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New Ubin launches UbinEats for the solo diner

Launching with five sub-brands, each a culinary reflection of the ways different ethnic groups in Singapore indulge in their favourite national pastime, UbinEats—a cheeky homage to the food delivery arm of American ride-hailing giant Uber that bowed out of Southeast Asia following an acquisition by Grab in 2018—offers diners the variety akin to what Singaporeans would expect from the neighbourhood coffee shop, with decades’ worth of championing a ‘Truly Singaporean’ way of eating from its parent New Ubin brand, as well as the convenience of placing their orders online and having it delivered to their doorstep.

Like a virtual coffee shop, each digital “stall” takes on the attributes of typical brick-and-mortar food stalls from different ethnicities that each specialises in one type of dish, right down to the idiosyncratic naming conventions. From origin locations (Ubin Nasi Lemak) to famous “founders” as namesake (Ah Koon Scissor Cut Curry Rice), none of the stalls existed prior to the launch and their names, while each hold a special meaning to SM, serve to strike a chord of familiarity with Singaporeans alike.

1. UBIN NASI LEMAK (S$15)

From Changi Village to Punggol and further down west on Adam Road, any nasi lemak stall worth their salt in Singapore takes after the location where they first found fame. For the aptly named Ubin Nasi Lemak, the point of reference stems from SM’s childhood memories of growing up eating his Nonya grandmother’s take on the coconut rice dish. With the occasional appearance in New Ubin’s special set menus, and following an incubation at their test kitchen, the final product sees rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves; a fragrant canvas for flavourful companions such as joo hee sambal (sambal cuttlefish) and ayam bakar (charcoal grilled chicken), complete with the usual suspects of hard boiled eggs, anchovies and sliced cucumbers.

Order online for islandwide delivery here.

2. VIJAY BANANA LEAF ($12)

Typically an afternoon by itself with a hefty serving of rice served on a banana leaf, as the waiter makes his round to spoon dish after dish comprising an assortment of vegetables, curries and side dishes, authentic Southern Indian banana leaf cuisine has been one that SM has been fascinated with. Noting that its popularity today remains confined within the South Indian diaspora and serious foodies, SM wanted to streamline the experience for a single-person meal delivery box, in hopes that an accessible ‘lite’ version of the dish would be as good an entry point as any to pique interests in the full affair. That’s not to say UbinEats’ version is any short in flavour, with the stall named after Vijay Sivaganam, a long-serving New Ubin chef of South Indian descent who’s responsible for the many Indian dishes that have become signature mainstays on the tze char’s eatery menu. Choose from three aromatic curries—first launching with Chicken Masala—to enjoy alongside basmati rice perfumed with biryani spices, devilish egg masala and raita (Indian yogurt dish) to cut through the heat.

Order online for islandwide delivery here.

3. AH KOON SCISSOR CUT CURRY RICE ($18)

Having practically grew up on a diet of plates after plates of Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice, a Tiong Bahru institution that’s older than SM himself, he concurs that the secret—or lack thereof—behind a good scissor cut curry rice lies in the crust and the excess in every aspect of the curry itself, from its spiciness to viscosity. Diners can enjoy breaded fried chicken that’s snipped up to go with plain rice, lor bak (braised pork), braised bean curd, achar and a ladle’s worth of gooey, glorious Hainanese vegetable curry.

Order online for islandwide delivery here.

4. AH MA CHICKEN CURRY NOODLES ($12)

A comfort dish as good as any, this was not a dish that SM could regale tales of childhood yore. Instead, he recounts trying one of the more famous chicken curry noodles stalls in Singapore, only to feel short-changed by the measly amount of chicken and bean curd in his bowl. Miffed, he decided to come up with his own version, making it richer in both flavours and ingredients.

Order online for islandwide delivery here.

5. AH BOON SIGNATURES (FROM $15)

Built upon a middle ground between New Ubin’s signature tze char fare and that of traditional economical rice, Ah Boon Signatures offers diners hearty set options comprising rice with their choice of protein—a starting selection of Gong bao Chicken, Supreme Pork Chop, or a vegetarian mock meat alternative promises a rotating of more of New Ubin’s signature meats in the future—along with side servings such as onion omelette and achar. Aptly, the name Ah Boon is a tribute to the head chef of the original Pulau Ubin jetty restaurant, who has since retired as a carpenter who only comes out of the woodwork for New Ubin’s wood work.

Order online for islandwide delivery here.

Banking on Singaporeans’ obsession with bubble tea, customers will be able to bundle their meals with their favourite choice of boba beverage from 14 July onwards including Signature Bubble Milk Tea, Classic Black Tea, Honey Lemon Black Tea, Vanilla Ice Cream Milk Tea, Green Milk Tea, Jasmine Green Tea, Honey Lemon Green Tea and Lime Plum Green Tea.

Operating out of New Ubin Village in Tampines, UbinEats will be available for self collection and islandwide delivery via www.ubineats.com from a delivery fee of $10 with a $40 minimum spend, as well as on GrabFood’s platform for those within the delivery radius.

“This may seem like a knee jerk reaction to what they’re calling the “new normal” but in reality, the team and I have been taking our time to perfect these dishes to be worthy of carrying the ‘Truly Singaporean’ brand that New Ubin has taken four decades to cultivate,” affirms SM. “Just like every other dish we’ve dreamed up for New Ubin, each UbinEats meal stems from a cherished personal food memory, that’s snowballed into a collective labour of love by the team.”

“We hope that as Singaporeans stay home or keep their distance from one another to put this pandemic to rest, that they’ll find comfort in the honest cooking and familiar flavours as I first did when I fell in love with food.” 

SM PANg

ABOUT NEW UBIN

Hailing from Pulau Ubin—an offshore island northeast of mainland Singapore—with over three decades, two generations and a cult following of foodies, young and old, to its name,  New Ubin has carved a reputation for retaining its rustic roots and kampong essence whilst delivering an inimitable tze char ingenuity that has been shaped alongside the Singaporean palate over the years. Most notably, the homegrown brand was a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient for three consecutive years (2016-2018) since the guide launched its inaugural edition in Singapore. With an upscale restaurant in the city centre CHIJMES cluster (2018), a hotel restaurant in Zhongshan Park (2018), a canteen cluster village-style concept in Tampines (2019), which houses its  ‘Garang Grill’ offshoot (2020), and a food delivery model UbinEats (2020), present-day New Ubin promises a ‘Truly Singaporean’ tze char experience from the moment you arrive, wherever you dine.


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bydanieleng
http://www.bydanieleng.com
Freelance publicist, copywriter and digital marketer with a weakness for an unreconciled origin story. I can sell a story as good as I can tell one.

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