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!)

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Reminis at Sembawang Road

** Update as of 2 June 2017: Rem.i’nis has closed down their physical stall at 33 Sembawang Road BOOHOO!!! Peep the 3 May announcement on their instagram account @rem.inis. For the month of Ramadan though, they are taking orders for some of their signature dishes such as the TRUFFLING MAC & CHEESE OMG UNFFFF. You’ll have to pick the orders up from their place at Punggol so do check out their instagram for more details! **

Rem.i’nis
33 Sembawang Road
Singapore 779084
Email: 33rem.inis@gmail.com

Opening Hours
Mon-Sun: 1pm to 9pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$6 (we ordered from another stall too)
Recommended Dishes: Truffling (Truffled mac & cheese -S$7 for plain, S$8.50 with beef)

I have this friend who, for some reason entirely beyond me, seems to have her finger on the pulse of the halal food scene. Which is to say, she knows all these super obscure new places to try.

So a couple of Fridays ago when she entreated me and my other friend to go to Rem.i’nis (we’ll get to the spelling later) at Sembawang Road, I did not take this suggestion lightly. Never mind that I live about a plane ride away, and that the spelling of the name was kind of crazy. I trusted my friend and managed to strongarm her into driving us there, so off we went.

Rem.i’nis is a stall in the coffeeshop on Sembawang Road (33 Sembawang Eating House), about a 10-minute walk from Word Cafe and Springleaf Prata Place. It labels itself a “Tex-Mex infused with Asian flavours”, and honestly I do not understand the spelling at all – sekejap full stop sekejap apostrophe, Ya Allah – but I’m sure they have their reasons for it. If the food is good, I’ll give them a free pass for playing fast and loose with punctuation. Also for the rest of this post I’ll just refer to them as Reminis ok? Perfect.

Here is a look at the menu:

Reminis - Menu 3

I love all the additional meat choices, because I love meat

Reminis - Menu 1

Love that they put all the info about the place on their menu!

Reminis - Menu 2

“No YOU’RE the chump!” “Lol bolones” “Omg Uncle Djeng-Goat” — thoughts running through my head while reading this menu.

My friends and I were trying out dishes from Reminis and also its next-door neighbour Golden Ladle (which I will review separately), so we only ordered a couple of things from each place.

First we ordered the Jeng-Goat Mutton Burger (S$9):

Reminis - Jeng Goat Burger

Jeng-Goat Mutton Burger (S$9) – 7.5/10 but could’ve been 9/10 if the buns were better!

Yum I like the fries! They were well-seasoned and crispy, a little like Long John Silvers’ fries on its best day (idk how you folks feel about LJS but I kind of love it – it appeals to my most base instincts). The burger itself was really good but I feel it was let down by the buns! The goat patty was thick, juicy and tasty, so full points there. The layer of cheese and harissa sauce ensured each bite was extra juicy and delicious. THE BUNS, however, could have been better – they broke apart all too easily and was a little insubstantial/aerated. My point of reference for a really good bun would be the brioche buns used in The Ugly Duckling’s duck confit burger; boy those are super yummy and chewy with good bite. 7.5/10

Next was an item I saw on the menu and simply HAD to order, the Truffling Mac & Cheese (S$7) and topped up an additional S$1.50 for some beef filling:

Reminis - Truffling Mac and Cheese

Truffling Mac & Cheese (S$8.50 with beef) – 10/10

Reminis - Truffle Mac and cheese 1

OMGGGGGG so gooey and creamy and meaty omg dying omg this looks just about as good as it tasted

OK so, no big deal but THIS MACARONI AND CHEESE WAS SO GOOD YOU GUYS. And at only S$8.50?! I’ll have 10 of those! Seriously. Not at all jelak, you guys. I must say the seasoned beef very slightly overpowered the taste of the truffle oil/truffle butter, but overall I loved the alternating tastes of the beef and the truffle. The macaroni itself was chewy and had good bite, without being too tough or overcooked. Each spoonful of this dish was juicy, sloppy, and delicious.  10/10 without a doubt.

All in all I would definitely come back to Reminis, even if it means making the haul from the West all the way out to Sembawang, and even if it means having to type out Rem.i’nis many more times in my life – spelling be damned! That truffle mac & cheese alone is motivation enough! I’ve already raved about it to anyone who will hear me out, LOL. At the same time I wouldn’t mind trying the many other items on the menu.

My one gripe about this place is they only provide plastic cutlery and not the usual metal ones, so it’s a little delicate. I can see why they would do it, because of cleanup and manpower considerations, but yes I would’ve definitely preferred metal cutlery. Small matter though; good food triumphs over other concerns always.

Rem.i’nis
33 Sembawang Road
Singapore 779084
Email: 33rem.inis@gmail.com

Opening Hours
Mon-Sun: 1pm to 9pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$6 (we ordered from another stall too)
Recommended Dishes: Truffling (Truffled mac & cheese -S$7 for plain, S$8.50 with beef)

** Update as of 2 June 2017: Rem.i’nis has closed down their physical stall at 33 Sembawang Road BOOHOO!!! Peep the 3 May announcement on their instagram account @rem.inis. For the month of Ramadan though, they are taking orders for some of their signature dishes such as the TRUFFLING MAC & CHEESE OMG UNFFFF. You’ll have to pick the orders up from their place at Punggol so do check out their instagram for more details! **

Fix Café at Ah Hood Road

Fix Café
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-06 HomeTeam NS-JOM Clubhouse
Singapore 329979
Online Reservations: Click Here
Tel: +65 6256 1484

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm
Notes: Kitchen closes 3-530pm on weekdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$42 (for so, so much food)
Recommended dishes: Donuts with Salted Egg Dip (S$6), Beef Chilli Cheese Fries (S$9), Prawn & Lime Fajitas (S$22) 

Ramadan kareem everyone! As I type this we’re halfway into Ramadan Day 2, and I hope it’s going well for you guys. I’ve been pretty ok physically yesterday and today, but as always, the spiritual side can always be improved (cue nervous/guilty laughter haha). But of course that is the beauty of Ramadan – I tend to get swept up in the flurry of secular daily life and chase material dreams, but Ramadan lets me really regroup and refocus on what’s important – daily prayer, dzikir, gratitude, reflections on the less-fortunate, etc. We’re all really so blessed to have this opportunity for one month to experience Allah’s  bountiful mercy and generosity.

Aaaaaanyway, all of that heavy introspection aside, let me share with you my last kopek (last-gasp, the final one before you stop doing something) brunch at Fix Cafe from Sunday. I was overdue for a meetup with my ex-colleagues, and I hadn’t been to Fix Cafe since Sep 2014 (thanks Instagram), so I figured hey let’s give this a try.

Little did I know, it had rebranded itself from a place specialising in naanwiches (a portmanteau of naan and sandwich, if you need me to spell it out for you LOL), to a proper Mexican-themed joint!

Fix Cafe - Counter Decor

The counter area still retains that cool industrial-chic vibe doe

Fix Cafe - Ceiling Decor

Tyre rims as light fixtures! Super cool and quirky

Fix Cafe - Decor 1

I don’t know what is the obsession with bicycles and motorcycles as decor (c.f. Icebox Cafe and Kaw Kaw LOL), but maybe there’s a really cool backstory I just don’t know about

The menu has changed considerably since the days of naanwiches, focusing more on communal dining with a Mexican Festive Feasting concept. I LOVE Mexican food, so I’m really happy to add Fix Café to the list of halal Mexican joints which now consist of only Afterwit SG on North Bridge Road (read my review here) now that J’s has shut down for good 😦 .

Here’s a look (you can also click on the menu tab on their website for a clearer view):

Fix Cafe - Food Menu

Quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas!! YOMMEHHHHHH

Fix Cafe - Drinks Menu

I’m really loving the extensive selection under Homemade Drinks!!

Fix Cafe - Sharing Menu

These value-for-money sets are EVERYTHING.

The 4 of us opted for the Set for 4-6 pax at S$118++, and added in one Donuts with Salted Egg Dip (S$6) for good measure, so we could sample more of the menu.

Fix Cafe - Smorgasbord!!

Not pictured: One more portion of the drumlets, one more tortilla salad, the buñuelos with ice-cream, the doughnut balls, and 3 slices of cake!! What a veritable smorgasbord of goodness YUMMM

Here is a breakdown of the meal we had:

  1. Tortilla Salad with Lime Dressing (S$8)
Fix Cafe - Tortilla Salad with Lime Dressing

Tortilla Salad with Lime Dressing (S$8) – 7/10

Verdict: This was ok, I mean I’m not the biggest fan of salads, especially when confronted with so many other meatier alternatives. If I were on a diet though I’d probably give this the time of day. That purple sauce it seems is a mixture of guacamole and refried beans, and tasted pretty pretty mild. I probably would not order this as an a la carte item though. 7/10

2. Beef Chilli Cheese Fries (S$9) 

 

Fix Cafe - Chilli Cheese Fries

Beef Chilli Cheese Fries (S$9) – 9.5/10

Verdict: YASSS. These chilli cheese fries are the bomb. They’re so delicious guys – the chilli con carne was savoury, very flavourful, and a little spicy. Just perfect. I loved that it was all very sloppy and saucy, unlike the Chilli Cheese Fries I had at Kaw Kaw (you can check out how their version fared here). The chilli con carne and cheese clung to the fries so that you taste everything all at once. Super delicious. 9.5/10

3. Chicken Drumlets (S$8)

Fix Cafe - Chicken Drumlets

Chicken Drumlets (S$8) – 8.5/10

Verdict: Pretty good but lacks oomph. The texture was perfectly crunchy and crispy without being too oily, but I thought the wings could do with a little more taste, perhaps more of that Mexican spice? The spicy sour cream dip was good, but it would’ve been perfect if the drumlets themselves were spicier. 8.5/10

4. Prawn and Lime Fajita (S$22)

Fix Cafe - Prawn & Lime Fajitas

Prawn & Lime Fajita (S$22) – 10/10

Verdict: I really, really loved this. Probably my favourite dish, after the doughnut balls which I will come to later. The prawns were fresh, and there’s really nothing like hearing the sizzle of fresh seafood and vegetables on a hotplate, yummm. The vegetables added texture and flavour to the sweet, charred taste of the prawns, and that soft egg on top adds body when you mix all the ingredients around. YUM. 10/10

They serve each plate with 3 slices of soft flour tortilla and a trio of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, so you can make your own fajita wrap/roll. Below is an example of my pre-rolled fajita.

Fix Cafe - Fajitas

YUMMMM. (was it wise to write this review while I’m fasting? I suspect not but I’m in it now and I can’t slow down :()

5. Beef Kimchi Fajita (S$19)

Fix Cafe - Beef Kimchi Fajitas

Beef Kimchi Fajita (S$19) – 8.5/10

Verdict: In contrast with the Prawn & Lime Fajita, I thought this was decent, but not great. On its own it’ll be sufficiently satisfying, especially if you’re in the mood for red meat, but I thought the beef strips were a little dry and thin. If they made the strips a little fatter and juicier, I’m def down for more! 8.5/10

6. Chicken Pascal (S$16)

Fix Cafe - Chicken Pascal

Chicken pascal (S$16) – 8/10

Verdict: Not too bad! I wish there had been more of the roasted potatoes (which I also found a little desiccated), but luckily as we had ordered the set including fries and tortilla wraps, we were not wanting for carbs. The tomato chipotle sauce covering the chicken made up for the sliiiight dryness of the chicken (I attach a lot of importance to the succulence of my meats), and was tangy and tasty. 8/10

7. Lamb Shank (S$25)

Fix Cafe - Lamb Shank

Lamb Shank (S$25) – 8.5/10

Verdict: The meat from the braised lamb shank fell off the bone really easily, but in little chunks rather than being uniformly shreddy. The taste was good and savoury, but again I found the potatoes a little desiccated, probably because of the oven-roasting process. The price you pay for healthier potatoes, oy! 8.5/10

8. Buñuelos and Ice-cream (S$8)

Fix Cafe - Buñuelos Dessert

Buñuelos with ice-cream (S$8) – 9/10

Verdict: You guys, these tortilla shells are glazed in gula melaka, dusted with powdered sugar and served with vanilla ice-cream! Super, super delicious. The tortilla triangles are super crispy and you can also wait till they get soggier from the ice-cream for a change in texture. The gula-melaka glaze is heavenly, and paired with the powdered sugar, it makes for a very satisfying dessert, especially if you’re in the mood for something with a crunch. 9/10

9. Donuts with Salted Egg Dip (S$6) 

Fix Café - Donuts with Salted Egg Dip

Donuts with Salted Egg Dip (S$6) – 9.5/10

Verdict: This is literally the best thing ever. It combines my favourite childhood snack (doughnut balls!!) with my current adult-life obsession, salted egg anything. I love this so much you guys. The doughnut balls are so tender and fluffy, and they serve them piping hot!! The salted egg dip is also really delicious, just like the custard you find in liu sha baos. Just, superlative. My only small gripe is that the dip needed to be a little bit runnier, instead of like a paste which made it difficult for me to scoop it up with the doughnut balls. Otherwise, I am definitely going back for more!! 9.5/10

10. Assorted Cakes (S$7 a slice, but on sale for $5 for the month of June 2016!)

Fix Cafe - Rainbow Chocolate Banana Ondeh-ondeh Cakes

Rainbow Cake, Chocolate Banana Cake, and Ondeh-Ondeh Cake (S$7 each, discounted to S5 a slice for the month of June 2016)

Verdict: Get the Chocolate Banana cake and don’t even bother with anything else! The Rainbow Cake was pretty solid and as good as rainbow cakes come. I’m not the biggest fan since I think it’s a little gimmicky and they’re just sponge cake with colouring, but it was pretty soft and sweet. Made even better with the layer of cream cheese. The Chocolate Banana cake was a revelation – so rich, so smooth and with tender chinks of banana in between! The Ondeh-Ondeh Cake was a giant disappointment – tasted really generic, a little dry, and with barely any gula melaka in. The best Ondeh-Ondeh Cake I’ve had in my life has to be from Studio Cafe – omg the cake is so moist and there are veritable chunks of gula melaka in between, YUMMMM. Anyway final verdict for all the cakes is a middling 7.5/10.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed the food at Fix. Gosh, I’m def gonna try and make plans to break my fast here sometime this month. The set is a total steal, for the amount of food you’re getting. Service is attentive and friendly, and the poolside settings makes for a very chill environment. It does get a little warm since it’s open-air dining and there is no air-conditioning, but it’s a small price to pay for the quality food you’re getting.

I’ll leave you with some random photos!

Fix Cafe - Lychee Earl Grey Tea

My Lychee Earl Grey Tea (S$5) – super yummy

Fix Cafe - Cakes Display

The blurry cake display counter 🙂

Fix Café
31 Ah Hood Rd
#01-06 HomeTeam NS-JOM Clubhouse
Singapore 329979
Online Reservations: Click Here
Tel: +65 6256 1484

Opening Hours
Daily: 11am to 10pm
Notes: Kitchen closes 3-530pm on weekdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$42 (for so, so much food)
Recommended dishes: Donuts with Salted Egg Dip (S$6), Beef Chilli Cheese Fries (S$9), Prawn & Lime Fajitas (S$22) 

Kaw Kaw SG II

Kaw Kaw SG
28 Aliwal St
Singapore 199918
Reservations (only on Mon-Thu): call  +65 6444 8349 or email makanstate@gmail.com
Remarks: Only cash/credit cards, no NETS. No service charge or GST!

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 11pm
Fri-Sun: 3pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$31 including drinks!
Recommended dishes: Smokey Beef Bacon burger (S$16.30)

Hey guys! So who is obsessed with Game of Thrones right now? Are you guys up to date? Please go watch if you haven’t, it’s really one of the best things on TV right now (in addition to Veep, It’s Always Sunny and so many others!) Anyway GoT is consuming my life and it’s the only thing that makes me look forward to Mondays LOL.

On to the matter at hand – I’d been jonesing for a good burger lately so I decided to go back to Kaw Kaw SG and give them a second try. If you guys haven’t already read it, click here for my first review of this burger joint from when I first went in Dec 2015!

So I’m glad I went back because the menu had been updated so much, and had so many more items compared to the old menu! Here’s a look at the new menu:

 

The ambience and interior still look mostly the same, although I imagine some pieces of furniture have been updated here and there, since all the furniture in the restaurant is up for sale!

Kaw Kaw SG - Ambience

I love the high ceilings for real

Kaw Kaw SG - Decor

Check out the giant Surat Yasin there on the left lol

Kaw Kaw SG has more starters on the menu now so my 2 friends and I opted to share two of them. The first was the Chilli Cheese Fries (S$11.90), featuring fries drizzled in mildly spicy beef bolognaise and grated parmesan:

Kaw Kaw SG - Chilli Cheese Fries 1

Chilli Cheese Fries (S$11.90) – 7.5/10

Kaw Kaw SG - Chilli Cheese Fries

Mmmm fries meat and cheeeeese the trifecta of a good meal

My first reaction to this starter was to exclaim “Omg why so little sauce?!” to my friends.I think that was the crux of the problem I had with this dish. I’m not looking for *fries* with a meat dip. I want my fries to be bathed in beef bolognaise sauce, I want the whole thing to be sloppy and I want each fry to be coated in sauce. Is that too much to ask?

We ate the fries with our hands, and it was SO difficult to get the bolognaise sauce and cheese onto the fries so what happened was we would just use our fingers to scoop up the beef bolognaise together with the fries and shovel it into our mouths. So as an executive summary, the bolognaise sauce was tasty enough, but there needed to be more of it, and it should have been runnier. The dryness of the sauce was a big part of the problem. 7/10

OK now that you guys know I’m a crazy Chilli Cheese Fries Nazi, let’s take you to the next starter that we had, the Castro Chicken Wings (S$10.90). I’m SO SORRY but the wings came late (after all our burgers!!) so I totally forgot to take a photo and anyway my hands were totally messy from the burger I was having. So here is a photo from their instagram page (@KawKawSG):

Kaw Kaw SG - Castro Wings

Castro Chicken WIngs (S$10.90) – 7.5/10 (photo credit: @KawKawSG’s instagram page)

So these bad boys have been baked in Castro Sauce, which to this day remains a mystery to me. A google search for “Castro Sauce” yields mixed results, none of which come even close to actual sauce (except Carbonara Sauce recipe from someone named Castro). All I can say is it tastes like honey-lemon sauce. My reaction after a couple of bites was “oh ok I think I prefer Pizza Hut’s Sweet and Spicy Drumlets” haha so rude. It’s true though – as far as baked chicken wings go, I think the flavours really need to come through to make up for the nothing-texture. In the case of these Castro wings, I thought the flavour was a little insipid. I can’t resist chicken wings in general though so I think I’d still order them the next time I’m here. 7.5/10  

On to mains! I decided to revisit the Smokey Beef Bacon Burger (S$16.30) which consists of their standard beef burger with slices of beef bacon and their signature smokey sauce:

Kaw Kaw SG - Snokey Beef Bacon Burger 1

Smokey Beef Bacon Burger (S$16.30) – 8/10

Remember in my first review how shocked I was by the absence of fries? Well it’s still viscerally upsetting to me that they would force us to eat these nacho chips with salsa that is served in a tiny cup that would not fit the actual chip unless you broke it in two. Thankfully though we had the chilli cheese fries as our starter so that helped satisfy my fundamental need to have my burgers with a side of fries.

This time around I thought the burger was slightly juicier than the first time, and the beef bacon slices were generous and had good bite, imparting a salty deliciousness to the burger. The patty was thick and generous. Could be a little juicier, but it’s still fairly juicy on its own. I thought the burger could have used more of the smokey sauce too, but oh well. The jalapeños were delightful and refreshing, adding crunch and tang to the mouthful. 8/10

One of my friends had the Permaisuri Burger (S$16.30), which is the classic chicken burger upgraded to include turkey ham, chicken floss and the permaisuri sauce which is basically some sort of yellow gingery sauce.

Kaw Kaw SG - The Permaisuri Burger

The Permaisuri Burger (S$16.30) – 7/10

Once again I thought this was exceedingly dry – if the burger was going to have a fried chicken patty with no sauce on it, then they have to make sure the patty is really juicy. To be fair they did have a small cup of sauce accompanying the burger, but I didn’t really understand if we were supposed to dip the burger into the sauce (logistically impossible, because of size mismatch) or if we were supposed to spread the sauce onto the burger ourselves (too much work, and the sauce is too potent to spread too much of it onto the burger, which then does not help with the dryness issue.) Still disappointing. 7/10

My other friend opted for the Spicy Bolo Burger (S$15.50) which consists of spicy beef bolognese topped with an egg à la McMuffin:

Kaw Kaw SG - Spicy Bolo Burger 1

Spicy Bolo Burger (S$15.50) – 7.10

Kaw Kaw SG - Spicy Bolo Burger

Mmmmm bolognaisssseeee

OK so my friend ordered it fully expecting it to come with a patty, sort of like a regular burger but doused with a healthy ladleful of beef bolognaise sauce, you know? We thought they didn’t mention beef patty in the decription on the menu because it was already going to be on it by default. But NOOOO ~~~, so it’s on us for assuming. (You know what they say when you assume. You make an ass out of u & me LOL that never gets old. So cheesy I love it!)

Anyway so we ordered a S$5 beef patty as an add-on, because we just could not understand how to eat burger with only bolognaise sauce and no real patty. With the additional patty it was ok, especially since the bolognaise sauce was tasty enough. The egg was ok for me – not entirely necessary, but not terrible to have. 7/10

So there you go, my burger ended up being the best of the 3 – I felt so bad for polishing off half of it before offering it to my friends :/ I still think they could majorly majorly improve the burgers by (a) making the patties juicier and more succulent (b) serving actual fries instead of that nacho chips substitute, and lastly (c) having better buns, that are softer and chewier. That being said, I think I would probably still come back and try to stack both the chicken and beef patties together next time and see how THAT goes LOL. I love the build-a-burger concept 🙂 Service is warm and friendly, they accept only cash and credit cards; no NETS. OOH also the prices are nett all-in prices, so no GST and no service charge!

Kaw Kaw SG
28 Aliwal St
Singapore 199918
Reservations (only on Mon-Thu): call  +65 6444 8349 or email makanstate@gmail.com
Remarks: Only cash/credit cards, no NETS. No service charge or GST!

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 11pm
Fri-Sun: 3pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$31 including drinks!
Recommended dishes: Smokey Beef Bacon burger (S$16.30)

Afterwit SG at North Bridge Road

Afterwit SG
778 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198746
Online reservations (only for Mon-Thu): Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun: 12pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal Certified! (as of 8 Dec 2016)
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$28
Recommended dishes: Jalapeño mid-wings (S$10), Dendeng Tacos (S$17)

Hey guys! So last weekend I went to watch the new X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse. Have you guys watched it? I really enjoyed it even though it got terrible reviews online. I mean, 47% on Rotten Tomatoes?! That’s way harsh dude. Even Sacha Baron Cohen movies get higher than that. Except for Brothers Grimsby, which got a 38% so I guess it’s not entirely indiscriminate.

Also I  think it helps that I’m not too fussed about the disjointed timelines (how is Jean Grey so young when Wolverine is basically entering middle age? Et cetera.)

Anyway after the matinée showing of the movie, my friend and I went to the new Mexican taquería joint on North Bridge Road, Afterwit SG, which was opened by the same folks behind Working Title on Arab St! (You can read my review of Working Title here)

Afterwit SG - Ambience

The Afterwit SG interior. So hipster aiyoh

Afterwit SG - Sauces

They sell the sauces that come with the food! CHIPOTLE SAUCE OMG

You can have a look at the menu online in high res and perfect lighting, but just in case you’re too lazy to click onto another website, here are photos I personally took of the menu, in terrible lighting and questionable camera focus:


One side of the wall at Afterwit SG also has a gigantic periodic table of beverages, complete with color coding!

Afterwit SG - Periodic Table of Beverages

Hilarious but also really paralysing when you need to pick just one.

The red and blue boxes are for hot beverages coffee/alternatives and tea, while the rest are for cold beverages. Brown is for iced coffee, grey is for canned drinks, orange is for iced tea and juices, gold  is mocktails, purple is for dessert smoothies and green is for fruit smoothies! Phew.

Anyway for starters we shared the Jalapeño Mid-Wings (S$10), which were seasoned in garlic, honey, lime, and salsa picante:

Afterwit SG - Jalapeño Mid-Wings

Jalapeño mid-wings (S$10) – 9/10

These were really good! The sweetness from the honey went well with the heat from the salsa picante. I did think it could stand to be just the slightest bit spicier, and I really wish they hadn’t garnished it with raw onions, but that’s on me. Otherwise, a solid chicken wings starter. 9/10

For my mains, I decided to get the beef Dendeng Tacos (S$17) even though soooo many other flavours were jostling for top spot like the Lime Butter Crab (S$17) or the Sriracha Tuna (S$15) ugh. But I figured let’s try the most Malay (and perhaps most dissonant?) taco first and get that out of the way:

Afterwit SG - Beef Dendeng Tacos

Beef Dendeng Taco (S$17) for three soft tacos and some tortilla chips with salsa and guac – 9/10

So I’m not naturally a fan of vegetables, like I will eat it because I know it’s good for me, but if I had to choose between a veggie burger and a regular cheeseburger, it’s not even a contest, know what I’m sayin’? So when these tacos first came, I was like, oh no where is the meat?! What be all these crunchy veggie stuff on top? But then I rolled the soft taco shut like a popiah and had a bite — my word, it was delicious.

Afterwit SG - Beef Dendeng Taco Closeup

Yummmm

It was a winning combo of tastes and textures – the soft taco contrasted with the crunch of the vegetables, while the sweetness of the beef dendeng (yes, there was some dendeng meat buried underneath all that veggie) balanced out the sour-spicy flavour of the jalapeños and the tang of the tomatoes. I loved it, it made me feel quite virtuous and healthy eating it. My only gripe is I really wish they had more of that good dendeng. Just like another strip or two, please! I love my meat! 9/10

My friend had the Cranberry Turkey Bacon Burrito (S$15), which consisted of turkey bacon and cranberry sauce, rolled in with some guacamole, refried beans, Mexican-style rice, mozzarella, pico de gallo, whole black beans and assorted sauces:

Afterwit SG - Cranberry Turkey Burrito

Cranberry Turkey Bacon Burrito (S$15) – unrated because I didn’t try it, but the presentation is so pretty!

I can’t really rate this because I didn’t taste any of it, but my friend said it was pretty good, but also really starchy and filling, so I guess you know what to order when you’re hungry! Anyway I’m putting the photo up here anyway so you can see what it looks like 🙂

Also because I’m a terrible blogger, I didn’t take photos of this amazing Sabai Sabai Smoothie (S$8) that I had, which was a blend of Thai iced tea, fresh milk, and vanilla, but dear Lord it was DELICIOUS! It was thick and icy (I need some ice guys, I can’t deal with a thick iceless sludge, gimme some slush), and tasted heavenly. Who doesn’t love Thai iced tea?! My friend got one of the mojitos which to be frank came off rather weak in comparison with my amazing smoothie, which is getting a 10/10 in this review 😀

So I am definitely jonesing for another round of tacos at Afterwit now. I had a great time, service was pleasant (although cutlery and iced water are self-service, and you order at the counter) and I’m really excited we have another halal mexican joint in addition to Fix cafe! I’ll def update you guys again when I go back for the other flavours of tacos!

Afterwit SG
778 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198746
Online reservations (only for Mon-Thu): Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun: 12pm to 11pm

Halal status: Halal status: Halal Certified! (as of 8 Dec 2016)
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$28
Recommended dishes: Jalapeño mid-wings (S$10), Dendeng Tacos (S$17)

Flava Bistro at East Coast Road

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

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

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

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

Flava Bistro - Ambience 3

Warm lighting and a pleasing aesthetic

Flava Bistro - Ambience 2

Booth seats for 4 pax

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

Flava Bistro - Prawn Paste Chicken

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

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

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

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

Flava Bistro - Seafood Laksa Pesto Pasta 2

Seafood Laksa Pesto (S$16) – 9/10

Flava Bistro - Seafood Laksa Pesto Pasta

YUMMMMMMMM

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

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

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

Flava Bistro - Chili Crab Linguine

Chili Crab Linguine (S$16) – 7.5/10

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

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

Flava Bistro - Balinese Beef Stew Closeup

Balinese Beef Stew (S$22) – 8.5/10

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

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

Flava Bistro - Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger (S$18) – 10/10!!

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

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

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

Flava Bistro - Asian Crusted Lamb Chops

Asian Crusted Lamb Chops (S$26)

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

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

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

Brunch/Lunch menu:

 

Dinner menu:

 

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

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

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

Hyde & Co at North Bridge Road (Closed)

**Edited on 8 Jan 2018 to add: Hyde & Co have officially closed their outlet 😦 ***

Hyde & Co
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Reservations: +65 6635 5785
Online brunch/lunch menu: Click here
Online dinner menu: Click here

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$45 (for a drink, starter, main, shared dessert and pot of tea!)
Recommended dishes: Beef Brisket Man Tou (S$10), Fried Chicken Waffles (S$17), Chilli Crab Pasta (S$18), Ondeh-Ondeh French Toast (S$12.50)

Guys! I just discovered a newly halal-certified café in my favourite food hood, Arab St, and it’s called Hyde & Co. As DJ Khaled likes to say, ANOTHER ONE! I owe it all to my tennis coach, who brought me to the café earlier today after our lesson.

Hyde & Co - Table Decor

Hyde & Co has been around on North Bridge Road close to about a year and a half now, but they’ve only just received their official halal certification in early April 2016, so I expect it to get real crazy real fast.

Hyde & Co - Halal cert

Yes.

With the talented Chef Nazlie (Nazz) at its helm, Hyde & Co offers up a menu that boasts an enviable range of dishes so everyone is guaranteed to find something they like. In a number of the starters and mains, you see western fare with an Asian twist, such as the Nasi Lemak Risotto. This fusion dish is available on their dinner menu, and is the brainchild of Chef Nazz himself.

Unlike a lot of the other halal cafés in the vicinity, Hyde & Co also has a dedicated brunch menu which you can peruse online here.

Hyde & Co - Chef Nazz

Chef Nazz, who was kind enough to answer all my fangirl questions

First, pictures of our drinks! I had the Into The Woods (S$7.50), which is an iced tea of a blend of berries, hibiscus and rosehip. YUM.

Hyde & Co - Into The Woods Drink

I KNOW RIGHT! Too pretty. Wish I could’ve had a whole vat of it. 9.5/10

My coach had an Iced Black (S$6), which came looking like the manliest drink ever on a black saucer:

Hyde & Co - Iced Black Coffee

My coach’s very manly-looking glass of iced coffee. Unrated, but I liked the way it looked on the black saucer.

We decided on a couple of starters to share pretty quickly, the first of which was the Parmesan Fries (S$8), with a chipotle aioli dip:

Parmesan Fries

Parmesan Fries (S$8). That delicious chipotle aioli dip though!!

Hyde & Co - Parmesan Fries 2

YUMMMMM UGHHHHH

The parmesan smelled delicious, and was a welcome addition to these thicker-cut fries. I really, really liked the chipotle aioli dip which was smokey and flavourful. I love all chipotle everything!! I thought the fries were just the slightest bit dry, but I suppose it’s good that these weren’t dripping in oil. I can’t wait for them to have a truffled version of these! 8/10

We also went for the Hyde signature starter, the Beef Brisket Man Tou (S$10), which features slow-cooked, pulled beef brisket in homemade BBQ sauce and slaw served between fried mantou buns (the kind you dip in chilli crab sauce!):

Hyde & Co - Beef Brisket Mantou

The Beef Brisket Man Tou (S$10). In love with the plate, but even more taken with what’s on it ❤

Hyde & Co - Beef Brisket Mantou Close-up

OMG crispy glistening mantou with that shreddy af beef brisket!

I MEAN. I bit into the mantou slider and it was like heavennnnn. The mantou bun was crispy and the beef brisket was just the most delicious, juicy, tender meat ever! The slaw provided some crunch and also helped to cut the rich barbecue taste of the brisket, so you get a good mixture of tastes and textures.

My only concern was that the mantou buns could get a little oily, and so I asked Chef Nazz if we could request for steamed mantou buns instead of fried ones to go with the brisket. He confirmed it can be done, folks! When I go back again maybe I’ll try ordering that and let you guys know how that is 🙂 9.5/10

When I checked out the list of mains, I found myself wanting to order several dishes at once, since everything sounded delicious. In the end, however, I went for the option that jumped out at me most — the Fried Chicken Waffle (S$17) which has a sunny side up egg atop some prawn paste chicken and fries, served on a waffle alongside honey dijon syrup:

Hyde & Co - Fried Chicken Waffle

Fried Chicken Waffle (S$17). PRAWN PASTE CHICKENNNNNN. And a few of my favourite things.

AHHHH you guys where do I begin. From the first bite of the chicken and waffle, I knew this was going to be a winner. The prawn paste taste was strong and pungent, in a good way. I complimented Chef Naz on the chicken, and he revealed the secret behind it – they marinate their chicken in prawn paste for 48 hours to make sure it’s not just the coating but alsi the meat that absorb the flavour. Thumbs all the way up.

Usually in chicken and waffle dishes I find the waffles to be quite a distraction, like it’s too sweet or gets in the way of the chicken, but Hyde & Co’s waffle was quite perfect as a subtly salted base to absorb the runny egg and the honey dijon. I could not get enough of that sauce, which was at once sweet and tangy with a mustard kick. Overall a superlative combination of flavours and textures. 10/10

My coach got the signature Hyde’s Chili Crab Pasta (S$18) which features blue swimmer crab, linguini, and spicy arrabiata sauce topped with herbed panko:

Hyde & Co - Hyde's Chilli Crab Pasta

Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$18). YUMMMMM.

I found this dish very pleasing – it’s just the thing if you’re looking for a simple plate of pasta. The linguini was al dente, and the arrabiata sauce had a good spicy kick to it so you don’t get jelak. I also liked the grape tomatoes providing a little tangy flavour. 9/10

For dessert we just had to try their signature Ondeh-ondeh French Toast (S$12), which comprises a brioche French toast topped with grated pandan coconut and vanilla bean ice-cream, sprinkled with chocolate brownie bits, and drizzled with gula melaka sauce:

Hyde & Co - Ondeh-ondeh French Toast

The Ondeh-Ondeh French Toast (S$12). OH DEAR GOD.

This was a straight up home run. I usually prefer my desserts on the tangy end of the spectrum, but all it took was a bite of this and I was sold. With every bite of the brioche, my mouth filled with a a heady mix of syrupy, creamy, and buttery goodness. The delicious gula melaka made the dessert taste like a scrumptious ondeh-ondeh/kueh lopez hybrid, which was just so reassuring. The different flavours, textures and temperatures at play here combine to make a solid dessert that will surely become a crowd favourite. 10/10

A distinguishing characteristic of Hyde & Co is that they chose tea, not coffee, as their specialty, so of course we had to end our meal with a pot of our own:

Hyde & Co - Teapot

My mum would love this! Terrible picture though.

We went for the Premium Lapsang Souchong at S$12.50 a pot. It was SO delicious and had a lingering smoky taste. I’m more of a green tea/earl grey girl but I think I might be a lapsang souchong convert after this!

Here’s their extensive and descriptive Tea menu:

Hyde & Co - Wall Decor 1

All in all I had a fantastic time at Hyde & Co and have already made plans with some other friends to go back, particularly to try their dinner menu (Steak Frites! Nasi Lemak Risotto! CLAMSSSSSS.) I already can’t wait! The food is really top notch here; service is friendly and the aesthetic is quite minimalist and clean. Go check it out ASAP guys!

Hyde & Co - Ambience

What it looks like on the inside of Hyde & Co café!

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Hyde & Co
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Reservations: +65 6635 5785
Online brunch/lunch menu: Click here
Online dinner menu: Click here

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$45 (for a drink, starter, main, shared dessert and pot of tea!)
Recommended dishes: Beef Brisket Man Tou (S$10), Fried Chicken Waffles (S$17), Chilli Crab Pasta (S$18), Ondeh-Ondeh French Toast (S$12.50)

**Edited on 8 Jan 2018 to add: Hyde & Co have officially closed their outlet 😦 ***