Hyde & Co on North Bridge Road II

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hyde & Co - Brunch Menu

The Brunch Menu

Hyde & Co - Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu

Hyde & Co - Dinner Menu

The Dinner Menu

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

Hyde & Co - New Zealand Little Neck Clams

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

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

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

Hyde & Co - Nasi Lemak Risotto

Nasi Lemak Risotto (S$21) – 9/10

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

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

Hyde & Co - Butterscotch Popcorn Waffle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Bravery on Horne Road

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sat-Sun: 8am to 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: all dishes are made with halal ingredients
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: $22 for a drink and a main

Hey guys! Another puasa day another review. How is everyone doing? Hope each day is better than the last. The mood this year for me is  #taubatlikeitshot (thanks Abang Snoop!) and I really hope to become a better Muslim, Sisyphean though the task may seem!

Aaaaanyway, have you guys been to the Bravery cafĂ© near Jalan Besar? I went there last Saturday for the third time ever to refresh my impression of the cafĂ©. I mean, there’s really no two words about it, The Bravery is about as hipster as it gets. Check out the Bravery FAQ on their website and you’ll see why!

The Bravery Café - Outdoor Table

Look at the outdoor tables. So hipster aiyoh.

Located on Horne Road which is quite isolated compared to other similar establishments, The Bravery offers its patrons a quiet respite on any given weekend. There are individual tables, as well as communal tables with newspapers for you to read while you wait for the food to arrive.

The Bravery Café - Exterior Facade

There’s the door in the middle. Lots of people seem to have problems finding it, including my friend whom I spotted from the inside, walking around right past the door and around the back entrance LOL

The Bravery Café - Sir Mixalot

Any Sir-Mix-A-Lot reference, no matter how cheesy, gets a plus in my book!

The Bravery Café - Table Decor

Did I mention the centrepiece for the communal table is an aluminium foil horse? It’s beyond great.

The Bravery Café - Decor Viam Light Experience

Also you get a bonus light installation by lifestyle brand MUKK. I have no idea how long it’ll stay here, but I really like it IDK

The Bravery Café - Viam Light Experience

So yes the interior decor gets an A- for me. The – comes from the uncomfortable chairs, some of which are backless.

Here’s a look at the Bravery menu:

 

My friend got the Flat White (S$4.60) with an extra shot for an added $0.50. He wanted it to be known that when he asked the waitress if the Flat White came with a single or double shot, the waitress didn’t immediately know, and had to check. I was like, hey dude that’s fine right, and he was all “no, they should already know this.” Divas, oy!

Anyway I got the Iced Raspberry Tea (S$5.50) which was delish and had bits of raspberry seeds at the bottom, in case you doubted the authenticity of the tea LOL.

The Bravery Café - Flat White and Iced Raspberry Tea

Flat White (S$4.60) // Iced Raspberry Tea (S$5.50)

So for my main, I got The Prime Burger (S$18), which consists of prime cut beef patty, aged cheddar cheese, Spanish onion, Roma tomato and baby arugula. According to the website it’s supposed to come with truffled potato chips, but first of all I’m not sure if they meant chips in the British way (which would then mean fries), and second of all my burger came with French Fries that did not taste truffled.

The Bravery Café - The Prime

The Prime (S$18) – 7.5/10

The Bravery Café - The Prime Burger

The Bravery Café - The Prime Burger Cross Section

Mmm that patty

OK quick sidebar, I can’t believe I’m voluntarily reviewing food when I’m fasting. Cobaan… (Tests or trials). Back to the food – I thought the patty was really good quality, but was just a little dry. Not unlike the patty from The Lab SG, this one needed more binders or whatever holds the ground meat together. Still, not a big deal – you can taste the quality beef in the patty. Also I had asked for no onions, and I suspect the onions would have made the burger juicier.

My real gripe is reserved for the bun 😩 The bun was a little too aerated and insubstantial, with hardly any bite and none of that chewiness that I look for in a good, solid, burger bun.

Apart from that, the tomato added a nice tang and the rocket provided a delicious nutty flavour – wish there had been more of it, together with more cheese! More cheese is always a good idea. 7.5/10

My friend got the Holy Crab (S$14.50), which is the béchamel crab cakes with sautéed mushrooms and a poached egg, together with some side salad.

The Bravery Café - Holy Crab Crabcakes

Holy Crab (S$14.50) – 7.5/10

The Bravery Café - Holy Crab

Another angle for good measure

His first reaction was “That’s it? So small? This is why I hate cafĂ© food” LOL. And I mean, I have to agree. I’m definitely a daintier eater than my friend who is a veritable food monster, but come on man these were like 3 very small begedils. To make matters worse, another major flaw is that the coating was too big for the crab filling – when we cut through one crabcake, we could feel the shell giving way for a split second before the knife actually touched any crabmeat. So yes, major problems with the portion.

Size aside however, I really liked the taste of the crab cake, and there is truly no way to screw up sautĂ©ed mushrooms, so I enjoyed the taste and texture of them both very much. The poached egg was a little overcooked so it wasn’t as runny as we wanted, but I’ll allow it. 7.5/10 for this dish with 0.5 docked because of the portion.

All in all, I had a pretty good time at the Bravery largely due to the quiet, very laidback, easy-like-Sunday-morning, ambience of the place. The food is OKAY, like it’s not life-changing, but I definitely see myself coming back for more of like, the avocado toast with smoked salmon, while I read my New Yorker, that sort of thing. Also maybe I’ll check out the widely-Instagrammed Pancake Stack (S$15) because who doesn’t love ricotta pancakes!! YUMMM. I’ll def update with another post the next time I’m here 🙂

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sat-Sun: 8am to 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: all dishes are made with halal ingredients
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: $22 for a drink and a main

Fix CafĂ© 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 CafĂ© 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 Ă  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)

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 cafĂ© 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 cafĂ© 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 😩 ***

WORD. at Upper Thomson Road

WORD.
906 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 787110
Reservations: Text 96858468 and state the number of pax, date and time, and a confirmation text will follow
Remarks: No GST

Opening hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$40 for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink each
Recommended dishes: Cut the Crab crabcakes (S$15), Cow’ch Potato steak (S$24)

I first heard about WORD. a couple of weeks ago from a friend of mine who is ever the intrepid food-explorer with her husband.  Not to be outdone by this Magellan of halal dining, I made the trek out to this new container-style bistro/café yesterday, dragging my endlessly patient BFF with me.

Tucked away among a row of shops on Upper Thomson Road, and further obscured by major construction works for the future Springleaf MRT station, WORD. is definitely not easy to find without directions from Google Maps, so keep your phones handy, people.

By the time I got there right around 230pm, the place was almost full and buzzed with conversation.

Word Café - Ambience 2

I really loved the decor of the place – it had elements of industrial-chic but managed to feel very cosy at the same time.

Word Café - Decor

The very Instagram-worthy main wall of the container

Word Café - Ambience

How do you not love the stylized lion poster?

Word Café - Wall

The wall behind the counter – how delightful!

So given that this place is only some 2+ months old, their menu is still a work in progress as they continue to experiment and streamline it. This explains all the blacked out bits and the manual additions. Take a look here:

Word Café - Menu 1

Salmon Khan!!! I love it, and can’t believe I hadn’t come across this pun before.

Word Café - Menu 2

Confession: “Between the Buns” makes me quite uncomfortable HAHA

The first starter we had was Magic Mushrooms (S$10), which consisted of fleshy white mushrooms coated in savoury batter, served with an aioli dip:

Word Café - Magic Mushrooms

Yum – I’m more of a stir-fried mushrooms type of eater, but I have to say these were pretty good. The batter was light and crunchy, with some sort of salty seasoning that I liked. However, the seasoning was not quite even, so you got some mushrooms that are a little saltier than others. Apart from that, all good – the aioli was decent too. 8.5/10

We also shared the Cut the Crab (S$15), which are mozzarella cheese crabcakes served with a spicy belado dip:

Word Café - Cut the Crab

OK immediate cons: As you can see, this looked almost identical to the battered mushrooms. Same platter, same dip, same side salad, same coating. I was a little disappointed. Also, where is this spicy belado dip? It looked and tasted like regular old aioli to me – not that I don’t like aioli, but I wish they hadn’t set up that expectation for an imaginary belado dip.

Pros: Bells and whistles aside, the crab cake itself tasted really good! It was fairly savoury and packed with crab meat!  9/10

For my main, I chose to go big and got myself the Cow’ch Potato (S$24), which is the beef fillet steak with potato purĂ©e and a side of mesclun greens.

Word Café - Cow-ch Potato Steak

Now, again I encountered some mismatch in the menu description and the platter that arrived – this was supposed to have come with the grilled spinach onion, and a choice of hollandaise or brown sauce, but all I got was the steak, the salad, and the potato purĂ©e. Where the grilled spinach onion and sauces at, bruh?

The absence of sauce was problematic because the potato purée was so finely puréed that it was more like a dense paste, whereas I prefer a light, fluffy mash. I asked one of the servers if I could get the sauce and it seemed she was not aware the steak should come with any sauce at all. In the end I did manage to get a steaming hot cup of brown sauce though, so that made the puree quite nice and runny, and the meat very juicy.

I requested for my steak to be medium, and I think it came perfectly cooked:

Word Café - Steak cut

Mmmm so juicy and pink ❀

The meat was tender and succulent, especially when you cut up a chunk of it and drag it through a pool of saucy potato purée. I thought the done-ness was perfect. There were no sinewy or tough parts, except for the one strip of (is it tendon? I want to say tendon.) running lengthwise on one side of the fillet, which was easy enough to remove. I did wish the steak had come with fries or actual mash potatoes, instead of the purée though! 9/10

My friend got the cheekily-named Mother Cluckers (S$14), comprising of a whole chicken leg with grilled garlic potatoes, poached asparagus and pimiento with bĂ©arnaise sauce. Unfortunately, neither of us remembered to take a photo of it! I was too busy digging into my steak when the chicken leg came, sorry guys. I’ll update you once I find a photo of it online ok!

My friend liked the lemony béarnaise sauce, but found the chicken meat too dry and a little stringy, if you know what I mean. I eyeballed the chunk of chicken leg and had to agree with him. Until they can make us moister, juicier chicken, 7/10 for the Mother Cluckers.

I had no room for dessert, thanks to the Coconut Shake (S$7) I got, which was thick as thieves (incorrect use of the simile, but you know what I mean):

Word Café - Coconut Shake

The Coconut Shake (S$7) was a little too thick and tasted like melted Paddle Pop ice cream with a hint of coconut. Get the Iced tea next time if you’re looking for something more refreshing! 7/10

Word Café - Latte

My friend got the Latte (S$5), which came on this adorable red saucer shaped like a paint palette! Loved it. Can’t comment about the coffee though! 

All in all, I felt there was some promise with the menu items, and I do want to come back and try more dishes soon (like the Salmon Khan! And the Ikea Made Us Do It beef balls!). However, the location is a little out of the way for me. I know they have a 3-year lease on the place, so I figure if they stick it out a little longer until the new Springleaf MRT station opens up in 2020, they’ll definitely be set then.

Because of the container shape of the place, the acoustics are not the greatest. There are several tables with kids around us, and so the place became really quite noisy at times, making us feel a little harried during our meal. I suppose it will be much better on quieter days instead of Saturday peak.

I’ll leave you guys with some photos of the place:

Word Café - Crate tables

Crate tables and seats for those who just want snacks and drinks!

Word Café - Dessert display

The counter/dessert display area

Word Café - Mirrored ceilings

Check out the mirrored ceilings and the crazy wired lights all over

Word Café - Mirrored ceilings 2

Word Café - Kitchen View

A window into the “open” kitchen

 

Word Café - Tyre plants

I don’t know what to make of this, but points for recycling old tires

Word Café - HDB Door Table

An old HDB door as a long tabletop!!! I LOVE IT <3<3

WORD.
906 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 787110
Reservations: Text 96858468 and state the number of pax, date and time, and a confirmation text will follow
Remarks: No GST

Opening hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$40 for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink each
Recommended dishes: Cut the Crab crabcakes (S$15), Cow’ch Potato steak (S$24)