We actually eat at a number of places during the year, and while a lot of places are worth mentioning, quite a significant number of places are skipped on the blog for various reasons (e.g. personal commitments, lack of coverage for a full-length post etc.). This is the reason why we are starting the jiaksimipng Foodnotes series, essentially a monthly review of selected places that we have dined at that is worth a mention. We have also posted full-length reviews of Porta, The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough and Don Meijin for this month, so do check that out as well.
(Do note that we only include places that we have made anonymous visits to and paid for our meals in the jiaksimipng Foodnotes series.)
Lunch menu at PYXIEMOSS
Having launched their lunch menu only this month, there are quite a number of interesting dishes that this bar offers on the lunch menu including some items that are served in their usual menu available for dinner. The Bacon ‘N’ Eggs exemplifies the skill of the chef here, taking a rather common and comforting breakfast dish and giving the dish its own character with the use of uncommon flavour profiles that do work. We ended the meal with the chef’s interpretation of the Jaffa Cake — a cake that was part of the chef’s childhood that he had always thought needed a tweak. The various degree of tanginess from the Yuzu, Mandarin and Orange elements coupled with the light, crusted layer of chocolate that covers the Yuzu mousse cake proved to be quite an interesting mix of flavours.
(Read our review of the Bacon ‘N’ Eggs and Jaffa Cake via Burpple.)
43 North Canal Road
Matcha Soft Serve — The Matcha Project
A place with a focus on matcha that we had previously visited but never written about here where we tried the Military Latte; a concoction of matcha, chocolate and milk that is pretty subjective to one’s palate — some find it pretty appealing while others can find it funky or messy. They have since also churned out their own Matcha soft-serve that one can also opt to go for toppings (currently restricted to chopped almonds and white chocolate pearls). The soft-serve is pretty smooth and comes with a rich yet balanced flavour of the tastefully bitter matcha; sure to be a hit with matcha lovers.
(Read our review of the Matcha soft-serve on Burpple.)
The Sail @ Marina Bay
2 Marina Boulevard
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thematchaproject.sg
Being one of the newest concepts to have moved into South Beach which already has a number of pretty promising F&B tenants currently operating such as Black Cow, Vatos Urban Tacos and Fynn’s, Atmastel is yet another one to watch. Prices may be a little steep here, but it caters to the mid-range crowd and the set lunch deals (salad/soup + main/pasta/sandwiches/pizza + homemade Iced Lemon Tea) to make it seem slightly more affordable depending on the sort of main course that is opted. We went for the ala-carte however, but the Barramundi with Peperonata did impress with its freshness, light seasoning and brilliant execution with the Peperonata fitting into the equation despite the tangy flavour it provides to the whole dish. While not quite up to our expectations, the Portuguese Egg Tarts (minimum order of 2) do make for a great post-meal or even tea time treat — the first bite comes with the punchy notes of cinnamon while the inside reveals a pretty sweet egg curd within the light, flaky pastry; just don’t expect your average Singapore egg tarts when it comes to this one.
(Read our review of the Barramundi with Peperonata and the Portuguese Egg Tarts via Burpple.)
South Beach Avenue
26 Beach Road
Yet another new opening for the month, this time at City Square Mall. MEET boasts a largely meat-centric menu though they do offer soup, noodle and salads as well as a Tapas menu during certain hours. Portions are pretty well-sized here; a single person could probably do just by ordering a single main — our order was the Caramalised Pork Belly which was overall decent especially for those who love their pork belly to come with fatty meat and even a layer of gelatinous fat in between. Overall, the flavours worked pretty well though the execution can be a little more refined (e.g the skin could be a little crispier); still pretty decent for a new spot in town. We also had the Caramalised Broccoli with Sea Salt, a side we enjoyed with the garlic chips on the side while the greens are lightly salted and still crunchy for a good flavour and texture.
(Read our review of the Caramalised Broccoli with Sea Salt and Caramalised Pork Belly via Burpple.)
City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road
Located just beside Ah Bong’s Italian at Tan Quee Lan Street around one of Bugis MRT Station’s Downtown Line exits, Kin Moo (not to be confused with Kin Cow at Chinatown; both are unrelated to one another) is a new Thai eatery which focuses on pork which also serves noodles and rice dishes for those looking for mains. Their Dry Wanton Mee may not be the most unique noodle dish they serve, but it’s undeniably satisfying with the copious amounts of fried garlic, shallots and pork lard they included with the springy noodles, well-filled wantons and tender pork collar. The chilli powder brings the flavour even further with a good kick of spiciness that makes it distinctively Thai. Order the Iced Thai Lime Tea alongside, a comforting respite from the spiciness with its strong Thai tea aroma despite being served cold and lacks milk, while it refreshes the taste buds with the zestiness of lime.
(Read our review of the Dry Wanton Mee and Iced Thai Lime Tea via Burpple.)
2 Tan Quee Lan Street
Yes, we know that Crackerjack is a bar and the place is still pretty much in soft launch phase, but this is probably a spot to keep a look out for despite them still working on their Sunday brunch menu and having temporary furniture that is in place before the actual ones arrive. Look past these details, and Crackerjack is bound to impress with its slightly different take on cuisine; for instance, the Horchata Pancakes is a playful twist to the usual pancakes that we are all used to that comes with almond praline mixed into the batter and served alongside cinnamon-infused whipped cream, agave nectar and an optional serving of bacon; everything harmonises well to give it the Christmas-sy touch that gives the pancakes a unique character that is signature to Crackerjack themselves. Even the Flat White was well-pulled here; creamy with a nutty and earthy flavour profile in a beautiful cup which is all pretty soothing to have. We might have only tried one of the breakfast dishes, but we reckon that is enough to make us want to try out the rest of the menu soon!
43 Tanjong Pagar Road
The Wanton Mee Co. by 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist
Those who had been wanting to try 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist previously situated at Foch Road but had been lamenting the fact that they only serve their meats with rice would be excited with The Wanton Mee Co., which serves their signature roast meats with egg noodles. Situated just beside the stall which has since moved to 153 Tyrwhitt Road just opposite the road from its previous location at 30 Foch Road, the noodles were springy with a sauce that was rather reminiscent of Kok Kee’s in our opinion; pretty piquant with its spiciness and promises a plate of saucey goodness. The Wanton Noodles come with decently-sized wantons packed in reasonable amount of meat, as well as a good portion of their famed Char Siew. Definitely one of those places to consider if dining in Jalan Besar.
(Read our review of the Wanton Mee via Burpple.)
153 Tyrwhitt Road
Facebook Page (88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist): https://www.facebook.com/88-Hong-Kong-Roast-Meat-Specialist-1676968165892481/
Salt & Delight
Usually, hole-in-the-wall cake boutiques are not something that would catch our attention, but Salt & Delight stands out despite its small seating capacity of two counter seats facing the table for they specialise in entremets; a pretty intricate cake that often sees multiple layers of mousse and sponge cakes with different textures running within. While we found the Matcha Mandarin Cake a little short of the tea aroma, the cake itself was a textural delight with moist sponge cake, smooth mousse and a flavourful gel layer that sits in between; in fact, we thought they had the potential for it is all pretty well done, especially if the flavours are more refined. They also serve pretty decent coffee here, made from blends by 2 Degrees North Coffee Co.; roast-y and chocolatey with a fruity finish towards the end.
9 Yio Chu Kang Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/saltndelight
Located at the new Savourworld at Ascent within Science Park Drive just a short walk away from Kent Ridge MRT Station is Ramen Atelier, a new ramen bar which employs French culinary knowledge with Japanese cooking techniques for their ramen creations here. There are only three variants served here; Ramen Blanc (White), Ramen Rogue (Red) and Ramen Noir (Black). Having tried the Ramen Rogue, it is essentially the spicy variant that comes with tomato seasoning infused with the light Tonkotsu broth that includes baby tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbes de Provence, bay leaves and butter that comes with the usual goodies such as bean sprouts, cha shu and onsen egg as well as the special chili. It’s moderately spicy, giving the rather light, slightly sweet and zesty yet clean-tasting broth a little flair, and the cha shu was probably one of the most tender we have ever had while the onsen egg sports a gooey and flowy egg yolk just the way we would prefer. We are not ramen connoisseurs here so we cannot exactly vouch if this is a good bowl of ramen especially for the die-hard ramen lovers, but this was one bowl that we actually liked.
(Read our review of the Ramen Rogue via Burpple.)
Savourworld @ Ascent
2 Science Park Drive
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ramenatelier
Coffee Break @ Savourworld, Ascent
Also situated within the same building as Ramen Atelier and noteworthy would be Coffee Break, which had already been operating their original branch out of Amoy Street Food Centre for a while. The new shop space at Savourworld, Ascent is a rather small outlet that seats around 14 decked in a traditional coffeeshop setting within the modern glass facade, while serving up their own twist on the local favourite breakfast; the Kaya and Butter Toast with Coffee (think beverages such as Butter Pecan Latte, Caramel Rum Mocha and toasts such as Black Sesame and Pistachio Creme). We went for the Taro Creme Toast ala-carte, which comes with thinly sliced wholemeal toast and butter alongside the Taro Creme in between in a bag (everything is served takeaway-style here). While the Taro Creme was delightfully smooth like a heavier, denser whipping cream, we thought the spread could be less sweet and focused more on the earthiness of taro instead. Still, we probably would be back to try the Black Sesame Toast, Kaya and Butter Toast and the regular Kopi; it is hard to find a place that does their own take to the local breakfast and the efforts of doing so by Coffee Break is definitely worth commending.
(Read our review of the Taro Creme Toast via Burpple.)
Savourworld @ Ascent
2 Science Park Drive
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/coffeebreakamoystreet
9² Coffee House & Bar
Operating for a while within Hotel Innotel just a short walk away from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station just behind the now-defunct Park Mall, 9² Coffee House & Bar serves both western and Japanese fare such as pasta, fish & chips, lobster roll and a variety of donburi. The al-fresco seating area situated just outside the air-conditioned dining hall seemed to be the main dining area, while the air-conditioned dining hall does carry a little Japanese influence though the couch seats can be quite low and uncomfortable to dine with. We only tried one item here; the Barachirashi Don costs $15.90 (before GST and service charge), and comes with free-flow soup (more of those you would get at Chicken Rice stalls) as well as coffee and tea which is pretty good value-for-money. The bowl consists of cubes of raw tuna and salmon, baby scallop and shrimp marinated in their house-made sauce; while the raw fish cubes are not top-notch quality, it is still of rather decent quality that reciprocates the price that is rather heavily marinated for a more savoury touch, while coming with Ikura all on a bed of Japanese sushi rice that is drenched in a semi-sweet yet savoury Japanese sauce that is pretty appetising especially with the knob of wasabi that sends a numbing sensation that increases the shiok factor. While we cannot say anything much for the rest of the menu (since the Barachirashi Don is the only item we tried), the Barachirashi Don could possibly be one of the most value-for-money ones around alongside Sushiro’s.
(Read our review of the Barachirashi Don via Burpple.)
11 Penang Lane
One Night Only
Taking over the former premises of Tony’s Pizza at River Valley Road is One Night Only, a new concept run by the same folks behind Muchachos and The Daily Cut that serves American soul food; expect Crab Cakes, lobster dishes, Maple Bacon Pancakes and other classic Southern American dishes served here. While the White did not make much of an impression due to it being rather milky (they use a blend from Papa Pahelta here), the Buttermilk Fried Chicken shines here. Served in a portion of three chicken parts that consist of two drumsticks and one breast, the batter was biscuity crisp and hinted of various spices as well as pepper while the meat is all tender, succulent and juicy as it splatters with a bite. Every main is entitled to two sides (except for all-day breakfast dishes); we opted for the Mac & Cheese which was creamy and cheesy with chewy macaroni while the coleslaw provided refreshing crunches in between all that meatiness. Some may mention that the price tag of $19.50 for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken seems to be a tad high for a fried chicken dish, but hey; it is definitely not the fast-food quality fried chicken that one would be getting here.
397 River Valley Road
Le Bouillon @ Food Emporium, Clifford Centre
CBD folks might get excited about this one; Le Bouillon is a stall situated within the Food Emporium food court of Clifford Centre that serves some pocket-friendly French fare. There are quite a number of items served here that are below $10, and they also do serve a Confit de Canard in case it is the Duck Confit that you might be craving for. The Chicken Roulade with Cheese and Mushroom Stuffing may be for peckish appetites especially for its slightly smaller-than-desired portioning, but it costs only $8.90 ala-carte and one can easily upgrade it to a set with soup at a small cost. While the quality is still a little short of expectations (e.g. the cheese sauce was actually pretty “meh”), the chicken roulade is still pretty crisp and tender within; it solves those sudden cravings for French fare pretty well. They also do serve pasta as well as sides such as Truffle Fries at a pretty affordable rate too; pretty worth checking out especially for those working in town.
(Read our review of the Chicken Roulade with Cheese and Mushroom Stuffing via Burpple.)
24 Raffles Place
Stall 13 (within Food Emporium)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LeBouillonCliffordCentre/
Bonus: 2 CNY-themed dishes!
We have also tried two dishes that are themed to the festive season recently, namely the Ong Lai Tart by Non Entree Dessert Cafe (top) and the Lucky Coin at Gallery & Co (bottom).
The former is a giant version of the familiar pineapple that we all love and hate (all the calories!) during the Chinese New Year season. Candied Ginger Coulis and Caramalised Pineapples are used for the dessert; the Caramalised Pineapples gives it that familiar sweetness with chunks to chew on while the Candied Ginger Coulis gives it a real zing as well to replicate the fibrous paste found in the Pineapple Tart; the result is a flavour that is more profound than the usual pineapple tart while still having a texture that is close to the original. (Click here to read our review of the Ong Lai Tart via Burpple.)
The latter sees the use of pineapples as well, though this time round the pineapple is made into Pineapple Frangipane and is lined at the bottom on the insides of the puff pastry with Nian Gao in between. A pretty unique pastry that sees an interesting use of the Nian Gao, an ingredient that is an uncommon sight until the days coming to Chinese New Year. (Click here to read our review of the Lucky Coin via Burpple.)
Non Entree Dessert Cafe
204 Rangoon Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nonentreedesserts
Gallery & Co.
1 St. Andrew’s Road #01–05
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GalleryandCo