Sunday, 26 June 2016

Ninja Bowl

This week is meet the friends week! Given that I work everyday but a couple of hours, my free time is spent catching with friends over lunch and dinners. One of the highlights is meeting Bak Bak to try the new fried milk rolls at Tim Ho Wan. It's good so it's worth trying! There's also my long awaited visit with another friend to Ninja Bowl which I'll be featuring today.

Ninja Bowl is the replacement to Department of Caffiene. They serve healthy Japanese bowls and is really suitable for those who eat salad as their staple meal. 

So anyway, my friend and I, starting to get lazy with name inventions because there's too many, we settled for Yasai and Genki ($16 each). Yasai is a salmon bowl with mixed sultanas, onsen egg and tomatoes. Both of us added quinoa ($3) to our dishes as our carbo. As someone who hasn't eaten any white rice replacement before, I found quinoa to be surprisingly tasty. It went exceedingly well with the bowl and salmon were really fresh! However, the amount of ingredients in Yasai is rather little and after a while the taste starts to get repetitive with salmon and quinoa running the show. It is still very healthy! 

My friend's choice of Genki was a combination of Yaki Unagi, roasted pumpkin, beansprouts, onsen egg and pickled beets. Apparently it's a refreshing mix of her favorite Japanese food without the unhealthy additions. The pumpkin and beet root added variety to the egg, Unagi and quinoa which she added and I felt it's a more complete bowl. 

As we were chatting, and the place was rather small, I discovered that Ninja Bowl is probably not the best place to chill out. The staff attempted to clear us out with little actions like clearing our bowls. When we made no attempt to leave they tried to upsell us with their cakes. Alright fair enough, we could try some cakes. Except there're only two cakes to choose from. Some berry cake which was out of the question because I hate fruits in my food and this Thai Milk Tea cake ($16) which we both settled for a slice each. 

The cake was generally light and the milk tea taste was distinct however the sponge cake was a little bit too dry to be a good cake. It's nonetheless edible and not difficult to finish. 

Ninja bowl is one of those places I'll be eager to return to. The trouble with this place is its location. It's smacked in the middle of nowhere and at the outskirts of the CBD area. The bowls which I can foresee myself eating for lunch isn't your typical cafe food but a good replacement to the healthy salads I eat. So because of its location, if I ever eat here again, it'll be because I specially made a trip down. It's still highly recommended if you are into healthy food and love jap! 

Ninja Bowl
15 Duxton Road 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Ah Bong's Italian

The food featured this week was eaten mid week to be honest. I spent my weekend at the Geylang Serai Bazaar. With so many articles springing up about the unique food found in the bazaar I decided I shall not add to the crowd. I just wanted to say that I queued 45mins for the much hyped rainbow bagel, spent $8 on it, took a bite and threw it away. Enough said.

I decided to try something different this week by inviting a friend on my catch up list to join me on my food hunt for a change. I first heard of Ah Bong's Italian when I had a craving for basil pasta and I found them on Google. Back then, they only had one outlet at Tiong Bahru and closed really early mid day so it was really hard to make a trip down to try. (I really need to work for a living too!) Now with their second outlet opened till night, I finally addressed my craving with Supercai! (Nicknamed chosen by my friend)

Apparently Ah Bong's Italian's menu changes all the time. So if you wanted something not on that day's menu, basically you have to come back another time. Which is a good and bad thing because I happened to want something not on their menu that day! So they disappoint first time customers but of course the up side is that you get variety if you are a regular. 

Our mains for the day were Crabby Aglio Olio ($14) and Fresh Pesto pasta ($12). I must say the food lives up to the hype. The Crabby Aglio Olio is rich in flavour something I don't really expect from the past crab pastas I have eaten and the pasta was done al dente. I like it that it's garlicky enough, not exceedingly spicy and not overpowering that it over kills. The Fresh Pesto pasta was true to its taste. The pesto sauce was made in house and mushrooms went well with the dish. I like it that the sauce was thick and not watery. Pasta was al dente and the proportions of ingredients to pasta ratio was just right.

We picked a side to share and we settled for Spicy Balls in Pomodoro ($10). The pork balls are amazing! Tender yet not overcooked. I felt that the spicy level is close to zero to be honest which was a little disappointing. However I give credit to the authentic tomato sauce freshly prepared in-house. The portions of cheese went well with the balls but overall I still felt disappointed by the lack of tanginess which I was expecting from spicy balls. 

Supercai's conclusion along with mine is that this place is worth revisiting. Number one it's because there's stuff on their menu I haven't managed to try. Number two reason is that their prices are really decent and generally inexpensive for town sit-in dining. Number three reason would be their food quality. It really beats a lot of other pasta establishments in the similar price range by a big margin in my opinion. 

Ah Bong's Italian
103 Beach Road, #01-02 (below marrison hotel) at Tan Quee Lan Street area 
(Be sure to visit their Facebook page to check out their menu before arriving to avoid disappointment)

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Lady M

This will be a short post before I head to work. It's the GSS period and I have been on quite a bit of shopping frenzy. Over the past week of running around, one of the things I really look forward to doing is to sit at a relaxing cafe and enjoy good cakes and coffee. To achieve this, I plotted my visit to Lady M with Vain Pot with this specific purpose!

The first time I dined in at Lady M gave me a feeling I'm enjoying cakes with a friend overseas. It left such a relaxing memory in my head I've always since associated relaxation with Lady M. In the past couple of months, I did try to dine here but didn't have the patience to survive the long queue. Today, with new found determination to reward myself for a wonderful first month in my new job, I braved the queue. The turnover was surprisingly fast, so don't be put off by the long streak you see. 

Having bought takeaways a good number of times, we settled for the unique cakes which requires more skill to produce. Signature Mille Crepes ($9) and Strawberry Mille Feuille ($9). The original Mille Crepe tastes really good with its light texture, perfectly layered paper thin crepes. I like it that the sweetness was just right and you won't feel "jelat" eating it. 

The strawberry feuille was another well made pastry with the layers puff pastry flaky and light. I like it that the strawberry wasn't over-generous, sweet and cream not overly excessive. Everything in balanced proportions taste awesome and this one definitely makes the grade. 

The dine in experience at Lady M with its wonderful white interior and a long glass window that allows you to enjoy the view of orchard road makes it an awesome place to enjoy good coffee and cakes. The attentive staff at Lady M with impeccable service makes the visit even more wonderful. I must say that unlike most cafes I have been to where the staff are a tad too eager to clear the plates, the staff at Lady M are very not intrusive. I'll definitely come back again whenever I want to let my hair down and enjoy some great desserts after a hard week of work. 

Lady M
Orchard Central Shopping Mall, 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central
#01-27 & #02-07
(Please head to level 2 to start your queue)

Sunday, 5 June 2016


I ate more than usual this week however I don't really feel a compelling urge to write about the stuff I ate. It's been largely a mix of salads and Chinese food. I guess the reason is I have been eating it quite regularly and have just been bringing friends who haven't eaten there to try. It's always the family dinners that make me try food I don't usually try and this time it's at Putien!

Putien serves good Chinese food that's unfortunately not friends with my taste buds. I can't really attach a reason to it because the dishes are well executed. They just aren't my go to place for Chinese food. I prefer Ding Tai Fung, Imperial Treasure and even the Paradise Group. Still, let's give credit when it's due and Putien definitely cooks up a good comfort meal. 

We kicked off the meal with two sides, Pork Belly with Garlic ($8.90) and Braised Homemade Beancurd ($5.90). I felt that both dishes were done really well meeting both my expectations. I do feel that the pork belly with garlic could have been more garlicky and I didn't lap it up as I would a similar dish at one of the 3 restaurants I mentioned earlier. That said, this post is not about them so let's not shift the focus shall we? 

For mains, we settled for Putien Oyster Omelette and Claypot Chicken in Fermented Red Rice Wine ($13.90). I was kinda expecting the oyster omelette to be like those I find at hawker centers but with better culinary capability. I was rather taken aback that it's deep fried with flour but was pleasantly surprised to find that it goes really well with the Putien chilli. The chilli at Putien is one of their key highlights so try it when you are there. I like it that the chicken in red wine sauce was cooked till tender and the red wine taste is distinct yet not overwhelming. 

Another known dish is the Putien Lor Mee ($9.50) which was really rich in flavour. In fact, it was my favorite dish of the night! The pork broth absorbs all the flavours of the ingredients within the pot and drinking it was a real joy. 

Finally there's the Putien Rice Cake ($6.90) aka atas Kuey tutu which I was misguided to order by the well written description on their menu. It says "the rice cake is made with glutinous rice, milled rice powder and filled with crushed peanuts. The cake is then steamed in mild heat to create a soft texture that..." Oh so that's how Kuey tutu is described in marketing language... Anyway, I must say I prefer the Pasar malam version of the dish. This one is way too rubbery and too stingy with their peanuts, you might as well call it plain. 

All in all, the dining experience in Putien is pleasant. The dishes generally met expectations but there's nothing there that might make me specially make a trip down. It's comfort food which I won't say no to if my companions want to eat there but not somewhere I'll voluntarily step in to eat. 

Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, #02-18