Honourable Mentions (2016)

2016 is coming to an end, and it was indeed a year of many new openings from both new players and existing brands from the F&B scene. While we had not been posting much during the year, we had been to places, both good and bad throughout the year. Eating has still been a very large part of our lives, and these are the dishes and places we thought are worth a mention for they had given us a memorable impression gastronomically, which got us craving for more that you should also try in 2017 if you had not already. (Do note that meals that we have had as part of a tasting will not be included in this post.)

As always, do follow us on @the_XW on Instagram and the_XW on Burpple to check out on what we are eating; we do upload photos there more regularly than on this blog.

Note that this listing is not in chronological order.

Bami Meatball – Bami Express

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This unassuming hole-in-the-wall eatery at Tanjong Pagar Plaza serves one of the best Banh Mi that we have had this year. The seating along the corridor may not make for the most conducive meal experience but that’s just a small sacrifice for the crisp, well filled Banh Mi that they serve which are simple yet dynamic in terms of flavour. Very pocket-friendly prices here too!

Block 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
Singapore 082001

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Braised Pork Rice – Eat 3 Bowls 呷三碗 (Seah Im Food Centre)

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One of the hipster yet hidden gems that started sprouting up in hawker centres of the late. Their Mee Sua is just as good but it’s the elusive Braised Pork Rice that we miss so often because it gets sold out during lunch hours. The portion may be small but it’s terribly cheap so one can simply order the various sides they offer. If not, just go straight for the sets which include everything that makes the meal wholesome.

Seah Im Food Centre
2 Seah Im Road
Singapore 099114

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Barachirashi Don – Sushiro

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Everybody has their own opinion on Barachirashi but Sushiro’s offering does provide for what seems to be the most value-for-money deals around. Piles of marinated raw fish atop Japanese rice that comes drenched in a slightly sweet sauce at only $12.80. Sure enough, the service can be a little bit rushed but it’s pretty understandable considering the constant queue and the small eatery being filled up almost any hour when it is opened. They do have an even bigger bowl — the Premium Barachirashi Don for those who just can’t get enough of all that fish at a higher price tag of $24.80.

Also try: D2TLLRY (second outpost of DSTLLRY – deliciously shiok wasabi imported fresh from Japan with well-marinated chunks of raw fish; featured in Honourable Mentions 2015) OR Kaisen Ichi (chunky yet manageable cubes of marinated raw fish with customizable levels of marination that is a great option at the south.)

Thomson Plaza
301 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574408

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Choux Puffs – Shuu by KOKI Tamagoyaki

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KOKI Tamagoyaki may have come into the scene pretty late in the year and the general focus here are the Tamagoyaki, but the Choux Puffs under their Shuu branding are fast becoming favourites for that crusty Choux pastry and the generous amount of filling that bursts uncontrollably on the first bite. All the fillings are pretty good — smooth and not too sweet, but you could only have one it would be the Black Sesame; very rich and roasty flavours there. Still, all of the four flavours (Matcha, Vanilla, Coffee and Black Sesame) do deserve a mention.

Raffles City
252 North Bridge Road
Singapore 179103

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Yakitori Salmon – Noshery

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People who do not seem to understand it may cringe at how a slab of salmon on top of rice would cost $22++, but those who have had would agree this is not just any dish with a slab of salmon served on top of rice. It’s surprisingly well-executed with that glistening Yakitori glazing which coats the salmon that comes with a crisp skin over the top, while the rice is actually coconut rice (similar to Nasi Lemak) drenched in a Vietnamese Caramel that makes the entire dish taste surprisingly close to Ondeh-Ondeh. Is it pricey? Probably. Is it a worth the splurge? I would not mind, especially for that little treat once in a while.

9 Rochester Park
Singapore 139220

(Read our review on Burpple.)

The Fat Cow Donburi – Fat Cow

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One of the must-try bowls if you are ever into beef donburi even though it is not the most affordable one out there at $39++. Only available for lunch, it comes with starters and desserts and one can specify the doneness of the beef here. Portions were generous and the beef was simply tender; melt-in-the-mouth and smoky from the charcoal grill with a whiff of truffle. The rice was also well-flavoured from the sauce and perfumes of a light truffle aroma while tasting pretty savoury. Worth every single penny spent.

Also try: The Truffle Short Rib Bowl from Grilllo at Pasarbella (Suntec City) if you are on a budget; $14.90 nett for a set with thinly-sliced, tender beef with a hint of truffle that provides a good balance of flavours OR Wagyu Beef Bowl from Don.档 if truffle is not your thing and needing to eat something good without breaking the bank; $12.90 nett in a coffeeshop with quality beef that is cut along the grain thus tender and comes with a smoky flavour with rice flavoured by Teriyaki sauce and Furikake. Good stuff for a coffeeshop stall!

Camden Medical Centre
1 Orchard Boulevard
Singapore 248649

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Char Siew with Spinach Noodles – Wong Kee Wanton Noodle (Timbre+)

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Wanton noodles is a pretty usual dish but Wong Kee’s options of Tomato and Spinach noodles which are made by themselves are things you probably would not expect from the usual wanton noodle store. The noodles are done thick; identical to mee pok style while the execution was spot on with slurpy, QQ noodles, generously packed wanton and chunky char siew slices. Also liked how they included a fried wanton here as well; light and crisp and fried with fresh oil that does not carry the stench of overused oil. An affordable option at Timbre+ in the day for those looking for a cheaper eat amidst all the hipster options within the food centre.

73A Ayer Rajah Crescent
Singapore 139957

Also try: Fresh Prawn Wanton Noodle (Dry) from Shun Xing Wanton Noodles (Beo Crescent Market & Food Centre); springy egg noodles laced with a good amount of sauce (moderately spicy with chilli opted), pretty good char siew that is great for a non-roast centric stall and well-sized wantons OR Wanton Noodles from Master Tang Wanton Mee; wanton noodles prepared by an ex-Crystal Jade trainer that is all well-executed in the details with that iconic dried chili which makes it real addictive.

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Chicken Roulade – South Union Park

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South Union Park is probably one of my favourite new places to dine this year — I rarely make repeat visits to bistros so often even when there are only very subtle changes to their menu, but I am always excited whenever the folks here come out with something new. Nothing is particularly bad here; just good, unpretentious fare that one can feel the appreciation they have for the produce, the passion for cooking and the effort that they put into every creation that comes out of the kitchen. They had already been through a round of menu revamp, and I would go as far as to say that I had never had any disappointment in any dish that I had ordered (I have tried all the mains and pasta at the writing of this post). The pasta are one of the things that I would highly recommend for they make all of their pasta in-house, but for those who prefer less carbs the Chicken Roulade absolutely fits the bill; juicy, tender and succulent meat with the skin glazed in honey(?) for a nice hint of sweetness while sitting atop a bed of smooth mash and accompanied with grilled vegetables. A rather Christmassy dish overall which puts you back in that mood again.

101 Jalan Kembangan
Singapore 419139

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Soy Beancurd – Chen Shun Mei 陈顺美 (Serangoon Gardens Food Centre)

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Everybody loves beancurd that is all smooth and silken which is all slurpy good. The ones from Chen Shun Mei 陈顺美 comes with ample syrup has not overly sweet, while maintaining that desired texture for the beancurd. Helps that it also comes in a porcelain bowl instead of the usual plastic containers that most stalls prefer to use; looks pretty, and tastes pretty too!

Also try: Soylicious (Bukit Timah Food Centre), which also serves very smooth and silken beancurd that is decently sweet with a variety of options; plain, pearls, glutinous rice balls; it’s been one of our regular haunts in the food centre itself!

Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre
49A Serangoon Garden Way
Singapore 555945

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Miso Cheese Tart – Prodigal Roasters

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Yet another place that I just love to visit these days (read RubbishEatRubbishGrow’s post where I recommended them as my choice of Best Cafes in 2016) for how honest, unpretentious and friendly the people and food are. I like how they roast the coffee beans that they use, as well as how everything is baked in-house fresh daily. If I were to make a choice between the bakes, the Miso Cheese Tart takes my vote for the rich and luscious cream cheese filling with a buttery crust that breaks neatly, drizzled with a slightly savoury Miso Caramel sauce to ante up the flavours. More often than not, I would end up finding myself ordering one when it comes straight out of the oven; just could not resist that creamy, cheesy goodness!

Block 625 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9
Singapore 560627

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Garlic Cheese Prata – Springleaf Prata Place (The Rail Mall)

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We have visited Springleaf Prata Place countless of times but there is always one constant order — this fits those who love their Prata pungent with garlic. Crisp and filled with melted mozzarella (most places use only processed cheese), this is as close as getting a pizza with that oozy cheese which attempts to escape through those tiny little holes. Sinful but definitely worth it especially those who love all thing everything garlic.

The Rail Mall
396 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 678408

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Prawn Chee Cheong Fun – Xiao Chen Homemade Pau Dian

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There are quite a couple of good Chee Cheong Fun stalls around hawker centres but Xiao Chen Homemade Pau Dian’s was probably one of the most impressive ones that we have tried. The silky smooth Chee Cheong Fun was a clear winner, doused with a good amount of sauce for that savoury flavour and the generous amount of plump prawns bring it further; it is actually pretty close to those very quality ones that are served in good Chinese dimsum restaurants at just a fraction of a price.

68 Geylang Bahru
Singapore 330068

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Bak Chor Mee – Non Entree Dessert Cafe

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Offering one of the most innovative dessert menus around especially with their ongoing theme “Back To The Future”, Non Entree Dessert Cafe deserves the mention for its attempts on classic local dishes executed in their unique style. Of the lot, the Bak Chor Mee is perhaps one of their most daring desserts on the menu, using the aesthetics of a savoury dish as the basis of a plated dessert. The result is a rather intriguing dessert that may not grow on some, but one that definitely teases the mind and tongue and can be quite enjoyable (especially when mixed; much like the actual Bak Chor Mee) for those with an open appetite. Really fun and creative indeed!

204 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218451

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Coffee Pork Burger – KEK Seafood (Pandan Gardens)

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Keng Eng Kee Seafood needs no introduction, and the Alexandra branch was also listed in our Honourable Mentions 2015 for the Moonlight Hor Fun which is still pretty stellar. KEK Pandan Gardens serve up modern tze char, and the fusion is pretty evident with their newly introduced line of burgers (dubbed “Wok Hei Burgers”) that was launched in mid-2016. We were already a fan of their Coffee Pork Ribs which we cannot get enough of and just cannot miss whenever we visit either branch and adding it into a burger just ups the entire game to another level. It really helps that it is not a haphazard creation where everything is randomly thrown into an entire package; the buns were light and fluffy while the condiments were fresh; all of those meeting the sweet, sticky ribs marinated with their signature coffee rub. Even special care was taken to the fries; crisp, filled with potato and well-seasoned with salt for just enough flavour. Not the average burger, and only costs $9 nett with a drink on the side.

200 Pandan Gardens
Singapore 609336

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Mitzo Special Barbecue Pork – Mitzo

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One would have never known how fancy char siew can get until they try Mitzo’s rendition; the highly-raved Mitzo Special Barbecue Pork appears on social media every now and then but it really does deserve the credit. While it can be a little sweet for some, it was pretty unique how their version comes with a bruleed layer on the exterior that gives it a crisp, sugary bite that shatters when the teeth sink in, revealing the fatty pork within that comes with a good bite that is succulent and tender. Very different indeed.

270 Orchard Road
Level 4 Grand Park Orchard
Singapore 238857

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Spiced Pear with Thyme Cone – Birds Of Paradise Gelato Boutique

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Birds Of Paradise Gelato Boutique is perhaps one of the most revolutionary ice-cream parlours that had opened in 2016, especially for how the flavours are inspired with botany, often involving floral, herbs or spice. We have made a couple of visits ever since the first, and the Spiced Pear flavour remains as one of our long-time favourites alongside the White Chrysanthemum as well as the newer Pandan ice-cream. The ice-cream here are generally rich in flavour yet light enough for one to keep going on, and most of the flavours are pretty refreshing with very interesting elements that are set to intrigue one’s taste buds.

The Red House Katong
63 East Coast Road
Singapore 428776

(Read our review on Burpple.)

The Milky Way – Atlas Coffeehouse

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There are quite a number of places that had started to serve Cold Brews recently during the year but Atlas Coffeehouse does one of the best renditions; creamy, milky and nutty with a hint of sweetness lingering at the end that is all pretty close to the ones Old Hen Coffee Bar (also seen as one of the pioneers of white Cold Brew in Singapore) serve.

Also try: Brawn & Brains’ version of the white Cold Brew may not come sweetened like Atlas Coffeehouse’s, but it is pretty strong and carries that caffeinated kick while delivering the same creamy and milky concoction OR Keffie, situated within the Squeezed! outlet at Metropolis which serves a variety of flavoured Cold Brew (e.g. Mocha, Americano, White) that’s pretty decent.

6 Duke’s Road
Singapore 268886

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Orh Nee Tart – June Bakery

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A pretty hidden place that probably only the office workers around the area know. Tucked away in The Plaza Parkroyal at Beach Road, June Bakery serves these tarts that are bound to become favourites for those who love yam paste yet always thought that the portion in a regular sized bowl is a little bit too filling for them. Served in a crust that is pretty similar to those that are used for local egg tarts (not the crisp, flaky kind), the yam paste within are smooth and creamy, earthy without being too sweet while coming with gingko nuts for a bite all within that buttery crust; works great for the mid-day tea-time treat.

The Plaza
7500A Beach Road
Singapore 199591

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Oyster Cake – Fu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster Cake (Berseh Food Centre)

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Regretted not trying these earlier for oysters are usually not my thing, but these were something I thought I would go for if I am looking for a light snack in the middle of the day. Selling simply oyster cakes, there are two sizes to choose from. Whichever you pick, the Oyster Cakes comes with a light crispiness without being too greasy despite being a fried item, while the batter is lined with meat which is all savoury and flavourful with prawns and oysters within along with parsley that helps to cut through the flavours by adding yet another dimension of flavour when all gets a bit flat and slightly monotonous.

Berseh Food Centre
166 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208877

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Pomelo Salad with Tiger Prawns and Frozen Coconut Dressing – Wild Rocket

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2016 was a year that we simply did not make many visits to fine dining restaurants, but the meal at Wild Rocket was one that still remained etched in our minds. The meal was sublime, but if one dish had to be mentioned it would be the Pomelo Salad with Tiger Prawns and Frozen Coconut Dressing for its clever presentation that is as well-executed and surprising as it is creative; the coconut dressing served as a sorbet that melts and smothers itself over the greens that give a creamy, tom yum esque flavour to the salad. Very innovative indeed.

Hangout Hotel
10A Upper Wilkie Road
Singapore 228119

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Root Beer – The RAWR Kitchen

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Did you know that Root Beer is actually an alcoholic beverage before somebody decided to make it the child-friendly drink that we have now? The folks behind The RAWR Kitchen attempts to recreate the alcoholic root beer in the microbrewery situated in-house; they also brew their own IPAs, Ginger Ale, Wheat Beer etc. here and supply them to On Tap Fresh Brew Craft Beer (which they also own) at Newton Circus Food Centre and Chinatown Complex Market. The root beer tastes surprisingly close to the ones we are familiar though comes with a light, wheaty finish; very easy to drink and works great for those who needs a little sweetness in their beer to make it slightly more manageable to have. They also do serve pretty mean Molten Wings (a very very lethal version of Buffalo Wings that is out to slaughter your taste buds; you have been warned!) and some absolutely crisp yet tender, melt-in-the-mouth fatty pork belly for bar grub amongst other items as well as mains for those looking for something substantial for dinner.

The Splendour
31 Bukit Batok Crescent
Singapore 658070

(Read our review on Burpple.)

(Update: The RAWR Kitchen had moved out of The Splendour and is currently known as Five Marbles Craft Beer Restaurant. It no longer carries the above-mentioned selection of beer by OnTap Fresh Brew Craft Beer.)

Shendol – Revolution Coffee

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Panna Cotta is an easy find in cafes and Italian restaurants alike these days but the Shendol attempts to recreate the Panna Cotta by fusing local elements into the classic dessert. The result is an absolutely smooth and creamy Panna Cotta that requires zero effort to slice; the fork simply glides through and it slides down the throat effortlessly, all drizzled in with a thick Gula Melaka and topped with pandan jelly made in-house, accompanied with a scoop of red bean ice-cream on the side to complete the touch of Chendol that it is intended to carry. Created by Chef Shen Tan who had recently made her return to Revolution Coffee’s kitchen, this dessert is truly deserving of being a signature that carries her name.

Infinite Studios
21 Media Circle
Singapore 138562

(Read our review on Burpple.)

18 Hours Sous Vide Jowl – Chalong

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There may be plenty of healthy-eating places that opened throughout the year, but Chalong, despite being one of the new players in the F&B industry and does not have a wide variety of toppings, makes quite an impression for being a mostly takeaway stall simply by putting a focus in their Josper-grilled meats. Serving grilled meat with Rice Bowls, their 18 Hours Sous Vide Jowl is probably the best of the lot on their menu for being tender, smoky and even a little sweet on its crust from the applewood smoking. Never forget their chilli; lethal in spiciness but profound in flavours as it attempts not to numb, exuding a tangy flavour within.

Tanjong Pagar Centre  
7 Wallich Street
Singapore 078884

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Canele – Le Canele d’Or

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Before Le Canele d’Or came to Singapore, canele are a hard find, not to mention finding a good one. Le Canele d’Or became a haunt for me whenever I am craving for good Canele, after being extremely impressed with the quality ever since the first time. All the canele are made in-house using the original recipes from Hong Kong (Le Canele d’Or hails from Hong Kong and the branch here is directly controlled by the brand itself), and first-timers should just opt for the medium-sized canele and try all the flavours available (there are 5 available at the point of writing); the medium ones come with a good ratio of soft insides and crispy, sugary crust that is the best balance in terms of texture amongst the 3 sizes they come in. If one can only go for a single Canele, the Traditional canele is the best bet for its deep rum and aromatic vanilla flavours.

Concourse Skyline
302 Beach Road
Singapore 199600

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Drunkard Noodles Pork – Kra Pow Thai Street Food

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I love Thai Basil Minced Pork Rice, and this just made it better since it provides me with a noodle option with thick rice noodles that are chewy and stretchy; very fun to eat. The dish itself was not shy on spiciness, while still exuding the aroma of fish sauce and all the other herbs and condiments that make it so umami and flavourful; hit the chilli padi and it would make one break into a sweat effortlessly. Intense it might be, but very shiok and settles the Thai food cravings especially if you are one who loves all things spicy.

Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Braised Beef Cheek in Red Wine & Mushrooms – Ô Boeuf à 6 Pattes

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The most hidden and underrated spot for the year especially when it comes to French cuisine; this bistro is well-hidden within Park West Condominium where one actually needs to register at the guardhouse before walking in. Once there, be rewarded with their stellar beef dishes such as the Braised Beef Cheek in Red Wine & Mushroom; very tender, flavourful from the braising and juicy with a firm, meaty bite that is unlike those cooked with the sous-vide method; all atop a light and smooth mash in tasty brown sauce (the original dish comes without the broccoli). Another dish to be tried here would be the Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin (200gm) where the execution simply shines; pinkish centre with a good, crusted exterior, tender with all the juices locked within. Very worth the visit even though it could be out of the way for some.

Park West Condominium
8 Jalan Lempeng
Singapore 128796

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Nasi Lemak – The Coconut Club

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Earning the title of the hipster Nasi Lemak in town, The Coconut Club is not simply fancy-schmancy with no substance; in fact, they nailed it in pretty well. Yes, it does feel slightly different from the hawker centre Nasi Lemak that we have grown up with, but The Coconut Club’s Nasi Lemak comes feeling very refined; fragrant rice that is light and fluffy but never too overwhelming, while coming with a pretty well-executed chicken wing, crispy Ikan Bilis and a runny sunny-side-up. The price tag of $12.80 may be a turn-off, but this is well worth the try at least once just to have a taste of the difference.

6 Ann Siang Hill
Singapore 069787

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Petite France – Mad About Sucre

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Mad About Sucre’s creations have always been intricate and extremely detailed, and the Petite France is their most complicated creation yet; this creation made for their Winter ’16 collection carries more components than their usual offerings. What was really intriguing was the French Whiskey which they brewed by themselves being used in this cake; gives a pretty dreamy and strong Baileys-like booziness to the lingering fruitiness of the apricot gel and subtle Nougat flavours that run within the dessert. The spiced sable over the top also helps to add a good contrast of saltish nuttiness that complements the elegant and luxurious cake very well.

27 Teo Hong Road
Singapore 088334

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Beef Stroganoff Fettuccine – Otto’s Deli Fresh

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Beef Stroganoff usually refers to beef slices, but Otto’s Deli Fresh actually served a slab of beef rump that is done to medium-rare with their Beef Stroganoff Fettuccine. The beef rump is a good cut and is also well-executed; cut along the grain and hence tender with no veiny bits. It carried a nice hint of smokiness and done with a pinkish centre in the middle while the fettuccine comes al-dente and tossed in a very simple but appetising brown butter sauce. Pretty affordable at $17++ too!

Raffles Holland V
118 Holland Avenue
Singapore 278997

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Crispy Beancurd – Sum’s Kitchen & Hong Kong Roasted Meat

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Sembawang is pretty known for You Huak Restaurant/White Restaurant which serves White Bee Hoon, but Sum’s Kitchen & Hong Kong Roasted Meat located just a stone’s throw away serves pretty amazing dishes as well. While one should never miss their meats (especially the roast duck), one tze char dish they do exceptionally well is the crispy beancurd; very crispy with meat/fish paste mixed into the tofu within so it has this bouncy, meaty texture that comes off rather subtle while also stuffed with chili within for the flavour less the heat. Portions are rather generous overall for most dishes here; somewhere to consider especially if you live in the north yet had not heard of them until now.

3 Jalan Legundi
Singapore 759266

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Breakfast Sandwich – Bird Bird

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Burgers usually commit the same mistake; the condiments, despite being well-executed often feel great alone, but usually work more as separate components in the same dish rather than giving a harmonised flavour where everything comes fused into one. This is where the Breakfast Sandwich from Bird Bird excels; the toasted muffins come with tomato jam and egg mayo in between which gives the burger a medley of creamy, tangy yet sweet flavours which cuts through the natural bitterness of the arugula. The highly addictive Bacon Chops gives in a real solid and chunky bite that is all meaty and tastes like ham. Pretty huge for breakfast, and quite fits lunch or dinner as well! Do try the Rhuppleberry Softie Pie as well which reminded us of a childhood favourite; strawberry milk swirl candy in soft-serve form sitting atop a crusty tart base that was barely near soggy despite sitting beneath the soft-serve.

97 Frankel Avenue
Singapore 458222

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Kohaku Tendon Spicy Flavour – Tendon Kohaku (Eat@7 – Suntec City)

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A real contender to Ginza Tendon Itsuki that was featured in our Honourable Mentions 2015. The only place at the point of writing to offer a spicy version, the Kohaku Tendon Spicy Flavour features a very generous portion of assorted Tempura while drenched in a spicy sauce that was surprisingly spicy for a Japanese dish; really shiok as the spiciness just grows on to moderately spicy pretty quickly.

Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard
#03-310/311 Eat At Seven
Singapore 038983

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Giandujotto – Venchi (Takashimaya Food Hall @ Ngee Ann City)

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Venchi is one of the places that we have been back time and again just for the gelato fix. The Takashimaya and Marina Bay Sands outlet differ slightly from the one at Robinson @ The Heeren in terms of pricing and the way the gelato is stored; both the Takashimaya and Marina Bay Sands outlets store the gelato in metal tubs while the latter stores theirs in a standard ice-cream display. As a result, the gelato from both Takashimaya and Marina Bay Sands have a very smooth, thick, sticky and luscious texture that is pretty much unrivalled. The chocolate-based gelato flavours are the ones to go for, often rich and made with quality chocolate that does not burn the throat; something that I would not mind treating myself to occasionally just to pamper myself.

Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road
Basement 2 Takashimaya
Singapore 238873

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Curry Fried Chicken Noodle – Cantonese Delights (Hong Lim Food Centre)

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This belongs to the type of things that I would find very hard not to love; thick curry gravy, crispy fried chicken, fried pork lard and springy egg noodles all in the same plate. That ultimate sort of comfort food that actually delivers. The fact that the stall is manned by a rather approachable and well-mannered couple makes it a pretty refreshing and pleasant experience; something different from the easily irritable, hot-tempered hawker stall owners that make for the hawker centre dining experience which is rather commonplace for popular stalls in general.

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
531A Upper Cross Street
Singapore 051531

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Porchetta – iO Italian Osteria

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We are huge lovers of meat here, and Porchettas are one of those that are really hard to find, not to mention finding a good one. iO Italian Osteria’s version is probably the best we have tried thus far; a generously huge slab at $14++ (requires sharing) that comes amazingly fatty and hence extremely tender yet with a good bite and a delightfully crispy skin. Stuffed with leeks and peppers, both helps to make the meatiness more manageable.

4 Hillview Rise
Singapore 667979

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Jjajangmyeon – O.BBa Jjajang

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O.Bba may be a familiar name to some but O.Bba Jjajang is their latest concept which opened in late 2016 serving Korean noodles as well as other communal dishes that is situated not too far away from their original Tanjong Pagar branch. Not only is the Jjajangmyeon affordable, but its good quality and generous with the Jjajang where it covers the entire bowl and comes with a good portion of meat and onions; mix in to get all the sauce laced with the noodles for a slightly sweet flavour!

77 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088498

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Kueh Salat – Peranakan Khek

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Yet another one of those places that I could be found whenever I am at Jalan Besar, often seen leaving with a Kueh Salat at hand. All the Kuehs here are made in-house, and though slightly more pricey than most commercial counterparts ($2 for a slice of the Kueh Salat), one could feel the great effort and passion placed behind perfecting every single Kueh that they have to offer. The Kueh Salat comes with a smooth pandan custard over the top which is not too sweet, while the glutinous rice layer was actually rather light and manageable coloured with blue peas for that hint of blue which pleases the eyes.

Cavan Suites
11 Cavan Road
Singapore 209848

(Read our review on Burpple.)

S&P Chow Mien – Socks & Pans

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Countless of places do serve fusion pasta that tries to infuse local flavours into pasta, but Socks & Pans’ variant could easily be one of my favourites for how simple and unpretentious it is, yet incredibly satisfying and affordable (only $9.90!). The original version comes wth linguine but we were served spaghetti for they had run out of linguine that day, but we loved how the al-dente noodles were laced in this sweet-savoury sauce that carries a mild garlic flavour while coming with shreds of pulled pork shredded by hand; braised with a good flavour without carrying any porky stench. While you could ask for it come non-spicy, opt for spiciness if you can for the chili padi adds that unadulterated yet mild spiciness that makes it so shiok. A place we are certain to find ourselves back again.

Blk 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
Singapore 081007

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Duck Confit – Cheek by Jowl

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Not exactly something that one may consider at a Modern European restaurant, but Cheek By Jowl’s Duck Confit is perhaps one of the most stellar waffle dishes around. The waffles achieve the perfect texture; plush interior, crisp exterior and exudes of a hint of buttermilk aroma with just a slight tinge of sugary sweetness, while the Five Spice Caramel induces a nice Asian-inspired flavour that comes with a tinge of sweetness to the savoury duck confit; quirky-sounding but absolutely delicious. There are also other items that we have heard are highly-recommended such as the Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut which better suits the theme and vibe as well.

21 Boon Tat Street
Singapore 069620

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Garlic Golden Toast – Tuk Tuk Cha (Suntec City)

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Tuk Tuk Cha’s golden toasts are great for peckish appetites especially for those who love buttery toasts that come with a side dip, but the very recent addition of the Garlic Golden Toast takes it a step further by offering a savoury option. Prepared the same way as the sweet options, the toast cubes get soaked in a pool of garlic butter to soak up all that goodness before being grilled upon order. The result is a delightfully crisp, pungent tasting toasts that are so garlicky that only garlic-lovers should apply. There is also an option to add a garlic butter dip on the side at $1 if the toast cubes alone just cannot satisfy all your garlic cravings. As much as I would probably not want to admit it, but I have already been back more than a couple of times ever since its introduction on the menu in December 2016.

Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard
Singapore 038983

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Char Siew – Food Champ

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A pretty late entry into this list but the Char Siew was easily one of the most memorable ones with have had during the year. Absolutely delightful for how the Char Siew is crusted on the exterior but tender and succulent within, coated with sauce and what seems to be malt atop that gives it that sweet flavour even to the charred ends. Definitely worth the try especially since the 1 person portion for a full platter of Char Siew is just $4.50 nett!

195 East Coast Road
Singapore 428900

(Read our review on Burpple.)

Here’s wishing everyone at smooth and a gastronomic year ahead!

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