the populus coffee & food co., bukit pasoh

very hipster, very young clientele, similarly young baristas – decent food on a rather impressively-large menu for a coffee-focused place, but rather too-cool-for-you service that could be a little off-putting if you’re an old, plodding person soul as I am.

but these places sure know how to use design to create ambiance – I loved the wood, cork and black metal used all over here, and look at these lovely vintagey amber glasses.

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dibs, duxton hill

good flavors of the rich and heavy variety at this restaurant along ann siang hill – it’s a trendy place run by young hipster-types, with a clientele that suits the dark decor.

this was shot AGES ago – so I apologise for the photos, but how else would I tell you about this place?


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joie restaurant by dozo, orchard central

really, surprisingly, good vegetarian fine dining atop orchard central. I’m a big fan of vegetables, not so much of vegetarian eating – the latter with its not-always-positive connotations of overt ingredient manipulation, and the unhealthiness you often see in the Asian understanding of the cuisine (i.e. deep-frying and excessive use of gluten products).

I came here with absolutely no expectations – no review-reading, no foodie-asking – and they delivered a quite remarkable meal full of fresh ingredients and many surprises. and whilst the plates belie a care expected of the fine-dining standard they aspire to, the prices don’t (in other words, great for dates and impressing without being hard on the pocket).

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may may, tras street

for all you resolution-makers, health-bunnies and aspiring yuppies, this place is for you. a modern, luxe restaurant that serves up balanced grain bowls at lunchtime and transforms into sexy bar at night – this place has been garnering more-than-decent reviews across the board (and I have finally visited something while it’s still very trendy).

AND, if you’re up for something sweet to balance all that healthfulness out, they’re known for their salted egg yolk donuts. there should be a law for so much overindulgence in a single form.

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ikyu, tiong bahru

quite pricey, but also rather homely japanese dining in hipster tiong bahru – those two characteristics seem incongrous, but the restaurant manages to feel both a little exclusive and quite familial.

as with most upscale japanese restaurants, the lunch set makes for the most value – and unlike most upscale japanese restaurants, this place extends that offer even on the weekends. how good is that?

and because I was there for lunch – admittedly much less expensive than their regular à la carte menu – I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say that the food is pretty much just about okay. it’s not particularly overwhelming or special, but the atmosphere makes it a good place for a meal to catch up with friends.

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xperience at the sofitel so, robinson road

tasty modern dining at the in-house restaurant of the new sofitel so, the boutique arm of the chain. located in the central business district, it makes sense that the restaurant does this sort of european-fusionish cooking – the clientele looks primarily business-type travelites, and it is located next to lau pa sat, which has the local thing covered.

and the cooking and flavors are pretty fantastic, though the tasting portions we were given ran a little small – it felt even smaller when I realised I actually wanted more of what was on the plate.

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hic’juice, boon tat street

(crazy) overpriced, yuppie fruit-and-plant blends in the second story of this shop house above an equally (slightly) overpriced, yuppie spin cycle studio in telok ayer.

I think that’s possibly the fairest, and most accurate description I can give the place – it’s truly yuppie in a young, promising, financially-able persons interested in a holistic, take-care-of-yourself routine that includes overpriced vegetation mushed into a liquid-enough form that fits into a WHAT-THAT’S-ALL-?! bottle stacked prettily amongst its breathren on the shelves of a chiller.

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restaurant ember, hotel 1929

to follow on the local-gem theme started with yesterday’s post – ember is a stalwart in the dining scene for good reason: great, comforting, well-executed food and always-pleasant-and-friendly service in a modern space that manages to be business-like in the daytime and romantic at night.

the size is a boon – it manages to keep buzzy with its constant stream of diners, but the smaller size mitigates any too-much-loudness that would come with larger crowds. this was my first visit since the new chef stepped up to the helm – to much initial trepidation, which later proved entirely unwarranted – and the place retains both character and quality.


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sprigs, purvis street

very, very good food at this small, modern restaurant in bugis – very earnest, and it succeeds both in service and space and food. it’s still relatively uncrowded, which is surprising for its quality, but unsurprising for its relative tucked-awayness. add the fact that prices are more than reasonable – especially with a set offered at dinner time – really, I’m not sure I could like it more.

it’s a little like that comforting corner diner we all want – except that it’s quite a bit away from my actual ‘hood.

and, I’m back!

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penang street, funan digitaLife mall

decent penangish, asian dishes at this (relatively) new cafe in the funan mall – great flavors and colours, but let down by the terrible rice. I’ve recently been into all these spice-y, exotic asian flavors, all potent examples of what long stewing and high heat can bring to food – and I really liked this place.

it is therefore (as some terribly formal people like to say in conversation) regretful that I can’t give it more than a cautiously pleasant review – I don’t take rice, so the bad quality makes no difference to me – to all you typically-asian rice-eaters though, that bowl of bad stuff will keep you from returning (and if you have a dad like mine, it’ll keep you from coming at all).

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