Halal Wagyu Beef Patties from Zac Butchery

Zac Butchery
Online Website: click here
Honestbee Site: click here

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Recommended items: Wagyu Beef Patties (S$4.50 per patty)

OKAY GUYS OMG there’s an emergency. I heard this song on the radio this morning and I was like, wow this song is great. And then it ended and the Dj said “That was Sign of the Times by Harry Styles” and I was like:

Harry Styles?! 

But good grief it’s an amazing song – lush, orchestral and beautiful. He sings it really, really well too. I’m high-key obsessed with it now if you guys can’t already tell 😭 I always thought Harry Styles looked greasy and dirty, and was never a One Direction fan, but ok give it a listen and see what you think:

 

IT’S SO GOOD RIGHT?! LOL I never thought I’d ever say this but dayyyummm he’s pretty talented.

OK so now that’s out of my system, let me talk to you a little bit about what I had over the weekend. So over the weekend I was a bit malas (lazy) to eat out because halal establishments during the fasting month are just SO kecoh (chaotic) and almost everywhere is full, so you either have to make reservations or roll the dice on establishments that do not accept reservations during Ramadan (looking at you, Fat Papas! WHY.)

I was craving a fat juicy burger so I decided to order Zac Butchery‘s halal wagyu beef patties (S$4.50 each for a 120gm patty) for the first time! I also threw in a pack of halal beef bacon (S$5 for a pack of 180g). I ordered through Honest Bee because I was at my cousin’s place in Bishan which is just so, so far away from their 3 outlets (addresses also listed at the end of this post).

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Zac Butchery’s Wagyu Beef Patties (S$4.50 per patty) – 8.5/10

I let the patties thaw for a couple of hours and then seasoned them with some salt and pepper.

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Zac Butchery’s Halal Beef Bacon (S$5 per 180g pack) – 6.5/10 (sorry about the blurry photos I think I was afraid of oil spatter LOL)

 

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The pan-frying begins! Check out the beef bacon in the corner sizzling in oil lol

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Sizzle sizzle

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The trick is to pan-fry the buns in the excess oil after you take the patties out

The wagyu beef patties turned out to be great!! Pretty juicy and had a good texture – not too crumbly with minced meat and not like a lumpy processed patty. The beef bacon, however, was rather dry and brittle, which is not how I want my substitute bacon strips to taste. I suppose it was bound to happen unless they use a super fatty strip of meat for the strip. Maybe I’ll try turkey bacon next time.

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The final product! With melted cheese and BBQ sauce YUM

 

So the thing with Honest Bee is, you’ll have to pay a $10 delivery fee (or in my case, $10.50 for peak time of 1-2pm) unless you reach the store’s minimum spend, AND there is a concierge fee of $3.99. As a result, my S$14 order blossomed into a $28.50. That’s like a 100% increase, which is really annoying, but it’s what I pay for convenience I suppose. I guess i *could* have coughed up the additional $36 on more meats to get the delivery fee waived but honestly I wasn’t sure how the quality was going to be.

All in all I was pretty happy I experimented with making my own burgers. I might try the Angus ones next time, and they’re slightly cheaper too at S$4 per patty. Maybe I’ll stock up so I can save on the delivery fee. Hope you guys get to try your own stuff from Zac Butchery and get a great meal out of it! Feel free to get the meats at their physical stores so you save on delivery fees!

Here are their 3 locations:

  • ZAC Butchery @ Bukit Timah
14 Chun Tin Road, Singapore 599601 (Beauty World MRT Station, Exit B)
T: 6463 0745
cht@zacbutchery.com.sg

Operating hours –
Weekdays: 10am – 9pm
Weekends & PH: 9am – 9pm

  • ZAC Butchery @ Chai Chee
The Halal Supermarket
#01-07, Viva Business Park
750 Chai Chee Road
T: 6694 8082
zcc@zacbutchery.com.sg

Operating hours –
Daily: 9am – 10pm

  • ZAC Butchery @ Siglap
1B Figaro Street, Singapore 458322
T: 6636 0939
fig@zacbutchery.com.sg

Operating hours –
Weekdays: 9am – 8pm
Weekends & PH: 9am – 6pm

Zac Butchery
Online Website: click here
Honestbee Site: click here

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Recommended items: Wagyu Beef Patties (S$4.50 per patty)

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The Halia At Singapore Botanic Gardens

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

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

Halal status: Halal-certified effective 1 Jun 2017
Halalicious Rating: 9/10
Favourite Dishes: Boston Bay Mussels, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Lemongrass & Ginger Salad
Remarks: Ramadan Communal Menu runs till 30 June 2017, but the featured dishes remain on the ala carte menu thereafter 🙂

Hey guys! So I woke up today to so much drama about the First Family. (You know, the statements by LWL and LHY directed against LHL) – and since then the interwebs have all but exploded with commentaries and analyses. I won’t go too much into it here because I’m still digesting it myself but you guys should totally read all the commentaries online! Honestly I’m a little shook :/

…okay but like is this a food blog or did I accidentally click on The Online Citizen?

LOL YES FOOD so guess what just became halal on 1 June 2017 – The Halia at Botanic Gardens!! I knew a couple of months ago they were gonna go halal – basically one of my girlfriends wanted to host her wedding dinner at The Halia and so the Halia rep told her they were going to convert to a fully halal menu #alhamdulillah LOL. (My other friend low key was forcing me to crack a #TheHalalia joke tsk). After my girlfriend told me about it, I had already planned to try out the new halal menu on my own, but then I got an invitation from the Halia PR people, and that was a nice surprise!

The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens Exterior

Gorge omg.

Tucked away in the lush foliage of the Ginger Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Halia is a beautiful restaurant that is quite unmatched by other dining establishments in its ambience. I have to be honest though, it is not the most public-transport-friendly location; so while it’s all good for car-owners (the carpark is pretty close-by!), it’s a bit of a pain for people like myself. My friend and I took the train to Botanic Gardens on the DTL and then ubered from there, and our Uber driver got a little lost lol so we ended up doing a lot of walking. BUT it’s really just a short uber ride away from Botanic Gardens MRT and the ambience more than makes up for the inaccessibility.

We arrived just in time for dinner and tried out the Halia’s Ramadan Communal Menu for 6 for $270! The menu combines selections from their regular all-day menu so you get to taste more dishes without breaking the bank!

 

Halia Communal Menu for Ramadan 2017-2

The Ramadan Communal Menu runs till 30 June 2017!

We were seated in the al fresco dining area called the Viewing Deck. I was initially worried about feeling too warm and sweaty but the evening air was cool, and after 2-3 courses, it started feeling super pleasant with the cool air and the gentle breeze from the ceiling fans.

The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens Viewing Deck

Media photo taken obviously long before Maghrib lol

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Charming lights!

Besides the Viewing Deck, The Halia also has an airconditioned main dining hall with tall ceilings and glass walls. I would seriously recommend making reservations to get seats inside especially if you’re coming with kids (you don’t want to get sweaty tending to them!)

The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens Dining Room

The interior at the main dining room at the Halia – so beautiful!

OK let’s start from the top. First we had the Soup of the Day, which was the Pumpkin and Carrot Soup:

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Soup of the day – pumpkin and carrot soup! 10/10

Mmmm ok I love all soup but this was also objectively the perfect opener. The flavour is subtle (I love pumpkin but I wouldn’t be a huge fan if the carrot taste were too strong) and the texture is creamy. It’s a good soup that’s not too cloying or thick. Bonus points for pouring it into our bowls on the spot from an old-school metal kettle! 10/10

Next up was the trio of starters – the Halia signature Lemongrass & Ginger Prawn Salad, Potato Fries with piquant mayo, and the Deepfried Salt & Chilli Squid with a ginger-lime syrup dip and piquant mayo.

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Lemongrass & Ginger Prawn Salad: Oh boy I loved this and I suppose it’s with good reason this is one of their signature dishes! The prawns were phenomenal – fresh, juicy and flavourful. It was altogether a great combination of spicy and coconutty with a hint of ginger. One of the diners wasn’t a huge fan of ginger, and even she found this dish delicious because there was only a hint of ginger. There’s also cubes of juicy, sweet mangoes accompanying the prawns, making this a great salad even for someone like me who’s not naturally predisposed towards salads. 10/10. 

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A closer look at this phenoms prawn salad argh YUMMMMM that slight char thooooooo 💯

Potato Fries: This was decent but nothing to write home about. The piquant mayo though, was delicious! Piquant, by the way, means spicy in French (This is obviously the precise reason I learned French, so I can decode fancy food names lol). I’m not a fan of regular mayo – ugh, that slick, oily texture and that middle-of-the-road taste – just, NOOO. But this piquant mayo is smokey, slightly spicy and really adds oomph to the otherwise ordinary fries. 7.5/10

Deep-fried Salt and Chilli Squid: I was pretty excited about this but after tasting it I felt this was the weakest link on the menu. The squid was only okay – the batter was very, very light and on its own the squid came off a little bland and unimpressive. The ginger-lime syrup dip was not to my liking – it was watery and sweet, and maybe my McDonald’s-friendly palette wasn’t refined enough to appreciate the taste 😕 So again, the piquant mayo dip was the star of this dish. 6/10

Next up was the Fresh Boston Bay Mussels with coconut and ginger flower broth, chilli, lime and freshly-made grilled foccaccia:

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Fresh Boston Bay Mussels in coconut and ginger flower broth!! SEDAP OR WHAT OMG 10/10

You guys, these mussels are amazing and out of this world. Literally, the mussels are so juicy and plump and fresh, and the broth is so tasty it’s like a cross between tom yum and laksa broth ARGH I LOVE. It’s tough to find good mussels at halal places – I honestly can’t name one because the good ones I’ve eaten have tended to be from non-halal places. This is definitely a welcome change and I would for sure come back again to Halia for these mussels alone. 20/10 if I could defy the laws of mathematics but ok let’s settle for 10/10 for now.

Served at the same time as the mussels was the Panfried Barramundi on a bed of pignolina mini pasta in thai coconut cream, asparagus and cherry tomatoes:

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Panfried Barramundi – oof look at the char on the asparagus!! 👅💦 7.5/10

Ok the barramundi was super fresh and the meat was tender, while the crispy skin was a delight to bite into. Full marks for the fish. However, I found the pasta a little too creamy; it got pretty jelak after a few mouthfuls. I wish they wouldn’t make the sauce quite so thick, especially since the pignolina pasta is tiny and the sauce wholly coats each and every single one of them. LOVED the asparagus and the cherry tomatoes though. 7.5/10

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Couple photo

We moved on from the intermediate dishes to the mains, the first of which was the Slow-cooked Tender Chicken Breast & Braised Minced Leg Potato Gratin:

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Slow-cooked Tender Chicken Breast – 7/10

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Braised minced chicken leg potato gratin – 7.5/10

So the chicken breast was really, really tender, as befits chicken that’s been cooked using the sous-vide method. Flavour-wise though I didn’t get much from this dish. As for the braised minced (chicken) leg potato gratin, it was a riot – the moment we had a forkful, we were hit with a sense of familiarity and spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out what it tasted like! We started out with begedil (those Malay potato balls) and ended up deciding it was most like shepherd’s pie LOL. It was very flavourful, but I thought it was way too rich and slightly too sweet for me. Not altogether catastrophic, and nothing a few tweaks couldn’t fix. 7/10

We moved on to the Tajima Wagyu Skirt Steak with a marbling score of 7-8 (I tend to go for 7), served with potato gratin dauphinoise & mushroom jus (you know how I feel about jus I LOVE EM).

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So when we heard the name Tajima wagyu, everyone was guilty of making terrible Hana Tajima for Uniqlo jokes, including yours truly lol. Mostly though we were just really excited to try halal wagyu beef – there’s def not enough establishments here in Singapore that do it! The last time I had halal wagyu beef was in KL at Las Vacas :/

The skirt steak had a nice char and I was all over it like white on rice! It was juicy, tender, and had great flavour even without the jus. The dauphinoise potato gratin however was SO oniony I left it alone after one bite. 8.5/10 with half a point docked for the overwhelming onion taste!

For the final main we had another one of The Halia’s signature dishes, the Halia’s Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini in spicy, sweet and tangy sauce:

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My photo of the Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini – 9/10

Chilli Crab Spaghettini

The press photo of the Chilli Crab Spaghettini LOL I think mine wasn’t too shabby in comparison

Did you guys know the Chilli Crab Spaghettini was created all of 13 years ago? Gosh so much history behind this dish. You can say they were the pioneers of the chilli crab pasta which is pretty ubiquitous nowadays.

I thought this was a solid offering – the spaghettini was perfectly al dente and coated in the chilli crab sauce which was robust, full-bodied, and flavourful. However – and maybe this was just a one-off thing – I thought the sauce was a smidge too sweet for me. Just dial down the sweetness and we’d have a great pasta dish. 9/10

Oof after all that it was time for dessert. We had the Sticky Toffee Pudding first, which came with butterscotch sauce, sea salt and vanilla ice cream:

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UNFFFFFFF Sticky Toffee Pudding 10/10 omg

Good grief you guys this was far and away the best dessert I’ve had in a while. The sponge cake – made from dates – was so moist and delicious, and the combination of the butterscotch sauce with the sea salt was absolutely heavenly. The contrasting sweet and salty tastes just made this dish perfect without being too jelak. Add vanilla ice cream to the mix and you’ve got yourself a veritable mouth party once again. This was so, so good and I’ll def come back for more. 10/10

The next dessert was the cheekily-named Die Die Must Have Chocolate, comprising chocolate “elements” (fancy name for morsels?), raspberries, raspberry sorbet and a surprise ingredient – gasp – pop rocks candy!! OMG I love those?!

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Die Die Must Have Chocolate – this terrible photo doesn’t do this delightful dessert any justice I’m so sorry 9.5/10

Oh wow I was very impressed by this dish! The chocolate pieces were perfect and not overly sweet, while the juicy, juicy raspberries added a nice tang to the dish. Also how can you not love the sensation of popping candy rocks in your mouth?!  As a side note here’s some trivia about pop rocks candy, but ok back to business – I loved this fun dish. 9.5/10

Last but not least there was the Ginger Spice, All Things Nice which was made up of coconut mousse, compressed pineapple and shavings of dehydrated coconut flesh:

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Ginger Spice, All Things Nice (Don’t be alarmed that green mossy-looking thing is pistachio crumble and it actually tasted pretty alright) – 7.5/10

With its distinctive Southeast Asian features, this dessert was a little less conventional than the first 2. I LOVED the pineapple which was juicy and sweet with a hint of ginger spice, BUT the coconut mousse was just okay for me. I would definitely stick to the Sticky Toffee Pudding if I had to choose! 7.5/10

WHEW! That was a trip and a half, wasn’t it? Thank you for reading all of that with me LOL. I had a great time at The Halia and I will definitely come back with my friends to share! It works out to $45++ per person for all that food, whether you have the 4-pax or 6-pax set. I also asked if more people could share, let’s say if 5 or 6 girls with smaller appetites could order the 4-pax set to share, and the PR folks said yes this is possible! The Ramadan communal menu runs till 30 June so go get some before it ends!

P.S. There is a (unisex) prayer room right across from the Viewing Deck with a sink for ablution, but it fits only one person at a time so do take note!

The Halia
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569
Reservations: call +65 8444 1148 or email general.hsbg@halia.com.sg
Note: Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea

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

Halal status: Halal-certified effective 1 Jun 2017
Halalicious Rating: 9/10
Favourite Dishes: Boston Bay Mussels, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Lemongrass & Ginger Salad
Remarks: Ramadan Communal Menu runs till 30 June 2017, but the featured dishes remain on the ala carte menu thereafter

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)

The Dim Sum Place on North Bridge Road

The Dim Sum Place
791 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198759

Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 230pm; 530pm to 11pm
Reservations: +65 6655 8787

Halal status: Halal-certified! (Only just! Check out the MUIS list on my main menu!)
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$37 (because we were fools and over-ordered, but it could’ve easily been S$25)
Recommended dishes: Pan-Fried Carrot Cake (S$2.90), Beef Brisket Noodle (S$12.90) Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang (S$8.90), Boxing Chicken (S$8.90)

Hey guys! Guess what – there’s a new halal dim sum spot in town YASSSS. We already have a couple in the west (Tang Tea House, Kowloon Express), some in the east at Simpang Bedok (Tang Tea House again, Enak Enak) and finally we have one in a more central area!

The Dim Sum Place was opened by the folks behind The Ramen Stall (click here to read my review of The Ramen Stall!), which is why they are right next to each other, on opposite sides of Jalan Klapa on North Bridge Road. The generic names of both joints are in turns hilarious and confusing (“Hey Liza let’s have dinner at The Dim Sum Place next week I’m jonesing for some halal dim sum.” “OK, what’s the name of the place?” “The Dim Sum Place, literally, hence the caps.” “Oh lol okay.”) but I guess that’s their trademark.

I actually went for the first time last week, and enjoyed the food SO much that I went back again last night, determined to try more things and re-order the stuff I liked. Full disclosure – I went with just one friend and we SPECTACULARLY over-ordered (#ramadanstomach), and ended up packing like a third of the stuff to go 😦

Anyway here is a look at the current menu, which is still in the process of being finalized and edited by TDSP!

 

 

The Dim Sum Place - Entrance

The front of the house, concealing the seating areas behind!

Upon entering The Dim Sum Place, you will be given a copy of the menu and the order sheets to fill up:

The Dim Sum Place - Order Sheet 1

I think because they’re still playing around with the menu, quite a lot of items were crossed out in red and unavailable

The Dim Sum Place - Order Sheet 2

Curious about the congee and herbal duck but haven’t tried!

We started with the Pan Fried Carrot Cake (S$2.90), which came in 3 squares with a crisp fried top garnished with some spring onions and fried shallots, as well as the sambal dip:

The Dim Sum Place - Pan Fried Carrot Cake

Pan-fried Carrot Cake (S$2.90) – 10/10

The Dim Sum Place - Carrot Cake Close-up

A closer look

Ooh! I really, really liked this! The carrot cake was savoury and tasty without being too salty. It had a soft flavourful body with a crisp top which provided a good bite. Loved the textures. Plus it’s only S$2.90?! It’s basically free. 10/10

Next we had the Deep Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawn and Fish Paste (S$4.90) which came with a side of mayonnaise and chilli dip:

The Dim Sum Place - Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawn and Fish Paste

Deep Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawn and Fish Paste (S$4.90) – 8.5/10

The Dim Sum Place - Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawn and Fish Paste 2

Mm POV shot lol.

Deep fried beancurd skin, prawns and fish paste are definitely winning ingredients for me so I was bound to like this enough. The fried rolls were moderately crispy, and the prawns within tasted fresh. However, I thought that the skin was just the slightest bit soggy and thick – I would’ve preferred a more crispy and delicate skin. I couldn’t help comparing it to the ones I had at Kowloon Express which were more flavourful and also had a better texture. 8.5/10

Next up was the very promising Smoked Peking Duck Wrap (S$11.90) which came with some hoisin sauce as well as a trio of dipping condiments comprising sugar, peanuts and mustard sauce:

The Dim Sum Place - Smoked Peking Duck Wrap

Smoked Peking Duck Wrap (S$11.90) – 8.5/10

The Dim Sum Place - Smoked Peking Duck Wrap

Yummm duck skinnnnnnn

Mmmm so I’m kind of a sucker for halal duck of any kind, because I love duck, but YUM to find halal Peking duck with the skin on is truly a bonus and a privilege! Personally I would’ve liked for the sauces to be inside the wrap, but that’s just me being lazy to take that added step of dipping (how lazy can you get?). Also I found that the skin was a little tough – I’d bite into half of the wrap and then basically be unable to bite through the skin, therefore pulling out the whole skin with my one bite. Not that big of a deal but yes I’d prefer a crispier skin. 8.5/10

We also tried the Crystal Shrimp Dumpling (S$4.90):

The Dim Sum Place - Crystal Shrimp Dumpling

Crystal Shrimp Dumpling (S$4.90) – 8/10

Well this was alright – the skin wasn’t tough which is a bonus, and the prawn tasted fresh, although I felt there was something missing because it was overall slightly bland. Give this a miss unless you’re absolutely craving prawns. 8/10

OK so one of my favourite things here is the Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang (S$8.90):

The Dim Sum Place - Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang

Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang (S$8.90) – 9.5/10

OOF guys this was really, really good. Maybe chee cheong fun traditionalists would hate this – one of my Chinese friends said she would’ve preferred the rendang with rice rather than the vermicelli roll, and commented that the strong rendang flavours would overpower the other dishes’ flavours. BUT! Food is subjective and I reeeeally liked the fragrant rendang gravy coating the tender beef cubes. The rendang gravy was just so, so aromatic and tasty. The vermicelli roll is a lot softer and breaks more easily than traditional cheong fun texture, but I don’t mind that here with the rendang. 9.5/10 because last week’s version tasted better somehow than this week’s!

For chicken lovers, they also offer Boxing Chicken (S$8.90), named for the shape of the chicken drumlets which resemble boxing gloves after the meat is scraped off the lower side of the drum:

The Dim Sum Place - Boxing Chicken

Boxing Chicken (S$8.90) – 9/10

The Dim Sum Place - Boxing Chicken 2

Unfffff chickennnnn

I rather liked this! The sauce is a sweet and spicy combo, further enhanced by sesame seeds which I loved. The chicken is pre-fried before being coated in the sauce, although I did wish the chicken skin had been crispier. One of the ‘safe’ items on the menu, coming in at 9/10.

And finally (omg why did we order so much food?! We’re FOOLS.), we had the Beef Brisket Noodle (S$12.90). You can choose between dry or soup; I got mine dry with the soup on the side so you can customize just how wet you want your noodles to be. We could also choose between original, spicy, and very spicy flavours, so like Goldilocks I went for the middle one (spicy).

The Dim Sum Place - Beef Brisket Noodle

Beef Brisket Noodle (Dry/Spicy) (S$12.90) – 10/10

The Dim Sum Place - Beef Brisket Noodles 2

OK I MEAN THIS WAS DELICIOUS

UGHHHH I wasn’t expecting to super like this but I did!! The noodle taste and texture were on point! Flavourful, and with good bite! The star of the show though was the beef brisket which had equal parts tender-as-heck meat and soft tendon! I loved it! So simple yet hearty. Please give this a try you guys!! 10/10

All in all I had a terrific time at The Dim Sum Place and am DEFINITELY planning to come back again! The food is so yummy!! And I would like to try the congee argh. Service is prompt and well-meaning. Some of the staff speak halting English, but it’s no big matter if you just fill up your order sheet and pass it to them. Last week we pulled a ” (*while pointing to a table across the room*) hey waiter could you tell us what is that thing on that table over there?”. He kind of got a little flustered and ran away to pull another staff to address our question haha ugh.

OH omg also, you know how you get SO thirsty during Ramadan, and like during iftar you literally have to take drink breaks after every 3 bites of food because you’re just so thirsty you could die? (No? Just me?) I ordered 2 glasses of Green Apple Juice (S$3.80 each) and OH BOY IT WAS SO DELICIOUS AND REFRESHING. Please try it next time! Call them now for a reservation as the tables fill up super quickly, and nothing beats that peace of mind when you know your table is secured at the dining establishment 🙂

The Dim Sum Place
791 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198759

Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 230pm; 530pm to 11pm
Reservations: +65 6655 8787

Halal status: Halal-certified! (Only just! Check out the MUIS list on my main menu!
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$37 (because we were fools and over-ordered, but it could’ve easily been S$25)
Recommended dishes: Pan-Fried Carrot Cake (S$2.90), Beef Brisket Noodle (S$12.90) Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang (S$8.90), Boxing Chicken (S$8.90)

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!)

Citrus Bistro at Sengkang Sports Centre

Citrus Bistro
57 Anchorvale Road
Sengkang Sports Centre #01-01
Singapore 544964
Reservations: +65 6904 4850 (recommended for weekends!)

Nearest MRT station: Sengkang
Nearest LRT station: Farmway

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 9am to 9pm
Closed Mondays except Public Holidays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating:
Average spend per pax: N.A. (invited tasting!)
Recommended dishes: Smoked Duck Breast (S$19.90), Curry Chicken with Bread (S$9.90), Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (S$8.80)

** BTW GUYSSSS you can enjoy 10% off your bill at Citrus Bistro from now till 30 Apr 2017 if you flash them this blog post or my instagram post right here! Just let them know when you’re making the order at the counter! **

 

Hey guys! Aren’t Mondays just the worst? Hope you guys had a good weekend anyway. I spent most of Saturday recovering in bed with a body aching from late night floorball last Friday, and so I blazed through season 1 of Atlanta, the amazing comedy drama by Donald Glover. Please go watch it if you guys are looking for something a little different!

So right before floorball, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a food tasting at Citrus Bistro, a fairly new dining joint at the Sengkang Sports Centre. The bistro, which just got its halal certification in late December 2016, is situated right past the gantry going to the swimming pool. Diners enter the gantry for free – but you have to be escorted by the Citrus staff so just inform the gantry booth operator that you’re here for the food, and they will call someone up to fetch you 🙂

Citrus Bistro - Decor 2

Love the lighting and nautical theme!

Citrus Bistro - Decor

The delightful counter area

 

The Citrus Group also has Citrus by the Pool at Woodlands – I’ve never been there but have been meaning to try it! I was told the main difference is that the Woodlands branch is air-conditioned, while the Sengkang branch is open air and faces the pool so it is a little noisier. It was still pretty cool at the Sengkang bistro because of the cool fans so I was super comfortable.

Here is a look at the menu at Citrus Bistro:

Citrus Bistro - Menu

Lots of  light bites for the swimming crowd, and mains for the more serious eaters! Also the snacks are mostly fried with an air fryer so they’re not going to be as oily as regular fried stuff yay!

The first dish I tried was the Curry Chicken with Bread (S$9.90) – you can choose between rice or bread, and I went with bread because I love dipping lightly toasted french baguette into curry ugh.

Citrus Bistro - Chicken Curry 2

Curry Chicken with Bread (S$9.90) – 8.5/10

Citrus Bistro - Chicken Curry Closeup

A close-up of the chicken and potatoes in the rich, tasty curry uughhhh so good

This curry is legit legit! My first couple of spoonfuls had a pretty strong star anise taste – some of you might not like that – but personally it made the curry taste a little more like home. After the first few mouthfuls the star anise taste receded into the background as I got a more rounded, robust flavour. I found out later that this curry was cooked with 15 different spices, so no wonder it’s so delicious. It wasn’t super jelak because it was spicy without going overboard, plus the santan taste was not overpowering, so that was good.

The bread that they served it with was lightly toasted and crispy on the outside, while still being chewy on the inside so that was good. My only gripe is that the chicken itself, while tender, was a little bland – it was almost as if it hadn’t absorbed enough of the flavours of the curry. Small matter though, because what I did was take apart chunks of the chicken myself and dunk it in the curry. I would however recommend that they simmer the chicken in the curry for a little longer next time. Overall still a strong dish! 8.5/10

Next up we had the Beef Sliders with Nachos (S$10.90):

Citrus Bistro - Beef Sliders Trio 2

Beef Sliders with Nachos (S$9.90) – 6/10

OK so is it just me or are the burgers just so cute and perfect that they look fake?! 10 points for presentation! I only wished, though, that the sliders tasted as great as they looked 😦 The patty was a little tough, the mini buns a little hard and the sliders rather dry overall. I was thankful for the cheesy sauce and the tomato which I almost removed lol (because some anti-veggie habits just stick with you for life). The nachos were nachos, and honestly I would have preferred fries, but I suppose these were better for my health. Not my favourite dish I’m afraid! 6/10

Citrus Bistro - Beef Sliders Trio

I feel like a genius kid made these sliders using playdough or supersized Yupi

Citrus Bistro - Beef Sliders Closeup

Thank you tomato for providing juiciness!

 

The final main that I tried was the Smoked Duck Breast (S$19.90). When I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to try it because man, halal duck is SO hard to come by. They knew I was struggling to eat all the food by myself so they were kind enough to prepare just a tasting portion for me:

Citrus Bistro - Smoked Duck Breast

Smoked Duck Breast (S$19.90) – 10/10!!!

OK so I was not expecting to be blown away, but the duck is SO LEGIT?! The smoked duck meat was tender but with good bite, and that extra strip of fat right underneath the skin made it so juicy!!  It also paired PERFECTLY with the hoisin sauce which had a great umami taste while being fairly sweet. The duck came on a bed of mashed potatoes which were SO GOOD even on their own!! The mash was smooth and perfectly seasoned – I don’t know if they used crack or Mamee seasoning or what but seriously, I could’ve had a whole vat of it ugh. All in all the duck, the mashed potatoes and the wild mushrooms were just a bombass combo. 10/10 for sure!

Citrus Bistro - Smoked Duck Breast 2

A close-up of this beauty for good measure

Finally we moved on to dessert, when I got to try Citrus Bistro’s signature Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (S$8.80):

Citrus Bistro - Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (S$8.80) – 10/10

Citrus Bistro - Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Not the best of photos because I’m not at all a great photographer but UNFFFFFF

OMG guys the molten chocolate lava cake is so good, I just ugh can imagine the taste right now. TOTALLY regretting typing this so close to bedtime when I really should be sleeping instead of drooling. So anyway the cake was delicious – warm, gooey on the inside, with the “lava” being semi-sweet with a very very slight bitterness so it doesn’t cross over to jelak territory. Coupled with the bananas and the raspberry ice cream, each mouthful was just absolutely delightful. 10/10!

Overall I had a terrific time at Citrus Bistro. Apart from the sliders, I was very impressed with everything else I had! Although I was invited for the tasting, I remained conscious of the price points for each dish and I think that they were very reasonably priced for the quality you’re getting. Sengkang is not a place I envision visiting often, but if I were in the area, I would be SO grateful to have Citrus Bistro to go to! Will definitely come back here when I’m next in the area!

** Just a reminder guys, you can enjoy 10% off your bill at Citrus Bistro from now till 30 Apr 2017 if you flash them this blog post or my instagram post right here! Just let them know when you’re making the order at the counter! **

Citrus Bistro
57 Anchorvale Road
Sengkang Sports Centre #01-01
Singapore 544964
Reservations: +65 6904 4850 (recommended for weekends!)

Nearest MRT station: Sengkang
Nearest LRT station: Farmway

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 9am to 9pm
Closed Mondays except Public Holidays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating:
Average spend per pax: N.A. (invited tasting!)
Recommended dishes: Smoked Duck Breast (S$19.90), Curry Chicken with Bread (S$9.90), Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (S$8.80)

Additional remarks:

Access: Entry to Citrus Bistro is free for dine-in customers. Simply give them a call at +65 6904 4850 and their service crew will pick you up at the entrance to the swimming pool!

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)