Constant hunger for food > appetite for knowledge

if only my appetite for knowledge was as great as my appetite for food…

sorry for the lack of updates; easter is here and i am back in sunny singapore but a mountain of work awaits me  because exams are round the corner 😥
my life right now: eat, (try to) study, eat, (pretend to) study, eat, think about eating, study, eat, food coma, repeat.

of course i’ve been making time to nourish the brain (and growing food baby #enteringthirdtrimester), but i’ve mostly only been revisiting my favourite places rather than trying anywhere new. i suppose that will have to wait till summer! its nevertheless super amazing to be home as usual; the food and family never gets old 🙂

some of what i’ve eaten over the past 2 weeks:
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breakfast at ghim moh with the mother on my first morning back – perfect way to start the day 🙂

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hidden kway chap gem in ang mo kio!

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only the best bak chor mee in the world – beware of knock-offs; this is the real deal!!!

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aoki – best chirashi in singapore; this will never ever get old

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my favourite mochi bread from sun moulin!

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some of the best dim sum in singapore – china club! 

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llao llao my love (though i have to say i was disappointed by the reduced serving sizes! what you see in this pic was just us getting lucky the second time we went. have my fingers crossed for the third time!)

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goodwood hotel durian puffz = durian heaven

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tam po po ramen – always good!

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one of my family’s latest crazes – imperial treasure steamboat (and its amazing array of sauces)!

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yummy salad lunch at the lawn when i decided the eating was getting too intense 

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also took full advantage of la nonna‘s amazing lunchtime 50% offer

and last but CERTAINLY not least, love me some amazing homecooked food :’) :
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popiah/kueh pie tee/rojak/ngoh hiang 

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protein for my brain 

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oodles of noodles – giant bowl of u mian!

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have missed having such an array of dishes at mealtimes

okay putting up all those pics has officially made me hungry; thank goodness its dinner time soon 😛 i promise to update more when i’m released from the evil clutches of exams!!!

Creamier, Singapore

checked this place out on a whim (had an ice cream craving that needed to be satisfied) and left feeling very pleased with myself and this hidden gem i had found heehee!

tucked away at the base of a sleepy block in toa payoh, Creamier is now top on my list of local ice cream shops, along with Daily Scoop (my other favourite). its nondescript location gives it a very laidback and homely vibe, and the staff are cheerful and friendly, perfect for the neighbourhood joint that it is. the decor is simple, but tasteful and quaint. i popped in on a friday night around 10pm, and it was packed! we waited about 10 minutes for a table; it is a pretty small shop, and many people ended up taking away their ice cream and having it at the tables at the playground which the shop faces.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchecked out their website (http://creamier.com.sg/) before heading down and got all excited as there were many interesting flavours that caught my eye – figs honey, lemon blueberry yoghurt, lime mojito, raspberry rose, chocolate cinnamon orange etc! unfortunately, many of them weren’t available and i was a little disappointed as the ones that were seemed to be more run-of-the-mill flavours (like horlicks, green tea, dark chocolate) that were available either commercially or at other ice cream shops.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit was probably just the day i went down though… there are so many other flavours that they make and its the perfect excuse for me to return again and again (and again)!!! 😉 

i knew i was going to have to order the waffles once i stepped into the shop and 1) i was greeted by the amazing smell of freshly-made belgian waffles 2) i spotted many waffle + ice cream towers being brought to tables.
smelt heavenly, looked heavenly, and after trying it, i can safely say: TASTED HEAVENLY TOO. we went with what we thought were the 2 most interesting flavours that were available that day – earl grey lavender and sea salt gula melaka, and they sat proudly atop 2 extremely delicious freshly-made belgian waffles. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
waffles with a single scoop of ice cream costs $7.50, and each additional scoop costs $2.50.

earl grey and lavender turned out to be a really light and refreshing combination. i loved how they really complemented each other, yet remained somewhat distinct such that you could taste the 2 components individually.
as for the sea salt gula melaka, it was the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, much like the more common sea salt caramel but with a local twist.
both flavours had not a hint of iciness, and compared to what i’ve had at some other locally-run homemade ice cream shops (i find that island creamery ice cream can sometimes be a little icy, especially their take-home tubs), they truly lived up to their name – creamier.

now on to the waffles – they were some of the best waffles i’ve ever had in an ice cream shop. #truestory. they were hearty and served fresh out of the waffle maker, warm, crisp and dark brown on the outside but soft and fluffy inside, surrounded by a generous serving of maple syrup and chocolate sauce. so good that finishing the serving (they come in pairs) was a breeze 😛

we enjoyed the waffles so much that the 2 of us decided to get an additional scoop of ice cream to round off our impromptu ice cream date. we had a single scoop of horlicks choc chip in a cone:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
a single scoop of ice cream is $3.

the taste of the horlicks was rather light and the ice cream was thus not too sweet. the chocolate chips were also very well-mixed in quite a generous quantity such that nearly every bite contained a few choc chip bits, which i liked.

creamier is a funky little neighbourhood hangout that i am definitely going to return to. they also serve coffee besides ice cream, and i’m looking forward to heading down one afternoon to try it! 

if you are worried about not being able to find the shop on foot since its quite a distance away (about a 12 minute walk) from the more bustling toa payoh central, fear not! i believe there are buses you can take from the central. otherwise, creamier is within walking distance from both caldecott and braddell mrt stations. the trek is worth it! and if you drive, you have even more reason to come since parking is plentiful.
the shop isn’t hard to find at all once you get to the right block, especially if you go at night. most of the shops are closed by then, and so the warm yellow lighting that spills out from the glass windows fronting the shop and customers milling around outside and at the playground it faces are hard to miss! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Creamier handcrafted ice cream & coffee
Blk 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
#01-835
Singapore 310128

Bloomsbury finds, London

had the chance to explore more food options in the bloomsbury area when the family visited and stayed in cartwright gardens just before i came home for summer! what a pity i never got down to trying these outlets earlier; i would probably have visited them quite a bit. good thing i’m not moving very far (at all) next year and so i’m going to have plenty of chances to frequent these places and make up for lost time hahaha!

1st place on the newly-discovered list: Chilli Cool!
should really have tried this place earlier. i think its the perfect place for students to get a legitimate asian food fix – reasonably-priced authentic sze chuan food in generous portions that are perfect for sharing! my friends and i had heard of and toyed with the idea of checking this place out and the hotpot buffet they have there at some point during the year, but just never got round to going… i think the lure of the juicy roast duck (and hazelnut + pistachio gelato at oddono’s after) at goldmine normally triumphed.

but because my dad is the ultimate china man (he needs his chinese food everywhere he goes – steamed white rice, piping hot soup etc), chilli cool (2 minute walk from our hotel) was the obvious choice for dinner on the first night we were back in london after cruising for 2 weeks with a lack of proper chinese food. (according to my mum, my dad’s cheeks had were getting more and more sunken by the day lol)

chilli cool occupies 2 spacious units along leigh street and is simply decorated but quite homely. we visited on a friday night and it was nearly full, patronised by a good mix of both asians (more often than not, a sign of the real deal when it comes to asian food heehee) and caucasians. besides the a la carte menu, they also have a hotpot buffet option – perfect for a cold winters day! we weren’t up for stuffing ourselves (post-cruise detox time!!!) so we ordered a few dishes from the a la carte menu to have with rice.

(sorry the pictures i have aren’t great at all; the lighting wasn’t very optimal and everyone was starving and wanted to tuck right in!)

here’s the chicken fried with chilli and cumin which was recommended by the waitress:
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not sure if you can see from the picture, but the servings are pretty big compared to what you’d get at a typical chinatown restaurant, and really good for sharing in a group. this chicken was probably my favourite dish of the night. it was fried to perfection and extremely flavourful! crispy on the outside in this yummy batter and juicy and tender on the inside. the chilli and cumin were also added in just the right amount, giving the dish a really satisfying kick! definitely going to order this again when i return… SO yummy that it made me forget every bit of deep-fried unhealthiness that was being consumed wahahaha. unfortunately, the picture really does not do the dish any justice 😦

another typical szechuan dish: fried long beans with chilli20130628_210335
the beans were fresh and not overcooked such that they retained a nice bite. it was again a generous serving, but i wouldn’t recommend it to the faint-hearted (when it comes to spicy food), especially if you aren’t armed with tissue paper for dripping post-chilli noses. it was spicy even for us and we were really impressed by the caucasians at the next table who were happily devouring all of it… immunity achieved from repeat visits, maybe? 😉 the dish was really tasty and was delicious when eaten with rice.

HUGE bowl of fish soup:
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the bowl was seriously gigantic. to give some scale, the diameter of the bowl was nearly the width of the table!!! but our initial worries of not being able to finish it turned out to be unfounded since it was so delicious that there was nearly nothing left by the end of the meal. the soup is typically sze chuan and was served piping hot, full of green and red chillies, preserved vegetable, potato and plenty of fish slices. the fish was extremely fresh (definitely not the frozen kind), and what i really liked about it was that they were very generous with the ingredients, as you can probably see from the picture. this soup is perfect for sharing in a big group (it was way more than enough for the 4 of us) and i can imagine it tasting even more delicious on a blustery winters day… my only qualm about it was the shocking amount of oil that formed a thick layer at the top of the soup when it was first brought to our table, like an oil spill at sea. i was initially quite put off by it but we managed to scoop out most of it before tucking in, and once i did, it was so good that all oily thoughts were banished and everything was fine and dandy.

this was probably the most forgettable dish out of everything we ordered – tofu with black fungus and edamame:20130628_212108

in terms of flavour it was definitely outshone by the other dishes, but i suppose that’s what made it different from the rest, and not necessarily in a bad way! it was good palette cleanser since it was light and the least oily of all. definitely the healthiest too! the serving for this dish was exceptionally small though, and i probably won’t be ordering this the next time i go.

chilli cool was a great experience overall. service was prompt and friendly, and my family enjoyed the food (my dad certainly left a happier man with fuller cheeks :P) though we all agreed it definitely wasn’t the healthiest kind of food around given that most of it is fried and oily. nevertheless, am quite certain that i will be back, brandishing tissue and an empty stomach to try the hotpot buffet, maybe! if not, the a la carte menu has an extensive range of dishes so i have many more to try!

Chilli Cool

15 Leigh Street
WC1H 9EW

2nd place on the list: North Sea Fish Restaurant

another joint along leigh street, which caught my attention on the way to chilli cool because of the impressive number of stickers and accolades they had stuck in the shop window:
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(i was particularly taken in by the tripadvisor certificate of excellence + 2012 winner sticker wahahaha i am a tripadvisor review junkie)

there are 2 shops to the restaurant: one of them is for takeaways while the one is a proper sit-down restaurant that appears to be a nice  little cosy and chill place for a good seafood meal. the mother and i were craving some good fish and chips one night after a long day of shopping and decided it would be perfect to buy some fish and chips back to our hotel to feast on 😉

they have a range of fish available (check out the menu below), but we went with the cod as recommended by the very friendly guy behind the counter in the shop! we also wanted to try the salt and pepper squid but were sorely disappointed when we were told that they didn’t have them that day 😦20130629_212343 20130629_213031

the service is efficient (which should be the case in takeaway outlets) and there were a few pieces of fish being kept warm in an oven-like thing, ready to go whenever a customer came in with an order. we ordered a jumbo-sized portion though, and so had to wait for about 10 minutes for it to be fried. there was a steady stream of customers coming in and leaving happily with their takeaway bags while we waited, adding to the anticipation that was building from the moment the gregarious guy behind the counter told us was the “only fish and chips you’ll eat in london from now on”! i later found out that the fish and chips here has been touted as a contender for the best fish and chips in london!

bag of purported goodness:
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got back to the room and was greeted by this piece of fish gloriously glistening away under the light:20130629_214427
we felt that it was definitely worth paying a little more to get the jumbo-sized portion because it was really a rather big piece of fish! but of course if you’re having it alone then a regular-sized portion would probably suffice. the fish was EXTREMELY fresh – we were told that the restaurant only uses fresh fish and never any frozen fish at all, which i really like about them because usually for fish and chips and other fried fish dishes in general, its often the case that frozen fish is used instead of fresh catch and not much attention is paid to the quality of the fish used.

the batter was light, crispy and not too thick. it was clear that the oil used was fresh, and i know i’m repeating myself here but the fish was really of great quality. a drool-worthy close up of the fish: 20130629_215152
as for the chips, they were alright, but nothing to shout about. i felt that they could have done with a bit more salt & vinegar, but that can be easily requested for when placing your order. i would also have preferred them to be a little crispier on the outside. its possible that they became slightly soggy from the condensation that resulted from being wrapped up in paper while hot, but the walk home was only three minutes and so i think they probably weren’t very crispy to begin with. do note that they charge separately for the fish and the chips.

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think i might go with a different accompaniment to my fish the next time i patronise north sea… am eyeing the beer battered mushrooms and the salt and pepper squid! might also give the sit-down restaurant a try – they serve a range of seafood in a range of cooking styles (grilled, fried etc) along with homemade desserts.

best fish and chips in london? i would say its definitely one of the better renditions of this national dish, but wouldn’t be so quick to say its the best, especially since i felt that the chips could have been done better! i have also had some really good fish and chips at Bonnie Gull (21A Foley St, London W1W 6DS). both are worth a try!

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North Sea Fish Restaurant

7-8 Leigh Street
London WC 1H 9EW

3rd place on the list: King of Falafel

grabbed a quick bite from this little cafe serving moroccan/lebanese-type food, and immediately wished i had discovered it earlier on in the year!!! had the falafel wrap which was SUPER delicious, filled with the yummiest falafel ever and lots of fresh salad and scrumptious homemade sauce. i had it in a normal wrap, though there’s the option of paying a little more and having the wrap in homemade spinach/tomato (if i’m not wrong) moroccan bread. there’s also the option of adding halloumi cheese, which i am sure is delicious! its a big wrap which they cut into 2, and it’s overflowing with goodness heehee. i LOVE falafel, and this is probably one of the best i’ve had. it was perfectly spiced and just the right amount of crumbliness while not being too dry at all – a must try for all falafel fans out there!!!

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i definitely want to go back to try their range of meat skewers and salads and houmous. was eyeing the super hearty and wholesome plates of food that some at the cafe were having while i was getting my wrap to go. just look at that hunger-inducing display that’s filled with all things amazing:
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everything is really reasonably priced too! they have coffees for under £2, and the lebanese falafel wrap was just £3.50 if I’m not wrong…
king of falafel is definitely going to be one of my first stops once i’m back in london after summer!!!

King of Falafel

5 Tavistock Place
London WC1N

Flat Iron, London

what better way to celebrate release from the evil clutches of exams than feasting on some good food? my friend suggested trying flat iron right after our criminal law paper and we were all so happy that she did, because it was really really good stuff.

got a little lost walking to beak street from school (our brains were fried from the mad rush that writing – or should i say scribbling – 4 essays in 3 hours is) so by the time we reached flat iron at 2pm, we were all super starving. but our hunger pangs were very quickly satiated by what they put on the table once we arrived:Image

POPCORN!!! we all thought it was such a cute/novel touch! along with the mini choppers for knives hahaha.

anyway, the menu at flat iron is really simple and straightforward. there’s steak for £10, and a range of sides and sauces to choose from to have with your steak.

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we planned to save space for dessert so we didn’t order much – just a steak each, and a side of roast aubergine to share!

the steak. was. SO. GOOD.

(sorry these are bad pics i know 😦 the lighting wasn’t very optimal for good pictures with my phone camera!)Image

the meat was perfectly done – every bite was amazingly juicy, flavourful, moist and tender and even though i had mine done medium, it was not AT ALL dry or tough. so so so good. i’m  nearly salivating just thinking of it. srsly. really really good steak. my friend who normally doesn’t take meat was saying she probably wouldn’t be able to finish her beef but once she took the first bite, all such thoughts were banished and her plate was as squeaky clean as all of ours were at the end 😉

we found the portion just nice though i think some might find it on the small side, especially hungry boys! the greens that came with the steak were really fresh and had a nice, light dressing, and the aubergine was a hit among the 4 of us. it was simple but very delicious! apparently the creamed spinach is something thats very popular there as well, but i only found this out after we had our meal so that’s something i will have to try next time!Image

we also tried fred’s sauce, but it was nothing to shout about. personally i think you can give the sauces a miss because the meat by itself is super delicious and really doesn’t need much to make it even better. in fact, the sauces might even mask the natural sweetness of the meat?

the restaurant isn’t very big and i think the only reason why we didn’t have to queue is because we had a late lunch (2pm). they don’t take reservations and the queues are apparently snaking at dinnertime so if you’re planning on going, either go early or go late!

there’s no service charge too, so its really just £10 for a really good steak.

will definitely be heading back when i’m feeling carnivorous…

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Flat Iron
17 Beak St
London W1F 9RW

Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant, Singapore

(a long overdue post that i started writing during easter break but only got round to finishing after exams :/)

killing many birds with one stone is key with every meal given the limited time i have back home over easter. this time, the birds i had in mind were roti prata and butter chicken and this search took me to al-azhar, the stone of the day, which if i may say, rocked 😉 wahahahaha.

al-azhar is located along the stretch of eating houses in upper bukit timah, opposite beauty world and the whole series of similar-looking malls which i remember as the go-to places for huan zhu ge ge collector’s cards when my sister and i were little:i202415487_86414_3
LOL.

okay, enough random digression, back to the food. (but i have to say, that picture of the hzgg cast really cracks me up and i’m sure it brings back memories for all of us who grew up watching it in primary school at 7pm as we ate our dinner. ah, those were the days~)

that upper bukit timah stretch (aka 7 mile) is known to have a few 24 hour eating places serving up a whole range of supper foods, and 2 joints – al-ameen and al-azhar (the one i went to)- are particularly well-known for their roti prata, roti john, mee goreng, murtabak etc offerings; basically everything greasy, good and guilt-inducing when eaten at 3am in the wee hours of the morning.

headed there on a friday night, and walked past al-ameen while making our way to al-azhar. i had always thought the 2 were pretty similar in standard but realised i was wrong after checking out other online reviews – seems like al-azhar is the more popular one while al-ameen had a noticeably thinner crowd and smaller shop space.

the menu at al-azhar is probably one of the most extensive ones you will ever find in singapore, ranging from thai food to prata to fried ice cream to red velvet cupcakes (yes i’m completely serious; we were thoroughly amused)?!

we had butter chicken, prata, roti john and murtabak!

I LOVEEE BUTTER CHICKEN. LOVE IT. could eat it all day every day, and so i was extremely pleased when the butter chicken here turned out to be some really good stuff. even my friend whose mum makes a mean butter chicken agreed!!! it was tasty and extremely satisfying – the gravy was of just the right creaminess and consistency and the chicken pieces were tender. i was eating spoonfuls of the gravy after i ran out of stuff to have the remaining gravy with!!!

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the cheese & mushroom prata was not bad. it was fluffy, not too greasy, and was of a good size. comparable to the one at prata house along upper thomson road, i would say!20130412_204019

my friends had the mutton murtabak and chicken & cheese roti john, which they were both happy with as well! the servings are pretty big and really fill you up (even for ravenous, growing boys):20130412_20395020130412_203958

for dessert, we shared a chocolate tissue prata (though we were tempted to try the red velvet cupcakes just to see how they tasted HAHA) and it was good stuff!!! thin and crispy – perfectly done tissue prata with a good dose of chocolate and sugar heehee.20130412_214657
we attacked it very happily and it was gone in no time, but not before taking a picture with it as a prata party hat first 😉
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so unhealthy, but so good. really reasonably priced too! will definitely come back here to satisfy random midnight cravings in future. and for the butter chicken! shall try it with the naan next time – i hear the naan is good, and it did look good! i was eyeing the naan that the people at the next table ordered throughout dinner 😛

oh yes, and we had drinks:
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this is really belated since i only just got round to completing this post (an entire month late) but to deep and curlz: thanks for taking me out that night and saving me from drowning in case law, guys 🙂 will see you again for more exciting times really soon!!! 🙂2013041222110956020130412221417112
bahahahahaahahahhahah.

good 24h supper spot discovered!!! (y)

Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant
11 Cheong Chin Nam Rd
Singapore 59973620130412_22113220130412_220900

Soon Heng Silver Stream Rojak, Singapore

I AM OFFICIALLY GOING THROUGH A PHASE WHERE I AM OBSESSED WITH ROJAK.

its the strangest thing because i never used to like it this much. it was something i wouldn’t mind having to share while at a hawker centre, but over this easter break, it has become (for seriously unfathomable reasons – i am so puzzled) something i NEED to have whenever i see a stall selling it hahaha!!!

for the confused non-singaporean readers out there (hello! you should really make a trip to singapore one day to FEAST if you love food as much as we do) – rojak is “a Singaporean-style salad of beansprouts, greens, tau pok, you tiao, pineapple, cucumber, and peanuts tossed with a prawn paste.” (thank you google for that definition) it’s kind of like a traditional local salad we eat here in south east asia, and can also have sweet turnip, green apple, mango and cuttlefish as ingredients, just to name a few. as you have probably gathered, it is a dish where anything goes – a whole range of ingredients can be added; in fact, rojak is malay for “mixture”, hence the very apt name for the dish.

getting a taste of this supposedly famous rojak at toa payoh has just fuelled this sudden love for rojak. check this out:

 

i think what sets good rojak apart from the rest is its sauce, and this soon heng silver stream (what a mouthful) rojak was drenched in a delicious sauce. it was the perfect mix of sweet and sour (though my dad noted that it was sweeter than most other rojak sauces – but that was what made it nice!!!) and they were ultra generous with the peanuts. they also add cuttlefish into the rojak which not every rojak stall does, and our $5 serving was a really big one for its price. great value!

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definitely my go-to place for rojak at the moment, till i find one that can beat this heehee. have been dreaming of it since i last had it, and MOSDEF need to go back for more this weekend before i fly back to london for exams ugh.

PS. my mother’s response to my latest obsession:IMG_20130416_133120

PPS. yes, she genuinely wants me to get fat.

PPPS. hi mum if you’re reading this!!! (she did promise to be a loyal follower of rockabitebaby heehee)

La Nonna, Singapore

checked out this italian restaurant on a tuesday afternoon, and we enjoyed an amazing 50% off the food bill (an ongoing offer they have at their outlet at namly place)!!! good food + great company + amazing discount + parallel parking success outside the restaurant = three happy girls.

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we had a late lunch at 130 and were the only customers when we arrived. they (rather unhappily; probably weren’t expecting any more customers for lunch) told us they were closing at 230pm but that didn’t deter us one bit! good food awaited us and we were ravenous!

the meal started with some bread rolls which were nicely warmed up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the first thing we ordered was a crabmeat linguine in creamy tomato sauce – this wasn’t on the menu but my friend requested it and they were more than willing to do it for us, which was nice. it was very good! the crab was fresh and they were generous with it – definitely not shredded up frozen crabsticks or anything of that sort. the sauce was also great, it had a cream base but was light and of a great consistency – thicker than normal tomato-based sauces but not too thick at all!
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we also ordered their signature pizza which had tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, asparagus, egg and black truffle – it was a really delicious combination and this is something i would go back to la nonna for! not just because i LOVE truffle, but also because of the wet egg yolk (MY FAVOURITE OMG), asparagus and the thin crust! it was a light pizza and something very different from what you’d get from the commercialised pizza chains – the usual oily, unhealthy, processed pepperoni/pineapple/ham stuff.
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the third thing we ordered was the gnocchi. i can’t remember exactly what went into the sauce, but it was cream-based with a touch of lemon zest. we agreed that we preferred antoinette’s version of gnocchi in cream sauce (though that one seems to be heavier), but this was not too bad either! the gnocchi was soft and quite fluffy, and the sauce was not too gelat (i realise i use this word a lot hahaha but it is really the most apt thing i can think of in many situations!!!).
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the servings were pretty big so by the time we got to dessert, we only had space for 1 to share – the panna cotta, which was really really good, and quivering away in all its wobbly goodness! it was extremely well done, and we derived great excitement from watching the wobbly tower threaten to collapse as the waitress brought it to our table. it was light, creamy and of the perfect texture – a great rendition of a classic italian dessert!
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total bill: SGD42 (after 50% discount – AMAZING DEAL)

who i would recommend this to: people who drive as the namly outlet is pretty inaccessible  on foot. an alternative would be to go to the holland village outlet which is a lot more convenient to get to via public transport, but the offer there is a 1-for-1 offer instead of a 50% one. a place for a nice, casual, leisurely lunch with food that’s of a good quality and great value for money when the discount is available for lunch on weekdays!

will i be back? will definitely go back to enjoy the great savings at lunch and if i’m craving italian food!

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La Nonna
76 Namly Place
Singapore 267226

Menya Musashi, Singapore

ramen is all over singapore! there are way too many choices – so much so that everytime i feel like having a good bowl of ramen, i end up spending more time searching which shop i should go to and reading reviews than actually eating the bowl of noodles.

this time, the choice was menya musashi. i used to wonder how good it was when i saw the snaking queues outside the raffles city outlet and this time, it was the outlet at ion orchard that we headed to to see whether it was really worth the queue!

this shop is supposedly one of the most popular in tokyo, and their specialty is the tsukemen, where the ramen and soup are served separately and you are supposed to dip the noodles into the soup with each bite you take! wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous that night so i stuck to the ramen we are used to – a piping hot bowl of delicious noodles. their menu is pretty straightforward: they have a black, white and spicy soup base and for each soup base, there are 4 options, each differing based on the amount of toppings given.

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we ordered one bowl of black big tiger ramen and white big tiger ramen.
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(black on top, white at the bottom!)

what’s the difference between the white and black soup? the black soup is more garlic-y and also a little saltier – a heavier soup in general.

the “big tiger ramen” comes with the most toppings; i suppose its meant to be the “top of the range” bowl (at SGD16.90) – it comes with a mixture of shabu shabu pork and cha shu, half an egg, and a whole bunch of other garnishings. it was the most expensive on the menu but i would say it was very worth the money.20130327_183836
i have to say, they are EXTREMELY generous with the toppings, which is what i really liked.  every bit of noodles could be eaten with something (unlike some other bowls of ramen where its just a lot of noodles with a few measly slices of pork) and the cha shu was one of the best i’ve had with ramen! it was cooked to perfection – tender and very very tasty.as for the soup (which is key to any bowl of ramen), it was definitely not what i was expecting. it was so thick that it was almost like a gravy – i think i remember remarking that it reminded me of lor mee gravy. don’t get me wrong – it tasted good, but was just much thicker than i had imagined soup for ramen would ever be! because of the super generous amounts of toppings given and the extremely thick broth, it was a very filling and satisfying  bowl of noodles. definitely not something that everyone will like though, as its not the normal tonkotsu/shoyu soup that most of us are used to. however, another good thing about it was that i didn’t feel too thirsty after the meal, which means the tastiness is pretty natural and doesn’t come from too much msg!

out of sheer coincidence, the lady sitting next to me on the bus home had had her dinner at menya musashi as well. i sheepishly (or shamelessly?) admit that i eavesdropped on her phone conversation as she recounted to whoever was on the other end of the line how her shoe-shopping trip failed because apparently shoes that are both comfortable and nice-looking just do not exist, and how she did NOT like her ramen at menya. in her words, she said it was “super gao” (gao = thick in hokkien dialect, for the uninformed). she also complained that she didn’t get to drink coke because they only serve pepsi (heads-up for all coke lovers out there lol).

total bill: SGD39

who i would recommend this to: people looking for a different sort of ramen, either the dipping sort (if you are interested in trying something new) or one with an extremely thick soup. guaranteed to be a filling meal! i’m not sure how crowded it normally is as we went early and on a weekday but given the crowd i’ve seen at dinnertime at the raffles city outlet, i’d say its best to go early to beat the crowds. when we went at 630pm, there was no queue, but there was a steady stream of customers.

will i go back? i don’t really foresee myself going back in the near future unless i’m craving this sort of ramen. i think i still prefer the normal soup bases, though this is an interesting change. probably the kind of place i’d consider going to if i’m in orchard with no food ideas and am craving some ramen. i’d definitely say its worth trying at least once though!

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Menya Musashi
2 Orchard Turn
#B3-25 ION Orchard

Little Diner, Singapore

i had been wanting to try this place for the longest time after hearing from a friend that they serve red velvet pancakes. red velvet and pancakes??? i’m personally not a huge fan of red velvet (don’t really understand the hype that always seems to come with it), but  the idea of the 2 combined sounded rather novel and enticing nonetheless.

made a trip to this new york-inspired diner found at a rather nondescript row of shops just before 6th avenue on good friday. my mother remarks every single time we drive by the row (which is often since I stay a stone’s throw away) that the restaurants there always seem to be struggling, with few customers each time we’ve passed them. the shops change hands frequently and I didn’t even know this place had popped up there! i really hope it stays though, because it was a satisfying meal and i will certainly be going back for more!

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we ordered 3 items from the brunch menu (that is served only on public holidays & weekends) – the epic breakfast platter (a special), delancey red velvet pancakes & cereal-crusted french toast.

the cereal-crusted french toast was a real crowd (they say 3’s a crowd :P) pleaser – the toast was ultra thick and of just the right moistness – the texture reminded us a little of bread & butter pudding. It was sufficiently covered in sauce while not being completely soaked, and the cereals added a nice bite. we loved every bit of it!!! for some reason, the pictures make it look rather cloyingly sweet (I think its the bright red of the berry coulis) but it wasn’t the case at all!

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Super cereal-crusted french toast: showered with powdered cinnamon sugar, whipped cream, berry coulis & maple syrup.

the red velvet pancakes were good, but none of us are particularly diehard fans of red velvet so we weren’t exactly raving about them. the pancakes were done really well though – of the right thickness, fluffy, and with a nice red velvet flavour, nothing too overpowering. they came with frosting that looked like a scoop of ice cream (what is red velvet without cream cheese frosting?) and it was good stuff! i think more toppings (mixed berries would have been wonderful) would have made the dish better though! although i understand that they were probably trying to stick to traditional red velvet – just cake and frosting, i got a little sick of what i was eating about 3/4 into my pancake (and so did my friends!). can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have the whole serving of 3 pancakes to myself! but they were still yummy, so don’t let my less-than-stellar review deter you from ordering them; i do think they are still worth a try!

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delancey red-velvet pancakes: showered with cinammon sugar, cream cheese frosting & maple syrup.

the final thing we ordered was from the specials menu – the epic breakfast platter. given that it was priced higher than the other 2 items we ordered and its name (“EPIC”), we were expecting something either huge or super extraordinary. unfortunately it was neither, though it was a very delicious traditional fry-up. the sausage was made of kurobuta pork, and it was juiciness, crunchiness and tenderness all in one roll – good stuff!!! as for the bacon, it was fried to perfection and the thick slices of toast went great with the scrambled eggs. the potatoes were also very well done and so was the grilled tomato. it was not too oily and overall a very enjoyable and satisfying plate!

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E.P.I.C breakfast platter

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The super yummy kurobuta pork sausage

besides the great food, the service at little dinner is also amazing. check out what greeted us at our reserved table when we arrived – such a simple but sweet touch! the staff were also extremely sincere and friendly, happily chatting to us and patiently acceding to our numerous photo requests (the waiter helping us take a picture even re-arranged stuff on the table several times to make the shot look better hahaha! that was at the start of our meal and we were sold on the place from that point onwards ;)).

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here is the brunch menu:
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they also have some specials everyday written on blackboards in the cafe.

total bill: SGD58

who i would recommend this to: people looking for a casual place for a relaxing meal. the interior of the place is rather simple but that’s what makes it laidback; it is the kind of place i’d go to on a sunday morning with my newspapers and without having to dress up. the service is great and staff are really friendly, so you feel at ease while having a leisurely meal.

will i be back? i hear the lunch/dinner menu at little diner is also very good. their burgers are supposed to be delicious, along with their pastas and fried chicken. the risotto balls also caught my eye! would love to go back and try it one day; maybe in summer! 🙂

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faces of satisfied customers:20130330125718106
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Little Diner
789 Bukit Timah Rd
S(269763)

and just because my friends and i are silly like that:
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love these girls hahahahahaah.
oh, its good to be home :’)

Singapore Foodspam

I AM IN HEAVEN.

Singapore = food, food and more food. And not just any food – amazing, delectable, delicious, mouth-watering, wonderful, sensational, marvellous, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD.

this is the look i permanently have on my face:Image

one of sheer joy and excitement. my eyes light up like the high beam lights on my car when i see food. food from SINGAPORE. food from HOME.

took a while to get down to writing this post because i had some issues transferring pictures from my phone to my computer but its all been sorted now, so here i am!!!

been eating heaps since i got back and this post is 1) proof of that and 2) basically going to be a picture spam – you have been warned!!! after all, a picture paints a thousand words 😉

so, let’s begin.
random delicious things i have eaten since getting back (and this isn’t even half of it):

1. bak kut teh from my favourite bkt shop in singapore for dinner on the first day i got back! it is seriouslyyy good stuff, but its the herbal and not the peppery sort so it really depends on what type you like; this may not be your cup of tea! for those who are interested though, you can get some amazing piping-hot Klang-style bak kut teh at:

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
321 Beach Road

don’t forget to add yew char kway (aka you tiao) and some salted veggies to your order! 😉20130324_190638the braised pigs trotters were yummy too!!! check it out – bubbling away…20130324_190801

2. i’ve also had countless cups of bubble tea – what’s new? for those who know me well enough, you’ll know that i love this drink so much that i worked at a bubble tea shop for a few months while waiting to enter uni last year. during the interview when they asked me why i wanted to work there, i simply said “I LOVEEEEE BUBBLE TEA”, and i think it must have been the unmistakeable sparkle in my eye and quickened rate of speech (due to sheer excitement of talking about my favourite drink) that landed me the job 😉

i do have my favourites – honey milk tea with pearls/grass jelly milk tea/fresh milk tea/milk tea with pudding+grass jelly+pearls (yes i am a milk tea kind of person!) but i generally drink alllll kinds of bubble tea and love checking out random new stores that pop up all over the place just to suss out which ones serve the real deal 😉
TIP: Toa payoh central currently has a grand total of 5 (or more???) bubble tea stores. perfect for a bubble tea drink trail? hahaahah.
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3. finally tried plain vanilla cupcakes from holland village after hearing so much about them – and i think they are definitely better than the ones at twelve cupcakes!!! maybe it was the outlet of twelve cupcakes i went to, or maybe they were having a day where their cakes were a little off, but i was unimpressed when i tried the cupcakes at twelve cupcakes! i found the cake too dry and more like a muffin than a cupcake, whereas at plain vanilla, their cupcakes are denser and more moist – how i think a cupcake should be!
get some at:

Plain Vanilla Bakery

34A Lorong Mambong
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4. i am a fruit monster. and i am so happy to be back home getting to eat all my yummy tropical fruits (okay not everything in this picture is local, but look at the mangosteens and dukus!!!). here’s what happened when my sister and i went shopping for fruits when i first got home:
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5. amazing leafy, green, fresh & proper asian vegetables:
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didn’t realise how much i missed my legit asian veggies till i saw what my mother brought home from the market. think she got a little excited at the prospect of me being home and went all out with the marketing hahaha! but i’m not complaining.

6. bread – nothing that i can’t get in london but still good good food nonetheless:
freshly-baked fruit & nut loaf from baker & cook, a lovely little shop near my place, perfect for me to pop by for some good bread!

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Baker and Cook
77 Hillcrest Road

more yummy breads, from Maison Kayser this time – orange bread (L) and fig bread (R)! YUMMY.20130401_093631

7. something i grew up on and will always love – $1 ice cream from the pushcarts along orchard road! my standard order: attap chee ice cream in bread!!! i’ve always found it strange how people don’t know that these uncles sell attap chee ice cream; i’ve had to convince many disbelieving friends that attap chee ice cream does exist, these uncles do sell it, and YES, they have whole attap chees inside!!! hahaha. this uncle’s cart is the one i patronise the most – outside taka, at the crossing that will bring you to paragon! (and yes, i was so excited to be back and eating it again that i took a picture with the uncle hahaahhaahha)20130327_201323a

8. made a trip to peperoni’s – always going to be one of my favourite restaurants along the stretch of eating places at greenwood! super yummy squid ink linguine that made me look like i was wearing black lipstick for the rest of the meal:
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i love the pizzas they do at pepperoni’s too; they have the GINORMOUS family-sized ones which are always exciting and what i love is that they can do 2 flavours on 1 pizza! my favourites are the suprema, parma ham, frutti de mare, and the pancetta, and omg, you HAVE to try the giant portobello mushroom appetizer if you are there – it is to die for, especially if you are a mushroom lover like i am!!!

Peperoni Pizzeria
6 Greenwood Avenue

9. my mum had a friend visiting from the states and we had a mini local food feast at home! it was all very exciting and satisfying – 20130329_193631
CHICKEN WINGS!!!20130329_195953
POPIAH PARTY!!!20130329_200714
MEE SIAM!!!
along with many other things – oyster omelette, satay, chicken rice, kueh pie tee etc etc etc! YUMZ. i think i might have been more excited than her visiting friend… hahahahaha

10. homecooked wonders: i am so lucky to have a maid that is an AMAZING cook at home. here’s some of the stuff she has whipped up since i’ve been back – i have decided that i shall write a post on her one day hahaha just to honour her cooking prowess and skillz.
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had some traditional teo chew style yu sheng, just because i didn’t get to toss any over CNY this year 🙂20130330_200354
okay she didn’t cook this – we had it delivered hahahaa but still yumzzz. and i was super intrigued by how the pig is SMILING.. do you see it too!?!?20130330_204852
steamed fishhhh – something i have missed!!!20130330_205345
liver cooked to perfection – credit goes to my mum for this!!!
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my all-time favourite chinese soup – lotus root and peanut soup! omg i could eat bowls and bowls and bowls of this.20130331_195955tau suan!!! one of my favourite local desserts. she makes a mean pulut hitam too (Y)20130325_121626simple homecooked noodle soup with ikan bilis and an egg done just the way i like it – ah, how good it is to be home!!!

11. tau huay – lots and lots and lots of it. 20130330_212731

12. sugar cane juice!!! oh how i have missed you.20130331_132052

12. ngoh hiang – ALL-TIME FAVE, especially the prawn cracker (Y)20130331_132527

13. my favourite breakfast from ghim moh market – thosai/appam/soya bean milk20130403_082222

14. MEE JIANG KUEH – from my favourite stall, also at ghim moh market!!! its the best, srsly. 20130403_083434
okay i think i should stop now – i really apologise for the picture spam; i think i might have gotten a little carried away… but this is already a whittled down selection of food!!! i still have several individual places that i have visited and want to write about, and will get down to that soon and update when i am not stuffing my face or burying my head in books (who am i kidding – that has not been happening much at all) and hence have the time to write a proper post (like tonight when i decided that property law was just not happening for me 😦 as my friend very appropriately asked – “are you studying or eating???” )

till then, HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!!

much love,
rach (& her growing food baby)