Three Buns @ Keong Saik Road

Hey everyone!

As much as I love to eat, being a non-driver has made me quite reluctant to travel to eateries that are inaccessible by train (which is my main mode of transport), and even more so if I have to walk under the scorching heat of the sun to get there. Therefore, even though I get tempted by enticing food pictures from cafes on Instagram all the time, I still hardly cafe-hop since most of the new startups are normally hidden in some secluded corners of Singapore.

However. lodging at Naumi Liora for our staycation had given me the opportunity to explore inconspicuous eateries in Chinatown area which I had previously found to be inconvenient by public transport. In fact, there was already one right on our doorstep!

Called Three Buns, it is a gourmet burger joint from South Jakarta and the brainchild of the PTT Family (I’d think PTT stands for Potato) which had already spawned 3 highly successful dining establishments in Indonesia namely Potato Head and Potato Head Garage in Jakarta, and Potato Head Beach Club in Bali. Three Buns arrived on Singapore’s shores some time in 2014 under the umbrella of the Potato Head Folk group and has been a pretty big hit among the nightlifers and office workers looking to unwind with some burgers and cocktails after a long day on the job.

View from our hotel lobby

View from our hotel lobby

Currently occupying the first two levels of the iconic Tong Ah building, it has its takeaway counter on the ground level and the dining area on the second. A lounge bar (Studio1939 Lounge) and a rooftop bar (The Rooftop Garden) – also part of the Potato Head Folk – sit on the third and fourth floor respectively.

Bulldog head logo

The signature logo of Three Buns is the head of a Bulldog, inspired by a staff member’s bulldog which frequented the PTT Family office grounds in Jakarta

Ground floor of Three Buns

Ground floor of Three Buns in the day

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Whimsical and nostalgic murals along the stairway that led us to the second floor

Dining area on the second floor at night

Dining area on the second floor at night

The mastermind behind the recipes of burgers is actually Chef Adam Penney from London who also helmed the kitchen of the widely acclaimed Patty & Bun burger restaurant, thus the expensive price tag for every burger on the Three Buns menu. Boyfriend and I only decided to dine there on the second night of our staycation (after much persuasion by him) because I was put off by the price. Be prepared to spend at least S$20 for a single burger and around $50 for a complete meal per pax.

The restaurant was a little dim at night so please pardon the poor lighting.

Beetroot & Horseradish Pickled Quail Eggs (S$10++) - "An intriguingly delicate flavour, these little gems are a stunning beetroot pink with a subtle freshly grated horseradish finish"

Beetroot & Horseradish Pickled Quail Eggs (S$10++) – “An intriguingly delicate flavour, these little gems are a stunning beetroot pink with a subtle freshly grated horseradish finish”

Served in the most unpretentious manner possible, these eggs were placed in a plain paper cup with no garnish whatsoever to liven up the dull presentation. Everything seemed to be true to its description except for the flavour. The eggs were nice and soft but they were so goddamn sour that it left my tongue feeling severely blistered for a day. I don’t know what that was but it tasted a lot like a truckload of vinegar. The sourness was so overwhelming that it kinda engulfed everything else, making it a struggle for us to finish the eggs. And S$10 for a few pieces of quail eggs soaked in beetroot juice? *scoffs* That money is better spent on something else on the menu so no, will not recommend this to anyone at all.

House Fries (S$5++) - "Double cooked, crushed herb salt"

House Fries (S$5++) – “Double cooked, crushed herb salt”

One of the cheapest sides available, the shoestring fries came in really small quantity that were gone in a flash. Oh well, at this point I’ve come to accept the fact that everything there was pretty much overpriced. But the fries were thick, crispy and salty enough for my liking.

Wings-Its (S$10++) - "Crispy, fall off the bone, twice cooked chicken wings, scallions & smokey BBQ sauce"

Wings-Its (S$10++) – “Crispy, fall off the bone, twice cooked chicken wings, scallions & smokey BBQ sauce”

I am bewildered by the pricing system at Three Buns. Isn’t it strange that these wings actually cost the same as the awful quail eggs? But unlike those eggs which totally didn’t justify the price, these wings were absolutely delicious! Topped with tiny chilli strips, green onion and bits of fried onion, they were sweet with a hint of spiciness. Love the distinctive crunchiness as well, which was the result of double frying. Brilliant!

Four Floors and Smokin' B-Boy

Cute stickers for Four Floors and Smokin’ B-Boy

Beef burgers are a specialty at Three Buns with the beef patties cooked medium unless otherwise requested. Chicken, lamb, crab, fish and vegetable (for vegans) burgers are also available on the menu.

Smokin' B-Boy (S$25++) - "Prime 120g beef patty, double applewood smoked cheddar, Dingley Dell beer & treacle cured bacon, BBQ ketchup, smoky mayo & crisp onions in a demi brioche bun."

Smokin’ B-Boy (S$25++) – “Prime 120g beef patty, double applewood smoked cheddar, Dingley Dell beer & treacle cured bacon, BBQ ketchup, smoky mayo & crisp onions in a demi brioche bun.”

The flavours were great because of the robust mixture of the beer and other sauces which trickled down my hand with every bite. Bacon and crisp onions were added to give the burger an added crunch but the patty was a little dry on the whole. Presentation-wise, it looked like any average and uninspiring beef burger, and messy, so to speak, because of that squashed bottom bun and excess piece of burnt cheese sticking out in the middle.

Prices for the burgers seemed to have been adjusted (or rather, inflated) to exclude the 7% GST and 10% service charge. From past reviews on other food blogs, the Smokin’ B-Boy used to be $28 nett but now, after factoring in all the additional charges, it amounts to almost $29.50. Nah, not worth it if you ask me. I would rather pay an extra dollar to get…

Four Floors (S$26++) - "Double prime 100g beef patties, double cheese, triple onions, lettuce, pickles, ‘Notorious T.O.M. sauce’ & den miso mayo in a demi brioche bun."

Four Floors (S$26++) – “Double prime 100g beef patties, double cheese, triple onions, lettuce, pickles, ‘Notorious T.O.M. sauce’ & den miso mayo in a demi brioche bun.”

THIS.

Two slabs of thick and succulent beef patties smothered in the most sinful combination of savoury sauces, layered with crunchy vegetables and an overflowing heavenly cheese, and sandwiched between two fluffy buns… I was in total awe. The burger was huge and packed with patties that were delicate and soft to the tooth. But unless you request for the burger to be sliced in four pieces, you would definitely need a big mouth to take a bite out of this burger without messing up the alignment.

A complimentary wet wipe is provided to clean your hands that were soiled with sauces while you luxuriate in the thick burger but it’s always good to prepare yourself with more in case one isn’t enough.

In general, everything – perhaps except for Four Floors – at Three Buns is pretty overpriced. The Smokin B-Boy was honestly just a better-than-average fare of its kind which I didn’t think warrant the hefty cost. The price of the nibbles (where the quail eggs are classified) are, needless to say, daylight robbery. But that’s just how I feel.

Would you pay $30 for a burger?

Thanks for reading!

Three Buns
36 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089143
Tel: (+65) 6327 1939
Email: wordup@threebuns.com
Operating hours : Tue – Sun 11am – Midnight
Website | Menu | Facebook

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PARK @ Holland Village

Hey guys!

My internship officially ended and apart from the fulfilling and rewarding experience I’ve gained from this opportunity (will talk more about my experience in my upcoming University post), I was also exposed to many great eats at Holland Village which is just an MRT stop away from where I worked. Holland Village is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés, making it a favourite haunt for foodies as well as working adults from nearby places like Buona Vista. Therefore, it is usually bustled with people (including students from schools around the area) especially during lunch hour.

Despite living in the Western side of Singapore all my life, I hardly travel to Holland Village so most of the food establishments there were new to me. But thanks to my wonderful colleagues who seemed to be a lot more well-versed in food trends than me, I now know where to head to when I crave for affordable Eggs Benedict or any American breakfast dish in general. Seriously, there’s a lot of cafés and restaurants selling such hipster food at Holland Village so naturally prices are kept to a reasonable level to keep up with the competition (all clustered at the same area). *secretly happy*

So, my young colleague friends (actually also interns like I was) brought me to this rather popular café that is apparently owned by local television and film actor Adam Chen. If you’re familiar with the place, you should know which establishment I am referring to because there’s only one celebrity-owned café there lah.

Yup, it’s PARK. Unlike its direct competitors D’Good Cafe (will review soon) and Hatched, it’s very conspicuously located beside the traffic intersection at the open junction of Holland Avenue and Holland Road. I remember seeing it a few years back when I was at Holland Village but it was closed (was on a Monday) so I never got the chance to visit it. After a long wait, my chance is finally here!

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PARK @ Holland Village

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PARK @ Holland Village

Indoor seating can be quite limited and it fills up fast especially during peak hours. Outdoor seating is available but I’m not fond of those tall chairs placed outside as I don’t like the idea of having my legs hanging free (and not forgetting they make getting down a whole lot more troublesome).

I think it’s also worth mentioning (to the boys) that the ladies who served us were friendly and… exceptionally pretty. Ah, eye candies to ogle on top of the good food offered at PARK. You’re guaranteed to have a smashing good time there! 😀

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(Friend’s order) Steamed Milk with some really old school biscuits

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Steamed Milk

If you’re yearning for a drink that is sweet and comforting yet healthier than the usual hot coffee or chocolate, perhaps Steamed Milk would make a great choice! It’s something I seldom see on the beverage menu as a standalone item too because it’s usually a dessert, like Steamed Milk custard, right?

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(Friend’s order) Eclair – maybe a new addition because it’s not found on the menu online

This is strictly for huge eclair lovers only because it’s nothing special really, just a blown-up refrigerated eclair.

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Truffle Fries (S$11++)

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Truffle Fries – “Our perennial favorite of fries tossed with white truffle oil and paste, sprinkled with a layer of parmesan cheese.

My colleagues and I had been to PARK together twice and both times we ordered the truffle fries because we really loved it! Depending on personal preferences, I love it for the added generous amount of truffle oil and of course, the grated cheese that melded beautifully with it. The fries were perfectly crispy as well and remained that way towards the end. However I do feel that it’s slightly overpriced because I could get equally good (or even better) and a way bigger portion elsewhere for the same price (or top up $4 for Truffle Shoestring Fries, that’s impossible to finish, at P.S. Cafe). Nonetheless, it’s probably the best truffle fries at Holland Village if you don’t wish to travel so far to satisfy your craving.

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Park Wings (S$9.50++)

We ordered the wings on our first visit and didn’t like them as they really tasted meh – overly dry, bland and lacked the distinctive flavours of the “variety of spices” (really interested to know what kind of spices were used though because I generally love anything with spices) stated on the menu. You wouldn’t want to reach for the second piece after the first and it didn’t help that we kinda overordered and were satiated by the time we finished out mains. But determined not to waste any food, a few of us forced ourselves to finish the wings. It was a torment. 😐

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(Friend’s order) Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte (S$15.50++)

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Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte – “Baked free range eggs, chorizo sausage, tomato sauce, and vegetables in casserole. Served with rosti, mushrooms, mixed greens, bacon and grilled tomato.”

This is undoubtedly one of the more popular dishes at PARK but I didn’t get to try it because I was too engrossed in my own food. Still, my friend only had good things to say about it and just looking at the pictures (and the ingredients – gosh, that’s a lot of stuff in there) can already make you salivate. I mean, you can never go wrong with runny baked eggs 😉

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Egg Royale (S$16.50++)

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Egg Royale – “Poached egg sit on toast, snow pea and smoked salmon, mixed greens, rosti potato, and sautéed mushrooms, served with home-made hollandaise” One thing not mentioned in the description is the unlimited supply of streaky bacon that came with the dish.

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Egg Royale

Perfectly runny eggs, thick and satiny Hollandaise sauce coupled with a heaping serving of healthy sides which I could never finish (oh là là the grilled cherry tomatoes that burst with juiciness in your mouth). The streaky bacon was way too much and slightly overdone. But on the overall, the dish was good and worth the money. And to prove my unwavering love for the Egg Royale, I actually ordered the same thing on both visits.

Apart from Egg Royale, there are also the standard Eggs Benedict and Egg Florentine (don’t know why only the “eggs” in Eggs Benedict is in plural form oops sorry for the grammar nazism) which really impressed me because finally we have a cafe that knows the different variations of Eggs Benedict. Click here to read more on the different types of Eggs Benny and be enlightened. You’re welcome.

Right after our hearty and satisfying lunch, we figured that we had some time and energy for camwhoring (we kinda devoted most of our Friday afternoons to intensive camwhoring sessions, especially after I bought a new selfie camera). Please bear with me while I share with you three of my favourite wefie shots outside PARK!

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Too much free time after lunch

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Everyone loves to camwhore using my camera hahaha

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❤ Miss this group of people so much!

And that’s about it!

Thanks for reading 🙂

PARK
281 Holland Ave
#01-01
Singapore 208996
For reservations, SMS no. of pax, time
and date of booking to +65 9721 3815 or
email info@parkgroup.com.sg
Operating hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, Sundays – 11:00am – 12:00am,
Fridays and Saturdays – 11:00am – 2:00 am,
(kitchen may close a few hours prior to official closing)
Closed on Mondays
Website | Menu | Facebook

Tai Lei Loi Kei 澳门大利来记猪扒包 @ nex

Hey everyone!

May has been a month of despair for the wallet because of all shopping and celebration expenses (Mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day) and it’s not going to get any better in June (no thanks to Father’s Day, boyfriend’s birthday, Chubs’ birthday and a friend’s wedding). To tide through this rather financially difficult period, boyfriend and I would have to scrimp and save on everything else including food, and that’s why we have been having home-cooked meals when we meet, or at budget eateries on certain days of the week. Since boyfriend lives in Serangoon, we would often go to nex for dinner.

Known as the largest mall in the north-east region of Singapore, nex (not poor grammar hor, the name of the mall is really stylized this way) first opened its doors in end 2010 to much fanfare and the delight of residents living on the other end of the purple MRT line. However, not all shops benefit from the surge of patrons obviously, as can be seen from the frequent change of tenants during just 4 years of its existence. But the mall recently underwent a major tenancy restructuring and brought in quite a number of well-known retailers and food establishments including one restaurant near the bus interchange. When it first opened we didn’t know it was popular and we even dismissed it as another fast food restaurant because its menu shows prominent pictures of burgers. Subsequently we kinda avoided that place (partly because it was always crowded) until 2 weeks ago when we couldn’t decide on an inexpensive place to eat. Looking through the menu again at the entrance, we came to realise that it was a restaurant from Macau called Tai Lei Loi Kei and it’s notable for its pork chop bun. It’s even endorsed by Hong Kong celebrities Nicholas Tse and Angelababy!

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Opened in December 2014, this nex outlet is its first in Singapore.

We dined at Tai Lei Loi Kei on two separate occasions to try out different food on the menu. Here’s what we had:

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Bouncy Noodles with Chicken Wings (S$7.90)

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Really nice wings!

The noodles were just about the right springiness and texture (love the not-too-soft and not-too-hard kind of chewiness). Flavour was great with a tinge of sweetness. My egg came with runny yolk and the chicken wings were still crispy even after some time! I was quite surprised by the number of chicken wings in the bowl too because it’s akin to serving another a la carte dish (chicken wings on a la carte basis come in 6 pieces) – all for just S$7.90!  I mean like c’mon, even a plate of dry noodles with just luncheon meat and egg costs S$8.50++ at Xin Wang Cafe so this is undoubtedly an awesome deal man!

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Signature Pork Chop Bun (S$6.90)

Boyfriend ordered this and I took a rather substantial bite out of it (hehe). The patty was a little tough and dry and the bun, though soft and fluffy, didn’t taste anything extraordinary to me. Beats me why this is their signature bun instead of the more delectable polo bun I got for myself.

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Polo Pork Chop Bun (S$6.90)

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Thick pork patty!

The crust is so crispy and the bun on the overall is so (but not overly) sweet, I love it! I reckon they used the same kind of patty as the one in the normal bun but it somehow tastes less bland and more savoury here. Perhaps the sweetness of the polo bun instantly compensates for the blandness of the patty on the taste buds!

Crave for some desserts? Simply upgrade the above mains to a set for just S$3-S$5 (price varies for different combo) and you can enjoy a cup of hot/cold beverage and either of the following:

(A la carte prices are reflected in brackets)

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Sawdust Cake in Original and Milo (S$3.50 each)

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Sawdust Cake (Original) – fine crushed biscuits layered with whipped cream

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Sawdust Cake (Milo) – Milo powder layered with whipped cream

These Serradura, or “Sawdust” in Portuguese, are the only deserts available at the restaurant and are best eaten chilled. I ate only the powder and crush biscuits and avoided most of the whipped cream because that’s what girls on diet do 😛

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Our choice of drink: Hot (S$2.60) and Cold (S$2.30) Macau Milk Tea. For set meals, add 10c for a hot drink and 60c for cold

Our milk tea was alright but they tasted really Singaporean, like teh at Kopitiam, lacking the Macanese feel.

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Macau Curry Fish Balls (S$4.90)

The fish balls were chewy and bouncy, very unlike the curry fish balls I had in Hong Kong which was a little tougher. I very much prefer this version because I like fish balls to be light and tender. And don’t be fooled by the piece of chilli in the bowl. The fish balls (and curry gravy) don’t taste spicy at all, trust me! 🙂

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Macau Chicken Wings (S$5.90 for 6pcs)

The same number of chicken wings is given for a la carte so I wouldn’t recommend ordering this individually because it’s more worthwhile getting it as a set with a main dish.

I haven’t been to Macau so I can’t compare this with the original. But judging from the hype around the outlets in Macau, I’m very sure the food tastes a lot nicer there 🙂

And that’s all for Tai Lei Loi Kei! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more food updates!

Tai Lei Loi Kei 澳门大利来记猪扒包
nex Mall
23 Serangoon Central
#B2-15
Singapore 556083
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