Peppercorn at Kandahar St

Peppercorn
30 Kandahar St
Singapore 198890
Reservations: DM them on Facebook!
Tel: +65 9862 2559
Remarks: Accepts cards, cash, Grabpay and Favepay

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1130am to 230pm, 530pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$20

Recommended dishes: Literally just pick any ingredients you want; I would go for medium or big spicy level!

So I have to admit sometimes I perasan (fancy myself) American and follow American news a little too closely. Like I feel secondhand rage about Trump being president, about the unfair deaths of black victims like Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and about the extortionate prices of medication thanks to Big Pharma greed. I also watch basically all the liberal left-wing night-time talk shows like Late Night with Seth Myers, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah — which is ridiculous.

I think it’s a habit that started from when I was studying in the US and had a raging crush on Jon Stewart back when he was the host of The Daily Show. I even got tickets to be part of the studio audience TWICE like an absolute groupie LOL young me. Anyway recently I was watching yet another liberal programme The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, when he announced that the musical guest was Incubus, singing Drive!!!

OKAY I mean I had such a huge crush on frontman Brandon Boyd back in school!! His voice is no longer what it used to be but goshhh still love him (even though he is slowly transforming into Anthony Kiedis). Listening to him sing that song in 2019 took me RIGHT BACK to like 2001, so I’m gonna leave you guys with the original video to refresh your memories (of his shirtless days). Delicious piece of trivia: Brandon Boyd did all the drawings in the video himself!! Beautiful AND talented, good lord.

ANYWAYYYYYYY FINALLY let’s get down to brass tacks, sorry for that detour.

I wanted to blog about my experience at Peppercorn, the halal joint at Kandahar St specialising in mala-tang. Má refers to that numbing sensation you get from sichuan peppercorns, là means spice, and tàng means soup!

The entrance!

So basically the concept at Peppercorn is not unlike fancy Yong Tau Foo except it’s weight-based and not per-item. There’s a whole wall of ingredients that you can pick from, which are then priced up based on their weight and unit price. So here are the steps to getting your piping hot bowl of malatang.

Step 1: Pick the ingredients you want from their spread below!

I found all the ingredients to look really fresh, and def tasted it in the ones I picked

Step 2: Head to the counter and select the spice level/type of noodles you wish to add to your bowl of malatang (optional).

Choice of udon, maggi, and tang hoon noodles!

Step 3: Pick a side while they price up your order based on the unit price of the ingredients clearly displayed on the menu board!

Ingredients will be priced up based on their unit price above. You can opt for sides too!

Step 4: Choose between soup, dry, or soup on the side. Wait for the order to be ready while you admire the decor of the place and read up on malatang history.

Quirky mildly propagandistic décor.
A history in case y’all want to read. Goodbye body dampness, hello balanced constitution.

Step 5: Malatang is served. SHOW IT WHO’S BOSS.

This is what my bowl of medium spice level malatang looked like!

Okay so for my ingredients I picked enoki mushrooms (AN ABSOLUTE MUST), ladies fingers, fish tofu, oyster mushrooms, a small filet of fish, beancurd skin and a slice of beef to try, no noodles. Winning ingredients really IMO, and my bowl cost me S$17! All the ingredients tasted fresh, esp the fish which was really great because you do take a risk whenever you order fish. The broth tasted really clean and not oily which is a bonus. I’ve tried both the medium and big spicy levels. Because I find that the taste of the broth intensifies the more you eat, the medium starts out a little bland and ends up pretty tasty, while the spicy starts out really tasty but the heat sneaks up on you and suddenly you’re crying and your nose is running. SO shiok though! I must say I def prefer the big spicy level. 8.5/10

I also tried the Scallion Noodles (S$4.50):

Scallion noodles (S$4.50) on the right – meh, 6.5/10

So I found the scallion noodles a little underwhelming – it reminded me of Indomie, so if that’s your thing you might like this. I’m more of a tom yam instant noodles person to begin with, and also I felt like $4.50 was a little steep considering I was already paying $17 for my bowl. I’d def stick to the malatang, yum. 6.5/10 for the scallion noods.

Overall I had a great time at Peppercorn – it’s really comfortable, air-conditioned, and there is a very clean and relatively spacious restroom available (compared to the usual chokey-like toilets in shophouses in the area lol). Service is always very patient and friendly, which is really great. I would def (and have, lol) come back to this place again. FYI GST and service charge apply.

Peppercorn
30 Kandahar St
Singapore 198890
Reservations: DM them on Facebook!
Tel: +65 9862 2559
Remarks: Accepts cards, cash, Grabpay and Favepay

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$20

Recommended dishes: Literally just pick any ingredients you want, I would go for medium or big spicy level!

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1130am to 230pm, 530pm to 930pm

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The Dim Sum Place on North Bridge Road

The Dim Sum Place
791 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198759

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Dim Sum Place - Entrance

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Order Sheet 1

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

The Dim Sum Place - Order Sheet 2

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Pan Fried Carrot Cake

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

The Dim Sum Place - Carrot Cake Close-up

A closer look

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

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

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

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

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

Mm POV shot lol.

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Smoked Peking Duck Wrap

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

The Dim Sum Place - Smoked Peking Duck Wrap

Yummm duck skinnnnnnn

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Crystal Shrimp Dumpling

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

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Vermicelli Roll with Beef Rendang

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

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Boxing Chicken

Boxing Chicken (S$8.90) – 9/10

The Dim Sum Place - Boxing Chicken 2

Unfffff chickennnnn

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

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

The Dim Sum Place - Beef Brisket Noodle

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

The Dim Sum Place - Beef Brisket Noodles 2

OK I MEAN THIS WAS DELICIOUS

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

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

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

The Dim Sum Place
791 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198759

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

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

Krave on Bali Lane II

Krave
28 Bali Lane
Singapore
Reservations: +65 9856 4249
Remarks: Cash-only, no gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Tue-Thu & Sun: 1130am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 1130am-11pm
Closed Mondays
Kitchen is closed between 5-6pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax:~S$23
Recommended dishes: Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25), Kraving Ayam Bakar ($18), Kurry Kremoso (S$18)

Hey guys! I know, I have been SO absent. Life has been a little crazy, with year-end holidays, tying up loose ends at work prior to said holidays, and of course, the horror of the impending inauguration of Trump as POTUS on 20 Jan 2017.

I’m not sure about you guys but I’ve been reading probably way too many commentaries and articles about Trump and his family, with their attendant conflicts of interests (business vs government). I came across this ABSOLUTELY ABSORBING feature on his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump.  I can’t even begin to summarize its extensive breadth of coverage, so please go read it!! It’s really insightful and fascinating. (A little bit of trivia – Jared is the older brother of Josh Kushner, a venture capitalist who also happens to be dating supermodel Karlie Kloss, lol.)

Aaaanyway, I digress. Back to the matter at hand – I recently went back to Krave cafe on Bali Lane for a catch-up dinner with one of my friends who lives in New York came back to Singapore for a quick visit.

The menu has changed a little since the last time I was there, so here is a look:

 

As usual, I got the Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25) in medium:

Krave - Steak and Chips

Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25) – 10/10

img_4763

Comes with steak-cut fries, grated cheese, a side salad, a cup of jus and a cup of chilli sauce.

Krave - Steak cut

PERRRRFECTLY DONE – LOOK AT THAT PINK! SO JUICY UGH

I don’t know how they do it but the steak is always so juicy, and so tender. I never ever encounter any tendons or tough bits, they must use super-quality meat. The jus is as usual super tasty and great for dipping chunks of meat/fries into. 10/10

As an aside, I know some of you like your steak well-done, but you’re missing out on the juiciness of a perfect medium steak!! Trust me, it is life-changing. A well-done steak is an overcooked steak, so the juices are all dried up and the meat will invariably be tough. Give medium it a try one day. Maybe you start with baby steps; from well-done you go to medium-well, and then you transition to medium. See how you feel about it, who knows you might be won over by the change!

Anyway so one of us got the Kurry Kremoso (S$16) which is curry chicken pasta, essentially:

Krave - Kurry Kremoso

Kurry Kremoso ($16) – 9.5/10

Yum, we all had a taste of this and I really liked it – the curry was rich but not overly heavy. It was adequately spicy (as forewarned by the one chilli icon next to the listing on the menu) and they were generous with the chunks of chicken breast meat. A solid pasta dish at 9.5/10.

Another one of us was craving laksa, so she ordered the Laksa Sayang Eh! (S$18), a terrible but hilarious play on the Malay folk song Rasa Sayang Eh:

Krave - Laksa Sayang Eh!

Laksa Sayang Eh! (S$18) – 7.5/10

While they were generous in topping this dish with plump prawns, this was not well-rated by my friend – primarily because she found that the tough, al dente penne did not go well with the laksa sauce. I’m not sure if this is due to her overwhelming craving for real laksa, but she did not like the texture so much. (To which I say, hey friend, maybe just stick to actual laksa next time? LOL). So yes if you think you wouldn’t mind this fusion of pasta with laksa sauce, feel free to give it a go. For my friend though, this was a firm 7.5/10.

Finally we also got the Kraving Ayam Bakar (S$18):

Krave - Steak n Chips

Kraving Ayam Bakar (S$18) – 9.5/10

So it was our friend from New York who got this, and I’m happy to say she loved it. As with my previous experience chronicled in my former review of Krave, she found the chicken really tender and well-flavoured thanks to the sweet and spicy kicap marinade, along with the tasty peanut sauce. The lontong cubes were also still on point – soft and perfectly-paired with the sauce. 9.5/10 

All in all, we had a terrific time, although I would really counsel you guys make a reservation in advance. They allocate some seats for walk-ins, but these fill up way quicker than you think.

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax:~S$23
Recommended dishes: Steak ‘n’ Chips (S$25), Kraving Ayam Bakar ($18), Kurry Kremoso (S$18)

Wilder Cafe on North Bridge Road (Permanently closed)

**Wilder Cafe has permanently closed**

Wilder Cafe
749 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198717
Online reservations (only for 4 pax and above): Click here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sun: 1230pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$22
Recommended dishes: Eggs and Salted Egg Crab Croissant (S$17)

Happy weekend guys! It’s been a while since my last post. As always, I have been eating and eating, but just have not found the time to upload photos and start writing! Worse stilll I’ve been OBSESSED with this book I’m reading called Shades of Grey by Jasper FForde – NOT, I repeat, NOT, to be confused with the horrible 50 Shades franchise. I borrowed mine from the National Library, it’s SO GOOD!!!

Shades of Grey is about this dystopian world where social hierarchy is dictated by the colours one can perceive, and so the Greys are the lowest on the scale, whereas the purples are considered high up because they can see red, blue and purple – that sort of thing. The dialogue between the characters are usually really funny in a dry humour way. Such great writing, like a modern day Evelyn Waugh, and more accessible.

Aaanyway, unlike the Rihanna and Calvin Harris collab, this book talk is not what you came for. I’m really here to talk about my recent lunch at Wilder Cafe on North Bridge Road before heading over the the National Library for Rent the Musical! (My first time watching Rent, great set design.)

Wilder Cafe - Table Decor

Cantiknya ya Allah (lol melebih)

Wilder Cafe - Interior Decor

Industrial chic like the former Rouse

Wilder Cafe - Interior

I’m not supposed to pixelate his face right?

Wilder Cafe - Table Flowers

As you can see from the photos above, Wilder is beautiful! I love what they’ve done with the space, it feels very welcoming.

Here’s a look at the brunch menu:

Wilder Cafe - Brunch Menu

Ignore my friend’s RIDICULOUS reflection

Wilder Cafe - Brunch Menu 2

Dranks and stuff

We ordered the Pulled Beef Fries (S$15), which was described in the menu as having 12-hour braised beef and 3 types of melted cheese over fries:

Pulled Beef Cheese Fries

Pulled Beef Fries ($15) – 6/10

So my friend and I were deciding between either these Pulled Beef Fries or the Old Fashioned Truffle Fries (S$11), and in the end the Pulled Beef Fries won out because it was more unique. Plus, we were curious about how the pulled beef would taste after having been braised for 12 hours.

Wilder Cafe - Pulled Beef Fries

Unffff – if only it tasted as good as it looked

Alas, these were a letdown. Off the bat I thought the presentation in this blue-grey bowl was not really appetizing (maybe try a platter?!), and I wish they’d used thicker-cut fries. These thin fries were frankly soggy and a little hard. I like my fries crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside. These were neither.

The pulled beef was also not the most tender, and fairly dry. I don’t know what happened in the preparation process, but I would have much preferred if the pulled beef were more saucy and tender, so that the fries could have soaked up the gravy and the flavour that comes with it. I feel like it’s a great concept, but maybe the execution/preparation was not the best. I hope they can improve on this! In the meantime, 6/10 unfortunately.

For my mains I got the Eggs and Salted Egg Crab (S$17), consisting of two poached eggs, and crabmeat with salted egg sauce on a croissant:

Wilder Cafe - Eggs & Salted Egg Creb

Eggs and Salted Egg Crab (S$17) – 9/10

Wilder Cafe - Salted Egg Crab Eggs Benedict

UGHHH look at that frothy creamy goodness and them CURRY LEAVES UGH YUM

OK so let’s start with the negatives – check out the sad few rocket leaves on the tomato (which thankfully was pretty yummy). It couldn’t hurt to add a handful more leaves to make up a decent side salad. Secondly the poached egg was not very presentable, and could’ve been slightly runnier. Thankfully, the salted egg sauce made up for this so that each bite was juicy and not dry.

On to the plusses – i liked the croissant. It lent a slight sweetness and also some crunch to the dish. I can imagine it would also save time for the kitchen staff who wouldn’t have to bother themselves with fresh toast or muffins.The crabmeat portion was generous, and went well with the salted egg taste! A pretty solid dish, although for S$17 I really would expect at least a little more salad, or better looking poached eggs. 9/10

My friend (who guest-starred in the menu reflection) got the Baked Spinach and Cheese (S$8) and topped up S$3.50 for some smoked salmon:

Wilder Cafe - Baked Spinach and Cheese Smoked Salmon

Baked Spinach and Cheese with added smoked salmon (S$11.50) – 7.5/10

Wilder Cafe - Baked Spinach and Cheese with Smoked Salmon

MMMM CHEEESYYYYYYYY

I liked this dish – it was really creamy and cheesy, and annoyingly had more rocket leaves than my croissant LOL. There was an adequate amount of spinach in it, and the smoked salmon added extra texture. It was quite comforting. I only have 2 gripes about this – the cheese/cream base was a little too liquidy, almost like chunky soup. Maybe they could have done something to make it a little more solid, like add some ingredient to bind the cream and cheese together. My second bone to pick was that they made the cream base a little too spicy. We found bits of chilli padi in it. Go easy on the chilli, and I think we’d be 9/10. For now though, 7.5/10!

We didn’t get any dessert since we were pressed for time, but all in all we had a pretty good time at Wilder. I think it’ll be a nice place to go for coffee or just a casual hang with some friends. It was fairly quiet when I was there, and like I said, the decor felt really welcoming.

It’s worth noting this place does not charge GST or service charge, since you order and pay at the counter. Cutleries and water are available at the self-service station. It’s very no-frills. Oh they also sell random paraphernalia like this Salted Egg Fries Tote Bag for S$28:

Wilder Cafe - Salted Egg Fries Tote Bag

Pretty cute eh? If only I carried tote bags more. I have 4 right now at home I hardly use.

Wilder Cafe - Openig Hours

Lol I took a photo of this so I could put up the Opening Hours info here.

Wilder Cafe
749 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198717
Online reservations (only for 4 pax and above): Click here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sun: 1230pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$22
Recommended dishes: Eggs and Salted Egg Crab Croissant (S$17)

**Wilder Cafe has permanently closed**

Hyde & Co on North Bridge Road II (Permanently Closed)

** Hyde & Co has permanently closed**

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 flambéed 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)

** Hyde & Co has permanently closed**

Kaw Kaw SG II

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Ambience

I love the high ceilings for real

Kaw Kaw SG - Decor

Check out the giant Surat Yasin there on the left lol

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Chilli Cheese Fries 1

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Chilli Cheese Fries

Mmmm fries meat and cheeeeese the trifecta of a good meal

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

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

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Castro Wings

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

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

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Snokey Beef Bacon Burger 1

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

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

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

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

Kaw Kaw SG - The Permaisuri Burger

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

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

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

Kaw Kaw SG - Spicy Bolo Burger 1

Spicy Bolo Burger (S$15.50) – 7.10

Kaw Kaw SG - Spicy Bolo Burger

Mmmmm bolognaisssseeee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 café 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 😦

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!