Taste Affair – Saveur’s Co-Founder Opens Stall Serving Affordable European Fare, At Amoy Street Food Centre
I needed to do a double take when I thought I saw Joshua Khoo, the (previous) owner of Saveur, Concetto and Saveur Art at Ion Orchard slogging out at a hawker stall at Amoy Street Food Centre.
”Joshua?” It turned out to be him, and he waved back with a big smile, but quickly went back to cooking to rush out the orders.
Several questions ran through my mind, and I decided to return on another day when he would be less busy.
Shatec graduates Joshua Khoo and Dylan Ong got into the limelight few years ago, when they went from a coffee shop stall to setting up Saveur – which specialised in selling French cuisine at affordable pricing.
Saveur became a hit, and the restaurant subsequently expanded from its Purvis shop to branches and differing concepts at Far East Plaza, The Cathay, and Saveur Art at Ion Orchard.
The last I saw Joshua, he was in a suit at ION Orchard, a stark difference to the hawker dressed in a casual black tee.
He told me his story, but I choose not to dwell about it here. To answer any burning questions you may have, Saveur has been handed over to another partner; while Dylan would be setting up another new eatery The Masses at Beach Road. They are still great friends.
It may sound like starting from square one all over, but Joshua remains optimistic, ”I trust steadily in God.”
Taste Affair at Level 2 of Amoy Street Food Centre, is formed by Joshua and Joel Tan, focusing on serving European style food with Asian ingredients.
Prices remain very affordable, with most items priced at $5 – $7.
I thought that the stall’s location might have a slight disadvantage, as it would be visually blocked by a queue during peak lunch hours – from their very, very popular neighbour Han Kee Fish Soup.
Great that the stall opens as early as 7:30am for breakfast, serving Poached Egg with Hollandaise Sauce, Streaky Bacon or Chorizo Sausage & Toasted Bread ($5). For those who need a grab a bite before work.
For lunch, a selection of flavoured rice and angel hair pasta dishes are offered.
I would recommend the Boneless Poached Chicken Leg with Chorizo Sausage, Sauté mushroom with Angel Hair Pasta. All these for a super value-for-money $6.
After having this, I immediately texted a few friends to, ”You must try this.”
Tender chicken pieces, sumptuous and soft sautéed mushrooms, with al dente angel hair pasta cooked in jus for that extra flavour.
For those who would prefer something slightly wetter, get the Clam with Sauté Mushroom & Angel Hair Pasta ($6) which was cooked in a clam soup base. Add a runny sous vide egg to complete the dish.
As cliché as it may sound, this is like having restaurant quality food in a hawker centre. Do be prepared to wait a while, as every dish would be prepared a la minute, served with pride.
(This is such as inspiration. Despite the setback, what I still see is optimism, hope, and that deep passion for cooking. How many of us can say, “Let’s start all over again.” The strength and faith are admirable. I know with all that, they can make it big, and even bigger than before one day.)
Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road #02-128, Singapore 069111
Tel: +65 9139 5870
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 3pm (Sat)
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April 27, 2017