[Singapore] Murtabak from Zam Zam, North Bridge Road

Over a hundred years old now, but old Indian-Muslim eatery, Zam Zam, still one of the most popular spots in town for murtabaks - I’d been coming here since I was a 9-year-old :slight_smile:

  1. Mutton murtabak has a more robust flavour compared to chicken murtabak, the other popular choice. Onions, eggs and cardamom-heavy spices provide the delicious flavours and aroma to the murtabak:
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  1. Unlike in Penang, where pickled onion relish provide a stab to astringency to undercut the meaty richness of the murtabak, the Singaporean version is served with thin slivers of fresh cucumbers & a dollop of tomato ketchup. Mutton curry sauce is also provided on the side as a dip:
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  1. Kopi Tarik, the frothy, rich “pulled” milk coffee is a Mamak (Tamil-Muslim) specialty, and a must-have at any Mamak eatery, besides the more popular “teh tarik” (the milk tea version).
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Address
Zam Zam Restaurant
697-699 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198675
Tel: +65 6298 6320
Opening hours: 7am to 11pm daily

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Shockingly, the owner of Zam Zam had just been convicted of assaulting a rival restaurant’s supervisor.

Zam Zam and Victory, located almost next to each other, had been bitter food rivals for over a century now.

I see there’s mention of people being a “secret society member”. Is this a euphemism for saying he’s a Mafia type gangster?

Yes, “secret society” is a local term here to refer to gangsters. It started with the Chinese triads in the 19th-century, which were then known as “secret societies”, formed covertly to oppose the Manchu/Ching dynasty government at the time. Subsequently, these triads diverged from their original purpose and came to run illegal gambling dens, prostitution, drug-running, extortion, contract killings, etc. The term “secret society” nowadays have taken on a new meaning, and now refers to crime syndicates and violent gangs.

In Singapore & Malaysia, the term “secret society” is usually used to refer to not only to illegal Chinese gangs, but also local Malay and Indian gangs.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold