Sunday, 10 February 2019

Ministry of Burgers - Popular Pasar Malam Food Available All Year Round


Whenever I pass by a pasar malam, my first inclination is to contemplate if I wish to purchase a Ramly burger. Afterall you don't get to indulge in this craving all the time except when you chance upon a night market. Most of the time though, I get put off by the price tag and the fact that it is takeaway. So I jumped at the chance when my friend told me there's a dine in burger joint in Singapore serving this popular pasar malam indulgence.

Ministry of Burgers lets every Ramly burger fan have their cravings satisfied throughout the year without the hassle of hunting down the latest pasar malam and you get to enjoy your burger in air-con! Granted that their dine-in area is small and they probably cater to a wider takeaway crowd, I'm still glad this option is available.


The MoB burger comes in beef, chicken or fish patty ($3.90 single patty). You also can choose the double patty option. Each burger comes with sauce and an egg wrapped around it. Cheese and veggie are add ons at $0.80 each. As a whole, the bread feels rather dry unlike other buns from the more recognizable fast food chains. Perhaps this is to stay true to the spirit of your pasar malam treat. While the dish feels authentic, I haven't indulged in sufficient Ramly burgers to rate the burger. I'm pretty certain our mainstream fast food joints needn't view them as competition though.


Just like other fast food, you can order a combo (w/fries and drinks @$6.10 inclusive of burger). As there's customization, I paid an additional $0.60 for my briyani fries and $4.60 for my lightning drink. What you see in the photo is the briyani fries on the right and the cheese fries on the left. I'd say that while the fries are sufficiently tasty, be sure to drink lots of water.


This lightning drink ($5.90) comes in a number of colours with flavours ranging from tropical, mango, rose and vanilla. The blue one I tried is basically frizzy rose syrup with LED lights flashing. My friend thinks this is overpriced while I personally enjoyed the drink.

I'd like to credit the staff and team for their passionate approach to their business. I felt very welcomed and they were really hospitable. I also felt their sincerity in wanting the business to be successful. Simply for this reason, I urge everyone who is around White Sands to give these entrepreneurs a chance. As a business, I hope to try an improved version of their Ramly burger the next time I visit their joint. Because they are a restaurant, I think it'll be ingenuity if they succeed in retaining the spirit of the Ramly burger while improving the quality, like a juicier bun to start with.

Ministry of Burgers
1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3, #01-30, White Sands Shopping Centre

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Toby's The Dessert Asylum - Jurong's Hidden Gem


Famous for its sinful dessert indulgences, Toby's The Dessert Asylum caught my attention because of the plethora of dessert selection that seems to be imploring my tummy to try them all. To be fair, this cafe caught my attention about 2 years back but I never got round to try it because of its out of the way location. It's also a saving grace for people residing in the extreme west of Singapore because I really couldn't find an equivalent alternative despite my best googling efforts.


BBQ Baby Ribs has been one of my favourite dishes for the longest time. So perhaps I am a little bias when I saw this on their menu. The BBQ Baby Ribs ($19.90) at Toby's The Dessert Asylum definitely met my expectations. I found the BBQ sauce on point and the meat is very tender. A good pork rib has meat that falls off the bones easily and this one makes the grade. The potato salad on the side is also prepared in my favourite style, potato tossed with mayonnaise and chopped onions.


We also tried the Prawns and Mussels Tagliatelle ($15.90) that is cooked with white wine sauce. This dish reminds me a lot about my stay in Rome. The taste would appeal more to people with a lighter palette preference however the eventual white wine and seafood flavour will grow on you making you crave for the dish more as you eat. The pasta texture also met my palette preference and I would love to come back to have this dish again.


This meal was done prior to a badminton session so I was pretty careful about the quantity of my food intake. The mains experience was so good, we decided to fill our stomachs with desserts anyway and settled for Seek Asylum ($15.90). It is made of macademia and mocha almond ice cream cake with cookie crumbs sprinkled on top and bailey's Irish cream sauce. For its price, I was kinda disappointed with the size. It is however a sinful second stomach indulgence and the bailey's sauce really brought the ice cream to life. Okay la... it's nice but a little too premium for a dessert in my opinion.

As a whole, I totally enjoyed my visit to Toby's The Dessert Asylum. I'm certain I'd like to come back if I ever end up at the extreme end of the west Singapore again. The mains impressed me more than the dessert unexpectedly. Given that the dessert and main selection is so wide, I'm already looking forward to having another go at the food!

Toby's The Dessert Asylum 
Tradehub 21 #01-35, Boon Lay Way, S609964

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Froth - Asian Fusion Dining in CBD


What do you do if you love Chinese food but end up in a western restaurant because of work? Froth is an Asian Fusion Dining concept located at Ascott Raffles Place. It was introduced to me by a colleague who doesn't enjoy noodles or western food but he mentioned that the food at Froth resonated with him.


This Sio Bak Aglio ($24.90) was his recommendation. It's legitimately good! The sio bak has a very crispy skin with fat, juicy and tender meat. Its flavour was literally oozing out of every bite. To top it off, another friend who also doesn't appreciate these 'atas' dishes actually praised the sio bak. If this isn't valid testimony of the dish, I don't know what is.


The Chilli Crab Pasta ($24.90) is another noteworthy dish. For a start, the fried till crispy shellcrab is loud and distinct. The chef also included a fried mantou at the side which is pretty ingenious. The pasta sauce was slanting towards a tomato sweet flavour which kinda appeals however not spicy enough! As a whole though, the dish stands out for good execution and generosity.


I enjoyed my Prawn Aglio ($24.90) dish. At first glance, it looks kinda ordinary and the prawns used look like something my mom can prepare. Dishing into the linguine, my entire perspective change. For a start, the noodles were oozing with wok-hei flavour. I strongly believe that good pastas are fully immersive in both the initial taste and the subsequent after taste. This one left a lingering after taste which leaves you craving for more. It's western yet chinese which reminds you of char mee yet it's linguine and aglio olio.

I reserve special praise for the linguine. You notice that all 3 dishes were using the same noodles but they all carry their own distinctive taste. The fact that they are all supposed to be aglio olio but yet stand out in such a differentiated manner highlights the ingenuity of the chef's skill. I guess with the hotel price tag, it's a given. That said, good food is good food and my meal at Froth is definitely memorable.

Froth
2 Finlayson Green, Ascott Raffles Place
Singapore Level 2, Singapore 049247

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Tarte by Cheryl Koh - Delectable pastries at the heart of Orchard


Tarte by Cheryl Koh is a patisserie based on the 2nd story of Shaw Centre. The concept originated as a takeaway kiosk selling pastries by Les Amis Pastry Chef, Cheryl Koh. Chef Koh won the 'Asia's Best Pastry Chef' in the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2016.


I've long heard about this patisserie and it's been sitting on my shortlist for the longest of time. I'm really glad to have finally made this trip with a friend and try out some of the much acclaimed pastries.


I'm totally not a fruits person so all the fruity selections are by my dining companion. Sometimes it's great to dine with different people because it brings out the adventurous side in me. Being a sport, I agreed to share. This is the Fresh Passionfruit Curd ($10) which is really creamy in texture and carries a zesty fruity flavour. Our general consensus is that it is too sour for our liking however I feel it's a matter of preference and not so much of bad execution.


I went for the Pistachio Tart ($10) which greeted us with a challenging hard-rock appearance when I couldn't knife through the pastry with my fork. Despite the not so impressive first impression, we unanimously agreed that it is good. We like it that the tart isn't too sweet and the flavour is not overpowering. The balance is just right.


The Earl Grey tart ($10) is another winner. It is a creme bulee infused with artisanal crafted ceylon teas with bergamot and citrus. The flavours are all very distinct and on point. I enjoyed the tart a lot especially when it isn't excessively flavoured. Judging from my limited experience trying out tarts, I know that these are the best I've eaten so far. In fact, my bad experience with lousy tarts are partially a reason why I tried so little.


My friend was very drawn to the Fraisier ($10). That was her first choice when we made our selection. The cake is made of light sponge with creme mousseline and French strawberry. It is very good! As someone who doesn't like fruits in my food, this is something I am willing to take a couple more bites. The sponge is really light and you don't get tired eating it at all. The strawberries are not the least sour and they are sliced with the absolute right proportions that goes exceedingly well with my fork full of sponge cake.


The entire dining experience was wonderful and I'm very impressed. So this is what it is like to eat tarts from an award winning pastry chef! If you are looking for a coffee place to rest and chit chat in Orchard Road, this is The Place for you.

Tarte By Cheryl Koh
1 Scotts Road, #02-12 Shaw Centre, S228208

Sunday, 30 September 2018

The Breakfast Club - Authentically English Breakfast


I came to know about The Breakfast Club during my research for my first trip in London back in 2017 but only got to try it now. The story goes that Vain Pot didn't feel they serve up anything we couldn't really find in Singapore so we ended up in Granger & Co back then. So later on, another friend dragged her to Breakfast Club and she discovered wonderful pancakes there. *rolls eyes*


Finally, I get to dine in The Breakfast Club! This is an awesome place that I really think every visitor to London should have a meal at. Yes, it serves a lot of typical brunch food you can find everywhere but it's authentically English. Dining here, it made me feel that most of the brunch creations we find in many cafes originated in these Western cultures. The Breakfast Club seems to bring out this culture so distinctively, it'll be a waste if you skip this place when in London.


Looking at the menu, there's a whole list of stuff I really want to try. I settled on the Salted Caramel Banofee Pancakes (9.50 pounds) because pancakes were the original reason that made me shortlist this place (I was googling best pancakes in London). It tastes really awesome! I found the pancakes to be soft and fluffy but a little bit doughy. It however went really well with the whipped cream, chilled bananas and salted caramel sauce. In fact, the balance was so good, I finished the 3 stacks of pancake which would have been too much for my Asian stomach normally.


Vain Pot ordered the Oatmilk Porridge, with crushed pecans, coconut and maple syrup (5 pounds), mainly because I wanted to try it too. I could tell it's not exactly her thing. I really like the western version of porridge because of the thick milky texture of oats in milk. I especially like the sweetness of the dish and the crunchiness of the fruits (usually bananas) or nuts that it comes with. I think it's an acquired taste but I really like it.


I found it a pity that it's my only visit there despite 3 trips to London. Then again, Vain Pot whips up really delicious brunch so I feel rather reluctant to have my brunch outside. I strongly recommend a visit to The Breakfast Club to experience the vibrancy of the cafe culture in London as well as the authentic English dishes that they serve. This single dining experience has certainly won me over!

The Breakfast Club
11 Southwark Street, SE1 1RQ

Monday, 24 September 2018

CBD Lunch Ideas at The Basement


Hong Leong Building recently completed the revamp of their basement food hall, called The Basement. It is a floor with a wide selection of food where the CBD working crowds' tummies are assured to be well pampered. Having recently been working in the area myself, I've had the pleasure to frequent it so often I can write about my dining experience.

Pho Thai 



Pho Thai is a combination of 3 restaurants selling Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines. The Japanese food which many of my colleagues also tried doesn't exactly have positive votes. In fact, most complain that the rice is too hard. While my bowl didn't have such complaint, it was too watery. The chefs are not very skilled which frankly for their price point, can be quite a harsh assessment. However, given that there are 2 other restaurants there, the jap food relative to the other choices seem to fail badly.



On a separate occasion, I tried the Thai Basil Pork rice. It was satisfactory. I wasn't expecting much from a lunch crowd eatery and the least it can do is get the basics right. I'm pleased with the level of spiciness of the pork, flavour and the sunny side up that it comes with.

Baba Bento


Baba Bento was one of my favourite meals in The Basement. For a start, it's my first ever Bunga Telang rice. It comes with 4 choices beef rendang, ikan assam pedas, ayam kapitan and ayam pongteh. I settled for the Ikan Assam Pedas set which also comes with keropok and drink. The spicy assam fish packs a lot of flavour and the fish is cooked till tender, just the way I like it. I also enjoyed the sambal egg and chap chye that completes the meal. The entire lunch was fairly enjoyable and the biggest headache for me is the availability of seats at this highly popular lunch spot.

Ah Bamas


My colleagues later brought me to Ah Bamas and they rave about the awesome food as well as the extremely hospitable lady boss who can cook you any Indonesian cuisine you can dream up if you buay paiseh request for it. The Ayam Penyet we tried was pretty impressive! The chicken packs a very crispy exterior although I found the meat rather dry. What really makes the dish a winner is the chilli. The chilli has a wicked spiciness that all my colleagues couldn't get enough of. In fact, a couple of them went for 2 to 3 extra chilli servings because it goes so well with the rice and the chicken. Be warned though, the spiciness can be challenging for some to manage.

Turkish Cuisine


Then there're also the random days we couldn't get seats and have to settle for Turkish Cuisines. Turns out that the food is pretty good. The roast chicken with rice was very tender and it goes very well with the tartar and chilli sauce that the dish comes with. While Turkish food is simply not my kind of food, the meal was still a very competent effort.

Crave


Crave is known to serve pretty fantastic Nasi Lemak. There're a total of 6 sets you can choose from, mainly either fish or chicken. I settled for the chicken filet set which I was very happy with. The chicken is fried excellently with crispy skin and tender meat. I find that their chilli packs a punch that makes the entire meal a joy to eat. You can take my word for it coming from someone who doesn't really eat Nasi Lemak by choice.

As a whole, The Basement is a very interesting place to have lunch. Most of the food range from $7 to $15. Not exactly the cheapest place to dine at considering there's Lau Pa Sat next door. I guess their merits is really a centralised dining hall with a myriad selection. You definitely won't grow bored dining here everyday but you might go broke.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

2 Day 1 Night in Paris


Paris is one of the most romantic cities in Europe. It is a place that is so rich in culture, excellent food and picture perfect views. Paris being a 2 hour train ride from London is a perfect getaway for a short pampering trip over the weekends.

In my case, this is my holiday and it's part of a larger Europe trip. I actually stayed 3 days in Paris but one of them was spent in Disneyland which will not be covered in this entry. Because it is my first time in Paris, we tried to cover everything in 2 days and I got to say, we did well despite the time constraints.

Le Bossue


We discovered Le Bossue by chance because a lot of shops are not open on Sundays and Mondays in Paris. This is an excellent breakfast spot and we literally had our breakfast there for 3 days straight. The pastries, cakes and cookies available for selection are heavenly and really it's one of the meals I still miss a lot now that I'm back in sunny Singapore.

Shopping at Lafayette


Visiting Paris is never complete without the shopping. Lafayette is one of the biggest megamalls with a wide selection of famous brands. To be honest, we usually try the outlets for the best deals but when you are short on time and willing to splurge on the latest designs, this is the mall to go. Even if you don't wish to shop, it's worth a visit because of the grandiose architecture that's in the mall. In a country where you need to pay for the washrooms, Lafayette has very clean washrooms which are free!

Sadaharu Aoki


While in Paris, patisseries are a must have! Sadaharu Aoki is a famous Japanese patisserie has a shop in Paris and naturally it's on my must-try list! I enjoyed the black sesame ice-cream (not in the photo) the most.

River Seine


This photo is taken on the Pont des Arts Bridge. This is the famous love bridge where couples used to put love locks at on the railings. This bridge is overlooking the renown River Seine and the view is awesome.

We took lots of photos on this bridge with the wonderful backdrop so it's something you can do too!


Couples can buy a lock and attach it to this signage at the start of the bridge. Said to bring good luck and longevity to your relationship.

Notre Dame Cathedral

 






The Notre Dame Cathedral is a church with amazing architecture. Even if you don't share the same religion, it's worth a visit. You can check out the guided tour timings to fully appreciate the history and architecture inside the church. This is the most famous church in Paris and it is a tourist attraction.

Musee D' Orsay


I actually paid to enter Musee D'Orsay twice over the two days I spent in Paris. This is because uncultured me only wanted to visit the museum to take this photo of the clock. We visited the museum near the closing time. Vain Pot got captivated by the amazing sculptures and art pieces inside the museum that we didn't managed to take photos of the clock on the first day. So we went back the second day to fulfill my initial objective.

If you are planning to take display pictures at the clock, be sure to plan your photoshoot before hand because there is a long queue and many other annoying tourists who obviously do not care if there are people who wants to take the classic shot. It is pretty much a 1 min of fame where you make or break the display photo you want.

Louvre


The Louvre is another famous museum in Paris that houses the Mona Lisa. If you are into art pieces, it is best to set aside half a day to make your money's worth. I personally think you can only fully appreciate the museums if you set half a day for each. Oh, and if you are like me who only likes to take photo of the architecture, it is best to visit the Louvre in the morning when it isn't opened yet.

La Briezh



Crepes is another traditional French cuisine that is highly encouraged you try when in Paris. La Briezh is a specialist crepe restaurant that serves a myriad of savoury and sweet crepes done in multiple ways imaginable. The food quality is really good too!

Pierre Herme 


We tried all the popular desserts in Paris actually. The list includes Laduree and Angelina, for some reason, I have no idea where my photos went. Got to say out of all the desserts we tried, the macarons are Pierre Herme won our vote. Best!

Eiffel Tower


You didn't visit Paris if you haven't seen the Eiffel Tower. It's advisable to make 2 trips to the Eiffel Tower, one for the day shots and another at night. Due to time constraints, we squeezed our visit from evening till night... partly due to piggy Vain Pot who couldn't wake up in the morning for our morning shots. If you do not need to go up the Eiffel Tower, you can stake camp at Trocadero Gardens to take this awesome shot.


The Eiffel Tower has a light display at every hour at night. The grand finale is at 1am. I really like this night shot I took because it looks so postcard worthy.

Le New York 




While waiting for the lights display, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant called Le New York. Don't be fooled by the name because the place serves up really good French cuisines. We totally enjoyed the escargot, duck confit and salmon penne. The duck confit especially was really tender on the inside and has a very crispy and flavourful exterior. Even the salmon penne which disappointed me at first appearance because I wanted chunky salmon meat, carries a fresh salmon flavour that was extremely creamy and appealing to my taste buds.

Moulin Rouge


The final attraction of our stay was at Moulin Rouge which is basically a musical performance. I didn't get tickets to go inside but passed by to take photos.

As a whole, the entire trip to Paris was really good. The reputation that Paris carries for good food, culture and architecture is true. Given more time, I'd want to visit more places and appreciate the art scene in Paris. For a 2 day 1 night trip, this is as satisfying as it can get!