New Eats at 313@somerset + Tring 313 App

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soup Stock Tokyo

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

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

Drinks: Iced Tea, Lemon Tea Soda and Mint Soda

Drinks: Iced Tea, Lemon Tea Soda and Mint Soda

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

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

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

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

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

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

Onion Chicken Curry

Onion Chicken Curry and Hokkaido Crab Bisque

Onion Chicken Curry

Onion Chicken Curry

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

Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry and Chicken Vegetable Soup

Tomato Chicken Curry

Tomato Chicken Curry

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

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

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


Chabuton

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

Feasting like there's no tomorrow

Feasting like there’s no tomorrow

Chabuton signature Ramen

Chabuton signature ramen

Chabuton Kara Kara Miso Ramen

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

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

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

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

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen

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

Shoyu Zaru Ramen

Shoyu Zaru Ramen (S$11.90++)

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

Hitokuchi Gyoza

Hitokuchi Gyoza (S$5++)

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

Ika Karaage

Ika Karaage (S$5.00++)

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

Aka Ebi Mentai

Aka Ebi Mentai (S$4.90++)

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

Ajitsuke Tamago

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

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

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


O’ma Spoon

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

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

Injeolmi Bingsu

Injeolmi Bingsu (S$12.90)

Injeolmi Bingsu

Injeolmi Bingsu – shaved milk

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

Mango Cheesecake Bingsu (Premium)

Mango Cheesecake Bingsu (Premium, S$18.90)

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

Green Tea Bingsu

Green Tea Bingsu (S$13.90)

Green Tea Bingsu

Green Tea Bingsu – shaved milk

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

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

Injeolmi Toast

Injeolmi Toast (S$8.90)

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

Choco Strawberry Honey Butter Bread

Choco Strawberry Honey Butter Bread (S$14.90)

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

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


Pie Face

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

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

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

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

Classic Mince Beef

Classic Mince Beef

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

Spicy Chicken

Spicy Chicken

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

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

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

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

Sweet Pies

Pretty colours!

Mini Raspberry Pie and Mini Butterscotch Pie

Mini Raspberry Pie and Mini Butterscotch Pie

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

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


Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory

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

Press for service

To save you from flailing your arms like an idiot

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

Lady Killer

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

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

Red-gizer

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

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

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

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

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

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

Passion Yellow Tok! Tok!

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

Passion Yellow Tok Tok

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

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

Coconut Milktail

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

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

Honey Grape Salad

Honey Grape Salad (S$18.90++)

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

Nest Snow

Nest Snow (S$32.90++)

Nest Snow

Nest Snow

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

Crispy Fried Wings

Crispy Fried Wings (S$26.90++)

Crispy Fried Wings

Crispy Fried Chicken

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

Garlicky Wings

Garlicky Wings! (S$28.90++)

Garlicky Wings

Garlicky Wings!

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

Spicy Wings

Spicy Wings! (S$28.90++)

Spicy Wings

Spicy Wings!

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

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken (S$29.90++)

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

Rosemary Herb Roasted Chicken

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

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

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

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

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

Portuguese Egg Tart

Portuguese Egg Tart (S$2.80)

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

Chicken Drumstick

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

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

Cornucopia Hazelnut

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

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

Chocolate Doughssan

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

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

Dinata @ 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road
#B3-42
Singapore 238895
Operating hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm
Website Facebook | Instagram


Hvala Waffle Bar

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

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

Of Waffles and Ice Cream

Of Waffles and Ice Cream

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Salted Caramel

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

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Chocolate Fondue

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

Real Vanilla Soft Serve with Maple Syrup

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

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

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

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

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

Ooh waffle!

Ooh waffle!

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

Original Hvala Waffle

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

Apple Cinnamon Waffle

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

Tiramisu Waffle

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

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

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

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

Some current offers on Tring 313

Some current offers on Tring 313

Hvala Waffle Bar deal happening right now!

You can pay through PayPal or with your credit card!

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

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

Thanks for reading! 🙂

313@somerset

313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Nearest MRT: Somerset
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Pho Street @ Westgate

MEDIA INVITE

Hey guys!

Living in a melting pot of different cultures has blessed me with the opportunity to try out different cuisines without having to step out of the country (and saving lotsa money as a result). Besides, it has become such a commonplace in Singapore for restaurants of non-local cuisines to establish their businesses in our neighbourhood, predominantly in shopping malls, thus making it even easier to satisfy our cravings for the food we ate abroad. But of course, these food usually don’t come cheap if they are prepared or created by chefs hired from their native countries in an attempt to keep the tastes as authentic as possible. So does it mean that it’s impossible to enjoy a good four-course non-local meal with just S$30 in an air-conditioned setting?

With the number of casual dining restaurants offering affordable food springing up these days, it may be possible. But with lower price, comes compromise. How many of them can actually serve quality and true-to-original (or close) non-Singaporean dishes while still maintaining its competitive prices? Not many but I have a couple of names in mind.

Pho Street, Westgate

Pho Street, Westgate

And one of them is Pho Street, a quick service restaurant offering authentic Vietnamese pho and street delights which I only came to know about recently through an invited food tasting (that I’m about to feature in this post). Having founded only in December 2013 with just 2 outlets (Westgate and Bedok Mall) nationwide currently, it’s not unusual that not many people have heard of it. But with the new Vietnamese chef (Chef Kenny Hà) on board with his new revamped menu, it’s only a matter of time before crowds start flocking to the restaurants. You will know why as I take you through the newly added items.

In fact, crowds have already started forming at the Westgate outlet (photo taken around 8pm on a weekday)

In fact, crowds have already started forming at the Westgate outlet (photo taken around 8pm on a weekday)

Let’s begin with the beverages that Pho Street has ushered in to liven up your palate and open up your appetite for the hearty meal that is to follow.

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint and Basil and Passionfruit & Basil Mojito

(left) Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil and (right) Passionfruit & Basil Mojito  (S$3.50++ each)

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil and Passionfruit & Basil Mojito

Mint and basil leaves

Garnished with mint and basil leaves to give diners a burst of cool flavour, these two latest additions provided a refreshing start to our meal. Both my boyfriend and I preferred the lemon cooler because it has a very sweet and addictive tang to it. Crisp and perky, this zesty drink is a summer classic, perfect for the hot and humid weather we’re all experiencing right now (just like Vietnam!). Even before the first dish arrived, we were already halfway done with the drink. That’s how much we loved it!

The passionfruit, on the other hand, pales in comparison in terms of the intensity of flavour. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice thirst quencher with a fairly strong minty aroma to awaken your senses. If you’re especially sensitive to strong flavours, this is the drink you should go for 🙂

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs (S$4.90++)

Fresh Summer Rolls with Prawn, Pork Belly & Fresh Herbs

Spot the pork belly

To whet our appetite further, we were treated to a variety of palatable street snacks. The first of the four new appetizers served was a Vietnamese staple called gỏi cuốn which literally means salad rolls. Like how it’s traditionally prepared, these rolls are made with pork (belly in this case), fresh prawns, vegetables (cucumber, turnip, lettuce and carrots), herbs (basil and mint leaves and a stalk of lemongrass visible on the surface) and rice vermicelli wrapped with rice paper, giving you a good mix of sweet and sour flavour. Every ingredient here is cooked lightly hence the roll on the whole tastes absolutely healthy yet delicious, not forgetting the resounding crunch with every bite is super shiok and melodious to the ears can 🙂 Each serving comes with two pieces of summer roll served in room temperature.

Shades of summer - green, orange and yellow :)

Shades of summer – green, orange and yellow 🙂

The dip that came with it is widely known as tương xào, a thick and pungent sauce also commonly used in Chinese cuisine. Topped with ground peanuts, the sauce gives the rolls an added sweetness and texture. It also kinda reminded me a lot of the black sweet sauce that’s drizzled over Chee Cheong Fun. Who knows, they could even be the same thing, maybe with slight modification, based on their standard recipes I saw online!

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Vietnamese Snack Platter (S$8.90++)

Roasted Chicken Skewers

Roasted Chicken Skewers

Vietnamese Crabcakes

Vietnamese Crabcakes (only 1 piece shown here)

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Crispy Fried Pork Rolls (only 1 piece shown here)

Ohh, look at the vibrancy of the colours. These snacks are not only visually appealing, but they also tantalise the taste buds. Everything on the platter was just.. delicious. The roasted chicken meat was tender, well-marinated and evenly peppered all over (hence some may find it spicy). The crispy pork rolls were fragrant and are even tastier dipped in the fish sauce (the less opaque one in the first picture) provided with the dish. But what boyfriend and I enjoyed the most were the crabcakes, which mainly consist of crab meat, pork and fungus (mushrooms). They were extremely meaty, thick but soft and chewy. This also goes well with the fish sauce.

Do note that what you see above (except for the skewers) is just half of what you’d get. That’s right, you will have TWO pieces of each snack! All these Vietnamese delights for just S$8.90! How value-for-money is that? 🙂 (omg I subconsciously made my sentences rhyme hahahaha #hiphopfionayo)

Still not convinced? How about MORE pictures of the snacks in action? *evil cackles*

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Roasted chicken dipped in the sexiest chilli sauce..

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Glistening crabcakes calling out your name…

The crisp, the crunch and the crumbles around your lips. Mmmm-mmmm.

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OK, if this 360-degree view of the platter doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will.

HAHAHAHA.

Moving on to the next appetizer, it was something that titillated the fried chicken fanatic in me because no casual dining menu would be complete without a plate of finger-lickin’ good fried chicken wings. I personally prefer the mid-joint area because that’s where the juiciest meat is.

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip (S$4.90++)

Crispy Fried Chicken Mid-wings served with Caramelised Sweet Dip

Fried chicken buffalo wings served with an extra punch

The batter was a nice golden brown but it looked a bit puffed up with excess breading noticeable on various parts of the wings, making them look a lot bigger and meatier than they originally were. But the wings themselves were superb and the meat was moist and succulent with a tinge of spiciness because of the pepper in the marinade. If you have low tolerance for spiciness, submerging the meat into the nectarous caramelised dip would only make it worse because it’s also loaded with pepper. But I’d say go for it because the dip is so heavenly, it’d make the burn worthwhile 😉

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Sesame Rice Crackers with Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip (S$6.90++)

Sesame Rice Crackers

Sesame Rice Crackers

Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip

Fragrant Minced Meat and Spices Dip

The final appetizer of the evening was another distinctive snack unique to Vietnam. Known to the natives as bánh tráng mè, these sesame rice crackers are made from rice flour and sprinkled with sesame seed. They are the Singapore equivalent of prawn crackers, crispy and delicate. But instead of eating them on their own, they are typically served with dips, such as the minced meat and spices dip shown above!

To ensure that ingredients are of highest quality, the rice crackers at Pho Street are all imported from Vietnam.

The correct way of eating the sesame rice crackers

The correct way of eating the sesame rice crackers

The dip was warm when it came to us, which could suggest that they were freshly prepared (as opposed to preparing them way in advance and storing them elsewhere). It tasted like rendang paste and was a little greasy. Still, this was one of the best dishes we had at the restaurant that day (because we can’t decide between this and the snack platter).

After stuffing our face with the appetizers *burp*, it was finally time for our mains! When you’re at a Vietnamese restaurant, it’s almost like a hidden rule that you have to order Pho, so we did.

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Pho Beef Combination (S$9.90++)

Close up on the different cuts of beef in the Pho

Close up on the different cuts of beef in the Pho

The perfect rice noodles

The perfect rice noodles

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Chilli sauce and a slice of lime for the broth

Prior to the launch of this new menu, there were only beef balls, beef slices and beef shank in the Pho Beef Combination. Now, you get two additional beef cuts – the beef tendons and beef tripe (stomach) – for the same price of S$9.90! Seriously, you’re not true beef lover if you haven’t tried this. The overall taste seemed to have improved tremendously too as I couldn’t detect any of the faults mentioned on online negative reviews (bland broth, hard noodles, just to name a few) posted before the revamp.

In fact, I thought the broth was very flavourful and even more so after dribbling in some lime juice. The chilli sauce that comes with it is actually blended with the same soy sauce that’s served together with the summer roll I mentioned earlier. Talkin’ about getting the best of both worlds y’all 😉

Beef ball dipped in chilli sauce

Beef ball dipped in chilli sauce

The other mains we had was a dry version of Pho but it’s thinner and better.

Dry Rice Vermicelli with Roasted Pork Chop and Spring Roll (S$8.90)

Dry Rice Vermicelli with Roasted Pork Chop and Spring Roll (S$8.90)

Close up of the pork chop

Close up of the pork chop

Mixing them together

Mixing them together, lo hei style

Rice vermicelli

Rice vermicelli

Truth be told, I felt a little twinge of regret when this arrived at the table because it looked a tad too dry for my liking (I wanted bánh mì initially but changed my mind) and at this point in time I was already feeling almost like a stuffed teddy bear so I was afraid that the vermicelli wouldn’t be slippery enough to glide down my throat.

But guess what? This seemingly dry dish turned soft and moist the moment it’s mixed with the sweet and spicy gravy at the bottom! The vermicelli was so smooth, soft and easy to stomach. Plus, it also included a generous piece of chewy peppered pork chop and crispy spring roll, which in case you haven’t realised, was the exact same one from the snack platter.

I caught a whiff of the dish and was instantly reminded of rojak. But of course, it didn’t taste like it. Not even close. This wins hands-down with its uniquely piquant and gratifying flavours. Therefore this would be my go-to dish (sorry Pho Pho) when I’m at Pho Street.

Apart from the two mains featured above, there are also two others I didn’t manage to try (oh how I wish I had a bigger stomach eh no I take that back). They are the Bánh Mì combination (bun with pork belly, grilled beef and chicken ham, S$6.90++) and the Roasted Pork Chop with Fragrant Rice (S$7.90++).

And last but not least, we shared a dessert to end the meal on a sweet note (pun intended).

Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts

Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts (S$3.50++)

Topped with crushed peanuts that exuded a pleasant fragrance, this thick and milky dessert is a must-try for all coconut lovers or anybody who wants to relive their Vietnam or Thai experience. It contains shaved water chestnuts, mung beans (green beans), fresh coconut sauce and banana essence so it’s like a burst of sweetness and a party in your mouth. It’s a pretty big serving so it’d be better to share it with someone.

Also, do allow me to emphasise that only fresh coconut sauce is used so it should taste sweet and nothing else. If your Cream of Mung Bean turns out to be sour, it’d mean that the coconut sauce has turned bad and you should return your drink to the friendly servers and ask for another one 🙂

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You nutty nutty

Do note that all prices are subjected to prevailing government taxes (7% GST) and a 1% service charge. Now, if you add up the prices of the most expensive item from each course, you’ll come up with this:

Lemon Cooler with Peppermint & Basil (S$3.50) + Vietnamese Snack Platter (S$8.90) + Pho Beef Combination (S$9.90) + Cream of Mung Bean with Coconut Sauce & Crushed Peanuts (S$3.50) + 7% GST + 1% Service Charge

And the final price would only be S$27.90! It’s a very good deal for a very satisfying meal I must say.

Have you tried out the new menu at Pho Street? If not, would you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Pho Street @ Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
#B2-K6/K7
Singapore 608532
Tel: 64659909
Mon – Sun : 11:30am – 10:00pm (Last order at 9:30pm)

Pho Street @ Bedok Mall
311 New Upper Changi Road
#B1-40
Singapore 467360
Mon – Thurs : 11.00am – 10.00pm (Last Order at 9.30pm)
Fri – Sun : 11.00am – 10.30pm (Last Order at 10.00pm)

Website | Menu | Facebook

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
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