Golden Ladle at Sembawang Rd

Golden Ladle
33 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Eating House Stall #2
Singapore 779084
Tel: +65 8102 9065
Notes: Cash-only, accepts reservations

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$5+ 
Recommended dishes: Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8)

Hey guys! So in my previous post, I talked about my friends and I trying the food from Reminis at Sembawang Eating House? I also mentioned us trying food from a neighbouring stall and that was Golden Ladle!

Golden Ladle is right next to Reminis and serves mostly Western/Italian food, although “chaat masala salted egg sauce” also features on the menu (look it up under Sharing):

Golden Ladle - Menu

Man that Crabby Patty sounds good right now (it’s 1230am as I’m typing this)

The first thing that attracted me on the menu was the signature Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8):

Golden Ladle - Sticky Chicken Wings 1

Sticky Chicken Wings (SS8) – 10/10

Golden Ladle - Sticky Chicken Wings

I mean LOOK AT THESE WINGSSSSSSS ūüėÄ

Oh boy, I love chicken wings and these were superb!! The skin is crisp, and made super flavourful thanks to the coat of sweet/spicy/tangy sauce with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. These bad boys are literally finger-licking good! Hurrah for yet another place that gets wings right. 10/10

We also ordered a plate of calamari rings called the Squid-o-Rings (S$8):

Golden Ladle - Calamari
Squid-o-Ring (S$8) – 7/10

I will level with you guys and say that this was pretty average. The flour coating was crispy for sure, but the batter tasted a little bland – not ideal considering regular squid isn’t naturally the most flavourful seafood unless it’s really fresh. I think it could stand to be little more savoury – maybe some curry powder or more salt and pepper in the mix. Thankfully I love squid in all forms so we still cleaned this up! 6.5/10

I think if the delicious chicken wings are anything to go by, Golden Ladle has a lot of promise! The next time I’m back I will definitely try either the Crabby Patty with Avocado Pesto and Spiced Salsa (S$10) or the Soft-Shell Crab with Chaat Masala Salted Egg Sauce (S$14). Let’s be real though, I will probably get both haha. I’ll definitely keep you guys posted!

Golden Ladle
33 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Eating House Stall #2
Singapore 779084
Tel: +65 8102 9065
Notes: Cash-only, accepts reservations

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$5+ 
Recommended dishes: Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8)

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Fix Caf√© 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 Caf√© 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 ūüė¶¬†.

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 bu√Īuelos 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. Bu√Īuelos and Ice-cream (S$8)

Fix Cafe - Bu√Īuelos Dessert

Bu√Īuelos 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 ūüôā

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) 

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: Jalape√Īo 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 Jalape√Īo Mid-Wings (S$10), which were seasoned in garlic, honey, lime, and salsa picante:

Afterwit SG - Jalape√Īo Mid-Wings

Jalape√Īo 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 jalape√Īos 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 ūüôā

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 ūüėÄ

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: Jalape√Īo mid-wings (S$10), Dendeng Tacos (S$17)

Penang Culture At Changi Airport T2 II

Penang Culture 
Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure
Viewing Mall Level 3,
#036-087-01,
Singapore 819643

Operating Hours
Daily: 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Last order at 9.30 p.m.)
Tel: +65 6546 7793

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Recommended dishes: Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55)

First things first, how are you guys? Belated Nisfu Syaaban to my fellow Muslims! I cannot believe Ramadan is coming so soon. Second of all, have you guys watched Drake’s guest spot on SNL?! SO FUNNY. I love that he can laugh at himself. Check out the Beef music video, wherein he has a ‘beef’ with everyone at SNL.

Back to reality though – last week¬†I was invited to try Penang Culture’s new menu, which will make its d√©but 1 June 2016.¬†Longtime fans of the casual dining restaurant (yours truly included) will be pleased to know that in addition to most of the old menu items, we will be getting new dishes which consist of all-time classics reinterpreted with a twist.

Penang Culture - Tasting Spread

The table they prepared for us to take photos. Super helpful for super terrible photographers like me! 

We opened the feast with the humble Penang Rojak (S$5.95), which features cubed pineapples, cucumbers and turnips, unlike the thinner slices that feature in the local Singaporean rendition. In addition, the Penang-style rojak has you tiao that is a little soggy and not as crispy as our Singaporean version.

Penang Culture - Penang Rojak

Penang Rojak (S$5.95) – 6.5/10

Verdict: The black sauce was really tasty, and we learned that the fermented prawn paste  was specially imported from Penang, so it’s legit. I have to say I prefer the Singaporean rojak because of the crispy texture of the you tiao, which gives you a satisfying crunch when you bite it. I thought the cubing of the fruits and vegetables did not make a big difference for me.  6.5/10

Next up we had another appetizer, the Penang Curry Fish Balls (S$4.95), which feature fish balls steeped in Penang chicken curry.

Penang Culture - Penang Curry Fish Balls

Penang Curry Fish Balls (S$4.95) – 9/10

I suspect this dish was probably targeted towards kids and other younger diners, but to be frank I really liked it myself. The curry was SO rich and flavourful, with some shreds of chicken if you’re lucky. I could also taste the bits of grated coconut in the curry, which added body and texture to the curry. It isn’t altogether that spicy, although after having all of the curry I did feel a very light buzz on my lips. I think the next time I’m craving some good old curry, I would probably head here.

Verdict: I love curry and I love fishballs, but given a choice, I would probably go with the regular Chicken Curry instead for more protein! Goes very well with plain white rice. 9/10

The Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55) were next in line ‚Äď the base for this is their signature Belacan Wings (which I LOVE and have reviewed here and here) , which are then further coated with sweet plum and Thai chilli sauce.

Penang Culture - Penang Fire Wings

Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55) – 9.5/10

Verdict: These tasted like Korean fried chicken, with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. Although the name suggests otherwise, I did not think it was all too fiery. For perspective, this was nothing compared to Badoque’s punishing Kepak Bing Bing devil wings. Loved the slightly crispy chicken skin with the sauce. 9.5/10

Our 4th course was the BBQ Salmon (S$11.95), which features two slices of grilled Norwegian salmon fillet, topped off with Chef’s sweet, spicy sambal paste made from chilli, lemongrass, onions, ginger flower, tamarind and sugar.

Penang Culture - BBQ Salmon

BBQ Salmon (S$11.95) – 8/10

Verdict: You guys. I love the sambal so much, I wish I could order a giant vat of it. This is the exact same sambal from the BBQ Lala dish that I always order at Penang Culture. It’s so unbelievably fragrant and tasty and appetizing, I almost cannot even. The salmon was fresh and exceptionally tender, which was a good thing. However, I did not think the sambal goes well with a fatty fish like salmon, and the whole thing was a little too rich for me. I would have much preferred the sambal with a leaner white fish. 8/10

The next dish was¬†my absolute favourite of the night ‚Äď the Premium Crab Meat & Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), which comprises fried kway teow with mashed salted egg (both yolk and whites!), stir fried together with prawns, squid, fish cake and cockles, and topped with chunks of mud crab and salted egg crumbs:

Penang Culture - Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow

Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95) – 10/10

Penang Culture - Salted Egg Char Kway Teow

All stirred together! YUM

Now some of you guys might have read my previous review of this item, so this is not a new-new item, but a mid-season item that was experimentally introduced just a few months ago. I LOVE this dish always and forever, I have to break it down into the reasons why.

  1. The amount of salted egg in it is perfectly balanced so it does not overwhelm the dish, and you get subtle waves of salted egg with every bite or two.
  2. Did I mention there are curry leaves peppering the kway teow? YUMMM I love curry leaves in salted egg dishes!!
  3. The entire thing is just bursting with ingredients. BURSTING. It felt like a really opulent char kway teow that done got an upgrade.
  4. There is a great char taste to the noodles which prevents you from getting jelak of it after a while ‚Äď much R&D and numerous taste tests have gone into making an authentic-tasting but still halal char kway teow, and you can taste the results.

Verdict: Always order this unless you hate Char Kway Teow, or salted egg, or seafood. 10/10

Our penultimate course that night was the Salmon Assam Laksa (S$11.95), which features the regular assam laksa with slices of Norwegian salmon and a drizzling of hae kor, or fermented shrimp paste.

Penang Culture - Salmon Assam Laksa

Salmon Assam Laksa (S$11.95) – 8/10

I honestly loved the fat laksa noodles which were specially imported from Penang. I thought the salmon slices were lovely, but the oil from it did pare down the sourness of the broth which I find a key element in assam laksa. However, the strips of cucumber, pineapple and onions throughout the bowl did compensate for the dialed down sourness, by adding a refreshing twist with every bite.

Verdict: Stick to regular Assam Laksa unless you want a milder assam taste and you need to up your omega 3 fatty acids intake. 8/10

In our last main dish, we were treated to Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), which is a pimped up adaptation of their regular Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles, with scallops, chicken slices, fish cake, kang kong, beansprouts, a hard-boiled egg and a whole slipper lobster (oy vey, what a mouthful literally and textually).

Penang Culture - Lobster and scallop noodles

Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95) – 9/10

Can I just say, there is just so much ingredients in this bowl of goodness? A common theme running through all the dishes here at Penang Culture is that they are not stingy with their premium ingredients, despite the very reasonable price tags of each dish.

I absolutely loved the broth. The stock was created by slow-boiling a bounty of prawns, crabs and chicken bones for several hours, and this is well-reflected in the flavourful broth. What a delight! The slipper lobster was a little mushy, I wish it could have been a little springier. Otherwise, everything worked beautifully together and fans of Penang hokkien prawn noodles would do well to give this a try.

Verdict: Definitely a must-try, especially at that reasonable price tag. 9/10

All in all I had a great time stuffing my face at Penang Culture. Always have, always will! It’s a great family-friendly place that serves really good quality Penang hawker food in air-conditioned comfort, at prices that won’t break the bank. The menu is really extensive so personally I find that it’s better to try new items a couple of times before determining which ones will be your go-to staples ūüôā

I’ll end off with a short note on drinks – please try the Ampla Ice Blended Drink with sour plum! It¬†makes for a refreshing palate-cleanser with all the rich Penang food you‚Äôll be eating! Also the Chempedak Milk Shake is just heavenly, so give it a go!

 

Penang Culture 
Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure
Viewing Mall Level 3,
#036-087-01,
Singapore 819643

Operating Hours
Daily: 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Last order at 9.30 p.m.)
Tel: +65 6546 7793

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Recommended dishes: Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55)

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 saut√©ed 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 Рjust spicy enough without being too fiery Рand 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

The best halal chicken wings in Singapore

Since I was young I’ve loved chicken wings, and although I¬†now have a more diverse rotation of favourites (sashimi and steak included), chicken wings remain my go-to comfort food.

When I was a kid I’d watch my mum coat them in turmeric before deep frying them to a golden brown, a mixture of fascination and anticipation balling up in me. As a teen I would eat my fill at KFC, before¬†graduating to Pizza Hut’s sweet ‘n spicy drumlets in the twilight of my teenage years.

Now, I pretty much have¬†to sample the chicken wings of any restaurant I go to, provided there aren’t other more pressing items on the menu (salted egg ANYTHING, for instance), so I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of my current favourites!

These halal chicken wings are ranked from best to less best, but the bottom line is they’re all really good. For those who are wondering, the ratings are determined based on the¬†taste, texture, quantity, and price of the wings (and the wings alone).

1. Royz et Vous’ Buffalo Wings

Royz_et_Vous_Buffalo_Wings

Image credits: Royz et Vous Facebook Page

The buffalo wings at Royz et Vous are without a doubt the holy grail of halal buffalo wings in Singapore. These bad boys are coated in buffalo sauce made with cili padi (bird’s eye chilli), and manage to be simultaneously crispy and juicy. The sauce is a winning trio of sweet, tangy, and VERY spicy flavours at the same time. It’s satisfyingly¬†shiok. The accompanying sour cream dip will help pare down the fiery sauce for those with a lower tolerance for spicy flavours.

Rating: 10/10 
Price: S$12.90 for 8 pieces

Royz et Vous Specialty Coffee, 137 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068602, +65 62930270
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm

2. The Malayan Council’s Malayan Wings

The_Malayan_Council_Malayan_Wings

Image credits: The Malayan Council Facebook Page

These Malayan Wings from The Malaysian Council taste reassuringly like homecooked ayam kicap (soy sauce chicken) with some embellishments – the crispy yet juicy wings are garnished generously with chilli seeds, and lie atop a bed of cherry tomatoes and salad leaves (including arugula, which adds a beautiful nutty taste to the sauce). The sauce itself is a skillful balance of peppery, spicy, and savoury flavours. YUMMMM.

Rating: 10/10
Price: S$13 for 8 pieces

The Malayan Council, 22 Dunlop St, Singapore 209350
Opening Hours: Mon- Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am to 10pm

3. Rasa Istimewa C2K’s Prawn Paste Chicken
Rasa_Istimewa_C2K_Prawn_Paste_Chicken2

Located at Choa Chu Kang Park, Rasa Istimewa C2K prides itself its specialty item, the prawn paste chicken. It is no wonder that they always get it done just right Рthe skin is crispy but not too oily, and the meat inside is tender.  The prawn paste flavour is just strong enough for the wings to be satisfying without overwhelming your tastebuds.

Rating: 10/10
Price: S$13 for 8 pieces

Rasa Istimewa C2K, Choa Chu Kang Park, Choa Chu Kang Drive, +65 6877 1913
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat & Public Holidays: 12pm-1am

4. Penang Culture’s Belacan Wings

Penang_Culture_Belacan_Wings

Image credits: GD Group’s Penang Culture web page

Penang Culture’s belacan wings are SO delicious – the skin is beautifully crispy and umami, while the chicken meat within is flavourful and succulent. I’m not sure what sorcery they use, but the wings never taste too oily despite having been deep-fried. There are 4¬†Penang Culture outlets around, but¬†I usually have these chicken wings at the Changi Airport Terminal 2 location.

Rating: 10/10
Price: S$5.90 for 4 pieces

Penang Culture, Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure, Viewing Mall Level 3, #036-087-01, Singapore 819643, +65 6546 7793
Opening Hours: Daily 1030am-10pm (Last order at 930pm)

5. My Secret Hideout Peachy’s Buffalo Wings

My Secret Hideout Peachy's Buffalo Wings

My Secret Hideout Peachy’s is a hole-in-the-wall on North Bridge Road that specialises in affordable and fuss-free Western fare. Their buffalo wings are lightly coated in a balanced trio of sweet, spicy, and barbecue flavours. Though the chicken itself is not the plumpest, the reasonable price¬†and generous portion make these wings the perfect choice to satisfy any major buffalo wings cravings (case in point – I¬†destroyed¬†a whole plate by myself as a pre-dinner appetiser).

Rating: 9/10
Price: S$8 for 10 pieces

My Secret Hideout Peachy‚Äôs¬†–¬†803A North Bridge Road,¬†Singapore 198771
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm to 1030pm (last order 1030pm)

6. Savoury’s Buffalo Wings

Savoury Buffalo Wings 1

Savoury at Jalan Kayu serves up a mean platter of buffalo wings coated in thick barbecue sauce that leans towards sweet rather than spicy. The chicken wings are juicy and tasty, with a very attractive price tag to boot. Perfect for those with a lower threshold for spicy food.

Rating: 8.5/10
Price: S$10.80 for 8 pieces

Savoury, 246 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799470, +65 6752 9288
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 530pm-11pm, Sat-Sun: 1130am-11pm

Special mentions:

4 Fingers – I cannot get enough of their hot drummettes, and will readily¬†eat 15 pieces in one sitting (this I know from experience). For reasons that are beyond me, 4 Fingers chicken has been extremely polarising among my friends – those who¬†hate them are at parity with those who love them; food is so subjective. It’s good to note though that 4 Fingers chicken contains no MSG and no preservatives, so you feel a little less guilty ¬†when¬†inhaling a whole platter of them.

Chicken Supremo – This is a neighbourhood Western food joint at Blk 493, Jurong West St 41 that has been selling life-changing chicken wings and whole spring chickens since I was a wee 5-year-old lass in 1991 (no, don’t calculate!). The same industrious man has been selling the chicken from day one, and now works with a lovely lady partner who is more customer-facing while he cooks away in the back. The chicken wings used to cost S$1 for a full wing (i.e. 2 pieces!), yet now after literally 25 years, the price has risen by a mere¬†30 cents, to S$1.30. I guess inflation missed this place like¬†Magellan missed the East Indies.

My Secret Hideout Peachy’s on North Bridge Road

My Secret Hideout Peachy’s
803A North Bridge Road
Singapore 198771

Opening Hours
Daily: 12pm to 1030pm (last order 1030pm)
Notes: Does not take reservations, pay first at the cashier up front, no service charge & no GST

Halalicious Rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$12 including drinks
Recommended dishes: Buffalo Wings (S$8), TBA!

It is¬†no secret to my friends I love the Arab St area – my tailor is there, my Arabic class is there, and of course, all of the good halal food is there! So I was stoked when I had the chance to try yet another halal caf√© in the area, called My Secret Hideout Peachy’s. It used to be called Peachy’s in the Secret Hideout, which is equally unwieldy, but I saw that they announced the name change on their Facebook page towards the end of Feb 2016.

It is a very unassuming hole-in-the-wall on North Bridge Road, about a few units down from The Ramen Stall (read my review of The Ramen Stall here!).

Peachy's Facade

It’s pretty small on the inside but they managed to cram quite a few long tables and booths with mismatched benches/chairs in. I’m not going to lie – it’s really squeezy inside, and the floor is in danger of being an outright slip ‘n slide, but it’s all part of the fun. Please don’t come here expecting anything fancy.

Peachy's Interior

The good-natured manager (in white, facing us) runs the cashier. He’s hearing-impaired so please be nice to him! (But really, just be nice to everyone in general please.)

Peachy's Food Menu

So much choice on the menu!

Peachy's Menu Drinks

Again, a very impressive selection of dranks here

Peachy's Menu Cocktails

They even have mocktails and ice blended drinks here!

Full disclosure – I couldn’t order too much this time as I’d booked myself for TWO dinners that night (I know, gluttony is a sin), but really I just wanted to have my cake and eat it too. So bearing in mind I couldn’t stuff myself at Peachy’s and still enjoy my 2nd dinner, I limited myself to ordering the Buffalo Wings (S$8):

Peachy's Buffalo Wings 1

OMG so many pieces how to finish!!

 

So I was fully expecting 5 pieces of drumlets or mid-joint wings, the way 4 Fingers does it. But NOOOOOO Peachy’s went all out and served me 5 full chicken wings cut into 2, so in total I got 10 pieces. There goes my 2nd dinner plans.

Peachy's Buffalo Wings 2

I have to say I really liked the chicken – the skin was slightly crispy, and coated in just the right amount of sauce so it wasn’t too dry or overly saucy and messy. Granted, the chicken looked a bit anemic and was not the plumpest, but the sauce made up for it. It was spicy and savoury, and not too heaty/smoky. You know how sometimes BBQ/Buffalo wings sauce has too strong a smoky aftertaste? This wasn’t it at all. It was a balanced trio of sweet, spicy and BBQ flavours.

Considering all 10 pieces will only set you back S$8, these bad boys are an outright bargain especially since they taste pretty damn good. 9/10 for the Buffalo Wings. 

My friend opted for the Cheesy Fish & Chips (S$9):

Peachy's Cheesy Fish and Chips

Ugh is coleslaw really necessary? I really don’t like ’em ūüė¶

Peachy's Cheesy Fish and Chips 2

OMGGGG look at all that cheeeese YUMMMMM

I had a bite of the fish with the cheese on top and found it delicious! Melty cheese makes everything great. My friend worked her way through the whole plate though, and said that while it was generally pretty good, she didn’t really like the fish itself. It was like every generic frozen fish fillet you’d get from the supermarket. I suppose Peachy’s can’t be expected to serve us the freshest of gourmet fish types at S$9 a plate! So I get it. It’s not the best, but it’s good enough, and it’s cheap.

The fries were average, not amazing but not bad either. We didn’t even bother with the coleslaw, sorry! Overall this dish gets an 8/10.

All in all I feel I would definitely come back to Peachy’s if I’m looking for giant portions at very affordable prices. I did see a lot of students and probably literal millenials (i.e. 16 and younger) the same night I was here. I’m definitely dying to try the Chicken Chop (only S$8) in either mushroom or black pepper sauce, YUM. When I do, you can bet I’ll post a review here too.

My Secret Hideout Peachy’s
803A North Bridge Road
Singapore 198771

Opening Hours
Daily: 12pm to 1030pm (last order 1030pm)
Notes: Does not take reservations, pay first at the cashier up front, no service charge & no GST

Halalicious Rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$12 including drinks
Recommended dishes: Buffalo Wings (S$8), TBA!