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

Hello everyone!

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

Courtesy of No Signboard Holdings

Courtesy of No Signboard Holdings

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

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

Mom's Touch (SG) on opening night

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

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

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

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

Mom's Spicy Sauced Chicken

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

Mom's Fried Chicken

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

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

Cajun fries

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

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

Black Sesame Sundae

Black Sesame Sundae (S$3.80)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The packaging of the burger!

The packaging of the burger!

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

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

Close-up of spicy patty

Close-up of spicy patty

Non-spicy patty

Non-spicy patty

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

Fleshy, succulent meat..

Fleshy, succulent meat..

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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NEW: McDonald’s Ebi-Kase Burger, Sweet Potato Fries & Honeydew McFlurry

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

Remember when McDonald’s Ebi Burger first launched in Singapore in 2013, it was so well-received that stocks were all snapped up within days of going on sale? Well, if you missed it, you would be glad to know that it’s making a comeback but in a different identity with an improved recipe!

photo credit: McDonald's Singapore

photo credit: McDonald’s Singapore

Called the Ebi-Kase burger (エビカセ or a chock-full of shrimps, I’d believe), it is described as a flavourful combination of succulent whole shrimp in a crunchy, cereal-coated patty (instead of the breadcrumb shrimp patty found in the regular Ebi Burger), topped with shrimp paste flavoured sauce (rather than thousand island sauce) and crispy whole-leaf lettuce, served in between soft white sesame and chive buns.

Sweet Potato Fries and Ebi-Kase Burger

Sweet Potato Fries and Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

Ebi-Kase Burger

LOOK AT THE PRAWNS

LOOK AT THE PRAWNS

The cereal-laden shrimp patty was slightly crispy on the outside and incredibly luscious and juicy on the inside. If not for the buns, I would have probably heard a resounding crunch each time I sank my teeth into the patty. I enjoyed the chunks of plump shrimps that were infused into the patty as they added texture and richness to the burger. Apart from the listed ingredients, there were also traces of potato in the patty which acted as a paste to keep everything intact.

The sauce – a blend of onion, garlic, prawn paste and chilli padi – was savoury and a little overwhelming on the palate. The added spice is what I feel sets this burger apart from the original Ebi Burger but it may not be a welcoming change for those who can’t take the heat (although it’s not as spicy as McSpicy).

The Ebi-Kase Burger also come with double patty from S$9.10 with a complete meal or S$7.15 for à la carte order.

For a truly delightful Ebi-Kase experience, you can opt for the Cereal Ebi Special from just S$7.45. The meal includes a Single Cereal Ebi (à la carte from S$5.35), a refreshing glass of Coca-Cola (S) and crispy Sweet Potato Fries (M).

You may also choose balanced sides as options by swapping your fries and opting for a corn cup at no extra charge. If you’re craving for something healthier, you can top-up $1.20 to change your side to a Garden Side Salad (whole leaf lettuce, red and white cabbage, crunchy carrots, corn kernels and tomatoes, served with a delicious Japanese dressing).

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Created to compliment the Ebi-Kase Burger, the shoestring Sweet Potato Fries were deep fried to a crispy, nice shade of golden-orange and sprinkled with very minimal salt in order to retain its original flavour. They were tasty while they were still hot. Once they cooled, they became soggy and had this doughy consistency which I hated. If you need to put out the fire in your mouth after eating the Ebi-Kase Burger, perhaps eating some of these fries can help extinguish the burn a little.

Or, you could take advantage of the 1-for-1 offer on beverages that is still ongoing. (UPDATE: Promotion ended!) Since no one was keen to share the drinks with me (*sobs*), I had both the Mango and Ribena Chill to myself!

Mango Peach Chill

Mango Peach Chill

Ribena Chill

Ribena Chill

The Chill beverages are basically slushies made with popular juice drinks that are not manufactured by McDonald’s. Two flavours are available for the Chill thirst-quenchers: Mango PeachSjora ice-blended, and Ribena. Both were not overpoweringly sweet because the ice melted quite rapidly (which is great too because that means I don’t have to wait very long for me to be able to slurp it through the straw).

Honeydew McFlurry (from S$2.90)

Honeydew McFlurry (from S$2.90) – The cup size seems to have shrunk a little

Honeydew McFlurry

Honeydew McFlurry

For dessert, the new Honeydew McFlurry is a refreshing way to bridge from savoury to sweet. Apart from the Honeydew flavour, the soft-serve is also laced with cereal (another star ingredient in this new launch as you can probably tell), making it a rather unusual mashup and something you wouldn’t expect from McDonald’s. However, I felt that the sweetness of the Honeydew was too cloying and artificial that it reminded me of those Honeydew candies served to guests during Chinese New Year. I would very much prefer Matcha McFlurry to this.

As far as I know, this new burger is exclusive to McDonald’s in Singapore only! Are you excited for it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Psst, look out for the second chapter of Ebi-Kase which I will be unveiling right here in mid September!

Thanks for the invite, omyblogclub and McDonald's Singapore!

Thanks for the invite, omyblogclub and McDonald’s Singapore!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Cereal Ebi, Sweet Potato Fries and Honeydew McFlurry will be available islandwide from 3 September while stocks last.

Maki-San @ The Cathay

Hey guys! While trying to free up space on my phone I realised I haven’t blogged about Maki-San, so here goes!

makisan15

Maki-San is a rather new (established in 2012) homegrown brand which that allows you to customise your own sushi and salad. The concept is similar to that of Subway. You can choose what ingredients to go into your sushi roll or salad bowl! However the amount of ingredients is determined by the price you pay.

For S$9.90, you’ll get Mega San which entitles you to choose 5 essential (out of 27) and 1 special ingredients (out of 8) while a $7.90 Little San only gives you 3 essentials.

makisan-menu

I only tried the sushi so to be fair, I’ll only talk about the sushi. Salad another time!

I first knew about Maki-San through a school advertising assignment which I had to design a viral social media campaign (see portfolio). My course instructor is actually one of the shareholders of the sushi bar and one of my groupmates was totally raving about it. Since boyfriend and I are both sushi lovers, I figured I had to bring him to Maki-San, and at the same time for me to find out the unique selling point of it to aid in the design of the campaign.

makisan1

The Maki-San ordering counter is smacked right at the edge of The Cathay basement (beside Eighteen Chefs) and you may even miss it if you’re not attentive enough. However if you have already set your mind on dining at Makisan, it’s actually not that difficult to find it as the dining area deco pretty much stands out from other nearby competing eateries. The walls are painted with a cheerful shade of blue and green, completed with portraits of illustrated sushi. I really love the shop layout for it makes me happy looking at the walls 😛

It is a self-service outlet (on the bright side, no service charge) and you write your orders on an order chit. Red pens and writing boards are also provided for your convenience but if I have my pencil case with me, I’d use my own highlighter pen instead to mark the boxes of my preferred ingredients. Trust me, the one preparing your sushi will thank you for that.

makisan14

I always go for Mega San as I’m greedy I love to have more variety of ingredients in my roll. Furthermore, having just sushi for dinner is a commonplace for me so of course, I need a bigger portion of sushi! My must-have essentials are usually Shredded Cucumber, Parmesan Cheese, Boiled Egg, Steamed Ebi and Tuna Mayo (and then maxed out the 5 options hahaha). Boyfriend is a more adventurous person thus he would go for different ingredients each time he orders and his sushi always tastes better than mine no matter how carefully I customise them -_-

makisan9

All the fresh ingredients!

makisan8

After gathering all the ingredients you specified in the order chit, the “chef” hand-rolls the sushi. They have this machine specially to cut the sushi into equal pieces of 6.

As for my special ingredient, I keep telling myself to choose something else for my next order… but it eventually will still be Grilled Unagi (eel) because I’m a huge unagi lover! I tried smoked duck once and it was not bad as well!

My choice of sprinkle and house sauce never changes… It’s always Raisins and Wasabi Mayo. #iknowimboring and people are probably going to say that I have weird taste, but the raisins really work in my sushi. I had my doubts initially as well but damn, those raisins just give that additional oomph! in the flavours 😀 As for the wasabi mayo, I gotta thank my boyfriend for the recommendation because it also complements the taste. I usually avoid wasabi like the plague when it comes to eating sushi as it has this repulsive smell and after taste but for Maki-San, I’ll give it a chance!

makisan5

There isn’t any indication on the box what sushi this is, so you have to literally take one piece out to see the ingredients yourself. Haha

makisan7

Smoked duck and steamed ebi visible in this picture

makisan6

Steamed ebi, boiled egg, shredded cucumber, kani stick (crab stick), salmon sashimi

makisan13

Boiled egg, shredded cucumber and grilled unagi. I think I opted for Teriyaki sauce for this.

The sushi rolls come in a long rectangular box with a wallpaper-worthy-designed box sleeve. The sleeve is very nice but ever since I shifted to a smaller flat, I try not to bring stuff home unnecessarily, so I always refuse the covers. You can too if you think it’s a waste to dispose them after eating (and they’re usually as new as before because they’re barely touched by the sushi).. but no additional discounts will be given for being environmentally friendly yeah? 😀

makisan2

5 different designs displayed at the cashier

makisan3

2 random designs we both got on our first dine-in

Sliding bento box!

Sliding bento box!

Other than sushi, we’d also order some snacks! We only tried Tempura Enoki Mushroom and Tempura Calamari so far. Our verdict: the mushroom is kinda bland so we didn’t like it. But the calamari is not too bad, deserves a try! I’ll probably try Tempura Ebi another time.

Tempura Enoki Mushroom

Tempura Enoki Mushroom

Tempura Calamari

Tempura Calamari

Tempura Calamari

YUMZ

On the overall, the food is great and also quite affordable. Boyfriend has a constant craving for it and he mentioned that if Maki-San ever opens an outlet opposite his block, he’d eat it everyday. Maki-San, if you didn’t know, is also expanding overseas but I shall not reveal anymore details in case it’s not even supposed to be made public yet.

One complaint though – it only accepts cash. Not sure about the other outlet (The Arcade) but thanks to the convenience of NETS, I seldom carry cash with me anymore :\ so I always have to withdraw cash before heading to Maki-San which is quite a chore for me haha. (Plus the ATM machine at The Cathay ALWAYS runs out of $10 notes)

But the whole concept – including the brand positioning and image – appeals to me. I love how they cartoon their maki illustrations and use sushi-related puns in them. Their Facebook page is seriously very fun to look at. The overall idea is fresh and original but that’s not surprising considering that the founder and one of the main shareholders are from an advertising agency! 🙂

That’s all from me. Hope you enjoyed this entry 🙂

Maki-San
The Cathay
2 Handy Road
#B1-17/18
Singapore 229233
Operating hours: Everyday 11.30am-9.30pm

AlternativeMaki-San
The Arcade
11 Collyer Quay
#01-12
Singapore 049317
Operating hours: Mon to Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-2pm
Closed on Sundays