Makansutra: Kentang ball
Kentang balls - potato stuffed with meat and deep-fried - are changing the game
You cannot avoid potatoes, they are everywhere. From tater tots to begedil, the tubers come in all sorts of delicious versions.
The kentang (potato) ball caught my attention recently.
Imagine a hockey ball-sized mashed potato stuffed with minced meat, then lightly battered and deep-fried.
This is served with a soto ayam or spiced beef broth and garnished with greens and peas.
At least two stalls are changing the game. Their styles are different from each other's yet not completely so.
It is a one-up on that begedil over soto ayam sensation, done slightly fancier with street food origins.
A progressive halal take on heritage flavours, it is a natural evolution of our makan culture.
Rosy & Nora, 14, Haig Road, Haig Road Hawker Centre,#01-15, 2pm to 8pm, closed on Tuesday
I first noticed this stall's roti john some 12 years back. Its edge is the crispier bread and generous filling. Then it came up with this kentang ball and word spread.
It is a decent-sized ball with a simple chicken broth, with a light rempah and gentle hints of chilli ($3.50). Use a spoon to cut across the middle and see minced beef oozing out.
The edge here is the softer and mushier texture of the potato ball. It will thicken the soto if you mash up the ball and leave it sitting in the soup. Best to order the kentang ball with the equally moreish and popular fried popiah ($1 each). It is crispy and done fresh.
Kakak Kentang, FOMO foodcourt, 38, Sultan Gate, Monday to Thursday and Saturday, 11am to 9pm, Friday, open from 3pm, Sunday, open from 12.30pm
Ms Ummi Abdullah is a self-taught makan entrepreneur.
She is a role model in the halal makan business, in my books at least. She is a caterer who burst onto the scene with her Ambeng Cafe stall in Bedok, among other concepts.
Her version of the kentang ball uses a bigger, bolder and slightly firmer mashed potato ball mixed with minced chicken (Chikabom) or beef (Bombistik).
Her soto ayam is enriched with touches of coconut milk, and the beef kentang ball is served with a spicy, tangy tomato-based broth. It has a sharp kick that marries well with thefried beef potato ball.
The serving here looks a lot bolder too - but it also costs more (from $6.90) than the one at Rosy & Nora's.