10am, Mother’s Day 2017. The carpark behind Block 414 Yishun Ring Road begins filling up with people carrying food to the pavilion nearby just in time for the start of Dine-Inn’s Makan-Tastic newest community event. Famished customers were at the ready, and the various hosts prepared themselves for the onslaught of hungry hungry people.
Dine Inn’s latest ‘Makan-tastic’ event united willing hosts from their app with curious diners from the community, raising visibility and awareness of the company and of course, highlighting the very best home cooks using the app. A fiercely community-driven initiative, spirits were high and gleeful smiles emerged from the hosts as they watched the ravenous visitors try the various foods they offered up.
Of course, we were pretty hungry ourselves, and here are the highlights of some standout hosts whose food we managed to try:
Kharunissa Ghafar finally achieved her dream of setting up her own cafe some years back, but due to circumstances, had to take it down. Undergoing a period of depression, her parents spurred her back into action when they asked why she was simply giving up on something she enjoyed doing. When Dine Inn was born, they got in touch with her, and now almost certainly one of the very best hosts on the app, delighted at being able to share food with the public and continue letting more people know what she does best – locally inspired desserts. The culinary school graduate and self-taught baker had her durian creme brulee, Ondeh Ondeh cake, Thai milk tea creme brulee and chempedak creme brulee on show today, all of which were full of flavour and aromatic.
Due to the coming Ramadan period, we asked Kharunissa what her favourite foods for that period were. She replied that she loves making her mother’s kormar chicken, beef rendang, and a special handmade ketupat, which uses leaves specially bought form batu pahat, which her mum claims provide an additional kick to the final product.
We also tried some savoury dishes while there, including this spicy chicken sambal from Jothi R.S. from Woodlands, whose dish was well seasoned, aromatic and spicy. At that point, we really wished we had a plate of rice to go with it and more of that spicy chili sauce.
Check out Jurong East based Linda Liu with her ‘Homemade Goodness Char Siew’, which used a recipe that really brought the natural sweet taste of the meat out, and was melt in your mouth goodness.
Judy Ng from Pasir Ris loves to cook and bake, specialising in Western food. We tried out her shepherd’s pie and found it to be creamy, well baked and full of ingredients, and we certainly hope to see more of her and her food in future.
We went to Tampines-based Ng Soo Leng’s stall, where she showcased a medley of interesting Modern Asian/fusion dishes. The Masterchef Australia inspired host presented her pulled pork penne, mini prawn otah served with Kewpie mayonnaise and garnished with hae bee hiam, and a very tasty bacon with onion jam donut, where she glazed the bacon herself and stuffed the donut with a homemade onion marmalade. As a self-taught chef, Soo Leng really showed off her love of cooking and loves sharing her food with people, making Dine Inn the perfect platform to support and help her.
Geraldine from Upper Serangoon presented us with her laksa goreng, a standout dish that impressed us with the right ratio of coconut cream and spices to make it ‘lemak’ and also packed a punch of flavour. Geraldine didn’t scrimp on ingredients at all, and these were very fresh, where each mouthful was an explosion of tasty flavours.
Dine Inn’s Makan-tastic events are a wonderful way of spreading the word of a fantastic app that helps foodies discover great food that may not be available for retail. Someone could be cooking the most fabulous otah and never be discovered, and Dine Inn is here to allow them to showcase their skills and share it with a food loving community. At Makan-tastic, we were given a rare opportunity to sit down and talk to these hosts in person and see the sheer joy that emanated from them as they watched us hungrily wolf down their homemade food. With its easy to use interface, both foodies and food-makers will greatly benefit from using it.
If you know anyone who loves home-cooked food or loves making it, tell them about Dine Inn, so that they can continue raising their profile and spread to more people, increasing the size of their community and the food they have on offer to sustain themselves. Offering pickup, delivery and even actual dine in options at hosts’ homes, Dine Inn distinguishes itself from already established delivery services by offering a unique experience and food that comes from the heart. As a communal dining experience, we thoroughly look forward to more community style events from Dine Inn and we can see it going places. Sick of your usual dining spots? Well, you know where to look now.
For more information on Dine Inn, check out their website and download the application here to find out how to connect yourself to more food, or your food to more people.