Time-savers

Time-savers

Looking for a grab-and-go meal that is sinful and satisfying? This is the list for fast foods all around the island!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

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.

It’s not something that I mention often, but my childhood memories of fast food mostly comprises of just two brands — McDonalds (for which I usually find myself having the McChicken, or the Hotcakes with Sausage if i were to be in for breakfast, and A&W; its little wonder why considering how the nearest A&W was just across the street from my place, which had since closed down ever since their initial exit out of the Singapore market. Ironically, there was a switch of tenants for the same space, and that spot is now occupied by McDonald’s.

Still a primary school student when I made my last visit to A&W before their first exit out of the Singapore market, its always an occasion when my parents were to bring me there; they had never fancied their hot food selection — we would typically be in to have their Waffles with Ice-Cream, Curry Fries and the Root Beer Float; and I was never allowed to have my own portion. Talk about Asian parenting indeed (haha jk I love y’all!).

Having made a recent visit to their Canberra Plaza outlet, my very first experience for their hot food items goes to the Golden Aroma Chicken (2pcs) — essentially just your standard fried chicken dish from a fast food restaurant. Wouldn’t say I was expecting much; its fast food anyway, and so I was rather ok with this one — the fried batter is crisp, and carries a slightly floury texture almost akin, but less distinct than KFC’s Original Recipe Chicken. Inside, the chicken flesh remains relatively juicy and succulent, though it is worth mentioning how the chicken here isn’t quite as greasy as most other fast food restaurants. Can’t wrap up the meal without the Curly Fries and Root Beer Float; the former seems less memorable these days and almost similar to the Twister Fries that occasionally makes its comeback to the Golden Arches — just not quite the same as they were previously being more arched than curly. The Root Beer Float still takes the cake though — nothing really beats the A&W experience having their fizzy root beer in a chilled, frosty mug that holds the temperature of the sugary soft drink so well; not to mention opting for the float for the added scoop of ice-cream, though I did recall that the ice-cream used to be more dense and creamy and gave the root beer a slightly thicker consistency when melted down, while the ice-cream now seems to be easily overpowered by the root beer itself.

Much of the excitement of visiting A&W these days seem to be on the nostalgia — not simply just about their curly fries and the root beer floats, but also perhaps a throwback to simpler times where “joy” could be easily derived from fast food meals that can be seen as a treat away from the usual hawker/coffeeshop fare. That novelty of being a meal to splurge on has since worn off given how we are now blessed with plenty of options from cafes to bistros and fine dining restaurants, and fast food restaurants are more or less seen as an affordable alternate option to most in this current era. It may just be me, but the food in their current reincarnation is still a little far from those good times — but its return is still a welcomed one; perhaps one that would bring back pleasant moments and memories for those who have grown with them during the times before they have left the Singapore market.

2 Likes

More of the Pancakes with Sausage guy at McDonald’s rather than the sort who would go for a McMuffin or a Big Breakfast, so the McGriddles is a thing for me whenever it makes its guest appearance on the limited-time menu all-day — it’s the go-to whenever I am in a situation when I am craving for Pancakes with Sausage, but just don’t really want to deal with cutlery for how its almost the same thing in a sandwich format.

Not sure if the McGriddles here wasn’t prepared quite as properly as it should have been, but this time the syrup-laced “bun” does feel a little less sweet and molten overall; felt a tad cakey and a little dense given the lack of dimension — perhaps one of the reasons why some folks just simply detest the McGriddles. But otherwise, it’s the same old deal with sliced cheese that comes slightly melted if one is ever so lucky, sunny side-up and sausage patty that’s almost a breakfast staple for an early morning meal at McDonald’s for me.

PS: I hadn’t been to McDonald’s that much to notice it, but their McCafe Iced Latte actually comes sweetened by default? Hmm ...

1 Like

Was intending to get something else but getting McDonald’s seem to be most convenient option — I think I am one who quite easily falls for the non-burger options whenever they make their appearance on the limited time only menu.

The Crispy Chicken is no doubt a crowd-pleaser; that’s what a good piece of fried chicken should be minimally — fried till golden brown on the exterior that hints of light note of garlic powder, the batter is crisp without being greasy, while the meat comes tender and juicy. Not a fan of the accompanying Coconut Pie though; a little too sweet, too creamy and too artificial; not to mention it’s less than aesthetic physical appearance when the filling reveals itself once one takes a bite into the pie ...

1 Like

Having taken an interest in Peranakan cuisine lately, the new limited-time only Nyonya Chicken from KFC piqued my interest, with its description of chicken “drenched with an aromatic sauce, made of coconut, chillies, dried shrimp, curry spices and laksa leaves”. Using the base of a typical “spicy” chicken, this item carries a hint of rendang flavour; perhaps it could be a little salty to some, but the sauce does carry a fragrant hint of rempah spices that is pretty alluring, providing the “Nyonya” flavours that it promises in the namesake — the chicken not being particularly spicy, and should be pretty suitable even for those with a lower tolerance of spiciness. Pretty decent overall.

4 Likes

Gave Otoke Chicken at Asian Food Mall in Lucky Plaza a try recently; a new Korean fried chicken stall which gives a slight impression of being a 4Fingers Crispy Chicken spinoff given the packaging of the paper cups here. A little odd considering how it's located beside Jollibee within the same food court, but Otoke Chicken works for those who are looking for a sauced-up (quite literally) fried chicken treat.

Liked how the fried chicken here was not too greasy here; the chicken being pretty tender and succulent. Opting for the Spicy Sauce, the Spicy Sauce comes pretty piquant and is not shy in terms of its spiciness — the heat being pretty prominent and lingers around which works well for spicy lovers; all that whilst carrying a slight savoury and sweet note of sweet soy typical of Korean fried chicken. While the fries come with a generous seasoning of honey soy powder for flavour, we were not fans of the soft fries; whilst not being drenched in oil, it was peculiarly limp and soggy within — would have preferred some crispness on the exterior and fluffiness within. That being said, it's not a bad eat; in fact a pretty decent option to go for — perhaps albeit of a bad location for how it may draw some unfair comparisons with its more famous neighbour, but it satiates the Korean fried chicken cravings just about right at an individual-friendly size and a reasonable price.

2 Likes

Had not have the chance to try of Marrybrown during my previous staycation at Sentosa considering they had just opened in the middle of my trip back then; finally got to check them out a couple of years later at their very first outpost in Singapore. The shop had since became a little run-down; perhaps more effort could be placed in maintaining the place in general, but the food was pretty on point nonetheless.

Opted for the Lucky Plate which comes with soft bun, mash potatoes, coleslaw and two pieces of fried chicken; went for the spicy variant of the fried chicken this time round. The fried chicken is undoubtedly the star of the show here; getting a fresh batch of chicken that was just off the fryer, the fried chicken were crisp on the exterior, whilst tender and not too greasy while still being juicy and flavourful within — the batter carrying a slight hint of spiciness to tingle the taste buds. The other elements were all pretty average at best; the mash potato being decent but could do with a slightly denser, more flavourful brown sauce, while the coleslaw was rather fresh and provides a refreshing crunch though I personally would have preferred a creamier mix of sauce. The soft bun was also pretty alright; more of a burger bun served whole without being sliced apart; light and fluffy though perhaps not warm enough. Would not say much for the other items, but certainly would not mind to have the fried chicken again if there are more outlets in mainland Singapore — that being said, there is one situated at Wisma Geylang Serai that had opened several months ago; somewhere which I would most probably check out when the cravings hit again.

3 Likes

There’s something about the Chocolate Pie that isn’t quite like the Apple Pie — it’s crisp, but the pastry seemed to lack the firm bite of the Apple Pie’s pastry, while the Chocolate Pie also looks a little taller and slimmer than the Apple Pie. That being said, the chocolate within is less sweet than expected — perhaps done intentionally so to avoid a mad sugar rush afterwards; it’s actually surprisingly light and not overly jelak, nor did it seem to feel overly sweet. Maybe it’s just me being not so much of a chocolate lover who often goes for the non-chocolate option when it comes to desserts, but I would probably still stick to the Apple Pie instead.

2 Likes

Had to make a point to McDonald’s for this because it’s rare to see McDonald’s introduce anything new mains that ain’t burgers. The Fish & Fries might come in rather small portions, but I do find it filling enough after having the soft drink so it’s pretty much well-sized. The fish is pretty decent; no doubt not the most flaky pieces of fish and that the fish did come off from the batter at times — that being said, the batter maintains crispiness though a little thick for some. Fries aren’t the most stellar; the Parklane outlet isn’t one that does them particularly outstanding especially when compared to other outlets, but you get the flow. My order also comes with two tubs of tartar sauce; you know, the same ones that come with Fillet O’ Fish and it’s more than enough to dip both fish and fries into it.

(PS: tried to be funny by dipping the fish into a tub of curry sauce just to make a point that I was having fish curry but I actually liked it even more — but McDonald’s curry sauce works with anything and everything; you know now 😉)

4 Likes

Wasn't really a big fan of the battered shark here — the shark itself was decent but overall the fish tasted a little bland. That being said, it could be easily fixed by dipping the fried fish into the variety of sauces they have at the self-service counter. The Garlic Fried Rice was decent considering how Burger Monster is a fast-food concept — it is pretty savoury, though the mound of rice itself felt a little sticky and kept to its shape despite us tearing it down with the utensils.

3 Likes

I am a huge fan of local flavours in western fare so I was pretty excited to learn about this burger yesterday; after all, Nasi Lemak is one of my favourite dishes and it's not everyday you see Nasi Lemak being done in a form of a burger.

Being an avid Nasi Lemak fan, this was actually surprisingly well-executed by McDonald's — thought that it actually pulled off the "Lemak" pretty well in the crisp and tender Coconut-Flavoured Chicken Thigh patty (god knows what they did to it but I am impressed enough to not find out how they put everything together). I am also quite surprised how they didn't butcher the Nasi Lemak chili; a little sweet, a little savoury and a little spicy — just like how it should have been. Coming with other condiments such as the fried egg, cucumber and caramalised onions (😍), it's almost akin to having the real deal less the rice and with the Semolina buns. Quite glad that they didn't try to add in peanuts for this one (yes, I am the odd one out), but I thought it could have been done better with Ikan Bilis for some crispness. Still, it's actually a pretty good one coming out from the brand with the big, yellow M.

6 Likes

Set 4 is the option to go for at Chic-A-Boo for those who don't wish to go for fried chicken — the set also comes with two sides which one could pick from the long list that they have on the menu board; we opted for the Curly Fries and Savoury Rice for our order.

Quite impressed with the fish here; really fresh and flaky while encased in a crisp batter that is not too greasy — possible one of the best versions from a fast food joint. Savoury Rice was one side that came with a slight Mediterranean touch; the capsicums amidst the savoury rice introduced a tangy flavour that was rather refreshing and cleanses the palate despite being a carb. Curly fries are also pretty decent; crisp without being over-seasoned.

7 Likes

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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