[XMAS BUFFET] Feast in Merriment @ Element, Amara Singapore

Hello everyone!

Let’s begin this post with a Christmas song sing-along! I know, why don’t we sing Deck The Halls, a crowd favourite at any Christmas party for sure?

♪ Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la 
♪ Tis the season to be jolly FATTY
Fa la la la la, la la la la ♪

Throw away your skinny jeans and belts because with all the Christmas-themed buffets in town, stretch pants are back in fashion once again! With so many festive buffets to choose from but a limited calorie budget to work with, hopefully this write-up on the Yuletide dinner and lunch buffet that’s set to launch on the eve of Christmas at Element (courtesy of Amara Singapore) would help you decide if it’s worthwhile to expand your waistline for. That is, unless you belong to the ‘I-can-eat-as-much-as-I-want-and-I-will-still-be-skinny’ group.

In which case, I hate you.

—🎄 Appetisers 🎄—

Cognac Lobster Bisque

Cognac Lobster Bisque

In the pot, this may look like an ordinary lobster bisque to you but it actually includes an ingredient which gives it an extra zing of flavour – Cognac. Added last to the bisque for a stronger kick, the smoothness and silky richness of the Cognac marries well with the sweetness and creaminess of the soup. Perhaps to cater to children and non-drinkers at the buffet, only a soupçon of Cognac was added so the slight bitter and tangy aftertaste that I got from the lobster bisque didn’t occur to me that it was Cognac. In fact, I had thought it was the spiciness from pepper because the distinctive bold flavour of Cognac just wasn’t picked up by my taste bud! Ironically, Fiona, who isn’t a fan of alcohol, could tell in one sip that there was liquor in the bisque 🤷 But it wasn’t too overpowering so she cleaned the bowl in no time!

Personally, I did not really like the texture of the lobster bisque as it was a little too watered-down for my liking and I prefer it to be creamier and heartier. Still, this is a rare find at any buffet and a must-try if you are a crustacean lover like me!

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa (reviewed here)

Tuna Tataki with Cucumber Ribbons and Puffed Quinoa (reviewed here)

One of my favourite dishes at Element makes an appearance again this Christmas! If you’ve not read my verdict on the tuna tataki on my previous post, I urge you to do so now for a more detailed review! But in summary, the cool, softly chewy texture of the Tataki was what does it for me and this was also probably why it was snapped up so quickly at the media tasting event 😍

Editor’s note: Most of them was taken away by you, my dear.

Smoked Duck, Salami and Prosciutto

Smoked Duck, Salami and Prosciutto

Honey Baked Butter Squash with Honey Mustard and Pumpkin Seed

Honey Baked Butter Squash with Honey Mustard and Pumpkin Seed

Diced to bite-sized pieces, the butternut squash felt squishy in the mouth, almost like the texture of potato but softer, and has a lightly sweet and nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin (although many would argue that they’re basically the same considering that they are used interchangeably in certain countries) on its own. The pumpkin seeds give it an added crunch while the honey mustard lends a slightly zestier and more savoury edge. This is definitely the dish to go for if you intend to start the buffet on a healthier note. But being someone who is huge on more piquant flavours, this was rather bland on my palate.

Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat with Duo Melon

Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat with Duo Melon

Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat with Duo Melon

Cocktail Prawn and Crab Meat with Duo Melon

A fine example of a simple yet elegant pairing that cannot go wrong, this dish features shredded crab meat mixed with a mayonnaise base and topped with a mountain of prawns. The prawns, which are deshelled for fuss-free eating, have such irresistibly crunchy and firm texture that I could not help but gobble up at least 15 pieces of them in one sitting. No doubt this is going to be a favourite among children and adults alike at the buffet table!

Marinated Duck Rilette with Red Wine, Dried Fruits and Gherkin Salsa

Marinated Duck Rilette with Red Wine, Dried Fruits and Gherkin Salsa

Believe it or not, the duck rillette took me some courage to overcome my apprehension of trying it. Apart from the fact that I had never eaten meat prepared Rillette-style (a cooking method originated from France 🇫🇷) before, it honestly wasn’t the most appealing dish on the buffet table. But I recalled tasting the tuna tataki for the first time and instantly falling head over heels for it. Thinking that this would turn out the same way, I took the plunge and scooped some of the duck rillette along with the sauce onto my plate.

Voilà! Fortune favours the brave, perhaps. The duck rillette (or rillettes de canard, as the French calls it) came across as a breath of fresh air. Soft and smooth in texture, it was akin to the texture of a pastry or pâté. By itself, the meat was rather salty (and in Fiona’s words, tasted like “mushy canned food”) so pairing it with the red wine sauce – which resembled and tasted delightful like cranberry jam – would be highly recommended as the sweetness of the sauce evens it out. This would also go perfectly with bread!

—🎄 Main Course🎄—

Turkey Buah Keluak

Turkey Buah Keluak

What’s Christmas in Singapore without roast turkey smeared with the familiar buah keluak (yes, it isn’t charred although it looks like it)? From cempadak creme brûlée to pandan pudding, it seems like we can always count on Element to come up with the most innovative fusion food ideas regardless of the occasion. And in case you didn’t know, buah keluak (or pangium edule, Malay for “the fruit which nauseates” 🤨) is dubbed the black truffle of the East as it is considered an acquired taste. Used mainly in Malay, Indonesian and Peranakan cooking, these seeds are obtained from their poisonous fruit and are then made safe for consumption by fermentation.

The presence of the buah keluak lends a bitter and earthy taste to the turkey, which would otherwise be terribly bland and dry like chicken breast meat (but twice as bad). According to the chef, this took three days to prepare which, unless the turkey is served to a large group of people who love jaw-tiringly chewy meat, isn’t worth the effort (and slaughter). That said, I truly appreciate the creativity and ingenuity presented in this dish and would recommend this to homesick non-Asians who don’t mind a little South East-Asian twist.

Stir-fried Moreton Bay Bug with Salted Egg

Stir-fried Moreton Bay Bug with Salted Egg

Who would have thought a foreign-sounding crustacean could be localised into a dish that would fit my palate to an absolute T? The creaminess of the salted egg sauce coupled with the firmness and lightly crispiness of the meat was a dream-come-true.  Unlike typical salted egg dishes that would bring you to a state of surfeit (i.e. “gelat“) after a few mouthfuls, this just kept me asking for more. I figured it was probably due to it being infused with some spice during preparation.

Steamed Garoupa with Lime Beurre Blanc topped with Tomato Vierge

Steamed Garoupa with Lime Beurre Blanc topped with Tomato Vierge

Roasted Chicken with Meat Floss

Roasted Chicken with Meat Floss

Tajima Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras, Truffle Mashed Potato and Port Jus

Tajima Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras, Truffle Mashed Potato and Port Jus

The addition of the foie gras (those whitish slabs but in very limited quantity) was a splendid touch as it helped to bring out the flavour of the wagyu beef even more. However, probably to cater to the masses at the buffet, the meat was generally cooked to medium which made it somewhat tough and chewy and thereby cheapen the quality of the meat. I feel that this would be better suited at the live station so patrons can request for their steak to be cooked to their preferred doneness (which in my case, would be rare). Furthermore, as an avid lover of wagyu beef, it also kinda annoyed me that the beautiful marbling of the wagyu beef was wholly concealed by the charring and port jus sauce 😫 Where’s the justice for the poor wagyu cattle that died for this?

— 🎄 Desserts🎄—

Cempedak Creme Brûlée

Cempedak Creme Brûlée

The Cempedak Creme Brûlée is like the pinnacle of the Christmas tree as it is, without a doubt, the ⭐ of the dessert section (and as a result of that, effectively stealing the thunder from the log cakes at a Christmas-theme buffet 🤣). Find out why this is the best dessert in my tummy’s opinion on my previous review here.

Macarons (Gingerbread Spices / Coconut / Blueberry + Salted Caramel) - 6 pcs/pack at S$16+ or 10 pcs/pack at S$25+

Macarons (Gingerbread Spices [pink] / Coconut [white – highly recommended] / Blueberry + Salted Caramel [blue – highly recommended]) – 6 pcs/pack at S$16+ or 10 pcs/pack at S$25+

Ho, ho, ho! Spot me on the Christmas log cakes!

Ho, ho, ho! Spot me on the Christmas log cakes!

Fancy gifting your loved ones a log cake to commemorate the season of giving? Element also offers traditional log cakes in three tantalising flavours to suit different tastes. They are available for order at the restaurant.

Amara's Signature Cempadak Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$65+)

Amara’s Signature Cempedak Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$65+)

Out of all the log cakes that were brought out, the Cempedak Yule Log Cake was the first to be reduced to nothing which pretty much attests to the popularity of the cempedak in Element’s dessert line-up. The log cake had a fluffy texture with a very robust cempedak flavour that was fragrant and yet not too overpowering at the same time. Each bite of the cake melted in my mouth before I realised what was happening.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$52+)

Dark Chocolate Cherry Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$52+)

 

Pink Champagne Lychee Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$52+) - this is alcoholic

Pink Champagne Lychee Yule Log Cake (1 kg, S$52+) – this is alcoholic

Christmas is the time to spend with your family and loved ones, and what better way to do so than to indulge in some cempedak goodness (and many other crowd favourites) at Element? If you’re interested to dine at Element, do make your reservations in advance to avoid being a sad 🐼!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Element at Amara Singapore · 165 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088539 · Tel: 6879 2607 · Nearest MRT station: Tanjong Pagar (EW15) · Click here for more information
Prices and time for Christmas Eve/Christmas Buffet Lunch and Dinner as above

Prices and time for Christmas Eve/Christmas Buffet Lunch and Dinner as above 

The writer is a glutton who occasionally allows his appetite free rein and steals food from Fiona’s plate. Among some of his favourite food are a good steak and meaty crabs doused in chili sauce. Read more posts by Alphonsus here.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized food updates!

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‘Tis the Season to be Feasting at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

As the year draws to a close, many of us are getting into the holiday spirit by decking our houses with Christmas and New Year decorations.  At the same time, we may also take this opportunity to gather our loved ones for a memorable reunion. But no reunion would be complete without great food that puts everyone in the festive mood and what better place to experience both simultaneously than throwing a little party at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport where you are able to enjoy a wide selection of delicious and hearty meals? 😉

If you’re intending to play host to this year’s Christmas or New Year celebration but don’t feel like sweating your butt off in the kitchen and yet have no idea where to hold it, Crowne Plaza has rolled out a variety of dining options this yuletide season that centres around conversations and connections. The inspired fusion of flavours and menu items offered at their Lobby Lounge (Yuletide Takeaways) and Azur Restaurant (Festive Buffet) are sized to suit smaller more intimate gatherings among close friends and immediate family members.

Yuletide Takeaways @ Lobby Lounge

From 1 to 26 December 2015, guests can tuck into a series of delights from the Lobby Lounge specially created for this festive month at the comfort of their home. Feast your eyes and stomach on a gourmet paradise of beef, turkey and lamb, as well as a mouthwatering lineup of cakes and pastries to tantalise your taste buds.

But before I go into those, let’s kick things off with some appetisers!

Pumpkin salad

Pumpkin salad – a mix of pumpkin and chestnut

Fruit salad

Fruit salad – a mix of apple, tomatoes, melons, strawberry and nuts

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar (price not available)

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Salmon cavier

Salmon caviar

The scallop was well-seared on both sides with a fleshy, juicy and fibrous middle. It was drenched in salty gravy and paired with a layer of spinach at the bottom. The salmon caviar gave an additional burst of flavour. However, you may need to request for this dish because it’s not listed on the order chit.

The highlight of the Yuletide Takeaways is the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib which is sous vide (sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a hot-water bath of 70 degree Celsius, the same reheating method if you’re planning to eat it at a later time) for 24 hours before being roasted in the oven.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

The ambrosial yet not-too-overwhelming flavour of the beef short-rib comes mainly from the BBQ gravy which sweetness is melded with the natural fragrance of the meat. The short-rib itself was incredibly soft with a gorgeous pink centre and perfectly rendered fat. And because it was so tender and buttery, none of it got stuck in my teeth! However, due to the time factor in the preparation of the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib, an advance order of 3-4 days is required prior to collection.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Of course, when it comes to a Christmas get-together, the dining table needs to have some sort of a roast bird, usually turkey. Having eaten it about twice in my life, I had come to a conclusion that turkey meat is not my cup of tea because of its awfully dry and tough texture. I assumed it was the same for all turkey meat in general. But Crowne Plaza has managed to prove me wrong once again!

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Doused in rich and delectable Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce that tastes like sweet curry, the Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices is a classic example of when East meets West. The turkey itself is roasted for 6 hours at 70 degree Celsius to a golden yellow and, although somewhat thicker than chicken meat, was an absolute joy to eat for it was so succulent and chewy! The thin savoury skin (the closest description I can think of is that it is quite similar to the roast chicken skin at Poulét) was the winner for me because it was what got me hooked! I just couldn’t resist getting more servings of the turkey meat XD

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

If you prefer a more traditional take on the turkey, the House Special Roasted Turkey Marinated with Maple Glaze and Chestnut Stuffing served with Cranberry Sauce (S$135+, 5 kg) might just be what you’re looking for! Each whole turkey can serve approximately six to eight guests comfortably.

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, one cannot forget the lamb due to its significance in the bible (and symbolism of Christ). The Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Garlic & Caramelised Shallot Sauce ($160+, 2.6 kg) is soaked in orange brine overnight before being marinated in a fragrant combination of rosemary and garlic, and finally slow roasted at 70 degrees Celsius for over seven hours. If you’re game to try something new this Christmas (since lamb is more commonly served on Easter), you might want to give this dish a go!

Rounding out the Christmas menu from the Lobby Lounge are two festive log cakes handcrafted by the hotel’s pastry chefs because… what’s Christmas without log cakes? Indulge in either the Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse or the more conventional Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake (or both, to get the best of both worlds 😉 ). Featuring a light and tangy raspberry yoghurt mousse overlaying juicy lychee bits and rose-flavoured jelly in the cake centre, the former is the answer to guilt-free (not 100% but still…) log cakes. The slightly tart (acidic) overall taste helps to relieve a bit of the bloatedness from the hearty meal.

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

The chocolate log cake, on the other hand, has a wafer-like hazelnut centre that has got that crunchy going on every bite.  It is not excessively sweet too as there was a tinge of bitterness in the chocolate. Designed to resemble an actual log from an enchanted forest, it comes topped with seasonal decorations like a mini Christmas hat. How cute!

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Since Crowne Plaza is conveniently located at Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, guests can, upon returning from their travels, pop in the Lobby Lounge for a quick takeout before heading home. But as most of these dishes require time to prepare, you are encouraged to place your orders at least 3 days in advance to avoid disappointment! To place an order for Yuletide Takeaways, visit the hotel’s Festive Desk (24 Nov – 24 Dec 2015, 9am – 9pm), call +65 6823 5367, fax your order to +65 6823 5301 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm) or email christmas.cpca@ihg.com. The last collection for all Yuletide Takeaways are on 26 December 2016.

Psst.. festive hampers are also on sale if you’d like to build stronger networks with your clients *winks* More information can be found here.

Festive Buffet @ Azur

Otherwise, if you dislike waiting, Azur Restaurant also has an array of Christmas-themed selections for their festive buffet that’s catered to both Asian and Western taste buds, available from 1 to 30 December 2015. Buffet items are served in small portions to allow sampling of all the different food offered at the international buffet. Looking for ways to reward your staff for their hard work and effort throughout the year? There are round tables for larger group dining reservations for everyone to bond and laugh over brunch, lunch and dinner.

Dessert spread at the buffet

Dessert spread at the buffet

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Pricing plan

Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner (24 December 2015)*
Adult $ 70 ++ Child $ 35 ++

Christmas Day Brunch (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Christmas Day Dinner (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

Boxing Day Brunch (26 December 2015)
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Festive Buffet Lunch (1 – 23, 27 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

Festive Buffet Dinner (1 – 23, 26 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 55 ++ Child $ 27.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Lunch (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Dinner (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

*Spot jolly ‘ol Santa on 24 and 25 December 2015 and receive a little blessing of joy. Santa will be roving around during meal times at Azur Restaurant

To make a reservation, please call 6823 5354 or email azur.cpca@ihg.com. Reservations are highly encouraged. Visit the Crowne Plaza Dining website for more information.

That’s all, fellow foodies! Get feasting! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Crowne Plaza @ Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
For reservations: 6823 5367 (Yuletide Takeaways) / 6823 5354 (Festive Buffet)
Or you may email christmas.cpca@ihg.com (Yuletide Takeaways) /
azur.cpca@ihg.com (Festive Buffet)
Please visit their website or Facebook for more information

Crab and Crêpe Buffet @ Azur

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

Due to the distance from where I live, the thought of visiting Changi Airport for recreational purposes has never crossed my mind. All my trips to the airport were either to catch a flight or mainly to welcome the arrival of my loved ones.  They were usually a hasty process so most of the time I would be too preoccupied to explore the surroundings and amenities.

However, every time I was driven to the airport, my attention would never fail to wander off to the façade of Crowne Plaza  The 5-star airport hotel is exceptionally breathtaking with its captivating three-dimensional lace screens resembling orchid petals on the exterior.  It had an inviting presence, yet I had not been inside because I had never wanted to drift too far off the arrival and departure halls. Nobody I know has ever held a wedding banquet there too so there was absolutely no reason for me to set foot in the hotel.

But now, there could be an excuse for me to do so!

From 25 September to 29 November 2015, patrons are able to enjoy Singapore’s most-loved crustacean and delightful savoury and sweet crêpes in an East-meets-West fusion style buffet at the award-winning Azur Restaurant located on the second level of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Put together by Executive Chef Kiang Siang Heng and his culinary team, this special weekend-only dinner buffet boasts an array of delectable crab creations, poached tiger prawns and freshly shucked oysters at the seafood bar.

On top of that, diners can also expect sashimi, enticing appetisers like the oriental roasted crêpes (a.k.a Peking Duck Pancakes) and tasty soups at the buffet spread. Finally, finish off the hearty meal with a selection of beloved desserts like durian pancakes, chocolate fountain, ice cream and pastries to give your tongue a sweet twist.

Here are some of the highlights of the buffet that’s bound to be a hit with everyone, regardless of age and especially so if you’re an ultimate crab lover!

Appetisers and Soups

Let’s begin with the first course of the meal. There were 2 choices of soup available – the Hot and Sour Crabmeat and King Crab Bisque with Lemon Cream, each prepared to stimulate different parts of the taste receptors.

Hot and Sour Crabmeat Soup

Hot and Sour Crabmeat Soup

As the name implies, the Hot and Sour Crabmeat Soup was both hot in terms of temperature (not so of spiciness but it could be just me) and slightly acetic with a generous amount of crabmeat and carrot shredded in thin strips. If you’ve tried Sichuan Hot and Sour Soup before, this tasted exactly like it but probably with a lighter texture. However, the soup wasn’t really popular because there was obviously a better option right beside it.

King Crab Bisque with Lemon Cream

King Crab Bisque with Lemon Cream

Under the recommendation of Jolyn who had so kindly extended the media invitation to my boyfriend and I, I tried the King Crab Bisque. Thick, full-of-flavour and rich, the crab bisque was one of the best I had tasted and I had even helped myself to another serving (filled to the brim of the bowl) before leaving the restaurant. It was so darn good. To add a little crunch, I topped the soup with some croutons. Like a sponge, they absorbed the soup and created a mini taste explosion in the mouth. Wouldn’t mind going back again just for this.

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Oriental Roasted Duck Crêpes

Ever since Modern Peking Duck closed permanently at Vivocity and ION Orchard (and does anyone know why and where they are now?), boyfriend and I have been seriously deprived of some succulent Peking roast duck pancakes drenched in delicious hoisin sauce. Fortunately, our psychological craving for them was temporarily satisfied at Azur.

Prepared freshly at room temperature, these crêpes would vanish completely every time a new batch was brought forward. Each roll was made in relatively smaller portion so that you can easily pop it in your mouth. The duck meat was tender but not juicy enough to make up for the absence of hoisin sauce in the roll. Therefore, the entire crêpes actually felt a little dry.

Vegetable Terrine with Roasted Bell Pepper & Chervil Oil

Vegetable Terrine with Roasted Bell Pepper & Chervil Oil

It takes an acquired taste to appreciate terrines because of their unusual taste and texture. But if you love livers, you’d definitely love these. I couldn’t identify the type of meat used to make these terrines (though definitely not pork as Azur doesn’t serve pork and lard but it could well be chicken) because they were extremely soft and delicate to the touch with a buttery feel, like tofu but way smoother and mushier. It didn’t require much effort to break them apart because they would practically just melt in my mouth. However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not something that most people would enjoy and I, for one, did not 😦

The Homemade Crab in Crêpes Station

The Homemade Crab in Crêpes Station

Combining two main elements of the buffet, the Homemade Crab in Crêpes Station offers a variety of savoury crab fillings like Curry Mayonnaise Crab, Sambal Dry Shrimps Crab, Crab Meat Goulash, Honey Pineapple Chicken and Crab and Crab Wasabi on a plain yet delectable crêpe. The portion is humongous so you’d probably need to share it with your companions.

There is also another crêpe station where you can pick up a hot dessert of delicious French pancake in orange butter sauce.

Seafood Bar, Sashimi & Sushi

Moving on to another segment of the buffet, the seafood bar promises a wide selection of crab dishes such as Spanner Rock Crabs paired with fragrant coriander dressing and Cold Stone Crabs that are best eaten with a mandarin orange compote. You can also make your own cold seafood platter with some Cold Alaska Crab Claws, Poached Tiger Prawns, Freshly Shucked Oysters and perhaps Salmon Sashimi.

Freshly Shucked Oysters

Freshly Shucked Oysters

Perfectly shucked and smoothly tumbled, not a speck of dirt or shell fragmentation could be found on my glistening oysters which looked really seductive by the way. The oysters were gorgeously displayed on a bed of ice to keep them chilled. While they were all remarkably fresh, I felt that they could be even fresher if they were shucked to order. Nevertheless, the oyster flesh was huge, very meaty and slippery with a hint of natural saltiness. They had a distinctive seawater smell but it was mild enough to be overlooked. But if you’re easily bothered by it, you can squirt lemon juice over the oysters to mask the smell.

Spanner Rock Crabs

Spanner Rock Crabs

These Spanner Rock Crabs were a bit of a hassle to eat. Although they were already broken up at the carapace for patrons’ convenience, other areas like the claws were not. But even with a crab cracker, the shell took awhile to break because they were as hard as rocks. And the amount of cold crab meat you obtain after going through all the trouble is just miserable. Being the lazy person that I am, I don’t think this crab is worth all the effort and mess and I would rather spend the time on cooked crab dishes.

Poached Tiger Prawns

Poached Tiger Prawns

Sushi

Sushi

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

No Asian-theme buffet would be complete without a sushi bar. Likewise for Azur, it was no exception. The miniature sushi corner is stocked with Salmon and Tako sashimi and Ikura Salmon Roe Sushi Rolled with Crêpe that’s specially created to suit the theme. You would also be spoilt for choice with an assortment of Nigiri Sushi like Tamago, Ebi and Tuna. In need of more carbs to fuel your body? Try Cha Soba with Mud Crab Roe and Unagi!

But honestly, unless you’re a diehard sushi fan who, I don’t think the sushi are spectacular and can be skipped. The Salmon Sashimi were in dull orange and they lacked the shiok factor because they weren’t cold enough although they were replenished quite regularly. There were definitely other foods at the buffet that were more worthy of your stomach space.

Hot Asian and Western Crab Dishes

A varied selection of crab and seafood-theme Asian and Western dishes can be found at two show kitchens. The Hawker Stall features a different popular local crab dish rotated every thirty minutes to an hour. I spotted Salted Egg Crab while making my rounds and maybe Curry Crab too. If you’re lucky enough, you may find other crab dishes like Wok Fried Cereal Crab, Black Peppercorn Crab and Singapore Chilli Crab.

Salted Egg Crab

Salted Egg Crab

The Salted Egg Crab is another favourite dish of mine that evening. Coated with thick and grainy golden salted egg batter, the crabs were cut up into manageable portions with almost an equal proportions of meat in every little piece. Among them were chunks of salted egg batter which you can probably just eat for fun. Despite using smaller crabs for this dish, there was surprisingly an abundance of meat and the crab shell was interestingly edible as well!

Crab-Chicken Meat Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers

Crab-Chicken Meat Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers

Spanish Paella with Baked Crab and Tomato Sauce

Spanish Paella with Baked Crab and Tomato Sauce

If you’re beginning to suffer from crab-fatigue, fret not! There are also other hot dishes available at the Hawker Stall. There you will be able to find Crayfish with Blue Sea Prawn and Minced Chicken in “Rendang Style” and a Thai-inspired dish called “Bamee Poo”. The latter is an egg vermicelli noodle dish mixed with a rich sauce made of garlic, fish sauce and light sauce, topped with sweet steamed crab meat, fried ikan bilis and tangy green mustard. Whoa! Sounds absolutely marvelous, doesn’t it?

Blue Sea Prawn & Minced Chicken in Rendang Style

Blue Sea Prawn & Minced Chicken in Rendang Style

Deep-fried Crabmeat and Tofu with Leek & Oyster Sauce

Deep-fried Crabmeat and Tofu with Leek & Oyster Sauce

Grilled Beef Yakitori with Crabmeat Ball

Grilled Beef Yakitori with Crabmeat Ball

For diners who are looking for western options, some of the highlights from the Western show kitchen are the Saffron Rice with Tomato Crab, Baked Whole Barramundi Fish with Crab Meat Herbs Crust, BBQ Sri Lanka Crab, Crispy Dungeness Crab Cakes with Chestnuts in Mango-Pineapple Salsa and Steamed Stone Claw with Zesty Orange Horseradish Sauce.

Baked Whole Barramundi Fish with Crab Meat Herbs Crust

Baked Whole Barramundi Fish with Crab Meat Herbs Crust

Another highly sought-after dish at Azur, the whole Barramundi Fish (also known as Asian Seabass) was reduced to a partial skeleton within minutes of putting it out for the public to devour. The skin of the fish was fried to a crisp and its flesh were luscious and juicy. I had never seen nor tasted crust made of crab meat before so this was certainly new and refreshing to me.

Dessert Island

Finally, complete your feast with some desserts. At the dessert corner, you will be able to find timeless classics like Durian Pancakes and Chocolate Fountain with mixed berries, melons and marshmellows. Other forms of chilled miniature desserts are also available should you be too replete for anything more. All pastries except for the kuehs are personally prepared by the chef himself.

Durian Pancake

Durian Pancake

Regrettably, the miniature durian pancakes were a bit of a letdown. Not only were they cold and slightly soggy because they were obviously mass-prepared and left to cool for awhile, the pancake itself felt a little too mushy and starchy for my liking. Their only saving grace was perhaps the durian pulp which was fragrant (duh!) and creamy.

Kueh Pie Tee

Kueh Pie Tee

Ingredients for Kueh Pie Tee

Ingredients for Kueh Pie Tee

Marshmallows to dip into the chocolate fondue

Marshmallows to dip into the chocolate fondue

Garnishes for your ice cream

Garnishes for your ice cream

If I still had space for ice cream, I would have totally gone crazy with the garnishes especially those M&Ms chocolates!

Lemon Curd Pie

Lemon Curd Pie

With a portion so small, you definitely won’t feel guilty about eating these Lemon Curd Pie. Dressed with berries and a mixture of stevia and lemon powder, the pie gave an addictively tart flavour which propelled me to get another helping. It was piquant and delicious and I just loved how the beautiful crust crumbled in my mouth.

Green Tea Panna Cotta

Green Tea Panna Cotta

The visually striking presentation of the panna cotta first caught my attention. The soft and silky green tea cream sat cleverly atop a layer of mousse (can’t remember what flavour) and embellished with a rose macaron and a slice of strawberry. The cream had a faint tinge of bitterness but the overall taste was decent. Perhaps it would go better with red bean mousse.

Red Bean Custard

Red Bean Custard

More desserts

More desserts

Nutty Crumble & Coconut Tartlet

Nutty Crumble & Coconut Tartlet

Small enough to fit the entire piece into the mouth, these tartlets were not only aesthetically pleasing but also very easy to eat! Topped with blueberries and pounded nuts, the coconut-laden tartlets were dusted with cocoa powder on the surface. The blueberries lent a sweet flavour and juicy quality to the tartlet which could otherwise be dominated by the bland and fibrous grated coconut. Hence, the resulting taste was an exquisite surprise.

Nonya Kueh

Nonya Kueh

Nonya Kueh

Nonya Kueh

All in all, the extensive spread of high-quality food at the buffet was definitely beyond impressive. I like that diners can literally try all the different crab creations at the same time and to their heart’s content. But I feel the price tag of $75++ per person for a not-so-novel concept (as quite a number of restaurants have already rolled out similar crab-themed buffets in recent years) is a tad extravagant. On the other hand, crab lovers with an insatiable appetite may find the price extremely reasonable. So yeah, to each his own, I guess!

What do you think? How do you find the food? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for the warm hospitality, Azur!

Thanks for the warm hospitality, Azur!

Thanks for reading!

The Crab and Crêpe Buffet is priced at $75++ per pax and available for dinner on Friday to Sunday. Prices are subjected to a 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes. Prior reservations are greatly encouraged.

Azur
Crowne Plaza @ Changi Airport
Level 2
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
Call 6823 5354 for reservations
Website | Facebook | E-mail

District 10 Bar & Grill @ Suntec City

MEDIA INVITE

Hello everyone!

Since the reopening of Suntec City after a year-long (felt like forever, though) refurbishment in 2013, the crowds seem to have diverted from rat-plagued Marina Square to the newly renovated mall (have you been there yet? It’s massive). While a small part of Suntec City is still preparing to open to shoppers, most of the shops have already started operating. with some located at the inner part of the mall opening as late as this month.

And one of them is District 10, a rather cozy-chic restaurant serving modern European cuisine in a casual yet sophisticated al fresco and indoor setting. Formed in 2009 and headed by Chef Luca Pezzera, District 10 has 3 other outlets in Singapore and one in Medan, each bearing a different theme.  While these outlets offer the usual pub fare like burgers and fish and chips, the latest addition at Suntec City – which had only started on the second week of September – specialises in dry aged meat and provides a more upmarket choice of food and wine.

Just to sidetrack a little, the name District 10 brings me back to those days when I worked as an assistant to an estate agent who dealt primarily in private properties in prime areas like this district (or D10, one of the 28 districts in this city-state), which encompasses affluent neighbourhoods such as Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Orchard Road and Tanglin Road. Although I have no idea how the name of this restaurant came about, I think it’s highly possible that it was inspired by the real district 10 in Singapore, thus explaining the overall classy look and tone of the branding direction.

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

A considerable area of the 1,800 square-foot restaurant is devoted to the outdoor dining area as seen above. Designed and built by A D Lab’s leading architect, Warren Liu, the al fresco bar is the one and only with synchronised tole featuring logs in Suntec City and a series of movable and scalable cabana-like broad-seat open houses – a first in the mall.

Wines for tasting that evening

Wines for tasting that evening

Getting to District 10 was a bit of a hassle for me because it’s quite a distance from the MRT exit and since it was tucked right behind a long stretch of unopened shops, I nearly missed it. I wanted to take a shortcut but it was during the week of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix so almost every corner of Temasek Boulevard was sealed off – gah! I’m sure getting there would be a lot easier now, though.

Welcome drink: Zonin - Prosecco

Welcome drink: Zonin – Prosecco (11% alcohol level)

Upon arrival, I was served the Zonin Prosecco, a sparkling wine which takes its name from a little hill-side town near Trieste, in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy). The must is obtained from gently pressed grapes and it has a pale, straw yellow colour with subtle green hues with a persistent perlage (the chains of bubbles that ascend towards the surface of the wine) and rich mousse. It was pleasantly tannic with a fruity fragrant, all while revealing an abundance of almonds and fresh citrus notes. One of the milder wines I had that evening, it was surprisingly gentle on the palate and easy to drink for wine beginners.

This wine is best paired with caprese salad, crab cakes, pan-seared salmon with lemon and basil, chicken pesto with angel hair pasta or all your fine desserts.. or this near-impeccable canapé right here:

Crostini With Duck Rillettes And Fig Jam (S$16++)

Bar bites: Crostini with Duck Rillettes and Fig Jam (S$16++)

This fancy-looking  tartlet is a French specialty. Tender and well-salted, the shredded duck meat had a great consistency of fat and meat. Without a robust flavour on its own, it allowed the sweetness of the fig jam to stand out more. Further, the crostini added some crunch to the soft and moist texture of the duck confit and also gave it a bit more depth. However, I’d prefer the crostini to be slightly smaller so that the entire thing could sit comfortably in my mouth (since canapes are supposed to be eaten in one mouthful).

Chef Luca Pezzera

Chef Luca Pezzera

Sun-dried Tomato bread

Sun-dried Tomato bread

Following that, the guests were ushered to the indoor dining area. Gracing our table top was a bread basket featuring a few slices of crumbly sun-dried tomato bread. They were more dense and chewier in texture as compared to most sourdough bread I had, and hence were relatively easy to pry apart. Tomato puree was also pulped into the corners of every slice, giving it a deliciously tart finish which sort of opened up my appetite.

To further enhance the flavours of each course, savoury wines were served alongside the food.  The finest selection from the Zonin family, these wines were the highlights of that evening and were carefully paired with a customised menu from the restaurant. Each dish came with 2 wine accompaniments.

Tenuta Ca'Bolani Aquilis Sauvignon

Tenuta Ca’Bolani – Aquilis Sauvignon (13.5% alcohol level)

Like Prosecco, Aquilis was named after the village it originated and is made only once every 2-3 years. It has a golden straw-yellow colour with green hues and its smell renders a wonderful balance of citrus fruit and minerals with subtle savoury notes and white rose. On the palate, the wine was dry, medium-bodied and discernibly piquant. Having said that, it kinda grew on me and I later found myself sipping quite a bit of it.

Feudo Principi di Butera - Insolia Sicilia

Feudo Principi di Butera – Insolia Sicilia (13% alcohol level)

The Sicilian name of the commonly known as “ansonica” in Italy, Insolia has straw-yellow shade with verdant hues. The wine is described to have a tropical aroma of minerals, apples, tangerine, creamsicle and flowers but somehow what I got was a rather sharp and pungent smell, almost likened to ammonia. It is dry with a syrupy texture and had refreshing citrus flavour reminiscent of tangerine combined with almond and stone minerals, leading to a long and crisp finish.

Proscuitto de Parma served with San Marzano Tomatoes

Prosciutto de Parma served with San Marzano Tomatoes (price not available)

The prosciutto was quite a rousing start and it actually went well with the sun-dried bread. In paper-thin slices, the dry-cured ham was soft with an incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture. It was salted but not too overwhelmingly because the tomatoes had helped to offset a bit of it.

Not being familiar with San Marzino tomatoes, I had initially mistaken it for apricot jam because of its sweet and hint of tart flavours. These tomatoes are, in fact, naturally sweet with low acidity because they are grown in the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius. But despite how differently they taste from normal tomatoes, they, too, share similar cancer-fighting properties! Wow, pretty sure fussy eaters wouldn’t mind having them on their plates!

Castello d'Albola - Chianti Classico

Castello d’Albola – Chianti Classico (13% alcohol level)

Elegant and refined, the Chianti Classico is a feminine style of red wine. It has a brilliant ruby red colour that tends towards garnet. Delivering a rich aroma of berries with underlying notes of sage, spice cake and earth on the nose, the palate is enlivened with cherry and exotic spices by this vibrant and medium-bodied wine that offers a delicate and polished tannins finish. It is a lot sweeter than Riserva below.

Castello d'Albola - Chianti Classico Riserva

Castello d’Albola – Chianti Classico Riserva (13% alcohol level)

Presenting a lovely ruby-red colour with orange hues, the nose is pronounced with subtle red fruits and clear notes of violet, wood, spice and earth. It is rich and medium to full-bodied (definitely more velvety than Classico above), complete with hints of berries, herbs, spice and minerals on the palate that finishes with robust tannins.

Pappardelle served with Duck Ragout

Pappardelle served with Duck Ragout (price not available)

Topped with deliciously chalky Parmesan cheese flakes and tender shredded duck meat tossed in tangy tomato gravy, the Pappardelle was like an elevated version of the Fettuccine served in entrée portion size. The flat pasta noodles were cooked perfectly as they were dense and firm to the bite. However, we felt that there wasn’t much flair to the plating because the abundant of oil at the side wasn’t very aesthetically pleasing.

Chef Luca at work

Restaurant with an open-kitchen concept. Was able to see Chef Luca at work!

Black Angus Ribs on the grill

Black Angus Ribs on the grill

Feudo Principi di Butera - Symposio

Feudo Principi di Butera – Symposio (14% alcohol level)

This wine offers a dark ruby and purple colour and delivers rich leather notes, spice, dark chocolates and spicy tobacco on the palate. Medium bodied with a long and velvety soft finish, the nose displays black cherry and rich ruby red plum notes with strong zesty orange.

Tenuta Ca'Bolani - Alturio Refosco

Tenuta Ca’Bolani – Alturio Refosco (13.5% alcohol level)

A top-grade wine that was last made in 2011, I was lucky enough to try Alturio Refosco as it is relatively uncommon with limited quantity available in the world today. Assuming a dark ruby-purple and nearly opaque appearance, a delightful combination of plum and dark cherries with hints of rich milk chocolate, jasmine and spiced herbs greet the nose while the juicy cranberry, roasted coffee and big chewy tannins tickle the palate. Very flavourful, indeed! It was undoubtedly the best wine of the evening. You could tell the quality of the wine just by the taste of it. It is divine, smooth and supple with medium-bodied weight that leads to a long and mineral-driven finish.

Of course, with great wine comes great food, so we were not a bit surprised by the choice of food pairing for Alturio Refosco.

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze (S$20++ per 100g, min. order of 500g)

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Visually appealing with taste to boot, the grilled black angus OP ribs was the star of the menu and the best protein dish I had in years.  Neatly sliced to reveal the glistening rare-done rosy-red center, it had the optimal balance of the fat and meat to give a buttery, sashimi-like texture. The steak was seasoned perfectly and crispy on the edge, displaying great finesse. It was so succulent and on its own, you could eat it without the Rosemary glaze! Seriously, one of, if not the best, I’ve tasted in my life. This dish took me to the heaven and back, I kid you not.

Enjoying my wine!

Enjoying my wine!

Crispy beef skin

Crispy beef skin (price not available)

As a prelude to our desserts (well, not really), we nibbled on some crispy beef skin which tasted really salty. This was probably some impromptu snack whipped up by the chef to tease our taste buds because it wasn’t on the menu.

Zonin - Moscato Puglia

Zonin – Moscato Puglia (7% alcohol level)

And finally, a dessert wine to match with the final course. Light straw-yellow with golden reflections and a delicate mousse, the Moscato has a typical fresh and intense scents of peaches and exotic fruit. It is luscious and light-bodied with a lingering fresh, fruity and aromatic flavours that reveal its varietal characteristic.

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce (S$12++)

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

The dessert wine was a fantastic accompaniment to the tart which was unbearably sour on its own. But the wine managed to tone its acidity down a lot when consumed consecutively, and instantly transform this acetic dessert into an even more indulgent dish. Sprinkled with gold leaf, it was served in a generous portion with its cross-section of savoury berries visible on both sides. The vanilla ice cream added a satisfying flavour dimension to counteract the tartness. But of course, it wouldn’t be enough to mask substantially, thus I’d suggest you get a bottle of Moscato to go with it.

Earl Grey Tea

Ended my night with a pot of Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea

Apart from alcoholic beverages (all sorts! Beer, vodka, champagne… you name it, they have it), I believe they do serve tea as well but you may have to enquire about it since only alcoholic drinks are listed on the beverage menu.

On the overall, the food was top-notch, albeit pricey. But if you’re looking to unwind after a hectic week, District 10 serves as a magnificent getaway place for an intimate date with your beau, or a gathering spot for you and your pals!

Have you been to any of the District 10 outlets in Singapore? Let me know your thoughts! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

District 10 @ Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard, North Wing
#01-514/515 (near Fountain of Wealth, outside Tower 2 office lobby)
Singapore 038983
Operating hours:
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm (last order at 2.30pm)
Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.30pm (last order at 10pm)
Tel: 6822 2886
Click here to view other outlets
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Chicken Up @ Tanjong Pagar Road

Hey everyone!

Beyond the towering commercial buildings in one of Singapore’s busiest districts lies a row of bustling shophouses, just a stone’s throw away from the nearest MRT station. As I trotted down the stretch of shops that led to my destination, I saw restaurants, convenience stores and bridal boutiques with Hangul characters prominently displayed on their shopfront. Ashamed, it was then I realised that my head had been in the clouds for most of my life.

There is a little Koreatown at Tanjong Pagar that I didn’t know of!

Crowds typically centered around the food establishments along Tanjong Pagar Road like 2D1N Soju Bang (known for its Korean BBQ) in the past. But lately, people have been flocking to its neighbour Chicken Up instead because of all the media attention it had received for its soy fried chicken. Regarded as one of the best places for soy fried chicken in Singapore, it has become so popular that the waiting time to get seated especially on weekends can be in the hours. Even so, everyone else in line appeared to be unfazed by the long wait when boyfriend and I were there last month for a dinner get-together with a few of his ex-colleagues. People were either milling around or chatting heartily with one another to kill time.

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar Road

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar Road

But not for us. Despite helping ourselves to the free flow of iced water at the outdoor waiting area for the past two hours, we still couldn’t keep our hunger at bay. We spotted many uncleared tables near the entrance which could suggest the shortage of manpower faced by the restaurant. Perhaps that also explains why the waiting list wasn’t moving along as fast as it’s supposed to be.

The long and dreading wait aside, the food there was pretty damn good! Those food critics really weren’t lying when they say that it’s better than most Korean-style fast-food restaurants (yes, even 4Fingers) out there.

Watermelon Soju

Watermelon Soju

All Sojus (cocktails) are meant for sharing hence they are served in jugs. This was a friend’s order but I managed to take a small sip. Personally, I’m not a fan of traditional Soju (dislike it as much as Vodka because they pretty much taste the same to me, equally awful) but this didn’t leave me grimacing in disgust. Probably due to the fact that it was blended with real watermelon juice, the overall taste wasn’t as strong and repulsive. It was a refreshing combination with a hint of sweetness.

Bong Bong Grape Juice

Bong Bong Grape Juice – a great thirst quencher that is not too sweet

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Kimchi Fries

Whoever came up with this fusion food is a pure genius. It never once crossed my mind that Kimchi would complement so well with fries. To top it off, it also comes with cheese! All the flavours combined to leave a unique yet delicious and memorable aftertaste (I’m almost salivating as I’m typing this). The fries would be soggy after awhile because of the cheese and Kimchi but trust me, that’s when the fries get tastier. If you’re a huge Kimchi lover, you have to order this when you’re at Chicken Up.

Crispy Up (Normal Fried Chicken)

Crispy Up (Normal Fried Chicken)

I didn’t really scrutinise the menu because we left our orders to the discretion of someone in our group who had dined there before. But I presumed there were at least 2 different flavours for their fried chicken like any other Korean restaurants. To my surprise, they actually serve conventional fried chicken as well. Although the batter was crispier, thicker and better than normal standards, the overall taste was just mediocre and the smell wasn’t as aromatic as the other flavours. Also, if you’re intending to order this and the other flavours as well, do not, I repeat, do not eat the flavoured ones (Soya and Spicy) before this or it will taste absolutely bland and insipid and you will lose all interest in finishing the basket of deep-fried chicken.

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

Ganjang Up (Soya Fried Chicken)

This highly sought-after fried chicken was the highlight of the meal and also what propelled Chicken Up to the top of food critics’ list. The consistency of the seasoning was commendable – every part of the batter was moist with Korean soy sauce while still maintaining its crispiness. Just look at those glistening golden hued skin that was fried to perfection. Rivulets of the oil flavoured with soy sauce transferred to the tender flesh as I sank my teeth into it, making the entire piece of chicken ever juicier. It was the best soy fried chicken I’ve had in my life.

Spicy Yangnyum Up (Spicy Fried Chicken)

Spicy Yangnyum Up (Spicy Fried Chicken)

Another hot favourite that night was the spicy fried chicken laced with chopped scallion, sesame seeds and piquant sweet chilli sauce which heavenly smell wafted into my nose with every bite. Mmmm.. it was so finger-lickin’ good! The level of spiciness is subjective. I have relatively high tolerance for spicy food (so much so that I could finish a cup of 70g Samyang Buldak Bokkeum Myun on my own without water hehe) so I didn’t really find the chicken spicy (like maybe a 3 on the scale of 1-10). My boyfriend on the other hand had to down a full cup of water after eating 1 or 2 pieces to cool his tongue.

Watermelon balls

Complimentary Watermelon Balls

Just moments before we footed the bill, one of the service staff handed us a bowl of juicy watermelon balls freshly carved from the fruit. Initially, we thought they had given it to the wrong table but then we realised it was indeed for us, free-of-charge, perhaps as a little form of compensation for the long wait. We were pleasantly surprised by the restaurant’s kind gesture 🙂 If I’m not wrong, the watermelon balls are the same ones found on the Watermelon Bingsu.

Apart from this Tanjong Pagar outlet, Chicken Up can also be found at Tampines, Bugis, Jurong East (opening soon-yay!) and my alma mater, Singapore Polytechnic. -_- Dammit, first Llao Llao, now this. Good things seem to come to Singapore Poly only after I graduated from that school. Lucky juniors!

But anyway, I’m glad there are outlets elsewhere because I find the Tanjong Pagar outlet rather inconvenient as a non-driver and the crowd there can be really crazy at times (though I’m not sure if it’s the same for other outlets ‘coz I haven’t been to any yet). If you’re planning to walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station, it will take you about 10 to 15 minutes – ideal if you like walking as a workout but a terrible idea if you’re starving.

And that’s about it, guys!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Chicken Up @ Tanjong Pagar
48 Tanjong Pagar Road
#01-01
Singapore 088469
Tel: 6327 1203
Mon to Thur 5.30pm – 2.00am
Fri & Sat: 5.30pm – 3.00am
Sun: 5.30pm – 12.00am
Website | Facebook | Outlets

16 Delicious Eats in Bukit Batok

Hey everyone!

Recently, a lot of blog posts on food recommendations have surfaced on Facebook. Although organised geographically, these posts merely cover areas which are already known to have good food and they are typically located in the Eastern side of Singapore which is so far away from where I live (but no doubt there are really nice food in the East coz I really love both Bar Chor Mee stalls at Bedok 85).

Places in the west are seldom mentioned and it’s really, really sad. But does that mean my hometown, Bukit Batok, has nothing nice to eat? As a resident of Bukit Batok for 23 years (I have already moved FYI 😦 but I still return on a weekly basis for work!), I can vouch for the falsity of this statement. There are great food in this area and if you don’t know where to find them, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I’ll be taking you through the list of top food finds in this neglected part of Singapore with additional input from my cabby Dad (because taxi drivers are also food experts right?). Bukit Batok, for the record, also includes Bukit Gombak (one of the 8 sub-zones of Bukit Batok).

Let’s begin!

* * *

1. Alif Restaurant (previously Thohirah Restaurant)

This Muslim-Indian eating place formally known as Alif needs no introduction (edit: it has been renamed to Alif again). Even though it has been bought over (or so I’ve heard) by Thohirah (which has a pretty famous outlet at Jalan Kayu), it still remains as one of the supper hotspots in Bukit Batok. Highly raved by food bloggers and celebrities (e.g. Taufik Batisah in the 2005 Coffee Talk and Hawker Woks) alike, it is also very popular among youngsters who need a place to chill with their friends. I’d say it’s a landmark of Bukit Gombak apart from the driving centre (BBDC) because everyone who has been to the area would have seen it before.

SAMSUNG CSC

Thohirah Bukit Gombak

Thohirah occupies two separate units (both beside McDonald’s). I frequent the one directly beside McDonald’s more because that’s where you can buy their famous Roti Prata. They are very generous with the cheese slices in their Cheese Prata to ensure that every part it would have some traces of cheese. Thirsty? Forget about Bandung or canned drinks which are readily available anywhere. Order a cup of hot, fragrant and well-pulled Teh Tarik instead. If you’re not a tea drinker, get yourself a cup of Milo Dinosaur. It comes in a relatively large cup with lots of Milo powder on it. So sinful but oh-so-good.

Teh Tarik (source)

Teh Tarik (source)

thohirah-egg-prata

Egg prata (source)

thohirah-chicken-murtabak

Chicken Murtabak (source)

The other unit serves noodle and rice dishes like Mee Goreng (which I’m a huge fan of), Mee Rebus and Nasi Briyani, so if you’re a big eater, you could dine there instead.

And the best part? Thohirah has free Wi-Fi (Wireless@SG), thanks to their neighbour McDonald’s. Of course, the signal strength depends on where you are seated.

374 Bukit Batok St. 31
#01-204
Singapore 650374
Tel: 6564 6324
Operating hours: 24 hours


 2. 新口味卤鸭饭 / Xin Kou Wei Braised Duck Rice

There are several coffee shops in the vicinity but Hong Kah Food Place (formally 五十千/50,000/Gor Zhap Cheng which aunties and uncles I know still call it today) has always been among the top on my list for its array of delicious eats. Most of these stalls only operate in the morning and will be closed by 4pm. Xin Kou Wei is one of them and their braised duck is so scrumptious that it usually sells out by 2pm.

btbatok-ducknoodlesl-1

Super tasty duck meat soaked in nice black sauce

btbatok-ducknoodlesl-2

Duck noodles soup. There’s also a dry version that comes with a small bowl of soup

btbatok-duck-fishball-1

The Fishball Noodles beside the Duck Rice stall is also not too bad, but the portion is quite small and their fishballs always run out before noon..

btbatok-fishballnoodles-1

(OFF TOPIC, read caption above) Fishball noodles from next door! You guys can give it a try.

Like many other duck rice stalls, it also serves kway chap and duck noodles (dry and soup) for those who can’t stomach rice in the morning. But I’m just going to recommend their duck noodles soup because it’s something I’d always go for. The soup is very tasty and has a very mild herbal taste to it but it is definitely not repulsive or anything. The herbal taste would gradually dissipate once it mixes with the the sauce on the braised duck.

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: 5.00am to 2.00pm


3. Siang Yuan (香袁) Porridge

Siang Yuan started out as a coffee shop (now a Muslim coffeeshop) in the late nineties behind what is now known as The Madeira Condominium (was previously an empty field). It used to serve the same porridge in the day and tze char in the night until they decided to scale down their business. I’ve been their loyal patron ever since they started their porridge business and I can vouch that the standard remains good over the years.

btbatok-xiangyuan-3

My usual fish porridge topped with lots of spring onion, fried fritters (You Tiao) and fried silver fish

btbatok-xiangyuan-1

Love the smooth texture of the fish slices!

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Craving for it right now.

Their fish porridge is my breakfast staple (on days I don’t feel like eating a lot). The serving is a little small as compared to others you know but it’s really good. The thick porridge comes topped with crispy silver fish, chopped scallion and fried cut you tiao, making the dish extremely fragrant and flavourful. I would always order my fish porridge with egg, which is just an additional of 30 cents.

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: 7.00am to 2.00pm. Closed on Mondays


4. Mei Hao (美好) Noodle House

A rather new addition to the food court, it proves to be very popular as they are always swamped with orders, especially on weekends. If you’re a noodle or soup person, you should totally try their 生面 (plain noodles with soup) because it’s always served piping hot and garnished with lots of pepper, fresh greens, pork meat, shelled prawns and most importantly, an egg!

Due to the hot temperature of the soup, the egg cooks pretty fast so be sure to lift it up the moment the dish is delivered to your table (unless you don’t mind hard-boiled egg). The broth is light on the palate and it also feels super healthy and refreshing especially when consumed during cold weather. I’m not sure what kind of noodles they use but it’s very chewy and definitely not something I see very often (the closest I can think of is probably Ramen).

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Noodle with soup. This gives me a very homely feel because my Mom used to prepare something like that for lunch during my primary school days with all the de-scaled prawns and fresh greens. Knowing that I’m a huge fan of runny eggs, she’d also add one into my bowl, just like this!

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The dry version that also comes with a bowl of soup.

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Siang Yuan Porridge and Mei Hao Noodle House are just next to each other! Despite being there only for a relatively short period of time, Mei Hao’s owners have grown to be really great friends with Siang Yuan’s. I’ve seen both tenants helping each other out with the delivery of food to the patrons’ table, and sometimes even helping to take orders for the busier one! How heartwarming 🙂

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: Closed on Mondays


5. 郎胜福建虾面 /  Long Sen Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Moving on to a neighbouring coffeeshop which also has a huge variety of food choices, we have Long Sen that is pretty well-known for its Hokkien Prawn Mee. Some people think that it’s not bad but I feel that it’s a little too watery and they are also not very generous with the ingredients. To each his own I guess! You guys can give it a shot if you’re around the area.

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Fried Hokkien Mee (source)

But what I recommend from this stall is actually their Prawn Mee Soup. This underrated dish has awesome tongue-tingling broth which has a very unique taste. It is not the thick kind of soup that has an overwhelming prawn flavour, but it sure is very addictive.

Prawn Noodles Soup

Prawn Noodles Soup

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It may not be very visible from the walkway because it’s partially hidden behind the coffee stall.

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
Singapore 650371


6. 实美芽菜鸡饭 / Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice

This stall always attracts a long queue of buyers especially during lunch time. Easily the most popular stall in the coffeeshop, Shi Mei serves smooth and tender chicken meat with beansprouts tucked underneath and doused with savoury gravy. Apart from the steamed and blanched chicken meat, they also serve other kinds like roasted chicken, chicken cutlet, lemon chicken and so on which are also quite tasty.

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Chicken Rice Set for One (source)

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Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice (source)

Do note that beansprouts are not automatically provided for takeaways so you have to request for them.

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
Singapore 650371
Operating hours: 8.00am til sold out (typically by 7.00pm)


7. 旺旺粥品 / Claypot Congee

A great alternative to Siang Yuan, porridge here is served in a claypot to retain the heat throughout the meal. It is a lot more watery than Siang Yuan’s (but still very tasty), perfect for people on a low-carb diet like yours truly 😀 It would still be bubbling hot for a long time though so do not order if you’re in a rush (or risk burning your tongue, like me on several occasions. You’ve been warned).

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Wang Wang Claypot Congee (source)

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for anything claypot. Anything that is served in a claypot would naturally appeal to me because somehow, the burnt and perfectly cooked areas blend really well to produce a very fragrant smell. Likewise, I usually go for their Sliced Fish Porridge with an additional egg which hardens really fast under the boiling congee. The fish slices are a little rougher (Mom says that it’s a cheap kind of fish), but still acceptable.

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Boyfriend ordered this and loved it: Century Egg Congee

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Oops, forgot to snap a picture before I accidentally broke the egg while trying to look for it (I believe I’m not the only one who does this all the time -_-). Here’s my Sliced Fish Congee!

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
#01-326
Singapore 650371
Operating hours: 7.00am to 10.00pm


8. 金味穈 / Teochew Porridge

This Teochew Porridge stall has been around for a long time but I think it was only recently acquired by 金味. Still, its standards have not dropped and it’s still as popular as ever, having able to attract people from all around Singapore. It has a very wide spread of food to choose from so you are bound to be spoilt for choice. However, prices have gone up steadily over the years but it’s still within the affordable range.

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Teochew Porridge

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Menu on their signboard

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Some of the dishes they offer (source)

Foodclique
347 Bukit Batok St. 34
Singapore 650347
Operating hours: Opens daily til 2.00am


9. Blk 359 Economic Fried Beehoon and Noodles

I have personally only bought from this stall once because the food sells like hotcakes and it closes even before I wake up! So my Dad (who is a morning person) was always the one that did the buying.

Their econ fried noodles is probably one of the best I’ve tasted so far and it’s extremely affordable! But as mentioned earlier, this makeshift stall is extremely popular (especially with the early risers, like cabbies) so they tend to sell out really fast! With its unusual operating hours, this stall makes an ideal choice for late night supper and breakfast 🙂

Sorry, no pictures of this yet until I’m disciplined enough to wake up early for it :\

Meng Soon Huat Food Centre
359 Bukit Batok St. 34 (A small makeshift cart beside the drinks stall)
Singapore 650359
Operating hours: 4.30am til sold out (typically about 10.00am)


10. 瑞记香港烧腊 / Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights

NOTE: Rui Ji has moved! Follow their Facebook page for more information or scroll to the bottom for their new address.

Since my trip to Hong Kong last December, I’ve been craving for Cantonese cuisine especially roasted meat and Rui Ji is the closest I can get to the real deal in Bukit Batok. The queue (or crowd, because the one taking orders is extremely attentive and has superb eyesight and memory so queues are technically unnecessary) at the stall front is an obvious testimony to their excellent culinary skills. On top of the thick, tender and savoury roasted duck meat they serve, the soup that comes along with it is just so good, I wouldn’t mind paying for it.

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Roasted Duck Noodles (dry), S$2.50

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Yummy!

Besides noodles, the stall also sells rice dishes such as Char Siew (roasted pork) rice which is equally delicious.

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Char Siew Rice and I can’t really remember the price. It is either S$3 or S$3.50.

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Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights (old venue)

New venue (next to the ca rpark)

New venue (next to the car park)

Block 272
Bukit Batok East Avenue 4
Singapore 650272
Operating hours: Closed on Tuesdays


11. 如意园素食 / Ru Yi Yuan Vegetarian Food

I haven’t forgotten all about you, vegans! There are at least 3 vegetarian stalls in Bukit Batok, but I believe this particular one garners the most votes from vegan foodies with the only complaints so far about their food selling out really fast. Having said that, this stall is also quite popular with casual eaters especially the Buddhists. Long queues are common on days when Buddhists have to abstain from meat (齋戒) so be sure to avoid those occasions if you don’t want to wait!

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Mixed Beehoon and Noodles with some mock meat and a large piece of crispy bean curd skin

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More mock meat

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Ru Yi Yuan Vegetarian

Kopitiam (just across the one above)
273 Bukit Batok East Ave 4
Singapore 650273
Operating hours: 5.30am til sold out


12. Jun Corner ▪ Nasi Padang (Malay Rice)

NOTE: Stall has shifted to Block 272. Address has been updated below.

One of the perks of living in Singapore is that you get to eat food from different cultures anywhere you are! Thus it’s not surprising that delectable ethnic foods are readily available in Bukit Batok so you don’t have to travel so far to get your food fix.

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Jun Corner Nasi Padang (old venue)

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Now you see them. Very soon they’ll all be gone!

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My favourites in one picture

Despite having rather low tolerance for spicy food, I still cannot resist Nasi Padang, especially from Jun Corner even though eating it would mean that I have to gulp down a few glasses of water. It’s just too shiok to stop. My go-to dishes are Sotong Hitam (squid in black ink), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken wings but only when they’re still hot, otherwise they’d be stiff and hard to chew), Sambal Udang (my top favourite because the prawns are always so chewy and sweet!) and Assam stingray when I have a few more dollars to spare. As you can see, I only go for the meat hence my plate usually costs a lot more than usual (at least $7?). I can’t remember how their Kang Kong tastes but I think it should be mediocre considering that I don’t usually order that. But my Mom loves their french beans.

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My portion, ~S$4? Kinda looks like kids’ meal hehehe.

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A more balanced meal.

(NEW LOCATION)
272 Bukit Batok East Ave 4
Singapore 650272
Operating hours: Early morning til sold out (typically by 1pm). Closed on Mondays.


13. 可口鸭饭 / Ke Kou Duck Rice

NOTE: Owners of Ke Kou Duck Rice plan to retire and will cease operation end October 2017. Hurry down and get your fill of their scrumptious braised duck before it is gone for good 😿 #RIPSGHawkers

If roasted duck isn’t to your liking, why not try braised duck instead? Tucked between residential blocks near Bukit Batok MRT (actually, it’s just 5-7 minutes walk away and relatively near to SHATEC), Ke Kou has risen to popularity among taxi drivers with its tasty and well-marinated braised duck. Patrons have the choice of yam rice, normal white rice or “Kway” (of Kway Chap). You can also ask for an extra bowl of “zhap” (gravy) if you want.

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Portion for three!

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With egg

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And the very generous amount of gravy!

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Kway

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Porridge

Their stewed eggs are also nice and soft unlike some other stalls that sell eggs that feel like rubber. The soup has a mild herbal taste and it’s really comforting because it’s always served hot! Shiok. Even more so if you like tao gay (bean sprouts) because as you can see from the picture above, there’s a lot of them!

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Ke Kou Duck Rice

FoodPark Food Court
207 Bukit Batok St. 21
Singapore 650207
Operating hours: 9.00am – 9.00pm daily


14. 肥仔荣食摊 / Fatty Weng

Fatty Weng is the biggest tenant in the coffeeshop. It serves fish soup, fried oyster omelette and fried carrot cake (only available in the morning) in one unit and roasted pork in another, side by side. Being part of a nationwide chain, this stall opens every day even on Mondays when fish soup stalls typically close (because wet markets close on Mondays). However, they hardly disappoint with their clear and tasty soup with plenty of smooth and supple fish slices. They are also very generous with their greens and tofu. Definitely a very healthy food choice!

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Fatty Weng

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Fatty Weng but this only sells roasted meat

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The best sliced fish soup in Bukit Batok, hands down.

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Love the clear soup and smooth fish slices!

Their oyster omelette is another must-order when you’re there. I usually opt for chilli to be added to give it an extra kick. It’s crispy on the surface and has good mix of eggs and starch. The amount of oysters is also quite reasonable but like traditional “or jian”, this can be a little too oily to some. But it’s acceptable to me 🙂

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Fried Oyster Omelette a.k.a Or Jian

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Fried to perfection :-9

Yong Xing Coffeeshop
155 Bukit Batok St. 11
#01-324
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: 11.00 am – 10.00 pm daily


15. 顺记福建炒虾面 / Soon Kee Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle

Previously at Yong Xing Coffeeshop (behind) before finally shifting to its current location 3 years ago due to high rents, Soon Kee is considered to be the best in Bukit Batok by many.  Their Hokkien Prawn Mee is fragrant and more towards the wet side. It also serves really nice chilli, thus they’d charge additional 50 cents if you ask for more.

I used to love this a lot until standards started dropping after the relocation. I couldn’t finish my $3 plate of Hokkien Mee (the minimum amount) the last time I was there because it was terribly bland. But it could be a one-off experience so do give it a try!

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Soon Kee Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle

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Fried Hokkien Mee

Li Soon Eating House (behind the above)
155 Bukit batok St. 11
#01-322
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: Closed on Mondays


16. Eng Kee Noodle House

(The previous feature – Ba Ji Satay Beehoon – has ceased operation in December 2014)

Known for its springy and moist Wanton noodles and crispy fried Wanton dumplings, Eng Kee is also a queue magnet which was originally at Yong Xin Coffeeshop. Even so, standard has been maintained over the years and the service is still as fast as ever. Most importantly, the price for a plate of Wanton Mee still remains the same although it had shifted to a newer and cleaner location.

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Eng Kee Noodle House (source)

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Wanton Mee

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Chicken feet noodles and my favourite crispy fried wanton dumplings!

The fried dumplings are my absolute favourite from this stall and it’s something I’d never fail to order whenever I have my lunch at Li Soon (even on days I don’t feel like having Wanton Mee). The size, as you can see from the picture above, is larger than any fried dumplings you see elsewhere. Each piece is brimmed with a rather generous amount of filling and the skin is really crispy! 🙂

Li Soon Coffeeshop
Blk 155 Bukit Batok St. 11
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: 6.00am to 8.30pm. Closed on alternate Mondays

* * *

UPDATE (16-04-2015) : 2 MORE ADDITIONS

Hey guys, thank you so much for your overwhelming response to the original list above! I had personally tried out some recommendations that were put forward several times in the comments section and the following is what I feel deserve to be on here 🙂 I will be trying out others soon too so keep the recommendations coming!

17. 顺义砂煲鸡贩 / Shun Yee Claypot Chicken Rice

It was an impromptu trip to Shun Yee (previously Soon Yee) one Sunday afternoon. I was kinda worried that we would have to wait for a long time to be served since I was advised to make a booking over the phone prior to my arrival. But to my surprise (or maybe I was just lucky), our order came within 20 minutes which is typical of claypot rice due to the time-consuming method of preparation, and relatively fast for a portion for 3 I must say.

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The aromatic claypot rice topped with lap cheong and salted fish

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Stir ah stir. I love my Claypot Rice black and slightly greasy hehehe *guilty*

Honestly, it was a rather small portion for three adults, so do upsize your order if you’re big eaters like us. Otherwise, order individual bowls if you can afford to wait (maybe that’s when phone booking comes in handy). I also felt that there wasn’t enough salted fish to go around even when mixed thoroughly, so I will definitely ask for more salted fish the next time I dine there.

But tastewise, their signature claypot chicken rice was really good, tasty and fragrant! The rice was done to perfection and not overcooked at all so it was slightly crusty on the outside (love!) but soft and moist on the inside. I don’t remember having to scrape much burnt rice from the sides at the end so yay to minimal food wastage!

Unfortunately I had forgotten to ask for the contact number to make bookings so if you have it, please feel free to share in the comments below.

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Coffee & Tea Coffeeshop
150 Bukit Batok St. 11
(Opposite Bukit Batok Presbyterian Church)
Singapore 650150


18. 正宗香港烧腊云吞面 / Zheng Zong Hong Kong Roasted Meat & Noodle

Previously located at the coffee shop next to Bukit Batok Community Club (and before that, at Block 109 coffee shop), it serves a variety of roasted meat from char siew to duck to chicken. Basically, the best of Hong Kong under one roof, just lacking my favourite goose meat. It had recently moved to a more inaccessible location on the topmost level of a not-so-modern-looking industrial building and occupying two units (one for noodles, and another for rice). Yet, there was still a queue for it (people who seemed like regular customers and not manual workers for sure) when I was there past noon at the otherwise quiet canteen. If people are willing to travel all the way to this godforsaken place for the food, then it must be a place worth visiting.

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Shui gao soup

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Shui gao

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Shui gao filling

The soup was flavourful and thick. I wasn’t fond of the dumpling fillings although they were in very generous amount as they tasted a little bland in my opinion. But that’s alright because it’s not the highlight of the meal.

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Roasted duck noodles

The roasted duck meat was plentiful and sliced in thick slices, making every dollar spent count and worthwhile! The meat was tender and juicy and the gloriously glistening skin makes it even more divine. The gravy was good too but it would have been better if was a little more flavourful. Still, it’s still a great deal for under S$5.

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Roasted duck rice

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Roasted duck rice

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Char siew rice

However, contrary to appearance, the char siew was slightly disappointing because the meat on its own tasted a little dry and tough.

I’m not sure if the portion sizes were dramatically increased to cater to the appetite of the manual workers (who logically should make up most of their customer base now) but everything seemed to be served in large servings, including the amount of rice. It was astonishing! Even the family beside us was in shock and disbelief when individual plates of rice were served to their table (self-service, by the way). I bet one serving could satisfy 2 adults to the full. None of us managed to finish our rice in the end.

Food there is extremely value-for-money and better than average in general. But tastewise, I feel that it loses out to Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights.

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SkyTech Building
2 Bukit Batok St 24
Level 9 Canteen
Singapore 659480

* * *

And there you have it, the best food in Bukit Batok! Agree or disagree? I believe there are more that I haven’t discovered so please feel free to let me know in the comments below should you have any other recommendations! I’m open to other choices because having too much of the nicest food would also make you sick of it somehow.

Thanks for reading! ❤

Carousel @ Royal Plaza on Scotts

Hey! Hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday 🙂

I spent mine pigging out at Carousel, an international buffet (not the shopping app ah). As mentioned on the title of this entry, it’s located at Royal Plaza on Scotts, just opposite Far East Plaza. It was a long overdue dinner treat to boyfriend’s parents who frequently took me to fancy restaurants and took great care of me over the past 5 years. Boyfriend was the one who told me about this buffet since he dined there once FOR FREE with his game mates. However, with a hefty cost of $66++ per person (and I’m paying for 4 people including myself *ouch*), I was hesitant at first. But it turned out to be worthwhile after all.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Reservation has to be made at least one week in advance, otherwise you can only dream of entering. This place is always fully occupied despite the cost and I can totally understand why.

The buffet is divided into 4 rows serving Japanese cuisine, seafood, Western and Asian foods alongside other appetisers and desserts like salad and chocolate fondue *drools* It is also a Halal-certified buffet which is quite a rare find in Singapore, thus the presence of many Malay families when I was there.

Anyway the aim of this entry is to make you guys hungry. Therefore it’s gonna be extremely image-heavy 😀 So drool away~

Carousel Entrance

Carousel Entrance. I wanted to censor the guy’s face but I think he deserves some attention for giving really great service! He was really polite, patient and friendly, always carrying a sincere smile on his face. Double thumbs up!

Cutlery for all sorts of food

Cutlery for all sorts of food.. and I must say I really love their high quality serviette. Hahaha what a suaku I am.

Japanese cuisine

Japanese cuisine. Too much rice so I didn’t bother taking any of them.

Sashimi. Not sure what kind. It could be tuna.

Sashimi. Not sure what kind. It could be tuna.

This is all that matters at the Japanese row.. SALMON SASHIMI!!

This is all that matters at the Japanese row.. SALMON SASHIMI!!

Everyone just whack the seafood side only. 'Coz it's here we eat our money's worth.

Everyone just whack the seafood side only. ‘Coz it’s here we eat our money’s worth.

Oysters from the seafood row

Very high-in-demand oysters from the seafood row.

The no-meat part of the crab.. also from the seafood row

The no-meat part of the crab.. also from the seafood row

For people who don't want the crabs to die in vain.. This is for you, from the seafood row.

For people who don’t want the crabs to die in vain.. This is for you. As you can see, the crabs are divided into several parts to cater to people of different preferences. How thoughtful of Carousel!

For crab pincer lovers like myself, this is definitely heaven!

For crab pincer lovers like myself, this is definitely heaven!

Scallop but it's not that fantastic.

Scallop but it’s not that fantastic.. so don’t waste your tummy space. Take one and try will do.

The I-thought-it-was-lobster-chey crayfish.

The I-thought-it-was-lobster-chey crayfish. But I LOVED IT! In fact, more than the crab pincers.

Some clams.. Never tried it. Don't waste my time. Hahaha..

Some clams.. Never tried it. Don’t waste my time. Hahaha.

Salmon fish

Salmon fish. Boyfriend absolutely loved it as he kept going back for more. I couldn’t believe he ate more of this than the Salmon Sashimi -_-

Roasted chicken from European corner

Roasted chicken from European corner.

Some potato dish which name I forgot.

Some potato dish which name I forgot.

I think this was from the European row.. or Western, can't remember. This is fish with some sauce made of cherry, tomato and other stuff.

I think this was from the European row.. or Western, can’t remember. This is fish with some sauce made of cherry, tomato and other stuff.

Fried chicken which the chef claimed was better than KFC's chicken. True to some extent :)

Fried chicken which the chef claimed was better than KFC’s chicken. True to some extent 🙂

Another random shot which I thought would make anyone hungry.. Guess not. Hahaha..

Another random shot which I thought would make anyone hungry.. Guess not. Hahaha..

Cheese section

Cheese section. Being a cheese lover I really let myself down for not sampling any of these. The downside of going to an expensive buffet is that you neglect all the cheaper-looking food 😦

Asian row.

Asian row.

Prawns from the Asian/Indian row

Prawns from the Asian/Indian row. The colours damn nice sia!

Curry crab from the Asian/Indian row

Curry crab from the Asian/Indian row. Super strong Indian curry smell! Too strong for my liking 😦

My favourite - Chocolate Fondue section

My favourite – Chocolate Fondue section. I totally dig the Rose and the Matcha one!! If I ever return to Carousel again, it will definitely be because of these! Of course I wouldn’t want to pay $66+ just for the chocolate fondue, so if you guys have any fondue restaurant suggestions that serve equally awesome fondue but at more reasonable charges, PLEASE let me know!

Some cake with a fake egg.. Never tried it. In fact, I never got the chance to try any desserts at all :(

Some cake with a fake egg.. Never tried it. In fact, I never got the chance to try any desserts at all 😦

Nice pink donut-cake. I quickly snap a picture of this before someone sliced it.

Nice pink donut-cake. I quickly snap a picture of this before someone sliced it.

More desserts!

More desserts!

I admit I’m an amateurish AND selective selective food photographer. I don’t think my pictures did justice to Carousel. The buffet has MORE food choices than that! Foodies who have never been to Carousel should go there at least once in their lifetime.

We went in at 6.30pm and left 3 hours later feeling like we were going to explode. I was very amazed at some families who repeatedly returned to their tables with plates full of food and could even finish everything! :O

It was a pity that my stomach couldn’t take in any more food, or else I would have went for the cakes! I think the fondue took up most of my stomach space LOL. I felt quite nauseous after eating too much marshmallow.

It was definitely worth every penny and I would go back again, probably with my parents who are quite big eaters. But before that, I have to save up some money first. On my next visit, I will try the cheese and cakes!

My total damage that night was $288 (inclusive of a 10% discount for local credit/debit card holders) but unfortunately, they do not offer complimentary parking. If I remember correctly, it’s $5.50 per entry into the carpark.

That’s all for Carousel and thanks for reading!