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)

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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.

Rumah_Rasa_Chick_Kut_Teh

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

Rumah_Rasa_Chick_Kut_Teh2

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!

Rumah_Rasa_Crayfish_Chilli_Crab

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

Rumah_Rasa_Main_Dishes

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).

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Shiok_Burger

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!!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Burger_Description

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Boss_Burger2

Big Boss burger (S$17.90) – 7/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Big_Boss_Burger

Visuals 💯

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Boss_Burger_Inside

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Shiok_Burger2

Shiok Burger (S$12.90) – 9/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Shiok_Burger_Inside

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Big_Catch_Fish_Burger

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

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Fish_Burger_Inside

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Dainty_Trio_Sliders

Dainty Trio (S$12.90) – 6.5/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Slider

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!!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Sundae_Description

UNFFFFF

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

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Milkshake_Trio

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Berry_Coconut_Sundaes

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:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Entrance

The entrance!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Outside

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

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Ambience

Pretty cosy!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Food_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Pasta_Burgers_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Burger_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Sundae_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Dessert_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Beverage_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)

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)

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)

 

 

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!

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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!

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Chill & Grill Options

So let me take you through the spread that evening.

I) COLD STARTERS

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Mussels and fresh prawns omg look how plump!!

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Giant snow crab legs!!

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

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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:

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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

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

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Mozzarella looks enticing!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Oxtail stew yum yum

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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:

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

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

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This looks crazy tasty.

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Teriyaki fish with so, so many cherry tomatoes

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Wow these braised ducks look so taut and shiny

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A closer look at that sheen on them braised ducks

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

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

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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.

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Items available for grilling

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

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

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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.

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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).

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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:

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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:

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I LOVE QUAIL EGGS IN EVERYTHING UGHHHHHH

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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.

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Nodding while doing this 🤔

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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.

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Rojak Station! Also efforttttttt.

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Ingredients for the rojak

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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!

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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.

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

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

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

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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:

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Plate 1: COLD SEAFOOD STARTERS YASSSS

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

 

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Plate 3: Grilled stuff!

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

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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

The Halia at Botanic Gardens’ Weekday Easy Breakfast

The Halia
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569
Reservations: +65 8444 1148 or general.hsbg@halia.com.sg
Note: Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea
Weekday Easy Breakfast Menu: Click here
Ala Carte Menus: Click here

Opening Hours
Weekday Easy Breakfast: 9am to 11am Mon-Fri except PH
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 930pm (Last seating)
Fri & PH eve: 12pm to 10pm
Weekends & PH Dinner: 4pm to 10pm (Last seating)
Weekends & PH Brunch: 10am to 4pm
Weekends & PH Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Favourite Dishes: Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), 62.5deg Poached Eggs (S$18), The Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) 

Okay so in my last post I totally forgot to ask – did you guys go for the Backstreet Boys concert two Saturdays ago?!?!?! I diddddd and it was great, although I truly preferred the one from 2015 because I felt they were fresher then. Plus the venue was the Star Performing Arts Centre at the Star Vista, which was smaller and much more intimate! They just seemed more tired this time, and Brian was struggling to get his voice out – it was kind of heartbreaking actually ugh. I think it’s their Vegas residency tiring them out! Did you guys know they’ll have to perform 26 shows within 1 year from Mar 2017 to Feb 2018? Pretty intense huh.

Anyway, they still managed to put up a good show and I had a memorable night with my girls! I hope it was just as fun for those of you who went, sauna feels notwithstanding.

Sooooooo I was invited to try the new Weekday Easy Breakfast menu at The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty tragic that I had to take AM leave for this menu that would only be accessible to folks living the dream and able to have leisurely breakfast outside in the morning, but ok no whining.

Again, you guys can check out the menu here.

We dove right in to the Chilli Crab & Eggs (S$14) which consisted of chilli crab dip with two 62.5 deg poached eggs and some crostinis for dipping:

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Chilli Crab & Eggs (S$14) – 9.5/10

OMG guys this was actually my favourite item on their Weekday Easy Breakfast menu for real. The chilli crab dip was tangy, mildly spicy and came with a generous portion of crab meat. The sauce with the runny eggs and the crispy crostini made for a dream combination. I liked that because it was crostini rather than bread, it made the dish lighter and more suitable for breakfast. They probably should do a mantou option though for those more accustomed to heavier breakfasts!! UNFFF I love a good fluffy mantou bun. 9.5/10

On a side note, did you guys know that for their regular menu Chilli Crab Pasta, it is a little sweeter by default to cater to international tastebuds, but you can inform your waiter to make it a little spicier to suit your preference? I think I would def do that next time as I don’t like it quite as sweet.

Anyway we moved on to the 62.5 Deg Poached Eggs (S$18), feauring sautéed spinach, smoked capsicum & truffle salsa, and two perfectly poached eggs on top of a thick slice of toast:

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62.5 deg Poached Eggs (S$18) – 9/10

So 62.5deg is the precise temperature at which time the whites of the egg cooks, but not the yolk, so you get the runniest of eggs yummmmmm. And my friend is going to call me a basic brunch bish for liking this (you know who you are, Z) but I dooooo!! I loved the whole combination of runny eggs with the savoury sautéed spinach and the smokey salsa. It was balanced, nutritious, and delicious. A little bit steep for what it is though. 9/10

Next up was the Smashed Avocado on Toasted Sourdough (S$12 per slice/ $22 for 2 slices), consisting of avocado, tomatoes and feta cheese on a bed of sourdough:

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Smashed Avocado on Toasted Sourdough (S$12 per slice or $22 per 2 slices) – 6/10

Yet another millennial brunch staple, the avocado toast has gotten a pretty bad rep among the older folks of a more… crotchety disposition. Like the Australian millionaire who implied earlier this year that the younger generation can’t afford to buy property because they’re frittering their money away on fancy toasts and overpriced coffee (eyeroll). You guys can read all about it here lol.

BUT I LOVE AVOCADO TOAST! When done right, that is, and unfortunately I didn’t quite like The Halia’s version. The smashed avocado combined with the juices from the diced tomato to make the bread pretty soggy. Plus who wants that much tomato on their avocado toast, and in such giant chunks?! Please, no. The cut chilli with the feta cheese thankfully salvaged this dish from becoming a total mess. 6/10

Some side comments – the best avocado toast I’ve had was from Sydney – the avocados (and generally most produce) are just so, so fresh in Australia, and sliced rather than mashed. This version had some lime, chilli and coriander (my fave omg) so altogether it was pretty friggin delishussss.

We then had a selection of yet more Toast with a Trio of Spreads (S$12), consisting of  sourdough, baguette, brioche & focaccia, served with pineapple ginger jam, homemade kaya & honeycomb butter:

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Toast with Trio of Spreads (S$12) – 6/10

OK I love toast, but I think we were so busy trying to take photos of the food that by the time I got around to eating it, the toast was pretty stale and not great. I can imagine though if they were still freshly toasted, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they would taste pretty good.

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L-R: Honeycomb butter, pineapple ginger jam, and homemade kaya

My favourite spread was for sure the pineapple ginger jam, which tasted a little like the pineapple tart jam, yum! Plus the hint of ginger spice prevented the spread from becoming too cloying. Not a big fan of the kaya which, while being fragrant, also possessed a slick texture not unlike mayo (which I really do not like). Pass on the kaya. The honeycomb butter was also not really to my liking. The texture felt like butter lite, or like whipped cream plus butter, and the taste wasn’t buttery enough to balance the sweetness from the honeycomb. Pass. 6/10

Another side note – my favourite butter ever is Pepe Saya butter which I tasted for the first time in Sydney a couple of years ago. UGH THE BEST. I always buy a couple of wheels back home with me when I go over for work.

Finally to close our savoury mains, we tried the Braised Wagyu Masala Beef (S$22), which is a playful rendition of Nasi Lemak, using wagyu beef for the ‘rendang’ and paprika hazelnuts instead of anchovies, served alongside coconut pandan rice and topped with a sunny side up!

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Braised Wagyu Masala Beef – 6.5/10

Oh boy I had high hopes for this dish, particularly for the beef, but I found it quite a letdown. I thought the beef was a little dry and not as tender – I was really expecting some melt-in-your-mouth savoury deliciousness exploding in my mouth for real, but this was a little underwhelming. I really liked the sambal, thankfully – it’s made with gingerflower and was really light and tangy with just enough heat. I also dug the pickles on the side, those were really yummy too. I think once you get everything together in one spoonful, it’ll taste great, but the beef remains disappointing. 6.5/10

We moved on to the sweeter dishes starting with the Superfood Granola (S$12) with Greek yoghurt, poached blueberries, kiwis and honey:

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Superfood Granola (S$12) – 9/10

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Mmmm i liked this a lot! The yoghurt wasn’t overly tart, and there were bits of chewy dried fruit within the granola for added texture/sweetness. You can sweeten the granola to suit your taste, so that’s good. Super delicious and nutritious. One thing though is that I thought S$12 for granola is a little steep, but I guess you can indulge once in a while. 9/10

Finally we tried the Organic Chia Seed Porridge (S$13) with strawberry and mango smoothie, fresh fruits, dried papaya and kiwi:

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Organic Chia Seed Porridge (S$13) – 5/10

Oof as a matter of personal taste I truly did not like this. It was just like mouthfuls of mush, and everything tasted like candy, so maybe both kids and their grandparents would have enjoyed this more haha. Jokes aside, this was def one of the weak points in their breakfast offerings to me. 5/10

ANYWAY the drinks were so good!!! My absolute fave was the Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) with vanilla extract, yoghurt and honey. It’s so delicious without being too thick or sweet, and comes with dehydrated yoghurt around the rim of the cup for that refreshing tang.

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Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) – 10/10

I also tried the exceedingly pretty Lychee & Thyme drink (S$8) which came deconstructed with a side of thyme syrup and two lychees:
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Lychee & Thyme Drink (S$8) – 8/10

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Gorge.

So that was my take on the Halia’s Easy Breakfast menu; I’d say this would be a terrific breakfast option for a business meeting, or for people who an work remotely. For me though if I had the morning off I’d much rather stay in or get like kaya toast (steamed versh) from downstairs or something haha. The 2 items that would draw me back would probably be the Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), and the 62.5 deg Poached Eggs (S$18).

The Halia
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569
Reservations: +65 8444 1148 or general.hsbg@halia.com.sg
Note: Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea
Weekday Easy Breakfast Menu: Click here
Ala Carte Menus: Click here

Opening Hours
Weekday Easy Breakfast: 9am to 11am Mon-Fri except PH
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 930pm (Last seating)
Fri & PH eve: 12pm to 10pm
Weekends & PH Dinner: 4pm to 10pm (Last seating)
Weekends & PH Brunch: 10am to 4pm
Weekends & PH Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Favourite Dishes: Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), 62.5deg Poached Eggs (S$18), The Banana & Almond Drink (S$7)