Visiting The Bread Rack while they are still in their soft opening stage, The Bread Rack is a new bakery which has recently opened their doors at [email protected] — the building along Yio Chu Kang Road also houses an outlet of the Soi19 Thai Wanton Mee, and is also situated opposite Urban Table at ICB Shopping Centre which is just across the road.

Being in soft launch mode, The Bread Rack was serving a limited menu with four types of different loaves and four different danishes available — found myself going for the Almond Croissant which was flaky and buttery with distinct layers in between from the lamination process of making the pastry. The frangipane was also nutty and not too moist; also adequately sweet without being too dominant in flavour and definitely allowed the buttery notes of the croissant to pull through — a pretty good rendition of the almond croissant overall that I actually would see myself having again. The White is also well-pulled here; the cuppa being smooth and creamy with an earthy flavour profile and a medium body — works both as a comforting mid-day cuppa and a morning perk-me-up. The accompanying chocolate chip cookies were also pretty delicious — not too dense and crunchy, yet coming with a melty chocolate chip in the middle for flavour.

It may be early days for The Bread Rack, but I do see some potential in the items that they serve that they will be pretty much a favourite for those residing in the area especially — simple, well-executed danishes tucked away from the buzzy neighbourhood centre alongside well-pulled coffee with loaves to takeaway and enjoy in the comfort of your home. What more can I ask for?

Visiting The Bread Rack while they are still in their soft opening stage, The Bread Rack is a new bakery which has recently opened their doors at [email protected] — the building along Yio Chu Kang Road also houses an outlet of the Soi19 Thai Wanton Mee, and is also situated opposite Urban Table at ICB Shopping Centre which is just across the road.

Being in soft launch mode, The Bread Rack was serving a limited menu with four types of different loaves and four different danishes available — found myself going for the Almond Croissant which was flaky and buttery with distinct layers in between from the lamination process of making the pastry. The frangipane was also nutty and not too moist; also adequately sweet without being too dominant in flavour and definitely allowed the buttery notes of the croissant to pull through — a pretty good rendition of the almond croissant overall that I actually would see myself having again. The White is also well-pulled here; the cuppa being smooth and creamy with an earthy flavour profile and a medium body — works both as a comforting mid-day cuppa and a morning perk-me-up. The accompanying chocolate chip cookies were also pretty delicious — not too dense and crunchy, yet coming with a melty chocolate chip in the middle for flavour.

It may be early days for The Bread Rack, but I do see some potential in the items that they serve that they will be pretty much a favourite for those residing in the area especially — simple, well-executed danishes tucked away from the buzzy neighbourhood centre alongside well-pulled coffee with loaves to takeaway and enjoy in the comfort of your home. What more can I ask for?

Pretty stoked that there is a new spot for specialty coffee around Ang Mo Kio Central — a rather accessible spot for most given how most other cafes within Ang Mo Kio are well hidden within the neighbourhoods (i.e. AMPM Cafe, The Workbench Bistro etc.). Being a hole-in-the-wall cafe, Brew & Co seems to be a spot catered more towards the takeaway crowds with just a single bench seat in the store itself, and another bench and a two-seater table situated outside. Brew & Co mainly specialises in specialty coffee, so expect the usuals such as Espresso, White, Black & Mocha, as well as specials such as the Dirty Matcha and Orange Espresso alongside other beverages such as tea and chocolate. Pastries available includes croissants, scones, and bagels — just to name a few.

The Raisin Scone comes across as a pretty decent light bite for breakfast, especially after being heated up before being passed to the patron — the scone comes crusty on the outside with plenty of nibs of raisins to chew on; the scone also being sufficiently soft and not particularly dry, served with a pack of Smucker’s Strawberry Sauce that helps to give the scone a bit more moisture and a slight tang. The Orange Espresso is everything that I would have expected — the version here comes with punchy espresso with an earthy body, yet the infusion of orange here gives it a brighter flavour that also gives it a clean finish.

Given the way that Brew & Co is set up, it does work well as a convenient spot for residents around the area to pick up their cuppa before heading to the bus interchange or MRT station to make their commute. Otherwise, it’s a spot that works fine for a leisurely cuppa in the morning especially with the outside seating, which is well-sheltered being within the HDB block itself. With quality cuppa and comforting light bites, Brew & Co is a spot that Ang Mo Kio residents will be glad to have in their neighbourhood, and also somewhere cafe-goers who are into coffee should certainly visit.

Pretty stoked that there is a new spot for specialty coffee around Ang Mo Kio Central — a rather accessible spot for most given how most other cafes within Ang Mo Kio are well hidden within the neighbourhoods (i.e. AMPM Cafe, The Workbench Bistro etc.). Being a hole-in-the-wall cafe, Brew & Co seems to be a spot catered more towards the takeaway crowds with just a single bench seat in the store itself, and another bench and a two-seater table situated outside. Brew & Co mainly specialises in specialty coffee, so expect the usuals such as Espresso, White, Black & Mocha, as well as specials such as the Dirty Matcha and Orange Espresso alongside other beverages such as tea and chocolate. Pastries available includes croissants, scones, and bagels — just to name a few.

The Raisin Scone comes across as a pretty decent light bite for breakfast, especially after being heated up before being passed to the patron — the scone comes crusty on the outside with plenty of nibs of raisins to chew on; the scone also being sufficiently soft and not particularly dry, served with a pack of Smucker’s Strawberry Sauce that helps to give the scone a bit more moisture and a slight tang. The Orange Espresso is everything that I would have expected — the version here comes with punchy espresso with an earthy body, yet the infusion of orange here gives it a brighter flavour that also gives it a clean finish.

Given the way that Brew & Co is set up, it does work well as a convenient spot for residents around the area to pick up their cuppa before heading to the bus interchange or MRT station to make their commute. Otherwise, it’s a spot that works fine for a leisurely cuppa in the morning especially with the outside seating, which is well-sheltered being within the HDB block itself. With quality cuppa and comforting light bites, Brew & Co is a spot that Ang Mo Kio residents will be glad to have in their neighbourhood, and also somewhere cafe-goers who are into coffee should certainly visit.

Located at 22 Havelock Road, Shuttl.96 is a new takeaway specialty coffee store which is located at the same HDB block where now-defunct establishments such as The Tastemaker Store and Dessert Project were formerly located — being more of a takeaway kiosk with limited standing areas for dine-in, Shuttl.96 does serve up the usual beverages that one will find in a cafe serving up specialty coffee; expect options such as Long Black, Latte, Flat White etc., alongside specialty beverages which include their Shuttl.96 Special Cold Brew, Rose Milk Tea and Lemongrass Mint amidst other options. Food options are limited to Croissant, Sausage Bun, Chocolate Bun and Gelato here.

Using a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, the Shuttl.96 Special Cold Brew here carries a more robust body than most other cold brews served at other establishments — stronger and punchier with its chocolatey and caramel-y flavour profile whilst being just aptly sweetened. Whilst I didn’t try the Rose Milk Tea in the background, a friend commented that it lacks a floral note, though does work well as a milk tea option.

Given the setup, Shuttl.96 does give the residents around the area an interesting choice for takeaway specialty coffee; liked how the Chocolate Bun is retailed in a bag here — reminds us of bread from local bakeries that is sold in a bundle that seemingly works well with the demographics here. While those who prefer dine-in may probably find other options such as Starter Lab and Pullman Bakery a more suitable spot to visit, Shuttl.96 does seem to resonate better for those who are looking for something on the go or to have at home.

Checked out the new Main Street Commissary at Rowell Road — a new cafe which serves up specialty coffee and simple sandwiches, pastries and cakes to go alongside.

The space is decked out pretty simply but with style — minimalist with the use of white walls, concrete flooring and wooden furniture and wooden accents for its wall panelling; especially like how they have a small “porch” area that seems to work as a standing bar as well; a pretty warm and welcoming sight as one approaches the cafe before opening the door. While the pastries and cakes are pretty typical, the Flat White was pretty well-pulled — a smooth, creamy cuppa with a medium body with a fruity flavour profile and a clean finish.

Given how the cafe is in the proximity of other establishments such as Sum Dim Sum, Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant and Jalan Berseh Food Centre, Main Street Commissary is a great spot for a leisurely cuppa after a meal at the various other establishments around it, all in a serene space that one could just immerse themselves in with a book, or just simply work from.

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Checked out the new Main Street Commissary at Rowell Road — a new cafe which serves up specialty coffee and simple sandwiches, pastries and cakes to go alongside.

The space is decked out pretty simply but with style — minimalist with the use of white walls, concrete flooring and wooden furniture and wooden accents for its wall panelling; especially like how they have a small “porch” area that seems to work as a standing bar as well; a pretty warm and welcoming sight as one approaches the cafe before opening the door. While the pastries and cakes are pretty typical, the Flat White was pretty well-pulled — a smooth, creamy cuppa with a medium body with a fruity flavour profile and a clean finish.

Given how the cafe is in the proximity of other establishments such as Sum Dim Sum, Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant and Jalan Berseh Food Centre, Main Street Commissary is a great spot for a leisurely cuppa after a meal at the various other establishments around it, all in a serene space that one could just immerse themselves in with a book, or just simply work from.

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Came across The Brewing Ground on social media the other, and decided to drop by during the past weekend — located in the tranquil surroundings of The Yard (the former location of Telok Kurau English School), the highlight of the cafe is the Kapok tree right at their backyard — a 40 year old tree with a prominent stature which is almost a centrepiece of the cafe when viewed from a certain point. The lush greenery within the cafe and the space being flooded with natural lighting streaming in from the windows on both sides makes this spot absolutely charming.

Serving up different items throughout the day, patrons can get to order items such as granola, tartines and sandwiches for breakfast from opening to 4pm, or breakfast platters, brunch classics, mains and pasta which are available from 11am to 4pm. The Breakfast Burger is part of the “brunch” section of the menu — features Pork Sausage Patty, Silky Scrambled Eggs, Caramalised Onions, Cheese, Ketchup Mayo, Brioche Buns, Hash Browns and Mesclun Salad. A beautifully put-together burger featuring elements which seem to work well especially for a substantial brunch item, the portion is incredibly hearty — light and fluffy brioche buns come spread with the ketchup mayo for a lightly tangy and creamy touch; an attempt to bind the burger buns together with the elements within. There, the scrambled eggs are well-executed; silky, creamy and beautifully folded — carried a distinct egginess without being overly seasoned, and paired well with the juicy and tenderised pork sausage that is just savoury to the right degree for a wholesome touch. While some establishments uses sweet elements such as apple sauce to cut through the meatiness of the pork, caramalised onions is used here instead, lending its distinct sweetness to the pork sausage while being still slightly savoury with the cheese being melted over it. Even the hash browns do deserve a mention here — no doubt looking like they come off those generic packs available at any supermarket, but I like how they have done it just nice here without the hash browns feeling particularly greasy which deserves the mention.

Must say that The Brewing Ground was somewhere I really enjoyed being at — soaking into its serenity, it felt like a spot that is hidden away from the urbanity. Being situated in a rather obscure spot in Telok Kurau, it may be a spot that takes a little while to be explored, but it was certainly well worth it — the ambience, the food, the coffee, the hospitality; somewhere that places an emphasis on their patrons where it’s all relaxing and positive vibes. Its needless to say that I will be back again — a cafe to wind down over the weekend over idyllic brunches with a book on one hand and a cup of coffee with the other; wishing the folks behind The Brewing Ground all the best in what has to come!

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Being tucked away on the second level of a shophouse, Nirvana Dessert Cafe is a spot that one could easily miss considering how it’s not quite visible on the first level — the entrance being just a flight of steps behind a door that is situated in between Machi Machi and Milk Singapore along Arab Street.

Being a concept behind the same folks of now-defunct Q&Y Kong Style Dessert Cafe previously at The Midtown in Hougang, Nirvana Dessert Cafe is pretty much a spiritual successor to Q&Y Kong Style Dessert Cafe, serving their signature soufflé pancakes as well as waffles, amongst some other dessert items that are prepared in their tiny kitchen in the shophouse. Their soufflé pancakes are one of the more affordable ones around — priced at $9, their soufflé pancakes are pretty affordable and comes at a decent quality for its price; sufficiently moist, the soufflé pancakes were fluffy and airy with a slight hint of eggy sweetness that was pretty fragrant. Coupled with the dollop of pastry cream on the side, the pastry cream helps to add yet another dimension of sweetness to the pancakes. Patrons can opt between chocolate, maple syrup and salted caramel sauce for their soufflé pancakes; our order came with the salted caramel sauce which we did not end up using though — the sauce being a tad heavy and felt rather off against the texture and flavours of the soufflé pancake, and easily became the dominating flavour of the dessert.

Given how Kampong Glam is filled with cafes that caters to different crowds, Nirvana Dessert Cafe is a spot that carries a different appeal — the hidden nature of the cafe being situated at the second level of the shophouse somewhat makes it a secret hangout of sorts only for those in the know. Prices are also pretty affordable, while the quality of the desserts here do resonate the prices pretty well — yet another option for dessert while in the area.

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Have always passed by Hong Kong Dim Sum Shop at Fortune Centre during my weekday lunches when I work in office, but never actually given them a go despite being in that area for quite a while. Chanced upon their new outlet the other day along Liang Seah Street, situated just right before Beach Road and taking over the former premises of Cao Vietnamese Cuisine and thought that it was probably time to give them a try.

Perhaps one of the quirkiest name for a BBQ Pork Bun, the Rosey Wine Yummy BBQ Pork Bun is that sort of name which may suggest that they seem to have gotten a little carried away whilst coming up for the name of the dish. That being said, we felt that the Rosey Wine Yummy BBQ Pork Bun does live up to its name rather well — the bun was light and fluffy, but it’s the filling that is the catch; the savouriness of the oyster sauce used in the sauce comes with a slight sweetness which was pretty well-balanced. The bits of meat may be more finely chopped here; their variant being one which will appeal more to those who love their BBQ Pork Buns to carry more sauce — something which we were pretty fine with and quite liked their rendition for.

Having tried a variety of dim sum during our visit, we could say that there are both hits and misses here. Prices of certain items can be a little bit of a steep side, such as the Steamed Prawn Dumpling “Har Kau” at $6.20, though they do offer four pieces in a single serving rather than the usual three at other establishments — that’s something worth considering. That being said we did enjoy other items such as the Pan Fried Chives Dumpling and Deep-Fried Golden Custard Ball; their Authentic Stocking Milk Tea also being pretty thick and silky smooth, while the Longan Luo Han Guo Herbal Tea is pretty old-school and does remind me of my mum’s rendition quite a fair bit with a herbal finish as opposed to the sweetness that some other variants carry. A spot I would not mind visiting again, though probably going to be more selective on the items I am ordering the next time I am here.

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Tried it for the first time during Phase 1 re-opening in the post-Circuit Breaker period, and the Shabu Burger has become pretty much my go-to order here ever since (there is probably one occasion that I gave this up for the Eggstarter — another burger which I was actually pretty impressed with).

Some may argue that the Shabu Burger isn’t quite a burger — the lack of an actual patty with the burger being served with beef slices instead; but that’s also the same reason why I liked it for how it’s not as heavy as a typical burger. Featuring elements such as Black Angus Beef Shabu, Yakiniku Sauce, Bunashimeiji Mushroom, Spanish Onion in between Brioche Buns, the Shabu Burger may not be the contender for the burger with the most impressive stature (thick patties and well-decked out components), but this certainly wins big on flavours. I always liked how the buns are light and fluffy; slightly toasted and buttered for a bit of flavour that isn’t too sinful, but compliments the beef slices that is marinated in Yakiniku Sauce so well — a balance of sweet and saltish notes. The sliced beef comes with some Bunshimeiji Mushrooms in the middle — gives a bouncy bite amidst a slight hint of earthiness, while the sliced onions provide a slight zing when one chews on a slice that cuts through the flavour bomb of the burger itself. Wasn’t quite into the fries the previous time I had it, but was told to go for the add-on for they seemed to have improved on them since then; definitely way better being crisp and well-seasoned with paprika and other spices for a distinct note similar to cajun.

Waiting time was a little long on the day of our visit, and that beef slices were kinda stuck into a clump of meat as opposed to what we have had previously; slightly off but not too bothersome — perhaps they are trying to get used to the operations after the renovation considering they had transitioned to table service recently amongst other changes. Still, Wildfire Burgers is a place we always look forward to visiting just for the occasional splurge; the burgers aren’t too pricey anyway to begin with (with most single portion options falling below $15 for the burger alone) — and the Shabu Burger is certainly a unique burger that I would find myself going for again and again ...

Another day, another plate of Nasi Lemak — Downstairs had recently shifted from their former premises at Changi Business Park to Suntec City; still occupying a space in the basement of the mall and holding true to its name, the move is also something I am pretty glad considering I have had always wanted to try them out, but their limited operating hours and location were a little out of the way for me.

Still carrying their void deck theme, the place is decked with a familiar stone chess table and letter boxes that one usually will be able to find in HDB void decks of the past. Offering local eats such as Nasi Lemak, Wanton Mee, Chicken Chop Hor Fun and more, we went for the Har Jeong Gai Nasi Lemak — a slight twist to the local Nasi Lemak which sees three Har Jeong Gai (Prawn Paste Chicken) drumlets served with omelette, fishcake and sambal. Despite looking quite sparse and lacking Ikan Bilis and peanuts, their rendition of the Nasi Lemak was actually pretty respectable — the use of Jasmine Rice for this rendition steers away from the other Nasi Lemak that we have had recently, which comes served with basmati rice instead. That being said, the rice comes immensely fragrant — seemingly powered more by Pandan leaves with a slight whiff of ginger in its finishing notes. The Har Jeong Gai was decent as well; sufficiently crisp on the outside, yet carrying a hint of umami-ness with the juicy flesh within. The other elements such as the egg omelette felt rather pedestrian, though the fish cake does come with a crisp exterior; the sambal chili carrying a hint of sweetness whilst being mildly spicy — suitable for those who have lower tolerance of spiciness, whilst coming with Ikan Bilis for a soft crunch.

Glad that Downstairs had finally relocated to somewhere more convenient — makes for a good option for local fare with an ambience; the food was of a pretty good quality for its price with all items coming below $10 (most being in the range of $6 to $7). Given how I find myself in this area more often than not, this is likely a spot I would find myself dining at for those random days which I am not sure what to have around this part of town.

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