapore the cut back so you can eat with a fork and with ohashis (chopsticks). Although its cuisine has a strong Chinese influence, for the huge population of chinese origin (80% of the population is chinese) living in Singapore, there are also communities that come from India and Malaysia, because many of the workers are from the island that day to cross over to work in Singapore.
In recent years, the cuisine of Singapore has taken a lot of strength and self-identity due to mergers and various mixtures that have been given through the food that they give us memories of the various cultures that have been shaping, but with a unique personality.
An example of this is the Katong Laksa, which was born in a district very important to Singapore rightly called Katong, and that was where it was offered for the first time with the changes that today have this soup, originally from Thailand. Another is the Butter Chicken, is a dish originating in India that Singapore is prepared with tomato sauce as a base with the butter.
Now, Singapore has also established its own dishes and she feels very proud and are the flagships of your gastronomy that we can now enjoy in – Chief Wong. The first thing we can mention is the Hokkien Mee, this is a dish made of pasta mixed with a mixing land and sea as it carries the shrimp, squid, egg and pork belly; and of course the Duck Rice which is a beautiful duck that is bracea with soy sauce, oyster sauce, five spices such as cinnamon and anise, unlike what we are used to duck in Mexico on this the texture of the skin is not crispy but believe me they have not tested other duck-like and are not going to miss the way in which they have eaten. Beef with Pepper is another favorite of the local and Singaporean, as well as the Beef with Crócoli that many in Mexico we know from chinese restaurants, but that Singapore has a variant on a technique with the crispy batter that goes into the wok along with the meat and the rest of the sauce. Finally and not less important are the Chilli Crab and the Pepper Crab, which form part of the traditional cuisine of the cuisine of Singapore.
A dish that we share with Singapore, are the empanadas, if, those so famous of Hidalgo that here we call them pastes, in Singapore prepare for the breakfast and as part of the meal of the workers (as it was in Mexico but that there remains as part of the snacks I carry to the office and the workers) and sold on the streets, just as popular as our studs sweaty, with egg, potato and curry. Of new that fusion of flavors and cuisines, in this case English and hindi.
What is unmissable in – Chief Wong… hard to decide, because in truth, after three visits, I can say that everything I have tried has been very tasty, but I could tell that the Katong Laksa, Hokkien Mee and the Duck (Duck Rice) should be within your options in your first visit. Something important, everything is for sharing, maybe the soup is not because it is small, but for me it was very heavy, if they are of good eating will not be problem but if you do not eat too much and share that also.
As part of the news this selection of sakes to accompany your dishes as well as a good wine list (we suggest white and rosé because they are the best to harmonize this type of cooking) and the first pitcher of green tea is courtesy of the house (nice because it also enjoys a lot of this style of food with the hot tea). It is a green tea, a tibetan-that is press and gets to have a slight fermentation which causes it to have a soft and sweet notes, this one comes direct from Vancouver.
And for dessert, well, as long as there is tapioca otherwise ceases to be an option for me, so my favorite was the dessert with tapioca, but there are other very good as the Creamy Matcha.
And why Chief Wong?, I Daniel says that the “Chief” is because you say lovingly between him and Chava (your partner) and “Wong” that was a caricature of a detective chinese named Wong, and Daniel liked him a lot as a kid.
Chief Wong is waiting inside the Mall Santa Fe in the roof next to the entrance of Palacio de Hierro.