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Archive for the ‘lunch’ Category

This place is so new, I can’t believe I’ve been there before the word is out! It’s barely a week old and there hasn’t been any write ups on it. I’m not one of those cool types that keep up with the latest happenings and openings in Singapore. But this one I’ve seen almost everyday because I often drive down this street. From when it was just hoarding, to placing a logo, to the final reveal. I saw that it had something to do with a cafe, architecture and interiors, and my interest was piqued. Each time I drove down Joo Chiat I’d glance over to see if it was open yet. And on Monday I saw that it was!

Avenue

Avenue

Avenue is a cafe, store and office rolled into one along Joo Chiat Road. Opened by Quadwork Pte Ltd, an interior design company, the cafe tries to immerse you in design. Besides soaking in the design of the interiors, some of the chairs, lamps and cushions that decorate the place are for sale, and there is a corner featuring apparel and lifestyle products for purchase as well.

Inside the cafe

Inside the cafe

Alyssa liked that cat cushion!

Alyssa liked that cat cushion!

Coffee and cakes

Coffee and cakes

Clothes and lifestyle products for sale

Clothes and lifestyle products for sale

Renovation works are not complete yet, but the cafe part of the place is open. I popped in there with a friend today for coffee and a hot dog and left very happy with my meal. They have a limited menu but if the offerings are as yummy as the hot dog I had today, they’ll be fine. Aside from a variety coffee and cakes, hot dogs are the key highlight of their menu. There are just five flavours to choose from, and these are inspired by the cuisines from five countries – China, Singapore, Germany, Korea and Mexico. The Singapore hot dog is playfully named ‘Hor-Log’, the way it is often pronounced in Singlish. With the cute name, SG50, and going local being the trend, how could I not try it?

“Wan hor-log, pleez,” I ordered.

‘Hor-Log’ features a steamed hot dog topped with dijonnaise mustard, achar (pickled vegetables), sliced chillis, fresh onions, bacon bits and toasted peanuts. Who would have thought achar and hot dogs would make such a good pairing? But I suppose it make sense. Instead of regular pickles, use Asian style pickles.

Hor-Log

Hor-Log (pardon the blurry photo, I was holding a fidgety Alyssa and snapping the pic at the same time)

I really enjoyed it! They use a mild achar that is light on spiciness but still has a tangy twist. The flavours melded together nicely, making each mouthful a good mix of flavours and textures, without any particular ingredient standing out too much. Soft bread, light scrunch of the hot dog, crunchy achar, and firm bite of the real bacon bits; sweet dijonnaise mustard, spicy and tangy achar, savoury bacon and sausage. It’s not gourmet, but I think it makes good comfort food. I would eat this again.

And now I want to try the other hot dogs too!

The hot dog comes with shoestring fries, and I liked that they were crunchy (yep, I’m a crunchy fry person) and easy on the oil. Turns out they use an air fryer for their fries. I’m no coffee expert so I can’t tell you how the coffee compares to other coffees, but I liked my cup.

I will be back!

Avenue Cafe is found at:
454 / 456 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427667
Tel: +65 6779 7153

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Post note 13/7/16: I went back again several months later, only to be very disappointed. The hot dog and bun was not warm when it was served. Also, the shoestring fries were no longer served with the hot dog too! Instead of crunchy shoestring fries, there were cold, soft crinkle cut fries. I had brought a friend to try the place with me, and was slightly embarrassed that my recommendation flopped. Needless to say, I’ve not been back since. I’m not sure how the food is like now, but I do hope they went back to shoestring fries, and serving food warm.

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Was wondering around the Tiong Bahru area and stumbled upon PoTeaTo, a little bistro that’s tucked in a little corner with a pillar blocking your view of it.  It’s along the same stretch as the better known Forty Hands, and opposite Books Actually and Woods in the Books. I was looking at these other shops and nearly missed PoTeaTo. I only found it because I saw a man checking his phone, then walking intently towards somewhere then disappear.

PoTeaTo

PoTeaTo

The place is decked out in the now popular screeded concrete look, and isn’t exactly somewhere I’d describe as cosy, though it wasn’t un-inviting. I liked the space, especially since Forty Hands down the row is far from being kid-friendly. You don’t have to squeeze through a tiny walkway, and I actually saw a family with a stroller there. Good luck getting a stroller into Forty Hands. I never went back there after my first visit.

Inside PoTeaTo

Inside PoTeaTo

Anyway, about PoTeaTo. It was set up as a tea place to battle the dominance of coffee joints in Tiong Bahru. They have a tea time menu that I may go back to try one day. I was there at lunch and liked that they offer real, hearty food (again, not like the other one down the row…you can tell I really didn’t like that place huh?).

I ordered asparagus soup and bangers & mash. The soup was thinner than I expected,  but not thin on taste – which surprised me. I suppose it’s good for people who don’t like drinking heavy, creamy soups, though admittedly that was what I was expecting. The bangers & mash was great! Really yummy! There were three large sausages – one cheesy, one spicy, one plain. They were topped with a generous scoop of mashed potato and drizzled over with brown sauce. It was just the comfort food I was looking for!

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Bangers & Mash

Bangers & Mash

If I’m in the area and pining for western fare, I’ll probably pop back in here again :) They offer brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and kid’s menus. Check out their menus online.

PoTeaTo is located at 78, Yong Siak Street, #01-18.

Opening hours:
Tuesdays – Fridays, 12pm – 10.30pm,
Saturdays, 10am – 10.30pm
Sundays, 10am – 9pm.

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Crunchy, salty, oily, tasty, sinful…

Oh I love eating fried lard. I don’t eat it everyday, so when I do see it, I eat it. Um yum yum. Good food is often cooked with lard, or lard oil.

And I found it. I found a place you can get your lard fix any time you want – RedRing wanton mee.

RedRing Wanton Mee

RedRing Wanton Mee

First, about the wanton mee itself. It’s a pretty good plate of noodles. The texture of the noodles is the starchy,chewy kind which I like. They use this fancy automated noodle cooking machine to make sure each serving is cooked for exactly the same length of time. I found the sauce alright. It’s supposed to be a signature sauce, but to me it was nothing spectacular. The char siew was charred but I thought it could be a little more charred and could do with a stronger caramalised flavour. Overall it was definitely above average, but not the best I’ve eaten.

But the star of the show, for me at least, is the lard! Hawker stalls often leave tubs of chilli and spring onions for customers to help themselves to. Here, there is a tub of lard. Yes. You can help yourself to the lard. I kid you not when I say that customer before me covered almost the whole serving of noodles with lard.

Lard!

Lard!

I had just gone for a pilates class and thought it quite defeated the purpose if I overindulged, so I took less than I wanted, but more than I would usually find in noodles. Mmm…

My less than dainty, but not overly gluttonous portion of lard to accompany my wanton mee

My less than dainty, but not overly gluttonous portion of lard to accompany my wanton mee

As Schwarzeneggar would say, though I suppose he’d never eat gobs of lard at a go, “I’ll be back!”

RedRing Wanton Mee (Holland Drive Stall) is found at:
Blk 46 Holland Drive
Chiangs Swallow Coffeeshop
Often everyday, 830am – 8pm
Closed on first and third Tuesday of each month

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There’s been news about how new cafes have been springing up in old, but yet-to-become-hip enclaves.

One of the newest additions to the Bukit Ho Swee area is barely two-week old Sin Lee Foods. Located along a quiet HDB void deck, Sin Lee Foods takes it name from the coffeeshop that used to occupy its premises. I went to check out the place with Shan and Ben.

Sin Lee Foods

Sin Lee Foods

Took over an old coffeeshop

Took over an old coffeeshop

 

On my hit list was Chicken & Waffles. The chicken was fried food heaven.  The skin was crisp with crackling bits and the meat was juicy and tender.  It was served upon a waffle that looked beautifully done – smooth with no burnt bits.  However, I thought that the waffle could have been cooked a little longer to make the outside more crusty. The inside was moist, sometimes to the point of being mushy. The maple sauce went well with the waffles, but I decided that I preferred to leave my savoury fried chicken alone. As for the side, I liked their coleslaw very much. The cabbage was fresh and crunchy, with just the right amount of sourness. Overall, the dish with its sweet and savoury parts, felt like I was a lazy fellow eating my main course and dessert all at the same time. While generally good, at $21.90 I do find it on the high side for a hole-in-the-wall cafe located in such an area.  I think I will probably opt for the coffeeshop chicken cutlet instead.

Chicken & waffle

Chicken & waffle

Shan tried the the ABC grilled sandwich with spam fries. I didn’t try it, but spam fries sounds like a good, unhealthy idea to replicate home – the husband will love it!

Grilled sandwich with spam fries

Grilled sandwich with spam fries

Overall, I probably won’t be making the detour there again anytime soon as the place is kinda out of the way and the food is expensive.

Sin Lee Foods is located at:

Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
#01-164

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I have found my favourite pulled pork sandwich and fish & chips place.  Sea Salt Caribbean Deli at Pasarbella has been a wonderful find that we have returned to again and again.  I stumbled upon it when I was exploring Pasarbella at The Grand Stand one day, and boy, am I happy I did. I love pulled pork.  It’s something I fell in love with when I was about 8 or 9 years old when we went to my parent’s Mexican friend’s house for a party.  I can still see the table covered with food, and Aunty Elena scooping out a portion of pulled pork from a huge silver pot.  She had cooked it herself, and it was wonderful.  I love how pulled pork is so tender and juicy, and with the right mix of spices it is oh so flavourful.

Sea Salt’s version, which is the Caribbean version obviously (not that I’m really sure what the difference is between the Caribbean and Mexican ones), ticks all the boxes when it comes to a pulled pork sandwich.  The shredded meat is beautifully tender without losing it’s bite, and is gorgeously juicy and robust.  The crusty thick-cut bread that it is served with is crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.  Spread with mayonnaise, it is perfect with the pork.  It’s a big sandwich, but that isn’t all.  It comes with a generous serving of mixed salad that includes a variety of greens like arugula, baby beet greens and frisée.

Pulled pork sandwich of your dreams

Pulled pork sandwich of your dreams

The other dish we love is the fish & chips.  You have a choice of fish, and we particularly like the sea bass for it’s sweetness.  The fish pieces are cut thick and chunky, so you know you are getting the real deal, and it’s good quality fish.  None of that thin processed fillet please.  The batter also doesn’t overwhelm the fish.  I don’t like when fish is over-battered and there is a sticky moist layer of unfried batter in between the crisp part and the fish.  Sea Salt’s fish was perfectly battered and fried when you order so it is served crisp and piping hot.

The part that the kids love most, and that I heartily approve of too, is that the fish is not served with regular potato fries.  It comes with a mix of sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips.  Yummee!  It’s another generous serving and great for sharing.

Fish with sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips

Fish with sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips

Sea Salt is located in Pasarbella at The Grand Stand
200 Turf Club Road
#02-40/#02-K40

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I don’t care, this counts towards my red meat quota however questionable the nutrient content is supposed to be!

McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese

On an arguably healthier note, this braised duck at Tanglin Halt Market is absolutely delish!

Braised Duck with Rice

Braised Duck with Rice

Braised Duck Noodles

Braised Duck Noodles

Also, beef stroganoff from Swensons, which was totally lacking in vegetables, but tasty nonetheless.

2014-04-24 19.03.03

Beef Stroganoff

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Just opposite Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) there is a nondescript coffeeshop called Sin Mee Eating House with a few poorly lit stalls.  One of them is Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant, and they sell a very tasty beef hor fan (like a wider kway teow).  I was recommended this beef hor fan by my cousin, and I went to check it out since it fit in just nicely with my red meat hunt.

The beef is extremely tender and comes in generous portions.  I also like that they do not skimp on the vegetables.  My favourite part is the noodles though.  The texture is firm yet chewy, and it has the smokey smell that I love.  I could just eat the noodles plain and be very happy!

Seafood restaurant with good beef hor fan!

Seafood restaurant with good beef hor fan

Makes for a yummy lunch!

My yummy lunch!

Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, especially if you’re visiting someone at TMC!

Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant is located at 1 Thomson Road, 326 Balestier Hill Shopping Centre.

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