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 ūüė•
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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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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 Рchina 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 ūüėõ i promise to update more when i’m released from the evil clutches of exams!!!

Link

Reasons Singapore is the most delicious place on earth

this is why i am always over the moon to be home ūüôā nothing beats the amazing food on this sunny little island!!! :’)

back in singapore for christmas; stay tuned for some singapore eats!

Department of Caffeine, Singapore

despite the myriad of cafes in the duxton hill area, DOC has managed to stand out from the crowd instead of going unnoticed amidst the sea of eateries in the area. since its opening early this year, it has gleaned rave reviews and recommendations from many of its patrons for both its food and coffee offerings, and in my opinion, rightly so! a friend who was interning around tanjong pagar had the opportunity to try most of the cafes there during her lunch hours and DOC came out tops on her list of favourites. i can definitely see why after trying it for myself!

everything about¬†DOC exudes a cool vibe –¬†from the extremely¬†understated exterior (i nearly walked right past the shop and its¬†nondescript frosted glass windows with black frames) to the use of wood and black as the interior colour scheme to the young and seemingly hipster service staff. the shop, which is not big but seats a decent number of people at any one time, is¬†designed in a modern and stylish manner while managing to remain cosy and inviting. the atmosphere is casual and rather buzzing when it gets crowded, especially because it is the kind of cafe where you place your order and pay at the counter before the food gets brought to your table shortly after.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the menu is simple and concise yet sufficiently extensive to get you excited about what you should pick:
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we didn’t have a very hard time making¬†our decision that day though, as we already had our minds (and stomachs) set on the waffles which looked too good to pass on.¬†moreover, we were planning on¬†heading¬†to tsujiri tea house after¬†for what i think is the best green tea soft serve ice cream in singapore (see here)¬†so we agreed to exercise some self-control and not overdo the ordering. we did pretty well on that, i must say, opting to share a waffle and a salad between us.
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first up, the waffle:
(omg, just look at that picture and salivate now please!!!)
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sundried tomato & herb waffles with bacon, scrambled eggs & maple bacon jam – $16.50

they have both sweet and savoury waffles at DOC, but it was the savoury one that we settled for, in anticipation of dessert after. this was definitely¬†the highlight of our meal (not that there was very stiff competition for the coveted title with only one other dish in the running hahaha)! we could not stop spazzing over how good it was; even when we were 3/4 done with it, we were still repeating “omg. this is soooooo. good.” over and over.¬†the waffle was amazingly crisp on the outside but fluffy on the inside, and the batter itself was infused with herbs which made it quite special. truly a savoury waffle through and through, and not just a waffle with savoury toppings! the scrambled eggs and bacon were also nicely done – the scrambled eggs were creamy and fluffy and the bacon would have been perfect if fried just a little crispier (but that’s a personal preference). topped with maple syrup, the waffles here at DOC are definitely one of the best buttermilk waffles ever (i hear wimbly lu ones put up a good fight)! my only complaint is that towards the end of our waffle-devouring adventure, the waffle soaked up some of the moisture from the scrambled eggs and became slightly soggy but i suppose that can’t be helped!

we also had a salad to share:
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regular salad – $13 (roasted butternut squash with semidried tomatoes, baby spinach & feta/chargrilled broccoli with chilli, garlic & lemon)

they have 3 different salads displayed at the counter daily for your picking pleasure, and i love how you can pick 2 salads to mix in a bowl, regardless of the salad size that you opt for!¬† we chose the spinach + butternut squash salad and the broccoli salad, and were pleasantly surprised that despite it being a small serving, the quantity was quite sufficient for us to share. the greens were extremely fresh and the butternut squash and spinach salad came with a lovely dressing which we couldn’t quite place but was very yummy nonetheless. as for the broccoli salad, the broccoli was perfectly cooked (ie not too soft, crunchy but not too hard) and cut (big, chunky pieces) for salads, and we loved how it was so nicely char-grilled, giving it a subtle smokey taste.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA¬†there was also some¬†lemon zest added to it which gave the salad a very refreshing lift. fyi, the menu also offers an option of combining the salads with a main – they had a choice¬†of either a¬†roasted chicken leg or some poached salmon for the main¬†while we were there.

i will definitely be back at DOC! this is the place to go if you’re looking for some great buttermilk waffles (another hot favourite is wimbly lu), and i’m looking forward to the next opportunity i get to return to try their sweet waffle with ice cream¬†offerings and possibly their churros with kahlua-spiked chocolate sauce! besides their sweet treats (they also have freshly baked goodies on a¬†daily basis), i hear their sandwiches are good too! the pulled pork one is especially popular.

another great thing about DOC is that they are happy to take reservations. this makes it the perfect place to visit on weekends especially after having a nice lie-in; no worries about long queues or waiting time that could ruin the pleasure of a relaxing weekend brunch!

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Department of Caffeine

15 Duxton Rd
Singapore 089481

ps. dessert was as mentioned earlier, a shiratama parfait at tsujiri:
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MATCHA HEAVEN IN A CUP!!!

pps. the domestic doyleys also got to work in the kitchen that afternoon, and successfully baked an earl grey chiffon cake! it was so yummy and we were pleased as punch heehee. a day full of fabulous food yay!
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Llao Llao, Singapore

llao llao is one of the newest kids on the frozen yogurt block in singapore, and is probably my family’s current favourite place to get our froyo fix! since discovering it about a month ago, we go by whenever we’re in the marina square/city hall area.

llao llao is a spanish frozen yogurt chain, and chose singapore as the place to open their first store in asia! thank goodness they did because they have brought some amazing frozen yogurt to our sunny island that i felt was lacking really good pinkberry standard froyo. before discovering llao llao, red mango and yoguru were my go to places for froyo (especially the green tea flavour that yoguru has at their lucky plaza and great world outlets!!!). now however, llao llao is definitely the one to beat!

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walk through marina link and their bright green signboard as well as the brightly-lit shop are hard to miss! besides the froyo itself tasting really good, i love how there are seats in the shop for you to have the option of chillin’ and properly enjoying your froyo while seated instead of buying a cup and having to eat it while walking around.

they have the usual range of toppings available – a good mix of healthy fruit toppings (on the left in the picture below) and the unhealthier option of the normal chocolate/biscuit dry toppings (on the right):20130908_144240

besides toppings, llao llao also has a range of sauces to be drizzled on top of your froyo! i thought this was quite interesting as most other yogurt places just have the usual hershey’s chocolate/strawberry sauce etc. i didn’t try any because i prefer my yogurt sauce-less but will consider getting some next time, especially the more unusual ones like the raffaello and chococrock; they sound pretty interesting! they also only have original-flavoured yogurt, so i suppose the sauce is a way to “flavour” your own yogurt?20130908_144233

here’s the medium cup + 3 toppings that we got for $5.50:20130908_144405

the froyo here at llao llao is definitely the creamiest and smoothest i have had in singapore. i LOVE pinkberry and snog froyo in london, and to me, this comes pretty close! their frozen yogurt has not a hint a of iciness and is perfect froyo in my opinion! it is thick but not heavy, and besides having a really great consistency, it tastes good too Рnot too sweet but not too sour like plain yogurt can sometimes be. they were also generous with the toppings which were fresh, and the medium cup contained a very substantial serving of yogurt so i felt it was really worth the price we paid! all of us had nothing but praise for it.

oh and they also have really cute spoons that are very long and made of very sturdy plastic! i love how they’re so streamlined in shape such that when you dig deep into your cup of yogurty goodness, no yogurt gets stuck like in the groove on the back of regular spoons!

even more extra points for a super cute and delicious-looking menu:20130908_145547

the sanums looked very good and seemed to be a popular choice among the steady stream of customers that patronised the shop while we were there, so that’s definitely what i’m going to try next time. (they are the layered cups shown in the bottom row of the¬†leftmost panel of the menu below)20130908_145412

llao llao is currently my pick for the best frozen yogurt in singapore. if you are a froyo fan, this is the place for you!!! and even if you’re not, this is still the place for you to possibly become a froyo convert ūüėČ

UPDATE: i have since returned to try their sanum and it was really a case of love at first bite. craving for more and really need to pay llao llao another visit soon! i know i have a ready companion in my mother, who is as hooked to the froyo there as i am. (i really hope they open another branch somewhere closer to me soon; having to make a trek to the marina area whenever i’m craving some amazing froyo is very unoptimal! ūüė¶ )20130923_150310
sanum: froyo + 2 crunch toppings + 3 fruit toppings + more froyo + 1 sauce – $5.90

i tried my best but just could not get a good picture that showed all the layered toppings. i picked crushed walnuts and oreo crumbs for my 2 crunchy toppings, and blueberries, strawberries & kiwis for my fruit toppings. absolutely love how 5 toppings + 1 sauce allows you to pick a wide variety of stuff to have your froyo with – this is customisation at its very best! the serving was huge and i very happily lapped up every bit of it. i thought it was really value-for-money especially since a medium-sized cup with 3 toppings is $5.50. just $0.40 more for 2 additional toppings and a sauce!

for my sauce, i picked the raffaello which the girl at the counter described to me as white chocolate with coconut and cookie crumbs. i am normally not a huge fan of coconut but decided to give it a try anyway, and i was really pleasantly surprised to find that it was really really delicious. definitely going to get this the next time i go; there’s no question about it ūüėČ

here’s a picture of my half-demolished sanum:20130923_150745sorry i know its not a particularly appetising picture but trust me, it was seriously YUM. you can also see how generous they are with the serving size from the picture; the cup is so deep and it isn’t just filled full but way beyond the rim of the cup! the toppings are all very fresh too; my only qualm is that i wish i they had granola as a crunchy topping. but that’s most definitely not going to stop me from returning to llao llao again and again. and again.

and more sanum pictures from a 3rd visit with my momma just before i left for london:
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YUMZZZZZZ

open a branch in orchard/somewhere i frequent more than the marina square area soon please??? ūüôā

Llao Llao
Marina Link # B1-04
(Marina Square Basement link to Esplanade MRT)

UPDATE: really exciting news – llao llao has since opened a 2nd branch at somerset 313! its been quite a while (nearly a year!) since i first wrote this post about llao llao and today (28/6/14), i am proud to say that i still love it as much as i did then ūüėČ i can never pass on the opportunity to get a sanum whenever i’m in the vicinity, and it still never disappoints though i have to say the serving sizes have decreased quite significantly of late, and the range of toppings has also been more limited the past few times i visited! also, for sanums, you are also now only allowed 1 crunch (which is added twice – i honestly do not really understand the logic; what is the difference between getting 1 crunch as opposed to 2 different ones if the same total quantity added is maintained?) ūüė¶ nevertheless, i am still addicted to this creamy goodness and as the following pictures will show, still take pictures of the towers of goodness¬†every single time i’m there… #somethingsdon’tchange
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check out how they’ve really shrunk in size from the early days ūüė•

New Ubin Seafood, Singapore

had heard about the increasing popularity and seen¬†on various instagram and facebook¬†feeds¬†quite a bit about this place recently, so decided to drag (okay fine i didn’t have to drag; the fam bam is always willing¬†to¬†hunt down good food teehee)¬†my family there for a meal one sunday evening.

we had previously visited this place once, but it was a long time back before it became the popular seafood haunt that it is today. i remember being very young and bewildered that we were having dinner in a coffeeshop-like setup in the middle of a bunch of car workshops!

the set-up remains the same today, but i now see the place as being charming in its own way, the kind of casual family place which people visit in their shorts and flipflops, with the menu scrawled in multiple colours on a chalkboard that stretches across the wall. its a bit like a secret shack hidden amidst car workshops nestled in sin ming, which i guess some might find appealing since it offers something very different from the usual modern set-ups that we so often visit these days.20130825_195714

we ordered 3 types of crabs, their famous beef, a plate of hokkien mee, and of course some¬†glorious fried mantous (cannot live without, especially when there’s chilli crab sauce to be slurped up)¬†for the 5 of us.¬†they were having a buy 2 crabs get 1 free offer when we visited (there was a huge banner outside announcing this deal so i won’t be surprised if its a perennial offer) so that’s why we went for 3 crabs; if not for the fact that anything more would have been too much food, i think we might have given the other interesting options on the menu (like the pork knuckle) a try!

the crabs were all rather small and the meat was not particularly sweet or firm, though they were reasonably fresh. they were decent crabs though, and very reasonably priced if you take up the buy 2 get 1 free offer. the highlight of the crab dishes for me was definitely the different sauces of each style of cooking.

the first kind of crab we got was the black pepper crab:
20130825_185113besides the fact that the crab was on the (very small) side, we all thought the sauce was really delicious! it wasn’t the kind of black pepper crab that is very dry. instead, it was a little more sauce-y than usual (though from the pic it doesn’t appear to have much sauce at all on the plate i know); i prefer it this way but i’m not sure if everyone has the same preference! the sauce was very tasty and of the right consistency and pepperiness. i generally prefer crab done in other ways, but thought this was good nonetheless!

we also got a salted egg yolk crab:20130825_184613more tiny crabs! i’d like to think it was because they chose the smaller ones for us since we were a relatively small group attempting to eat 3 crabs? i am generally in love with anything that has salted egg yolk in it; i absolutely adore salted egg yolk and all its super savoury and tasty goodness. this dish was certainly no exception and was in fact one of the better salted egg yolk dishes i have had. they were generous with the egg yolk coating, and in my opinion, totally nailed the rich and grainy texture of the salted egg yolk paste. i could not get enough of this and am also guilty of licking the crab shells clean. shell-lickin’ good? i also polished off¬†every single bit of the paste left on the lettuce leaves. am¬†definitely getting something in this style the next time i visit, if not crab then squid!

the third type of crab we ordered was the quintessential chilli crab which no seafood dinner in singapore is ever complete without:20130825_185014
the chilli crab gravy was also very yummy and i loved the fact that there was plenty on the plate for us to drench our fried mantous in. it was of the right consistency – thick enough but not too heavy, and was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! super yummy.

next, we had what nearly every beef-eating patron at ubin seafood orders, the rib eye steak!
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this was DELICIOUS. seriously good stuff. the beef is black angus rib eye from the states and is reasonably priced for its quality. we requested for it to be done medium-rare, and it was broiled to perfection – super yumz! i loved how the outside was done till it was just very slightly charred and hence crispy with a hint of smokiness, while the inside remained super moist and juicy. served on a large wooden board accompanied by wedges and caramelised onions, the smallest serving of this that you can order is 500g so this is perfect for sharing! it seems like this is the star dish of ubin seafood, and rightly so. a must-order when you are there!

besides the onions and wedges, the beef also comes with a complimentary plate of beef fried rice:20130825_184906
they use the beef fats that were cut off from the meat served to you to fry this super sinful plate of rice. it is a very simple dish with a bit of a smokey taste which really reminded me of claypot rice. though there are many others that rave about it, i thought it was pretty good, but definitely didn’t think it was outstanding enough to warrant having an entire bowl of something so sinfully unhealthy!

we got a plate of hokkien mee to end off the meal:
20130825_191522look at all that pork lard on the top screaming unhealthiness hahaha. this came highly recommended by the staff at the restaurant, and i thought it was pretty good! they were generous with the ingredients and i liked how it was the wet kind of hokkien mee, not the kind that’s fried dry. the sauce was tasty and despite the substantial amount the noodles came with, it remained rather light and wasn’t heavy. not a bad choice if you’re looking for some carbo to order.

all in all, it was a satisfying dinner with food cheaper but as good as that at the usual big seafood chains! i will definitely be back to satisfy future seafood cravings if i’m in the mood for somewhere casual and slightly off the beaten track. not sure if i’ll bring tourist friends here for seafood though; i feel it’ll be nicer to take them somewhere by the water instead and will probably be worth paying that bit more for a nicer ambience.20130825_185339

oh and be sure to make a reservation early before you go; the place is packed on weekends!

New Ubin Seafood

27 Sin Ming Road
#01-174, Sector A Sin Ming Industrial Estate
Singapore 575680

Tsujiri Tea House, Singapore

just a quick post to share another exciting green tea find i stumbled upon last weekend – Tsujiri Tea House, yet another place to get a matcha fix on our sunny island!

occupying a small shop space on the first floor of 100AM mall (never knew this place existed) in tanjong pagar (had some problems finding this rather nondescript mall but do persevere if you face the same problem; tsujiri will make it worth the search!!! heehee), Tsujiri is a 150-year-old tea house originating from kyoto that serves a range of yummy matcha drinks and desserts.20130810_194024

here’s the menu:20130810_193602its a simple shop with a small seating area, but the matcha goodies they serve are really rather yummy. having just come from a really filling dinner in the vicinity, myfamily and i only had enough stomach space to order one drink and one dessert to share:20130810_194145shiratama parfait (o-maccha) – $7.80 / o-maccha latte – $5.2

i would say they were definitely some of the best green tea goodies i’ve had in singapore. we could really taste the quality of the green tea powder used, and though slightly pricey for the serving size, i thought it was worth every penny!

the o-maccha latte had a distinct but very natural green tea flavour. it was fragrant and light – a really nice way to wash down dinner!

as for the shiratama parfait, i initially thought it was a little expensive for the serving size but once i took a bite of it, i decided that it was definitely worth its price!!! ūüėČ unlike the parfait at Nana’s Green Tea, this one does not have any vanilla ice cream/whipped cream/corn flakes, just green tea soft serve ice cream, mochis with crushed peanuts, red bean, and jelly. the green tea soft serve ice cream is quite possibly the BEST green tea soft serve ice cream i’ve had in singapore. it is unbelievably smooth, thick and creamy, and is the green tea flavour is just amazinggg. the next time i’m here i’m definitely going to get just the green tea soft serve ice cream in a cone, on top of whatever else i’m having ūüėõ it really is very very good; its been a week and i still remember just how impressed i was by it!!! the mochis were nice and so was the jelly; even the non-maccha lovers in the group (how is that even possible i do not understand…) thought it was good! though since they’re not huge fans of maccha, they also said they probably wouldn’t fork out that sum just for a not-particularly-large dessert, but i feel that the ingredients they use are of a good quality that warrants the pricing.

i was so sad when i finished the last bit of the parfait (even though i was super duper full; definitely a sign of good stuff) and promptly decided that i really needed to go back when my stomach wasn’t already 99% stuffed, so that i could try more of what they have to offer!!!20130810_193856

Tsujiri Tea House

100AM Mall
100 Tras Street, #01-14
Singapore 079027

The Lawn, Singapore

been eating non-stop since summer started, and finally decided that it was getting out of hand; i was in need of some serious detoxing! The Lawn was thus the obvious choice for a light lunch with friends last week, especially since i had inhaled an entire apple cinnamon prata with vanilla ice cream at 4am earlier that morning (it was SO. GOOD.)

eating clean doesn’t mean eating food that’s anything less than yummy, and The Lawn is the perfect place to do just that!¬†located at biopolis, it caters mostly to the working crowd in the area but given the ample parking available in the basement and its relative proximity to buona vista mrt station, i think its a pretty good spot for a satisfying salad fix. the cafe is clean and bright with a few tables inside, and a synthetic turf outside (an attempt to stay true to their name) for outdoor seating on a cool day. the atmosphere is relaxed, almost like you’re just sitting in your backyard having a barbeque ūüôā

we arrived a little past 1pm on a weekday to a thinning lunch crowd, and wasted no time in heading to the counter to place our orders:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the lawn is all about fresh greens topped with grilled meat/seafood, and finished with tasty dressings. everything is your choice and you get a huge personalised bowl of salad for just $9.90! at the counter, you start by choosing between a salad (1 grill + 5 toppings + dressing) and olive rice (1 grill + rice + side salad). the 3 of us all went with salad and we were really spoilt for choice. being the extremely indecisive person i am, ordering was stressful (picking the right combination of salad toppings is a life-changing decision, seriously :P) but i suppose it was a happy problem…

there are about 12 different grills to choose from, with some premium ones that cost an additional $1/$2. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the blackboard behind the counter, but I do have a picture of the grills available (taken from a board outside the cafe) and you can check out the entire range of choices available at their website here:¬†http://thelawn.com.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85&Itemid=53¬†!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
grill choices at the lawn

i went with the chargrilled prawns while both my friends went with the herb-infused chicken which came highly recommended by the staff behind the counter. after choosing your grill, you proceed to pick your toppings from the huge range available; they have everything from granola to green apples to seeds to chesnuts to beetroot to assorted nuts to eggs to tomatoes to pasta to cous cous to broccoli – you name it and they probably have it! after picking toppings, the final step is to pick a dressing and unsurprisingly, there is once again a headache-inducing (because i am ridiculously indecisive) selection. i went with the honeyball which was a safe choice in my opinion; the last thing i wanted was to leave less-than-satisfied because of a wrong dressing choice, especially after racking my brains to achieve what i deemed the perfect salad combination! hahaha. for the adventurous, you can go for something like maple peanut (maple syrup + peanut butter?!) or perky sesame ginger (one of my friends got this and it tasted very much like chicken rice) or even one of the premium ones!

they grill your choice of seafood or meat on the spot after you place your order, so its nice and warm when the salad is served to your table. the prawns i had were juicy and crunchy, while the greens were very fresh. my friends enjoyed their chicken, though i felt it was a tad dry when i took a bite. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
$9.90 for my very generous portion of greens. a very satisfying bowl!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAM looking pleased as punch with her giant bowl of salad

none of us ordered the olive rice, but it seemed to be quite a popular choice with the rest of the patrons. it looked moist and hearty, and is done teochew style, instead of the thai-style olive rice that many of us would probably imagine it to be. given the huge range of exciting toppings and dressings to choose from when creating your own salad however, i think i’ll be sticking with the salad when i return. (also because my maid cooks an amazing teochew style olive rice ;))

they also have a coffee + cake counter selling rather reasonably priced coffees:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the lawn is a great place for a relaxing, casual and most importantly, healthy yet tasty lunch away from the hustle and bustle of the city. i will definitely be back when i eventually decide that its time for detox round 2… bets on when that’s going to happen are welcome ūüėČ

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The Lawn Grill & Salad Cafe

31 Biopolis Way,
Nanos #01-07,
Singapore 138669

Malacca & My Malaysian Menu of Mirth

The alliteration of ‘M’ words is by no means coincidental. Put together the ‘M’s and it spells ‘Mmmmm’ – which is exactly how one would feel after a trip to our friendly neighbours Malaysia.

Food in Malaysia tends to be identified with a particular area or town – Ipoh hor fun, Penang laksa, KL hokkien mee, Klang ba ku teh. All these individual locations deserve a post on their own, given the true gastronomical excellence that they provide: in each locality, almost every outlet selling the said dishes are of decent, if not top notch, quality. I shall attempt, in this post, to offer a glimpse into the spectrum of Malaysian fare available using the town of Malacca as an example.

In a recent trip to Malaysia, I was in Malacca and made a trip down to the famed Jonker Street – which , at night, turns into a pedestrianised street (aptly called Jonker Walk) night market selling foodstuff, mobile phone and fashion accessories and much more. Being a food blog, we will of course focus on the food; however, the history of the street should not be neglected. Back in the old days, Jonker Street was where rich Chinese merchants – trading in the port of Malacca – congregated and settled, making the street the centre of the Chinese community. If you look around, old buildings of Chinese clan associations and temples still exist in their original incarnations.Photo 21-07-2013 06 33 21 PM

The street market offers fare ranging from the sweet to the savoury, snacks to wholesome meals. Here are some highlights.

Muah Chee – glutinous rice snack coated in peanutsPhoto 21-07-2013 06 50 56 PMPhoto 24-07-2013 11 06 28 AM

The muah chee here was really smooth and I liked how the peanuts actually are able to fully coat the rice chunks . Also, the peanut coating was not overly sweet and you could taste the roasted flavour of the peanuts – which is something most muah chee stalls aren’t able to boast.

Fried Carrot CakePhoto 24-7-13 11 05 57

We get this almost everywhere in Singapore and given a choice, I’d opt for the Singaporean version more often than not. However, note that the fried carrot cake in Jonker Street (and the wider Malaysian food scene) is different from what we’re used to in Singapore. Vendors tend to add bean sprouts into the frying mix and this, I feel, makes a huge difference to how it tastes – perhaps a little too healthy hence my deference to the Singaporean version. ¬†Also, often there isn’t a choice between the black and white versions that we are familiar with in Singapore. I guess that’s a good thing because you only need to order one plate, unlike in Singapore where it’s too tempting to just order both!

Potato RolesPhoto 24-07-2013 11 06 20 AM

This is interesting. Basically it is a deep fried whole potato cut into small slices. After which you can choose your flavouring ranging from mayonnaise, chilli, black pepper to cheese. Essentially this is like your packet potato crisps, just that its freshly made on the spot.

Durian PuffPhoto 24-07-2013 11 06 24 AM

Just look at the durian cream oozing out of the puff! This was really good, especially since it’s served chilled. The pastry was thin and light, which complemented the durian cream inside. If you’re looking at this and expecting it to taste like the S$7 for 2 durian puffs sold at Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore, you’re missing the point.¬† The puffs here are not stuffed with a thick durian filling; rather it’s a watered down version which is surprisingly refreshing – a unique description of anything durian-related. Moreover, at RM5 for 3 (that’s S$2) it is well worth the money spent

Coconut JellyPhoto 23-07-2013 10 35 39 PMPhoto 24-07-2013 11 05 33 AMThis is my personal favourite. It is basically gelatinised coconut water. This means that the natural coconut taste is preserved and not artificially enhanced and, once again, an extremely refreshing option on a hot, humid day.  

Dim SumPhoto 21-07-2013 06 58 33 PM

This was not anything particularly special, aside from the fact that the variety was pleasantly abundant and that the ingredients were fresh and served piping hot. No need to queue for hours (*ahem* Tim Ho Wan) or pay sky high prices (*ahem* Yan Ting) if all you want is to satisfy a craving for a couple of prawn dumplings or siew mais.

Takoyaki – Japanese Dumpling BallsPhoto 21-7-13 21 23 04

I have always felt takoyaki should be a staple in street markets, given how light a snack and how universally palatable they are. I mean if you don’t take the original octopus fillings, go for cheese! Or if you’re allergic to prawns, have the sausage option! In fact, to me at least, takoyaki balls actually whet up one’s appetite so its presence should benefit the other stallholders as well. The ones here aren’t exceptional as they are too floury for my liking. But, as I mentioned, a must have in every street market.

Fried OysterPhoto 21-07-2013 09 23 38 PM

As a dish, this is one I always look out for anywhere I go. The thing about Malaccan fried oysters is that they fry the oysters for a rather more substantial amount of time than Singaporean hawkers. Hence you get a oysters that are more cooked. Somewhat similar to the oysters you get in Penang. I personally prefer this style because the oysters become less watery and, texture-wise, goes better with the fried flour. If you are Hepatitis-paranoid, perhaps this version will set your mind at ease (if only by a little).

Nonya snacksPhoto 24-07-2013 11 06 06 AM

There are also sweet snacks available along Jonker Walk. Here is kueh dadar, a nonya pancake role filled with grated coconut. The one I bought was pretty mediocre but at only RM1? Always worth a punt.

We adjourned to a nearby zi char restaurant for dinner after roaming the streets for snacks. Well everyone deserves a proper meal after walking so much!

We elected to come to this eatery just metres away from the main food street. The waiting time for the food was more than half an hour but I tell you when the food arrived it, it was thoroughly worth it.

Curry Fish HeadPhoto 24-07-2013 11 05 15 AM

The curry fish head was delightful, the fragrant curry taste and generous servings of veggies. It also wasn’t too oil unlike most other curry dishes. The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection – usually most curry fish head would be pre-prepared, and hence likely to be overcooked; this one had no such problems.

Salted egg yolk fried chickenPhoto 24-7-13 11 05 24Basically this was fried chicken coated with a salted egg yolk paste. It could be ordered with pork ribs, prawns or chicken and we opted for the latter. This was quite a unique take on a common zi char dish. The salted egg yolk paste was not too thick, yet it was ultra creamy in texture. No way did it taste like a heart attack waiting to happen¬† as you’d expect with such a rich dish. I also found it a nice touch that the chicken pieces were filleted for our convenience and I was happy to devour each piece whole.

Claypot pork cooked with sesame oil and salted fishPhoto 24-07-2013 11 05 11 AM

This was nice, especially when eaten with plain rice. The pork was very soft and the salted fish bits added a panache to the overall taste of the dish.

Tofu with seafood topped with dried scallopsPhoto 24-07-2013 11 05 07 AM

This was another enjoyable dish. The seafood, comprising prawn and squid, was fresh. What impressed me was the generous toppings of dried scalloped Рwhich was fried till crispy, so much so I almost mistook them for shallot bits! That, of course, would not have done the dish any justice as the scallops Рin the way they were fried Рdefinitely enhanced the taste of the dish by miles. Photo 24-07-2013 11 04 57 AM

For the sake of a wholesome meal, we also ordered spinach fried with garlic and long beans with dried shrimp. The long beans were especially good, in fact it was so good that it was long gone before I could even snap a close up picture of it. I guess it was due to the fragrance of the dried shrimp; again I suspect that they had pre-fried the dried shrimp before putting in the beans.Photo 24-07-2013 11 05 01 AMPhoto 24-07-2013 11 04 53 AM

Restaurant Chong Sek

20,Jalan Portugis,75200 Melaka
75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Malacca, and indeed Malaysia as a whole, is certainly a good place to visit for food – the peranakan food scene here is famous but sadly overly commercialised. But try your luck and visit any independently-run eateries or stalls and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. More Malaysian posts to come – watch this space!

Kilo at Pact, Singapore

at the junction of orchard road and killiney road, take the outdoor escalator into orchard central and you will find yourself right outside pact – an interesting store that houses 3 things under one roof – a hairdresser, a boutique and a restaurant (kilo at pact). having heard rave reviews about this place, my friends and i headed there for dinner last week to check out whether it was really as good as people say it is!

we went at 730pm on a thursday night and the restaurant was nearly full save for a few seats at the bar, so i think reservations are probably a good idea if you are planning on dining there. i think having 3 different things within one common space is quite an interesting concept, and the shop has a very nice, clean and modern/minimalist feel to it with its huge glass windows, concrete tables and floor, and simple wooden seats and walls:ImageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the food is fusion-ish; the dishes are pretty much modern takes on traditional vietnamese/japanese cuisine (eg summer rolls, makis etc). don’t think very much can be seen here (sorry!!!), but if you squint hard enough, you might be able to get an idea of whats on the menu heh:Image

we ordered 5 items to share among the 4 of us.

first up, the baby eggplant:Imagebaby eggplant in donburi sauce, with marscapone cheese & tempura flakes – $12

we really enjoyed this delicious starter! the eggplant used was very fresh and the tempura flakes added a nice bite to the eggplant (that in regular tempura would normally only come from the entire piece being coated in batter), keeping the dish light. the donburi sauce and marscapone cheese combination was surprisingly good – the cheese added a twist to what would otherwise have been quite an ordinary japanese dish, albeit a very yummy one. it was a really promising start to the meal!

for our second starter we had the tuna tartare, which our waiter said was the most popular raw dish on the menu:ImageAvocado-wasabi tuna tartare & flour chips – $20

it was a good recommendation! even my friends who don’t normally eat tuna sashimi enjoyed it as the strong taste that sometimes accompanies raw tuna wasn’t there at all, probably because the tuna was nicely seasoned. the tuna was very fresh and despite it being a tartare, the pieces were distinct and not too finely minced; they retained a chunkiness to them which i really liked. it would have been nice if there was a little more avocado though. we also couldn’t taste any wasabi at all! a very yummy tartare that went well with the flour chips.

we also opted for the mentaiko pasta:Image
spaghetti tossed with cod roe, spring onions and shoyu – $18

i know it doesn’t look great in the picture, but i really enjoyed this dish! it was simple, but super tasty. they were generous with the mentaiko and the spaghetti was done just right with a nice bite to it. it wasn’t a sauce-y spaghetti, but wasn’t dry either. despite this being quite a common fusion of italian and japanese food, i was still impressed with this dish because i thought it was well-executed.

beef short ribs rice bowl:Imagebeef short ribs rice bowl (all rice bowls come with nigata rice, sweet corn, radish, sugar peas & wasabi sprouts) – $17

i can definitely imagine myself returning to pact for lunch one day and ordering a rice bowl for myself. besides the beef being tender, juicy and well-cooked, the rice was really yummy! no idea what nigata rice is and what makes it different from other types of japanese rice, but the rice was delicious! we all figured they must have seasoned it with something. it was sticky and moist, the texture somewhat resembling what you will get with mango sticky rice. eaten together with the beef and the vegetables that accompanied it, it was a satisfying dish that was not too heavy despite the carbo, and seemed very “clean”.

our fifth and final dish was the salmon avocado sushiro:Imagesalmon avocado sushiro with prawns, japanese cucumber, tamago, spring onions – $15

the sushiro was like a giant maki, which they very kindly cut into 4 so that we could share it easily. this was the last dish to arrive at our table, and the one that i felt was the most disappointing. it was rather average and i thought there was nothing that set it apart from regular sushi rolls! although i liked the fact that it was packed with ingredients, i would have preferred the rice to be less compact; it was almost like a huge mass of rice. the sushiro was accompanied by a side of soy flaxseed chips, which were nice, but i didn’t (and still don’t) really see how they complemented the sushiro. doubt i’ll order this again – it is filling and i feel that there are other more interesting things on the menu to be tried.Image

all in all, we had a great dining experience at kilo! the food was a refreshing change from run-of-the-mill cafes and restaurants, and ingredients used were fresh and of a high quality. however for the price we were paying, we all agreed that the servings were on the small side and could definitely have been bigger. dessert choices are also not very extensive and we ended up heading to cold stone creamery downstairs for a yummy dessert fix!¬†besides that though, no other complaints at all! i will probably be back ūüôā i would love to try their weekend brunch menu!Image

Kilo at Pact

181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central
#02-16/17/18/19
Singapore 238896

(given the nightmare that navigating orchard central is, the easiest way to find kilo is to take the outside escalator from the intersection of orchard road & killiney road as mentioned above!)ImageImage

Sin Ming Roti Prata, Singapore

i’m constantly in search of good prata and i think i finally found a place i can call my favourite for this indian dish!

i would say its quite a hidden gem since most people who think of eating prata in the thomson plaza area flock to the bigger and more conspicuous prata house along the main upper thomson road, me included, until i recently discovered Sin Ming Roti Prata, located in a coffee shop at the foot of a hdb block off the main upper thomson road.

i’ve been there twice in 10 days; my craving to have it again came about an hour after i had it the first time (i am ridiculously greedy, i know), as we were having ice cream for dessert at Salted Caramel.

i am completely sold by the prata from this stall for several reasons:

1. the pratas are all freshly made on the spot by a prata man behind the counter after you place your order. no such thing as reheating prata that was made much earlier here, which makes the pratas deliciously warm when you tuck into them. the dough for each prata is kneaded by hand and i feel this is what sets apart the prata here from others which to me, taste more mass-produced and aren’t vastly different from the good frozen pratas you can buy from supermarkets.20130705_110520

2. as you can see from the picture above, they have a really extensive menu! (though i stuck with my standard cheese & plain pratas.)
on my first visit there, we ordered a chicken murtabak to share on top of our pratas. the murtabak was not bad – huge with plenty of onions and chicken, and encased by the same yummy fluffy, light & non-oily prata. i’ve never really been a murtabak fan though, and i would say this murtabak didn’t suceed in making made me a convert. don’t get me wrong – it was very good, but not exceptionally outstanding such that it left me craving more (unlike the prata).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
chicken murtabak

3. the pratas are what i consider to be perfect pratas – crispy on the outside and soft & fluffy inside. they’re also not very oily; in fact, there was very little oil left on the plate after we finished our prata both times i was there! makes them appear a little more healthy and the feasting a little less guilt-inducing? (some wishful thinking at work here heh)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA¬†cheese prataOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAperfect plain prata

4. the curry gravy is thick and has a really tasty kick. i find that quite often, the curry that prata shops provide with their prata can be rather diluted but that is not the case at all at sin ming prata! i personally quite like the curry they provide, though my parents (who tried the prata there after i raved about it) found it too sweet for their liking. i can see why some might find it too sweet, but i suppose you can always order other curries to go with it if you want, or just have the prata with sugar! the prata itself is good enough to keep me going back, nevermind the curry!

5. they have amazing prata coins!!! i saw them on the menu but didn’t think of ordering them the first time i was there, so they were a must-order on my second trip there. the novelty of mini pratas did not disappoint! the prata coins were thick, giving them a really satisfying bite and emphasising what i love most about the prata from this stall – the fact that they are crispy on the outside while chewy and fluffy inside. the fact that they were small made them crispier than normal pratas, but their thickness allows them to retain the chewiness inside. i found them a bit pricey at $3.50 for 6 coins, but they were delicious so the price probably won’t stop me from ordering them again the next time i’m there…20130715_123148¬†$3.50 for 6 prata coins

6. i also love that the stall is tucked away in a little neighbourhood coffee shop; no flashy signs or advertising.
i was initially concerned that the fact that it wasn’t a standalone prata shop might mean that i would miss out on what i deem the full prata experience – completing the prata meal with a milo dinosaur ūüėČ i had nothing to worry about though! the drink stall uncle was more than happy to make one for me heehee.
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so there you have it, my 6 reasons for why sin ming roti prata is currently my favourite place for a roti prata fix in singapore! the stall also sells indian rojak, mee goreng, briyani etc, all of which are supposed to be pretty good. have yet to try them though, maybe next time!

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Sin Ming Roti Prata

Blk 24 Sin Ming Road
#01-51 Jin Fa Kopitiam
Singapore 570024