Was pretty bummed by how Degree Celsius Cafe is located pretty conveniently from the work place, but was previously only open in the day and only on weekdays, rendering it a spot that was impossible to visit unless special arrangements are to be made — so I was pretty glad that they had since extended their operating hours to weekends so that I could check them out.

Perhaps almost everyone else was checking out Edith Patisserie Cake Bar just several units away when we made our visit to Degree Celsius on a weekend brunch service — the cafe only have two other tables occupied during our visit. Hot food selection was fairly limited but the Smoked Salmon Toast was something that appealed to me that sounded a little bit more substantial compared to the croissant sandwiches they had to offers. Whilst some may argue over the “basic” nature of the item, the Smoked Salmon Toast at Degree Celsius Cafe is actually immensely satisfying — a surprisingly well-made rendition of a very easy-to-make offering that left a good impression. For one, I did enjoy how they have seemingly used the right sourdough toast here — one that comes light and fluffy with a slight tension for some bite for the inside, but a crisp crust that did not take too much effort to chew. Spreading the right amount of cream cheese on the toast, I enjoyed how the cream cheese was not particularly thick nor cloying; complimenting the savoury notes of the smoked salmon perfectly while the capers gave a tangy, earthy burst while the raw onions were zesty and provided a zing to cut through the heavier-tasting elements for the dish. Coming with the “standard” mix of “cafe greens”, the arugula came accompanied with cherry tomatoes with a slight drizzle of vinaigrette for the dressing — gave a more wholesome feel to the item.

Some may comment on how they are located on the wrong side of Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station but I would say that’s the charm — conveniently-located without being too buzzy; a respite from the crowd with simple cafe fare and decently-pulled cuppas that make it an unpretentious hangout that is peaceful and conducive to get some work done or have quality catch-ups with friends.

Peace Centre has yet another new F&B establishment — excitedly made the visit to Aladdin’s Castle by ABC since I was back at work in the office and there are some folks around who are fairly open to try out Indian cuisine. Was pretty spoilt for choice for their menu is rather extensive — think mains from fried rice, fried noodles and Briyani to sharing plates such as the vegetarian dishes and meat/fish/poultry options, not to mention Prata, Naan and even a section dedicated to Southern Thailand cuisine.

We were recommended the Mutton Briyani but we decidedly went for the Chicken Briyani and the Madras Mutton on the side just so in case we aren’t into the mutton (PS: The Madras Mutton is something not to be missed here; another dish recommended by the server that is almost like Gam Heong Chicken). Whilst the basmati grains from here aren’t that savoury and even as coloured as some Briyani which some hawker stalls serve up (different style perhaps?), we absolutely dig how the rice was so fragrant from the spices such as star anise and cardamom — light, fluffy and so easy to eat with its fragrant aroma that keeps one going. There was a variant that featured Tandoori Chicken (i.e. Tandoori Briyani), but ours came with a more plain piece of steamed chicken — relatively juicy and tender considering how we left the chicken untouched for quite a while; pretty apt when had with the basmati rice, while the hard boiled egg was. A decent addition to round off the deal.

Indian cuisine is something I don’t have too much of an exposure to — wouldn’t be able to tell fairly on how authentic or ever good the Chicken Briyani from Aladdin’s Castle is. One thing I do know is that we were pretty impressed with the various items we have ordered (including the Palek Panneer and the Madras Mutton) — and it’s a place we will look forward to returning to for some satisfying Indian cuisine when the craving hits. Anyone can recommend some Indian cuisine establishments that I should check out?

Noticed the opening of Edith Patisserie’s latest dine-in concept at 9 Penang Road (where Park Mall used to be) whilst passing Dhoby Ghaut after work last week — Edith Patisserie Cake Bar is their very first venture into full cafe operations, and is situated right beside TAP Craft Beer in the same building. Was rather spoilt for choice given the wide variety of desserts and small bites available here — Edith Patisserie Cake Bar also do serve up pastries, waffles and soft-serve alongside a good selection of cakes at their newest outpost; all that with specialty coffee brewed using local roastery PPP Coffee’s Throwback blend as well as other beverages such as tea on the menu.

Whilst the cakes were pretty satisfying at Edith Patisserie Cake Bar, those who are not into sweet treats can also considering going for the Kimchi Cheese Roll — a bread roll that comes swirled with bits of Kimchi and cheese melted into the bread roll. Was honestly expecting the bread to be a little dry; an impression that is left behind by the various bread rolls that featured cheese that we have had before from some local bakeries — that being said, the Kimchi Cheese Roll was set to impress with its pillowy soft texture which was easy to have, not to mention how the occasional piece of Kimchi adds a bright tanginess that was pretty refreshing without being particularly spicy. The melted cheese works well with the kimchi — somewhat of a safe combination considering how cheese somehow always have a spot with Korean cuisine usually (especially those featuring Gochujang and the likes of it); provides a light hint of savouriness that makes the bread pretty comforting to have. Works especially well with a Long Black on the side; something I would gladly have whilst sipping on some coffee over a book.

Given how there is a fair bit of social media attention thrown onto the place recently, do expect some waiting time for seats considering that the seating space is fairly limited. That being said, given how they do churn out rather well-executed desserts and how the cafe is located in a centralised location, this would be a spot I would likely to return when the crowds die down for a relaxed mid-day cuppa.

Checked out the new Steep at Dunlop Street — a new cafe that is within walking distance from Rochor MRT Station that serves up usual cafe staples ranging from breakfast plates, eggy dishes, pasta and small plates — the cafe also serve up a beverages such as specialty coffee, tea and bottled juices as well.

Can’t fathom how some folks can bear expectations of how the food could have carried a similar monochromatic theme as the decor of the cafe (what are you eating anyway?), but the French Toast here does certainly looked the part considering the splash of colours from the fruits included — looked pretty appealing. This was pretty much a textbook definition of a French Toast here; bread that is soaked in egg wash for a slight eggy flavour, whilst coming with fruits such as blackcurrant, kiwi and strawberries for a slight refreshing zing — the fruits being relatively fresh and not overly sour, though the chewiness of the granola may not work well with some who prefers their granola to be more on the crunchy side. Whilst the Honey Thyme Syrup was a nice touch considering how it attempts to incorporate a herb-y note to the dish (seemingly a trend these days), I do wish that they would use actual honey of a more floral nature (acacia honey, perhaps?) that would further elevate the dish — the syrup somewhat “cheapened” the feel of the item, whilst also being rather strong on the notes of thyme that felt a tad odd to be had with a sweet item considering how thyme would usually compliment a savoury item more.

It seems that Steep does seem to have a bit of potential given the set-up; a spot that has seemingly placed quite a bit of emphasis on the environment to ensure that patrons do feel comfortable and at ease within the surroundings. That being said, we felt that the food was rather average — likely due to the quality of the ingredients used; perhaps also due to us ordering the wrong items. But in all fairness, Steep does work well as a good hangout for those who are not too picky with what they are having — just probably need to have some expectations managed with regard to the food served.

Yet another one of those local-inspired flavours which had gotten my attention when the promotional posters first came out — had always enjoyed trying out the various limited-time only soft-serves off the menu of the Golden Arches, and my favourite this far still goes to the Sweet Potato Waffle Cone which I absolutely love; and item that I insistently must have if it makes the return on the menu .

The Gula Melaka Cone was unfortunately one of those flavours which I am sitting on the fence about — and that is despite me being a fan of Gula Melaka. Felt that the Gula Melaka soft-serve felt a little too syrupy and weak; the creaminess of the soft-serve easily overwhelms the deep earthiness that Gula Melaka is noted to carry — just didn’t feel like it did hit the spot for me, though at the same time it did seem like I was carrying a much higher expectation for something that is seemingly of a fast food nature.

Fast food isn’t quite my thing, but there is always an item that grabs my attention every now and then — and its usually the limited-time specials that I just seemingly feel like there is this “need” in me to check out because they just sounded too tempting; maybe that, or perhaps I just a sucker for items featuring local fusion flavours.

Case in point, the Golden Durian Mochi is one such item that really got me so excited that I had to give KFC a visit (I am more usually inclined to try out items from the Golden Arches more than other fast food chains; you may call me basic at that). I wasn’t really bearing much of an expectation; half thinking they may have screwed it up badly with the grease, the Mochi or even the durian lava, but I actually left being rather impressed with what I got out of a fast food offering. To my surprise, the Mochi was surprisingly well-made; the glutinous rice ball coming with a texture almost akin to having Muah Chee in a round, ball form — gave a good chew and was relatively sticky, but didn’t turn out particularly greasy whilst coming with a crisp, golden brown exterior. Inside, the molten durian lava may not be one that bears any fibrous durian flesh, but it does not taste too artificial — there is a distinct pungent note going on here amidst the sweetness. Needless to say that while I am one who usually shares items like that across the table, this was something I am pretty sure I would not be sharing — having just one and stopping it right there is not quite enough for me.

I am not a big fan of KFC given how inconsistent they are with their fried chicken across their outlets around Singapore; it’s an option that I would only go for if I am craving for fast food-style fried chicken. But this; it’s something I would least expect out of KFC — its quality being one that I would find to be above the standards normally set out by fast food restaurants. That being said, take this write-up with a pinch of salt; I got mine freshly fried upon order since they had fried a new batch and they came piping hot, not to mention the inconsistencies may vary across outlet — just have an open mind whilst giving this a try.

Yet one of those relatively new Taiwanese establishments which has sprouted up across the island in recent times — Moustache Lee is hidden in the same coffeeshop as Jin Hock White Bee Hoon at Blk 505 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, and serves up only a small variety of dishes such as Braised Pork Rice, Salt & Pepper Chicken Bento and Mee Sua with a couple of sides.

Offering both the Braised Pork Rice and the Braised Pork Bento, the difference is how the latter (also the item that we have ordered) comes with a braised egg, blanched vegetables and Taiwanese Sausage. Some might notice how the variant at Moustache Lee is not too heavy when it comes to the braising liquid — a little bit milder in terms of saltishness, but I was glad how they are pretty generous with the braising liquid so much so that it goes around all the rice beneath. There, the braised pork comes all diced up in small bits; melt-in-the-mouth without carrying a distinct porky smell — very easy to have, bearing a rather consistent texture throughout the entire bowl. The Taiwanese Sausage adds a meaty bite to the entire bowl; nothing too much to shout about here considering how it’s likely to be the same as those that come off from a packet in the supermarket, but does carry a distinct sweetness of the processed meat with a snappy texture typical of the item. The braised egg comes with a fully cooked yolk, while the greens carried a crunch and gave the dish a more wholesome feel amidst the meatiness and carbs going on.

Being one who has enjoyed Eat Three Bowls for a long while since their days at Seah Im, I would say that their Braised Meat Rice is really one that is hard to match. That being said, Moustache Lee’s Braised Pork Bento does carry a more homey feel — and that’s nothing to complain about; a more hearty rendition that is seemingly easy to finish despite being a full portion good for a meal for an average person, and is something I would want to have again if I were to reside here. Moustache Lee is worth making the trek if one isn’t too far away from the area — with the bentos being the most expensive items at $5.90, it is an affordable option for satisfying Taiwanese meals in the heartlands.

Not sure how things are like now for the youngsters these days, but Aston’s Specialties was the go-to place for the splurge during the days when I was still a polytechnic student (it’s been a decade; can you even?!) — and for the boys, it’s always almost certainly about the Double Up Chicken. Think about it — two slabs of chicken of your choice, along with two sides of your choice without costing twice the price (although it now costs $16); something that hits the maturing adolescents when it comes to the sheer flexibility and portioning.

One thing I am very glad about the grilled chicken dishes at Aston’s Specialties is would be their consistency over the years — right down from how it comes with those satisfying grill marks all the way to the flavours. Unlike some places where the “fiery” does not really mean much, the Fiery Chicken from Aston’s Specialties delivers despite its humble appearance; the chicken being all surprisingly spicy with quite an intense kick of heat that tingles the taste buds even for those who are tolerable to moderate levels of spiciness. Opted for the Pasta Salad and Onion Rings for sides; have always remembered how the former tasted the same — al-dente fusilli that carries a decent bite probably tossed in a very light vinaigrette for some flavour with a sprinkle of pepper over the top and coming with some capsicums for contrast in terms of taste and texture, while the onion rings are crisp on the exterior with its golden-brown batter.

Admittedly there are times where they are little up and down in terms of their consistency, but Aston’s Specialties isn’t a bad dining option — probably just one I would skip given my preference of dining at more “indie” establishments. For those who are not too fussy with the overall dining experience, Aston’s Specialties does not really go too far in the unknown — always been more of a safe option to fall back for all sorts of occasions; and that’s how they seemingly have become a sort of memory for me now of the simpler times that I would return back to for a taste of nostalgia.

Despite being just in its soft launch phase, Dough Supply Co. has already gotten quite a fair bit of traction on social media the past weekend — the cafe being touted as one that is reminiscent of that of Cafe Onion in Korea.

Being run by the same folks who have brought us Glyph Supply Co. at 111Somerset, Runes at Lau Pa Sat and now-defunct Noa which used to operate within Laut during afternoons, Dough Supply Co. may quite be their most daring venture — taking up a fairly huge unit just a few doors away from Carnivore, Dough Supply Co. does serve up mains, pasta and sides apart from the widely talked about Korean-inspired breads and cakes, all alongside specialty coffee, tea and fermented beverages.

The Spicy Kimchi & Tomato Pasta costs a whopping $22 — something that one might consider giving a miss when deciding between the mains and pasta here; the meatier dishes such as the Wagyu Burger and the Chicken Thigh being priced at $26. Featuring elements such as House Tomato Salsa, House Kimchi, Mozzarella and Handmade Pasta, one may point out the slightly “cheap” buildup of the dish but the money is going all towards the homemade aspects of the item — a laborious process that only those who have the passion for food will appreciate. The handmade pasta here comes with quite a tactile bite; done al-dente, and coats that kimchi-infused tomato salsa adequately with its twirls — the sauce itself being reasonably spicy from the kimchi and tingles the taste buds for those who are less tolerant to moderate levels of spiciness, whilst being tangy but well-rounded from the slight sweetness of the tomato salsa that provides the finishing note. Seemingly in an attempt to replicate Cheese Ramyeun, the dish comes with a slice of processed cheese over the top; not the best aesthetic but there is something about Korean Gochujang going so well with the saltish notes of processed cheese — so ever comfortingly, and something that carries more complexity than one would expect from a dish like that.

Dough Supply Co. pushes the boundaries of what Glyph Supply Co. and Runes has to offer for their patrons — an adventurous venture into serving up hot food and being a full service cafe; a difference from the being a coffee-centric establishment that they had come from. Whilst it was a shame that we did not get to try their bakes considering we snagged up the last cake of the day at 11:45am on a Sunday brunch service during our visit, we were still particularly impressed by the impeccable service and delicious mains that they have to offer; a relief considering the insane wait times and haphazard service we had encountered at several cafes over the same weekend. Looking forward to Dough Supply Co. being open in full force — perhaps that is the time when I would be able to give their widely-raved Korean breads and cakes a go!

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Still remembered making the visit to Momolato back then when they were still a kiosk at Singapore Management University (they operated from the space that is now run by Hong Seng Curry Rice) — they had subsequently went into online operations, but had recently moved into a brand new space within a shophouse at Haji Lane.

While Momolato was still a relatively simple gelato parlour back then, they had since grown their business and is now halal-friendly whilst also offering keto-friendly gelato — a relatively fresh concept even to this day; patrons at their physical shop space will also be glad to know that they do serve up waffles, croffles (with flavours such as Banana, or Gula Melaka even), as well as popsicles and seasonal plated desserts apart from the scoops of gelato in either cups or cones.

The Pandan Waffle is relatively decent; does come with a slight hint of Pandan fragrance with its batter coming with a green hue in the interior, but the waffle does come off a little dry and clumpy somewhat. Thankfully, each order of the waffle comes with Vanilla Chantilly Cream and a house-made sauce by the side (seemingly a mix of condensed milk(?) and Gula Melaka(?)) — the latter of which being pretty unique with its mellow, yet rich sweetness — paired up with the waffles and even the Banana Croffles perfectly. The Pure Coconut Gelato, also a flavour which is keto-friendly, was pretty smooth, creamy and hints of a whiff of the fruit — not particularly sweet considering the keto-friendly flavours at Momolato are sweetened with natural sweeteners, and almost akin to having the flesh of the fruit itself.

Whilst being a relatively simple establishment in the past, Momolato has since grown over the years during the period where they have ceased physical retail operations — and they are back being more than what they were. Dine-in space at Momolato is rather limited; mostly within the confines of the space in front of the counter that comes with two tables are meant for 4 pax each, and counter seating by the wall though there are also three al-fresco seats at the street itself — do expect a short waiting time for seats here.

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There are quite a number of places that I get quite excited to revisit whenever in Potong Pasir — one being HoJiaGa 呵呷嘠 for their Sausage with Sticky Rice ( Original) 大肠包小肠, and the other one being Ms. Durian for their durian pastries and desserts.

Being of the new items just launched recently, the 24K Mao Shan Wang Cheese Cake comes in two sizes — a 9cm portion good to share between 2 to 3 pax according to Ms. Durian, and a 15cm portion that is good for 8 pax, which we went for the former. To give the cheese cake it’s glittery 24K gold aesthetic, it comes with an additional layer of Konnyaku Jelly embellished with gold flakes for the shimmery effect — something which I could make do without. Going for the cheesecake itself, the cheesecake was an utter pleasure — unlike other durian cheesecakes that features durian flesh churned into the mousse layer, their rendition comes with the mousse encasing durian pulp instead. This results in a brilliant combination of the two elements — an actual smooth, creamy and luscious cheesecake mousse that was well-balanced and not too heavy when had against the fibrous durian pulp, whilst the the durian pulp comes with a pungent hint of the king of fruits that takes the cake (quite literally); a sure hit with durian lovers.

While there are quite a few establishments around that serves up durian-related desserts, I always liked how Ms. Durian throws in one or two new specials every now and then to keep things fresh and exciting for their patrons. That, coupled with the quality of their bakes which had remained consistent over the years, as well as the low-key location that they are within The Poiz Centre, does make Ms. Durian a rather laid back hangout for those who loves their durian-based desserts — somewhere that I still look forward to returning even till this day.

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Visited the new Fuel X over the long weekend — a new cafe that had recently opened its doors at The Venue Shoppes situated at the busy junction where MacPherson, Potong Pasir and Bendemeer intersect. If the name does some familiar, that is because Fuel X is by the same folks who have brought us concepts such as Refuel Cafe (at Bedok Reservoir), Fuel Plus (at Morse Road; in between HarbourFront and Telok Blangah) and Refuel II (at Jalan Bukit Merah).

The menu at Fuel X is rather extensive — with items ranging from the eggy dishes that one would expect from a cafe for brunch, to salads, burgers, pasta and entrees, there is definitely something for everyone. Off their “Eggs & Such” menu, the Cauli-Eggs Ben is one of the items that caught our eyes — a dish that is a spin-off from the usual Eggs Benedict that sees elements such as guacamole, fried spicy cauliflower, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and Feta Cheese served on naan bread, giving it an interest Asian twist. First impressions of the naan bread was that the bread felt a little dry, though we could see why the guacamole is being added — gives the naan a slight butteriness which improved its texture by quite a fair bit, whilst also being a vehicle to bind all the other elements together; the nuggets of fried cauliflower were crisp and not particularly greasy, whilst giving a soft crunch as one chews through the cauliflower within. That being said, despite its description of being spicy, we did not really detect much of a hint of spiciness with this one — could have been a easily brought out with a sprinkle of paprika and/or pepper. The poached eggs were a little disappointing in this one; cutting through the eggs only revealed soft yolks that do not seemingly flow (they did got it right for the other item we ordered though), and the Hollandaise sauce did felt a little too stark in its sourness and lacked creaminess. The arugula included helped to balance out the heavier fried items and the naan, but I did enjoy how the feta cheese cuts through the typical bitterness of the arugula for a more palatable note.

Despite the slight inconsistencies in this dish, Fuel X does serve up pretty decent cafe fare that were once-upon-a-time all the rage when cafes started to sprout up in neighbourhoods; dishes that cafe-hoppers are bound to enjoy and something which they are seemingly good in after all these while at their other locations. Given its relatively accessible and centralised location, Fuel X is a rather convenient spot to visit, though does require some walking from Potong Pasir MRT Station if one relies on the train to get around; do be prepared to wait a little for seats though — visited them on a weekend lunch service and we were placed on the waiting list with two other tables ahead of us when we arrived before 12 noon; just something to note if one intends to make the visit!