[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!

[LUNCH BUFFET] Element @ Amara Singapore

Hello everyone!

As the saying goes, all work and no play eat makes Jack a dull hungry boy so when the offer to attend a tasting session at Element Restaurant came, I jumped at it – even if it meant to forgo an entire afternoon of catching up on work.

Conveniently located within a few minutes’ walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station in the heart of the Central Business District, Element Restaurant – or rather, Amara Hotel where the restaurant is set – instantly comes to mind as one of the ideal dining destinations for a hearty meal with colleagues or business partners. The restaurant caters to lunch crowds and dinner patrons with a lavish international buffet spread from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm as well as the contemporary Sicilian cuisines in à la carte menus from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Monday to Sunday (except Friday) – the latter of which I had to regrettably give a miss to when it was launched due to a flu bug.

Element Restaurant

Element Restaurant

We ordered a couple of cold beverages (separate charges apply) to whet our appetites at the bar within the restaurant since only coffee and tea are offered as part of the buffet. As far as I am aware, not many buffets allow you the opportunity to order such drinks but Element has their own bar so that alcoholics wine connoisseurs can drink and make merry at the same time.

Mocktail: Shirley Temple (S$13++)

Mocktail: Shirley Temple (S$13++)

Alcoholic: Bailey (S$14++)

Alcoholic: Bailey (S$14++)

Great tasting food is my Achilles heel. But as much as I love to eat, I do have certain standards when it comes to dining at buffets due to the fact that there are many buffets out there masquerading as nothing more than overpriced and over-glorified economical rice dishes.

Amongst all my expectations, a decent variety of food is a must and the spread during the lunch buffet at Element Restaurant was, to say the least, exquisite. According to the staff, the wide assortment of dishes changes daily. From local classics such as Laksa to crowd favourites such as Japanese sushi, sashimi and fresh seafood, there is bound to be something that appeals to your taste buds. To save you from the agony of having to sit through my babbling, the pictures will do most of the talking instead.

— Appetisers —

This section serves an array of bread, soup and dim sum

This section serves an array of bread, soup and dim sum

Assortment of bread

Assortment of bread

Siew Mai

Siew Mai

Soon Kueh

Soon Kueh

Char Siew Pau

Char Siew Pau

— Japanese cuisine —

Sushi spread

Sushi spread

Apart from these Japanese staples, this stop also serves sashimi freshly prepared by the chef stationed there.

— Salad bar —

Mix and match your own salad and toppings!

Mix and match your own salad and toppings!

— Cured and smoked meat —

Selection of cured and smoked meat platter

Selection of cured and smoked meat platter

Cold cut salami

Cold cut salami

Marinated Black Fungus

Marinated Black Fungus

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki

The tuna tataki was one of my favourite! It has a slightly chewy texture that leaves a sourish and slightly spicy aftertaste, leaving my palate refreshed just after a bite. It was my first time trying Tuna Tataki and I absolutely love it because of all the different flavours rolling around on my tongue. Doing a little research, I discovered that Tataki or tosa-mi is actually a Japanese method for preparing fish that has been briefly marinated in vinegar, sliced thinly and seasoned for taste. I strongly recommend this dish to anybody who is a lover of Tuna sashimi – you will surely go back for seconds!

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

— Seafood —

Seafood aplenty and regularly topped up

Seafood aplenty and regularly topped up

White Clams

White Clams

Moreton Bay Bug

Moreton Bay Bug

I pointed out excitedly to Fiona that there was crayfish at the seafood section and was eagerly adding several pieces of the tasty crustacean onto my plate when I noticed the name of the dish.

Moreton Bay Bug.

BUG? I momentarily froze as that word registered in my head. Thinking that it was a typo error, I quickly whipped my phone out from my pocket to (what else?) Google for more information. It turns out this ‘bug’ is actually a species of slipper lobsters resembling the crayfish which explains my initial confusion (because why would anyone name a delicious food after something so off-putting?). The meat was firm and moist, which means that it was incredibly fresh! While it was my first time eating it, I know it won’t be my last ☺

— Live station —

This is where the chef takes orders from buffet-goers and prepares the food on the spot

This is where the chef takes orders from buffet-goers and prepares the food on the spot

The menu at the live station changes every day. When I was there for food tasting, traditional laksa was the dish of the day. If noodles aren’t your thing, you may also opt for a small portion of claypot rice next to the live station.

Wax Rice with Chinese Sausage, Roasted Meat and Mushroom

Wax Rice with Chinese Sausage, Roasted Meat and Mushroom

— Light snacks —

Mostly cooked food

Mostly cooked food

Japanese Salmon Croquette with Spicy Mayo

Japanese Salmon Croquette with Spicy Mayo

Crispy Chicken Wings so good, Fiona ate about 8 pieces

Crispy Chicken Wings so good, Fiona ate about 8 pieces

— Desserts —

Sweet and savoury desserts to conclude your buffet experience

Sweet and savoury desserts to conclude your buffet experience

Pandan Pudding

Pandan Pudding

Cempedak Creme Brulee & Blueberry Panna Cotta

Cempedak Creme Brulee & Blueberry Panna Cotta

THIS is the star of my entire meal in my humblest and honest opinion. Element’s Cempedak Creme Brulee is out of this world! I am quite sure even Gordon Ramsay would not have anything negative to say about it. Do not be deceived by the small unassuming saucer for it packs a punch in its delivery of flavours. The Cempedak is the smaller cousin of the Jackfruit. Compared to the Jackfruit, the Cempedak is sweeter and has a stronger aroma when ripen. I caught a whiff of the aroma while I was walking past the dessert section which was what led me to try it. I had no regrets at all but if there was one, it was not helping myself to more servings of the dessert before the buffet service ended. It is a seasonal fruit and as such I do not expect this dish to be available all year around so I highly recommend you to try it if you get the chance.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience dining at Element. The servers were very friendly and responsive – our plates were cleared constantly and the warm smiles they carried on their faces increased the pleasure of our dining experience. And no, our tables were not cleared all the time because we were there on a media invite. Looking around, I also noticed that other guests were also the subject of such excellent service and hospitality.

Thanks for reading!

Element at Amara Singapore
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088539
Tel: 6879 2607
Nearest MRT station: Tanjong Pagar

International Lunch Buffet
Monday to Friday, 11.30 am – 2.30 pm
Adult: S$49++
Child (6-12 years old): S$25++
Reservations: Chope | Quandoo

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!

‘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

d’Good Cafe @ Holland Village

Hey everyone!

Being a location that is highly frequented by (presumably) well-to-do expatriates and very cultured locals (remember the Samantha incident?) has certainly shaped Holland Village into the very happening and classy place it is today. Therefore, for people like me who live in the west and don’t like to venture too far out, Holland Village immediately comes to mind when we think of hipster food like Eggs Benedict because of the abundance of brunch cafes there.

As mentioned in my PARK review, I will be taking you through some of the cafes I lunched at with my colleagues within the Holland Village area during my 6-month internship stint (which ended in June). You probably have read numerous reviews about them since they are not exactly new set-ups but how accurate are they, considering that some of them might be written as far back as three years ago when the cafes first established?

d'Good Cafe

d’Good Cafe

Blown away by the largely positive feedback on blogs and review websites, my colleagues and I decided to pay d’Good Cafe a visit for lunch one day. It was a calm and peaceful afternoon at the three-storey cafe with only a handful of diners in sight on the third level. Majority of them were students buried in books (yes, it’s a study-friendly place) and a hungry few would occasionally take a short study break to order finger food at the cashier downstairs.

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

D'Good Cafe dining area

D’Good Cafe dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Everything there was self-service, even the delivering of food to the table. My poor colleagues who had kindly volunteered to do the ordering (while the rest dealt with other tasks) had to travel back and forth between the third and the first floor – the first round to order and make payment and the subsequent rounds to collect the food (all appetisers, mains and desserts for the 9 of us). It took them at least three rounds before all the orders were completed because of the varying preparation times for different dishes. It’s such a silly system, don’t you think?

I mean, I am fully aware of the growing labour crunch that the food and beverage industry is facing but I couldn’t fathom why, in this day and age, a relatively popular cafe like d’Good would be unable to invest in the latest technology, like purchasing wireless handheld devices so that customers can send their orders to the cashier without having to leave their seats (and save a trip)? Or at least come up with a simple order chit to facilitate the ordering process, especially when it involves multiple orders? Despite its fascinating and modern decor, the cafe is so unbelievably backward.

And that’s not all.

Iced water is complimentary at the cafe but one has to take the stairs (lift was not in operation that day like seriously) to the ground floor to get them. There were no jugs and only average-sized plastic cups were available! Imagine having to go back down and up two storeys again if you need to refill your cup?! That’s intense workout man! I wouldn’t recommend people with mobility difficulties to dine at this cafe.

Ground level

Ground level

Having gone through all the unnecessary inconvenience, our lunch obviously didn’t start on a good note. We thought maybe the food would be marvelous enough to override all our dissatisfaction and we would eventually leave this place with a happy tummy. After all, that’s what most reviews we had read seemed to suggest.

But no.

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Eggs Benedict (S$13.50+) – “Two poached eggs are nestled on brioche & bacon and drizzled with homemade Hollandaise sauce. The salad on the side completes the eggs-trodinary morning boost”

My Eggs Benedict came looking like someone had stolen a huge portion of my Hollandaise sauce. In the most unappetising yellow, it looked miserable and diluted, a far cry from what I had at PARK and other cafes (of similar price range) prior to this. I also couldn’t believe that a piece of cheap-looking toasted white bread (what brioche??) was served in place of the English muffins, not forgetting the ridiculously small portion too. Although my mood was already partly dampened because of the presentation, I thought, okay, maybe it wouldn’t taste that bad. I picked up my cutlery and gleefully readied myself for the little yolk explosion that was to come.

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

But lo and behold! Huge disappointment overcame me when nothing oozed out as the tip of my knife sliced through the middle. I went into a frenzy of rage when I saw the overcooked poached egg and the entirely hard and dry yolk. Without the runny yolk to combine with the (awful) Hollandaise sauce, my meal was ruined. The bacon tasted slightly cold and raw too. Argh, needless to say, I didn’t enjoy my food at all. The money is better spent on 4 sets of Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs from a nearby Kopitiam which would most probably taste a million times better than this overpriced nonsense 😡

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ or S$3.00++ as add-on)

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ a la carte or S$3.00++ as an add-on)

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

The dessert I ordered was also a letdown. Contrary to its name, the chocolate within the Lava Chocolate Cake was nowhere near molten and gooey. It was overcooked once again hence the dense and bumpy texture. Its only saving grace was the decadently rich taste.

Still, can somebody enlighten me? Why the vast disparity between the reviews (which praised their food to the high heavens) and reality? Am I missing out on something?

Bangers and Mash

Colleague’s order: Bangers and Mash (S$12+) – “Plump and juicy Cumberland and smoked chicken sausages are grilled and served on a bed of soft mash potato with crunchy potato bits and finished off with caramelised onion”

I didn’t get to try the sausages but according to my cooking enthusiast colleague, it was alright. I wouldn’t blow 12 bucks on 2 pieces of sausages (not like they were really gigantic) which wouldn’t keep me satiated through the next few hours in the office though.

Bacon Carbonara

Colleagues’ order: Bacon Carbonara (S$15+) – “Linguine served with pork bacon in mixed herb tomato sauce”

If you’re looking to satisfy your Italian appetite, d’Good does serve pretty decent Carbonara. I tried a spoonful of my colleague’s Bacon Carbonara and really loved the creaminess but the taste gradually became heavier with more mouthfuls and you end up feeling sick of it. My colleague didn’t finish her Carbonara in the end.

Another colleague ordered Chicken Tikka Masala (Indian-spiced chicken stew with Japanese rice) as well but I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it because she was seated at the far end of the table. Before I could react she had already dug her fork into the chicken meat 😛 I vaguely remember it looked delicious and the portion was quite generous.

All in all, I think d’Good is an overrated (sorry!) cafe serving subpar food at inflated prices. It’s probably only popular because of its lovely and beautifully whimsical decor and latte art which are both very Instagram-worthy (hence words spread fast like wildfire). But now that I’ve tasted the food, I kinda doubt the credibility of any positive reviews (like, y’know, the 4-star rating on Facebook) about this cafe. Therefore I don’t see myself returning to try other stuff on the menu unless I see visible improvements (will be keeping a lookout for food pictures on Instagram). Honestly, my Eggs Benedict was so bad, it was a shame! :\

That’s all for my review! Share with me your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve been to d’Good Cafe 🙂

+ All prices are not inclusive of 7% GST

d’Good Cafe
273 Holland Ave
#02-01/02
Singapoe 278992
Tel: 62199807
Website | Facebook

PARK @ Holland Village

Hey guys!

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

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

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

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

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PARK @ Holland Village

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PARK @ Holland Village

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

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

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

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Steamed Milk

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

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

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

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Truffle Fries (S$11++)

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

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

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Park Wings (S$9.50++)

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

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

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

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

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Egg Royale (S$16.50++)

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

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Egg Royale

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

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

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

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Too much free time after lunch

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Everyone loves to camwhore using my camera hahaha

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❤ Miss this group of people so much!

And that’s about it!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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

A Tribute to Mum @ Café Brio’s (Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel)

Hey everyone!

It’s the start of a brand new month again and we are fast approaching midyear 2015! But like the month of December, May is another month of endless spending for me. Not only is Mother’s Day around the corner, my Mom’s birthday happens to be in May too. And because my Mom enjoys being pampered, I usually don’t hold joint celebrations although both days are just a week apart.

Coincidentally, my boyfriend’s mother was also born in May – more than one year and a day before my Mom. Thus it makes remembering her birthday a cinch because she would celebrate hers on the following day of my Mom’s. However, due to our conflicting schedules, very seldom we would celebrate her birthday on the actual day. It’s often done in advance so as to avoid the Mother’s Day crowd and surcharges (and also because being Chinese, you know, belated celebrations are usually frowned upon). This year we had it at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel because of a two-week long Mother’s Day buffet promotion going on at Café Brio’s.

For just S$48++ per person, you get to treat your beloved Mom to a pre-Mother’s Day hi-tea cum local barbeque buffet on 2 May and 9 May (basically, the two Saturdays prior to Mother’s Day), or a Mother’s Day lunch or dinner cum seafood barbeque buffet for S$68++ and S$78++ per person respectively on 3 May and 10 May.

Café Brio’s A Tribute to Mum

Thank Mum for her dedication to the family with a gratuitous buffet spread, featuring Osaka crab salad with Champagne gelee, jumbo king prawn with asparagus spear and mild spicy tomato cream sauce and seafood on ice. She’ll love the beef steak, slipper lobster, scallop on half shell, salmon fillet and stingray at the barbecue station. Sweeten her taste-buds with lovely peach melba roulade and mini chocolate glazed cupcakes.

All Mums will be presented with a heart-shaped cookie.

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Here are some highlights of the hi-tea buffet last Saturday 🙂

Pastries and Desserts

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Mother’s Cup Cake Tower

I was instantly drawn to the colourful display of the cake tower upon entering the buffet. They’re so adorable, don’t you think? But for the longest time, these red velvet cupcakes were left untouched, probably no one wanted to ruin their nice arrangement. It was interrupted by me in the end, haha. The cupcake was moist and sweet. Would help myself to more servings if not for being weight-conscious.

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Chocolate Brownie

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Nonya Kueh

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“Lovely” Peach Melba Roulade

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Chocolate Cream

Topped with golden chocolate pearls, these chocolate mousse were so alluring, I couldn’t resist taking one for myself. I only ate half of it (it was so hard stopping myself) because the thickness of the chocolate made me feel so sinful, oh my God. It was good nonetheless!

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Durian Swiss Roll

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Ice Cream – Mango, Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate flavours

They were surprisingly soft as the scoop glided through the ice cream with ease. There are also waffle cones for you to scoop the ice cream onto them. I took 2 scoops – mango and vanilla 🙂

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Chocolate fondue

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Not sure what this is but I think it’s a kind of Nonya kueh

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Mini Nine Layer Kueh 九层糕

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Mini Egg Tarts

The egg tarts were a little tasteless in my opinion, and it would be better if the crusts were a little crispier and more flaky. It was a shame because I really love egg tarts and was looking forward to devouring most of them. But I really like how shiny the egg custard looked 🙂

Japanese Cuisine

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An array of sushi

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Sushi again

I kinda shunned this section because it’s rice overload. I wished there were Sashimi! But most of the sushi were gone by the second hour of the buffet so I guess they are decent.

Local Delights

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Wok-Fried Vegetables

Don’t judge me – this is one of my favourite dishes that afternoon, so much so that I actually went back to the buffet table thrice for it. I’m really not much of a greens person but the bok choy was really delicious and soft.

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Glutinous Rice

I took a small spoonful of the rice and was actually yearning for more. It was really nice and well executed 🙂

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Stir-fried Tiger Prawns

Probably the most popular dish on the buffet table, the tiger prawns were gone in a flash shortly after we took our food, thanks to the convenience of shelled prawns. Seriously, I doubt they would be so sought after if they had their shells intact. They were scrumptious, fresh and slightly bigger than normal prawns though (which is a bonus for buffets). But replenishment was kinda slow so we actually had to wait a bit before we could go for a second serving.

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Wok-fried Singapore Chilli Clams

The clams were generously huge and meaty for a buffet. Not to mention, they were pretty fresh too. The chilli gravy was divine. If you’re a fan of chilli crab, you would like this as much.

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Mantou

I suppose the steamed buns were meant to be dipped into the gravy of the chilli clams above. But they were a little too tough for my liking.

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Fried fish

Dim Sum

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There were mini Bao and Siew Mai (not in photo)

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Fried crab meat sticks

You know that the buffet is extremely kids-friendly when they have a section dedicated to simple fried food like the above. Apart from crab meat sticks, there were also fried tapioca. Fried crab meat sticks are also my personal favourite which I often snacked on during my secondary school days so I was really excited to see them at the buffet.

Sandwiches

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Focaccia Bread filled with Tuna Mayo and Green Salad

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Mini Soft Bun with Chicken Floss… and some tortilla chips?

The mini soft buns tasted like BreadTalk’s Flosss lah with the sweet cream and generous layer of floss, just that instead of pork floss, it’s chicken. The bun itself was soft. Not bad! But I wouldn’t binge on bread at a buffet.

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Mini Croissant with Turkey Ham and Cherry Tomato

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Apricot and Rum

Salad

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Beetroot salad

I attempted to cleanse my bowels with some beetroot salad. Was apprehensive at first because I had only tried beetroot in juice form but this was surprisingly good and fun to eat.

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Fussili Pasta with Semi-Dried Tomatoes

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Glass Noodle Salad with Top Shell

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Garden salad

Barbecue

The barbecue corner can be found outdoors (near the section where the dim sum is) which isn’t very conspicuous if you’re not attentive enough.

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All kinds of freshly barbecued Satay

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Barbecued sausages

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Barbecued sausages

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Barbecued wings

Asian Desserts

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DIY Ice Kacang

It was a messy affair making my own Ice Kacang because I suck at using the shaved ice machine, but it was tons of fun! It was even more satisfying being able to decide how much of the syrup you want to drizzle over the mountain of ice (though mine was pretty much a hill.. or perhaps, a pile of gravel) because I totally went crazy with them. My creation was so sweet it could give me diabetes.

There was also a corner that served Laksa (prepared by a chef) and had several pots of western soup. I tried Creme of Mushroom but it was a tad tasteless (still decent and worth a try on the overall) so be sure to look out for those when you’re at the buffet!

Last but not least, if you’re going with your Mom, she will be given a heart-shaped cookie as mentioned in the blurb above!

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Aiya, a bit broken liao.

There will still be another (last) session of Hi-Tea cum Local Barbecue Buffet this coming Saturday before the café reverts to their normal menu so be sure to make a reservation for that one. After all, it’s only S$48++ for a wide spread of food (even though it’s only hi-tea). It’s a steal if you ask me. And I’m sure your Mom would have a whale of a time there too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Café Brio’s @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel (beside Zouk)
392 Havelock Road
Singapore 169663
For reservations, call 6233 1100 or email dining.gcw@millenniumhotels.com
Website: A Tribute to Mum at Café Brio’s

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.

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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)

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Egg prata (source)

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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.

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Super tasty duck meat soaked in nice black sauce

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

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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..

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(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.

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

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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

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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

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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! ❤