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My sis-in-law Joanne had picked up a box of these chicken pies from a shop near her home. Although this place that’s located at 603 Balestier Road is better known for “tau sar piah” (I‘m not really into them personally), their chicken pie won me over.
It has a puff pastry that’s not too thick and a filling that did the most important thing - it filled the space within the crust. I’m sure you know that’s not usually the case with chicken pies sold at most places unfortunately. Taste-wise, it also passed the test. The soft shredded pieces of chicken had been cooked in some kind of a light creamy sauce and came nicely seasoned too.

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When it comes to curry puffs, the more talked-about stall at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre is “Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puffs” but I decided to try the ones from “Genie Foods” (#01-157) when my friend Aaron told me he prefers theirs.
Yes, Genie Food’s pastry crust doesn’t look as attractive as the other brand’s cascading layers. But that “mo peng” (Teochew for “pockmarked”) non-flaky exterior is thin and buttery, and has a really tasty filling of curry chicken plus a piece of hard boiled egg. Priced at $1.50, the puff is also pretty big and more importantly, has an ideal ratio of crust to filling.

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G I F T E D
I love these “Ma La” flavoured chips!
The fragrance and spiciness levels are unabashedly in-your-face so this should satisfy most of the “麻辣香锅” (spicy hot pot) fans out there. The slightly numbing heat does linger somewhat in the mouth but I actually welcome that sensation as it is what eating a good “Ma La” dish does to you. Plus regardless of whether they’re made from potato or cassava (yes, these fiery chips are available in two kinds), they are very crunchy. The other thing I notice is that they aren’t overly oily either.
At the moment, they don’t have a permanent store so i would recommend following their Instagram account: @oohsg to find out where they will pop up next or message them directly for more information.

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Taking over “Subway Niche” in the basement of Forum The Shopping Mall is “Jia”, a simple eatery serving a small menu of local delights like Dried Mee Siam ($5.50) and various types of toasts with freshly brewed “kopi” and “teh”.
I got this luncheon meat and hard-boiled egg toast for a mid-afternoon snack and found it simple yet satisfying.
Service is commendable because when I pointed out that they had included the sweetish creamy sauce in my sandwich even though I‘d asked for it to be left out, they promptly made me a brand new one. No questions asked, no hesitation and no dirty looks 👍😄.

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Rich And Good Cake Shop’s swiss rolls are popular for their soft sponge cake and layer of thick cream filling.
Judging from the orders of those ahead of me in the queue, I’m pretty sure the D24 durian roll is their bestseller but the one I am most fond of is the coffee.
With a strong aroma sponge and a cream saturated in the addictive caffeine, it lives up to the company name of being “rich and good”. Such an affordable indulgence at $8.

G I F T E D
Crisp, gently sweet and possessing a good balance between green tea and buttery flavours, I have much love for the “Cigar Au Matcha”.
Launched in 2017, it was the first new flavour to be introduced by Yoku Moku in thirteen years which of course, led it to be quickly sold out in many places across Japan. It is now available in Singapore as a limited edition item in a specially designed kimono-inspired assortment tin as part of the Summer Collection. Containing a total of 22 pieces (12 pieces of classic “Cigare” with 10 pieces of “Cigare Au Matcha”), this pretty collectible of a tin retails for $56.
If you plan to pick this up or browse their range of offerings, I suggest a visit to Yoku Moku’s spanking new second standalone store at Raffles City. Not that I have been myself but it seems that the spatial design there is centered on the theme of “Omotenashi” or the Japanese act of hospitality. And that does sound interesting, doesn’t it?

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G I F T E D
Spring, the prettiest season of the year has arrived and fluttering into Yoku Moku at ION Orchard are the limited edition Sakura Cookies.
These thin and delicate buttery baked discs have a floral fragrance and a light sweetness. The green one contains a blend of matcha with the sakura so the taste is a little more complex.
Please don’t ask me to choose a favourite as I found them both just as lovely.

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Since I discovered “onigiri” on my first trip to Tokyo decades ago, I have always had a soft spot for the handy bites.
Picked this up from Samurice takeaway counter at Wisma Atria today and found it really satisfying. The Japanese rice was packed with tiny crispy young sardines and enlivened with bits of ume (plum).
I have a feeling this is a popular variant here as there was only one piece of it left on the shelf.

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This has become the cookie to fight over at home. A scrumptious beauty of crunchy butter cookie sandwiching a creamy white filling made with maple syrup from Quebec, Canada. No wonder it’s been the bestseller three years in a row at Tokyo Station, Japan.

Last weekend, I stumbled upon a little bakery tucked inside @with_a_pinch_of_salt, a casual restaurant on Tanjong Katong Road. Occupying a small area near the front, @chefybakehouse isn’t actually new, but have been selling their handmade, freshly-baked and preservatives-free cookies from that spot for some time. There’s a sign outside welcoming people to do some sampling, so without hesitation, in I went.
After tasting a small assortment, I bought a few jars of the “Butter Coffee” and Chefybakehouse’s bestseller, the “Almond”. Both turned out to be really good for different reasons.
The “Butter Coffee” has a light crunchiness that transitions into a lovely melt-in-the-mouth texture while the fragrant “Almond” boasts a savoury tinge and firmer crunch. After I’d shared the cookies with her at work the next day, @rainraineeataway said that the former reminded her very much of the popular Hong Kong brand - “Jenny Bakery”. I couldn’t agree more.

With a lap full of vadai, that's how I roll.
And by the way, did you know besides the bestselling classic "Prawn", there're tasty vadai options of "Ikan Bilis & Peanut" and "Vegetarian" too? 😋

3rd-generation hawker Jacky of "Tan's Tu Tu Coconut Cake" shared that his grandfather started the business back in the 1930's. When the government moved food-sellers off the streets in the 1970's, he settled in at Havelock Food Centre.
When I was there today, I saw Jacky and his aunt running the stall. The queue of customers wasn't too long but because the "tu tu kuehs" are made by hand, it does require time. I was told my order would take about 40 mins to be ready, so I shared a bowl of laksa with my mum while waiting. In the end, I got mine after less than half an hour.
Besides the traditional coconut and ground peanut versions, I decided to try the new chocolate one as well. They all turned out to be delightful, mostly because the steamed flour part was a lovely foil to the fillings.
My fave would be the chocolate (I blame it on the kid in me 😜) but seriously, the semi-sweet chocolate chips which had melted into a slightly gooey state, proved to be a match made in heaven with the moist, fall-apart-soft flour.
In case you're keen to try the kuehs for yourself, do note the Havelock stall is open between 12noon and 3pm daily except for Thursday and Sunday.

Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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