Jenggood Jom Makan at Padi Emas Jurong East St 21

Jenggood Jom Makan
Padi Emas Coffeeshop
Blk 214 Jurong East St 21
Singapore 600214

Opening Hours
Mon, Tue, Thu: 630am to 7pm
Fri-Sun: 630am to 10pm
Closed on Wed
**Lakster Deluxe availability: 5pm to 10pm on Fri-Sun

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$17.50
Recommended dishes: Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90, enough for 2 average-appetite pax)

Guys there’s been an EMERGENCY. Stop whatever you guys are doing now and really just listen to me for the next 5 minutes.

I just had THE MOST AMAZING LOBSTER LAKSA EVER UGHHHHHH. I had a friend coming over from Kuala Lumpur over the weekend and I wanted to take her out to dinner. Initially I thought of bringing her over to my new gem of a discovery, Deanna’s Kitchen for the most delicious halal prawn noodles of my life, but they close at 5pm on Saturdays. So I thought, alright maybe this would be the time to finally try the Lakster Deluxe that I’ve been seeing so much on my instagram for the past couple of months!

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lakster_Deluxe

Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90) – 10/10

The Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90) is the brainchild of the folks from Jenggood Jom Makan, a hip stall at Padi Emas Coffee House at Jurong East Blk 214 (behind Almukminin Mosque). They are well-known for their original signature dish, the Laksudon, which is like laksa that’s been upgraded with thick, chewy udon noodles. According to my friend this is more like laksa Johor, which is a bit thicker than laksa nyonya (which you get from places like 328 Katong). Well well, I guess I’m more partial to laksa Johor than laksa nyonya!

Every Friday to Sunday from 5pm to 10pm, Jenggood serves up the Lakster Deluxe comprising the Laksudon with a WHOLE lobster, plump mussels, large prawns and calamari, all for just S$34.90! Here’s a closer look:

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lakster_Closeup

A whole lobster plus look at the big prawns! Peep the delicious sambal at the left corner unffff.

My friend and I shared one Lakster Deluxe and OMGGGGG the laksa on its own was already SUPER yummy – the gravy was rich and thick with minced fish meat, coating the chewy udon noodles well. I didn’t even need to mix in too much of the sambal because really it was already a robust gravy, and honestly I would definitely order the Laksudon next time I’m jonesing for some good laksa.

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lobster

Seriously OMG the lobster meat was so succulent and look at all that roe omg?!?!?! DEADDDDDD

The lobster itself was SUPER fresh; the meat was succulent and slightly sweet, and absorbed the laksa gravy well. Same for the juicy mussels and the prawns!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHH. I love seafood so much and they definitely did not skimp on the ingredients both in terms of quantity and quality. Plus they provide you with that nutcracker tool you can use to crack open the lobster claws, as well as a mini bucket to throw away all the shells (lobster/prawn/mussels).

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Shell

The aftermath – we filled the whole bucket with shells lol

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Aftermath

Aftermath part 2. Check out the gravy with bits of fish meat ughhhhh so good ❤

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Sign

S$4 for the laksudon?!?!? I am THERE bruh. 

All in all my friend and I had a truly satisfying dinner at Jenggood, and we were both totally blissed out by the end of it, like tears-of-joy #alhamdulillah vibezzz. I would DEF go back here again especially since I live in the West. Oh also, this place accepts DBS PayLah!!!! How great is that? I didn’t have enough cash on me and scanning the QR code provided by the owner Hans was a breeze. Go try it for yourselves soon!!!

Jenggood Jom Makan
Padi Emas Coffeeshop
Blk 214 Jurong East St 21
Singapore 600214

Opening Hours
Mon, Tue, Thu: 630am to 7pm
Fri-Sun: 630am to 10pm
Closed on Wed
**Lakster Deluxe availability: 5pm to 10pm on Fri-Sun

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$17.50
Recommended dishes: Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90, enough for 2 average-appetite pax)

Advertisements

Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lor 1 Blk 127

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).

You guys. I had initially planned to talk about Netflix’s The Crown and how much I’m enjoying watching it because Claire Foy is such an emotive and talented actress. BUT. I can’t even wait to tell you guys about the amazing Chinese prawn noodles I had last week at Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Food Centre with my friend and her husband!!

Seriously I should’ve known it was going to be a perfect evening when this was my view while walking from Braddell MRT station to the hawker centre:

Blessings

Hashtag alhamdulillah feels

So Deanna’s Kitchen is a 100% muslim-owned, authentic Chinese prawn noodle stall set up by Denise Chew (Deanna), a Chinese convert (or revert if you prefer, I’m not fussed) and her husband Asri Ramli. I read that after converting to Islam, Deanna couldn’t find good halal prawn mee so she asked her mum for the recipe and tweaked it to halal perfection!! The Chinese versions usually use pork bone broth, but Deanna uses prawn broth instead. The story of their interracial love is also super touching; if you guys are interested to know more you can read it on her IG here!

Deannas_Kitchen_Menu

Menu!

I love that they specialise in one thing only (prawn noodles with variations in ingredients and noodles), because you can rest assured they’re focused on perfecting their signature dish. I love that you can customise your noodles too; I really do not like yellow noodles for that horrible lye taste and the starchy texture. BOO.

I went with the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) which consisted of noodles in prawn broth with prawns, fishcake, a very generous serving of plump clams, and some kangkong:

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams2

Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) – 10/10

OMGGGGG you guys. I could already smell the fragrant broth when I carried the bowl over to my table to set it down, so I knew it was going to be special, but man, the first sip was transcendental. I loved, loved, loved the prawn broth taste; it was so flavourful and went perfectly with the bee hoon noodles I had selected! Also guys, you gotta add the fried shallots (bawang goreng) because they are delicious and make the already-perfect noodles taste better.

Don’t even get me started on the clams. I LOVE clams omg I am an absolute clam FIEND, and there were SOOOOO many in the bowl! All for S$6.50?!?! It’s madness. The same quantity of clams you buy as an à la carte stirfry dish would’ve easily cost more. 10/10 for this delightful bowl of prawn noodles UGH.

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams3

Plump and juicy clams omg

My friend got the same thing as me but her husband went with the Big Prawn Noodle (also S$6.50) – take a look at the photos here:

Deannas_Kitchen_Big_Prawn_Noodles

Ahem my best flatlay attempt lol I just can’t take good photos most of the time

Deannas_Kitchen_Brig_Prawn_Noodles

Big Prawn Noodle (S$6.50)

Deannas_Kitchen_Clam_Aftermath

The aftermath. LOOK AT HOW MANY CLAMS!!! From just two bowls of Prawn Noodles with Clams ugh!! ❤

Deannas_Kitchen_Opening_Hours

Opening hours for Deanna’s Kitchen

The service here is terrific too you guys. Quick story – after finishing my bowl I went to order 3 more bowls for takeaway. It was almost closing time just before 8pm, and while I was waiting for my order, these two girls came up and ordered what was to be the last couple of bowls. The stall didn’t have enough broth for a full second bowl, and so the co-owner Asri gave a great discount for the bowl! UGH what great customer service. Also because theirs were the last two bowls, he gave the girls all the remaining clams and warned them that they were being given excess clams because the stall was closing, lest they come back next time and wonder why they’re not getting as many clams. Very thoughtful service.

Second story is, I took away those 3 bowls to my Chinese friends who were still working late in the office, and they LOVED it!! One of them said it’s the best prawn mee broth she’d tasted in a long time, and the other one told me she counted TWENTY FOUR CLAMS in her bowl. LOL it’s insane. So yeah while I have no basis for comparison, having never eaten porky prawn mee before, my Chinese friends definitely vouch for the taste and authenticity of Deanna’s Kitchen’s Chinese prawn mee ❤

Go try it soon you guys!

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Sultan Gate

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Food Court
38 Sultan Gate #01-01
Singapore 198486

Opening Hours (For Kakak Kentang)
Mon-Thu & Sat: 11am to 9pm
Fri: 230pm to 9pm
Sun: 12pm to 9pm
(FOMO itself opens 10am to 10pm daily)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.90
Recommended dishes: Bombistik (S$6.90)

Hey guys! How is January almost over? I can’t deal with thissssss before you know it we’ll be 80 😩😩. Anyway TGIF – I’m currently waiting my turn to see the doctor because I’m on the brink of a flu and am trying to stave off a full-blown one before the weekend ugh help.

Ooh but also – I recently started watching Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale based on the book by Margaret Atwood. IT IS GRIPPING OMGGGGG. It’s about a dystopian near-future where women are increasingly barren and infant survival rates are low as a result of STDs and environmental pollution. Society is ruled by a totalitarian, Christian theonomic government and people are assigned strict roles – some are handmaids who are kept by barren married couples for breeding purposes, some are cooks/cleaners etc. There’s a sort of strict religiosity overarching this new world and it’s a little creepy. You guys should DEF watch it. (Also read the wiki synopsis which is 100% better than mine.)

Anyway, have you guys checked out FOMO at Sultan Road recently? It’s an upscale food court with myriad options – there’s Kane Mochi serving halal mochi ice cream, Kakak Kentang by well-known restaurateur Ummi Abdullah, and also Mr Wholly (crab-in-the-bag style seafood stall pending halal certification). I can’t deal with the millennial name of this hipster food court but hey gotta roll with the times. I love that it’s air-conditioned so you get to enjoy your food in cool comfort! In memoriam our short-lived Singaporean winter earlier this January 😢. We hardly knew ye.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 11.04.27 AM

How cute is this logo!!!!! She’s literally peeling her old skin being all “new skin new me!” (or is she undressing? Astaghfirullah.)

Kakak Kentang literally translates to Potato Sister, and the stall specialises in these kentang balls (or potato balls) which are mashed potato balls with meat stuffing. Kind of like a begedil on steroids. I didn’t know kentang ball was a thing, and so of course my eastie/Malay friends are giving me a LOT of grief about it. “You mean you haven’t tried it EVER?!” “But the Haig Road one is so good!” “And you call yourself Malay?” 🙄🙄🙄 y’all are racist eastie fascists.

So anyway Kakak Kentang offers two main dishes. There is the traditional chicken version called the Chikabom, featuring a mashed potato ball with chicken stuffing in soto soup. There is also the beef version called the Bombistik with minced beef stuffing in a tangy tomato “bistik” soup – bistik being the late-night mamak supper staple of beef cubes in that red tomato gravy with potatoes and peas.

Kakak_Kentang_Menu

Sorry this photo is so bad; I couldn’t avoid the glare.

They also serve the Adik Char Kuay (S$5.90) comprising you tiao dough sticks with cuttlefish paste drizzled with 3 types of sauces, and also popiah!! I was very tempted to try the popiah for $2 but decided against it because I wouldn’t have been able to finish my potato ball otherwise!

Kakak_Kentang_Menu2

So I went for the Bombistik (S$6.90 for regular, S$9.90 for large) in regular size:

Kakak_Kentang_Bombistik

Bombistik (S$6.90, regular size) – 9/10

Kakak_Kentang_Meatball

 Breakthrough! MEAT YUMMMMMM

Ooohhh chileeee. I liked this a lot!! The soup was really flavourful and robust, like the mee kuah or mee bandung type of tomato-based soup. It was a little spicy which I liked – I found my nose running the more I ate it. The potato ball was gooood; the mashed potato itself had good texture and flavour, although the meat within was a liiiitle dry but easily remedied with the soup. I also LOVED the coriander and strips of carrots and cucumber in the soup – it definitely adds to the complexity, texture and taste. This was solid comfort food, although I almost wished they had a mini-ball option with like 4-5 smaller balls; how fun would it be popping those in your mouth?! 9/10

My friend who had been there before ordered his usual Chikabom (S$6.90 for regular, S$9.90 for large) in regular size:

Kakak_Kentang_Chikabom

Chikabom (S$6.90 in regular size) – 7/10

I tried some of this and okay I confess it was not my favourite. I would def stick to the Bombistik when I go back to Kakak Kentang next time, and if I’m hankering for some soto I would still go for my usual Soto Ayam so I can savour those soft pillowy lontong cubes together with the soto gravy, AND add begedil, you know? Best of both worlds. The soto soup was not bad, but a little on the thin side for me. I would have preferred it a little thicker and more savoury. According to my friend the one at Haig Road is better, although I can’t verify that until I go try the Haig Road kentang ball myself! 7/10

All in all I had a positive experience at FOMO and will definitely going back to try the other stalls maybe during dinnertime. The lunchtime crowd was manageable and there were still enough empty tables for us to buy our food before getting our table.

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Food Court
38 Sultan Gate #01-01
Singapore 198486

Opening Hours (For Kakak Kentang)
Mon-Thu & Sat: 11am to 9pm
Fri: 230pm to 9pm
Sun: 12pm to 9pm
(FOMO itself opens 10am to 10pm daily)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.90
Recommended dishes: Bombistik (S$6.90)

The Big Cheese at Sunshine Plaza

The Big Cheese
Sunshine Plaza #01-59
91 Bencoolen St
Singapore 189652

Operating Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9-10 for Mac & Cheese + a canned drink!
Recommended dishes: There’s only Mac & Cheese guys. Go crazy!

You guys! I know I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. The truth is I’ve been busy with… Narcos Season 3 and Black Mirror Season 4 LOL. Netflix is life-changing in ways both good and bad. Apart from that, so many things happening in the world to keep up with.

  1. Did you guys hear about Harvey Weinstein getting slapped by some rando in Arizona?!?! Shiok or what sia.
  2. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Mahathir Mohd (did I get all this honorific titles right?) is running with Pakatan Rakyat against Najib as PM, at the tender age of 92. It’s a little insane but I’m out here with popcorn waiting for it to unfold.
  3. There’s been a lot of debate on Aziz Ansari’s public shaming for a date gone wrong. I empathise with the girl a very very small bit, but I also feel bad for Aziz Ansari who isn’t a mind reader. Still, the discussion needs to happen on what’s consensual and what’s not though. The balance of power and consequences are always so disproportionately skewed against women.

ANYWAY coming out of hiding to post about The Big Cheese, a halal mac & cheese joint at Sunshine Plaza! Been meaning to do it for a while and some of you might have seen my IG post about The Big Cheese (@halalicioussg) from October. I’m back out here with more deets!

It’s a hole-in-the-wall located right at the drop-off point of Sunshine Plaza. There are about 3 small high tables and a 3-seater counter facing the outside.

The_Big_Cheese_Corner_Seat

My view from the counter seat

Okay so I LOVE mac & cheese because it’s just classic comfort food. It’s cheesy, it’s gooey, it’s warm, savoury, and you can eat it with one hand (unlike other pasta variants like spaghetti etc). LOVE. Here’s a look at their menu:

The_Big_Cheese_Build_A_Mac_Menu

Bespoke Mac & Cheese for those who like to retain control!

The_Big_Cheese_Specialties_Menu

Specialty maccazzzz

The_Big_Cheese_Ingredients

A buffet of options for your customizable mac & cheese

The_Big_Cheese_Takeout_Boxes

Size comparison for the small and regular macs

So here’s what I got:

The_Big_Cheese_Cheddar_Gruyere

And here is the breakdown:

  1. Size – I chose small (S$6)
  2. Choose your pasta – I chose elbow macaroni because it’s classic duh
  3. Choose two cheese base – I went for cheddar and gruyère (extra 50cts because fancy)
  4. Choose two proteins/greens – I opted for bacon and pepperoni because I ain’t about to disrespect my mac & cheese by adding vegetables LOL
  5. Choose one topping/condiment – I opted for truffle oil (I miss Reminis’ truffling mac & cheese back when they had a stall at Sembawang 😦 )
  6. Add-ons – I went for pulled beef (S$2) UNFFFFF

Here is the final product at $8.50:

The_Big_Cheese_Macaroni

UNFFFFFF small mac & cheese (S$6) with added pulled beef (S$2) and premium gruyère cheese (S$0.50) for a total of just S$8.50 for all this deliciousnezzzzzz

Mmmmm guys this was so creamy and delicious and comforting!! I couldn’t really taste the gruyère, so I think the key is to select stronger tasting cheeses like parmesan. I’d def go for maybe parmesan and cheddar next time. Also I love that regular elbow macaroni traps a lot of that creamy cheese so it oozes out with each bite unfffff. The pulled beef was pretty good but also a little…soft? I would’ve wanted more bite. Still a pretty worthwhile addition at just S$2 though. The small size was perfect for me because mac & cheese is already SO heavy; I was just stuffed enough. 9.5/10

Those with bigger appetites might probably try the regular size one, which is what my friend did. He got the regular sized mac (S$7.50) with parmesan, cheddar, bacon and pepperoni topped off with bacon bits at no extra charge:

The_Big_Cheese_Duo

Regular on the left, small on the right

The_Big_Cheese_Regular_Small

The_Big_Cheese_Spork

A spork!! How cute is this?

All-in-all, The Big Cheese is just the place for a quick bite if you’re in need of some nourishing comfort food. If the place is empty you can choose to stay longer but the stool seats are not entirely conducive to staying longer haha. I’d definitely go back every few weeks for a mac & cheese lunchtime fix!

Also as the menu suggests, you can top up S$1.50 for a drink 🙂 Def worth it to wash down all that goopy heavy cheese sauce!

The Big Cheese
Sunshine Plaza #01-59
91 Bencoolen St
Singapore 189652

Operating Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9-10 for Mac & Cheese + a canned drink!
Recommended dishes: There’s only Mac & Cheese guys. Go crazy!

 

Beyond Pancakes at Marina Square

Beyond Pancakes
03-131A Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd
Singapore 039594
Online reservations: click here
Phone reservations: +65 6884 6884

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 10pm
Sat-Sun: 10am to 10pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), Le Poulet savoury pancake (S$14.90)

Hey guys!! Can you believe it’s a week to Christmas? So many things to get done, so little time. I usually look forward to some down time towards the end of the year but things aren’t looking like they’ll let up, ugh. Also, I just read about the food crisis in Venezuela where babies are dying from malnutrition because the oil-rich country’s been severely impacted by economic mismanagement coupled with declining oil prices. To make things worse, the government isn’t accepting foreign aid because it’s adamant on maintaining that the country is just fine. I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. UGH. You guys can read all about it here.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I was invited to try out the menu at Beyond Pancakes, a halal-certified joint at Marina Square serving up (you guessed it) pancakes! It’s pretty special though – they don’t just have regular breakfast/dessert pancakes but also Dutch and French-style savoury pancakes, respectively called pannenkoek and galette.

The restaurant was the brainchild of Tiru, who brings with him 10 years’ experience of working in European restaurants in Singapore. After honing his expertise in these establishments, he set out to open his own joint and decided to make it halal-certified to be more inclusive. I 100% approve. (Next up, please make a halal version of Morton’s thanks.)

2BEDA94A-7559-41BC-BB53-F6F31F7449AC

#Alhamdulillah

I’ll leave photos of the menu towards the end of the post but for now let’s dive into the dining experience!

D4C7C5DE-0755-4244-9BAC-F776EF65DD39

The entrance

I first ordered the Avocado Juice (S$8.90) since my mum is a huge fan off avocado drinks and I wanted to QC it for her:

8DC8322B-80CF-47BE-881A-B41BE12ED811

Avocado Juice (S$8.90) – 8/10

The consistency is quite light and not too thick, unlike say the Es Alpukat from Ayam Penyet Ria. It was also lightly flavoured with honey so the drink isn’t too sweet. I quite enjoyed it, although there was some graininess almost like it was a chiku drink. Also I may have been tripping but I thought the taste was a little reminiscent of persimmon, so that could be a draw/drawback depending on the individual. I would consider ordering next time although the price point is rather high. 8/10

For starters we got a tasting portion of the Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), featuring nachos, mozarella cheese, avocado, sunny side up egg, onions, olives and capsicum served with various dips. there was the cheese sauce dip, the spring onion dip, cheesy sundried tomary dip, and tangy tomato salsa.

2A6C855A-01A9-4492-8306-755E6DBBA3DE

Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90) – 8/10

OK so this was interesting. I was expecting the nachos to be a little lemau (stale) but surprisingly they retained their crispiness. The mozzarella wasn’t as melty as I would have liked (which is maybe why the nachos remained crispy) but the DIPS! OMG.

8396839E-077D-4DC2-8758-E6FF94DA4320

Clockwise from left: cheesy sundried tomato, spring onion and sour cream, cheese, and tangy tomato salsa.

OKAY I could not get enough of the sundried tomato dip!! It was super tasty and went really well with the nacho. The spring onion and sour cream dip was also really refreshing and light, while the cheesy sauce is a safe and predictable choice. The tangy tomato salsa was the weakest link for me though – it was a little too like raw tomatoes. Def worshipping the cheesy sundried tomato dip. 8/10 for this starter.

We moved on to the savoury pancake section and went for the Le Poulet (S$14.90), featuring grilled chicken strips with capsucum, onion, cherry tomatoes and homemade honey mustard sauce, served with mushroom/spring onion pancakes.

54405848-E1E5-4545-BC8C-2D8ACBC7A80A

Le Poulet (S$14.90) – 8.5/10

I didn’t expect to like this so much but this was my favourite of the night. The pancakes were fluffy and savoury, and the grilled chicken strips were quite tender and flavourful. Hated the onions but it was nbd I pushed them aside. I wish they had drizzled more honey mustard sauce on the chicken/pancakes because the dish did feel quite dry. I suggested to Tiru maybe like some honey sriracha sauce to go along with it – that would’ve been the bombzzzz dot com. 8.5/10

For our second main we tried the Saumon Fumé galette (S$16.90) comprising smoked salmon, zucchini strips, mozzarella cheese, sunny side up on a bed of pesto sauce and served with crème fraîche:

A0239730-0B07-4F45-80D2-92C21E6DF34A

Saumon Fumé (S$16.90) – 7/10

The first thing I noticed was that the crêpe-like base of this Galette was a little too thin. It def didn’t hold up under the weight of the ingredients, so we cut them into slices and roll them up before eating. We initially forgot about the crème fraîche so we found it a little dry and lacking in taste, but after the crème fraîche it did taste a little more refreshing and balanced. I also liked the zucchini strips adding crunch to the otherwise all-soft texture of this dish. I wish the strips were a little more substantial though. Not my favourite dish. 7/10

Just as we thought we were done, Tiru whipped us up a tasting portion of the dessert pancake comprising one Original Pancake (S$5.90 for 2 pieces) and one Chocolate Chip Pancake (S$7.90 for 2 pieces).

A1BFB456-0E1F-4232-9DD0-DDB40AE5B655

The Original Pancakes is $5.90 for 2 pieces, and the Chocolate Chip Pancakes are $7.90 for 2 pieces.

31F56195-F270-483C-B389-CB8311CB9329

Original ($5.90 for 2) and Chocolate Chip (S$7.90 for 2) Pancakes – 7.5/10

Yum, I’ll say that Beyond Pancakes does a good, fluffy pancake! There isn’t an annoying baking soda taste, and the texture is really good! The chocolate chips were a little burnt, which is not the worst I guess, but not great. As for the original, it would’ve been good if it had been served with better butter, but the butter we got was unsalted and really very plain. I would’ve preferred salted butter or cultured butter to add more taste, as unsalted butter feels like you’re just eating tasteless slick. 7.5/10

All in all, I had a good time at Beyond Pancakes. I feel like service is a little casual and could use some polish, and the menu could use some refining. It’s a WAYYYY extensive menu with like pancakes and burgers and pasta and pizza – how will the kitchen manage that on a busy day? Plus if they focused on some key items and make that their specialty, I think it could do them some good. (OMG am I a restaurateur now?!)  I haven’t tried the more pedestrian items like the pasta etc but personally I would focus on the pancakes in future. I can definitely see myself coming here if I’m hankering for some fluffy pancakes, or just to have a taste of their dessert pancakes after dinner somewhere.

As promised, here are photos of the menu!

Beyond Pancakes
03-131A Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd
Singapore 039594
Online reservations: click here
Phone reservations: +65 6884 6884

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 10pm
Sat-Sun: 10am to 10pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), Le Poulet savoury pancake (S$14.90)

 

 

El Cubanos at Short St (Selegie)

El Cubanos
1A Short St #01-01
Singapore 188210
Tel: +65 9162 5540

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 12pm to 11pm
Sat: 4pm to 1am
Closed on Sundays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$11 including a drink
Recommended dishes: Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), Grilled Chicken Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.50)

WHERE DID THE WEEKEND GO YOU GUYS 😭😭. I always dream of having a super nua stay-in weekend where I sequester myself at home and get my life in order, like do some laundry, tidy up, maybe go for a run, take naps, and get caught up on my favourite TV shows. For some reason it never happens and I always end up going out. Half of me is just this lazy homebody, and the other half always has major #FOMO ugh.

Anyway this weekend I managed to squeeze in a couple of brunches, did two loads of laundry AND blazed through 5 episodes of Stranger Things Season 2 omg. HAVE YOU GUYS WATCHED IT?! It’s so great.

You know what’s also great though? THE SANDWICHES FROM EL CUBANOS 👅💦😭💯.

El_Cubanos_Pulled_Beef_Signature

Just look at this.

My friend and I meet up for lunch once every couple of weeks and we usually try a halal place that’s anywhere between our two offices. Couple weeks ago it was The Big Cheese (review to come!), and this week it was El Cubanos!

Located just off Selegie Road at 1A Short St, El Cubanos serves up Cuban-style pressed sandwiches as their specialty. Think grilled cheese panini but with a generous serving of meats as well. SO SO GOOD.

El_Cubanos_StorefrontJPG

The El Cubanos Storefront

Here is the menu display at the shop:

El_Cubanos_Menu

“Good people serving good food to make you feel good” – I a hundred percent support

I had the Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), which featured a pressed pulled beef and cheese sandwich with jalapeños, served with a side of cajun fries:

El_Cubanos_Pulled_Beef_Cajun_Fries

Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80) – 10/10!!! ❤️

OK not even kidding but the first bite was transcendental. I still remember it so, so vividly. The bread was crisp on the outside, and the pulled beef within was just so tender and flavourful and cheesy. It was really sublime, and I recall just melting into a delirium of sounds as I consumed the rest of the sandwich.

UGHHHHH the beef was really so juicy and there were heaps of it too in the sandwich. There were a couple of jalapeño slices adding mild heat. Also loved the fries with the savoury Cajun seasoning. They reminded me of 4 Fingers fries in terms of texture. But of course it was the Cuban sandwich that stole the show. 10/10

My friend got the Spiced Up Grilled Chicken Cubanos with Cajun Fries ($8.50) in extra spicy:

El_Cubanos_Spiced_Up_Grilled_Chicken_Cubanos

Spiced Up Grilled Chicken Cubano (S$8.50) on top, Signature Pulled Beef Cubano (S$8.80) below.

So my friend and I swapped one half of our sandwiches with each other’s so we could have the best of both worlds. I really liked the grilled chicken version too, except that it somehow had more onion inside. Also pulled beef is way shreddier and juicier so I’m giving this grilled chicken cubano a 9.5/10.

The both of us left the place feeling thoroughly satisfied and also kicking ourselves for not having discovered it way earlier! Literally, we were texting later that Friday about how we were still thinking about the sandwich. Next morning, he joked that he “dreamt he was eating the cubano and woke up to find his pillow gone” LOLLLL DEAD. Seriously, I was thinking about it all weekend and we’ve already fixed another date later this week to go again 😀

Service is pleasant, the ambience is terrific (look at all the Cuban photographs and paraphernalia adorning the walls!) and they have good Cuban/Latin music to put you in the mood. I went to Cuba in 2015 and being here just brings me right back. It makes me wonder if we have any sort of Cuban expat (exiles?! ok maybe émigrés.) here in Singapore because if so I hope they know about this place.

YOU GUYS HAVE TO VISIT!!!

El_Cubanos_Shirt

Getting sassed by this t-shirt.

El_Cubanos_Signature_Pulled_Beef_Sandwich

Post swap: Chicken cubano on top, pulled beef cubano below

El Cubanos
1A Short St #01-01
Singapore 188210
Tel: +65 9162 5540

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 12pm to 11pm
Sat: 4pm to 1am
Closed on Sundays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$11 including a drink
Recommended dishes: Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), Grilled Chicken Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.50)

Saltwater Cafe Buffet at Changi Village Hotel

Saltwater Cafe
1 Netheravon Road
Changi Village Hotel Level 1
Singapore 508502
Phone Reservations: +65 6379 7017
Online Reservations: click here

Opening Hours
630pm to 10pm daily for buffet dinner

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Buffet price: S$39++ per pax for Mon-Thu (without the Chill & Grill), or S$48++ per pax for Fri-Sun (with the Chill & Grill)

Recommended dishes: Snow crab legs, fresh oysters, salmon sashimi, nyonya stingray, salted egg crab, pengat durian, bread pudding

GUYSSSS why has work (and life in general) been so stressful this month?! I swear I legit had several of those moments where I wish I were 5 again with barely any responsibilities. Except for attending K1 classes I guess. I remember once in class we were supposed to draw a bus based on this cartoon picture the teacher gave us. It was a shot of the bus from the front – but at a slight angle – so you could see part of the body off to the side. I absolutely could NOT deal with the spatial aspects of drawing a 3-D bus, so I just drew a 2D bus – a bus profile, if you will. It was the saddest thing ever 😦

Also, this past week has seen the release of six extracts from Malaysian-born billionaire Robert Kuok’s memoirs on South China Morning Post! They’re fascinating – you guys should check it out here.

Finally on to food – have you guys heard of halal-certified Saltwater Cafe at Changi Village Hotel? I hadn’t heard of it but I was recently invited to try out their dinner buffet so off I went!

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Entrance

I was there to try the Weekend Chill & Grill dinner buffet featuring an international spread as well as a live grill station outside the cafe!

Saltwater_Buffet_Chill_Grill

Chill & Grill Options

So let me take you through the spread that evening.

I) COLD STARTERS

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Mussels_Prawns

Mussels and fresh prawns omg look how plump!!

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Snow_Crab_Legs

Giant snow crab legs!!

Saltwater_Buffet_Oysters

A super blurry photo of the oysters because I was way too excited!!

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Crab_Scissors

They have these nifty crab scissors for you to cut through the snow crab legs!! And a bowl of lemon water for you to rinse your hand with – you can get them replaced every time it gets dirty, but also there’s a bathroom right after the entrance of the cafe, on the inside! One needn’t worry about switching from hand-food to cutlery-food and back!

OK so this was my first plate:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Seafood_Sashimi

Plump prawns, ONE mussel, fresh oysters, snow crab leg and some pickled ginger peeking out from the bottom of the picture.

Cold starters verdict: I died and went to seafood heaven, basically. The prawns were super plump and juicy, I couldn’t get enough of them. I tried one mussel which was a bit of a non-event. The oysters were a little thin, i.e. not as plump as I would’ve preferred but they were still decent!! I LOVED the snow crab legs – the flesh was slightly salty and really succulent.  9.5/10

II) Salads, Sushi & Sashimi

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Beef_Octopus_Salad

So much carrot on the beef salad ugh no. Octopus salad looked interesting though.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Salads

Mozzarella looks enticing!

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Assorted_Sushi

Assorted sushi! There was also salmon sashimi but I forgot to take an individual picture of the sashimi 😦 You guys can check out pictures of my first plate tho where there are a few slices of sash.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Wasabi_Sashimi

Essentials. Also I LOVE pickled ginger!!!

Salads and sushi verdict: OK first of all I’m SO sorry I forgot to take a photo of the salmon sashimi 😭 I was too excited to eat them!! Secondly, I mean, I literally skipped all the salads and even the sushi. I straight up just had like 10 slices of salmon sashimi 😩👅💦 DEF loved the salmon sashimi which were fresh and pretty good!

III) Mains

I found myself quite impressed with how the buffet had a variety of main dishes to cater to different tastes. Literally, there was every kind of protein – mutton, beef, chicken, fish, duck, and of course, CRAB.

OK this is where I confess I ignored absolutely everything else in the mains line up and zeroed in on the crab like it was a Walmart TV set on Black Friday.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Salted_Egg_Crab

Salted egg crab omg!! DELISHUSSSSSSSS.

It was worth it. The salted egg crab sauce was creamy, salty, and sweet all at once. It’s got bits of curry leaves which of course are the magic ingredient in every salted egg sauce worth… its… salt. (OK you can call the pun police on me for this offence.)

Towards the end of my meal, when I’d had my fill of seafood, I also tried the oxtail stew:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Oxtail_Stew2

Oxtail stew yum yum

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Oxtail_Stew

Mmmm glistening

The oxtail stew was pretty good!! The carrots were soft and juicy, and the oxtail meat was rather succulent. I did think the stew would’ve been better if it had been more heated up, but that’s me. I love piping hot soup. The higher your chances of going to the A&E with a semi-cooked oesophagus, the better. (Please don’t report me I swear I’m not crazy).

Here’s all the other dishes:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Mutton_Curry

Oof mutton curry looks legit. It’s like midnight right now as I’m typing this, fully regretting not eating it during the buffet 😭😭

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Baked_Cajun_Chicken_Main

Baked cajun chicken! I did not realise cajun cooking looked like this.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Baked_Cajun_Chicken

This looks crazy tasty.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Teriyaki_Fish

Teriyaki fish with so, so many cherry tomatoes

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Braised_Duck_Main

Wow these braised ducks look so taut and shiny

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Braised_Duck

A closer look at that sheen on them braised ducks

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Mixed_Vegetable

Why are the broccolis so underrepresented here? I so much prefer them to cauliflower fr.

Saltwater_Buffet_Wok_Fried_Beehoon

Wok-fried bee hoon, but seriously, who can spare the stomach space for this?

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Dried_Shrimp_Rice

OK this looked more appetizing than the bee hoon so I tried literally a spoonful of it. It was aiiight.

Mains Verdict: Great variety for everyone, although the highlight for me definitely was the salted egg crab!!! They really got the sauce right for this one.

IV) The Chill & Grill Station

So every Fri-Sun, the buffet includes a Chill & Grill station outside where fresh meats, seafood, and vegetables are grilled on-site by the restaurant chefs. I LOVE that you get to pick whatever food you want to be grilled at the counter, leave your table number with the staff, and then have the food delivered to your table once they’re cooked. It’s a great system and it’s just the best.

Saltwater_Buffet_Chill_Grill

Items available for grilling

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Tomahawk_Beef_Steak

A truly terrible photo of the beef tomahawk steak, I’m so sorry

Here’s what I had from the Chill & Grill section:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Grilled

Clockwise from left: Tomahawk steak, scallops, tiger prawns, lamb chop

So for me, the tiger prawns were the star of the grill station. And okay I think all the non-seafood lovers have long since given up on this review lol. SORRY GUYS. I love seafood so much 😭. For real though the prawns were just really fresh so it doesn’t take much beyond some simple grilling to make them taste good.

The lamb chops were also really juicy and flavourful even without any additional sauce. Special mention also goes to the grilled asparagus (not pictured lol) which still had decent snap while being really tasty.

Although I looked forward to trying the tomahawk steak, I was a little let down. The steak was quite dry! I had ordered it in medium, and while I thought it looked pink enough (ref picture below), it just was not juicy :/ I also couldn’t find mustard anywhere to go with the beef – when I asked one of the staff near the grill, he said “all the sauces are inside.” I couldn’t find it though, which was sad.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Medium_Tomahawk_Steak

The tomahawk steak – even from here you can see it’s a little dry, no?

The scallops here take a major L for tasting as insipid as they looked. Boy they really should’ve grilled them with some butter or something. Butter hotate is for real my fave. To be fair, there are plenty of condiments available for you to flavour your food, but I don’t know I prefer natural jus with basic salt/pepper/butter when it comes to grilling. (Unless you’re talking about satay because that’s a whole other thing).

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Asian_Sauces

Sambal belacan, asian BBQ sauce, Thai chilli sauce and belacan cincalok!

Speaking of cincalok, it’s usually really good with SAMBAL STINGRAY, and guess what at the al fresco Chill & Grill station there was also a platter of nyonya stingray:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Stingray

The picture is ugly but the stingray is DELICIOUS trust me.

Guys, I mean. The portion was just phenomenal and I took as much as I could while trying not to ruin my appetite for everything else. The sauce wasn’t exactly like the kind you have in sambal stingray – this one was rather spicy and lightly sour thanks to the pineapples. Very, very yummy. The stingray flesh itself was plump, fresh and delightful to bite into.

Chill & Grill Station Verdict: Hits and misses. DEF go for the tiger prawns, lamb chops, grilled asparagus, and the nyonya stingray. Maybe give the scallops a miss.

V) DIY Food Stations

So they had a laksa station, a rojak station, as well as a kueh pie tee station where you can DIY your own serving and put in as much of each ingredient as you want! Out of these three, I only tried the laksa:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Laksa_Station

I LOVE QUAIL EGGS IN EVERYTHING UGHHHHHH

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Laksa

LAKSAAAAA

Okay I was a little disappointed with this laksa – the gravy was too thick and not tasty enough. It fell a little flat for me. However I did still enjoy it because I love all laksa and fishcake and quail’s eggs and taupok lol.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Kueh_Pie_Tee_Info

Nodding while doing this 🤔

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Kueh_Pie_Tee

That jar cover was really the one thing standing in the way of making my own kueh pie tee. It’s one effort too many to lift that up and try to put it aside somewhere.

Saltwater_Buffet_Rojak_Station

Rojak Station! Also efforttttttt.

Saltwater_Buffet_Rojak_Ingredients

Ingredients for the rojak

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Rojak_Station

I actually really love rojak sauce ugh but idk the ingredients did not look too inspiring so I strategically left this out.

DIY Stations verdict: Fun for those who like to feel like they’re cooking, or like they’re in control of whatever they’re eating. Otherwise, I’d give them a miss in favour of other more delicious food! (Like a second helping of the cold seafood dishes, which I totally went for).

VI) Dessert Selection

The dessert selection was quite extensive!! They had lots of mini cakes, nyonya kuehs, asian desserts as well as western offerings like bread pudding! There was also some ice cream but I also did not remember to take a photo :/ I was too distracted and excited by the other desserts!

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Pengat_Durian

Pengat Durian – truly the jewel in the dessert crown at Saltwater

LOVEDDDD the pengat durian so so much!! In case you guys didn’t know, pengat durian is made from simmering durian pulp in coconut milk and fresh milk, together with some pandan leaves and gula melaka thrown in. I’m not usually a big fan of durian derivatives (like durian ice cream eww bye) but thisssss was sooooo so good. WHY AM I TYPING THIS AT MIDNIGHT UGH NOW THIS IS ALL I WANT. It was sweet, a little bitter, and oh so so creamy.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Mini_Pastries

Assorted mini cakes that I didn’t get to try 😦

Saltwater_Buffet_Nyonya_Kueh

Steamed cake and ang ku kueh which had a great peanutty filling but whose skin was a little tough

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Fresh_Fruits

Fruits!! I had a couple of slices just because. Even though I was bursting at the seams by this point.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Dessert

Clockwise from left: Caramel cheesecake YUMMMM, pengat durian (SUPER YUMMMM), assorted nyonya kuehs (I love peeling off the kueh lapis layer by layer unffff), and BREAD PUDDING that was really yummy!

Desserts verdict: LOVED IT. Loved the variety (I don’t need a chocolate fondue and other fancy stuff), and I was VERY happy with the pengat durian, the caramel cheesecake, and the bread pudding. Textures and tastes were on point.

Overall Saltwater Cafe buffet verdict: This restaurant is about as far east of Singapore as I am far west, but I had a really good time overall!! The spread is quite extensive, and all my basic buffet needs are met! – terrific cold seafood starters WITH OYSTERS – yassss. Crab of some sort – yasssss. Grilled red meat of some sort – yassss. A variety of dessert options – yassss. Done and done. In fact, I’ve already made plans to go eat with my friends when one of us comes back from London for winter break 😀

Service is good; we had a particularly helpful wait staff who replaced our handwash bowls, got us more napkins, and gave us extra cutlery etc. The place is not too crowded and can be pretty peaceful! It’s def not one of those places where the crab tray is left with only empty claws lol, h8 those.

I’ll leave you guys with pictures of my plates as a summary of my experience at Saltwater Cafe:

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Seafood_Sashimi

Plate 1: COLD SEAFOOD STARTERS YASSSS

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Second_Plate

Plate 2: Shrimp fried rice, nyonya stingray, grilled asparagus & salted egg crab. The latter three were TERRIF.

 

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Grilled

Plate 3: Grilled stuff!

Plate 4 (not pictured): MORE COLD SEAFOOD STARTERS AND SASHIMI.

Saltwater_Cafe_Buffet_Dessert

Plate 5: Dessert!

 

Saltwater Cafe
1 Netheravon Road
Changi Village Hotel Level 1
Singapore 508502
Phone Reservations: +65 6379 7017
Online Reservations: click here

Opening Hours
630pm to 10pm daily for buffet dinner

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Buffet price: S$39++ per pax for Mon-Thu (without the Chill & Grill), or S$48++ per pax for Fri-Sun (with the Chill & Grill)

Recommended dishes: Snow crab legs, fresh oysters, salmon sashimi, nyonya stingray, salted egg crab, pengat durian, bread pudding