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!)

Advertisements

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)

PrimaDéli’s Pandan Kaya with Gula Melaka Roll

Hey guys!

Yesterday I received two boxes of PrimaDéli’s new Pandan Kaya with Gula Melaka Roll to try. As you know, PrimaDéli is Singapore’s first home-grown bakery franchise with over 40 halal-certified outlets all over Singapore.

PrimaDéli - Pandan Kaya Gula Melaka Roll

It’s just so, so kind of these folks to send me two rolls instead of one.

PrimaDéli - Actual Roll

OK ignore the empty patches where the gula melaka got stuck to the plastic lid cover, but look at the richness of the drizzle and look at how soft the sponge cake lookssssss UNFFFF

The Pandan Kaya with Gula Melaka roll is a collaboration with celebrity chef Siti Mastura Alwi, a specialist in local-flavoured dishes and desserts.

PrimaDéli Chef Siti Mastura Alwi

Chef Siti the brains behind this new roll! Apart from heading the SSA Culinary Institute as their Principle Consultant, she also runs her own firm Siti’s Delights

PrimaDéli - Yum

Look at this disgustingly beautiful photo I got from the PrimaDéli PR team. Why are all my photos so awful and not at all like this haha

I felt pretty undeserving of those rolls that PrimaDéli wanted me to taste, like oh shizz maybe PrimaDéli made a mistake and meant to send it to some OTHER food blogger what do I do what do I do but anyway NEVER MIND if I eat it quick enough they can’t do anything to reverse it.

So the moment they delivered it to my office (contrary to popular perception I am employed and don’t just sit around all day at home in my jammies waiting for cakes to drop out of the sky, although that is a lifegoal.) I cut one roll into 7 slices and shared it with my colleagues. That’s right, share the calories and crowdsource the reviews.

kayodememe

Pretty pleased with myself

I took two slices for myself because I mean they’re mine so no one could object, and also I was just being greedy.

PrimaDéli - Roll slices

Check out this whimsical plate from my office pantry lol so extra

My verdict? YUM it’s really good! The gula melaka drizzle at the top is SO delicious!! On its own it can be too sweet but the subtle pandan kaya flavour from the sponge cake helps to balance it out. The sponge cake, by the way, is so moist and fluffy!! Everyone who tried it asked me where it was from and were very impressed with PrimaDéli’s latest creation.

Two of my colleagues said it was a little on the sweet side, and alright full disclosure I admit I do have a sweet tooth, so I loved it. But also you can’t have gula melaka and not have it be sweet?? And also one of the two colleagues literally bit off only the top layer of the roll (where all the gula melaka was. CASSANDRA FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU HAVE TO RATION IT OUT WITH EVERY BITE.) So apart from the 2 comments of the roll being a little sweet, overall the cake scored very well among us.

I must admit I have not bought anything from PrimaDéli for a few years now, but I will definitely buy a roll or two every now and then for house visits and to serve to guests at home.

PrimaDéli - Pandan Kaya Gula Melaka Ingredients

How delightful is this photo also!! I love it. Could never ever come close lol

The Pandan Kaya with Gula Melaka Roll is going for an introductory price of S$4.80 per roll from now till 31 Mar 2017, after which it will go for S$6 per roll. Still basically cheap as chips, you guys (literally like Kettle Chips are S$5?).

Visit http://www.PrimaDéli.com to locate their outlets, http://www.facebook.com/primadeli , and http://www.instagram.com/primadelisg to check out their latest specialty cake creations!

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)