Citrus By The Pool II (New Burger Menu!)

Citrus By The Pool
3 Woodlands Street 12
3-3A Woodlands Swimming Complex
Singapore 738600
Tel: +65 6366 6581
Online reservations: Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun & PH: 9am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Shiok Burger (Chicken patty with chilli crab sauce – S$12.90), Snickerhead Milkshake (S$12.90) Double Chocolate Milkshake (S$8.90)

Hey guys!! I’m so sorry I’ve been so MIA – I just had a work trip recently that kind of threw my entire schedule off. Also I guess I’ve been out WAY too much and haven’t had time to properly sit down and write this review! I mean, HAVE YOU GUYS WATCHED BLACK PANTHER? NO SPOILERS OR ANYTHING AND I WON’T EVEN SAY IF IT’S GOOD OR BAD. In all seriousness though, if you don’t understand the hype, go read this NY Times article about Why Black Panther Is A Defining Moment For Black America. It was so so good and so insightful.

Also the other reason I haven’t been blogging is I have been bingeing all 4 seasons of Silicon Valley 😩😩 It’s SOOOO funny especially Erlich and Jian Yang together UGH. I can’t wait for Season 5 already!! It’s coming out in just under 4 weeks on 25 Mar 2018!

OK so let’s talk about food now. Three weeks ago I was invited by the kind folks at Citrus By The Pool to taste their new burgers and shakes menu!!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Burger_Description

We got to try all 4!

The first burger was the Boss Burger (S$17.90 for double patty) featuring the beef-mutton patty layered with crispy fried onions, tomato slices, cucumber, lettuce and purple cabbage, smothered in satay sauce on toasted charcoal bun:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Boss_Burger2

Big Boss burger (S$17.90) – 7/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Big_Boss_Burger

Visuals 💯

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Boss_Burger_Inside

Cross section!

OK so I was really excited about this, and the satay sauce was a great touch because I LOVE satay ugh. Even the purple slaw was yummy and helped cut through the richness a little. However, the patty disappointed me in that the ground meat came apart all too easily. I haven’t tried making patties from scratch myself so I’m not quite sure why the meat doesn’t bind well together. I also thought the bun was a little dry and aerated where it should have been a little chewy with more bite. Room for improvement on this one! 7/10

Thankfully, I LOVED the cajun fries that came with the burger. They were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just really well done. I have to say, Citrus by the Pool consistently delivers on its fries.

Next up we tried the Shiok Burger (S$12.90) featuring a deep fried chicken thigh patty with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and a sunny side up, topped with spicy chilli crab sauce:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Shiok_Burger2

Shiok Burger (S$12.90) – 9/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Shiok_Burger_Inside

Cross-section of the Shiok Burger!

Mm! I really liked the Shiok Burger – the chicken patty was juicy (not unlike the McSpicy burger which, come on, is always good) and I LOVED the chilli crab sauce!! I only wish they had added more of the sauce, although I’m sure next time I could ask that they put more of that magic sauce on my burger. Honestly I didn’t even need the sunny side up as an accompaniment because the patty and sauce alone would have been enough. 9/10

Our third burger was The Big Catch (S$12.90) with a buttermilk-battered dory, crispy fried onions, tomato, lettuce and tartar sauce:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Big_Catch_Fish_Burger

The Big Catch ($12.90) – 5/10 because I hate fish burgers SOZZZZZ

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Fish_Burger_Inside

Gurl you a haht messs

Oh my, okay so it’s not really fair for me to pass my judgement on this because I am really not a fan of breaded fish. Not in fish and chips and certainly not in burgers. I swear only mums love fish burgers (sample size 2 – my mum and my sister-in-law’s mum lol). Objectively though there was too much tartar sauce on the burger which made the whole thing a slick, jelak mess. I think maybe they could have also made the tartar sauce a little zestier with more lemon juice so that it’s more refreshing. Gotta pass on this guys. 5/10

The last of the burgers was the Dainty Trio (S$10.90 for three chicken sliders, or S$10.90 for three beef+mutton sliders) in a choice of teriyaki or BBQ sauce:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Dainty_Trio_Sliders

Dainty Trio (S$12.90) – 6.5/10

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Slider

Beef+mutton slider in BBQ sauce!

The sliders were really pretty to look at, but overall I still found them lacking. The buns were a little dry and hard, which makes it a little challenging to bite through, especially given the proportions of a slider (a burger that is taller than it is wide). I liked the crispy onions, and the tomato slice did add some juiciness. Nevertheless, neither the teriyaki chicken patty nor the BBQ beef+mutton one left any lasting impression on me.  6.5/10

On to the milkshakes!!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Sundae_Description

UNFFFFF

We tried the Snickerhead (S$12.90), Cookie Crush (S$9.90) and Double Chocolate (S$8.90):

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Milkshake_Trio

Snickerhead (S$12.90), Cookie Crush (S$9.90) and Double Chocolate (S$8.90)

OMG guys these are soooo sinful but unffffff. The Snickerhead and Double Chocolate were both really, really delicious with Snickerhead edging out just a little. It IS 4 whole dollars more, so if you guys are trying to save some money, go for the S$8.90 Double Chocolate which is almost as good! They’re both really rich and chocolatey and really filling; perfect for one of those days when you’re just super hungry and your stomach feels concave. 9/10 for both.

The Cookie Crush was the weak link here as it tasted too milky and just a little bland. Too much cream, too little cookie taste. I would skip this flavour. 6/10

Aaand finally, as if we hadn’t already had to loosen our belts a notch after eating ALL THOSE BURGERS and drinking all those milkshakes, we went for the sundaes.

We opted for the Coco Loco (S$9.90) with coconut ice cream, nata de coco, crushed matcha cookies and gula melaka syrup, and Berry Magic (S$11.90) featuring strawberry ice cream, strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, and a strawberry biscuit roll:

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Berry_Coconut_Sundaes

Coco Loco sundae (S$9.90) – 8/10 & Berry Magic sundae (S$11.90) – 7/10

I’m not naturally a sundae person, but I thought the Coco Loco was pretty good. It helps that I have a weakness for gula melaka and nata de coco unffff. The coconut ice cream was a little tooo creamy for me; otherwise the nata de coco, the slightly bitter crunch from the matcha cookie crumbs, and the sweetness of the gula melaka syrup was a winning combo. 8/10

The Berry Magic sundae was okay – I love strawberry as much as the next person but this was a little overkill with the ice cream and the jam. The ice-cream on its own would have been pretty good – maybe they should sell it by the scoop; it would be less heavy than a whole sundae. Also S$11.90 is a little steep for what it is! 7/10

Overall a dinner of hits and misses, but I think I could probably get myself the Shiok Burger with a milkshake next time and be pretty happy with my order. That’s the benefit of having options! The location is not anywhere near my usual spots (home, office, friend catch-ups), but if I’m in the area I would definitely drop by for food. I might also consider bringing my family here for a pleasant, casual meal.

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

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Entrance

The entrance!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Outside

A play corner for the kids and astroturf lovers, just outside the entrance

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Ambience

Pretty cosy!

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Food_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Pasta_Burgers_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Burger_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Sundae_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Dessert_Menu

Citrus_By_The_Pool_Beverage_Menu

Citrus By The Pool
3 Woodlands Street 12
3-3A Woodlands Swimming Complex
Singapore 738600
Tel: +65 6366 6581
Online reservations: Click here

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 11am to 11pm
Sat-Sun & PH: 9am to 11pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Shiok Burger (Chicken patty with chilli crab sauce – S$12.90), Snickerhead Milkshake (S$12.90) Double Chocolate Milkshake (S$8.90)

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Jenggood Jom Makan at Al-Ayza Coffeeshop at Jurong West St 52

***Edited to add: Jenggod Jom Makan has moved from Padi Emas at Jurong East to Al Ayza coffeeshop at Jurong West St 52! Check out their Instagram or Facebook for latest updates!***

Jenggood Jom Makan
Al Ayza Coffeeshop
Blk 508 Jurong West St 52
Singapore 640508

Opening Hours
Wed to Mon: 830am to 930pm
Closed on Tue

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$17.50
Recommended dishes: Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90, enough for 2 average-appetite pax)

Guys there’s been an EMERGENCY. Stop whatever you guys are doing now and really just listen to me for the next 5 minutes.

I just had THE MOST AMAZING LOBSTER LAKSA EVER UGHHHHHH. I had a friend coming over from Kuala Lumpur over the weekend and I wanted to take her out to dinner. Initially I thought of bringing her over to my new gem of a discovery, Deanna’s Kitchen for the most delicious halal prawn noodles of my life, but they close at 5pm on Saturdays. So I thought, alright maybe this would be the time to finally try the Lakster Deluxe that I’ve been seeing so much on my instagram for the past couple of months!

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lakster_Deluxe

Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90) – 10/10

The Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90) is the brainchild of the folks from Jenggood Jom Makan, a hip stall at Padi Emas Coffee House at Jurong East Blk 214 (behind Almukminin Mosque) Al Ayza coffeeshop at Jurong West St 52. They are well-known for their original signature dish, the Laksudon, which is like laksa that’s been upgraded with thick, chewy udon noodles. According to my friend this is more like laksa Johor, which is a bit thicker than laksa nyonya (which you get from places like 328 Katong). Well well, I guess I’m more partial to laksa Johor than laksa nyonya!

Jenggood serves up the Lakster Deluxe comprising the Laksudon with a WHOLE lobster, plump mussels, large prawns and calamari, all for just S$34.90! Here’s a closer look:

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lakster_Closeup

A whole lobster plus look at the big prawns! Peep the delicious sambal at the left corner unffff.

My friend and I shared one Lakster Deluxe and OMGGGGG the laksa on its own was already SUPER yummy – the gravy was rich and thick with minced fish meat, coating the chewy udon noodles well. I didn’t even need to mix in too much of the sambal because really it was already a robust gravy, and honestly I would definitely order the Laksudon next time I’m jonesing for some good laksa.

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Lobster

Seriously OMG the lobster meat was so succulent and look at all that roe omg?!?!?! DEADDDDDD

The lobster itself was SUPER fresh; the meat was succulent and slightly sweet, and absorbed the laksa gravy well. Same for the juicy mussels and the prawns!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHH. I love seafood so much and they definitely did not skimp on the ingredients both in terms of quantity and quality. Plus they provide you with that nutcracker tool you can use to crack open the lobster claws, as well as a mini bucket to throw away all the shells (lobster/prawn/mussels).

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Shell

The aftermath – we filled the whole bucket with shells lol

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Aftermath

Aftermath part 2. Check out the gravy with bits of fish meat ughhhhh so good ❤

Jenggood_Jom_Makan_.Sign

S$4 for the laksudon?!?!? I am THERE bruh.

All in all my friend and I had a truly satisfying dinner at Jenggood, and we were both totally blissed out by the end of it, like tears-of-joy #alhamdulillah vibezzz. I would DEF go back here again especially since I live in the West. Oh also, this place accepts DBS PayLah!!!! How great is that? I didn’t have enough cash on me and scanning the QR code provided by the owner Hans was a breeze. Go try it for yourselves soon!!!

Jenggood Jom Makan
Al Ayza Coffeeshop
Blk 508 Jurong West St 52
Singapore 640508

Opening Hours
Wed to Mon: 830am to 930pm
Closed on Tue

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$17.50
Recommended dishes: Lakster Deluxe (S$34.90, enough for 2 average-appetite pax)

 

Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lor 1 Blk 127

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).

You guys. I had initially planned to talk about Netflix’s The Crown and how much I’m enjoying watching it because Claire Foy is such an emotive and talented actress. BUT. I can’t even wait to tell you guys about the amazing Chinese prawn noodles I had last week at Deanna’s Kitchen at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Food Centre with my friend and her husband!!

Seriously I should’ve known it was going to be a perfect evening when this was my view while walking from Braddell MRT station to the hawker centre:

Blessings

Hashtag alhamdulillah feels

So Deanna’s Kitchen is a 100% muslim-owned, authentic Chinese prawn noodle stall set up by Denise Chew (Deanna), a Chinese convert (or revert if you prefer, I’m not fussed) and her husband Asri Ramli. I read that after converting to Islam, Deanna couldn’t find good halal prawn mee so she asked her mum for the recipe and tweaked it to halal perfection!! The Chinese versions usually use pork bone broth, but Deanna uses prawn broth instead. The story of their interracial love is also super touching; if you guys are interested to know more you can read it on her IG here!

Deannas_Kitchen_Menu

Menu!

I love that they specialise in one thing only (prawn noodles with variations in ingredients and noodles), because you can rest assured they’re focused on perfecting their signature dish. I love that you can customise your noodles too; I really do not like yellow noodles for that horrible lye taste and the starchy texture. BOO.

I went with the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) which consisted of noodles in prawn broth with prawns, fishcake, a very generous serving of plump clams, and some kangkong:

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams2

Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50) – 10/10

OMGGGGG you guys. I could already smell the fragrant broth when I carried the bowl over to my table to set it down, so I knew it was going to be special, but man, the first sip was transcendental. I loved, loved, loved the prawn broth taste; it was so flavourful and went perfectly with the bee hoon noodles I had selected! Also guys, you gotta add the fried shallots (bawang goreng) because they are delicious and make the already-perfect noodles taste better.

Don’t even get me started on the clams. I LOVE clams omg I am an absolute clam FIEND, and there were SOOOOO many in the bowl! All for S$6.50?!?! It’s madness. The same quantity of clams you buy as an à la carte stirfry dish would’ve easily cost more. 10/10 for this delightful bowl of prawn noodles UGH.

Deannas_Kitchen_Prawn_Noodles_Clams3

Plump and juicy clams omg

My friend got the same thing as me but her husband went with the Big Prawn Noodle (also S$6.50) – take a look at the photos here:

Deannas_Kitchen_Big_Prawn_Noodles

Ahem my best flatlay attempt lol I just can’t take good photos most of the time

Deannas_Kitchen_Brig_Prawn_Noodles

Big Prawn Noodle (S$6.50)

Deannas_Kitchen_Clam_Aftermath

The aftermath. LOOK AT HOW MANY CLAMS!!! From just two bowls of Prawn Noodles with Clams ugh!! ❤

Deannas_Kitchen_Opening_Hours

Opening hours for Deanna’s Kitchen

The service here is terrific too you guys. Quick story – after finishing my bowl I went to order 3 more bowls for takeaway. It was almost closing time just before 8pm, and while I was waiting for my order, these two girls came up and ordered what was to be the last couple of bowls. The stall didn’t have enough broth for a full second bowl, and so the co-owner Asri gave a great discount for the bowl! UGH what great customer service. Also because theirs were the last two bowls, he gave the girls all the remaining clams and warned them that they were being given excess clams because the stall was closing, lest they come back next time and wonder why they’re not getting as many clams. Very thoughtful service.

Second story is, I took away those 3 bowls to my Chinese friends who were still working late in the office, and they LOVED it!! One of them said it’s the best prawn mee broth she’d tasted in a long time, and the other one told me she counted TWENTY FOUR CLAMS in her bowl. LOL it’s insane. So yeah while I have no basis for comparison, having never eaten porky prawn mee before, my Chinese friends definitely vouch for the taste and authenticity of Deanna’s Kitchen’s Chinese prawn mee ❤

Go try it soon you guys!

Deanna’s Kitchen
#02-25, Blk 127
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310127

Opening Hours
Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm
Sat: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 9am to 2pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 10/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.50
Recommended dishes: Everything because the broth and ingredients are spectacular, but I had the Prawn Noodles with Clams (S$6.50).

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Sultan Gate

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Food Court
38 Sultan Gate #01-01
Singapore 198486

Opening Hours (For Kakak Kentang)
Mon-Thu & Sat: 11am to 9pm
Fri: 230pm to 9pm
Sun: 12pm to 9pm
(FOMO itself opens 10am to 10pm daily)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.90
Recommended dishes: Bombistik (S$6.90)

Hey guys! How is January almost over? I can’t deal with thissssss before you know it we’ll be 80 😩😩. Anyway TGIF – I’m currently waiting my turn to see the doctor because I’m on the brink of a flu and am trying to stave off a full-blown one before the weekend ugh help.

Ooh but also – I recently started watching Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale based on the book by Margaret Atwood. IT IS GRIPPING OMGGGGG. It’s about a dystopian near-future where women are increasingly barren and infant survival rates are low as a result of STDs and environmental pollution. Society is ruled by a totalitarian, Christian theonomic government and people are assigned strict roles – some are handmaids who are kept by barren married couples for breeding purposes, some are cooks/cleaners etc. There’s a sort of strict religiosity overarching this new world and it’s a little creepy. You guys should DEF watch it. (Also read the wiki synopsis which is 100% better than mine.)

Anyway, have you guys checked out FOMO at Sultan Road recently? It’s an upscale food court with myriad options – there’s Kane Mochi serving halal mochi ice cream, Kakak Kentang by well-known restaurateur Ummi Abdullah, and also Mr Wholly (crab-in-the-bag style seafood stall pending halal certification). I can’t deal with the millennial name of this hipster food court but hey gotta roll with the times. I love that it’s air-conditioned so you get to enjoy your food in cool comfort! In memoriam our short-lived Singaporean winter earlier this January 😢. We hardly knew ye.

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How cute is this logo!!!!! She’s literally peeling her old skin being all “new skin new me!” (or is she undressing? Astaghfirullah.)

Kakak Kentang literally translates to Potato Sister, and the stall specialises in these kentang balls (or potato balls) which are mashed potato balls with meat stuffing. Kind of like a begedil on steroids. I didn’t know kentang ball was a thing, and so of course my eastie/Malay friends are giving me a LOT of grief about it. “You mean you haven’t tried it EVER?!” “But the Haig Road one is so good!” “And you call yourself Malay?” 🙄🙄🙄 y’all are racist eastie fascists.

So anyway Kakak Kentang offers two main dishes. There is the traditional chicken version called the Chikabom, featuring a mashed potato ball with chicken stuffing in soto soup. There is also the beef version called the Bombistik with minced beef stuffing in a tangy tomato “bistik” soup – bistik being the late-night mamak supper staple of beef cubes in that red tomato gravy with potatoes and peas.

Kakak_Kentang_Menu

Sorry this photo is so bad; I couldn’t avoid the glare.

They also serve the Adik Char Kuay (S$5.90) comprising you tiao dough sticks with cuttlefish paste drizzled with 3 types of sauces, and also popiah!! I was very tempted to try the popiah for $2 but decided against it because I wouldn’t have been able to finish my potato ball otherwise!

Kakak_Kentang_Menu2

So I went for the Bombistik (S$6.90 for regular, S$9.90 for large) in regular size:

Kakak_Kentang_Bombistik

Bombistik (S$6.90, regular size) – 9/10

Kakak_Kentang_Meatball

 Breakthrough! MEAT YUMMMMMM

Ooohhh chileeee. I liked this a lot!! The soup was really flavourful and robust, like the mee kuah or mee bandung type of tomato-based soup. It was a little spicy which I liked – I found my nose running the more I ate it. The potato ball was gooood; the mashed potato itself had good texture and flavour, although the meat within was a liiiitle dry but easily remedied with the soup. I also LOVED the coriander and strips of carrots and cucumber in the soup – it definitely adds to the complexity, texture and taste. This was solid comfort food, although I almost wished they had a mini-ball option with like 4-5 smaller balls; how fun would it be popping those in your mouth?! 9/10

My friend who had been there before ordered his usual Chikabom (S$6.90 for regular, S$9.90 for large) in regular size:

Kakak_Kentang_Chikabom

Chikabom (S$6.90 in regular size) – 7/10

I tried some of this and okay I confess it was not my favourite. I would def stick to the Bombistik when I go back to Kakak Kentang next time, and if I’m hankering for some soto I would still go for my usual Soto Ayam so I can savour those soft pillowy lontong cubes together with the soto gravy, AND add begedil, you know? Best of both worlds. The soto soup was not bad, but a little on the thin side for me. I would have preferred it a little thicker and more savoury. According to my friend the one at Haig Road is better, although I can’t verify that until I go try the Haig Road kentang ball myself! 7/10

All in all I had a positive experience at FOMO and will definitely going back to try the other stalls maybe during dinnertime. The lunchtime crowd was manageable and there were still enough empty tables for us to buy our food before getting our table.

Kakak Kentang at FOMO Food Court
38 Sultan Gate #01-01
Singapore 198486

Opening Hours (For Kakak Kentang)
Mon-Thu & Sat: 11am to 9pm
Fri: 230pm to 9pm
Sun: 12pm to 9pm
(FOMO itself opens 10am to 10pm daily)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$6.90
Recommended dishes: Bombistik (S$6.90)

The Big Cheese at Sunshine Plaza

The Big Cheese
Sunshine Plaza #01-59
91 Bencoolen St
Singapore 189652

Operating Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9-10 for Mac & Cheese + a canned drink!
Recommended dishes: There’s only Mac & Cheese guys. Go crazy!

You guys! I know I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. The truth is I’ve been busy with… Narcos Season 3 and Black Mirror Season 4 LOL. Netflix is life-changing in ways both good and bad. Apart from that, so many things happening in the world to keep up with.

  1. Did you guys hear about Harvey Weinstein getting slapped by some rando in Arizona?!?! Shiok or what sia.
  2. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Mahathir Mohd (did I get all this honorific titles right?) is running with Pakatan Rakyat against Najib as PM, at the tender age of 92. It’s a little insane but I’m out here with popcorn waiting for it to unfold.
  3. There’s been a lot of debate on Aziz Ansari’s public shaming for a date gone wrong. I empathise with the girl a very very small bit, but I also feel bad for Aziz Ansari who isn’t a mind reader. Still, the discussion needs to happen on what’s consensual and what’s not though. The balance of power and consequences are always so disproportionately skewed against women.

ANYWAY coming out of hiding to post about The Big Cheese, a halal mac & cheese joint at Sunshine Plaza! Been meaning to do it for a while and some of you might have seen my IG post about The Big Cheese (@halalicioussg) from October. I’m back out here with more deets!

It’s a hole-in-the-wall located right at the drop-off point of Sunshine Plaza. There are about 3 small high tables and a 3-seater counter facing the outside.

The_Big_Cheese_Corner_Seat

My view from the counter seat

Okay so I LOVE mac & cheese because it’s just classic comfort food. It’s cheesy, it’s gooey, it’s warm, savoury, and you can eat it with one hand (unlike other pasta variants like spaghetti etc). LOVE. Here’s a look at their menu:

The_Big_Cheese_Build_A_Mac_Menu

Bespoke Mac & Cheese for those who like to retain control!

The_Big_Cheese_Specialties_Menu

Specialty maccazzzz

The_Big_Cheese_Ingredients

A buffet of options for your customizable mac & cheese

The_Big_Cheese_Takeout_Boxes

Size comparison for the small and regular macs

So here’s what I got:

The_Big_Cheese_Cheddar_Gruyere

And here is the breakdown:

  1. Size – I chose small (S$6)
  2. Choose your pasta – I chose elbow macaroni because it’s classic duh
  3. Choose two cheese base – I went for cheddar and gruyère (extra 50cts because fancy)
  4. Choose two proteins/greens – I opted for bacon and pepperoni because I ain’t about to disrespect my mac & cheese by adding vegetables LOL
  5. Choose one topping/condiment – I opted for truffle oil (I miss Reminis’ truffling mac & cheese back when they had a stall at Sembawang 😦 )
  6. Add-ons – I went for pulled beef (S$2) UNFFFFF

Here is the final product at $8.50:

The_Big_Cheese_Macaroni

UNFFFFFF small mac & cheese (S$6) with added pulled beef (S$2) and premium gruyère cheese (S$0.50) for a total of just S$8.50 for all this deliciousnezzzzzz

Mmmmm guys this was so creamy and delicious and comforting!! I couldn’t really taste the gruyère, so I think the key is to select stronger tasting cheeses like parmesan. I’d def go for maybe parmesan and cheddar next time. Also I love that regular elbow macaroni traps a lot of that creamy cheese so it oozes out with each bite unfffff. The pulled beef was pretty good but also a little…soft? I would’ve wanted more bite. Still a pretty worthwhile addition at just S$2 though. The small size was perfect for me because mac & cheese is already SO heavy; I was just stuffed enough. 9.5/10

Those with bigger appetites might probably try the regular size one, which is what my friend did. He got the regular sized mac (S$7.50) with parmesan, cheddar, bacon and pepperoni topped off with bacon bits at no extra charge:

The_Big_Cheese_Duo

Regular on the left, small on the right

The_Big_Cheese_Regular_Small

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A spork!! How cute is this?

All-in-all, The Big Cheese is just the place for a quick bite if you’re in need of some nourishing comfort food. If the place is empty you can choose to stay longer but the stool seats are not entirely conducive to staying longer haha. I’d definitely go back every few weeks for a mac & cheese lunchtime fix!

Also as the menu suggests, you can top up S$1.50 for a drink 🙂 Def worth it to wash down all that goopy heavy cheese sauce!

The Big Cheese
Sunshine Plaza #01-59
91 Bencoolen St
Singapore 189652

Operating Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9-10 for Mac & Cheese + a canned drink!
Recommended dishes: There’s only Mac & Cheese guys. Go crazy!

 

Beyond Pancakes at Marina Square

Beyond Pancakes
03-131A Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd
Singapore 039594
Online reservations: click here
Phone reservations: +65 6884 6884

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), Le Poulet savoury pancake (S$14.90)

Hey guys!! Can you believe it’s a week to Christmas? So many things to get done, so little time. I usually look forward to some down time towards the end of the year but things aren’t looking like they’ll let up, ugh. Also, I just read about the food crisis in Venezuela where babies are dying from malnutrition because the oil-rich country’s been severely impacted by economic mismanagement coupled with declining oil prices. To make things worse, the government isn’t accepting foreign aid because it’s adamant on maintaining that the country is just fine. I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. UGH. You guys can read all about it here.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I was invited to try out the menu at Beyond Pancakes, a halal-certified joint at Marina Square serving up (you guessed it) pancakes! It’s pretty special though – they don’t just have regular breakfast/dessert pancakes but also Dutch and French-style savoury pancakes, respectively called pannenkoek and galette.

The restaurant was the brainchild of Tiru, who brings with him 10 years’ experience of working in European restaurants in Singapore. After honing his expertise in these establishments, he set out to open his own joint and decided to make it halal-certified to be more inclusive. I 100% approve. (Next up, please make a halal version of Morton’s thanks.)

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#Alhamdulillah

I’ll leave photos of the menu towards the end of the post but for now let’s dive into the dining experience!

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The entrance

I first ordered the Avocado Juice (S$8.90) since my mum is a huge fan off avocado drinks and I wanted to QC it for her:

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Avocado Juice (S$8.90) – 8/10

The consistency is quite light and not too thick, unlike say the Es Alpukat from Ayam Penyet Ria. It was also lightly flavoured with honey so the drink isn’t too sweet. I quite enjoyed it, although there was some graininess almost like it was a chiku drink. Also I may have been tripping but I thought the taste was a little reminiscent of persimmon, so that could be a draw/drawback depending on the individual. I would consider ordering next time although the price point is rather high. 8/10

For starters we got a tasting portion of the Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), featuring nachos, mozarella cheese, avocado, sunny side up egg, onions, olives and capsicum served with various dips. there was the cheese sauce dip, the spring onion dip, cheesy sundried tomary dip, and tangy tomato salsa.

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Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90) – 8/10

OK so this was interesting. I was expecting the nachos to be a little lemau (stale) but surprisingly they retained their crispiness. The mozzarella wasn’t as melty as I would have liked (which is maybe why the nachos remained crispy) but the DIPS! OMG.

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Clockwise from left: cheesy sundried tomato, spring onion and sour cream, cheese, and tangy tomato salsa.

OKAY I could not get enough of the sundried tomato dip!! It was super tasty and went really well with the nacho. The spring onion and sour cream dip was also really refreshing and light, while the cheesy sauce is a safe and predictable choice. The tangy tomato salsa was the weakest link for me though – it was a little too like raw tomatoes. Def worshipping the cheesy sundried tomato dip. 8/10 for this starter.

We moved on to the savoury pancake section and went for the Le Poulet (S$14.90), featuring grilled chicken strips with capsucum, onion, cherry tomatoes and homemade honey mustard sauce, served with mushroom/spring onion pancakes.

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Le Poulet (S$14.90) – 8.5/10

I didn’t expect to like this so much but this was my favourite of the night. The pancakes were fluffy and savoury, and the grilled chicken strips were quite tender and flavourful. Hated the onions but it was nbd I pushed them aside. I wish they had drizzled more honey mustard sauce on the chicken/pancakes because the dish did feel quite dry. I suggested to Tiru maybe like some honey sriracha sauce to go along with it – that would’ve been the bombzzzz dot com. 8.5/10

For our second main we tried the Saumon Fumé galette (S$16.90) comprising smoked salmon, zucchini strips, mozzarella cheese, sunny side up on a bed of pesto sauce and served with crème fraîche:

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Saumon Fumé (S$16.90) – 7/10

The first thing I noticed was that the crêpe-like base of this Galette was a little too thin. It def didn’t hold up under the weight of the ingredients, so we cut them into slices and roll them up before eating. We initially forgot about the crème fraîche so we found it a little dry and lacking in taste, but after the crème fraîche it did taste a little more refreshing and balanced. I also liked the zucchini strips adding crunch to the otherwise all-soft texture of this dish. I wish the strips were a little more substantial though. Not my favourite dish. 7/10

Just as we thought we were done, Tiru whipped us up a tasting portion of the dessert pancake comprising one Original Pancake (S$5.90 for 2 pieces) and one Chocolate Chip Pancake (S$7.90 for 2 pieces).

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The Original Pancakes is $5.90 for 2 pieces, and the Chocolate Chip Pancakes are $7.90 for 2 pieces.

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Original ($5.90 for 2) and Chocolate Chip (S$7.90 for 2) Pancakes – 7.5/10

Yum, I’ll say that Beyond Pancakes does a good, fluffy pancake! There isn’t an annoying baking soda taste, and the texture is really good! The chocolate chips were a little burnt, which is not the worst I guess, but not great. As for the original, it would’ve been good if it had been served with better butter, but the butter we got was unsalted and really very plain. I would’ve preferred salted butter or cultured butter to add more taste, as unsalted butter feels like you’re just eating tasteless slick. 7.5/10

All in all, I had a good time at Beyond Pancakes. I feel like service is a little casual and could use some polish, and the menu could use some refining. It’s a WAYYYY extensive menu with like pancakes and burgers and pasta and pizza – how will the kitchen manage that on a busy day? Plus if they focused on some key items and make that their specialty, I think it could do them some good. (OMG am I a restaurateur now?!)  I haven’t tried the more pedestrian items like the pasta etc but personally I would focus on the pancakes in future. I can definitely see myself coming here if I’m hankering for some fluffy pancakes, or just to have a taste of their dessert pancakes after dinner somewhere.

As promised, here are photos of the menu!

Beyond Pancakes
03-131A Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd
Singapore 039594
Online reservations: click here
Phone reservations: +65 6884 6884

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

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Recommended dishes: Pannenkoek Nachos Set (S$10.90), Le Poulet savoury pancake (S$14.90)

 

 

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 👅💦😭💯.

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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.

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The El Cubanos Storefront

Here is the menu display at the shop:

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“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:

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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:

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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!!!

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Getting sassed by this t-shirt.

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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)