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Mention “Tarte By Cheryl Koh” and immediately, rows of stunning, immaculately constructed tarts are envisioned, sparkling like precious gems in a showcase. But tear your eyes off those beauties for a second and you will notice they have other baked goods too. And these are definitely worth divvying up your tummy real estate for.
A fine example is this Chicken Pie. Cut through its flaky and buttery pastry crust and out tumbles deliciously-cooked chunks of tender chicken and meaty mushrooms. Perfect to have for breakfast or tea.
Instead of getting it takeaway, try savouring it with a cup of tea or coffee at Tarte sometime. Their newish premises on level 2 of Shaw Centre is chic, charming and comfortable. Especially in the day, when it is awashed with light pouring in through the glass windows. This also gives you a chance to admire the quirky, whimsical art pieces on the walls that are from one of the co-owner’s private collection.

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Today, I visited the recently re-opened Hong Lim Market & Food Centre (it was closed for about 2 months at the end of 2018) and found my favourite stalls intact. “Ah Heng Curry Chicken Mee” has even expanded, taking over an extra stall unit on the other side of the stairwell (yay to shorter queues since you can buy from both).
After finishing my plate of Mee Siam from the multi-awarded “Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa”, a stall I’ve been patronising since their pre-fame days, I decided on a whim to pick up all three flavours of curry puff from “Tanglin Crispy Curry Puff” (stall #02-356).
Watching the elderly uncle make the pastry to wrap the fillings in was pretty therapeutic as he did it in a gentle, relaxed manner. His recipe and technique delivers results for sure. I found all of the puffs, priced at $1.50 or $1.60, to live up to the stall’s name.
Regardless of what was within, the crust was thin and had a lovely crunchiness. The cubes of potato in the chicken and sardine variations were cooked very soft. I found the seasoning of the former fragrant and more savoury than the latter which was a little sweet. Actually, I could not detect much of a sardine taste in the latter. So if you don’t like sardine puffs generally due to fishiness, this one will likely suit you. The fish otak puff is a straightforward combo but really good too.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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