[ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE] Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, a Unique Singaporean Concoction, and Other Craft Beers by Sunbird Brewery Co.

Hello everyone!

Singapore might just be a tiny red dot on the world map, but our capabilities are not to be belittled. Already, our country boasts a few homegrown brands (such as Razer and Tiger Beer) that have earned international acclaim for their products. Now, with more companies demonstrating their ingenuity, the list is just going to keep growing!

Sunbird Brewery Company is one such example, as they have been making waves in the craft beer industry since entering the scene in July last year with a collection of four craft beers. Led by founder Clive Tan who paid his dues at Archipelago Brewery and Brewerkz, Sunbird (named after Singapore’s national bird) is driven by the passion to produce bolder flavours with an innovative edge for consumers of the future. Curious to know what the hype was all about, my companion and I promptly accepted the company’s invitation to taste all of their craft beers – including their latest offering launched in April – at Orh Gao Taproom last Saturday (after restrictions on public gathering had ease, that is).

Orh Gao Taproom - a new casual bar serving residents in Bukit Timah!

Orh Gao Taproom – a new casual bar serving residents in Bukit Timah!

Orh Gao is a colloquial term for stouts

Orh Gao is a colloquial term for stouts

Menu overhead (also pictured is the founder of Sunbird Brewery Co on the left)

Menu overhead (also pictured is the founder of Sunbird Brewery Co on the left)

Fly in Light

Fly in Light

Fly in Light

Fly in Light

A pale ale, Fly in Light has a 5% alcohol content with a fruity – more specifically, passionfruit and citrus – taste which complements the dry earthy flavour of the malt. It is light on the taste buds and does not make one feel surfeited after a couple of sips, therefore making it easy to drink. This was one of my favourites (as a non-alcohol geek) that evening, along with Fluff Up.

Fluff Up

Fluff Up

Fluff Up

Fluff Up

Fluff Up – a Belgian witbier (think Hoegaarden) – too has an alcohol content of 5% but with a more interesting flavour profile. It packs a little kick due to its spice and orange peel notes, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to seafood especially in countries with hot climate like Singapore.
Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

One cannot forget to mention Birds of Paradise since hoppy and bitter brews are becoming a huge trend in the craft beer industry. A white IPA with a creamy taste, it has bitter taste profile as with American IPAs (which neither of us is a fan of). That said, its citrus and pine undertones will definitely go well with the holiday season (because we shouldn’t let the pandemic stop us from feeling the holiday spirit, right?), or simply spicy food like buffalo wings (psst.. Orh Gao taproom serves great buffalo wings 馃槈).
Some finger food to go with the beers. Not sure if we were just hungry but they were ALL delicious. We practically cleared the plate!

Some finger food to go with the beers. Not sure if we were just hungry but they were ALL delicious. We practically cleared the plate!

And probably the best thing that was served with the platter - the chilli. Haven't had such satisfying chilli in a while! I swear it this came in bottles, I'd totally get it 馃槅

And probably the best thing that was served with the platter – the chilli. Haven’t had such satisfying chilli in a while! I swear if this was sold in bottles separately, I’d totally get some 馃槅

Eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse of the Sun

Another beer in Sunbird’s regular range is Eclipse of the Sun and it is wildly popular among expats here. Despite the slightly higher alcohol content of 6%, the Scottish Ale is malty and full-bodied which could be due to the caramel that gives it a raisin taste, as well as its deep copper brown colour.
In commemoration of National Day this year, Sunbird has rolled out a new and exciting seasonal concoction infused with flavours familiar to the local palate – the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter. This one-of-a-kind craft beer pays homage to a timeless traditional dessert – as its namesake implies – with an alcohol content of 6%. The drink has a distinct roasted and dry taste, coupled with a caramel flavour and coconut smell which is further drawn out and complemented by the addition of pandan.
Ondeh-Ondeh Porter

Ondeh-Ondeh Porter

Ondeh-Ondeh Porter

Ondeh-Ondeh Porter

Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, bottled (look how cute the ondeh-ondeh illustration is on the bottle - haha!)

Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, bottled (look how cute the ondeh-ondeh illustration is on the bottle – haha!)

Crafted as a porter due to the nutty flavour profile obtained when the gula melaka brown sugar is toasted, this is certainly nowhere as bitter as a stout but its sharpness might still be a bit too overwhelming for novice drinkers. However, if you’re one who appreciates this category of beer, the bitterness of the porter actually goes hand-in-hand with the roasted caramel taste. As one with a sweet tooth, I only wished this was crafted as a witbier instead. But on second thought, that would probably render the beer too sweet.
Sunbird's brews in bottled form, a.k.a what you would get if you make your order online!

Sunbird’s brews in bottled form, a.k.a what you would get if you make your order online!

Unlike the other beers that are available in singles, the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter is only sold in a pack of 6 at $55 nett (or in a mixed pack of 12 that includes other beers) on the website, maybe because it won’t be on the menu for long (so it’s always good to stock up!). Of course, you could always sample or enjoy one bottle at selected bars and restaurants islandwide – one of which being Orh Gao Taproom – in the month of August with people you have not met in ages! Great excuse to catch up with your buddies, eh?
Leaving you with this memorable quote we saw at Orh Gao Taproom.. Remember this, guys.

Leaving you with this memorable quote we saw at Orh Gao Taproom.. Remember this, guys.

What are your thoughts about this local creation, or the craft beers offered by Sunbird Brewery Co. in general? Beer connoisseurs, do let me know your views in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Sunbird Brewery Co 路 5 Mandai Link, #05-05, Singapore 728654 路 order from WEBSITE 路 free islandwide delivery with purchase of $65 and above 路 For more information on where the beers are served, please visit FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.
Orh Gao Taproom 路 10 Jalan Serene, #01-03 Serene Centre, Singapore 258748 路 Operating hours: 4.00 pm – 11.00 pm (Tue – Thu, Sun), 4.00 PM – 12.00 AM (Fri & Sat), Closed on Mondays聽路 Nearest MRT station: Botanic Gardens (CC19/DT9) 路 For more information, please visit Orh Gao Taproom FACEBOOK PAGE聽or INSTAGRAM.
this was a media invitation. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN, with contributions from my beer-enthusiast companion.

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[FOOD DELIVERY] Avoid Death Stares from Commuters – Let Durian Delivery Deliver Your Durian to You!

Hello everyone!

When a certain distinctive pungent aroma (or odour 馃お) hits every corner of Singapore, we know the season of the King of Fruits has arrived. Normally around this time of the year, durian stalls along the streets of Geylang and at all over the heartlands would be thronged with people wanting to get their hands on the best picks for the day.

Photo by Elaine Tan

Photo by Elaine Tan

But the pandemic happened and the recent imposition of restrictions on dining out meant that most food services are now limited to take-out and delivery. Unless you live a stone’s throw away from the stall, durian take-outs probably would not be very ideal as the fruit is banned across all types of public transportation – even cab or private-hire drivers might be reluctant to pick up passengers with durian in tow because its putrid smell can linger in the car for days!

Thus, that leaves us with the option of delivery which may also have its own constraints related to location and timing. For instance, it could take up to 5 hours for durian all the way from the west (my former area of residence before moving to the north-east) to be delivered to me even with orders placed in advance. Sometimes, sellers may give priority to walk-in customers and refuse to deliver due to manpower shortage, or charge exorbitant delivery fees if they do. Worse still, the likelihood of receiving durians of quality that falls short of expectations is definitely there since we can’t personally choose them. Isn’t it frustrating that eating durian has now become an increasingly stressful and expensive affair, especially amidst this economic downturn?

You’re not alone! In fact, it was precisely these problems that prompted Durian Delivery to start their own durian business (way before the coronavirus reaches our shores!) because like us, they’ve seen enough of unscrupulous and inexperienced sellers who are unable to meet the growing needs of millennials.

Durian Delivery website

Durian Delivery website

Some examples of the durian they sell..

Some examples of the durian they sell..

Durian Delivery also sells vacuum-packed durian, durian puree and durian puffs (as pictured)!

Durian Delivery also sells vacuum-packed durian, durian puree and durian puffs (as pictured)!

By adopting a strong e-commerce model, Durian Delivery is able to efficiently collate advance orders from the day before and notify their durian plantation in Malaysia to send them out the first thing in the morning. That said, orders can still be made on the day itself, but would be subjected to availability (which you are able to check on the website where stocks are regularly updated). You can rest assured that your durian is plucked (just as it is about to drop) within 6 to 12 hours of it being sent to your doorstep so you get to enjoy the freshest harvest with your loved ones. Otherwise, a replacement would be on your way (upon verification) at no extra cost should you receive a defective order (i.e. unripe, sour or watery durian)!

My order from Durian Delivery!

My order from Durian Delivery!

Despite online being their primary mode of sales (they do cash-and-carry at their brick-and-mortar premises too!), Durian Delivery tries their utmost in digitally replicating the shopping experience at their physical stall by enabling customers to conveniently select their preferred type(s) of durian and fulfilling their orders – dehusked – within the next two hours at S$9.70 (or one, at a premium of S$13.70). No minimum spend value is required to qualify for delivery, which is a huge plus for small households of durian eaters like mine. Large orders of above S$100, however, would be entitled to free delivery (so organise a spree and get your whole kampong on board!). What’s more, their delivery hours stretch all the way to 3am just so that you wouldn’t go to bed feeling durian-deprived!

Bird's-eye view of the king of fruits..

Bird’s-eye view of the king of fruits..

Glorious, glorious bed of yellow.. Looking at this just makes me salivate..

Glorious, glorious bed of yellow.. Looking at this just makes me salivate..

Whether you like your durian sweet or bitter, or prefer to indulge in the decadence of the more luxurious types of them (think Black Pearl or Black Gold), Durian Delivery does not snub and has got it all covered with its diverse offerings, albeit depending on the harvest phase. My taste buds lean towards the sweeter side of things (also great for my wallet when durian is in question 馃槵) so my go-to breeds are Red Prawn (which, in this instance, is brought in from Durian Delivery’s private plantation in Muar) and D13 (only if the former isn’t available but so far, this hasn’t been listed on the website). To give my family a choice of flavours, Mao Shan Wang (from Pahang), which is known to have bittersweet notes, was added to my order.

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Red Prawn / Ang Hei (800g)

Their durians typically come in two weights – 400g and 800g (the latter of which, according to Durian Delivery, comes from roughly 3.2 kg of durian with husk, and is enough for two) – and packed in airtight plastic containers that, in my opinion, are rather effective in containing the smell. I did not weigh my order but my 800g Red Prawn and 400g Mao Shan Wang durians certainly felt substantially heavy when held. And no, it wasn’t due to their seeds. These durians had seeds that were a lot smaller than usual, enveloped by their thick luscious flesh that were almost pillowy-soft, creamy and sticky – you really get what you paid for!

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

Mao Shan Wang / Musang King (400g)

MSW's small seed

MSW’s small seed

For the eagle-eyed: This picture of Red Prawn was taken a few days after my order was delivered because I was constantly feeling bloated prior to this. Still, it tasted FANTABULOUS, so much so that we refused to share it with our dog (which would usually get a small mouthful of durian flesh from us)

For the eagle-eyed: This picture of Red Prawn was taken a few days after my order was delivered because I was constantly feeling bloated prior to this. Still, it tasted FANTABULOUS, so much so that we refused to share it with our dog (which would usually get a small mouthful of durian flesh from us)

Small seed!

Small seed!

All the small Red Prawn seeds!

All the small Red Prawn seeds!

Since Durian Delivery prides themselves on selling the freshest produce straight from their plantation, leftovers at the end of the day would be frozen and sold to confectioneries and dessert shops to prevent wastage. This is unlike many dishonest sellers who would prey on the naivety of uninformed buyers by pushing old stocks first, often at the very same price as the new ones. This, coupled with the fact that Durian Delivery also offers a 100% replacement guarantee as mentioned above, gives me the confidence to part with my money on my future purchases with them – even when we are free of any pandemic.

What are your thoughts about Durian Delivery? Will you be giving them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

DURIAN Delivery SIngaporeDURIANDELIVERY.COM.SG 路 Delivery hours: 10.00 am – 11.59 pm (daily) 路 For more information, please visit Sushi Delivery FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY Durian DELIVERY Singapore in collaboration with BEST IN SINGAPORE FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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[FOOD DELIVERY] Enjoy Premium Sushi and Sashimi by Sushi Delivery Singapore at the Comfort of Your Couch!

Hello everyone!

Staying at home (involuntarily) has opened my eyes to the scores of food delivery options which I would not have otherwise known if I had continued to eat out. Just yesterday, I had the luxury of relishing a spread of Japanese food on my dining table without stepping out of my house because Sushi Delivery made it possible 馃檹馃徎

Sushi Delivery website

Sushi Delivery website

Not like any other sushi joint…

An adopter of the virtual kitchen concept, Sushi Delivery debunks the notion that takeaway foods are of inferior quality with little to no nutritional value by procuring ingredients from Japanese sources and staying true to traditional preparation methods for their sashimi.

Let’s begin with the promised taste: the flavour and texture of the fish is preserved through the employment of the ikejime technique which involves disrupting its brain and spinal cord to mitigate all the effects of biochemical reactions, thus allowing the flesh to develop an umami dimension. Since the fish is sourced only from ikejime-trained suppliers in – where else – Hokkaido and Tsukiji, you can be assured that only the freshest, high-grade catch is used for your sashimi to give the soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness in every bite.

Maki page

Maki page

The sushi-meshi (sushi rice) is made of premium Japanese shortgrain obtained directly from Miyagi prefecture – a place famous for its fertile environment that enables rice paddies to flourish. The rice is processed and packaged in the same year in which it was harvested (“shinmai”) to retain its moisture and flavour, that’s why it has a more glutinous, sticky and plump texture when cooked.

Committed to beating the clock…

Each of the seven kitchens located islandwide is helmed by a Japanese itamae (or head sushi chef, an exceptionally prestigious and revered title given only to those who have undertaken years of training and apprenticeship), and is equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and technology to ensure efficiency and food quality. Orders are also assigned to kitchens with the closest proximity so that they are fulfilled on time. To help you take your mind off delays, a $10 discount code will be given to you to use on your next Sushi Delivery order if they fail to deliver within the selected 1-hour window and the subsequent hour (i.e. delay of more than 2 hours). Granted, it’s not the best way of doing damage control but at least there’s no restrictions on the redemption (apart from having to pay S$5.90 for delivery if you do not meet the minimum order amount of S$60) – it’s $10 off regardless of order amount (their cheapest items are makis, so there’s that 馃お).

Dropdown menu

Dropdown menu

My order arrived at 7.23pm, well within the delivery window that I had chosen (i.e. 7.00pm – 8.00pm). The friendly deliveryman carefully handed me two bags at the door – one containing the sushis and makis, and the other the mains, and I must say the neat presentation of the finger foods – despite them having travelled on the roads – had left me really impressed. The dishes looked almost like what you’d expect to see if you were to dine in a Japanese restaurant!

My order (sans salmon sashimi)

My order (sans salmon sashimi)

Thank you, Mr Deliveryman for safely delivering our dinner to us!

Thank you, Mr Deliveryman for safely delivering our dinner to us!

To sidetrack for a moment, that the layout of the website struck me with a sense of deja vu. Like, I thought I had seen it somewhere before. Then, it hit me – it has similar design to that of 8 Crabs! Now, I don’t know if both businesses are run by the same company or if they’re merely using a very common e-commerce website template (and the same delivery model), but I do know both websites are managed by different registrars and were set up on dates far apart.. so I guess these put my suspicion to rest?

Here’s what went into our tummies, courtesy of Sushi Delivery:

Containers came with see-through lids.. and many, many packets of shoyu sauce and wasabi 馃槄

Containers came with see-through lids.. and many, many packets of shoyu sauce and wasabi 馃槄

What a spread!

What a spread!

Salmon Aburi Maki (8 pieces, S$15.90)

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

THICCC

THICCC

Drizzled with rich mentaiko mayo and black tobiko, the salmon slices were flame-torched to a nice brown texture to give a mild burnt fragrance. There were also tamago and Japanese cucumber wrapped inside the roll for an added crunch. This was a pure pleasure to eat, and definitely worthy of its chef’s recommendation status.

Mango Maki (8 pieces, S$16.90)

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

This felt like a party in my mouth. Grilled unagi was used in place of avocado (which is a common ingredient in mango maki) inside the roll, giving the maki a savoury yet slightly sweet flavour. There was also diced Japanese cucumber which acted as a crunchy, refreshing ingredient. The top of the maki is blanketed by a generous slice of mango topped with a dash of mayonnaise and tobiko, which made the whole dish even more tantalising on the palate.

Multi-layers of goodness

Multi-layers of goodness

The chef who came up with the list of recommendations must have made a mistake. Why isn’t mango maki featured when it’s so delectable? Even my mother, who isn’t really a fan of Japanese cuisine, couldn’t resist the urge to have seconds! This was easily my favourite dish of all!

Salmon Sashimi (5 pieces, S$9.90)

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon sashimi wasn’t shortlisted for this review originally because past food delivery experiences had made me weary of receiving lukewarm sashimi. But the Sushi Delivery representative I corresponded with decided that I should still give it a try because… which Japanese food review doesn’t talk about the most beloved sashimi? Silly me!

The salmon sashimi was included in the bag with the other makis and I was pleasantly surprised it came chilled, owing to the ice packs beneath those thick, smooth slices. True to Sushi’s Delivery promise, it was fresh but didn’t appear very dark-hued, which could suggest that the salmon was farmed.

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento (S$12.90)

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

The bento box menu is ideal for people who aren’t fond of raw food (like my mother). This bento set, in particular, included a piece of severed grilled saba (mackerel) seasoned with salt, and sushi rice topped with furikake served with a side salad and Japanese pickles. It was all right but nothing to write home about. My mother did remark that the freshness of the fish wasn’t quite up to her standard, though.

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don (S$15.90)

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

This bowl of sushi rice was served with thick slabs of unagi slices, grated parmesan cheese, slices of Japanese cucumber. The unagi was slightly crispy on the outside and tender inside with a balance of sweet and savoury flavours, and the unorthodox addition of cheese lent a salty note.

There is a mistake in the official description (which I believe was copied from Unagi Don) – the egg ingredient isn’t onsen egg but tamagoyaki, as you can tell from the accompanying image on the website.

Bara Chirashi Don (S$16.90)

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

The Bara Chirashi Don might look like a mossy mess in pictures but it was actually loaded with a generous amount of ingredients that still felt a little chilled to the touch. There were diced salmon, maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail) and tamago (egg), topped with slices of Japanese cucumber and kizami nori (shredded seaweed), and not once did my spoon emerge from the dish without an ingredient. The portion was more than substantial for me. In fact, I was unable to finish my sushis and makis after having this! (I kept them in the fridge and had them at a later time, don’t worry.)

Besides the taste and quality, prices, in general, are also comparable to those of Japanese restaurants. But since Sushi Delivery operates out of a virtual kitchen, you get to save on service charge and prevailing government taxes, which usually work out to be quite a sum.

That said, I would still prefer to dine in at Japanese restaurants because there’s just something about the experience that food deliveries cannot duplicate. Maybe it’s the act of sipping on a cup of hot Japanese green tea while waiting for my orders to be served, the Japanese music playing in the background that sets the mood, or the fact that I can actually see the sushi chefs in action. However, if the need arises for me to dine at home in the future (but please, don’t let it be due to COVID-20!), Sushi Delivery would be one of my choices.

What are your thoughts about Sushi Delivery? Would you give them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Sushi Delivery SIngaporesushidelivery.sg 路 Delivery hours: 10.45 am – 9.45 pm (daily) 路 For more information, please visit Sushi Delivery FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY SUSHI DELIVERY FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized food updates!
Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
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