Makansutra: Get a leg up with chicken and pork leg bowls at The Leggy Business
The Leggy Business stuns with its natural flavours
Before you get flustered over more meal invitations to more yusheng and dishes with fish, prawn, chicken, pork, mushroom and sea cucumber, I have to invoke the Chinese New Year act again - if the old does not go, the new won't come.
So make space for something fresh this week.
Jovan Goh, from the new "thinking" breed of hawkers, studied at the local At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and went on to gigs at Shangri-La Hotel and other restaurants.
He then decided to pack it up and slogged for no remuneration at the highly awarded and ranked Bo.lan in Bangkok under the guidance of chef Duangporn "Bo" Songvisava, a presenter at the World Street Food Congress.
Goh's key takeaway from her was how he must "utilise natural ingredients to create the flavours of your land". In short, stay away from opening packets and boxes where possible.
He set up his food stall, The Leggy Business, at StarHub Green - using only the legs of chickens and pigs - with his former banker brother, Joel.
He offers Asian-influenced rice bowls (plus a noodle) and it is quite well thought out.
The signature Leggy Bowl ($7.50) has quite a bit going on with touches of Thai braised pork (made via sous vide and was soft), minced meat sauce, pickled papaya, an onsen egg plus some vegetables.
The symphony of flavours and textures, with a rich umami and pickled accents plus rice with the runny yolk, was music in my mouth.
After his time at Bo.lan, Goh makes all the sauces with natural ingredients.It was the natural flavour that got me, and the sweetness came from palm sugar, not out of a pack.
To me, his Zha Jiang Mian ($4) has elements of the Philippines - the sauce was made with a complex blend but has an own-blended peanut paste ringing softly in there.
It felt like a boldly savoury kare kare (peanut butter stew) noodle dish with white sesame paste and minced meat sauce.
It was not the zha jiang mian we know it to be, and that is the Asian progression in Goh's kitchen.
The one that made me do a double take was the Red Curry Chicken Bowl ($5.80).
The chicken leg was smothered in a red curry rempah and again, Goh blended his own curry paste.
I adored the hints of kaffir lime leaf in the bowl, and just when you think this may be too spicy, you realise he has longan fruit in there to sweeten things up just a bit.
By now, the Bun Cha ($6.50) - Vietnamese grilled pork noodles but done with rice instead - was tame, only because I tried three bolder dishes prior.
But I could still taste the 12-hour pork stock sitting with the rice, and the lemongrass grilled pork had bite and flavour.
The tempura enoki, sweet basil, onsen egg with bits of deep fried lemongrass were beautiful accents too.
While you have a great Year of the Pig, eat well, be well and celebrate new-thinking hawkers such as Jovan and Joel Goh.
The Leggy Business
StarHub Green, 67 Ubi Avenue 1, Jia Wei Food Hub, #01-12
10am to 3pm, closed on weekends
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now