El Cubanos at Short St (Selegie)

El Cubanos
1A Short St #01-01
Singapore 188210
Tel: +65 9162 5540

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 12pm to 11pm
Sat: 4pm to 1am
Closed on Sundays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$11 including a drink
Recommended dishes: Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), Grilled Chicken Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.50)

WHERE DID THE WEEKEND GO YOU GUYS 😭😭. I always dream of having a super nua stay-in weekend where I sequester myself at home and get my life in order, like do some laundry, tidy up, maybe go for a run, take naps, and get caught up on my favourite TV shows. For some reason it never happens and I always end up going out. Half of me is just this lazy homebody, and the other half always has major #FOMO ugh.

Anyway this weekend I managed to squeeze in a couple of brunches, did two loads of laundry AND blazed through 5 episodes of Stranger Things Season 2 omg. HAVE YOU GUYS WATCHED IT?! It’s so great.

You know what’s also great though? THE SANDWICHES FROM EL CUBANOS 👅💦😭💯.

El_Cubanos_Pulled_Beef_Signature

Just look at this.

My friend and I meet up for lunch once every couple of weeks and we usually try a halal place that’s anywhere between our two offices. Couple weeks ago it was The Big Cheese (review to come!), and this week it was El Cubanos!

Located just off Selegie Road at 1A Short St, El Cubanos serves up Cuban-style pressed sandwiches as their specialty. Think grilled cheese panini but with a generous serving of meats as well. SO SO GOOD.

El_Cubanos_StorefrontJPG

The El Cubanos Storefront

Here is the menu display at the shop:

El_Cubanos_Menu

“Good people serving good food to make you feel good” – I a hundred percent support

I had the Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), which featured a pressed pulled beef and cheese sandwich with jalapeños, served with a side of cajun fries:

El_Cubanos_Pulled_Beef_Cajun_Fries

Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80) – 10/10!!! ❤️

OK not even kidding but the first bite was transcendental. I still remember it so, so vividly. The bread was crisp on the outside, and the pulled beef within was just so tender and flavourful and cheesy. It was really sublime, and I recall just melting into a delirium of sounds as I consumed the rest of the sandwich.

UGHHHHH the beef was really so juicy and there were heaps of it too in the sandwich. There were a couple of jalapeño slices adding mild heat. Also loved the fries with the savoury Cajun seasoning. They reminded me of 4 Fingers fries in terms of texture. But of course it was the Cuban sandwich that stole the show. 10/10

My friend got the Spiced Up Grilled Chicken Cubanos with Cajun Fries ($8.50) in extra spicy:

El_Cubanos_Spiced_Up_Grilled_Chicken_Cubanos

Spiced Up Grilled Chicken Cubano (S$8.50) on top, Signature Pulled Beef Cubano (S$8.80) below.

So my friend and I swapped one half of our sandwiches with each other’s so we could have the best of both worlds. I really liked the grilled chicken version too, except that it somehow had more onion inside. Also pulled beef is way shreddier and juicier so I’m giving this grilled chicken cubano a 9.5/10.

The both of us left the place feeling thoroughly satisfied and also kicking ourselves for not having discovered it way earlier! Literally, we were texting later that Friday about how we were still thinking about the sandwich. Next morning, he joked that he “dreamt he was eating the cubano and woke up to find his pillow gone” LOLLLL DEAD. Seriously, I was thinking about it all weekend and we’ve already fixed another date later this week to go again 😀

Service is pleasant, the ambience is terrific (look at all the Cuban photographs and paraphernalia adorning the walls!) and they have good Cuban/Latin music to put you in the mood. I went to Cuba in 2015 and being here just brings me right back. It makes me wonder if we have any sort of Cuban expat (exiles?! ok maybe émigrés.) here in Singapore because if so I hope they know about this place.

YOU GUYS HAVE TO VISIT!!!

El_Cubanos_Shirt

Getting sassed by this t-shirt.

El_Cubanos_Signature_Pulled_Beef_Sandwich

Post swap: Chicken cubano on top, pulled beef cubano below

El Cubanos
1A Short St #01-01
Singapore 188210
Tel: +65 9162 5540

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 12pm to 11pm
Sat: 4pm to 1am
Closed on Sundays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$11 including a drink
Recommended dishes: Signature Pulled Beef Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.80), Grilled Chicken Cubano with Cajun Fries (S$8.50)

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Take Hyde Out (Formerly Hyde & Co) on North Bridge Road (Closed)

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

Take Hyde Out
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Tel: +65 6635 5785
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 12pm to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 12pm to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$31 
Recommended dishes: Xiao Jiji/Chicken Little ($16.90), Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90)

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing? Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend and the week has been going okay so far.

I went to check out the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the National Gallery again on Sunday and thankfully it was a lot more pleasant than my first experience during opening weekend. Don’t get me wrong; there were still loads of Instagram boyfriends taking photos of their girlfriends’ backs as these girlfriends pretended to admire the paintings (UGHHH I feel like a crotchety old woman saying this but I can’t even deal with those photos.) BUT at least one didn’t encounter them at every turn; maybe 2-3 of those per gallery, instead of literally everywhere.

Pumpkin – 1981

There’s just something so profoundly satisfying about her pumpkins in all their overripe poofiness, and I really liked some of her paintings too! You guys should check out the exhibition if you haven’t already – tickets for Singaporeans run at $15, and I highly recommend buying online and then collecting at the much-shorter priority/pre-booking line at the National Gallery. The exhibition runs till 3 Sep 2017!

So that was my Sunday, but on Saturday I was running some errands with my mum at Arab St and we decided to have lunch at Hyde & Co, except that now they’re calling themselves Take Hyde Out after some rebranding. The decor has also changed a little bit – now the walls are grey instead of creamy white, and the vibe is a little more modern than country.

Take Hyde Out - Decor 2

More industrial, less “pretty”

Take Hyde Out - Decor

You can check out their online menu here, but also I took pictures of it here:

Take Hyde Out - Menu 2

Main menu

Take Hyde Out - Menu 2

Brunch Menu

So they added more pastas and pizzas to the menu, compared with the old one which you can check out in my previous review here.

Thankfully old favourites are still around, such as the prawn paste chicken and waffles, renamed to Xiao Jiji / Chicken Little (S$16.90), which my friend told me informally meant small dick 😦 Anyway it came with 3 strips of prawn paste chicken, 3 waffles, a sunny side up and shoestring fries:

Take Hyde Out - Chicken and Waffles

Xiao Jiji / Chicken Little (S$16.90) – 9.5/10

OK you guys. I just loved this so, so much. I LOVE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES! I think I only know Take Hyde Out and Citrus By The Pool for having it, but perhaps there are more I do not know of. Anyway, Take Hyde Out’s version is the bomb dot com. The chicken is pungent (needs to be, or it’s not prawn paste), flavourful, savoury, juicy and delightfully crispy on the outside. I think they must use thigh meat because it’s just so juicy and tender. The waffles were also perfect – crisp with some chewiness within, and perfectly complemented by the maple syrup.

The fries were a little desiccated, and I wish the egg had been a proper runny sunny side up, but honestly I’m happy with just the chicken, waffles and maple syrup. The egg and fries are just a bonus. And all this for $16.90 with no added GST or service charge?! WHAT A STEAL. 9.5/10

My mum had the Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90) which featured linguine in spicy arrabiata sauce with blue swimmer crab, topped with herbed panko:

Take Hyde Out - Hyde's Chilli Crab Pasta

Hyde’s Chili Crab Pasta (S$22.90) – 9.5/10 (sorry for the over-exposure also lol)

Mmmm I had a couple of forkfuls of this pasta and it is still delectable. I found that the colour wasn’t as vibrant and red as the version that The Halia makes, but what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in taste! I found the sauce perfectly balanced – spicy, savoury and sweet all at once. The serving of crab meat was also pretty generous, and the linguine was perfectly al dente, so that was great. 9.5/10

On top of the two mains, we also ordered the Pulled Beef Mantou (S$8.90 for 3 pieces) as my mum was curious to try after reading my earlier review of it:

Take Hyde Out - Pulled Beef Mantou

Pulled Beef Mantou sliders (S$8.90 for 3) – unreviewed because I didn’t have it

I’m afraid I do not have an updated review of these pulled beef mantou sliders because I was really working hard on my prawn paste chicken and waffles – you saw how big the serving was!! I couldn’t even finish the whole thing and had to ask to take the remainder to go. By the way, it costs you an additional 50cts to pack your food. A little unusual but I guess I understand the rationale behind it.

Anyway so no review of the pulled beef mantou; just the photo, although my mum liked it enough (“the bun’s a little oily though”).

Oh one thing to highlight – they changed the presentation of the Cold Brew Teas from this:

Hyde & Co - Into The Woods Drink

The old Into The Woods tea – so pretty, but so little

…to this!

Take Hyde Out - Cold Brew Teas

The new Into The Woods and Alice in Wonderland teas (S$6.50) each.

As you can see, the presentation is a little less “precious” and a little more practical – my one gripe was that we got so little actual tea in the previous incarnation, so this new version with a regular big glass was welcome.

So that was my review of the new Take Hyde Out – still madly in love with the prawn paste chicken and waffles and still loving the Chilli Crab pasta. I kind of latch on to one thing on the menu after I find myself liking it a lot, so I’m not sure if I’ll have the pizza when I’m back next, but we shall see!

Also good to note that this place does not have GST or service charge! You place your order at the counter and make a payment before eating (NETS or cash-only please!), and water/cutlery is self-service, but it’s a small-enough cafe for that not to be a problem. The staff are also great and will patiently take you through the menu and make some recommendations if you need.

Take Hyde Out
785 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198753
Tel: +65 6635 5785
Online menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: 12pm to 6pm
Wed-Sat: 12pm to 1030pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$31 
Recommended dishes: Xiao Jiji/Chicken Little ($16.90), Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta (S$22.90)

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

Watsub at East Village

WATSUB SG
#01-12 East Village
430 Upper Changi Road
Singapore (487048)
Tel: +65 8130 2323

Opening Hours
Mon : Closed
Tue – Thu : 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fri : 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sat – Sun : 10:00am – 9:00pm

Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$10
Recommended dish: Pulled Beef Sandwich!

Hello everyone! Are you guys on Netflix yet? IT IS AMAZING. I’ve wasted probably half my life on Making A Murderer. It’s a gripping reality/documentary show about this guy Steven Avery who was exonerated after serving 18 years in prison for a wrongful rape conviction, only to be accused of murder while he was trying to sue the county for said wrongful conviction. Isn’t that crazy? It’s major. Please get on the monthly $11-17 plans STAT.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you guys about Watsub, this amazing halal sandwich shop I went to last weekend! I happened to be at the Simpang Bedok area with my friends (ok full disclosure, we were doing afternoon karaoke!! Oh the shame! 😦 ) so we we were trying to pick out a dinner spot from the myriad options at East Village, and we ended up at Watsub!

Watsub Logo

Watsub Sandwich Pictures

YASSSS CIABATTA FOR DAYSSSS

It’s a pretty cosy joint that can fit maybe 15 people, but they also have outdoor seating so never fear!

Watsub Interior

Watsub Opening Hours

Closed on Mondays, open 3pm on Fridays to accommodate Friday prayers yay, and 10am opening on all other days 🙂

Based on their Facebook page, it seems they’ve been open since about April 2015. Gosh that’s a full 9 months ago, and I’m only finding out about them now! This is the life of a Westsider folks. Anyway here’s a look at the menu:

Watsub Menu

Watsub Menu 2

Not only regular sandwiches, but sliders and quesadillas! YUM.

So first Step 1 they make you choose your bread type (unless you’re getting the non-sandwich options like the sliders, chilli dog, or quesadilla):

Watsub Bread

The selection that Saturday comprised sesame, multigrain, ciabatta, or focaccia

Then Step 2 you tell them what you want from the menu, and they’ll pick the meat/fillings from there:

Watsub Meat

Watsub Counter

You can see them preparing some ciabatta with turkey ham and slices of cheese. CHEEEEESSSSSE YUMMMMM

And Step 3 you choose your sauce:

Watsub Sauces

Why would you even choose anything other than smoked chipotle, GOSH (ok fine I think the trio mustard would taste pretty damn awesome with the roast beef sammich)

Watsub Prep

A closer look

And finally Step 4 you choose the vegetables to ruin accompany your meat fillings:

Watsub Veggie

EEEEE onions please step to the left.

You can also choose to top up S$2.50 for a Combo Meal which includes a soft drinks, and a choice of (a) Mushroom Soup, (b) Roasted Potatoes and (c) Tortilla Chips with Salsa.

Watsub Combo Meal

Watsub self service drinks

Gotta work for that self-service drank

After an eternity of deliberating I went for the Pulled Beef Sandwich (S$8.50) on ciabatta bread, with smoked Chipotle sauce and some colourful bell peppers as my veggie. I also ponied up the additional S$2.50 for a combo meal, opting for the mushroom soup and a can of Heaven & Earth mango tea.

Watsub Mushroom Soup

YUMMMMMM this soup is like the anti-Campbell soup. 10/10

Watsub Meal

That’s my pulled beef sandwich right there on the left.

Watsub Pulled Beef

Tadah! Looks like a leathery hide, but trust me it was delish.

So this masterpiece was an absolute delight. According to the Watsub website, the Pulled Beef is their signature sandwich, using meat that has been cooked for over 8 hours and left to steep in its own juices for. Just, tremendous.

I bit into it ravenously and found the shredded beef meat exceptionally tender, juicy, and flavourful, particularly when complimented with the heaty, smokey Chipotle sauce. (I had to Google this – Chipotle sauce is made from chipotle chillies, mayo, cumin, cilantro, salt, Greek yoghurt) YUM. I cannot get the juiciness of the tender meat out of my mind – even describing it here alone makes me SO HUNGRY for it. 10/10

One of my friends went for the Meatball Sliders (S$8.50), which consisted of 3 mini beefball burgers:

Watsub Sliders

She chose onion and tomatoes (UGH)

Watsub Beef Slider

A cross-section. Look how juicy the meatball is!!

So I had to artfully bite around the onion so as to avoid it, and YES I loved what I tasted. The meatball was really very tender, and flavourful on its own. I loved that. The buns were soft and basically it was a very juicy bite for me. My issue with regular meatball subs is that the meatballs tend to run around in the sandwich so you get pockets of empty bread, but with these carefully apportioned sliders, you really get the perfect bread/meat ratio. 10/10

Our other friend opted for the Chilli Dog (S$5.90) which consists of a chicken sausage hotdog with chilli con carne (which just means chilli with meat in Spanish) and cheese!

Watsub Chilli Dog

My friend added the jalapeños, yum!

I liked this too you guys! The chilli con carne taste was quite strong, which meant it was very delicious and savoury. The sauce is also slightly heaty for a mini kick. I thought the bun was a little too soft – perhaps another bun with slightly less give and a little more chewiness? But hey for S$5.90 I sure like what I’m getting 🙂 9/10

My friend got the roasted potatoes as her Combo Meal side:

Watsub Roasted Potatoes

Mm I thought these were ok – pretty standard roasted rosemary potatoes (I love all potatoes) but I reckon the mushroom soup is tastier if you don’t need the extra potato carbs to fill you up. 8/10

So that’s it for the food. I love this place and will DEF try to come back more often! I will leave you guys with photos of the decor:

Watsub Decor 1

Watsub Coke 2

Novelty Coca-Cola cans with “Encik” and “Abang”! SO CUTE.

Watsub Coke 1

Novelty cans with “Atuk” and “Nenek” (grandpa and grandmawww)

WATSUB SG
#01-12 East Village
430 Upper Changi Road
Singapore (487048)
Tel: +65 8130 2323

Opening Hours
Mon : Closed
Tue – Thu : 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fri : 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sat – Sun : 10:00am – 9:00pm