I have a new found fascination with bak kut teh – though it’s only fair to declare that more than half that interest is rather the result of the braised pork trotters all bak kut teh stores serve.
I’m not claiming expert status at all here – in fact, you may have that title if you’d like – and this love for the dish is immensely new; so much that the basis for this review will be generic. is the meat moist, is it tender, and do the flavors meet expectation?
it almost seems like a cop-out to review this place – it’s a small cafe that’s located in nearly every mall possible, serving up local delicacies with no aplomb at all. it’s a cheap and varied menu that stretches from proper mains like mee siam and nasi lemak (my parents give these the thumbs up), to kaya-and-toast spread with butter shaped rather iconically into traditional high cones, to pretty little traditional bakes.
there are old-school items like banana loaf slices and paper sponge cakes, but my mother tends toward these squares of super-retro sponge cakes slathered with thick layers of buttercream and jam.
the concept of the place is simple – open, casual cafes with more than decent local food, at prices that make it a damn good deal in town (at only slightly more than what hawker centres are charging these days) – and it’s nostalgia-inducing too, which might be the best bit.
not gourmet, but it fits like an old sock (you know you’ve got them).
a gorgeous chocolate cake, and one of the best I’ve had in singapore. it’s a hemisphere of rather deep, chocolatey goodness, and I forget what the components were – except that there was a dense not-too-sweet mousse and lots of chocolate flavor that made it all too easy to eat.
immense gorgeousness on a plate, both aesthetically and gastronomically.
(if you want something a little more varied, the opera slice at becasse has the same dense dessert goodness.)
so, I don’t like ice cream. I’m a cake kind of girl, a dense chocolatey block of something-or-another over a melting scoop of iced something any day please, thank you. but I’m discussing semantics here – where ice cream is that too-ephemeral dessert that melts quickly and leaves nothing behind but the sad tightening of trousers and quite a lot of guilt for very little pleasure.
gelato, however, I can get behind. in the hands of an expert, it churns out thick, dense and with deeper flavors and a full mouthfeel, and stays both colder and smoother than its quick-melting, icy cousin.
we’ve seen a slew of one-off, hipsteresque ice-cream places open up – but good gelato isn’t easy to find. enter azzura then, with its mix of traditional flavors and modern iced confections – and I might have just found my new favorite.
one of my favorite restaurants, from possibly my favorite group of restaurants in singapore – I associate the imperial treasure line of restaurants (referring to the higher echelons here) with reliable, delicious, traditional cooking in sleek, modern environs and I haven’t been let down by a meal here before.
standards are consistent, even if there are occasional dashes of too-much- or too-little-salt, and service is usually quick and efficient. it’s the sort of place you’d bring your business associates or your in-laws – great for impressing and reasonably priced for it.
p.s. those gloved hands sure look professional, eh?
pretty darn surprisingly delicious brunch at the top floor of the ion orchard. this australian chain was brought in by jones the grocer – which I wasn’t too impressed by – and they share the same kitchen at their orchard premises. unlike jones, though, I was impressed by the food – and this makes one heck of a good option in orchard (where good brunch offerings are actually surprisingly few).
it could almost be tsukiji market right, but it isn’t. it’s a tiny japanese corner hidden in the depths of pasarbella, the new gourmet marketplace that’s taken singapore (and its expat/ hipster/ moneyed population, especially) by storm.
pasarbella suffered a lot of flak from loads of unappreciative dissers who couldn’t reconcile this plastic, covered sprawl to the european food markets it supposedly took reference from. but it’s an unfair comparison – I don’t think this was meant to be the sort of down-to-earth daily-marketing style you see in places like d’aligre; it reminds me instead of that tiny market I used to visit in london’s duke of york square. a little posh, more-than-slightly wallet-emptying, but satisfying both gastronomically and as a worthy day out.
simple and comforting korean food – a good mix of banchan as well, and that pretty much seals the deal for me. it’s pretty nice to see actual koreans behind the counter, and it makes it all feel pretty much family-run – and with almost-full occupancy on a non-weekday, you know there’s a decent thing going.
ok, so I promise this the last of chinese new food-related posts for this year at least; but this post was sitting forlornly in the drafts folder, and I thought to share.
I’ve reviewed this place before, and I pronounced it decent – which I would like to iterate now. what I should say in addition, though, is that while it may not be the best buffet in singapore, I think it the best for its utility-to-price ratio.
posh northern indian food, from a prolific truly-indian chain that’s gone upmarket in singapore. this place reminds me of my favorite indian places in london, where the cuisine is dished up fine-dining-style, and with more care and finesse than you’d usually see in singapore.
and the food is great – everything that I love to eat, with bright spice-y flavors and sparkling flavours in a sleek, dark environ that makes for great dates and girls’ nights out.