MasterChef KR


It’s been almost 4 months since we moved into hall. I’d say I’ve got the normal Kent Ridgean life quite figured out – the KR lingo, late night suppers, and planning to eat breakfast with your friends but never waking up early enough for breakfast.

One thing I’ve noticed is that not many Kresidents cook their own lunches. But those who do, though, cook relatively often. It got me thinking – are these people truly good cooks or just making idiot sandwiches for lunch every day? This spurred me to be on the hunt for KR’s Masterchef. Let me introduce three potential candidates in my book and their friends who vouch for the deliciousness in their dishes :

First, we have Yu Xiang, B Block’s Brainy Boi (everyone goes to him for help with schoolwork…including me…)

Q : How often do you cook in hall?

Yu Xiang : I cook at least twice a week, usually during weekends when there's no hall

dinner.

Q : How or why did you start cooking in hall?

Yu Xiang : It is way cheaper to cook yourself and you can save quite a sum of money (transport, delivery cost, service charge, GST). I'm trying to be 100% financially independent from my parents. I personally like cooking as it reminds me of home. It's also healthier cause’ it's less oily compared to outside food (I use olive oil). And I can tailor my food to my own liking.

Q : What is your signature dish?

Yu Xiang : My best dish is carbonara linguine cuz I love it and I’ve been preparing it since i'm 12. It's quite a basic dish I guess… I usually start by boiling the linguine in salt water for 10 mins, drain the linguine and keep a cup of pasta water

Next, i'll heat up some olive oil in the pan, add in diced onions, bacon, mushrooms followed by mini prawns. Stir fry until fragrant. I'll add a bit of pasta water to extract the flavour and start seasoning with salt and pepper Continue frying until it is somewhat dry, then add in the pasta, mix everything together, then add chopped parsley

Lastly, turn down the heat a bit and add a mixture of egg yolk and heavy cream to the pasta to give your carbonara that creamy texture Mix well quickly and for a while so that you don't overcook the yolk. And there you have it!

Si Han on Yu Xiang’s Carbonara :

The carbonara was real good! In particular, the bacon added a crunchy texture to the spaghetti which nicely contradicted that of the pasta! The sauce was excellently balanced with different flavour profiles attributed to the earthy flavour of the mushroom which really mellows the rich one from the cheese in the carbonara! The dish was all in all rich, but not too heavy which made for the perfect meal!

The insane details in the cooking process shows how much effort he puts into his dishes. I was doing laundry one Friday night with my friend when the savoury aroma of his carbonara wafting from the pantry hit us. It was so mouth-watering we had to take a peek! His carbonara looks damn good in real life. We saw him tilting the pan while mixing in the egg yolk skilfully. Gordon Ramsay who??? His carbonara looks damn good in real life. Current C block Ciblings please go take a look when you smell carbonara from 1F pantry.

Next, we have Feng Rui, A Block top chai (have you seen his beautiful long hair???)

Q : How often do you cook in hall?

Feng Rui : I cook 3-4 times a week

Q : How or why did you start cooking in hall?

Feng Rui : I’ve always liked to cook to pass time even before coming to hall. Since only breakfast and dinner are provided so might as well cook lunch plus ordering in everyday is so expensive now. Also good welfare for friends and krbff!

Q : What is your signature dish?

Feng Rui : HAHA no signature dish la but for convenience it’s always basic pasta, aglio olio or carbonara. My favourite dish to make is oyako don but it requires some prep so I’ve only made it thrice this sem. One easy quick dish to make in hall is French onion soup, just have to caramelise the onions and then add chicken stock or maggi chicken seasoning also works fine, add black pepper and it’s done!

Russell Lui on Feng Rui’s Oyako Don :

Feng Rui's oyako-don answers the age-old question of "the chicken or the egg?" in an eloquent manner: why not both? Disregarding morbid thoughts of the union of mother and child in a hot bowl, Feng Rui's Oyako-Don after a long night does more than fill the stomach. It nourishes the soul. Latest iterations include Nori bits and onions. Although simple, this mild-mannered dish imbues sentiments of home, of drunkedness and of comfort. I will be purchasing a bag of Japanese rice to seal the deal.

Hearsay Feng Rui’s food does wonders. After listening to Joseph, I now understand why. “Feng Rui's food changed my life. After a fateful supper, it has since allowed me to speak in 4 other languages and talk to animals. I have since mended my relationship with my parents and I am now more confident when speaking to the opposite sex. I have fostered an independence away from my calculator as I am able to do complex mathematics mentally and I am making good time in developing a drug to cure AIDS.” Wow! I also want to eat Feng Rui’s food!

Can cook can sing, what can he not do??? Ladies looking for a man who can whip up a meal while serenading you feel free to hit him up @belatedray on Telegram and IG dm. While stocks last!!!

Lastly, we have Dong Hun, A Block’s trusted kimchi supplier:

Q : How often do you cook in hall?

Dong Hun : I cook almost every day

Q : How or why did you start cooking in hall?

Dong Hun: I started missing Korean food, so I started cooking them myself. It is cheaper to cook in hall than going outside for a meal or ordering in, and I feel assured about the quality of the food as I know what ingredients goes into it. I love feeding my friends with my food so I cook some good stuff to share with my neighbours when I’m free!

Q : What is your signature dish?

Dong Hun : I would say my signature dish is my Kimchi Fried Rice. I am most confident with this dish. It has a myriad of variations depending on the ingredients I have but still, all tastes bloody good. Kimchi must be crunchy and just the right amount of oil has to be used to make the beautiful crust stick to the pan. This is my childhood favourite and sometimes I tear up missing my mum's cooking when I cook this, and maybe that addition of the natural salt from my eye acts as some kind of MSG to make them taste so good.

Brandon Lee on Dong Hun’s Kimchi Fried Rice:

Simple. Traditional. Flavourful. This is the philosophy behind making an elegant plate of kimchi fried rice. Found at the most inaccessible KRoners of AB6F, chef @east_hun demonstrates why he dominates the scene! The salinity and spiciness from the kimchi elevates the flavours from the meat, leaving patrons begging for more. The rice was perfectly crisped at the bottom yet surprisingly soft enough to absorb the deliciousness of the perfectly fermented kimchi, which added a whole new dimension to the dish. For me, the star of the dish is definitely the complexity of preparing the rice with a sticky texture that blends in harmoniously with the generous portion of meat given, providing a powerful burst of flavour in every bite. Economical, nutritious, marvellous... This certainly is a treat that is hard to beat!

Dong Hun specifically told me to choose the pictures ‘with the muscles’. During his block comm elections, he even had a presentation with a slide dedicated to his muscles. (maybe he focused too much on showing his muscles that’s why he didn’t get elected)

We get it Dong. You’re a fitspo. You’re damn buff. But sorry ladies oppa is taken! So please focus on the kimchi fried rice instead! Some say its #oppakrangnamstyle in their mouth when they tasted his kimchi fried rice. Unknown to the public, an additional request for several buffalo wings can also be personally made to the chef, which is prepared with his special hot sauce that makes it the perfect dish to go along with the fried rice. Dong’s kimchi fried rice will teleport you straight into the heart of Seoul!

All their dishes look amazing and their friends seem to love their food very much too. Special thanks to Yu Xiang, Feng Rui and Dong Hun for the interviews! I hope this article gives them the recognition they deserve and inspires Kent Ridgeans to rustle up their meals in hall more often. Perhaps more KResidents will discover their culinary talents! Join me in this mission to find KR’s MasterChef (or be one yourself)!

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Kent Ridge Hall Reporters 2019