Aroma Kampung at Joo Chiat Complex

Aroma Kampung
#03-1111 Blk 2 Joo Chiat Complex
(Above NTUC Fairprice Supermarket)
Singapore 420002
Online Reservations available on their facebook page
Whatsapp Reservation: +65 9436 4767
Payment modes: Cash. NETS or Grabpay

Opening Hours
Daily: 10am to 7pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$11
Recommended dishes: Sotong hitam (Squid in squid ink), siput sedut, rendang

So a few weeks before Ramadan began, I was in the Geylang Serai area running some errands with my mum and we were looking to have a late lunch somewhere. I was all, uh how about Kucina at OneKM (okay it’s now KINEX, but I hate that name. Not that OneKM was much better to begin with) since it’s a nice comfortable place – but then my mum was like I know a place all mysterious like. And then she led me into Joo Chiat Complex, up to the third floor, and across a short walkway to this restaurant called Aroma Kampung.

Wow almost like a speakeasy (LOL NO LAH)
The entrance

So Aroma Kampung is a Nasi Melayu place serving over forty types of Malay dishes, buffet-style. You take however many dishes you want, and however much of a dish you want, and at the end of it they will calculate the damage for you at the counter, and then you can eat in peace.

Check out the extensive spread omg. For real I was like a kid in a candy store. Except I was being a makcik in Lauk Land.

They had sooo many things, from shellfish such as mussels, siput sedut (chut chut), cockles and clams) to fish like stingray asam pedas, fried ikan selar and other fish i know not the names of, to meat dishes like beef rendang, chicken lemak, fried chicken, to random lovable dishes like quail eggs in sambal, and finally to seafood dishes like my favourite sotong masak hitam (or squid in squid ink sauce). I think I recall seeing crabs in lemak gravy, and prawns of some sort but tbh I only had eyes for the siput sedut and the sotong hitam.

Flatlay lol, or our “Sur la table”. Basically all this including drinks cost $23.

Yum so I took some sotong hitam (two “bodies” of it) and a piece of fried tempeh, some sambal eggplant and a piece of stingray asam pedas, and oh let’s not forget the bowl of lemak siput sedut.

UGHHH my fave.

So yeah if you guys had seen my IG stories when I posted about it, you’d have seen in the video how thick and legit the squid ink gravy was, for the sotong hitam ugh it was almost like how my late aunt used to cook it. For real it was like #000000 black lol. I LOVED IT. The siput sedut was also really good and tasty, except that I felt the gravy could have been just slightly thicker and a bit more savoury. The eggplant was so plump and fresh, although the sauce was too oily. More of the chilli paste, less of the oil next time please!

I actually pretty much enjoyed everything except for the stingray which was quite lumpy. Hate it when the stingray flesh is like one fused glob. Is that what happens when it’s undercooked or is it just the quality of the fish? IDK. My mum had the rendang and some leafy dish (I think it was lemak pucuk ubi. Very yummy too.) and she also had the squid and the eggplant. All in all Aroma Kampung definitely passes the home-cooked taste test.

Anyway I’m def dying to go back for another pick’n’mix session. I love having a bit of everything (which is why I excel in buffets) rather than like one thing, so this place is ideal for me. I think the price is pretty reasonable too, like it worked out to be $11.50 per person inclusive of drinks. FYI there is a whole ulam section 😩for those who are really really kampung haha. Also the place is air-conditioned, comfortable and there are sinks for you to wash your hands if, like me, you prefer to eat with your hands instead of fork and spoon.

Bonus, they also do weddings! I think it could be a really cool, comfortable place for a small reception and you KNOW the food is going to be bombbbbb (please ISD I am only using it slangily).

There’s a neat pelamin area if anyone wants to host an intimate wedding here!

Aroma Kampung
#03-1111 Blk 2 Joo Chiat Complex
(Above NTUC Fairprice Supermarket)
Singapore 420002
Online Reservations available on their facebook page
Whatsapp Reservation: +65 9436 4767
Payment modes: Cash. NETS or Grabpay

Opening Hours
Daily: 10am to 7pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$11
Recommended dishes: Sotong hitam (Squid in squid ink), siput sedut, rendang

Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen at Somerset 313

Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen
B3-35/36 Somerset 313
313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu: Click here
Payment modes: Cash, nets and credit cards

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 1030pm (last order 945pm)

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Ichikokudo ramen (S$10.90), Ichi Beef Ramen (S$13.90), Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90)

Hey guys! I know what you’re thinking – back so fast?! It hasn’t even been 4 months yet since your last post. LOL OKAY. I just felt like posting another review quickly before the feeling goes away! TBH I was torn between this and watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix, but okay I’m giving myself 30 mins. I need to rewatch Season 3 before starting Season 4 which just got released!

Also I’m just going to throw this out there – if you guys haven’t listened to the Serial podcast on Spotify / Apple PodcastCastbox etc, please give it a go! Season 1 on Adnan Syed’s supposed murder of his ex-gf Hae Min Lee was crazy. I’m now on Season 3 which is about Cleveland’s justice system. Sounds boring but it’s actually really gripping and you just end up marvelling almost, at how stacked the system is against the black residents there.

Anyway I wanted to post about my new fave ramen spot in town, Ichikokudo! Their first outlet was opened in July 2018 at Suntec City, while the second outlet opened at Somerset 313 in March this year! They recently opened their third outlet at China Square in May, but I’ve yet to go to that one.

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View of from the outside, at Somerset 313 basement 3 with all the food outlets!

Feel free to also read this feature from Berita Minggu I totally snapped a pic of, at the Suntec branch:

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I really like the word Jepun lol but I disapprove of “pes” for paste.

The outlet at Suntec is a bit annoying to get to – I mean that place is such a maze and I just do not have the kind of energy required to navigate the different towers and atria. So this second outlet at Somerset 313 is PERFECT because I LOVE Somerset (can buy strawbs from Don Don Donki LOL).

I came here for buka puasa a few weeks ago and started with the Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90) and the Hokkaido butter clams ($6.90).

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Mix of regular and lightly broiled salmon (S$7.90)
Hokkaido Butter Clams (S6.90) – a little dry IMO

Okay so I actually really like the salmon, and perhaps even preferred the broiled version to the regular version because of the light char. I did think that the slices were a little thin, so hopefully that’s something they can improve on. $7.90 isn’t too bad but I’d rather thicker slices, so ideally it’d be like 6 thicker slices for $7.90 or 8 slices for $9.90 ( LOL what am I a pricing analyst?) Anyway the math tells you that 8 slices for $9.90 saves you about 8 cents a slice LOL. 7.5/10 for the salmon sashimi!

The butter clams were a little disappointing, because the clams were a little dry and there wasn’t a lot of them to begin with. Of course I compared them to the plump clams from Deanna’s Kitchen’s prawn noodles, where you get literally like 25-30 clams when you order the $6.50 bowl of prawn noodles with clams LOL. I’d say skip the clams unless you’re craving. 6/10

For mains, I ordered the regular Ichikokudo Ramen (S$10.90) which features a full ramen egg, bamboo shoots, chicken chashu slices, woodear mushroom and aosa seaweed. All of these ingredients are bathed in their super umami and tasty broth made from chicken bone, mackerel, bonito and kelp:

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Ichikokudo Ramen (S10.90) – 9.5/10. SUPER delicious and savoury. Just a touch oily, but manageable.

I loved it!! And it’s not just because I had been fasting the whole day lol. For real, the broth was done just right that night. I think the first time I went to the Suntec branch, I found the regular broth a little salty, but that particular night at the Somerset branch the broth was on point. I LOVE the seasoned egg with the gooey yolk, and all the textures of the different ingredients alternately crunchy and chewy. At some other places I’ve been to, the bamboo shoots can taste a little too strong, but Ichikokudo’s were great and inoffensive. Noodles were also really good!! No weird lye taste, great bite, and well-coated in the broth.  9.5/10

My friend had the Ichi-Beef Ramen (S$13.90) which he really enjoyed. I had a bite of it and found the beef slices to be really tender and perfect, kind of like Gyunion’s beef strips YUM. Here is a photo of his bowl:

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Ichi Beef Ramen ($13.90)- basically similar to the Ichikokudo ramen but with the chicken chashu swapped with beef slices. Also 9.5/10

My other friend opted for another popular choice (popular based on what I’m seeing on IG LOL), the Hokkai Jigoku Smoked Duck Ramen (S$15.90):

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Ichi Smoked Duck Ramen (S$15.90) – 8/10 because the broth is crazy yum.

Wow this was really interesting – the description on the menu says that the broth is a blend of spicy miso and their signature soup stock. To me it tasted like a mix of mala and curry, if that makes any sense. Very yummy and def for those who prefer a spicy kick. To be clear though they do offer condiments like chilli oil and togarashi chilli powder that you can liberally season your ramens with. I personally found the smoked duck pairing a little off, like the strong broth overpowered the taste of the duck. I might actually order smoked duck slices as a side hehe. Regardless, a solid 8/10 because the broth is unfff. (edited to add: I recently tried the shoyu ramen version with the smoked duck for S$13.90, and they went SO well together. Def getting more next time!!)

Bonus picture of the Hokkai Salmon Ikura Don (S$16.90) that my other friend had during another visit to Ichikokudo, in case you guys like looking at my #real photos:

Hokkai Salmon Ikura Don (S$16.90)

All in all, I had a super pleasant time at Ichikokudo Ramen. Service is polite and quick; you place your order through an iPad which is really great because God forbid your order gets held up simply because you can’t get a waiter’s attention lol (I get hangry really easily help). GST and service charge applies, FYI. I would def come back from time to time for my Hokkaido ramen fix especially since I find myself in the Somerset area quite frequently. Anyway I’ll leave you guys with pictures of the menu below, enjoy!

Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen
B3-35/36 Somerset 313
313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu: Click here
Payment modes: Cash, nets and credit cards

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 1030pm (last order 945pm)

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Ichikokudo ramen (S$10.90), Ichi Beef Ramen (S$13.90), Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90)

Boat Noodles at Bugis Junction

Boat Noodles
#02-46 Bugis Junction
200 Victoria St
Singapore 188021
Remarks: Cash and credit cards accepted!

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 9pm
Tel: +65 6665 0246

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$7 lol but it wasn’t a full meal
Recommended dishes: So far, the creamy tom yum and the pathumthani boat noodles at S$1.50 per bowl

Hey guys! Gosh I know I’ve been totally MIA (except on IG stories haha addicted to IG ngl). Ramadan and Raya were both really all-consuming, like I managed to have a pretty good “Reset Ramadan” where I was a lot better with the 5-times-a-day praying and recited the Quran daily (who am I?!) TBH I wasn’t really expecting to have such a spiritual Ramadan this year, so alhamdulillah for His grace. And of course Raya was all about visiting, hosting and nonstop eating?!?! Gosh. I hope you guys had a good Syawal. I’m pretty happy it’s coming to an end though I need my weekends back haha nervous laughter.

Apart from that, in the secular world I’ve been bingeing on quite a lot of good tv series – I swear (and I’ve been saying this for the past few years) we are living in the golden age of television. Let’s see – Fleabag on Amazon Prime (but I just streamed it lol soz) is SOOOOOO good please just go watch, and Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us is so gut-wrenching and powerful and moving. Also started on Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale. Sometimes I feel like I should just be like Jason Kottke and do a post on my media diet since I love sharing about it so much lol.

Aaaanyway. On to food. Today I was out with a friend and she was going to get lunch whereas I already had food waiting at home for me (salmon steamed with ginger, scallion and garlic my gosh. Lush.) But she suggested Boat Noodles at Bugis Junction and I’d always wanted to try (tbh no idea what boat noodles were all about so I read the wiki entry on Boat Noodles)

Boat noodles have been served since the period of Plaek Phibunsongkhram in 1942, and were originally served from boats that traversed Bangkok’s canals.[1][2]

In the past, a merchant who sold boat noodles would have been the only person working on a small boat, and would have had to do everything by himself from paddle a boat, scald the noodles, season the soup, serve the dish, handle money and wash the dishes. If the bowl was too big, it would be difficult to hand over to the customer on the land and might be easily spilled. This is the reason why the boat noodle’s bowl is small, for the convenience and safety of the merchant.

Nowadays the dish is also served in restaurants, but the dish’s historical identity is maintained by it still being served in a small bowl, and often with a boat moored in front of the place.

Pretty cool, and gosh it’s traditionally super porky so thank god for halal versions. Here’s a look at the exterior and interior of the place:

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Looking up at the level 2 establishment from level one of Bugis Village!
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Right at the entrance of the place, and super reassuring lol
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There are two seating sections – I was in the back area which felt a lot more private and quiet, this view is of the main area 🙂

So here is the menu:

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As a snacky person, I LOVE this menu. so many small things to choose from! Also, halal kuey chap 😩 curious to try next time
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Oh they also have a short history of them small bowls on the menu!
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Order chit, nbd

The boat noodles come in these small bowls that technically could be finished in anywhere between 1-3 mouthfuls, so they were perfectly customizable and “stackable” to suit the needs of both a mere snacker and someone looking for a full meal. I ordered two bowls at S$1.50 each, as I still needed to eat at home with the fam.

I went for the Pathumthani Beef Noodles (S$1.50) with rice noodles (you can also choose springy noodles, which I assume are like Maggi noodles), and the Creamy Tom Yum Chicken Noodles (S$1.50):

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Creamy tom yum noodles with chicken on top, Pathumthani noodles with beef below, S$1.50 each. Both were really good, but I def preferred the creamy tom yum broth!!

The pathumthani broth was really rich and slightly sweet. My friend loved it and in fact preferred it to the creamy tom yum broth. I was the opposite – I liked the pathumthani broth enough, but found the creamy tom yum broth absolutely delicious. It didn’t taste like instant noodle broth, which was surprising. I thought at these prices they’d surely taste like Mama noodle broth lol not that that’s a bad thing. Both the chicken and meat balls were decent enough, and a welcome addition to a $1.50 bowl. I’m not sure it’d be worth it to stack like 10 bowls if you’re a big guy looking to sate your ravenous appetite (maybe?!! Actually 10 bowls is still only S$15) but for those looking for variety I think it’s a pretty good deal.

My friend ordered a Pad Thai (S$8.90) which smelled pretty amazing but I didn’t try as I was really saving my appetite for lunch at home. Here’s how it looked like:

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Pad Thai – S$8.90 (I didn’t try it tho!)

So all in all it was a pretty casual comfortable place to eat. GST and service charge are applicable, but you still get table service which was pretty decent, smiley and fast. You submit your order chit to the waiter, and you pay at the counter after. I would deffff come back here for a full meal next time, especially since it’s in a pretty convenient location at Bugis Junction! There’s also the original outlet at Changi City Point, but as a Westie I’m pretty confident I might not make it all the way there anytime soon lol. Also they only serve bottled mineral water at S$1.90 so just bring your own water bottle if you hate paying for water (like me).

Boat Noodles
#02-46 Bugis Junction
200 Victoria St
Singapore 188021
Remarks: Cash and credit cards accepted!

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 9pm
Tel: +65 6665 0246

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$7 lol but it wasn’t a full meal
Recommended dishes: So far, the creamy tom yum and the pathumthani boat noodles at S$1.50 per bowl

Le Fuse at Lim Tua Tow Road (Serangoon)

Le Fuse
22 Lim Tua Tow Road
Singapore 547772
Reservations: DM them on Instagram or Facebook!
Closest MRT Station: Serangoon MRT!

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 4pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$25
Recommended dishes: Chong Qing Diced Chicken (S$9.80), Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef (S$9.80)

Hey guys! Wow it’s been FOREVER since I last posted something, sorry I’ve just not been in any mood to post, and also really lazy?? Raya was so tiring ugh I felt like retreating from everything and everyone for a while. Also, I’ve been watching Season 3 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Netflix (ugh I LOVE the series, but this season is particularly dark haha).

Anyway I wanted to tell you guys about this halal fusion mala place I recently visited called Le Fuse. So apparently the owners had their original branch at Middle Road under the name Mala Hui Cui Guan – the ingredients were halal and the place was muslim-owned, BUT they served alcohol which made some of the patrons uncomfortable. I guess not the ideal place to bring your old folks too, they’ll be all “eh apa ni ada beer semua ni” LOL. So yeah they decided to vacate and restart at Lim Tua Tow Road as Le Fuse!

Le Fuse - Exterior

The exterior which opens out to a public carpark. Quite convenient for drivers!

Le Fuse - Interior

The interior. That Fuse projection on the wall makes it look like a club lol.

Le Fuse - Counter

Counter

Le Fuse - Carpark

This is the carpark on the outside; quite nice right.

Here is a look at the menu for you guys!

Le Fuse - Menu appetisersLe Fuse - Noodles Menu 2Le Fuse - Rice MenuLe Fuse - Drinks Menu

There were 7 of us so we got to try quite a bit of stuff. My friend and I actually came early to sneakily try a couple of starters first (HAHA so greedy). We tried first the Mala Tofu Skin (S$6.80):

Le Fuse - Mala Tofu Skin

Mala Tofu Skin (S$6.80) – 6/10

Man, this was disappointing because firstly it wasn’t at all chilled; it was maybe like 2 degrees above room temperature haha. Also there wasn’t much of a texture/bite to the tofu strips. Added to that, the sauce, which wasn’t flavourful enough to begin with, was in such small quantities and did not manage to coat the tofu skin well. I hope next time they’ll improve this dish, shouldn’t be too hard! 6/10

Next up we tried the Chong Qing Diced Chicken (S$9.80), comprising deep fried diced chicken tossed in with dried chilli and sichuan peppercorns.

Le Fuse - Chong Qing Diced Chicken

Chong Qing Diced Chicken (S$9.80) – 8/10

Le Fuse - Chong Qing Diced Chicken 2

A close-up

Okay YUMMMM this was such a good dish. I loved the texture of the chicken; it was so so crispy. The mala flavour wasn’t too strong unless you bit into the peppercorns, which is not ideal. I wish it had been incorporated into the chicken seasoning somehow, but it’s a small complaint. The dish was also borderline over-salted but I have quite a high salt tolerance so I could not stop eating lol. Pair it with the delicious plum (PRUNE??) juice and it’s all good. 9/10

Le Fuse - Prune Juice

Delicious Chinese Sour Plum Drink (S$3.80). Shoutout to my clean thumbnail.

We were also swayed into ordering the very trendy Salted Egg Calamari (S$9.80):

Le Fuse - Salted Egg Calamari

Salted Egg Calamari (S$9.80) – 6.5/10

Le Fuse - Salted Egg Calamari

Mm not my favourite of the lot; the salted egg taste was not to my liking, and the texture of the batter was a little hard when it should’ve been light and crisp. My favourite salted egg calamari dishes are also the ones with a creamy salted egg sauce though, instead of the battered ones. 6.5/10

Another dish we ordered was the Dengdeng Beef Sichuan (S$10.80), comprising thin crispy slices of beef coated in Sichuan sauce:

Le Fuse - Sichuan Beef Dengdeng

Dengdeng Beef Sichuan (S$10.80) – 7/10

Okay to be frank I don’t remember much about this dish, and neither did my friend when I asked him! I remember thinking it was okay – not terribly memorable, but not bad either. It was a little like those crispy beef balado you get at some Nasi Padang stores. I remember wishing it had a bit more of that mala sichuan numbing taste, but that’s about it. 7/10

Okay so finally we moved onto our main noodle dishes. I went for the Mala Tang (S$12.80) which is the spicy mala soup version. It came with pre-selected ingredients comprising sausage, chicken luncheon meat, lotus root, broccoli, cauliflower (BOOO), and that fungus ear mushroom thingy:

Le Fuse - Mala Tang Spicy Soup

Mala Tang Soup with Noodles (S$12.80) – 7/10

Oh no I terribly wanted to like this but I found it way too oily and not spicy enough! I got it in level 2 but would have def preferred level 3 I think. I also felt like it was just regular spicy and not mala-spicy. When I spoke to the owner towards the end of our meal, he did mention that he went easy on the mala spice because not a lot of the Muslim crowd likes that numbing spice taste, but that we could customise our order and indicate our preference when putting in our order. I also didn’t like that they had pre-selected ingredients. I much prefer being able to select my own ingredients at those Kopitiam mala shops lol. 7/10

One of us went with the dry version Mala Xiang Guo Noodles (S$12.80) which I actually found slightly better than the soup version:

Le Fuse - Ma La Xiang Guo dry noodles

Mala Xiang Guo dry noodles (S$12.80) – 7.5/10

Less oily than the soup version, and I feel with the soup version you need to make sure the broth is super tasty; otherwise it won’t add to the dish. As with the soup version, the ingredients are pre-selected. Please god I don’t want cauliflower lol. Broccoli is okay I love broccoli. 7.5/10

One of us got the Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef (S$9.80):

Le Fuse - Sweet potato noodles with beef 2

Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef (S$9.80) – 9/10

Le Fuse - Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef

UNFFFF

OMG I loved these noodles and totally wished I’d ordered them instead!! Actually my friend and I ended up basically swapping lol since he preferred my soupy mala noodles. Anyway wow the noodles were super on pointtttt they were so perfectly chewy and soft!! Loved the beef chunks also which were rather tender, and I think the noodles soaked up the broth better. Yum; would def get this the next time I’m at Le Fuse!! 9/10

All in all I think there’s definitely room for improvement at Le Fuse; the selection of dishes is pretty good so after some tweaks it could really be great. One thing I’d like to see is more customizable levels of mala spice in the menu, as well as the ability to select ingredients in your mala tang/mala xiang guo! I’d definitely welcome any place that serves halal sichuan food so I hope Le Fuse only gets better with time!

Le Fuse
22 Lim Tua Tow Road
Singapore 547772
Reservations: DM them on Instagram or Facebook!
Closest MRT station: Serangoon MRT!

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 4pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$25
Recommended dishes: Chong Qing Diced Chicken (S$9.80), Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef (S$9.80)

Ramadan Iftar Promos 2018

Hey guys! So I know I haven’t blogged in a bit, although I’ve been posting on Instagram and Instagram Stories fairly regularly LOL. OMG how insane was the Malaysian GE14?!?! I’m quite glad Jibby’s out. My only hope now is for some real progress for the country. It’ll probably result in a stronger Ringgit which all Singaporeans (myself included!) will dread, but I guess we can’t wish for our neighbours to remain weak merely to serve our selfish shopping needs.

Anyway Ramadan is coming and I hope we will all be successful in reaffirming our iman and maximising our good deeds during this blessed month.

On the halal food front, I’m also trying to put together a Ramadan iftar list with restaurant promotions that I’ll progressively be updating . So if you guys need help figuring out where to iftar/break fast/ buka puasa outside, I hope the list will be of help!

1. Ramadan Communal Feast at The Halia

The Halia
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue), Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singaporean 259569
Dining period: 16 May 2018 to 14 June 2018
Price: S$220++ for four guests
Reservations: Call +65 8444 1148
Remarks: Prayer room available at The Villa (opposite The Halia)
Status: Halal-certified

The Ramadan communal feast at the Halia serves a total of 11 dishes to up to four guests. The featured dishes in the repertoire include the Blackmore Wagyu Masala Beef, the Panfried Barramundi with Beetroot Salsa, and the Bluefin Tuna Tartare!

The_Halia_Braised_Wagyu_Masala_Beef

Wagyu Masala Beef


2. Ramadan Weekend Buffet at the Villa (opposite The Halia Restaurant)

The Villa (opposite The Halia)
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue), Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Dining period: Friday-Sunday between 18 May to 10 Jun 2018
Price: S$50++ for adults, S$20++ for children 5-10 yrs old
Reservations: Call +65 8444 1148
Remarks: Prayer room available at The Villa
Status: Halal-certified

So this slightly different from the earlier communal feast, which has a preset number of courses. For this deal, you get a regular buffet and can choose from any of the dishes laid out. Plus, this buffet is only happening on Friday-Sunday! Highlights include their signature Chilli Crab Spaghettini at the live pasta station, as well as the Australian Grain-Fed Beef Ribeye from the live carving station.

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Chilli Crab Spaghettini!


3. Ramadan Buffet at Blue Jasmine at Park Hotel Farrer Park

Blue Jasmine
Address: Park Hotel Farrer Park Level 5, 10 Farrer Park Station Road, Singapore 217564
Dining period: Daily from 17 May to 13 Jun 2018, 630pm to 10pm
Price: S$58++ per pax, S$29++ for kids 6-12 yrs, kids 5 and below dine free!
Promotion: 20% off for NTUC members and UOB, Maybank and DBS cardholders! If you have none of these cards, you can also quote “Halalicious” when you ask for the bill to enjoy a 20% discount as well!
Reservations: Call +65 6824 8851
Remarks: Prayer space will be made available for diners; please enquire with Staff
Status: Halal-certified

Blue Jasmine will be having a special daily buffet for the month of Ramadan, and each week will feature a slightly different halal menu showcasing Thai and regional specialties. There will be Seafood Night, Curry Night, Grill & Roast Night, and Herbs & Spices Night. You’ll also get some fixed staples such as main dishes with all kinds of lamb, chicken, and fish offerings. I also LOVE the dessert spread which has ondeh-ondeh, mango sticky rice, durian sticky rice and an assortment of cakes.

Below are some highlights of each of the week’s themes!

Blue_Jasmine_Lobster_Curry_Noodle

Seafood Night Highlight – Lobster Khao Soi, or Northern Curry Noodles with Spiny Lobster!

Blue_Jasmine_Crabmeat_Laksa

Curry Night Highlight – Singapore Style Laksa with fresh crab meat

Blue_Jasmine_Soto_Ayam

Grill and Roast Night Highlight – Soto Ayam with Rice Cakes

Blue_Jasmine_Seabass_Lemongrass_Peanuts

Herbs and Spices Night Highlight – Deep Fried Seabass with Lemongrass and Peanuts! LOVE THIS.

 

4. Ramadan Buffet at Rumah Rasa Restaurant at Bay Hotel

Rumah Rasa
Address: Bay Hotel, 50 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 098828
Dining period: Daily from 16 May to 14 Jun 2018, 630pm to 930pm
Sun-Thu Price: $35++ for adults, $20++ for children 6-12 yrs old
Fri-Sat & PH Price: $42++ for adults, $25++ for children 6-12 yrs old
Reservations: Click here for online reservations or call +65 6818 6681
Remarks: Halal-certified. Bay Hotel is right next to Masjid Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim for your prayer convenience!

Bay hotel is located diagonally across the road from Vivocity, so it’s actually quite easy getting there from Harbourfront MRT through the underpass that leads to the same side as the hotel. I tried the buffet a couple of weeks ago and LOVED Chef Esa’s Chick Kut Teh with taupok (fried beancurd), dried mushroom and garlic. Peppery and sliiightly herbal, with tender chunks of chicken and juicy taupok, I found it super nourishing and comforting.

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Chick Kut Teh Set-up. Not pictured are the juicy chunks of chicken ALREADY in the pot.

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The main dishes were also pretty good – my absolute favourite was the Ayam Woku Blanga, which is chicken in a really fragrant and delicious belado-type (chilli) sauce. I also loved the crayfish in chilli crab sambal, and the squid in squid ink!

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What was left of the crayfish when I got to it lol but they refill it from time to time so no worries. 

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A terrible photo (SORRY) of some of the main dishes like the (clockwise from bottom) duck in green chilli, ayam woku blanga, braised beef, crayfish in chilli crab sauce, snapper asam pedas, black ink squid.

From Sundays to Thursdays, there will be live stations serving Laksa Asam and Roti John. Seafood lovers will enjoy the Cumi Cumi Hitam (Stir-fried calamari in squid ink sauce) and Crayfish in chilli crabmeat and egg sauce. Come Fridays, Saturdays and Eve of Public Holidays, the live BBQ station will feature marinated squid and fresh tiger prawns among other items!

**Ramadan Takeaway Deals**

1. Ramadan Takeaway set by Rumah Rasa Restaurant at Bay Hotel

You can get the takeaway set priced at $80 nett for 4 people and $40 nett for 2. Orders have to be placed by 2.30PM on the same day of pickup. The set includes Lemak Gudeg (young jackfruit in spicy coconut broth), Ayam Woku Belanga (Manado-style spice-marinated chicken), Pedas Kakap (snapper in spicy sour broth), Rawon Sapi (beef in black broth), choice of steamed white rice or nasi kuning (yellow rice) and mixed fruit platter.

Rumah Rasa (Takeaway)
Address: Bay Hotel, 50 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 098828
Validity: 16 May to 14 Jun 2018
Remarks: Please call +65 6818 6681 and place your takeaway orders by 230pm on the same day!
Price: $80 nett for 4 pax, $40 nett for 2 pax
Status: Halal-certified

2. Ramadan Pick-up Promo at Citrus By The Pool at Woodlands Swimming Complex

Get their specialty burgers, pastas and waffles here for your dinner! I’m a little sad the milkshakes and desserts are not available for this pick-up promo (because you always crave these rich sweet things when you’re fasting right?! Maybe that’s just me).

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The Shiok Burger featuring chicken thigh patty with chilli crab sauce!!

Citrus By The Pool (Takeaway)
Address: Woodlands Swimming Complex, 3 Woodlands Street 13, Singapore 738600
Validity: 17 May to 14 Jun 2018
Remarks: Make your pre-order by clicking here, or click here if you need instructions first on how to order online. Get 20% off your bill if you pre-order the day before pick-up, or 10% off if you pre-order by 530pm the same day!
Status: Halal-certified

Citrus By The Pool II (New Burger Menu!)

Citrus By The Pool
3 Woodlands Street 12
3-3A Woodlands Swimming Complex
Singapore 738600
Tel: +65 6366 6581
Online reservations: Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun & PH: 9am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Shiok Burger (Chicken patty with chilli crab sauce – S$12.90), Snickerhead Milkshake (S$12.90) Double Chocolate Milkshake (S$8.90)

Hey guys!! I’m so sorry I’ve been so MIA – I just had a work trip recently that kind of threw my entire schedule off. Also I guess I’ve been out WAY too much and haven’t had time to properly sit down and write this review! I mean, HAVE YOU GUYS WATCHED BLACK PANTHER? NO SPOILERS OR ANYTHING AND I WON’T EVEN SAY IF IT’S GOOD OR BAD. In all seriousness though, if you don’t understand the hype, go read this NY Times article about Why Black Panther Is A Defining Moment For Black America. It was so so good and so insightful.

Also the other reason I haven’t been blogging is I have been bingeing all 4 seasons of Silicon Valley 😩😩 It’s SOOOO funny especially Erlich and Jian Yang together UGH. I can’t wait for Season 5 already!! It’s coming out in just under 4 weeks on 25 Mar 2018!

OK so let’s talk about food now. Three weeks ago I was invited by the kind folks at Citrus By The Pool to taste their new burgers and shakes menu!!

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We got to try all 4!

The first burger was the Boss Burger (S$17.90 for double patty) featuring the beef-mutton patty layered with crispy fried onions, tomato slices, cucumber, lettuce and purple cabbage, smothered in satay sauce on toasted charcoal bun:

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Big Boss burger (S$17.90) – 7/10

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Visuals 💯

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Cross section!

OK so I was really excited about this, and the satay sauce was a great touch because I LOVE satay ugh. Even the purple slaw was yummy and helped cut through the richness a little. However, the patty disappointed me in that the ground meat came apart all too easily. I haven’t tried making patties from scratch myself so I’m not quite sure why the meat doesn’t bind well together. I also thought the bun was a little dry and aerated where it should have been a little chewy with more bite. Room for improvement on this one! 7/10

Thankfully, I LOVED the cajun fries that came with the burger. They were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just really well done. I have to say, Citrus by the Pool consistently delivers on its fries.

Next up we tried the Shiok Burger (S$12.90) featuring a deep fried chicken thigh patty with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and a sunny side up, topped with spicy chilli crab sauce:

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Shiok Burger (S$12.90) – 9/10

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Cross-section of the Shiok Burger!

Mm! I really liked the Shiok Burger – the chicken patty was juicy (not unlike the McSpicy burger which, come on, is always good) and I LOVED the chilli crab sauce!! I only wish they had added more of the sauce, although I’m sure next time I could ask that they put more of that magic sauce on my burger. Honestly I didn’t even need the sunny side up as an accompaniment because the patty and sauce alone would have been enough. 9/10

Our third burger was The Big Catch (S$12.90) with a buttermilk-battered dory, crispy fried onions, tomato, lettuce and tartar sauce:

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The Big Catch ($12.90) – 5/10 because I hate fish burgers SOZZZZZ

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Gurl you a haht messs

Oh my, okay so it’s not really fair for me to pass my judgement on this because I am really not a fan of breaded fish. Not in fish and chips and certainly not in burgers. I swear only mums love fish burgers (sample size 2 – my mum and my sister-in-law’s mum lol). Objectively though there was too much tartar sauce on the burger which made the whole thing a slick, jelak mess. I think maybe they could have also made the tartar sauce a little zestier with more lemon juice so that it’s more refreshing. Gotta pass on this guys. 5/10

The last of the burgers was the Dainty Trio (S$10.90 for three chicken sliders, or S$10.90 for three beef+mutton sliders) in a choice of teriyaki or BBQ sauce:

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Dainty Trio (S$12.90) – 6.5/10

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Beef+mutton slider in BBQ sauce!

The sliders were really pretty to look at, but overall I still found them lacking. The buns were a little dry and hard, which makes it a little challenging to bite through, especially given the proportions of a slider (a burger that is taller than it is wide). I liked the crispy onions, and the tomato slice did add some juiciness. Nevertheless, neither the teriyaki chicken patty nor the BBQ beef+mutton one left any lasting impression on me.  6.5/10

On to the milkshakes!!

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UNFFFFF

We tried the Snickerhead (S$12.90), Cookie Crush (S$9.90) and Double Chocolate (S$8.90):

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Snickerhead (S$12.90), Cookie Crush (S$9.90) and Double Chocolate (S$8.90)

OMG guys these are soooo sinful but unffffff. The Snickerhead and Double Chocolate were both really, really delicious with Snickerhead edging out just a little. It IS 4 whole dollars more, so if you guys are trying to save some money, go for the S$8.90 Double Chocolate which is almost as good! They’re both really rich and chocolatey and really filling; perfect for one of those days when you’re just super hungry and your stomach feels concave. 9/10 for both.

The Cookie Crush was the weak link here as it tasted too milky and just a little bland. Too much cream, too little cookie taste. I would skip this flavour. 6/10

Aaand finally, as if we hadn’t already had to loosen our belts a notch after eating ALL THOSE BURGERS and drinking all those milkshakes, we went for the sundaes.

We opted for the Coco Loco (S$9.90) with coconut ice cream, nata de coco, crushed matcha cookies and gula melaka syrup, and Berry Magic (S$11.90) featuring strawberry ice cream, strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, and a strawberry biscuit roll:

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Coco Loco sundae (S$9.90) – 8/10 & Berry Magic sundae (S$11.90) – 7/10

I’m not naturally a sundae person, but I thought the Coco Loco was pretty good. It helps that I have a weakness for gula melaka and nata de coco unffff. The coconut ice cream was a little tooo creamy for me; otherwise the nata de coco, the slightly bitter crunch from the matcha cookie crumbs, and the sweetness of the gula melaka syrup was a winning combo. 8/10

The Berry Magic sundae was okay – I love strawberry as much as the next person but this was a little overkill with the ice cream and the jam. The ice-cream on its own would have been pretty good – maybe they should sell it by the scoop; it would be less heavy than a whole sundae. Also S$11.90 is a little steep for what it is! 7/10

Overall a dinner of hits and misses, but I think I could probably get myself the Shiok Burger with a milkshake next time and be pretty happy with my order. That’s the benefit of having options! The location is not anywhere near my usual spots (home, office, friend catch-ups), but if I’m in the area I would definitely drop by for food. I might also consider bringing my family here for a pleasant, casual meal.

I’ll leave you guys with photos of the place and the menu:

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The entrance!

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A play corner for the kids and astroturf lovers, just outside the entrance

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Pretty cosy!

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Citrus_By_The_Pool_Dessert_Menu

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Citrus By The Pool
3 Woodlands Street 12
3-3A Woodlands Swimming Complex
Singapore 738600
Tel: +65 6366 6581
Online reservations: Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun & PH: 9am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Shiok Burger (Chicken patty with chilli crab sauce – S$12.90), Snickerhead Milkshake (S$12.90) Double Chocolate Milkshake (S$8.90)

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.)

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#Alhamdulillah

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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).

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

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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)