[SNACKS] JIN Kimchi: JIN Original Flavour Kimchi

When the Korean Wave washed over Singapore more than a decade ago, it brought along the Korean culture, which is oftentimes spoken through their food. Kimchi, for instance, showed me how resourceful the Koreans were in jazzing up vegetables as boring as cabbage. Their ingenuity not only upped its appeal to the taste buds with its new-found spicy and umami flavours (and as a grown adult who still refuses to eat her greens if given the choice, this is a big deal) but also added to its nutritional value (since it is known to be rich in probiotic bacteria).

Generic kimchi (image by Ally J)

Generic kimchi (image by Ally J)

What had put me off kimchi, however, were the side effects of consuming it, such as how it tends to trigger my acid reflux, belching and bloating. But what really took the cake was the strong stubborn odour the kimchi would always leave in my fridge and taint other food inside, much to the dismay of my family. These reasons propelled me to limit my kimchi-eating experience over the past few years to Korean restaurants. That was, until a recent (unbearable) late-night craving for the fermented vegetable rekindled the thought of having it at my disposal.

Safety seal on JIN Kimchi's jar

Safety seal on JIN Kimchi’s jar

My quest for kimchi on Facebook led me to JIN Kimchi, which was established by a Korean national who runs his own video marketing agency in Singapore. Given the founder’s expertise in digital marketing, it was no wonder that even nonchalant viewers like myself could be so drawn to their promotional videos – typically in the forms of recipes, mukbangs and taste tests – that I ended up ordering two bottles of 345g kimchi in its original flavour on the same night, only to purchase two 690g bottles two days later… and another two more 690g bottles just 10 minutes ago. Sorry, bank account but..

JIN Kimchi is simply too good to resist!

Available in small quantities of 345g (S$17.15) and 690g (S$33.20), the made-to-order kimchi is packed in sealed hexagonal glass jars with a guaranteed delivery turnaround of only 1-2 working days, including Saturday and Sunday. Their promptness in processing my second order is a case in point – the order, although placed at the ungodly hour of 3.37 a.m., managed to arrive at my doorstep at 2.11 p.m. on the same day. Impressive! But do note that a delivery fee of S$2.80 applies to orders below S$50.

Delivery paper bag

Delivery paper bag

Another noteworthy feature of the products is the brilliant packaging. Not only does the glass jar feel substantially luxe, it is also absolutely effective in containing the smell – for real, my fridge (finally) does not reek of rotten vegetables at all! On top of that, the jar has a convenient lug closure system where you would only need to twist the lid once to securely tighten it, so going for seconds (oh trust me, you will!) doesn’t seem so much of a chore anymore! Each order comes with a pair of disposable long wooden chopsticks too which, as cheapskate as I may sound, is rather stingy on their part ūüôä Why not a pair of chopsticks for each jar instead?

My order inside the bag!

My order inside the bag!

Each order comes with a pair of serving chopsticks

Each order comes with a pair of serving chopsticks

345g (left) vs 690g

345g (left) vs 690g

Twist-off closure system

Twist-off closure system

Unlike those I have tried in the past, the kimchi boasts a sweeter profile, and neither does it taste too sour or salty. Those with low tolerance to spice (like young children?) would also enjoy this version of kimchi for there isn’t a single hint of spiciness. Perhaps, this is why it doesn’t trigger my acid reflux! The kimchi is recommended to be eaten as a side dish or made into a stew, but I prefer to snack on it plain (thus the title of this review) in order to savour every crunch of it ūüėč

Fresh, crunchy and tantalising kimchi from JIN Kimchi!

Fresh, crunchy and tantalising kimchi from JIN Kimchi!

[690g] Double-seal around the lid

[690g] Double-seal around the lid

[690g] Placing my hand next to it to give you a better idea of its size.

[690g] Placing my hand next to it to give you a better idea of its size.

JIN Kimchi Original Cabbage Kimchi Nutrition Facts (image from JIN Kimchi)

JIN Kimchi Original Cabbage Kimchi Nutrition Facts (image from JIN Kimchi)

JIN Kimchi is undoubtedly one of the better-tasting kimchi in the market, but not without some drawbacks. For one, the smaller jar will already set you back more than double the price of what you can get – in much larger quantities – from supermarkets even before factoring in the delivery charges (and the packaging is likely the main driver of the expensive price tag). Despite being delicious, JIN Kimchi is not exempted from adverse effects such as bloating (especially among people – like me – who get gassy easily), excessive flatulence (read: smelly farts) and bad breath. Therefore, you should avoid consuming it prior to attending any major events. Last but not least, JIN Kimchi is highly addictive, so be prepared to finish the whole jar in one day.

Almost gone on the first day of opening this jar... No picture of my 345g jar unopened as I had not planned to write this review initially ūüėÖ

Almost gone on the first day of opening this jar… No picture of my 345g jar unopened as I had not planned to write this review initially ūüėÖ

You might be interested to know that JIN Kimchi also carries other forms of fermented food including cucumber, radish and spring onion – that is, if napa cabbage does not jive with your taste bud.

What are your thoughts on JIN Kimchi (if you’ve bought from them before) and their products? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

JIN Kimchi · JIN-Kimchi.com · For more information, please visit JIN Kimchi FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized food updates!
Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
ūüėĀ

[FAST FOOD] FIRST IN SINGAPORE: Mom’s Touch Chicken & Burger at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ)

Hello everyone!

East-siders have one more reason to rejoice: along with the opening of Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), popular South Korean fast food chain Mom’s Touch has also launched their first-ever Singapore outlet at the mall!

Courtesy of No Signboard Holdings

Courtesy of No Signboard Holdings

Here, Mom’s Touch – which presently has over 1,200 stores across South Korea and is established in major cities in the USA, Taiwan and Vietnam – offers the same famous chicken and burger dishes that they are particularly noted for in an al fresco dining setting (still sheltered in a way, so you are safe from the rain, the harsh afternoon sun and now, the annoying haze – just no air-conditioner, yeah?). Plus, since it is located at the open space right next to Paya Lebar MRT station (so exit from the fare gates on the first level), it would be impossible to miss!

Back in their home country, Mom’s Touch has always been touted as the restaurant that serves properly-made food. In fact, for the uninitiated, the brand name Mom’s Touch derives from the notion of the way mothers prepare meals for their families –¬†heartwarming¬†– so you can certainly expect your food to be prepared with a great deal of passion and flair. Their renowned chicken, for instance, is hand-battered and hand-breaded in the kitchen and marinated with their very own special blend of seasoning for a fuller, tender and juicier taste.

Mom's Touch (SG) on opening night

Mom’s Touch (SG) on opening night – queue immediately started forming the moment the restaurant announced that there were still limited amount of fried chickens left

Despite being a newcomer to our shores, Mom’s Touch seems to have already won the hearts of the locals as evident from the snaking queue formed outside their PLQ outlet when it first opened its doors to the public on 30 August (though, to be fair, many of the patrons were Koreans who probably missed home, and there was an irresistible 3-day opening offer as well). The demand got so overwhelming that everything (the mains) was sold out by 5pm on the first day (ūüėĪ‚Ěó) that even food bloggers like myself who were invited down for media tasting in the evening had to be turned away. A few of us eventually stayed to try the desserts and a few sample portions of their fried and sauced chicken (apparently they brought in more chickens towards closing time but still ran out of buns to make burgers) so as not to waste the trip. Even though we were only expecting a few menu items, it wasn’t until 40 minutes later that we finally got them. So… hungry…

Left: Citrus Yuzu Orange Ade / Right: Raspberry Melon Ade

Left: Citrus Yuzu Orange Ade / Right: Raspberry Melon Ade (all at S$3.80 each)

Mom's Spicy Sauced Chicken

Mom’s Spicy Sauced Chicken (1 pc: S$3.80 / 2 pc combo meal: S$8.90 / 3 pc combo meal: $12.00)

Mom's Fried Chicken

Mom’s Fried Chicken (1 pc: S$3.60 / 2 pc combo meal: S$8.70 / 3 pc combo meal: $11.70)

But the food sat well on my palate – Mom’s Fried Chicken (available in spicy and non-spicy versions, though I must say the spiciness didn’t really hit me) was crispy and non-greasy while the sauced-drenched Mom’s Spicy Sauced Chicken was tantalising to say the least. It was also juicy and succulent – yum! Between both flavours, the latter stood out more because of its more flavourful aroma and sweetness. That said, opt for both on your first visit. After all, you can never go wrong with fried chicken.

Cajun fries

Cajun fries (S: S$2.60 / M: S$3.40)

The cajun fries we had were served fresh from the fryer so they were very crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside. Taste-wise, I thought they were comparable to Popeye’s which is one of my go-to places for cajun fries, so no complaints there.

Black Sesame Sundae

Black Sesame Sundae (S$3.80)

As for desserts, we were served Black Sesame Sundae which was essentially vanilla ice-cream topped with a pretty generous dose of black sesame powder, a few sticks of Oreo Pocky and some vanilla waffle biscuits which gave an added crunch to the whole texture – nothing really groundbreaking here but it was surely a great dessert to end a savoury meal.

Fortunately, a second tasting session was held and I was able to try most of their signature dishes. As it was on a weekday afternoon, the queue would have died down significantly. Still, we were not spared from the relatively long waiting time of about 20 minutes. Granted, it was an improvement from the previous visit but it was still a stretch for a fast food restaurant.

Post-promotional period.. there's still queue omagawd!

Post-promotional period.. there’s still queue omagawd!

Joining me at the panel was a companion who couldn’t quite take spicy so we ordered both Mom’s Thigh Burger and Mom’s Spicy Thigh Burger (what suggestive and cannibalistic names though… ūü§Ē) to provide you with the most balanced views.

L-R: (Cajun) Cheese Fries, Peach Pear Ade, Elderflower Apple Ade

L-R: (Cajun) Cheese Fries (S$4.40), Peach Pear Ade, Elderflower Apple Ade (at S$3.80 each)

The packaging of the burger!

The packaging of the burger!

Dinner of the day! Burgers, L-R: Mom's Thigh Burger, Mom's Spicy Thigh Burger

Dinner of the day! Burgers, L-R: Mom’s Thigh Burger (a la carte: S$5.70 / combo meal: S$8.20), Mom’s Spicy Thigh Burger (a la carte: S$6.00 / combo meal: S$8.50)

Close-up of spicy patty

Close-up of spicy patty

Non-spicy patty

Non-spicy patty

Both burgers came with the same chicken patty, freshly cut lettuce, onions and pickles with the only difference being the type of sauce used – Mom’s Thigh Burger was infused with homemade burger sauce while the spicy version drizzled with authentic Korean spicy sauce. Even though the sauce was given in generous amounts that could potentially turn anything soggy, the crispiness of the patty crust could still be distinctively felt with every bite and the buns remained fluffy and light. On the downside, we thought the tenderness of the patty was largely overshadowed by the insanely crispy batter, so much so that the meat felt almost non-existent in contrast.

Fleshy, succulent meat..

Fleshy, succulent meat..

What disappointed us more, however, was how different the actual thing looked from the images depicted on all their promotional materials which show an exaggeratedly thick stack of ingredients slapped between the buns (I’m sure it was done from a marketing standpoint to showcase what go into the burger more clearly but still… clueless people like us would naturally assume that the height is attributed to the thick patty instead) and that kinda distorted our expectations. I think the same issue applies to the other burgers as well, so take note and don’t have high hopes ūü§£

I haven’t been to any of their outlets in South Korea so I cannot tell if the quality and taste are consistent with the original. But based on what I have tried so far, the food is decent, something different from the usual Korean fare here, I guess. Of course, there are many more items on the menu which we didn’t get to eat because our little stomach could only handle this much food. So the only way for you to verify our reviews is to try them for yourselves! Just be prepared to wait, okay? ūüė¨

What is/are on your must-try list? If you’ve eaten at Mom’s Touch in South Korea before, are you excited about their arrival here? Otherwise, would you be keen to give Mom’s Touch a try? Let me know your thoughts and reviews (if you’ve already tasted the food) in the comments below!

On a side note, travelling 2800 miles to South Korea to get our Korean food fix may soon be unnecessary as more of such foreign-based restaurant chains permeate our local F&B scene! Woohoo!

Thanks for reading!

Mom’s Touch Chicken & Burger ¬∑ Paya Lebar Quarter, 10 Paya Lebar Quarter, #01-37, Singapore 409057 ¬∑ Operating hours: 10 am – 10 pm (including public holidays) ¬∑ Nearest MRT station: Paya Lebar (EW8/CC9) ¬∑ For more information, please visit Mom’s Touch FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized food updates!
Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
ūüėĀ

New Eats at 313@somerset + Tring 313 App

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

Isn’t it amazing that a small country like Singapore would be¬†able to accommodate the countless¬†malls we have today? Take the stretch of Orchard Road for example. To date, there are more than 20 shopping centres housed along the¬†2.2 kilometre-long boulevard¬†and¬†as a frequent¬†shopper¬†at the retail district, I can totally understand the dilemma of having too many malls to choose from. But I for one prefer to shop at malls that won’t burn a hole in my pocket (unlike y’know, luxury malls) because after all, I’m still a student. A broke ass one, that is.

Therefore I was really elated to know that one of my go-to malls in town – 313@somerset – has rolled out a FREE mobile application to help shoppers to discover exclusive offers and promotion from over 170 retailers within the complex itself!

Like Qoo10 and other group buying sites, the Tring 313 app is regularly updated with time-sensitive deals on food, gadgets and fashion items offered by merchants which you have to prepay to enjoy. It utilises location-based targeting technology to allow users who are within walking distance from their current location to be notified of a featured deal within the mall. But more often than not, these deals are so popular, they get snapped up even before they expire! This shows how much of a massive discount you can get out of these promotions for them to be so well-received.

For instance, I spotted a $30 for $50 Forever21 voucher while I was browsing the app on my bed late one night. As I was too lazy to get off my bed to get my credit card, I left the buying to the next day. But it was already gone when I woke up! Holy shizzle.

(ok lah I woke up pretty late that day, at like 2pm. But you get my point)

Anyway, since its opening in 2009, 313@somerset has been continually¬†renewing and adjusting its tenant mix¬†so¬†if you haven’t been to the mall in ages,¬†you are definitely in for a lovely surprise.¬†Now a¬†completely refreshed mall, it’s been updated with new F&B tenants such as Soup Stock Tokyo, O’ma Spoon, Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory and many more.

Now, let me take your stomach on a virtual culinary tour around some of the latest F&B offerings at 313@somerset. Get your tissue paper on standby to wipe any drool off your face.

Soup Stock Tokyo

Since its inception in Tokyo in 1999, Soup Stock Toyko has expanded with over 70 outlets in Japan and it has recently opened its third in Singapore. It is a fast food chain well-known for its soups which are made with fresh ingredients sourced from Japanese farms. Hungry mall-goers can also look forward to other food choices on the menu such as curry rice. As far as I know, the kitchen at the 313@somerset outlet is headed by a Japanese chef (same goes for the day-to-day operations, also run by a Japanese) to retain its Japanese feel.

There is¬†an ongoing promotion (“2 for 2”) for those who are dining in pairs. For just S$30.80, you and your buddy will get to choose your preferred curry to go along with your rice, a drink and a small soup each.

Drinks: Iced Tea, Lemon Tea Soda and Mint Soda

Drinks: Iced Tea, Lemon Tea Soda and Mint Soda

Soups (from top left, clockwise): Chicken Vegetable Soup, Pork and Tomato Stroganoff, Hokkaido Crab Bisque, Tokyo Beef Borsch

Soups (from top left, clockwise): Chicken Vegetable Soup, Pork and Tomato Stroganoff, Hokkaido Crab Bisque, Tokyo Beef Borsch

The Chicken Vegetable Soup was a clear broth with a choke-full of cabbage and meaty chunks of chicken for an added kick of protein.¬†¬†It had a mild but refreshing flavour that’s perfect for a chilly¬†day¬†and it’s¬†definitely also the soup to get if you’re looking for a light and healthy¬†entr√©e.

The Pork and Tomato Stroganoff, on the other hand, was a complete opposite in terms of taste as it was bursting with rich pork and tangy tomato flavours. The soup was slightly spicy on its own but if you have high spice tolerance, it should be subtle enough to slip past your tongue.

When it comes to gourmet soups,¬†I tend to gravitate towards those¬†with a creamier¬†and heavier consistency because they are¬†one comfort classic that help to satiate my hunger at the same time (though I’m not a fan of the calorie and the fat content). Therefore, my favourite out of the 4 soups I had¬†was the¬†Hokkaido Crab Bisque for¬†the same reason. However,¬†unlike other crab bisques I have tasted, the tomatoes (an ingredient which SST seemed to love)¬†which were simmered with the crab stock had kinda overwhelmed the more delicate crab flavour. But overall it was still quite¬†enjoyable. Perhaps SST can consider topping it with croutons to make it taste less “flat”.

Another personal favourite was the Tokyo Beef Borsch which had¬†caramelised onions and tender beef, onions, potato and carrots served in thick¬†and flavourful¬†brown soup. I simply love how the lemon slice¬†and yogurt¬†were¬†strategically positioned to¬†resemble a rising sun¬†with its reflection in the water (I know right, I’m so imaginative hahaha), probably to indicate¬†that it is the soup to drink to brighten up your morning.

Onion Chicken Curry

Onion Chicken Curry and Hokkaido Crab Bisque

Onion Chicken Curry

Onion Chicken Curry

Paired with moist brown rice laced with cooked onion, this dish hits a healthy home run. The pieces of chicken meat were tender and mostly deboned while the curry Рa yummy mix of spice (not spicy though) and cashew nuts Рwas fragrant and thick with a slightly foamy texture on the surface. I enjoyed the taste which leaned more towards the sweet side. The slab of onion in the middle was surprisingly sweet as well and it was soft enough for my fork to cut through it with ease.

Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry and Chicken Vegetable Soup

Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry

The piquant flavour of the curry came mainly from the tomato so the acidic taste was a little overbearing for me. It kinda reminded me of tomato soup, just slightly sweeter and richer because of the curry (which also contained watercress and spice). But it was a great complement with the moist Japanese rice.

Prices range from S$10.80 for a regular soup set (regular soup + Japanese rice or bread) to S$16.80 for a curry soup set (curry + rice + small soup).

Soup Stock Tokyo @ 313@Somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B-14 & B2-53/53A
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm Daily
Website | Facebook | Instagram


Chabuton

Owned by the world’s¬†first¬†Michelin-starred ramen chef¬†Yasuji Morizumi, this ramen restaurant has made quite a name for itself in both Japan and Thailand. Its first Singapore outlet at¬†313@somerset was first open in 2014 and since then it has went on to add 3 more outlets¬†across the island.

Feasting like there's no tomorrow

Feasting like there’s no tomorrow

Chabuton signature Ramen

Chabuton signature ramen

Chabuton Kara Kara Miso Ramen

Chabuton Kara Kara Miso Ramen (S$13.40++)

Topped with spicy minced pork and lean char siew slices, I believe it’s a ramen dish specially created for the Singaporean (or Southeast Asian) taste bud since the Japanese generally can’t take spicy food. The pork bone broth is¬†slightly more salty than I expected but from what I understand, patrons can tweak¬†the¬†oil and saltiness level of the soup and the spiciness of the meat to suit their preference.

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen (S$8.30++/S$11.90++)

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

The ramen that made Chabuton famous was also a tad salty (although not as much as the Kara Kara Miso Ramen) but I still preferred this for its creamier and richer broth. All ramen served in pork bone broth are sprinkled with roasted white sesame seeds to give an added texture and flavour.

Shoyu Zaru Ramen

Shoyu Zaru Ramen (S$11.90++)

This was an interesting ramen¬†because there’s a specific way to eat it.¬†The bowl of “soup” beside it is actually Chabuton’s signature Shoyu Sauce which acts as a dipping sauce for the ramen. To enjoy the Shoyu Zaru Ramen, you’d have to keep dipping the noodles into the sauce otherwise it’d just taste absolutely bland and dry. It got¬†pretty tiring after awhile (sorry la I’m very¬†lazy haha) so I ended up dumping a whole bunch of noodles into the warm sauce which turned cold very rapidly under the air-conditioning. But¬†the noodles certainly tasted a lot better and springier after it was “seasoned”.

Hitokuchi Gyoza

Hitokuchi Gyoza (S$5++)

Just one look at the flat bite-sized gyoza and you’d be able to tell that there wasn’t a lot of filling packed into each dumpling. However I liked the skin as it was crispy and not too oily.

Ika Karaage

Ika Karaage (S$5.00++)

The fried squid was cut into small cubes for easy sharing and was completely devoured at the end of the tasting. Each piece of tender squid was coated with a light and crispy batter that went really well with the dab of mayonnaise provided on the same plate.

Aka Ebi Mentai

Aka Ebi Mentai (S$4.90++)

Another side that was a hit among the bloggers was the Aka Ebi Mentai although I felt that the prawns were slightly overcooked as the shell didn’t come off cleanly. Still, they were very meaty and delicious.

Ajitsuke Tamago

Ajitsuke Tamago (S$3.00++ as an add-on with Buta Kakuni)

If you’ve been following my food reviews (especially those on Eggs Benedict), you should know that I’m extremely¬†particular about my eggs – the yolk has to be runny or the meal is ruined. The soft boiled eggs at Chabuton¬†came with a moderately runny yolk that would definitely harden if left a few seconds longer¬†in the pot. *phew*

Chabuton @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B2-01
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 11.30am – 10.00pm Daily
No website | Facebook


O’ma Spoon

The popularity of Korean food is on the rise in Singapore. O’ma Spoon is¬†the republic’s¬†first contemporary Korean dessert caf√© franchise and it specialises¬†in milk snow bingsu and other healthy desserts with most of its ingredients directly imported from Korea.

Yes, apparently bingsu doesn’t just refer to “shaved ice”. It could also mean “shaved milk” (made out of fresh milk) as demonstrated by the creators of the lovely desserts below:

Injeolmi Bingsu

Injeolmi Bingsu (S$12.90)

Injeolmi Bingsu

Injeolmi Bingsu – shaved milk

Wholly covered with Korean soya bean powder were some sticky Injeolmi rice cakes, crunchy cashew nuts and almond flakes layered around the nicely shaven milk ice. It’s a¬†nightmare for people with an allergy to nuts¬†but a total paradise for those who love them.

Mango Cheesecake Bingsu (Premium)

Mango Cheesecake Bingsu (Premium, S$18.90)

Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a slice of cheesecake (ah, didn’t capture it on camera but yes, there was indeed a slice of cheesecake magically stuck to one side) with¬†a¬†generous amount of fresh mangoes, blueberries and almond flakes surrounding the shaved ice, this bingsu is every sweet tooth’s dream and also one of the more¬†value-for-money desserts¬†at O’ma Spoon.

Green Tea Bingsu

Green Tea Bingsu (S$13.90)

Green Tea Bingsu

Green Tea Bingsu – shaved milk

And here comes the flavour that all matcha lovers *raises hand*¬†would go gaga over. Apart from the surface of the shaved ice, you’d be pleasantly surprised to see a layer of matcha powder hidden within¬†when you dig into it.¬†The scoop of sweet green tea ice cream atop the snow mountain was¬†an added bonus. Apart from that, there were also¬†red beans, almond flakes, cashew nuts and a dash of chocolate syrup to enhance the overall texture and taste.

Unless you have a really huge appetite, you may want to consider sharing the bingsu with your friends because the humongous portion is designed for 2 to 3 people.

Injeolmi Toast

Injeolmi Toast (S$8.90)

A cheaper and smaller alternative to the¬†Injeolmi bingsu (if you’re alone), the Injeolmi toast is a simple oven-baked honey bread dusted with Injeolmi powder with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Choco Strawberry Honey Butter Bread

Choco Strawberry Honey Butter Bread (S$14.90)

Or, you could go with a two inch-thick toast¬†slathered with chocolate spread and topped with strawberries, nuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But if I were you, I’d rather spend the money on¬†one of the bingsus because it’s more worthwhile.

O’ma Spoon @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#04-20/32
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm Daily
Website | Facebook


Pie Face

The world’s leading pie chain from Australia has arrived on the shores of Singapore with new flavours to its line-up of tasty Aussie pies. ¬†Established in 2003, Pie Face is best known for baking all of its gourmet pies from scratch as well as its delicious fillings created by its chief pie baker, Mr Francois Galand. Other than its array of pies, the micro-bakery cafe also serves artisan coffee, crumbly cookies, moist cakes and piping hot soups.

Meet the Pie Faces: Chunky Steak, Chicken + Mushroom, Chicken + Peppercorn, Classic Mince Beef, Thai Green Curry Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Creamy Vegetable, Creamy Mushroom

Meet the mini Pie Faces: Chunky Steak, Chicken + Mushroom, Chicken + Peppercorn, Classic Mince Beef, Thai Green Curry Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Creamy Vegetable, Creamy Mushroom (starting from S$3 each)

The flavours are distinguished by the faces on the pies. Find out more here.

Classic Mince Beef

Classic Mince Beef

Hand-piped with juicy ground beef mixed with onion, fresh coriander, garlic, gravy, tomato paste, these mini classic minced beef pies are savoury enough to make you swoon.

Spicy Chicken

Spicy Chicken

If you’re in for some tongue-tingling heat, you will very much enjoy these spicy chicken pies because they are all packed with chicken meat, onions, garlic, cracked pepper and… chilli padi!¬†The spiciness is no joke, I swear. I took a few¬†bites and my sore throat immediately worsened heaps. Haha! For a non-spicy version, try Thai green curry chicken pie ūüôā

The larger version of these pies are also hearty enough to be eaten as a meal.

Sweet Pies (S$3.30 each): Mini Coffee Mousse Pie, Mini Butterscotch Pie, Mini Green Tea with Red Bean Pie, Mini Raspberry Pie, Mini Chocolate Pie, Mini Lemon Pie, Almond Frangipane Pie, Apple Crumble Pie

Old and New Sweet Pies: Mini Coffee Mousse Pie, Mini Butterscotch Pie, Mini Green Tea with Red Bean Pie, Mini Raspberry Pie, Mini Chocolate Pie, Mini Lemon Pie, Almond Frangipane Pie (new), Apple Crumble Pie (new), all at S$3.30 each

Sweet Pies

Pretty colours!

Mini Raspberry Pie and Mini Butterscotch Pie

Mini Raspberry Pie and Mini Butterscotch Pie

The coloured pies are all¬†infused with sweet mousse-like filling (with the exception of the Lemon Pie which had a sour lemon custard). My favourite was the butterscotch pie because it’s so sinfully sweet (hehe).

Pie Face @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B3-10
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm Daily
Website | Facebook | Instagram


Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory

Adding to the long list of restaurants specialising in Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) in Singapore is Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory (pronounced chee-ruh chee-ruh) which stands out from the crowd with its unique menu.. and ridiculously big portions which can feed for me for days are meant for sharing among at least 4 diners.

Press for service

To save you from flailing your arms like an idiot

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Chir Cream Beer (full pint at 650ml, S$13.90++, and half pint at 350ml, S$18.90++), refreshing ice cold beer topped with a layer of fresh whipped cream

Lady Killer

Lady Killer (S$16.90++), mojito with an inverted Cass beer

Not a rum lover (or a drinker as a matter of fact) but the Lady Killer was surprisingly decent and refreshing with a not-so-strong alcoholic punch as I could still distinctively taste the lemon and mint. It also makes a great palate cleanser before the main course.

Red-gizer

Red-gizer (S$14.90++), strawberry slushie with coconut milk and an inverted Red Bull can

Don’t you find it fascinating¬†how a simple drink like Red Bull can be transformed into something so sophisticated? The Red-gizer¬†satisfied my sweet cravings with its insanely saccharine flavour.

Many of us were intrigued by how the inverted drink¬†was able to fill the cup with its content without overflowing, and even more so when we realised that it could also replenish the cup every time we took a sip.¬†It must be the angle, yes,¬†but¬†still it didn’t make sense. Since there wasn’t any obstruction at the opening, I reckon the crushed ice also played a part in regulating¬†the flow. Argh, couldn’t have my meal in peace without first unraveling this mystery!

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

Passion Yellow Tok! Tok! (S$14.90++ for non-alcoholic /S$18.90++ for alcoholic), a sweet and sour passion fruit mocktail

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

Passion Yellow Tok! Tok!

The sweet and tart passion fruit base instantly became fizzy beverage with an iSi soda charger. Soju would be added instead if we had gone with the alcoholic option.

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

Passion Yellow Tok! Tok! mixed with Blue Marine Tok! Tok! (S$14.90++ for non-alcoholic /S$18.90++ for alcoholic), a green grape mocktail to give a cool turquoise concoction

Other Tok! Tok! flavours available for you to experiment with are Blue Sky (blue lemonade) and Berry Purple (blueberry and forest berries).

Coconut Milktail

Coconut Milktail (S$12.90++), a sweet strawberry mocktail with soft coconut milk, and the blended Blue Marine and Passion Yellow Tok Tok in the background

Having any two of the above beverages would essentially be enough to fulfill your calorie requirement. They’re so sinful but oh-so-good!

Honey Grape Salad

Honey Grape Salad (S$18.90++)

Looking to begin¬†your meal on an even sweeter note? Try the Honey Grape Salad! It may not be the most appealing salad but boy, it was marvellous.¬†Toss¬†the¬†chilled seedless grapes,¬†raisins, walnuts, almonds with the ricotta and whipped cream and you’re ready to eat. The sugary and crispy tortillas were nice and crumbly and they¬†balanced out the juiciness of the grapes.

Nest Snow

Nest Snow (S$32.90++)

Nest Snow

Nest Snow

Seasoned with cajun (note: spicy) and topped with whipped cream, these chicken tenders that sit atop a bed of creamy white cheesy sauce and sweet salad (was pleased to see broccoli) were a bizarre combination but the taste proved to be totally off the charts.

Crispy Fried Wings

Crispy Fried Wings (S$26.90++)

Crispy Fried Wings

Crispy Fried Chicken

I’ve heard great things about the fried chicken¬†but the crispy fried chicken I had were disappointing – bland and too dry for my liking, probably because the kitchen was overwhelmed with orders that day (there was already a long queue waiting outside the restaurant at 2pm).

Garlicky Wings

Garlicky Wings! (S$28.90++)

Garlicky Wings

Garlicky Wings!

Garlicky wings¬†had a more promising flavour, of course. Topped with garlic flakes and fried garlic cloves to live up to its title, the crispy wings were doused in rich, fragrant, caramel-coloured soya sauce that didn’t quite deliver.¬†The soya¬†flavour was more muted as compared to that of soya chicken wings¬†I’ve had elsewhere.

Spicy Wings

Spicy Wings! (S$28.90++)

Spicy Wings

Spicy Wings!

The spicy wings stole the limelight. They were well-marinated which evened out the spiciness of the chilli sauce. I gotta admit, they were indeed spicy so you may need to take a few big gulps of water in between to mellow down the heat.

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken (S$29.90++)

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

A healthier alternative to fried chicken, the roasted chicken was aromatic and succulent in general, though some pieces were slightly drier.  All in all, the woodsy rosemary marinade really enhanced the overall meat flavour

Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B3-04/05/06
Singapore 238895
Operating hours:¬†Sun¬†–¬†Thur 10.00am –¬†10.00pm,¬†Fri¬†–¬†Sat 10.00am –¬†11.00pm
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Dinata

Its 313@somerset outlet is its only take-away kiosk in Singapore, specialising in traditional and authentic Portuguese snacks and pastries using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

Our pastries were delivered to our table packed in paper bags so some of them may appear¬†a little lopsided. Let’s just focus on the taste, shall we?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Indulgent treats (from left): Chicken Drumstick, Chocolate Doughssan, Cornucopia Hazelnut and Portugese Egg Tart

Portuguese Egg Tart

Portuguese Egg Tart (S$2.80)

The tart was a bit of a letdown because the¬†crust wasn’t very flaky (in fact it was a little soggy) and it kinda lacked the light texture I hoped for. I came across some online reviews on their egg tarts and¬†understood that it was supposed to have cinnamon sugar sprinkled on the surface. But that seemed to be missing from my tart. Having said that, the custard was smooth and I don’t mind giving their signature pastry¬†a shot again (definitely with the Tring 313 app!) because¬†after all, I love egg tarts.

Chicken Drumstick

Chicken Drumstick (S$1.20 for mini, S$2.20 for regular)

Known as Coxinha in Portuguese, this pastry contains thick chicken chunks covered in dough and moulded into a shape that resembles a chicken drumstick (hence the name), battered with bread crumbs and deep fried to give the golden brown appearance. The semi-cooked dough that lined the inner wall of the batter reminded me of glutinous rice, soft and sticky, while the chicken meat was more on the dry side. Nonetheless, this makes a suitable snack to combat hunger in between meals. Other variations available are the crab and prawn drumsticks specially catered to seafood lovers.

Cornucopia Hazelnut

Cornucopia Hazelnut (S$1.20 for mini, S$2.20 for regular)

These cone-shaped pastries, perhaps inspired from the shape of a conus (cone shell), were glazed with white icing and hand-piped with thick hazelnut cream that had a mild roasted taste to it. I started devouring it from the pointed end to prevent smearing my lips with the cream. Also comes with strawberry and coconut flavours for those with inquisitive taste buds.

Chocolate Doughssan

Chocolate Doughssan (S$1.20 for mini, S$2.20 for regular)

With a thick coat of chocolate frosting spread all over the top and rich, velvety chocolate cream infused into the topmost layer, these lip-smacking chocolate doughssans (a hybrid of donut and croissant) are the perfect alternative to éclairs for your parties. They were light and airy like donuts but lost out on the flakiness of croissants. Would probably taste better after warming it up (available upon request). Not fond of chocolates? There are also cream doughssans for you to indulge in.

Dinata @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B3-42
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm
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Hvala Waffle Bar

Operating on the same ground is Hvala, a dessert kiosk run by a young couple that sells waffles with a twist, and vanilla soft serve. But unlike typical ice cream parlours, Hvala serves their specialties separately because each of them is handcrafted with unique flavours (and toppings) that work on their own.

By the way, Hvala is¬†pronounced as “hva-la” with the h spoken quickly. But as we all know,¬†Singaporeans have lazy tongue so the unofficial pronunciation is “fa-la”. Hvala is¬†Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian for thank you¬†and it was¬†chosen as the business name¬†to capture the essence of the amazing hospitality and service of the Croatians.

Of Waffles and Ice Cream

Of Waffles and Ice Cream

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Salted Caramel

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Salted Caramel (S$3.00)

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Chocolate Fondue

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Chocolate Fondue (S$3.00)

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Maple Syrup

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Maple Syrup (S$3.00 without the toppings)

The high-quality soft serve ice creams are made with vanilla beans (evident from the little black specks all over the swirls) and they were seriously so decadent and creamy, they made all the vanilla ice cream I had before look bad. Had thought that I would prefer salted caramel more to the other two but I actually fell in love with the one drizzled with maple syrup. It blended well with the ice cream and enhanced the overall sweetness. The one with chocolate fondue required a bit more effort to eat because the chocolate hardened very rapidly above the cool temperature of the frozen food, therefore making it difficult to dig into the ice cream.

Enjoy a cup of vanilla soft serve to go with any waffles of your choice for just an additional S$2.50!

You can have your waffle tucked beneath the ice cream too!

NEW: You can have your waffle tucked beneath the ice cream too! (price varies according to the toppings you put)

Ooh waffle!

Ooh waffle!

I know I mentioned that their waffles and soft serve are sold separately but I guess after taking into consideration all the feedback from their customers, they had eventually decided to incorporate the waffle into the ice cream! But nothing beats having the full-sized waffles which come with many different toppings though.

Original Hvala Waffle

Original Hvala Waffle – served with maple syrup, icing sugar and cocoa powder (S$3)

Apple Cinnamon Waffle

Apple Cinnamon Waffle – caramelised apples with pastry cream, salted caramel and cinnamon powder (S$3.50)

Tiramisu Waffle

Tiramisu Waffle – homemade tiramisu cream and chocolate shavings (S$3.80)

The waffles, especially the original and apple cinnamon, were absolutely amazeballz. They were made to perfection Рwarm and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside. The portion was just right. I could easily finish one on my own if not for my exploding belly.

Prices are relatively affordable as you can tell and its popularity is slowly picking up (there was a short queue for it when I was there). Give it a couple of years and you will see outlets after outlets emerging all around the island.

Hvala Waffle Bar @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B3-50
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm Daily
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Oh am gee, are you spoilt for choice? If you wish to go on a food trail (like this) and try all the food featured above, perhaps the app I mentioned earlier can be of some help! With the Tring 313 app, you can take advantage of the deep discounts offered by these retailers and indulge in a feast without overspending.

Some current offers on Tring 313

Some current offers on Tring 313

Hvala Waffle Bar deal happening right now!

You can pay through PayPal or with your credit card!

You can download Tring 313 here (iOs) or here (Android).

Have fun pigging out and remember to tag @313somerset and hashtag #wealwaysshare and #313foodie in your photos on Instagram to gain likes from lurkers (hawhawhaw)!

Thanks for reading! ūüôā

313@somerset

313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Nearest MRT: Somerset
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