The jiaksimipng Foodnotes series is essentially a monthly review of selected places that we have dined at which are worth a mention but skipped on the blog for various reasons (e.g. personal commitments, lack of coverage for a full-length post etc.). Do check out the January, February, March and April edition of the jiaksimipng Foodnotes if you have missed them. For the month of May, we have also posted full-length articles for Your Nasi Lemak, Abbie’s Coffeehouse, The Playground Coffee, Venue by Sebastian, Dim Sum Haus, KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar, The Affogato Bar, Ramen Atelier, Kaneta Shoten, Poke Lulu and Five Marbles Craft Beer Restaurant.
(Do note that we only include places that we have made anonymous visits to and paid for our meals in the jiaksimipng Foodnotes series.)
Danger Close Beverage Co.
Being situated in Alexandra Village Food Centre, Danger Close Beverage Co. is not just any beverage stall in a hawker centre. For a start, Danger Close Beverage Co. serves up espresso-based coffee, though the Latte was a little too milky and probably a little burnt as well. That being said, they also serve quite a variety of interesting carbonated tea served on tap, as well as a Nitro Cold Brew that was not available on the day of our visit; the teas are pretty refreshing especially on a hot day or with tzechar grub that is aplenty in the food centre. A pretty interesting find in a hawker centre!
(Read our review of the Cafe Latté via Burpple.)
Alexandra Village Food Centre
120 Bukit Merah Lane 1
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dangerclosebeverageco/
The Pasta Boutique
Tucked in the corner of a coffeeshop situated deep in Bedok North, The Pasta Boutique is not your typical western food stall; while it does carry items such as Lamb Chop, Chicken Chop and Pork Chops, they strive to serve “better kopitiam western food”; think handmade pasta such as their Salted Egg Prawn Ravioli which is made fresh daily at the stall. While we were not a fan of the creamy salted egg yolk sauce which was a little jelak though other elements such as the curry leaves and chili padi did help to add a moderate spiciness and aroma to the entire dish, the ravioli was of adequate thickness while stuffed with minced prawns within; reminds us of a shrimp wonton with a twist. We found the Chicken Chop with Chili Crab Sauce a better choice, however; the sambal-esque chilli did carry a hint of crustacean sweetness along with its spiciness while the chicken was expertly grilled with its crisp skin and tender, juicy meat. It comes served with ratatouille and mash potato; the latter with its juicy cubes of grilled vegetables with a smoky flavour from the char. Quite promising for a coffeeshop western stall!
Blk 539 Bedok North Street 3
New Century Food House
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thepastaboutique/
With most of the stalls of Beauty World Food Centre coming back to set up shop again, Hambaobao is one of the stalls that most have been looking forward to its return. We wanted to go for something different from our usual order, but it is just hard to move away from the Crispy Pork Belly Burger that just keeps getting better every single time. Expect thick, chunky pieces of pork belly with a crispy skin, grilled and buttered buns and a punchy English Mustard sauce drizzled that cuts the meatiness by providing a wasabi-like flavour less the numbness that comes after. Glad to see them back in business again!
(Read our review of the Crispy Pork Burger with Hand Cut Fries via Burpple.)
Beauty World Centre
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hambaobaosg
Jiakpalang Eating House
Located at the Fragrance Empire Building, Jiakpalang Eating House is a pretty simple, unpretentious eatery that caters to office folks of Telok Blangah, dishing up rice bowls and salads during lunch hours while serving only cakes and beverages thereafter. We ordered the 24 Hour Wagyu Beef Brisket bowl, which comes with other elements such as plumped raisins, Chinese pear, poached egg and other greens along with a brown and white rice mix for the grains. A pretty decent bowl overall; though the beef brisket was a little gamey, it was pretty soft and briny, while the soft vegetables were also pretty consistent in texture. The plumped raisins and Chinese pear added an interesting tinge of sweetness to the savoury elements; pretty unusual but still rather pleasant, while the poached egg could have been executed better for it lacked flowiness. Overall, the rice bowl was a decent eat, and does provide for a rather wholesome option for the office folks in the area, though general execution could have been a little bit more refined for better integration of the elements in the bowl.
(Read our review of the 24 Hour Wagyu Beef Brisket Bowl via Burpple.)
Fragrance Empire Building
456 Alexandra Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Jiakpalang/
SHAO Freshly Roasted
Another coffeeshop stall run by a couple of young hawkerpreneurs, SHAO Freshly Roasted is conveniently located at BGAIN 130 coffeeshop at Blk 130 Jurong Gateway Road just opposite Jurong East MRT Station (or just a short walk away from JCube; the same coffeeshop that houses Soi 19 Wanton Mee’s branch at Jurong) strives to bring to its customers freshly roasted meat cooked using modern cooking techniques while retaining the traditional flavours of roasted meat. We tried the Char Siew Noodles, and also added a portion of Roast Pork to the noodles as well. Between the two, our pick would be the Roast Pork; though sliced rather thin, each piece carries tender pieces of gelatinous fats while coming with a crisp skin; those who prefer lean meat may find their version a little too fatty. The Char Siew was sliced in chunkier bits, allowing one to enjoy the flavours of the meat in the process while not being too dry, though the flavours are more generic thus less outstanding. Particularly interesting to note here is that the Kolo Noodles are used for the Char Siew Noodles here; chewy and laced in a savoury black sauce with moderate spiciness if chilli is added which is pretty tasty, while it comes with several pieces of crispy pork lard at the bottom too. Quite a decent eat in the neighbourhood.
(Read our review of the Roasted Pork + Char Siew Noodles via Burpple.)
BGAIN 130 Eating House
Blk 130 Jurong Gateway Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/shaofreshlyroasted/
Tenth by Yellow Submarines
Yellow Submarines (pardon the atrocity of the linked post; it was written four years ago!) is one of the names that we rarely hear about in recent years; the local fast food concept launched its first outlet at Toa Payoh in 2013 serving up cheesesteaks and its famed Torpedo Fries (a fancy name to their signature cheese fries that comes with a generous load of warm cheese sauce served in a cup), got its halal certification and opened a subsequent branch at Bugis Junction, but things just went pretty silent for the years to come. Tenth by Yellow Submarines is their latest concept, taking up the second level of their Toa Payoh branch which serves a menu that seemingly targets the cafe-going crowd with waffles and ice-cream, cakes and other desserts as well as sides such as Kimchi Gyoza and Salted Egg Yolk Fries. Customers of both Yellow Submarines and Tenth by Yellow Submarines still have to make their order at the same counter as Yellow Submarines and could sit freely at either level (so essentially you could have items from both sides under one roof). We tried their Chocolate Molten Lava Cookie with an optional scoop of Vanilla Ice-Cream that we opted for. Though the item runs on the trend of the molten lava cookie similar to that of Kooks Creamery and Creamery Boutique Ice-Cream, the version we had at Tenth by Yellow Submarines was more cookie-like; it still maintained its crustiness without being too dense, limp or soft; buttery but not cake-like. The only gripe would be the slightly more generic components such as the chocolate molten lava and vanilla ice-cream which were pretty run-of-the-mill and could be overly sweet for some. Still, it is great to see Yellow Submarines offering a good number of dessert options to end off their cheesesteaks and Torpedo Fries with.
(Read our review of the Chocolate Molten Lava Cookie with Vanilla Ice-Cream via Burpple.)
Blk 177 Toa Payoh Central
#01-110 (within Yellow Submarines)
Web Page: http://www.yellowsubmarines.com.sg/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/YellowSubmarinesCheesesteaks/
Burgz by Project Warung
Yes, you are not seeing this wrong; it is yet another hawker centre stall run by another group of hawkerpreneurs selling burgers at Golden Mile Food Centre. Being a Muslim-owned stall, expect a wide range of mainly chicken and beef burgers being sold here, all at a rather affordable price. We got ourselves the Country Fried Chicken Burger; though looking deceptively small, the burger was actually of a reasonable size without being too big nor too small; part of the reason why it looks small is also due to the basket it was served in. A little too tall and also a little messy to eat by hand due to the dripping sriracha mayo and the oozy, flowy egg yolk, the burger was otherwise done pretty well, with a Taiwanese Chicken Cutlet-esque fried chicken patty in the middle that was seemingly seasoned with pepper and salt paired with slaw for a refreshing crunch, sriracha mayo for a little kick in terms of spiciness and the egg yolk helping to bind all the condiments together; everything sandwiched in between the grilled house-made buns. Fries come default with the burgers as a set, and this only set us back at a price of $5; absolutely a value-for-money eat at Golden Mile Food Centre that is worth checking out.
(Read our review of the Country Fried Chicken Burger via Burpple.)
Golden Mile Food Centre
505 Beach Road
Urara Don Buri
73@HillCrest is a coffeeshop bistro that serves mainly western fare, but it does have a few stalls within that sells chicken rice and other fare. A stall that had started operations there fairly recently is Urara Don Buri, serving up Japanese rice bowls with items such as Yakiniku Don, Oyakodon as well as Wagyu Foie Gras Don; we gave their Wagyu Truffle Don which was not too bad but definitely had room for improvement. While the beef was tender without being in any bit gamey, the rice could probably do with some sauce and the sauce over the beef felt a tad sweet; that being said, the truffle aroma was pretty evident in a few spots around the whole bowl and the accompanying side dishes such as the Miso Soup and Salad with Goma Dressing were pretty generous in portion. Probably a convenient spot for those living around the estate to get their Japanese Donburi cravings sorted out.
(Read our review of the Wagyu Truffle Don via Burpple.)
73 Hillcrest Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/73Hillcrest/
Unlike other entries in the listing, Muffles had been around for quite a while at Berseh Food Centre selling mainly cakes and desserts, but we thought it was worth the mention as it was a reader recommendation that we thought was worth a mention. An ex-five-star hotel pastry chef runs the stall, and the prices here are kept pretty affordable with most items carrying a price tag that is well below $5. We tried both the Pandan Ogura Cake and the Tiramisu; both were very well done. Similar to a Pandan Chiffon Cake, the difference between a Pandan Chiffon Cake and a Pandan Ogura Cake is that the recipe of the Ogura Cake calls for an entire egg; the result is still a light and fluffy cake that is moister in the middle; the pandan pretty aromatic here while the cake is not too sweet. The Tiramisu exceeded our expectations, beating some of those from cafes hands down; smooth mascarpone mousse with a coffee-soaked sponge and dusted with chocolate powder, the Tiramisu was velvety and brilliantly executed for its consistent texture all the way through. A pretty underrated stall at Berseh Food Centre to get some quality sweet treats after a meal in the area.
(Read our review of the Pandan Ogura via Burpple.)
Berseh Food Centre
166 Jalan Besar
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/muffles.sg/
Two Hands (Re-branded)
(Updated 29/06/17: Two Hands at 33HV is now rebranded as a Garcons outlet)
Garcons have just opened another new branch at Savourworld at Ascent recently, but this does not stop the duo behind Garcons from creating a new concept with a new partner at 33HV (the coffeeshop beside Holland Village Food Centre). Unlike Garcons which focuses on french cuisine, Two Hands is a coffeeshop stall that serves western cuisine such as pasta alongside Japanese skewers and fusion rice bowls; the menu also carries a few sides and snacks that also work great considering the coffeeshop being a watering hole at night. We went for four skewers; the Duck Tsukune, Chicken & leek, Marbled Striploin and Pork Collar; all of them pretty well done glazed in savoury sauces with tender, juicy and moist meat. Of particular mention would be the tenderness of the marbled striploin which did not require much chewing. Rice can be opted for any order of three skewers and above at an additional cost, and those who are not into Japanese skewers can also go for items such as Duck Leg Confit Aglio Olio Spaghetti or Black Miso Salmon Rice Bowls. An affordable option for food that pairs with drinks at Holland Village.
(Read our review of the Wagyu Truffle Don via Burpple.)
33 Lorong Liput
Web Page: http://www.twohands.sg
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Two-Hands-1560977030609617/
Kueh Ho Jiak
Yet another new hawker stall, this time situated at Blk 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Centre in the CBD, Kueh Ho Jiak specialises in Teochew Kuehs, though they offer quite a variety of Ang Ku Kueh with different fillings from the conventional Mung Beans to less commonly seen ones such as the Hae Bee Hiam Ang Ku Kueh. Interestingly, the stall does not use any form of food colouring or additives in the making of their kuehs; the Ang Ku Kueh only bears two colours here, purple or yellow, since the skin is made and coloured by sweet potatoes. We tried both the Red Bean and Hae Bee Hiam Sweet Potatoes Ang Ku Kueh; the former focuses more on the earthiness of the red beans rather than carrying a sweet filling while the latter was umami and spicy. The skin was not too sticky, but still rather chewy with a firm bite. We were also recommended to their Ubi Kayu, but it is something we would most definitely try during our next visit!
(Read our review of the Assorted Ang Ku Kueh via Burpple.)
Blk 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Centre
Blk 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kuehhojiak.love
A new watering hole at The Rail Mall, Sixteen Ounces is situated just next to Springleaf Prata Place, making a pretty good spot to chill for drinks after dinner. Sixteen Ounces offers a wide variety of alcohol such as bottled ales, craft beers and ciders that are sourced from a mix of both local and overseas breweries, though the main focus here would be the craft beers on tap. We tried four of the craft beers available on tap; both the Fourpure Indy Lager and St Austell Proper Job IPA came with a malty finish while the Hitachino Nest White Ale and Fourpure American Ale had a more unique finish. Only simple bar bites are served in the hot food menu; the Chicken Ingots were pretty pedestrian but decent with crisp morsels of fried chicken with a Thai sweet chilli dip on the side. A spot with a decent selection of craft beers around Upper Bukit Timah Road to chill out with some friends to wind down before the weekends!
The Rail Mall
398 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sixteenouncessg/
Haa Haa Cafe
Affiliated with Lynn’s Cakes at Eng Kong Terrace is Haa Haa Cafe, a new local food shop situated at Hillion Mall at Bukit Panjang. Unlike Lynn’s Cakes, Haa Haa Cafe carries no cakes nor speciality coffee here; the shop focuses on serving up Nasi Lemak and other local fare (such as Curry Chicken Laksa as well as Mee Pok Dry) with local Kopi and Tea. We tried their Nasi Lemak Chicken Wing and found it a decent eat; the Nasi Lemak itself was light, fluffy and moist with a hint of coconut aroma while the fried chicken, though on the smaller side, was decently crisp. The sambal chilli on the side was also suitably sweet with a light hint of spiciness; pretty well done. Kopi was, however, a little thin, lacking a well-rounded aroma. A decent spot to consider having meals at for those who are living around the area.
17 Petir Road