Take Hyde Out (Formerly Hyde & Co) on North Bridge Road

Take Hyde Out
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Tel: +65 6635 5785
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 12pm to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 12pm to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$31 
Recommended dishes: Xiao Jiji/Chicken Little ($16.90), Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90)

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing? Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend and the week has been going okay so far.

I went to check out the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the National Gallery again on Sunday and thankfully it was a lot more pleasant than my first experience during opening weekend. Don’t get me wrong; there were still loads of Instagram boyfriends taking photos of their girlfriends’ backs as these girlfriends pretended to admire the paintings (UGHHH I feel like a crotchety old woman saying this but I can’t even deal with those photos.) BUT at least one didn’t encounter them at every turn; maybe 2-3 of those per gallery, instead of literally everywhere.

Pumpkin – 1981

There’s just something so profoundly satisfying about her pumpkins in all their overripe poofiness, and I really liked some of her paintings too! You guys should check out the exhibition if you haven’t already – tickets for Singaporeans run at $15, and I highly recommend buying online and then collecting at the much-shorter priority/pre-booking line at the National Gallery. The exhibition runs till 3 Sep 2017!

So that was my Sunday, but on Saturday I was running some errands with my mum at Arab St and we decided to have lunch at Hyde & Co, except that now they’re calling themselves Take Hyde Out after some rebranding. The decor has also changed a little bit – now the walls are grey instead of creamy white, and the vibe is a little more modern than country.

Take Hyde Out - Decor 2

More industrial, less “pretty”

Take Hyde Out - Decor

You can check out their online menu here, but also I took pictures of it here:

Take Hyde Out - Menu 2

Main menu

Take Hyde Out - Menu 2

Brunch Menu

So they added more pastas and pizzas to the menu, compared with the old one which you can check out in my previous review here.

Thankfully old favourites are still around, such as the prawn paste chicken and waffles, renamed to Xiao Jiji / Chicken Little (S$16.90), which my friend told me informally meant small dick 😦 Anyway it came with 3 strips of prawn paste chicken, 3 waffles, a sunny side up and shoestring fries:

Take Hyde Out - Chicken and Waffles

Xiao Jiji / Chicken Little (S$16.90) – 9.5/10

OK you guys. I just loved this so, so much. I LOVE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES! I think I only know Take Hyde Out and Citrus By The Pool for having it, but perhaps there are more I do not know of. Anyway, Take Hyde Out’s version is the bomb dot com. The chicken is pungent (needs to be, or it’s not prawn paste), flavourful, savoury, juicy and delightfully crispy on the outside. I think they must use thigh meat because it’s just so juicy and tender. The waffles were also perfect – crisp with some chewiness within, and perfectly complemented by the maple syrup.

The fries were a little desiccated, and I wish the egg had been a proper runny sunny side up, but honestly I’m happy with just the chicken, waffles and maple syrup. The egg and fries are just a bonus. And all this for $16.90 with no added GST or service charge?! WHAT A STEAL. 9.5/10

My mum had the Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90) which featured linguine in spicy arrabiata sauce with blue swimmer crab, topped with herbed panko:

Take Hyde Out - Hyde's Chilli Crab Pasta

Hyde’s Chili Crab Pasta (S$22.90) – 9.5/10 (sorry for the over-exposure also lol)

Mmmm I had a couple of forkfuls of this pasta and it is still delectable. I found that the colour wasn’t as vibrant and red as the version that The Halia makes, but what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in taste! I found the sauce perfectly balanced – spicy, savoury and sweet all at once. The serving of crab meat was also pretty generous, and the linguine was perfectly al dente, so that was great. 9.5/10

On top of the two mains, we also ordered the Pulled Beef Mantou (S$8.90 for 3 pieces) as my mum was curious to try after reading my earlier review of it:

Take Hyde Out - Pulled Beef Mantou

Pulled Beef Mantou sliders (S$8.90 for 3) – unreviewed because I didn’t have it

I’m afraid I do not have an updated review of these pulled beef mantou sliders because I was really working hard on my prawn paste chicken and waffles – you saw how big the serving was!! I couldn’t even finish the whole thing and had to ask to take the remainder to go. By the way, it costs you an additional 50cts to pack your food. A little unusual but I guess I understand the rationale behind it.

Anyway so no review of the pulled beef mantou; just the photo, although my mum liked it enough (“the bun’s a little oily though”).

Oh one thing to highlight – they changed the presentation of the Cold Brew Teas from this:

Hyde & Co - Into The Woods Drink

The old Into The Woods tea – so pretty, but so little

…to this!

Take Hyde Out - Cold Brew Teas

The new Into The Woods and Alice in Wonderland teas (S$6.50) each.

As you can see, the presentation is a little less “precious” and a little more practical – my one gripe was that we got so little actual tea in the previous incarnation, so this new version with a regular big glass was welcome.

So that was my review of the new Take Hyde Out – still madly in love with the prawn paste chicken and waffles and still loving the Chilli Crab pasta. I kind of latch on to one thing on the menu after I find myself liking it a lot, so I’m not sure if I’ll have the pizza when I’m back next, but we shall see!

Also good to note that this place does not have GST or service charge! You place your order at the counter and make a payment before eating (NETS or cash-only please!), and water/cutlery is self-service, but it’s a small-enough cafe for that not to be a problem. The staff are also great and will patiently take you through the menu and make some recommendations if you need.

Take Hyde Out
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Tel: +65 6635 5785
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 12pm to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 12pm to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$31 
Recommended dishes: Xiao Jiji/Chicken Little ($16.90), Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90)

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Citrus By The Pool at Woodlands Swimming Complex

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

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Recommended dishes: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (S$10.90), Sweet Potato Fries (S$7.50), Homemade mushroom soup (S$5.50), Da Burger Bomb (S$11.90)

Hey guys! First of all a belated SELAMAT HARI RAYA TO ALLS YALL!!! How was your Raya!! I guess by last weekend everyone was pretty much done with major open houses and visiting (I know I was so done by end of last weekend). My first couple of weeks were pretty tiring because we hosted so much more this year compared to last year, and my hands were pretty chapped from constant dishwashing lol (I hate washing dishes with gloves on eww). I also doubled down on the baking this year – I made honey cornflakes, chocolate chip cookies, and choc chip + cornflake meringue. Not gonna lie, it’s so tiring but I’m also super kembang (lol like puffed up, or self-congratulatory) when my relatives say they’re good! (Also my horrible brothers finishing them off is a good sign I suppose).

So are you guys excited about Game of Thrones Season 7?!?!? I’m so excited I could die. I’ve been watching all kinds of YouTube videos as a primer lol here are some of my favourites:

Basically just check out ALL Alt Shift X’s videos and subscribe to their channel omg.

OK ANYWAY so a couple of weeks ago I was invited to a tasting at Citrus By The Pool, to try out their new menu. Some of you might know that this was the first outlet, followed by the second one called Citrus Bistro located at Sengkang Sports Complex.

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The entrance of Citrus By The Pool is exactly opposite the Woodlands Sports Hall!

The decor of the place is great! Warm lights lend a cosy feel to the interior:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Interior

Here is a look at the menu, which included the new items we were going to try:

 

 

So first of all we tried the Homemade Pumpkin Soup (S$5.50):

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Homemade Pumpkin Soup (S$5.50) – 6.5/10

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I LOVE pumpkin soup, and the Royals Steakhouse does a pretty good job. This one was not terrible, but I thought the soup was a little bland. I would’ve preferred it slightly tastier, and with a thicker consistency. 6.5/10

The Homemade Mushroom Soup (S$5.50) though was great!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Homemade_Mushroom_Soup

Homemade Mushroom Soup (S$5.50) – 9/10

Definitely in no danger of wading into Campbell Mushroom Soup territory, this homemade soup is creamy, savoury and wholesome. I nothing croutons, like if they’re there I’ll eat them; if they’re not I never ever miss them, but that was a nice touch. 9/10

We moved on to the Sweet Potato Fries (S$7.50), which comes with a choice of two dips from a selection of Salted Egg, Wasabi Mayo, Spicy Mayo, or Curry Mayo:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Sweet_Potato_Fries

Sweet Potato Fries (S$7.50) – 9.5/10

OK so some of you might know, I’m not the biggest fan of sweet potato fries; like I’m not going to scan a menu and look past the regular fries, or the truffle fries, or the chilli con carne fries and be all “omg sweet potato fries let’s get those!” BUT. These were really great. Maybe they air-fried these or whatever but the fries were really crisp and light on the outside and super fluffy on the inside!!

For the purpose of this tasting we were given all 4 sauces to try, although on a regular order guests can choose 2. I’d definitely recommend the wasabi mayo and the curry mayo, yum! The salted egg mayo was really prohibitively salty, like I LOVE salt egg yolk but this straight up tasted like the white parts of a salted egg. Which I always leave untouched lol. The spicy mayo also had this strange aftertaste; can’t quite describe it but let’s just say my 2 favourites were wasabi and curry. The thing to note though is that these fries were already so good I’d be totally fine eating them on their own! You know like regular fries can be a little bland and require sauce to jazz em up? Well sweet potato fries are already slightly sweet so they’re def ok to eat on their own. 9.5/10

We moved on to Da Burger Bomb (S$11.90) featuring teriyaki chicken burger with cheese, a sunny side up egg, lettuce, and tomatoes served with a side of (regular) fries:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Da_Burger_Bomb2

Da Burger Bomb (S$11.90) – 8.5/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Da_Burger_Bomb_Cross-Section

UNFF I love burger cross-sections

My first thoughts were “Ooh I love this the burger is so juicy!” followed rapidly by “did McDonalds also have a teriyaki burger last time because I feel like this is low-key invoking memories of said burger?!” So yes as promised on the menu, the teriyaki chicken was indeed succulent, so bravo, Citrus chefs. I liked the teriyaki flavour which was slightly sweet, slightly savoury, without overpowering the burger. My friend said she would’ve preferred if they had seared the buns a little in butter. I agree, but the burger’s still good with plain buns! A solid 8.5/10.

I was mad excited to try the next dish that came – the Fried Chicken and Waffle (S$10.90) featuring boneless fried chicken on a waffle, served with butter and a shot of maple syrup:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Fried_Chicken_Waffles

Fried Chicken & Waffle (S$10.90) – 8/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Chicken_Waffle

Look how appetising this issssss 

 

OK so I LOVE fried chicken and waffles, what a bomb-ass combo (ok but as a Muslim should I really be throwing around the B-word without a care in the world 🤔). The chicken was really perfectly fried – super good crunch without tasting too oily. However, I did find that it was a little bland and could have been better-seasoned. Having prawn paste chicken could remedy that, although the price might have to increase! Another solution would be to serve with some sort of spicy-sweet combo, like sriracha maple syrup or something. That would be delishhhh. Still though the main thing is the chicken should’ve been more flavourful.

The waffle was chewy and sweet, and I liked it a lot with the chicken. My friend commented it was like waffles made from Kueh Keria LOL and you know what? Once he mentioned that I realised he was kind of right! It was pretty cool and different from plain old tasteless waffle. 8/10

Next up we tried the Salted Egg Seafood Pasta (S$12.90) featuring linguine in creamy salted egg sauce with scallops and shrimp:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Salted_Egg_Seafood_Pasta

Salted Egg Seafood Pasta (S$12.90) – 8/10

Ooh we were a little apprehensive about this especially as the sweet potato fries salted egg dip was not our favourite, but this was pretty good! The salted egg flavour was solid thanks to the curry leaves and chilli padi. The scallops were a wee bit lacking in taste, but the shrimp were good. A decent offering at 8/10.

Finally for the main dishes, we tried out the Seafood Risotto (S$16.90) which came with loads of seafood such as squid, prawns, scallops and mussels:

 

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Seafood_Risotto

Seafood Risotto (S$16.90) – 6/10

Ok guys I was actually super excited to try this, because YUM I love risotto. However, I have to say I was really disappointed in this version for a few reasons. Firstly, it tasted like regular rice with some gravy on it. Nooooooo 😦 If you look at the picture, the rice looks pretty skinny like long-grain, whereas risotto rice is usually of the rounder, short-grain variety, allowing for better absorption of liquids and flavours. Secondly, the scallops and squid were really rather tasteless. Perhaps a bit more of a char on them would’ve made them better or just better seasoning maybe. I also find the prawn head twin towers a little imposing; some of the best risottos I’ve had have been served in the simplest of presentations, without fancy accoutrements like this. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE sucking on prawn heads (YA I KNOW OMG don’t be like my doctor), but maybe just lay ’em down. 6/10

Phew, so after all that food we finally moved on to dessert, which was the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (S$10.90):

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Chocolate_Lava_Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (S$10.90) – 10/10

 

Yes this is delicious, just like the one at Citrus Bistro. I mean, what else can I say – the cake is moist and warm, the molten chocolate lava within is like liquid ecstasy (the feeling, NOT the pills.)

 

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Molten_Chocolate_Lava_Cake

UNFFFFFF SO GOOOOOOOOODDDDD

Yes this is delicious, just like the one at Citrus Bistro. I mean, what else can I say – the cake is moist and warm, the molten chocolate lava within is like liquid ecstasy (the feeling! NOT the pills.) and tastes so, so good. It’s thick and sweet but not too sweet. The vanilla ice cream and strawberries are there to refresh the palette with something cool and tangy if you need a break from all that chocolatey goodness. 10/10 for sure. No question.

Phew so that was our meal at Citrus By The Pool! Overall I had a good time and really enjoyed most of the new menu items that we had. We were very comfortable in our corner by the window, and also super grateful for the air-conditioning as the evening started off pretty warm and humid. How great is it that more and more swimming pools/sports complex are having decent halal options these days! I remember back in the day having to eat like soggy nuggets and super salty fishball sticks lol. I mean I was a kid with no broad base for comparison so those were fine back then, but dayummmm the youth these days are lucky. Plus the price points are very reasonable at Citrus By The Pool, so I think it’s a great option for decent food without breaking the bank.

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

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Recommended dishes: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (S$10.90), Sweet Potato Fries (S$7.50), Homemade mushroom soup (S$5.50), Da Burger Bomb (S$11.90)

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Great World City

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
#01-18/19, Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Singapore 237994

Opening Hours
Sun-Thu: 8am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 8am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: N.A. as I was invited for a tasting!
Recommended dishes: Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90), Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90)

Hey guys! It is officially Day 15 of Ramadan!!! How did 2 weeks go by just like that good grief. I’ve been SO tired and weak all the time; I’m sure it’s the same for you guys. Having to wake up for sahur every morning is quite disruptive to a late-sleeper like myself, so yeah I’ve been super guilty of going back to bed after subuh, only to sleep through my alarm when I have to be up 2 hours later.

And ok fine I’ve been staying up late watching episodes of House of Cards Season 5 also, so I fully deserve this wrecked-ness but boy it’s worth it. I can’t deal with how much I love Robin Wright as Claire Underwood (she was Jenny in Forrest Gump!!!) You guys should totally get on House of Cards S5 right now! Also she plays Gal Gadot’s aunt Antiope in Wonder Woman, which was BRILLLZZZZZ in case you guys haven’t caught it.

OK so where were we. Ah, yes, FOOOOD. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to try out the new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf menu items. I’ll be honest with you I’m more of a Starbucks girl (only because there’s a Starbucks at my office lobby) but guess what all Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets are halal-certified, which means you can eat the food with abandon! You can verify by clicking on the MUIS list of halal eating establishments here! (If the link doesn’t work, click here and then go to the left of the page and click on “List of MUIS Halal Certified Eating Establishment” 🙂

My friend and I went to the one at Great World City because it was a Friday night and we wanted to pick a less busy one.

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Mad lepak vibezzz. I didn’t ask those 2 women to pretend to laugh I swear.

Here is a look at the food menu with the new items marked out!

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Me being so extra LOL

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Featuring new items Avocado Tuna Melt (S$13.90) and the Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90)!

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Featuring new items the Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90), Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich (S$10.50) and Creamy Seafood Fusilli (S$14.90)

We started with the Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90), which has turkey ham, eggs, feta cheese spinach and tomatoes on Vienna bread (a yeasty bread with a thin, crispy crust and a light texture, perfect for sammiches!), with a side of sautéed mushrooms.

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Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90) – 9/10

Oh wow, I did not expect to but I ended up really liking this sandwich!! Firstly, did you guys also think the yellow fluffy thing on top was scrambled eggs? BECAUSE I TOTALLY DID before finding out that no, that was just the hollandaise sauce. And oh boy the hollandaise sauce was phenoms. It was just so soft and fluffy and lightly savoury, which made for the perfect sandwich companion. The turkey ham had really good bite and was not overly salty; underneath it the spinach added a crunchy texture. I could also taste some sweet onions together with the spinach. You guys know I hate onions, but this particular combination in the Mediterranean sandwich just worked. A solid 9/10 for this!

Next we had our second sandwich, the Avocado Tuna Melt (S$13.90) featuring an avocado tuna mix, olives, lettuce and tomatoes covered with emmental cheese on Vienna bread with a side of potatoes with bacon bits!

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Avocado Tuna Melt (S$13.90) – 6/10

I found this a little disappointing – I know maybe I expected too much going into this but I thought there was going to be discernible chunks of avocado, and there weren’t. It seems the avocado was stirred in with the tuna, but we really didn’t taste much of it. The tuna also lacked flavour, boo. On the plus side the potatoes were nice and soft, and I really liked the bacon bits for that added umami punch! Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to save this dish 😦 I will def give this a pass next time. 6/10

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Just gonna close this right back LOL

After these two we moved away from breakfast to the all-day-dining menu, starting with the Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90) which featured salad greens, cranberries, and sliced almonds in salad dressing:

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Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90) – 9/10

MMM yum you guys I really liked this and I’m not even big on salads. The smoked chicken taste closely resembled that of smoked duck, which I love. The meat was firm, juicy and with good bite! As with smoked items it was a little salty but I thought it was perfect. The dressing was DELICIOUS! It’s almost like Japanese wafu dressing, slightly sweet, slightly savoury, and with a sesame taste. Boy, you can make me eat all kinds of vegetables with that dressing. Plus, the sliced almonds provided a great crunch to the salad, while the cranberries paired perfectly with the salty taste of the smoked chicken. VERY satisfying for a salad. 9/10

Next up we had YET another sandwich, the Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich (S$10.50):

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Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich (S$10.50) – 7.5/10

OK so the chicken looks really gnarly here but I swear the honey mustard taste was really good! It was a little sweet, a little peppery, and with a hint of sesame too. The bread (I think it’s panini? – we get a choice of panini, ciabatta or whole wheat bread) held up well and was nicely chewy but light. HOWEVER, while objectively I think this sandwich is good, I don’t think I’ll get it anytime soon just because I don’t like chicken in this texture. It reminds me of those shitty sandwiches we used to get in secondary school canteens like tuna mayo or creamy chicken or whatever UGH. The kids would get them after school before getting on the bus to MOELC for 3rd language classes, and the whole bus would smell like these sandwiches and I’d feel queasy the whole ride ugh 😦 Haha sorry I guess this is when personal history gets in the way of objective reporting. 7.5/10 nonetheless.

FINALLY, finally, we got to our last dish, the Creamy Seafood Fusilli (S$14.90) with prawns and scallop:

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Creamy Seafood Fusilli (S$14.90) – 6.5/10

Hmm I was not terribly impressed by this pasta. I found that the cream sauce was a little too light – I mean I’m not looking for something totally gloppy or anything, but this was slightly watery. The fusilli was also rather starchy – I didn’t like the taste nor the texture. Pretty disappointing, so 6.5/10 for this!

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One of those #onthetable type shots lol but not as pretty lol

Overall I’d say The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has some very interesting new items on their food menu that are worth trying. I really wouldn’t mind popping in sometime for the Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90) or the Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90); these were impressive! I know my friends love the Breakfast Platter (S$12.90) but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet! If I do I’ll let you guys know 🙂

I’ll leave you guys with a couple more photos – I would really highly recommend visiting the Great World City CBTL! It’s so spacious and peaceful!

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Me asking questions and being all annoying to the friendly Store Manager Kamal at the Great World City CBTL – service was great here!

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They gave me a box of tea and a water bottle!!! So nice omg 😭

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
#01-18/19, Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Singapore 237994

Opening Hours
Sun-Thu: 8am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 8am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: N.A. as I was invited for a tasting!
Recommended dishes: Mediterranean Sandwich (S$13.90), Smoked Chicken Salad (S$11.90)

FLO – Food Lovers Only at IMM

flo (food lovers only)
IMM #02-15A
2 Jurong East St 21
Singapore 609601
Tel: +65 6896 1396

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: n.a. because I was invited for a tasting 🙂
Recommended dishes: Corn Soup (S$8), Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich (S$15), Tom Yam Prawn Pasta (S$15)

Hey guys! Hope everyone is doing alright. I’m a little tired today because I was watching the chilling Martin McDonagh play called The Pillowman last night at the Victoria Theatre, but let me tell you it is worth the 5000 yawns today. The play centers on an author Katourian being interrogated by the police due to some recent child murders that closely resemble his gruesome fairy-tales. It is SO dark and so chilling, and yet manages to have some moments of black humour. Brilliant staging and animation by Pangdemonium and Mojo studio! Unfortunately last night was the final performance for this round, but I hope they’ll stage it again soon here in Singapore and you guys can catch it!

OK so back to food – the nice folks at FLO invited me for a food tasting recently at their cafe FLO (Food Lovers Only), which is the halal sister of Cafe Manuka (situated at Paragon).

FLO Cafe - Ambience

Bright and airy!

Flo is located at IMM, which I know is far away from some of you, but great for a Westie like myself. Although it has its origins in New Zealand-inspired food given that it is under the Manuka group, flo is helmed by the SUPER adorable 18-year-old Chef Kim Jin Myeong. As such, you will find that their menu runs the gamut from the very kiwi pancake dish “Pikelet Stack” to a korean fusion items such as the Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich. I personally find it a little confusing in terms of messaging/branding, but I suppose that offers more choice to the customers.

One plus point of this cafe is that it is super kid-friendly, so feel free to bring children to this establishment! Look they even have games and books to entertain your youngins while you eat:

FLO Cafe - Kids Stuff

CRAYONS – what a bold choice lol. But look at the books!

FLO Cafe - Kids toys

Boardgames yasss. And some Minion thing which is bound to amuse the kids

Anyway on to food! We tried a LOT of dishes so I’ll break it down to you real quickly so you guys can see which ones catch your fancy and try ordering it next time!

1. Corn Soup (soup of the day) – S$8

Yum, this was surprisingly good! Corn soup is not something I would normally order for myself as I prefer alternatives like mushroom soup or clam chowder, but this managed to be creamy, tasty and light at the same time! There were bits of corn that added texture with every spoonful, which I liked. 8/10 for this dark horse!

FLO Cafe - Corn Soup

Soup of the Day – Corn Soup (S$8) – 8/10

2. Tomato Mozzarella Salad (S$12)

Honestly I’m not a huge salad person so I may be biased, but I found this a little disappointing – the mozzarella could stand to be a little creamier but it was pretty bland. This could have been mitigated by a great pesto, but the pesto was unfortunately pretty tasteless as well. I suggest you give this a miss unless you’re in the mood for a cool salad on a hot day.  6/10

FLO Cafe - Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Tomato Mozzarella Salad (S$12) – 6/10

3. flo’s Rosti Special (S$15) 

I quite liked this! The potato rosti was crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, and paired well with the runny egg. The shredded chicken on the side was a little tart, but I like the added protein to the dish, otherwise it would seem a little bare with just potatoes and eggs. 7.5/10

FLO Cafe - flo's Rosti Special

flo’s Rosti Special (S$15) – 7.5/10

4. Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich (S$15)

OK this sandwich was delicious and definitely my favourite of the night! The beef was juicy, tender and a little sweet thanks to the caramelised onion. The ciabatta bread was crispy and not too aerated (I hate insubstantial bread). I’m ambivalent about the chips and side salad, as the sandwich itself was good for me, but I suppose it makes up for the cost! 9/10

FLO Cafe - Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich

Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich (S$15) – 9/10

FLO Cafe - Beef Sandwich

UNFFFF YUMMMM JUICYYYYY

5. Korean-inspired Marinated Chicken with Korean-style Fried Anchovies & Kimchi Fried Brown Rice (S$16)

OK firstly the name of this dish is a mouthful argh, I would highly recommend paring it down to just Korean Chicken Kimchi Fried Brown Rice, at most. Naming pedantry aside, I think this was not bad, but not mindblowing. The chicken was tender and tasty, which was what I liked most about it. I also liked the fried anchovies, which is usually one of my favourite banchan dishes at korean restaurants.

The brown rice was the weak point for me. It’s healthy-tasting, which I suppose is fine if you’re trying to make incremental changes to your diet, but the rest of this dish isn’t exactly the healthiest. I would’ve preferred white rice like a true-blue asian lol. 7/10

FLO Cafe - Korean Chicken and Kimchi Fried Rice

Korean Chicken Kimchi Fried Brown Rice (S$16) – 7/10

6. Tom Yam Prawn Pasta (S$15)

Mmm I love myself a good tom yam pasta, and flo’s version was really good! It was spicy and creamy without being too rich/jelak. The prawns were fresh and weren’t like those super turgid, flavourless types you sometimes encounter. 8.5/10

FLO Cafe - Tom Yam Prawn Pasta

Tom Yam Prawn Pasta (S$16) – 8.5/10

7. D’Orange Pasta (S$14)

Oof, guys this was a little unusual for me. Is orange pasta a thing now?! The sweet orange taste was a little overwhelming for me, it was like pasta bathed in orange juice :/ I would have preferred if the dish were overall still savoury, but with a hint of orange zest in it – something a little more subtle. 4/10 unfortunately, but if you guys think this could be your thing, by all means go for it!

FLO Cafe - D'Orange Pasta

D’Orange Pasta (S$14) – 4/10

8. Flank Steak (S$18)

This dish was a little forgettable for me – I found the meat a little dry and a little on the bland side. I like my steak juicy with a side of fries, but I mean just look at the photo – cucumber AND broccoli? Nuh-uh no way, not for me. 6/10

FLO Cafe - Flank Steak

Flank Steak (S$18) – 6/10

We moved on to dessert –

9. Bountiful Choco Brownie Waffles (S$14.50)

I am a sucker for ice cream and waffles, so I was pretty excited about this. The waffle texture was slightly crispy but remained chewy, so that was good. The ice cream itself is like any other decent vanilla ice-cream, although I would personally prefer like salted caramel or Thai milk tea flavour ice cream on my waffles 🙂  7/10

FLO Cafe - Bountiful Chico Brownie Waffle

We were also able to choose a couple of cakes to try from the wide selection that they had that night! Here is a look at the display counter:

FLO Cafe - Cake Display

Mmmm cakesssss

FLO Cafe - Cakes

It was so tough picking a flavour!!

10. Speculoos Cookie Cheesecake with Cinnamon (S$6.50)

I can’t resist speculoos anything so we opted for this in the end. I was a little disappointed that the cinnamon taste was so strong it overpowered the cheese flavour. I like my cheesecakes cheesy! I think they could’ve maybe used less cinnamon and used a little more cream cheese. The cheese part of the cake was also a little too dense, whereas I would’ve wanted it a little more moist and creamy. 7/10

FLO Cafe - Speculoos Cheesecake

Speculoos Cookie Cheesecake with Cinnamon (S$6.50) – 7.5/10

All in all I would say I had a decent time at flo. The menu is so extensive so there are bound to be both hits and misses, but I might come back for the Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich (S$15) if I’m in the area because it was so satisfying. Also good to note that there is no GST or service charge at this cafe, yay.

flo (food lovers only)
IMM #02-15A
2 Jurong East St 21
Singapore 609601
Tel: +65 6896 1396

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: n.a. because I was invited for a tasting 🙂
Recommended dishes: Corn Soup (S$8), Korean Beef Bulgogi Sandwich (S$15), Tom Yam Prawn Pasta (S$15)

Fat Papas Burgers and Shakes on Bali Lane

Fat Papas
17 Bali Lane
Singapore 189853
Reservations: +65 6291 8028 (call after 4pm)
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Daily 5pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified as of Jul 2017! (Click here for verification!)
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: $$15 for burgers, $10 more for shakes!
Recommended dishes: Wimpy Burger (S$15) (will recommend more when I try other items!)

GUYSSSSS there is now a halal version of Fat Boy’s burger and it’s called Fat Papas Burgers and Shakes!!! We have the legendary Sheikh Haikel, rapper and radio extraordinare, to thank for this. When I was there this past Thursday, Haikel (lol like he’s my BFF) told me that he had waited 7 years for this dream to be realised. He first floated the idea to Fat Boy’s Burger co-founder Bernie Tay shortly after Bernie and his brother Kennie opened their very first Fat Boy’s outlet in 2009. However, the brothers wanted to focus on building their brand and felt the time wasn’t right.

After 7 years though, Sheikh Haikel got their blessing to co-found the halal offshoot called Fat Papas, and so here I am to tell you how my first try went!

Fat Papas is located on Bali Lane, pretty near where Blu Jaz Cafe is. I LOVE this location obviously because there is just so, so many halal options in the area from Krave to Hyde & Co to Kampong Glam Cafe, I just keep coming back.

The burger joint is on 2 floors – the ground floor seats about 10 pax, and the upstairs fits just over 20 I believe, so try to make reservations when you can! When I came for dinner, Fat Papas was in its soft launch phase and already the upstairs was full, so I got a table on the ground floor.

Fat Papas - Decor

This is the ground floor that seats about 10 pax. Same black-white-red colour scheme as Fat Boy’s, same black doodles on the white walls!

Being on the ground floor was a little stressful because Bernie Tay, Sheikh Haikel, and Anna Belle Francis were all there! I’m like a huge fangirl of Sheikh Haikel – literally, I bought a copy of his album For Sure back in 2002 when I still bought CDs because I really liked his single Witulah. Who can forget the amazing line “to keep me strong lah I say bismillah“? Rap genius. As for Anna Belle Francis, my friend A and I first saw her back when we were loser teens (I think we were in a Starbucks or McDonald’s or something), and she was just so beautiful we asked for her autograph on my friend’s copy of the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker lol. The two of them are so goals ❤

Sheikh Haikel CD Album - For Sure

LOL took this out of my CD box to show you guys “all I’m telling you is the truth lah”

Sheikh Haikel CD Album - For Sure

That froooooooo and CD art 100%

Aaaanyway my dinner date came super late and I spent like 15 agonizing minutes trying not to freak out about being so close to the dream couple, but every story has a happy ending. More on this later. For now, here’s a look at the menu (which you can also find online here):

Fat Papas - Burger Menu

I can’t deal with The Elvis?! And I gots to try that Country Fried Steak sometime.

Fat Papas - Menu

I’m too chicken to build my own burger for now. Also, patiently waiting for more types of cheeses to be introduced into the menu!

I ordered the beef version of the Wimpy Burger (S$15), which features the house blend beef patty, turkey bacon, melted aged cheddar cheese and bbq sauce on a sesame bun:

Fat Papas - Wimpy Burger 1

Wimpy Beef Burger (S$15) – 9.5/10

At first bite (which was a struggle by the way because the burger was HUGE and my mouth is an appropriately-sized mouth), I knew this was a winner and I was going to keep coming back for more. Just look at it!!

Fat Papas - Wimpy Burger

UNFFFFFFF

The patty itself had the perfect texture and bite – the ground meat didn’t fall apart too easily, but it wasn’t also just like one processed chunk of meat. I could def taste the quality. The patty itself was subtly flavoured (in a good way), while the turkey bacon rounded it out with a more salty taste. The cheese and the BBQ sauce meant that every bite of the burger was super juicy and satisfying! It was like a Ramly Burger but a thousand times better and a little less greasy. 9.5/10 

I think there was some teething issues in the kitchen so my burger came with an egg in it – I still ate it anyway because rezeki jangan ditolak, but I think I would def have preferred it without the egg, meaning the Wimpy in its original incarnation. I can’t wait to go back and try all the other things in the menu!!

At the end of our meal, while my friend was paying, Sheikh Haikel came up and thanked me for coming, and that’s when he told me this was his dream 7 years in the making. Anna Belle came and joined us (looking SO lovely in her hijab. GOALS I TELL YA) and I gushed like a silly fangirl and made a spectacular fool of myself lol. I love them though, they spent some time chatting with me and all the other patrons – what a warm and genuine couple ugh!!! Please go and try Fat Papas stat, you will not regret it. Make a reservation though, or you might have to wait for a table! Still worth it anyway.

Fat Papas - Sheikh and Annabelle

Here is my precious #dreamsdocometrue photo with the happy couple. Sorry you have to put up with my Bitmoji covering my actual face but I really do look like that in real life.

Fat Papas
17 Bali Lane
Singapore 189853
Reservations: +65 6291 8028 (call after 4pm)
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Daily 5pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified as of Jul 2017! (Click here for verification!)
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: $$15 for burgers, $10 more for shakes!
Recommended dishes: Wimpy Burger (S$15) (will recommend more when I try other items!)

Penny University at East Coast Road

Penny University
402 East Coast Road
Singapore 428997
Tel: +65 6345 9055

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 830am to 6pm
Fri-Sat: 830am to 1030pm
Sun: 830am to 7pm

Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Halal status: Muslim-owned
Average spend per pax: ~SS24 for shared fries, a main, and a juice
Recommended dishes: Steak & Cheese Sandwich (S$14)

What up WordPress! So have you guys watched La La Land and Arrival? I really liked La La Land – Emma Stone does some really good acting and also inception-acting, as in she auditions for a role in a movie within the main La La Land movie, and her acting in that audition was tremendous. I also thought the ending was good in a throat-constricting way. No spoilers or anything but please go watch it!

Arrival, I have mixed feelings about – I love that on the surface it’s a movie about the arrival of aliens, but then what we really get is a subtle but powerful commentary on mankind’s inability to cooperate, as well as some ethical issues I won’t go into here. After reading some analyses of the movie, I realised that a lot of the things I didn’t like about the movie (Jeremy Renner’s non-role, among other things) were edited out of either the original novella by Ted Chiang, or of earlier versions of the script. So ok fine, I can kind of imagine the full script if it had been fleshed out, and it’s pretty good.

Aaaaanyway I came here to talk to you guys about food – a couple of months ago my main baes and I were planning brunch, and I suggested Penny University because I hadn’t been there ever (it’s way too far east for me ugh).

They didn’t take reservations so the 6 of us showed up fairly early around 11ish on a Sunday, and had to wait maybe 15-20 minutes for a table inside.

Penny University - Exterior Decor

This was the exterior decor of the cafe, right next to the entrance. Something about it reminds me of Buffalo Bill and it is low-key freaking me out.

Penny University - Ambience

A view of the interior from our table at the back of the cafe

Penny University - Weighing Scale

My Zara mini bag feels at home next to this antiquey/decorative weighing scale

I approve of the decor. The warm lighting and wooden tables give it a very cosy feel and although they packed quite a lot of people into the space, it still felt rather intimate for my and my friends.

Here’s a look at the menu:

Penny University - Menu

4pm is a little early for the kitchen to close, for a cafe that opens till 6pm, but I’m guessing this will allow the kitchen staff to pray Zuhur before Asar, perhaps.

We started off with the Chilli and Cheese Fries (S$8) and Truffle Fries (S$8) to share:

Penny University - Truffle Fries and Chilli Cheese Fries

Chilli Cheese Fries (S$8) and Truffle Fries (S$8) – 7.5/10

First things first, how huge are the bowls! I was very pleased with the serving size of the fries, especially since all 6 of us were going to be sharing them. Points for portion! I also liked that these were not shoestring fries, because those have a tendency to be rather desiccated. Thicker cut fries are more likely to be crispy on the outside and still be adequately mushy on the inside.

So all that aside, I thought these fries were good, but not great. I like my chilli cheese fries to be pretty sloppy, and for some reason the chilli cheese was just not properly sticking to the fries, so we would have to deliberately scoop it up onto the fries, otherwise our fries were coming off totally chilli cheeseless. As for the truffle fries, they also tasted a little dry. The truffle taste was maybe a little too subtle, and overpowered by the parmesan. I like my parmesan and truffle flavours to be equally strong, if served together. 7.5/10 for both fries.

Onto the mains – eager as I was to try traditional brunch food, I got the Salmon Eggs Benedict (S$15), comprising two poached eggs, smoked salmon on brioche toast, topped off with homemade hollandaise sauce, and with a side salad:

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Salmon Eggs Benedict (S$15) – 6.5/10

This was pretty disappointing – you know how I like to post videos of when the knife slices through the poached egg and the yolk gushes out? I had my camera all ready, and when I cut into the egg, NOTHING oozed out. The yolk was pretty well-cooked. Look, I know poached eggs are really difficult to make, but this was the only place I’d been so far where there wasn’t the slightest of yolk runs. It’s an integral part of eggs ben, and eggs ben are in turn an integral part of any brunch menu worth its salt, so I wish they had gotten this right. The brioche toast was also a little burnt, and the side salad a little skimpy, so I was not impressed. The salmon was average, and the hollandaise sauce was decent. 6.5/10

My friend had better luck – she got the Steak and Cheese sandwich (S$14), which came with 100g premium striploin, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, tomatoes, honey mustard on ciabatta — the works!!:

Penny University - Steak and Cheese Sandwich

Steak and Cheese Sandwich (S$14) – 10/10

Now THIS is what I should have ordered ARGH. One bite of this bad boy and I felt the crushing weight of regret descend upon my shoulders. The steak was soooo juicy and savoury! The rocket leaves were a touch of genius, imparting that slightly nutty flavour to contrast with the umami of the meat and cheese. I don’t even like onions but the caramelized onions in this sandwich really took it to a whole other level of flavour. Super regretted not getting this ugh. 10/10

Our other friend tried the Spanish Omelette (S$7.50) which, together with the Eggs Ben, was also part of the all-day brunch menu. It consisted of eggs cooked with capsicum, chicken chili sausage, caramelized onions, potato cubes and chives, served with garlic aioli and a side salad:

Penny University - Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette (S$7.50) – 6/10

At first bite, this Spanish omelette tasted OK, but the more you chewed the more it dawned on you just how utterly salty this omelette was!! I’m kind of a salt hound, but omg this was so beyond salty it made me cringe. Why so heavy-handed with the salt, guys? Why. The omelette texture was also nothing to write home about – turgid, and a little dry. I was so glad I didn’t get this for myself :/ 6/10

These were the 3 dishes I managed to taste that day. I’ll leave you guys with photos of other food we ordered that I didn’t get a chance to try, as well as photos of the decor. Before that though, let me take a second to talk about the service at this place. We were waiting outside for a while before one of the staff said they had a table for us and ushered us in, but when we walked in, there was already someone else sitting at the designated table, and the staff didn’t really try to remedy it. I mean it’s fine, eventually the guy realised and moved to the end of the long table, but it would’ve been nice if the staff could’ve been a little more proactive.

One more observation – we realised that upon ordering, quite a few diners were not assigned any table numbers or one of those markers so that the servers would know which tables to send the food to once they are ready. As a result, the servers would come bearing plates of food and just go from table to table asking if the diners had ordered those plates. It was mayhem, and a lot of tables had to wait quite a bit for their food to come. It really was gnarly to witness. The servers themselves were a little flustered and did not seem to manage the situation well. I felt bad for them but at the same time I wondered why the cashiers were not more diligent with dispensing table markers. Surely this was not their first day on the job?

OK that’s all for service. I think I might come back here IF I needed a place in the east, and just for the steak sandwich maybe. Also I suppose I like the decor enough to want to come back on a quiet day maybe. The other food stuff are all rather forgettable, which is a pity because I’d heard good things about this place. Maybe it was just an off day for them, who knows.

Photo time!

Penny University - Turkish Eggs and Spinach

Turkish Eggs (S$8.60) with 2 portions of sauteed spinach (S$1.50 per serving)

Penny University - Eggs Benedict with Turkey Ham

Turkey Ham Eggs Ben (S$15)

Penny University - Dessert Counter 2

The cake display! You can tell Earl Grey and Pandan Gula Melaka are hot favourites lol

Penny University - Dessert Counter 1

They also have buttermilk waffles starting from S$7.50 for a basic one with butter and maple syrup!

Penny University - Newspapers

Lots of reading material, probably best for weekdays instead of busy weekends.

Penny University - Cash Register

‘A penny for the people at Penny’! Cute.

Penny University
402 East Coast Road
Singapore 428997
Tel: +65 6345 9055

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 830am to 6pm
Fri-Sat: 830am to 1030pm
Sun: 830am to 7pm

Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Halal status: Muslim-owned
Average spend per pax: ~SS24 for shared fries, a main, and a juice
Recommended dishes: Steak & Cheese Sandwich (S$14)

Krave on Bali Lane II

Krave
28 Bali Lane
Singapore
Reservations: +65 9856 4249
Remarks: Cash-only, no gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Tue-Thu & Sun: 1130am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 1130am-11pm
Closed Mondays
Kitchen is closed between 5-6pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax:~S$23
Recommended dishes: Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25), Kraving Ayam Bakar ($18), Kurry Kremoso (S$18)

Hey guys! I know, I have been SO absent. Life has been a little crazy, with year-end holidays, tying up loose ends at work prior to said holidays, and of course, the horror of the impending inauguration of Trump as POTUS on 20 Jan 2017.

I’m not sure about you guys but I’ve been reading probably way too many commentaries and articles about Trump and his family, with their attendant conflicts of interests (business vs government). I came across this ABSOLUTELY ABSORBING feature on his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump.  I can’t even begin to summarize its extensive breadth of coverage, so please go read it!! It’s really insightful and fascinating. (A little bit of trivia – Jared is the older brother of Josh Kushner, a venture capitalist who also happens to be dating supermodel Karlie Kloss, lol.)

Aaaanyway, I digress. Back to the matter at hand – I recently went back to Krave cafe on Bali Lane for a catch-up dinner with one of my friends who lives in New York came back to Singapore for a quick visit.

The menu has changed a little since the last time I was there, so here is a look:

 

As usual, I got the Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25) in medium:

Krave - Steak and Chips

Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25) – 10/10

img_4763

Comes with steak-cut fries, grated cheese, a side salad, a cup of jus and a cup of chilli sauce.

Krave - Steak cut

PERRRRFECTLY DONE – LOOK AT THAT PINK! SO JUICY UGH

I don’t know how they do it but the steak is always so juicy, and so tender. I never ever encounter any tendons or tough bits, they must use super-quality meat. The jus is as usual super tasty and great for dipping chunks of meat/fries into. 10/10

As an aside, I know some of you like your steak well-done, but you’re missing out on the juiciness of a perfect medium steak!! Trust me, it is life-changing. A well-done steak is an overcooked steak, so the juices are all dried up and the meat will invariably be tough. Give medium it a try one day. Maybe you start with baby steps; from well-done you go to medium-well, and then you transition to medium. See how you feel about it, who knows you might be won over by the change!

Anyway so one of us got the Kurry Kremoso (S$16) which is curry chicken pasta, essentially:

Krave - Kurry Kremoso

Kurry Kremoso ($16) – 9.5/10

Yum, we all had a taste of this and I really liked it – the curry was rich but not overly heavy. It was adequately spicy (as forewarned by the one chilli icon next to the listing on the menu) and they were generous with the chunks of chicken breast meat. A solid pasta dish at 9.5/10.

Another one of us was craving laksa, so she ordered the Laksa Sayang Eh! (S$18), a terrible but hilarious play on the Malay folk song Rasa Sayang Eh:

Krave - Laksa Sayang Eh!

Laksa Sayang Eh! (S$18) – 7.5/10

While they were generous in topping this dish with plump prawns, this was not well-rated by my friend – primarily because she found that the tough, al dente penne did not go well with the laksa sauce. I’m not sure if this is due to her overwhelming craving for real laksa, but she did not like the texture so much. (To which I say, hey friend, maybe just stick to actual laksa next time? LOL). So yes if you think you wouldn’t mind this fusion of pasta with laksa sauce, feel free to give it a go. For my friend though, this was a firm 7.5/10.

Finally we also got the Kraving Ayam Bakar (S$18):

Krave - Steak n Chips

Kraving Ayam Bakar (S$18) – 9.5/10

So it was our friend from New York who got this, and I’m happy to say she loved it. As with my previous experience chronicled in my former review of Krave, she found the chicken really tender and well-flavoured thanks to the sweet and spicy kicap marinade, along with the tasty peanut sauce. The lontong cubes were also still on point – soft and perfectly-paired with the sauce. 9.5/10 

All in all, we had a terrific time, although I would really counsel you guys make a reservation in advance. They allocate some seats for walk-ins, but these fill up way quicker than you think.

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax:~S$23
Recommended dishes: Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25), Kraving Ayam Bakar ($18), Kurry Kremoso (S$18)