Do you love hearty Singaporean-style zi-char dishes but dislike dining in non-air conditioned hawker centres and kopitiams? Then Maddie’s Kitchen is the place for you. Tucked away on the second level of Far East Plaza, off Scotts Road, is Maddie’s Kitchen. This hidden gem is a self-service restaurant that serves local favourites and comfort food that many of us grew up eating, in a clean and air-conditioned environment.
SG Lifestyle’s Editor, Angela, speaks with Chef-Owner Seoh Mui Leng, to find out more about the face behind Maddie’s Kitchen.
SGLS: Maddie’s Kitchen rose to prominence in the local F&B scene in 2018. What do you think were the factors that contributed to its success?
ML: I believe it boils down to three factors: Pricing, Location and Food. We use only the freshest ingredients and our customers know that. Many of our dishes are made from scratch. For example, we braise the trotters for our Pig Trotters Bee Hoon ourselves daily. Even our ginger tea is made from hand-grated ginger, which many people love.
In addition, there are not many places that serve home-style cooking with our pricing in Orchard so when we started Maddie’s, we attracted an office crowd that came here for lunch and dinner. They in turn, started bringing their family and friends on weekends. That’s how our customer-base grew.
SGLS: Were you trained in culinary arts? How did you get into this industry?
ML: The only training I received was from my children. Children can be brutally honest, so when they say, “mummy, this one not nice!” or “mummy I want more!”, I know which of my dishes have passed their test and which ones need to be improved.
I started cooking when I was quite young because I love food, especially fresh seafood, but I couldn’t afford to eat out often. So I learnt how to make dishes that both my husband and I love. One of the first dishes I learnt how to make was Pasta Vongole in white wine sauce, a simple Italian dish that is so costly in restaurants but yet so easy to whip up at home.
SGLS: The local F&B scene took a beating during the Circuit Breaker period. Many businesses have shuttered since. Maddie’s seem to be unscathed. What’s your secret?
ML: There really isn’t a secret. We survived the Circuit Breaker phase due to the love and support of our customers who not only ordered delivery for themselves but also for their friends and family. There is always something for everyone at Maddie’s Kitchen.
SGLS: Orchard is famed for cut throat rental prices. Why did you choose to set up shop here? Why not in suburban areas?
ML: Even though the foot-fall in heartland malls is higher, we decided on our current location because we noticed a lack of restaurants serving home-style dishes in Orchard, a central and easy location for people to get to. In addition, because my husband works in this area, he wanted me to set up shop here so he can have lunch in his own “canteen”. 🙂
SGLS: Which are your top three favourite Maddie’s dishes? Which are the “must-try” dishes for new patrons of Maddie’s?
ML: My top three favourites are Maddie’s Stir-fried Prawn & Squid Hokkien Mee (also called Sotong Mee and is my absolute childhood favourite), Maddie’s House-style Oyster Omelette as well as Fish and Meatball Soup with Mee Sua.
For new patrons, I recommend trying our Beef Tenderloin with Bittergourd Hor Fun, Crayfish & La La White Bee Hoon and Maddie’s House-style Oyster Omelette.
If you are visiting us for the first time, come by to say hello and I will be most happy to recommend dishes to you.
Bonus Q: What would your last meal be?
ML: Anything from Maddie’s menu, to be enjoyed with my family. Their company makes any meal taste delicious.
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Maddie’s Kitchen is located at:
#02-11/12/13, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213
(Closest MRT: Orchard Station)
Tel: +65 63650501
Monday to Sunday: 11 am to 9 pm
Maddie’s is also on Oddle.
Check them out at https://maddieskitchen.oddle.me/en_SG/
Instagram Handle: https://www.instagram.com/kitchenmaddies/