Iftar Ramadan Seafood Buffet at The Holiday Inn Atrium

Iftar Ramadan Seafood Extravaganza
Atrium Restaurant
Level 4, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
317 Outram Road
Singapore 169075
Reservations: +65 6731 7172

Remarks: Prayer room available from 630pm onwards!

27 May – 2 July 2017
Sun to Thu: S$90++ per adult | Fri to Sat: S$100++ per adult (before 1-for-1 discount)*
Child (12 years and under): $25++ per person

(*Enjoy 1-for-1 discount for every 2 adult diners! Dine in a group of 10 and receive a complimentary car park coupon!)

Hey guys!! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted anything up in forever 😦 I’ve been travelling quite a bit for both work and leisure so that usually throws my schedule way off. ANYWAY Ramadan kareem to all of you!! Can you believe it’s already Day 7?! Help I’m still not spiritually at my best UGH. But anyway I hope you guys are doing great. I’ve been trying to keep up my prayers, keep up the yoga classes/runs, and eat healthier sahurs (pre-dawn meal) — I try to be all healthy with overnight oats and blueberries but then my family whips out like freshly-fried popcorn chicken and it is GAME OVER. It’s #strugglecity outcheah.

Of course, the only reason I try to eat healthy for sahur is so that I can eat whatever I feel like for iftar – and that is exactly what I did this past Tuesday at the Iftar Ramadan Seafood buffet dinner at the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Promo_Poster

You guys, in all seriousness, there is SO MUCH seafood you guys will die. I know $90-100++ per adult sounds steep, but there is a 1-for-1 promo for every 2 adult diners so that’s like $45-50++ per diner, which is really a bargain.

Let me take you through what I had that night so you get an idea of what you’re gonna get!

I usually break my fast with a date, and they had a whole salad bowl of ’em:

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Dates

A must. Did you actually iftar if you didn’t eat a date?

After a date I moved on swiftly to the cold seafood starters, namely the half-lobsters, the fresh prawns, and some salmon and tuna sashimi!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Cold_Seafood_Starters

UGHHHH SO YUMMY I NEED TO GO BACK

So let me just remind you – lobster rolls at other establishments in Singapore can come up to an insolent S$68. Here you eat them fresh and you can have more if you want! I loved it. The prawns were also super juicy with a hint of sweetness and good bite. And seriously tho the sashimi portion is insane – just go up to the sashimi station and they’ll slice it for you!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salmon_Sashimi

Can’t resist salmon sashimi plz help

Next I had some oysters which were so painfully delicious, just thinking about them now is making me drool a little UGH. The trick is to squeeze some lemon, add just a drop of tabasco and slurp up that deliciousness!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Oysters

I’m sorry I know they look gross but they are so yum!

Quick story – I went to France on exchange when I was 16 and my host family very generously bought some fresh oysters for me to try. I put one in my mouth and then had to run to the kitchen to spit it out! What a loser 😦 15 years later I have fully gone over to the other side, and to this day I still look back on that moment with regret ugh.

ANYWAY what I meant to say was – strong start with the cold seafood!

Things got way serious though when we moved on to the chilli crab and salted egg lobster claw!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Chilli_Crab

UNFFFFFFFFFFF deadddddddd

The juicy, fresh crab meat and the super fluffy mantou buns were really the star of this dish. I felt like the chilli crab sauce lacked a little something, like maybe it wasn’t as tasty as I wanted it to be, but it was still decent. Just remember to make space for the mantou buns guys they are WORTH IT.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Buffet_Lobster_Claw_Crab

I waited a while before eating my salted egg lobster claw, which resulted in it drying out a little as it sat on the plate. Boo! I would counsel that you guys eat it right away after taking it from the food station! I wish they had more salted egg sauce slathered on those claws though; that would’ve helped.

After stuffing my face with so much seafood I wanted to switch it up so I went to the Atrium Terrace right outside where these 2 guys were in charge of barbecuing whatever you picked out! – lamb chops, chicken thighs, otak-otak, corn (sorry corn ain’t nobody got time for you) – the works.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Outdoor_BBQ

Argh that view tho!!! It was perfect for sunset.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Grilled_Meats

I wish they had grilled lobster tho.

The lambchop was juicy but I wish the marinade was a little stronger/tastier. The otak-otak was good but also just a little dry.

No matter, because I moved on to the indoor meat station where they had some lamb marinated in its own jus, and you guys know I love anything with fancy jus in it (it just means juice in French).

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lamb_Station

This is a terrible photo that does not do the meat justice, I’m so sorry. I’m the worst with photos 😦

OMG loved the lamb!! It was super juicy and tender, and went surprisingly well with the mint sauce, better than the mustard! YUM. I suppose mustard goes better with beef. Don’t skip the lamb guys.

I wanted so much to be greedy and stuff my face with more lobster and oysters and crab, but after all that food before, I was pretty much ready to move on to dessert.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Dessert

Clockwise from left: Earl grey tea (lol so step), Thai milk tea and cookies & cream ice-cream, fruits in chocolate fondue, marshmallows in chocolate fondue, and chendol which was very poorly made by me

They had SO much to offer for dessert! There was a chendol station with a DIY ice machine and all the ingredients like green chendol jelly, red beans, attap seeds, corn, gula melaka syrup and coconut milk in neat little bowls. Just take whichever ingredients you want, press the machine button and pile on the shaved ice! Then you can drizzle as much sizzurrppppp as you want.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_More_Dessert

A closer look at my anemic chendol 😦 I should’ve added more syrup

They also had an assortment of mini cakes, fruits (yuck get away from me I have limited stomach space) and a chocolate fondue with marshmallows, dried apricots, and apples. I REALLY liked the chocolate sauce omg it was delicious and I could’ve had literally 3 more bowls of it with marshmallows but I stopped myself ugh.

Oh and there’s also GELATO omg.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Gelato_Ice_Cream

Thai Milk Tea, Chocolate Rocky Road, Vanilla Pods, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookies & Cream, Mocha Biscotti and Salted Caramel!

OK I LOVED my Thai Milk Tea ice cream!!! It was creamy and full-bodied and not overly sweet in my opinion (although, to be fair I have a sweet tooth). I didn’t try the rest except for my friend’s Cookies & Cream which is pretty standard, but I’m sure they’d all be equally good.

I left the buffet feeling so, so stuffed and satisfied. It was a very pleasant experience as the layout was pretty well-spaced and it wasn’t crowded. The food was always topped up and the staff were very attentive and always ready to clear plates or see to your request for ice (for the Bandung!) or more napkins etc. I might come back here again if I have time – I’d really like more of those oysters and the chocolate fondue UGH.

I’ll leave you guys with more photos of the buffet offerings – there was so much I really could not try more than half of what was there!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salads_Sushi

Yum, assorted salads and sushi!

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Salmon_Oyster

Salmon and squash YUM. Peep the oysters just chillin’ at the back.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lobster_Prawns

The best

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Keropok_Crackers

FOUR TYPES OF KEROPOK omg the papadum was my favourite omg it was mad crispy and tasty.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Noodle_Station

A noodle station with assorted ingredients and condiments! I wish they had other types of noodles though I much prefer rice noodles to yellow noodles

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Lobster_Paella

HI THIS IS LOBSTER PAELLA

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Grilled_Fish

Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce! In hindsight I should’ve def taken this 😦 I might go back and if I do I WILL.

Holiday_Inn_Atrium_Aloo_Gobi

Aloo gobi, an Indian dish with cauliflower and potatoes in spices!

One last thing – there’s a prayer room called the Foyer Room just a few steps away from the entrance of Atrium Restaurant, for diners to catch Asar/Maghrib. Just ask the front of the house and they will be happy to guide you to it!  The room has both male and female sections, with hotel slippers and prayer mats. Unfortunately there is no adjoining wudhu area, but the restroom is also right opposite the Atrium Restaurant entrance. For ladies who require telekung, please bring your own as the room does not have them!

Iftar Ramadan Seafood Extravaganza
Atrium Restaurant
Level 4, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium
317 Outram Road
Singapore 169075
Reservations: +65 6731 7172

Remarks: Prayer room available from 630pm onwards!

27 May – 2 July 2017
Sun to Thu: S$90++ per adult | Fri to Sat: S$100++ per adult (before 1-for-1 discount)*
Child (12 years and under): $25++ per person

(*Enjoy 1-for-1 discount for every 2 adult diners! Dine in a group of 10 and receive a complimentary car park coupon!)

Hyde & Co on North Bridge Road II (Permanently Closed)

** Hyde & Co has permanently closed**

Hyde & Co
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Reservations: +65 6635 5785
Online brunch/lunch menu: Click here
Online dinner menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst/service charge

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 11am to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating (for this visit): 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$33 for a shared starter and dessert, and one main
Recommended dishes: New Zealand Little Neck Clams (S$12), Nasi Lemak Risotto (S$21)

Hey guys! Day 5 Ramadan, and I’m feeling good about this holy month so far! Sure, I’m severely sleep deprived since I’ve been waking up to sahur (have my pre-dawn meal), and then praying subuh prayers before getting ready for work. Previously I would go back to sleep for 1-2 hours but last year when I did that it was SO hard for me to wake up! I inevitably overslept and had to Uber to work a total of 9 times 😦 #neveragain

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago I tried out Hyde & Co’s dinner menu for the first time, after having brunched there twice before. You can read my previous review of brunch at Hyde & Co here.

As a reminder, here’s a look at both the Brunch and Dinner menus:

Hyde & Co - Brunch Menu

The Brunch Menu

Hyde & Co - Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu

Hyde & Co - Dinner Menu

The Dinner Menu

I was dyingggg to try the New Zealand Little Neck Clams (S$12) in red sauce, which is made with tomato cream, roasted mushroom, garlic, lemon juice, and topped with cilantro. (Obviously the cilantro did it for me. Who cares about the white sauce!!)

Hyde & Co - New Zealand Little Neck Clams

New Zealand Little Neck Clams (S$12) – My beautiful plump little babies!! 10/10

YUMMMM you guys. You know how much I love clams right? (Do you? Read my Penang Culture reviews if you ain’t convinced. I was worried I was going to be disappointed, but my word, the clams here blew me away!!! Guyssss. They were so plump and juicy and fresh!! The sauce was also perfect – a little tangy, a little savoury, a little earthy. Super delish. I do not even understand why other places cannot make clams THIS good. 10/10 but let it be said I almost docked a half-point because I wished the portion was bigger.

For my main dish I had, haaaad, to try the Nasi Lemak Risotto (S$21), a daring modern take on good old nasi lemak. The background of this story, as told by Chef Nazz himself, was that he was issued a challenge to come up with a new dish for the menu. Coincidentally his mum, who runs a catering business, was preparing nasi lemak one evening as he was waiting for inspiration and lo, there it was.

Hyde & Co - Nasi Lemak Risotto

Nasi Lemak Risotto (S$21) – 9/10

I must say, I really loved it, both in taste and concept. The fresh prawns were coated in delicious sambal that was a mix of sweet and spicy, just how nasi lemak sambal should be. The risotto had really good bite, and had a coconutty taste with a hint of lemongrass. I know some people would be anathema to paying $21 for what amounts to an ‘atas nasi lemak’ which they could’ve otherwise gotten for $5, but I delight in the creativity of this dish. There is a mix of both irreverence and respect for the revered Nasi Lemak. Go try it soon guys! 9/10

For dessert, since I’d had the Ondeh-ondeh French Toast during my last couple of brunch visits, we went for the Butterscotch Popcorn Waffle (S$14):

Hyde & Co - Butterscotch Popcorn Waffle

Butterscotch Popcorn Waffle (S$14) – 6.5/10

As much as I think Chef Nazz is super talented, I have to admit this dessert fell flat for me. The popcorn was a net negative, generally quite dry and flavourless. I thought the banana was not terribly special either, perhaps they could have flambéed it or something to bring the flavour out and make the texture more mushy? I’m def not a culinary expert by any measure, but I know I did not enjoy this dish as it came.  Also: more butterscotch please! 6.5/10, with deepest regrets.

Disappointing though the dessert was, I thoroughly enjoyed the clams and the nasi lemak risotto. I will definitely keep going back to Hyde & Co to try more of the menu (The Steak Frites!!). I think every menu is bound to have one or two duds, but the rest of the stuff are just really so, so good. OK I have to stop talking about food now because it’s torturous (currently 1.40pm on a Friday afternoon boohoo!) Have a good weekend you guys!

Hyde & Co
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Reservations: +65 6635 5785
Online brunch/lunch menu: Click here
Online dinner menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst/service charge

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 11am to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating (for this visit): 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$33 for a shared starter and dessert, and one main
Recommended dishes: New Zealand Little Neck Clams (S$12), Nasi Lemak Risotto (S$21)

** Hyde & Co has permanently closed**

Flava Bistro at East Coast Road

Flava Contemporary Asia Bistro & Grill
01-03, 907 E Coast Rd
Singapore 459107
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1am
Sun: 9am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$40

I’ve been on a mission to introduce my family to more food options outside of our Arab St comfort zone, so yesterday for lunch, I brought them to the newly-halal Flava Bistro at Upper East Coast Road. I’d had some snacks here a few weeks ago when they were in the process of getting their halal cert, and remember being really impressed by what little I had, so I figured I should come back for real real.

Flava Bistro - Ambience 3

Warm lighting and a pleasing aesthetic

Flava Bistro - Ambience 2

Booth seats for 4 pax

For starters, we shared the Prawn Paste Chicken Wings (6 pieces for S$8):

Flava Bistro - Prawn Paste Chicken

Prawn Paste Chicken (S$8) – SO GOOD 9/10

Right from the time the waitress served us this plate of chicken wings, we knew we were in for a treat. The intoxicating smell of the prawn paste was irresistible, and we could already see the accompanying achar on the side, which was really a bonus. I LOVE ACHAR (crying emoji).

The chicken wings tasted as good as they smelled, which is to say they were fantastic and very flavourful. I did find them sliiightly on the oily side, and wish they had been strained a little better. Otherwise, exceptional, and a steal at S$8++. 9/10

For my main I opted for one of the Chef’s specialty, the Seafood Laksa Pesto (S$16), which consisted of linguine, clams and prawns sautéed in a fusion of Peranakan laksa spices and Italian pesto.

Flava Bistro - Seafood Laksa Pesto Pasta 2

Seafood Laksa Pesto (S$16) – 9/10

Flava Bistro - Seafood Laksa Pesto Pasta

YUMMMMMMMM

So to break this down into pros and cons, let me just start with the cons. Firstly, the menu indicated there would be fishcake in this dish, but I didn’t have any, so that was a little disappointing. Secondly, the clams did not taste super fresh, they were a bit dehydrated and tasted of nothing. Thirdly and less importantly, the linguine was JUST a shade overcooked, but I really didn’t mind that, so that’s fine.

The pros lie in the abundant prawns and the delicious, delicious taste of the laksa spice combined with the Italian pesto. It was really flavourful – just spicy enough without being too fiery – and I could taste the dried shrimp in the sauce, which was just heavenly.  I counted about 7 plump prawns in the whole thing, which is great because I love prawns. I wish there had been squid though. 9/10

My mum got another chef’s specialty, the Chili Crab Linguine (S$16), which consisted of linguine tossed in with the FLAVA signature chili crab sauce, and topped with generous chunks of chili crab meat:

Flava Bistro - Chili Crab Linguine

Chili Crab Linguine (S$16) – 7.5/10

My mum really liked it, but personally I found the sauce just a tad sweet, and too tomatoey for my liking. I loved the generous chunks/flakes of white crab meat though. 7.5/10

My sister-in-law went for the Balinese Beef Stew (S$22), also a chef’s special item, consisting of slow-braised Angus beef brisket, potatoes, and other root veggies in a special blend of Balinese herbs and spices, serbied with a choice of country bread or golden turmeric rice:

Flava Bistro - Balinese Beef Stew Closeup

Balinese Beef Stew (S$22) – 8.5/10

Wow, you guys. The beef brisket was SO, so tender and absolutely melted in the mouth! Props for that good beef. The stew was tasty and robust, a little bit like an upgraded mutton soup. The chunks of potato and carrot were soft and delicious. We opted for the bread, which was basically ciabatta, and pretty average. The stew itself was far and away the star of the show. At S$22 though I did think it was just a little pricey given the portion. 8.5/10

My brother got the Bacon Cheeseburger (S$18), essentially 180gms of juicy all-Angus beef patty, beef bacon, swiss cheese and FLAVA beef sauce, with the usual accoutrements like tomato and lettuce with a side of coleslaw and fries.

Flava Bistro - Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger (S$18) – 10/10!!

UM YOU GUYS. This burger!!! Was a revelation. No sooner had I taken a bite of it than the taste absolutely exploded in my mouth. Yes, it was a mouth party. The patty was so thick and juicy, with a great consistency that wasn’t too minced or berderai. The Swiss cheese added a slight bitter but delicious taste, while the beef bacon was actually quite moist and salty. LOVED IT ALL. The bun was also soft which a slightly chewy texture, like all perfect burger buns. 10/10

Just a note about the fries – these too were awesome. Very crispy on the outside but mushy on the inside, just how I like my fries. Perffff.

My other brother had the Asian Crusted Lamb Chops (S$26), which comprised turmeric and basil-crusted grilled lamb chops, served with Asian potato croquettes (alah fancy begedil, you know lah):

Flava Bistro - Asian Crusted Lamb Chops

Asian Crusted Lamb Chops (S$26)

Sorry the photo is so blurry! Pretty sure I got grease on my iPhone camera lens :/ Anyway so I’m not a fan of the breading around the lamb chops because that takes away from the flavour and the juiciness of the meat itself, but that’s what the sauce in the middle is for. It tasted rather like satay sauce, which is good and all but I’d rather just have satay then. I had a bite of the lamb and thought it was just a little overdone, and slightly dry. Not my favourite dish of the day, sorry! 7/10

I didn’t have any dessert because by the end of the mains I felt wayyyy full and just could not stuff myself anymore, although my family happily went ahead with an assortment of desserts ugh no.

All in all I had a really great time at Flava bistro. Service was super pleasant, smiley, and accommodating (you know how it gets sometimes with family meals). The food was very impressive and surpassed my expectations. Ambience was lovely, and quiet, what a gem of a place. I will def come back again next time in spite of the distance.

Brunch/Lunch menu:

 

Dinner menu:

 

Flava Contemporary Asia Bistro & Grill
01-03, 907 E Coast Rd
Singapore 459107
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1am
Sun: 9am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$40

So Pho at Novena Square / Paragon

So Pho
B1-20, The Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Singapore 238859
Tel: +65 6235 0414

Opening Hours
Daily 11am to 10pm

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Halal status: Halal-certified
Average spend per pax: S$16 including drinks
Recommended dishes: Summer roll (S$4.80), Beef Pho (S$8.80)

I was delighted to find out So Pho, a Vietnamese chain in Singapore, had gotten its halal certification a few months ago. There is a branch in Paragon, which is pretty central for those looking for halal food in the area, and also others at NEX, Tampines Mall, JEM, and Novena Square. For branch details, you can check out their website here.  To date, I’ve tried the Paragon and Novena branches so the photos are going to be a mixture of both locations’.

My favourite starter is the Summer Rolls with Prawns and Lemongrass Chicken (S$4.80 for 3), and they cut the 3 rolls into halves so you effectively get 6 mini-bites! Yum!

So Pho Summer Rolls Closeup 2

SO PRETTY!!! We’d eaten 3 halves by this point – too hungry, and too good ❤

I really like this starter since it’s pretty healthy and not fried or overly processed. The rice wrap has a good texture – slightly elastic so it holds the ingredients well, but tender and not dry – and thanks to the vegetables there is a satisfying crunch when you bite into it. The Vietnamese dipping sauce that comes with the rolls is also top notch – I’m guessing some fish sauce in it too, so it is nice and savoury. 9/10

My go-to main at So Pho is the Pho Bo, or Sliced Beef Noodles (S$8.80):

So Pho - Beef Brisket Pho

The hot pho broth is umami and super comforting on days when you just want something soupy and delicious. The pieces of coriander are heaven. HEAVEN! I love coriander. I also find it a must to squeeze as much lime into the broth – it is much more refreshing when there is a great tang contrasting with the soup. Ditto for the cut chilli padi – it gives the soup a slight kick. The beansprouts though, can step to the left.

So Pho - Beef Pho

The beef slices are great too – they’re not overcooked and tough, but slightly pink and tender. I think you get the odd sinewy piece or two if you’re unlucky, but otherwise, can’t complain. 8.5/10

I was delighted to find that So Pho serves the famous Hanoi delicacy, Cha Ca La Vong (S$10.80, pronounced chah-gah-lah-vong). It consists of hotplate fish fillets served with some dill, and a plate of rice vermicelli noodles on the side:

So Pho - Cha Ca Vermicelli Noodles

I was slightly disappointed with this dish because the original version in Hanoi comes with a bowl of fish sauce, which you mix in with the noodles and some peanuts, so you can calibrate the ingredients and tastes to your own liking. However, So Pho’s version did not actually come with the fish sauce – just a bowl of watery chilli sauce (pictured), and the dill is just placed on top of the fish.

The fish tasted a little too oily and slightly soggy for my taste, but I reckon it could have been sitting out on the counter for a little too long. I wish the fish and the sauce could have been tastier and more savoury too, but maybe I’ll give this a go at the Novena branch next time. 7/10 for now.

On another visit, I also tried the Vietnamese Fried Rice with Seafood (S$9.80):

So Pho - Special Seafood Rice

This was a mistake guys; one that would surely teach me for ordering fried rice at an establishment with Pho in its name. It’s not that it was really bad – it was just pretty average. It was a little bland, and there was just not enough flavour or ingredients to keep me satisfied. For this price I could get two plates of amazing fried rice from Cahaya. Or, a plate of ayam penyet and a drink! Bottomline: Stick with the pho! 7/10

Overall I would definitely go back to So Pho because of the simplicity and freshness of the summer rolls, and the comforting pho. The food is pretty affordable (most mains under $$10) and of decent quality. I’ll end off with some extra photos for you guys to enjoy 🙂

So Pho - Mixed Appetizer

The Mixed Appetizer (S$10.80) – Prawn Cakes, Summer Rollsm and Fried Spring Roll

So Pho - Table Spread

The spread during one of the visits

So Pho - Menu PhoSo Pho - Specials menuSo Pho - Fried Noodles Menu

So Pho
B1-20, The Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Singapore 238859
Tel: +65 6235 0414

Opening Hours
Daily 11am to 10pm

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Halal status: Halal-certified
Average spend per pax: S$16 including drinks
Recommended dishes: Summer roll (S$4.80), Beef Pho (S$8.80)

The Malayan Council on Dunlop Street

The Malayan Council
22 Dunlop St
Singapore 209350

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

Reservations: Facebook message

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$48
Recommended dishes: Malayan Wings, The Ultimate Lopez Cake

Hey guys! I’m sorry for the long absence – I’ve been busy running around town accompanied by Rihanna’s and Kanye’s new albums called ANTI and The Life Of Pablo respectively. SO GOOD. Have you guys checked out the new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience museum called Future World: Where Art Meets Science? It’s fascinating and so entertaining for adults and kids alike. Also been busy watching Peep Show on Netflix, it’s hilarious. What a wondrous time we live in today.

So yesterday I checked out a fairly new restaurant called The Malayan Council, located on Dunlop Street right opposite Masjid Abdul Gafoor, and 4 units down from the erstwhile Rouse.

The Malayan Council - Entrance

The outdoor seating has a ceiling fan to mitigate (but not quite eliminate) the suffocating heat and humidity we’ve been facing lately in March ugh

The Malayan Council - Masjid Abdul Gafoor

Abdul Gafoor Mosque on Dunlop St

The Malayan Council opened its doors to hungry diners in December 2015, boasting a fusion menu that marries western fare with the richness and spices of Malayan cuisine. Burgers are topped with spicy sambal ikan bilis (anchovies in chilli sauce), fish and chips are fried in asam pedas (sour and spicy stew sauce), chicken wings are marinated in kicap cili padi (soy sauce with bird’s eye chilli) and the good old kueh lopes (glutinous rice cake coated in grated coconut and drizzled with palm sugar sauce) is given the modern cake treatment — the list goes on.

Here’s a look at The Malayan Council menu:

The Malayan Council Menu - Starters, Pasta and MainsThe Malayan Council Menu - Brunch Dessert and Drinks

I was heartened to learn from the bottom of their menu that The Malayan Council donates a percentage of their sales to the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, which provides shelter and 24/7 residential care and protection for boys between the ages of 10 and 19 years. (crying face emoji) I love that they are giving back; much respect guys.

The decor is very cosy and quirky, mixing vintage and Islamic elements. There are packs of Old Maid, Snap, and other old-school card games available by the glasses counter (my friend and I briefly considered playing Old Maid but decided against it since we were only two!). Our table was a re-purposed Carrom table with a glass top and an old sewing machine pedal as the table legs:

The Malayan Council - Carrom Table

I legit kept wanting to flick these pieces absent-mindedly while waiting for our food to arrive. Sorry I didn’t get photos of the sewing pedal!

The Malayan Council - interior decor

Sometimes I forget to say the prayer before eating, so this was a good reminder. Also the WiFi snark! Love it.

The Malayan Council - Jawi Arabic Clock

9pm at first glance but 3pm in actual fact because it’s a reverse clock in Jawi/Arabic numerals. Cute, but also distressing for a split second before you remember it’s in reverse.

My friend and I split the Malayan Wings (S$13) for our starter:

The Malayan Council - Chicken Wings

The Malayan Council - Malayan Wings

Mmmmm yummyyyyy

I really liked these wings; I thought it would be pretty fiery and salty judging by all the chilli seeds on top and the pool of soy sauce underneath the chicken. Thankfully, the flavours were very well-balanced. The kicap sauce was fairly spicy, slightly peppery, and not too salty. The chicken itself was lightly crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. I worked my way through 4 pieces and didn’t feel like it was too spicy/salty, so that was good. 10/10

For mains, I had the Salted Egg Softshell Crab and Mudcrab Linguine (S$28):

The Malayan Council - Salted Egg Crab Pasta

They paired two softshell crabs together to look like a giant fried fish atop the linguine

The Malayan Council - Salted Egg Softshell Crab and Mudcrab Linguine

The mudcrab meat portion is way generous

I loved the linguine. Admittedly it was overcooked and not at all al dente, but as a noodle-lover I subjectively did not have a problem with this. The salted egg sauce was not heavy and in-your-face; rather, the linguine was lightly coated in this mild, subtle sauce which did not make me jelak.

On their own, the numerous lumps of mudcrab meat were pretty tasteless, but if you mix well with the linguine in salted egg sauce, it’s much better. The softshell crab was very crispy and was slightly oilier than I would’ve liked. I wish the portion hadn’t been quite so big too. They could’ve definitely downsized to just one softshell crab, and maybe reduced the pasta by a quarter. Although the portion seems fair for what you’re paying (S$28), it was way too much for me. 7.5/10.

My friend got the March monthly special, Smoked Duck Lemak Cili Padi Linguine (S$28):

The Malayan Council - Lemak Chilli Padi Linguine with Smoked Duck

This was a home-run, guys. The linguine came coated in delicious and reassuringly-familiar lemak cili padi sauce, which was really tasty and decently spicy. The smoked duck was juicy and slightly sweet, which balanced the spiciness of the linguine. Loved this dish, and the novel pairing of lemak cili padi with smoked duck. My only gripes – if you can even call ’em that – again are the oversized portion of the pasta and the overcooked texture. 9.5/10

We couldn’t finish the pasta due to sheer volume,  but naturally we had still some room leftover for dessert. I got the Cempedak Crème Brûlée (S$9.50) just to compare it to Krave’s amazing version:

The Malayan Council - Cempedak Crème Brûlée

Not the best photo, sorry!

So before I even tasted the crème brûlée, I already marked it down for presentation. It came in a narrow glass jar instead of a wider ramekin, which meant that there is less surface area to torch the sugar top, which in turn meant there was less of the hard sugar shell for me to eat. Boo!

The custard itself was a little too dense, and tasted shockingly like blue cheese. I’m not sure if I got a bad batch, but it tasted slightly rancid, like it had gone off. I let my friend have a spoonful to confirm my thoughts on it, and upon tasting it she grimaced and suggested I ordered something else. I had high hopes for this thinking it could give Krave’s version a run for their money, but this was a huge let-down for me. Plus it didn’t have the juicy chunks of cempedak like in Krave’s rendition. 3/10, unfortunately.

My friend, in her infinite wisdom, ordered The Ultimate Lopez Cake (S$9.50), which turned out way, way better:

The Malayan Council - The Lopez Dessert Cake

Tiny triangle of actual lopes on top!

The Malayan Council - The Ultimate Lopez Cake

The cake contains layers of coconut mousse and bits of gula melaka (palm sugar), and is topped with a mini kueh lopes, drizzled with gula melaka syrup. I had a bite of this and really loved it. It’s really like a cake version of kueh lopes. There is nothing quite like the feeling of crunching into solid chunks of gula melaka,YUM. Well-played, TMC. Well-played. 10/10

All in all I had a positive dining experience at The Malayan Council. The crème brûlée was disappointing but everything else was pretty good. The prices are on the high side, but justified by the generous/crazy American-sized portions, and mitigated by the fact that you know a part of it will go to the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home. Service was very friendly – our waters were always topped up without us having to ask, and we were asked by one of the owners mid-meal if everything was alright with the food. They also brought the NETS portable terminal watchamacallit to our table so we didn’t have to go over to the counter to pay. Full-service! (Btw you pay service charge here but no GST, phew).

I had a chat with the other co-owner who was super friendly and happy to answer my questions (How long have you guys been open? 4 months. How’s it been so far! Ups and downs, but so far okay. Is this the old Rouse? No, Rouse is 4 units down but we have the same landlord.) Will definitely be coming back to try the Roti Kirai Beef Ribs (S$39) and Kacang pool with Angus Ribeye Steak (S$37) soon!

The Malayan Council
22 Dunlop St
Singapore 209350

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

Reservations: Facebook message

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$48
Recommended dishes: Malayan Wings, The Ultimate Lopez Cake

 

Savoury at Jalan Kayu (Permanently Closed)

**Savoury is now permanently closed**

Savoury
246 Jalan Kayu
Singapore 799470
Reservations: +65 6752 9288

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 530pm to 11pm
Sat-Sun: 1130am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10

Last weekend I had brunch at a fairly-new halal restaurant at Jalan Kayu called Savoury together with my girlfriends, one of whom had previously tried it and breathlessly raved about it. It was kind of a pain getting there for a Westie like me (makes gangster West-side hand signs), but I did it anyway because I am a Conqueror, as Estelle defiantly sings, and also I will travel for food, it ain’t no thang.

image

Love the high ceilings, and cosy interiors. It felt pretty spacious inside (you can’t really see in this photo, sorry!).

Located right next to Le Steak by Chef Amri (in what I feel is a great arrow to the knee for said establishment, because as you will find out later, Savoury makes GREAT steak. Sorry #spoilers), Savoury specialises in Western fare such as steak, pasta, and gelato! The establishment got its halal certification from MUIS in August 2015, so now you can eat entirely guilt-free and bring the most was-was of your Muslim clan there to eat!

The menu has quite an impressive array of dishes, but my attention was immediately drawn to the very meat-heavy mains section:

imageimageimageimageimage

image

As you guys know (or will come to know soon enough), I love chicken wings and have eaten probably my body weight in them in the past year alone, so naturally I had to try the Buffalo Wings (S$10.80) from Savoury:

image

Stop glistening so much and just get in my belly already!!

image

Glisten glisten tsk

Savoury’s version of buffalo wings were really delicious! Very tasty and lip-smacking good, BUT, they were not as spicy as I would’ve liked. Plus kind of wish they had been just the slightest bit more saucy, but that is really a personal preference. I like when the sauce spreads through your whole mouth when you chew down on the chicken, and when there is a lot of excess sauce to lick off of your fingers at the end :/ So gross right? Whatevs.

Also, and this is nitpicking a little, the wings did not come with any blue cheese or sour cream sauce, which I think is a significant detail especially since the sauce-meat ratio is only just sufficient (which, to a sauce-hound like me, is not enough). In the battle between Savoury’s and Royz et Vous’ buffalo wings, I’m afraid Royz et Vous wins out. The REV version is spicier, saucier, and comes with a sour cream dip for variety! But of course these are all subjective preferences so you kids can decide which version you’d prefer. Also, Savoury’s is $2 cheaper than REV’s, so that could factor into your decision too. For me, the Savoury buffalo wings get a solid 8.5/10.

For my main dish I decided to go for the Beef Tenderloin (S$29.80) in medium done-ness. The pan-fried New Zealand beef comes with black pepper sauce and a side of potato gratin:

image

Like a Kandinsky masterpiece

image

That orange puree though, no thanks

YUM this was REALLY good!!! The black pepper sauce had just enough punch without being too heaty in your throat, and the meat was really tender and tendon-free! (looking at you, Royals Steak House) My only gripe about the meat was that I thought it was overdone, and therefore slightly dry. This was of course mitigated by the pepper sauce, so it wasn’t too bad. Plus, the meat tasted so good I was convinced it would taste phenomenal if cooked slightly less. For those who prefer their meats pinker and juicier, I would definitely recommend taking the plunge and opting for medium rare in the future. If not, then ok medium should work for you. Shoutout here to the potato gratin which was so creamy and delicious. This dish gets 8/10, with a point docked for the tenderloin being overcooked.

One of my friends ordered the Agnolotti (S$18.80), which is fresh pasta stuffed with fresh prawns and crab meat in a tomato and cream sauce:

image

image

Yum the sauce was really delicious!! Rich, savoury, slightly tangy, and creamy all at once. Perf. The pasta had a good texture and was tender, but my personal opinion is that the stuffing itself could have been slightly tastier so the pasta wouldn’t have to rely on the strength of the sauce to carry the dish. Still a very tasty pasta dish on the whole though! 8/10

We ended off with the Salted Caramel Waffle with 2 Scoops (S$17), and we went with the Peach sorbet and Snickers flavours:

image

The gelato spread – they have the standard chocolaty sweet ones, assorted sorbets, and also – OMG – salted egg ice cream!! It tasted like the custard in salted egg buns.

image

OMG gnomes/snowmen with strawberry hats SO CUTE!!! Dying.

image

Muumuuumuuuhhh SO CUTE HOW TO EAT!

Guys, the peach sorbet was SO YUMMYYYY. It wasn’t as thin or tart as regular sorbet, but tasted a little like frozen peach Vitagen. Which I love. The snickers flavour was aiiight; I’m not a huge fan of nuts (particularly peanuts) in my ice cream unless they’re candied pecans, but my friends wanted it so we compromised 🙂 THE WAFFLES THOUGH!! Were so good! So fluffy and crisp and light, but still substantial! I loved the salted caramel sauce drizzled on the plate,YUM. Also if you couldn’t already tell, LOVE the presentation!! The little creatures were so adorable, and their strawberry hats tasted very sweet! It felt weird lopping off their heads and scooping it into my mouth, but well food is food. The ice cream men were also standing on a layer of wafer that separated the ice cream from the waffle, so it wouldn’t become a mushy creamy mess so quickly! I LOVED that attention to detail. 10/10

On the whole, Savoury is a GREAT addition to the canon of restaurants at Jalan Kayu, and I would definitely come back here to have the steak again and again. Finally a worthy competitor to Krave’s Steak! I am also curious to try the other things on the menu, so rest assured I will report back when that time comes 🙂

image

Savoury
246 Jalan Kayu
Singapore 799470
Reservations: +65 6752 9288

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 530pm to 11pm
Sat-Sun: 1130am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10

**Savoury is now permanently closed**

The Ramen Stall

The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198755
Online Menu: Click here
Reservations: + 65 6655 0800

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 5pm to 6am
Sat, Sun, PH: 12pm to 6am

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 10/10 for the ramen, 7/10 for all else

Average spend per pax: ~$29 per person

Last Saturday my friend brought me to The Ramen Stall which, as promised, serves up a mean ramen, along with other Japanese fare. The menu is really very extensive, and without knowing it was available online, I stupidly took a photo of every single page haha. I’m still putting it up at the end of this post, in case you guys want to browse through without going to the Ramen Stall website.

We got there at 830pm on a Saturday night, and the place was absolutely hopping! All tables both inside and at the outside seating area were taken, so my friend and I had to sit at the sushi bar, which was fine since it felt quite private. We ordered quite a few items to share so here’s a rundown:

We got the Salmon Sashimi (S$9.90 for 7 slices) first, which came on a boat you guys! Super cute.

 

imageimage

I’m afraid the sashimi did not taste too fresh. I LOVE sashimi and I wanted so badly to like it, but I could tell off the bat from the pale orange hue of the salmon that it wasn’t going to be great. 6.5/10

At my insistence we also ordered a plate of the Teppanyaki Giant Hokkaido Scallops (S$16.90 for 5):

image

First impressions – “omg this looks like super fiery black pepper sauce, will I be able to take it?!” It was intimidating. So I gingerly put the scallop in my mouth, expecting crazy heaty pepper sauce, but surprisingly it was really pleasant. I LOVE when scallops are served together with what is called “the coral”, which is the orange section around the scallop. I found that most of the lightly spicy, savoury flavour was concentrated in the coral instead of the actual scallop meat, which I thought tasted just the slightest bit bland. Texture-wise the scallops were great though, slightly chewy and you could taste the “fibres” instead of it being one fish cake-like lump. I don’t know if that makes sense to you guys :/ 8.5/10

Of course, we HAD to try a classic bowl of Volcano Ramen (S$11) in chicken-based stock. It came in 3 levels of spiciness, and we chose to go with level 2:

imageimage

It was SO GOOD GUYS!! The broth was so tasty!! It was thick, not too salty and was just rich enough. Once we mixed the two giant dollops of Chilli together with the ramen ingredients, the bowl started to resemble a cauldron of fiery hot lava. It was fierce guys. I was all but crying while working my way through the noodles – so spicy, but so delicious! The egg was really yummy especially since the yolk was mushy and partially cooked. The seaweed was thick and satisfying to bite on, since it had a little bit of resistance to it. The shimeji mushrooms were perfect – I love all mushrooms – and the corn helped add a little sweetness to pare down the biting hot heat from the chilli. Overall just a great bowl of deliciousness. 10/10

Being the greedy guts that we were, we also ordered the Kushiyaki Set A (S$12.90) which came with assorted skewers of shishamo pregnant fish, shiitake mushroom, chicken yakitori, quail eggs, beef roll with golden mushroom, AND a side of rice topped with scrambled eggs, mushroom and chicken!

image

Shiitake mushrooms, shishamo fish, quail’s eggs, enoki mushroom wrapped in beef, and chicken!

image

Too much food!

Full disclosure – we were getting pretty full by the time this came, and boy were we NOT expecting the rice to come with all these skewer sticks. We hardly touched the rice, but to summarize my feelings about the skewers, i thought they were all a little average, and a little dry.You CAN make yakitori that’s juicy and delicious, so I’m not sure why all of these were really desiccated. The beef in the beef roll all but disintegrated in my mouth. The shishamo also was so dry most of it stuck to the skewer stick, so the fish broke apart when I tried to slide it off the stick.  Loved the quail eggs though, always and forever. 6/10

All in all I would say I felt like the ramen was the only thing truly worth coming back for – I guess I shouldn’t have doubted the name of the establishment! You can’t go to a place called The Ramen Stall and expect them to have amazing sashimi, you know? That being said, the ramen really was so legit and so delicious, I want to have another bowl of it soon! Plus let’s not forget this place closes at 6am so you can come here at odd hours if you’re hankering for some of that yummy hot broth. YUM.

 

The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198755
Online Menu: Click here
Reservations: + 65 6655 0800

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 5pm to 6am
Sat, Sun, PH: 12pm to 6am

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 10/10 for the ramen, 7/10 for all else

Average spend per pax: ~$29 per person