Monday, July 31, 2006

Wild Rocket

C says:

We read about Wild Rocket’s burger in Chubby Hubby’s blog. It’s only available (for now) on the restaurant’s Sunday brunch menu, so we headed over on Sunday afternoon to check it out.

This is a pseudo-posh burger – no wagyu beef or anything, but definitely not an every day Carl’s Jr or Renaldo’s. The Wild Rocket burger was served with a peppery dressing (apparently inspired by Ramlee burgers), some rocket leaves and a spicy sun-dried tomato salsa. It was accompanied by some delicious sautéed diced potatoes, and some mixed greens with a dressing that tasted like chicken rice ginger/garlic sauce. It was an interesting alternative to salad dressing and it worked.

To me, everything in the burger was spot-on except for the salsa. The patty was thick and juicy, with the juices dribbling out with every bite. The peppery dressing and rocket leaves complemented each other well, but I had a slight problem with the salsa. Somehow it complicated the taste of the burger for me. I would have much preferred it without the salsa, and with a slice of cheese instead.

However, if you’re in the mood for a higher-end burger, this is pretty good; certainly a lot better than the sirloin burger we had at Uberburger. In fact, seems as though almost every burger we’ve had is better than the Uberburger one. Coincidence? I think not. Moral of the story? Forget Uberburger, it’s way overrated. Unless the $101 wagyu/foie gras burger is the only burger they do well, in which case we’ll never know. Sorry, I’m rambling…

We rounded off the meal with a pandan panna cotta to share. The plate was drizzed with gula melaka, and I was pleasantly surprised with this. The panna cotta was rich and creamy, and the pandan flavour fragrant without being cloying. Good thing we shared though, I think it’s a little too gelak to have on my own.

A says:

I always have high hopes when I come here because the reviews make the food sound unbelievable. Sad to say, while everything is excellent, it just doesn’t quite live up to expectations.

The burger had a very good, thick, beefy patty, but everything else about it left my simple palate confused. The side of potatoes grilled in duck fat was a pleasant surprise though. As was the dessert.

I’m sure I’ll go back because the burger still is really very good. Just don’t believe the hype.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Renaldo's (Crown Centre)

C says:

Once again, I have to give credit to my cousin C for yet another great recommendation. I would never have even stepped into this place, which is an apple strudel café at Crown Centre along Bukit Timah Road, if he hadn’t told us that it served good burgers.

After the Iggy’s burger, A and I have been in sort of a burger mood, so this is unofficially Burger Month. Thank goodness, for the sake of our waistlines and cholesterol levels, the month is coming to an end… We came here on Saturday night for dinner (they close at 9 so don’t come late) and each had their burger with the works – cheese, egg and bacon. A steal for only $5.50. A plain burger is just $3.80.

Maybe it’s because we came here without any expectations, but I was really very impressed with the burger. The meat was juicy, it was full of flavour because it was quite fatty, and the burger had just the right amount of chopped lettuce and tomato without being unwieldy and falling to pieces after the first bite (a la Carl’s Jr). I would have preferred the cheese to have been melted into the patty, but that’s just nitpicking. This was a simple, humble but very tasty burger, and I can honestly say that I preferred it to the Uberburger one. In fact, as far as burgers in Singapore go, I would rank this after the Iggy’s one, which is way up there in the Number 1 spot. However, we’re going to try the Wild Rocket one on Sunday so maybe I’ll change my mind.

There’s still a few more burger joints that we’d like to try, like the huge one from ‘Botak Jones’ and the trio of posh burgers at One Ninety. So maybe we won’t see an end to Burger Month just yet...

A says:

Very nice burger. Probably cause we added everything, and the meat had lots of fat. I assume getting a place isn’t a problem since it was nearly empty when we went and it’s more famous for the apple strudel anyway. Worth dropping by if you’re in the mood for an affordable, flavourful burger and some pastry dessert.

Friday, July 28, 2006


C says:

A and I took leave to run a couple of errands on Thursday, so we decided to do a few things that can only be done on a weekday. One was to visit Mustafa Centre – it was my first time there… The other was to have Iggy’s weekday set lunch, after M’s recommendation.

Iggy’s is at Regent Hotel, and even though I’d read and heard about how small the place is, it still somehow didn’t prepare me for the tiny little establishment tucked away in a corner of the 3rd floor. An L-shaped bar-top counter faces the kitchen and sits about 15 or so, and there are another 2 private rooms – not sure what their capacities are but the head waiter said the entire place only sits 28 persons. He therefore recommends booking in advance because the place fills up quite quickly.

The weekday set lunches are apparently a very good deal, since the dinner degustation menu costs $150. For lunch, you get a 3-course for $45, or a 5-course tasting menu for $75. Thing is, while you can choose from about 6 selections EACH for the starter, main and dessert in the 3-course menu, for the tasting menu the 5 courses are fixed. The waiter did say that we can change any of the dishes with those in the 3-course list, but I figured that kinda defeated the purpose. So we both got the 3-course menu.

The complimentary amuse bouche was a shot glass with pumpkin puree and sesame tofu. The sesame oil gave it a nice fragrance but I would have preferred a little bit of bite to the tofu. It was completely pureed and was a bit too much like baby food for my liking.

For our starters, I had a capellini tossed with shrimp oil, tiny little dried shrimp, little bits of seaweed and fried garlic bits. It looked like a normal aglio olio, but the shrimp oil and dried shrimp took it to a completely different level. A had the mushroom ragout with a poached egg and truffle mayonnaise. This was tasty but slightly on the boring side. The mushroom ragout had button and morel mushrooms, and it was saved by the perfectly done poached egg.

After reading so much about Iggy’s burger, we both decided to have this as our main course, mainly because I didn’t think A would want to share his with me… Boy, I’m glad we each had our own. Firstly, it’s tiny and almost impossible to eat with anything besides your bare hands (they give you a wet towel cos you’re expected to be barbaric), so dividing with a fork and knife would have been out of the question. Secondly, after the initial disappointment at its size (it’s a minute 3 inches in diameter in total, and the patty is even smaller), the first bite just sent us right to burger heaven. Without doubt, this is the best and most flavourful burger I’ve ever had, bar none.

The patty is minced wagyu beef, which explains both the flavour and the melt-in-your-mouth texture and juiciness. It’s served with a slice of tomato, some caramelized onions, some melted cheese and a truffle sabayon (fancy name for a whisked egg and cream mixture). It was so juicy that I had to keep wiping my hands off on the wet towel, the beef flavour was really intense, and the truffle mayo added an even greater depth of flavour.

Dessert was another winner. A had the foolproof molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream, which was typical and boring, yes, but still very good. The vanilla bean ice cream was excellent. I had the banana tarte tatin with banana ice cream, and I think this was much better than the chocolate cake. The puff pastry of the tarte was incredibly light, flaky and buttery, and the bananas were soft and slightly caramelised. You would think that serving it with banana ice cream would just be OTT-ing on banana, but it was a surprisingly good pairing.

All in all, we were extremely happy after lunch. We weren’t bloated, and although the place had its fair share of chi chi tai tais and the like, we didn’t feel that much like fish out of water, and more importantly, the waiter didn’t make us feel as though we didn’t belong. A and I are already thinking of when we can next take leave and go again, heh.

A says:

The burger RAWKED! The Java Vanilla ice-cream RAWKED! The starters were excellent but not RAWK-worthy. Neither was the $10 OJ or the latte (Note to self: try the cappuccino next time).

Having everyone refer to us as Sir and Madame takes a bit of getting used to, but service wasn’t stuck up. Also, Iggy was there and he doesn’t look snotty at all. Nice, friendly approachable chap. Will definitely go back next time we’re on leave on a weekday.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shimbashi Soba

C says:

This is yet another outlet in the Kuriya chain (they who run Ichibanboshi), who seem to be taking over the world just as Crystal Jade are… I haven’t had much luck with ordering Zaru Soba recently – for some reason, most of the Japanese joints I’ve been to lately have either run out, or stopped selling it altogether (Amanogawa at the new Raffles City Marketplace).

We actually wanted to go to a different Japanese restaurant at Paragon, but it had been taken over by Toys R Us. I was about to wail at my arse luck yet again, when I suddenly remembered seeing the restaurant in the basement dedicated to soba, so we decided to give it a try.

Of course, my luck had to run out at SOME point, because the dish that I wanted, a cold soba with a duck broth dipping sauce, was out of stock. Thanks to bird flu, they’ve been having some problems with their suppliers so no duck on the menu for the time being. So I ordered a simple cold soba with the classic dipping sauce, and A had a cold spicy beef soba.

The place mats have detailed and rather hilarious instructions on how to savour a traditional cold soba. Things like “when it first arrives, look at it for a moment, and breathe in its fresh fragrance”. I tried to do all the steps to A’s embarrassment, heh. Anyway, clowning around aside, my cold soba craving was finally satiated. Although there was no quail’s egg, this was one of the best cold sobas I’ve had in a very long time. Unlike the one at Ichinaboshi and Kuriya, the dipping sauce here retained its flavour to the last strand of noodle. At the end of the meal, they even give you a small jar of Soba-yu (the water used to cook the noodle), which you’re supposed to pour into the leftover dipping sauce and savour it as a broth.

A big bonus was the fact that we were seated right next to the soba-making room, and we had a perfect view of the soba noodle chef strutting his stuff. We managed to catch him making a batch of soba from scratch – all the way from measuring the flour, kneading the dough, to rolling it out paper thin and cutting it into perfectly even threads of noodles, all by hand. It was a pretty awesome sight.

Apparently, they expect to have their duck supply ironed out by next month. Maybe I’ll give them a month to sort themselves out, and make my way there again in September.

A says:

Soba so good. Gotta love the copywriter/marketer who sold that line. The food and service are decent enough. Catch the noodle show’s finale (noodle cutting) if you can.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Majestic Restaurant

C says:

Another place on our ‘must-try’ list satisfied – we went to Majestic Restaurant, at New Majestic Hotel on Bukit Pasoh Road, on Saturday for dinner with Y&J and W&M. It was a rare night out for Y&J without the kiddies in tow, so we decided to go to a slightly fancier place. I’d read nothing but good reviews about the place, so I suggested it for their ‘Parents Gone Wild’ night.

The décor of the restaurant is very nice and quite un-Chinese restaurant. No red banners with dragons and phoenixes in sight. Instead, it is done up in muted green, khaki and brown tones, and of course the highlight is the ceiling, which has a few skylights that look out into the hotel’s swimming pool. It’s a bit disconcerting to know that you could glance up and see the (ahem) underside of a breaststroke-swimming half naked person, but it is quite a novelty all the same.

The restaurant has 3 degustation menus - $65, $85 and $125, each with about 6 courses. A and I decided not to have the degustation menu because I specifically wanted to try some dishes that weren’t offered in any of the set menus. I had the much-lauded starter trio of a deep fried wasabi prawn, peking duck skin and foie gras. To me, this definitely lived up to expectation. The prawn was lightly battered and nice and crispy, and the wasabi mayo was just right, not ‘go up your nose’ hot. It was served on a watermelon disc which made for a nice refreshing pairing. The duck/foie gras combi was amazing – the peking duck skin was light and thin, and paired with the foie gras that was crispy on the outside, and rich and creamy on the inside, and served with a drizzle of hoi sin sauce. A had a crab meat salad with sake as his starter. The presentation was amazing – a shot glass of the salad embedded in a huge plate of ice chips, but the taste was just passable.

Next came our meat courses. We shared an order of the pan-fried rib-eye with sesame sauce, and the house special grilled rack of lamb in Chinese honey, served with pan fried carrot cake. First the beef. This was recommended by my friend L, and it was pretty good. The beef was quite thin and very tender, and the sauce was nice and fragrant. However, it paled in comparison with the lamb. This is definitely one of their signature dishes for a reason. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and it was sweet without being too cloying. And while the accompanying carrot cake was, quite simply, glorified chye tow kuay, it was still very tasty. This is not a dish for the health conscious though, because the lamb rack was quite fatty, which accounted for the flavour and tenderness.

A ordered a braised tofu with whole garlic, which was ok but not something we’ll order again. After that came our stewed lobster noodles, which 4 of us (Y&J, and A and I) shared. The lobster was $15 per 100g; they served us 2 lobsters between 4 of us, half each. This one single dish caused our dinner bill to soar, and frankly, while it tasted ok, it definitely wasn’t worth the hefty $210 price tag ($52.50 per person).

Finally came dessert. We had the red bean pancake and A had an almond cream with papaya as well. The red bean pancake was HUGE, and we had to doggy bag most of the second plate. It tasted even better when we had it for breakfast the next day.

All in all, I'll definitely return, if just to have the lamb and the duck/foie gras again. You can rest assured I’m steering far away from anything that needs to be weighed, though.

A says:

Décor of the hotel was more interesting than the restaurant. The view into the swimming pool is pretty cool though.

The wait staff are all pretty good, but the wait for the food is bloody freaking long.

Most of the food is really good, although the portions are small and sometimes – not specified – the dishes are meant for more than one (as in our tofu for four). And the bloody lobster was a rip off.

I’ll only go back when we have time to kill and really, really feel like splurging. There are definitely places ahead of it on my list.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


C says:

We seem to be Cuppage kids this weekend. On Saturday we went for ramen at Ohsho at Cuppage Plaza, after reading the article on the 10 best ramen dishes in Singapore (ok, so the article appeared in Sunday Lifestyle in March, but we never got round to trying the recommended places except Ichibantei). We actually wanted to try Ken’s Noodle House but we mistakenly thought that they were both located in Cuppage Plaza. Turns out Ken’s is at Orchard Plaza, across the road. Guess we have to make another visit to the Cuppage area soon.

Anyway, Ohsho was like nothing that I expected. I guess I expected a typical ramen restaurant like Ichibantei or Kyonichi ramen, but this place was a totally nondescript corner stall which I wouldn’t even have considered had it not been listed in the article.

I had the recommended Tamago Ramen, which has a creamy Kyushu-style soup, with 3 slices of tender chashu, lots of beansprouts and two halves of a hard boiled egg. The noodles were a lot thinner than the usual ramen that I’m used to. It was more like instant noodles than typical ramen. The chashu was nice and tender, but I was a little disappointed with the soup. After reading the article, I expected a creamy, fragrant soup since the chef apparently refuses to divulge his secret recipe. Instead, the soup, though tasty, was a little thin and flat. I found the Kyushu soup at Ichibantei much better.

A had an interesting dish called Stamina Ramen (didn’t really do much for his, though, haha). I’ll leave him to tell you about it.

A says:

As Japanese say, I good STAMINA!

Monday, July 17, 2006


C says:

We had a drinks party to attend on Friday night at Alley Bar, so we took the opportunity to go to Kazu again. They were out of the beef and cheese skewer that we had the last time and liked so much, so it was a chance for us to try some new things, like:

- shitake mushroom stuffed with minced chicken
- cheese stuffed sausage
- asparagus wrapped with bacon
- grilled squid tentacles
- kurobuta pork belly
- US beef short rib
- grilled unagi
- lamb chop
- soy marinated pork rib
- marbled pork with apple

We came here for a quick dinner before the party, but turned out to be not-so-quick after all, because it was absolutely packed, and the food took ages to arrive. The waitresses were very polite, even though they were clearly frazzled and overstretched. Friday nights/weekends are probably not the best times to come here, but the food was as good as ever.

A says:

I really like this place despite the very, very, very cramped tables. The lettuce they give at the beginning is great as a counterpoint to the bbq. We also just learnt that the little bamboo cup/thingy we thought was for the bill (like in other jap places) is for the skewers once you’re done. You can imagine how full ours was.

Also gotta give a shout out to my old (and i do mean old) friend S!

Previous Kazu Post

Friday, July 14, 2006

PS Café

C says:

Thanks to A’s friend R, who managed to snag a reservation for Sunday night, we finally got a chance to try out the uber-hip PS Café at Harding Road. We’ve heard and read so much hype about it since it opened, but didn’t dare venture out to try it because (1) we figured we wouldn’t be able to get reservations, since we’re not people who know people, and (2) both of us were a bit worried about whether we could hold our own in the air-kissy “muah muah” environment.

Well, PS Café managed to very pleasantly surprise us on all counts. The building and ambience were faultless – it occupies a lovely colonial bungalow in the Dempsey Road area, complete with high, airy ceilings and a full length glass wall on one side. Beyond the glass wall is an outdoor dining area, which supposedly overlooks a wonderful view of greenery from the glass wall. We were there for dinner so didn’t get to see very much.

Our fears of the place being all poseur and no substance were unfounded. Yes, there was your fair share of recognisable people amongst the clientele, most notably Jamie Yeo, as well as Chef Oscar and his wife Tracy from Buko Nero, but there was surprisingly not much of a pretentious vibe.

The food more than held its own, thereby ensuring that it doesn’t solely rely on hipness to survive – we were very impressed with everything that we ordered. For starters, A and I shared the Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup with Pesto Oil, which was the soup of the day, and a Roast Beef salad, which is a permanent item on the menu. The soup was very good – thick yet not excessively heavy, with a very pronounced mushroom flavour. The pesto oil that was drizzled on top gave it an interesting twist from regular mushroom soups.

The Roast Beef salad was brilliant. It was a starter but sizeable enough to have as a satisfying main course on days that you’re not all that hungry. The roast beef was rare and thinly sliced, and served with roasted root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot and eggplant (ok maybe eggplant’s not a root vegetable…), as well as rocket leaves and drizzled with an amazing creamy yet peppery dressing. While the meat alone wasn’t stellar, the combination of all the ingredients worked wonders.

A and I both had specials for our main courses. (The specials for the day are written on a huge chalk board) I had the Fillet Mignon, and A had the Lamb Tenderloin Mignon. I had a bite of A’s and it was pretty good. It was wrapped in bacon and served with a spinach puree. The lamb was tender and not too strong in flavour. However, we both agreed that my fillet mignon was the better of the two. It was served with a portion of gratin potatoes, some rocket leaves, topped with a single garlic prawn, and smothered with an absolutely incredible sauce. As you know, I’m not a big fan of sauces with my steaks because I’m a purist, but in this case I couldn’t get enough of the sauce. It was slightly creamy, tomato-ey and garlicky all at the same time, without any flavour overpowering the other. The steak itself was pretty good, but somehow lacked the sweetness and fine texture of the tenderloins that we get at Buko Nero. Although that’s probably less to do with the chefs’ skills, and more to do with their respective meat suppliers.

Against our better judgment, we shared a dessert, a Banana Cream Pie. This was pretty good but the caramel pie filling got way too sweet to handle after a while. The house special was mango and banana crumble served with vanilla ice cream, but we didn’t order that because of A’s mango aversion. I tried a bite from one of our friends and it was very good.

A minor hitch was the waiters, and in particular the bar. Our food arrived quicker than our drink orders did, and we had to remind them more than once about some of our drink orders. The place would be perfect if they could improve their drinks service and employ a few more savvy waiters. All in all though, I have only good things to say about this place, and we’ll definitely be going back.

A says:

Food very good. Bear in mind the starter portions are huge. Mains are more manageable. Desserts are quite big too. We definitely ate too much that night.

While the food servers were nice and efficient, the drinks took forever to come and we had to keep reminding the waiters to get them.

Overall, I’m very pleasantly surprised with the food and how the place isn’t as poser considering how high-class the crowd is. A bit easy to get lost finding the place at night so better be prepared.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thasevi Roti Prata, Jalan Kayu

C says:

We went here on Saturday night at about 11.30 pm. M&J had just arrived from Brisbane and are staying with J’s family in Seletar, so it made sense (at the time) to have supper at Jalan Kayu.

I’ll leave A to tell you more about the queue and the wait, but suffice to say that in the time that it took for us to get our food, we could have driven all the way to the Thomson prata place, eaten, and sent M&J back to Seletar.

A and I had had dinner already so we just ordered a kosong (plain) prata for A and a Maggi mee goreng for me. The curry that came with the prata was very good – not your typical thin, watery dishwater gravy that most pratas come with. This was a thick curry gravy, that tasted like it was a mutton curry gravy. The Maggi mee goring was pretty good too – not as good as the Prata Café one, but definitely one of the better ones I’ve tried in Singapore.

Still don’t think it was worth the wait, though.

A says:

Definitely not worth the wait, although I must say the staff were very upfront and told us when we ordered that the wait would be at least 30 to 45mins. They’re obviously very experienced as almost exactly 45mins later, our food started to arrive. And their system is pretty good since they didn’t cock up anything in our order.

Overall, I’m impressed with their professionalism in ordering, serving and taste, but the hygiene level leaves much to be desired. And I’m not willing to wait that long for prata. Especially when I think the Thompson prata places are better. Not going back anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

La Petite Cuisine

C says:

We tried a couple of new dishes at La Petite Cuisine on Saturday night. A had the Salmon Pasta, which has always been on the menu but we’ve never tried it, and I had something new – a Tuna with capsicum sauce.

The Salmon Pasta was tasty, but definitely short on the salmon. There were only a few tiny cubes of salmon, and a mountain of pasta, but the sauce was very delicate and interesting. Instead of the usual heavy and creamy sauce you’d come to expect from a salmon pasta, this was light and more buttery than creamy, with a hint of lemon adding an unexpected freshness. It would have been a perfect dish if they had been a little more generous with the salmon – they could increase the price by a dollar or two (it was $7) and I would gladly pay for more fish.

The tuna, though again slightly overdone (what is it with overdone tuna lately?), was very good for $9. A decent-sized piece of tuna was pan fried, and served with some parmesan rice. The tuna wasn’t sashimi quality, nor did I expect it for that price, but I have no complaints in terms of how it tasted. The seasoning was far better than the seared tuna we had at Da Paolo at Rochester.

Again, a very satisfying and fuss-free weekend dinner. Remember though that they are closed on Sundays.

A says:

I’ll skip the salmon pasta next time. Too much pasta, not enough salmon.

Previous La Petite Cuisine Post

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee

C says:

Quick one from me. I had to collect my new IC on Saturday morning at ICA in Lavender, so we decided to take the opportunity to have the famous Tai Hwa bak chor mee, since it's just behind the ICA building. We figured it’ll be less crowded if we go early. Well, we were there at about 9.45, and they had only just opened. There was still a queue though, but the wait wasn’t that long – only about 15 minutes or so.

Fyi, this is the bak chor mee stall that used to be at Marina Square, where it attracted insanely long queues at lunchtime.

It was definitely worth the wait. To me, it was much better than the other famous bak chor mee at Hong Lim market. The noodle consistency was to my liking – firm and springy, not soft and mushy. There was lots of vinegar, a generous helping of ingredients, and the noodles didn’t clump together.

In my opinion, if I were going to queue up for bak chor mee, the Tai Hwa one is worth the wait; the Hong Kim market one isn’t.

A says:

I work around the area so I go to the coffee shop there quite a lot. If the queue is too long for your liking (and it usually is) just go for the Western stall next door. That’s what I do.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Café Iguana

C says:

We went to Café Iguana at Riverside Point (first time for me) on Friday night. The place was packed, and after trying the food, rightfully so. For someone who’s not a fan of Mexican food, I was pleasantly surprised with what we ordered, and may even consider a repeat visit to try some of the other items on the menu, especially their desserts.

A and I shared 2 starters and a main, because A’s friends had already finished eating when we got there so we didn’t want to hold everyone else up. We had the cheese and mushroom quesadillas, which were the best dish out of the 3. They tasted good enough on their own, but were served with a delicious tomato-based dip that had a hint of smokey bacon – very very nice. The beef mini chimichangas were pretty good too, but not outstanding. Our main course was the blackened tuna soft tacos – a few discs of blackened tuna were served on circles of soft tortilla, sprinkled with cabbage and served with rice and refried beans. The tuna, though slightly overdone, was still very well seasoned and tasty.

Happy hour is until 9 pm, so we had a Green Iguanarita (margarita with melon liqueur) and a Cazuela cocktail (tequila, with a blend of citrus juices and a splash of cassis). The Iguanarita was much better than the cocktail, which I guess is obvious given that this place is famed for its margaritas.

All in all, it was a pretty good dinner. The only downside, which prevented us from lingering there the entire evening, was the heat. Most of the seating is outside and therefore non-airconditioned, and Friday night was an inordinately warm and humid night, and after a while we just couldn’t take it and had to move on.

A says:

Food was surprisingly excellent. Staff were also very good considering how crowded it was. If you’re feeling like Mexican in Singapore, this is probably the place to go.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Flowerbed Kitchen & Bar

C says:

After coming here for lunch a few times, I was pretty impressed so I brought A here on Friday night. It’s a fairly simple joint specialising in noodles, located next to Savoir in Far East Square. It’s supposedly opened by a pair of TV artistes (Mediacorp? Fly? No idea…) but I can’t for the life of me remember who, and can’t seem to locate the newspaper article that mentioned it.

Anyway, being really boring, most of the dishes that we ordered were those that I’ve tried before. We shared the ‘Chili’ noodles, which were like dry you mian/la mian with a very generous topping of mushrooms, minced pork, ikan bilis, a sunny-side-up egg, and a dry paste with finely chopped dried chillies. This looked a lot more lethal than it really was – yes, it was slightly spicy but nothing unbearable. The noodles were quite yummy, but because of all the ingredients, it was slightly salty and could potentially be a little gelak if you have an entire bowl on your own. It comes with a small bowl of clear soup with some spinach, which does help to alleviate the saltiness somewhat. Still, I would recommend ordering just 1 noodle per couple to share. This frees you up to try some of their side dishes as well.

We shared 3 sides which were all quite delicious. In order of preference (with my favourite first), we had the beer marinated chicken wings, potato skins, and fried yam cake. The chicken wings were great, I could eat a whole bucket of these while watching tv. They only serve the mid-joint portion, so none of the drumlets, which suits me just fine. There is a faint taste of the beer marinade, but mainly it’s a little sweet and fried to a perfect golden brown. The potato skins had a slight asian twist to them – they were filled with a mixture of minced pork and spring onions, then topped with a very generous layer of baked mozzarella cheese. These require a 10 minute waiting time, and we waited even longer for ours because apparently there was a problem with their oven, but they were worth the wait. The fried yam cake was pretty good too, but to me it was slightly over fried and too hard and crunchy. It was topped with nice bits of fried garlic chips though, and served with 2 dipping sauces – a sweet sauce and a sambal chilli.

This place is absolutely packed at lunchtime and can be quite frenetic, leading to quite poor service at times. It’s a lot more enjoyable at dinner time, and I know for sure that we’ll be going back to try the other things on their menu.

A says:

Highly recommended. Food is cheap and good. Staff and service are efficient and intelligent, although C says the girl with dyed hair was blur the previous time she went. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, try the fruit-flavoured ice blended. I had a lychee one that hit the spot.