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Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

“Good thing it’s off the menu, otherwise I may park myself here every weekend!” –> I wrote this in my first post on The Humble Loaf and a-ha, guess what?! The good people from THL are really featuring “it” permanently on the menu!

“it” refers to the Smoked Salmon Egg Bowl, which was the CNY special, except that it has a cutesy new name now: the Sea-ly Eggs ($7.50). This and the Not-so-humble Eggs ($6) and the Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($9) are our regular orders during our weekly visit (yes, we dutifully show up every Saturday). Breads-wise, I love the dark rye walnut most, followed by the black bamboo charcoal. Always freshly baked and so wholesome.

Last Saturday was their 1st anniversary and to join in the celebration (i.e. an excuse to eat even more than usual), we tried the Romesco Bowl ($9.50) too. Nutty red pepper based sauce with roasted asparagus and 7 mins eggs –> simply delish~ The chefs even threw in a free dessert for all customers, how sweet of them! We had the raspberry bar, proudly proclaimed to be “naturally sweetened”, and it was deliciously moist <3

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The Humble Loaf
#B1-92, Katong Shopping Centre
865 Mountbatten Road

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No, it’s not a typo. I meant SupperMan, not Superman.

Conceived as an idea when three good friends were having supper together, SupperMan was born in August last year and has since been serving affordable western fusion cuisine to all. Bargain lovers foodies will love the huge portions here, coupled with friendly price tags that will make your wallet happy. What’s more, the quality of food is not compromised! Really respect the owners for bringing “bang for your buck” to a whole new level.

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Such a big slab of red meat for less than $15! It was not a premium cut but K was all praises for the way it was cooked – expertly grilled till tender and juicy!

Ribeye Steak ($14.80)
grilled to medium, green onion puree

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My favourite dish was predictably the pan-fried cod fish! Plus, two good-sized pieces = value for money!

Pan-fried Cod ($21.80)
garlic, preserved radish, soya broth

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If you like spicy food, try the laksa pasta! The aromatic broth was in no way any inferior to the traditional laksa stalls in our hawker centres. K was suitably impressed haha.

Laksa Seafood Linguine ($11.80)
spicy coconut soup, tofu puff, prawns, squid

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Thai-style chilli sauce always remind me of McDonald’s and this was no exception. That said, I enjoyed this a lot! Texture was spot on and I love how silky soft this was. And $8.80 only?! Faint.

Grilled White Fish ($8.80)
tangy chilli sauce, salt and pepper

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By now, are you noticing the repetitive use of alfalfa as garnishes? Won’t fault the lack of creativity, instead I appreciate the effort taken to make each dish presentable and enticing to the eyes! Salmon was slightly overcooked so I actually prefer the white fish over this.

Pan-fried Salmon ($13.80)
lemon butter sauce

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The chocolate mud cake was the only dessert I was interested in but sadly, it was already sold out. That should give you an indication of how busy they were that night!

Coconut Butter Tarts ($4.80)

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Tried both coconut butter tarts and nanaimo bars which were not my type of desserts. The former was too buttery (yes yes, I know that’s why they are called butter tarts lol) and the latter almost rock hard. Oh well, shall be back for the mud cake soon!

Nanaimo Bars ($4.80)

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Thank you, Wendy and the SupperMan team, for the kind hospitality!

SupperMan
#01-06, Maxwell Chambers
32 Maxwell Road
6224 0338

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The Humble Loaf is our new hidden find!

Okie, technically it’s already been around for a year so it’s not that new… Anyway. I’ve been monitoring their “weekend’s specials” for quite some time and one item on last week’s CNY Specials menu caught my eyes immediately: Smoked Salmon Egg Bowl! That was all the impetus I needed to bug K to lunch there haha.

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K was blown away by the high quality and standard of the breads here, declaring them to be so much better than Cedele’s! *Traitor*

I like the dark rye with walnut, he prefers the toasted multigrain flaxseed. And with such lovely breads, nothing can possibly go wrong with the smoked salmon sandwich. Solid stuff.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($9)
rye and walnut bread, tzatziki, honey mustard

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Ta-da, smoked salmon egg bowl! The primary reason for my visit! Two perfect wobbly runny eggs, umamic seaweed, fatty slices of smoked salmon; this didn’t disappoint for sure! Good thing it’s off the menu, otherwise I may park myself here every weekend!

Smoked Salmon Egg Bowl ($7.50)
sous vide eggs, marinated seaweed, scallions

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I’ve read about the killer Not-so-humble Eggs and K didn’t need to be told a second time. He called it the “cheap-thrill Jaan smoked organic egg“, no offense to anyone.

Suffice to say, we were two happy campers that day : )

Not-so-humble Eggs ($6)
sous vide eggs, cured ham

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The Humble Loaf
#B1-92, Katong Shopping Centre
865 Mountbatten Road

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Restaurants housed in VivoCity have come and gone but The Queen & Mangosteen is still going strong, well done! After five years of serving British gourmet pub grub to shoppers and regulars, the menu has undergone a revamp with unpretentious and relaxed dining in mind.

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The (literally huge) menu is very comprehensive, comprising modern renditions of traditional British bar food and quick nibbles with Asian touches, as well as hearty mains and desserts. We tried a lot of food for two persons and my conclusion is that the appetisers are definitely worth a try, starting with the shiok chilli crab dip, interesting quiche-like truffle crème brulee and the home cured gravlax salad! You can get better crab cakes at any Thai restaurants so skip those rubbery stuff. The main courses and desserts are at best average, with the former being too salty and the latter too sweet. Rather extreme flavours, not a fan.

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Pimm’s & Lemonade ($14++ by the glass/$44++ per jug)
25% alcohol by volume gin-based alcohol, mint, cucumber, orange, strawberry

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Thick Cut Chips ($12++)
chilli crab dip

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Truffle Crème Brulee & Seared Scallops ($16++)
wild rocket leaves

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Thai Crab Cakes ($12++)
mango salsa, baby cress

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Gravlax ($16++)
home cured salmon, marinated seaweed, cucumber, ginger & wild rocket salad in mirin dressing

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Baked Jumbo King Prawns ($26++)
truffle pasta, wild rocket

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Pan Seared Barramundi ($26++)
risotto, asparagus, salsa verde

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Grilled Salmon Fillet ($28++)
gratinated with white wine sauce & cheese, boiled potatoes, wild rocket leaves

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Pistachio Gelato Mousse ($10++)
chocolate sauce

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George Alexander Grandma’s Lemon Cream Cake ($10++)
pine nuts, berries compote

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Coconut Ice Cream ($10++)
rum and sea coconut

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My thanks to Hui Fen from 37 Communications for the kind invitation!

The Queen & Mangosteen
#01-106/107 VivoCity
1 Habourfront Walk
6376 9380

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Bib on time at Crab in Da Bag!

A similar concept to The Boiling Crab in the United States, Crab in Da Bag is a Southern Louisiana and Asian influenced seafood restaurant specializing in seafood dishes tossed in homemade sauces and served casual-style in plastic bundles. Yabbies in Mum’s Special prepared with sautéed onion rings and garlic in a savoury, sweet and sour brown sauce ($28++), Squid in Ultimate Curry ($18++), Prawns in Caboodle Mix made with a combination of local and Cajun spices, garlic and butter ($25++), old school Fruity Boat a.k.a. honeydew with lychee jelly ($5++) and Bananamisu ($5++); we had all those and more! The convivial atmosphere and eating off the table (use your hands and get messy!) experience scored many brownie points!

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I deem these fried addictive bites a must try! We couldn’t stop nibbling on them while waiting for the “real” food to arrive. Plus, they go really well with the Somersby Apple Cider beer ($9.50++ for 330ml)!

Fry It
sweet potato fries ($6++), crinkled cauliflower ($8++)

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The house signature is a massive pot (they call it the titanic pot) full of all things good and every type of crustacean delights you could possibly want! My favourite was the sweet and juicy king crab legs, and of course lobster FTW!

The Caboodle Boil ($299++ per pot, good for 4-5 pax)
1 boston lobster, 2 sri lankan crabs, 400g king crab legs, 400g yabbies or 750g squid, 500g tiger prawns, sausages, corn, potatoes accompanied by malaysian sambal dip, thai green dip and louisiana garlic butter dip

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Thank you, Amanda, for inviting and cracking those hard shells for us!

Crab in Da Bag
#01-25, Playground @ Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
6440 0083

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Grub

Much has been written about the horrendous unbelievable waiting time at Grub. It’s all true; we tried our luck thrice and the waiting time was always more than an hour every. freaking. time. arghhh. On our fourth time there, we left our names, got the obligatory “the wait is X hour, we will call you when your table is ready”, drove to Pasar Bella for a quick stroll (I’m not lying, I swear), and made it back to Grub for dinner at 9.10pm. Yay?

Because we were ravenous by then, two things left an impression on me: 1. portions seemed sadly small and 2. the food was pretty good! The slow roasted pork belly looked like a nice juicy piece of meat any carnivore would enjoy (it even appealed to a pescetarian haha); both the grilled chicken thigh (blur photo, not gonna post it, sorry BFF) and crispy fish burgers were devoured without any complaints; and my pan-seared salmon appeared overcooked but turned out to be pinkish raw in the middle, LIKE!

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Slow Roasted Pork Belly ($15++)
mango sauce, mash, cherry tomatoes salsa

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Crispy Fish Burger ($12++)
crumbed fish fillet, remoulade

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Pan-seared King Salmon ($15++)
salad (supposed to be risotto but they ran out of it yay!), cashew chimichurri (why can’t they just say “cashew sauce”?!)

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Grub
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
6459 5743

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We’ve been exploring quite a number of new places recently and W39 Bistro & Bakery is one of the few that’s really impressive! Given its too-ulu-for-an-eastie location and relatively low profile (for now), I was expecting it to be half-heartedly empty but it was packed and buzzing with life on a TGIF night!

The food was imo outstanding for a bistro/bakery — pretty much restaurant-standard but at café-ish prices! Best of both worlds right! Seared tuna was very thinly sliced but delish with a smartly-paired trio of avocado salsa, soy glaze and wasabi mayo. Definitely as memorable as the one from Big Fish Bistro~ Homemade crab cake was the weakest item we ordered; I didn’t like the thick batter and it was kind of dry. My main of grilled saba was fab — crispy skin and all, plus the chef was super generous with the soy-glaze-dressed spinach! Love. Roasted spatchcock took 20mins to arrive (we were fairly warned in advance) but the wait was worth it! K deboned and devoured the piping hot chicken within minutes while I kept stealing the roasted pumpkin off his plate, heh heh.

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Seared Tuna, Avocado Salsa, Soy Glaze, Wasabi Mayo ($12.50)

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Homemade Crab Cakes, Pickled Mayo ($12.50)

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Grilled Saba Mackerel, Soy Glaze, Wilted Spinach ($20)

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Roasted Spatchcock, Mushroom Gravy, Roasted Vegetables ($24.50)

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W39 Bistro & Bakery
39 Jalan Mas Puteh
9646 5372

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Muchachos

Muchachos is offering something we are all familiar with — Chinese popiah.

Just kidding.

A burrito bar with a Subway-like ordering system, Muchachos is purely American, not Mexican, and definitely not Chinese. The burritos are said to be “Mission-style” (Mission is a district in SFO) so expect huge servings! My made-to-order burrito was stuffed with three generous fillets of battered whitefish, a mixture of refried and black beans, and colourful pineapple salsa ($12). Slightly miffed that the guacamole was unavailable, boo. The texture was good but flavours were rather muted. Likewise, K’s slow-cooked pork carnitas burrito was monotonous (he’s not a fan of this place) and though it’s unfair, we couldn’t help reminiscing and pining for Pistola throughout our meal…

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Muchachos
22 Keong Saik Road
6220 0458

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Jewel Coffee has launched an all-day dining second outlet, Jewel Cafe and Bar, right smack in Little India, seemingly an up-and-coming area for budding café entrepreneurs these days. For an artisanal coffee café, Jewel’s food is better than expected, and I’ve found my ideal 3-course dinner out of all the dishes we tried.

I’d start with the unique Shio-Koji Octopoke, a Hawaiian/Japanese-inspired octopus salad. Surprising since I usually won’t pick anything octopusy off the menu. The combination of non-chewy octopus cubes, creamy avocado, heat from the wasabi, and dressing made from shio-koji (fermented rice-based salt substitute) and evoo somehow works. Quite brilliant, in fact!

After starter is done, I’d then move to the main course: a restaurant-worthy pan-fried Chilean black cod. Simple and good, too wonderfully oily, and it’s almost a crime to make us share this! I want it all for myself, haha.

Now that the savouries are done, it’s time for the sweets. I’d go with the pan-seared watermelon steaks and pineapple sorbet on days when I want to feel (relatively) healthy. On naughty days, it’s definitely the tiramisu laced with strong coffee and rum. Ah heck, tell you what, let’s have both desserts any day! Life is too short to be cruel to thyself.

The rest is a case of either:

Didn’t like — cheesy onion soup, prawn capellini (supposedly sprinkled with Jewel’s secret umami ‘magic dust’ which obviously didn’t work its magic on me), brioche French toast (like they say, “honey it’s not you, it’s me”, I’m just not into French toast); or

Didn’t try — bacon jam (points for creativity), OMG! burger (go for it, it’s basically heart attack on a plate), and miso/mirin-marinated iberico pork.

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French Onion Soup ($8)
croutons, swiss cheese, parmesan, gruyere

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Fat Soldiers ($9)
sliced baguettes, homemade bacon jam

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Shio-Koji Octopoke ($12)
japanese octopus, wasabi, evoo, avocado, ginger flower

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OMG! Burger ($20)
beef patty, bacon, luncheon meat, cheddar, sesame brioche buns, fries, sunny side-up

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Umami Prawn Capellini ($22)
grilled prawns, homemade crustacean oil

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Black Cod ($32)
pan-fried chilean black cod, parsnip mash, sautéed vegetable

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Miso Presa Iberico ($34)
oven-baked pork, mash potatoes, seasonal vegetables

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Brioche French Toast ($13)
lemon zest mascarpone, strawberry, caramelised banana

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Tiramisu ($12)
flavoured with rich indonesian coffee and rum

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Pan-Seared Watermelon Steaks ($9)
homemade pineapple sorbet, basil leaves, balsamic glaze, sea salt

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A big thank you to Chenyze from Sixth Sense Communications for inviting and hosting!

Jewel Cafe and Bar
129 Rangoon Road
6298 9216

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If you are even remotely into healthy dining (even if it’s once in a blue moon), you’d have heard of Cedele by The Bakery Depot. If you don’t, then now you do haha. It’s been around for 16 years, and I’ve been a HUGE fan since my sec school/JC days! Super love this home-grown brand!

Don’t think that Cedele = sandwiches and soups. It’s got a lot to offer and more. There’s starters (I have to admit, while the mini veggie patties were delicious, they were too expensive at almost $3 a pop!), hearty salad meals, pasta (awesome that there’s a choice between regular or wholewheat carbs!), proper mains, and even all-day breakfast! Be assured that whatever is on the menu is free of trans fat, preservatives, chemical emulsifiers and additives. Every ingredient on the plate is not there by accident; it’s purposeful, be it to add flavour and/or nutrition.

To be honest, I thought most of the items on the tasting menu we had were too… Safe. No impact. Then again, I’m biased cuz I’ve already found my favourite dish and had it for lunch/dinner (again) twice this week! Totally hooked on the yummy portobello-tofu-quinoa “vroomz”! Label me boring all you want, I don’t care haha. Oh ya, one dish which did stand out was the creamy paprika prawn risotto, absolutely delish, even on the subsequent visit! Shocking that I’d pick this as the best dish of the night cuz I’m so not a rice girl. Next was the black pepper crab pasta, which looked bland but flavours were good. Other than those two, the rest was healthy-nice but like I said, no impact. I’d happily stick to my vroomz and beetroot burger anytime!

We were presented with a dessert platter of cakes, such an excellent idea which should be incorporated into the main menu! First timers must try the carrot walnut, which is still my benchmark for a wholesome carrot cake after all these years. Okie, I don’t practise what I preach, because I remember my first ever Cedele cake was the chocolate truffle, followed by chocolate banana espresso. Gotta love Cedele for churning out consistently good cakes! Don’t care much for the strawberry rose, red velvet, and especially the blueberry cheesecake simply cuz I don’t like cheesecakes. Now, I’ve saved the best for the last: black sesame cake with exotic tahini frosting, my favourite! <3

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Burmese Shan Tofu ($8.90++)
warm tofu salad, homemade garlic and onion flakes, coriander leaves, balsamic dressing

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Chicken & Walnut Grilled & Greens Salad Meal ($15++)
grilled chicken, californian walnuts, housemade orange wholegrain mustard dressing

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Vegetarian Stacks ($18++)
grilled vegetarian stacks of eggplant, wild mushrooms, red pepper and potato kumara cake, tomato coulis scented with marjoram

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Prawn Paprika Risotto ($17.90++)
grilled prawns spiced with paprika, roasted pumpkin arborio rice

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Black Pepper Crab Pasta ($17.50++)
spiced soft shell crab, curry leaves

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Lemongrass & Lime Fish Pasta ($17.90++)
grilled sea bass, chilli/lemongrass/lime-infused olive oil, tomato salsa, edamame beans

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Dessert Platter
chocolate banana espresso, blueberry hazelnut cheesecake, carrot walnut, strawberry rose cake, red velvet, black sesame tahini

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Thank you, Venny and Leen from Touch and Joanne from Cedele, for inviting and hosting!

Cedele
#01-01/02, Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
6836 1426

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