Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Singapore, a melting pot of culture, serves up a wide selection of cuisines to satisfy our taste buds. Never go hungry again.
Julius Lim
Julius Lim

As this is the first time I am trying it, I can understand why these are so popular every year with the buttery crust and mildly sweet filling. Best to go with some hot tea or coffee. Thank you @adibeevince for sharing these pastries with us.
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✨ Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza
📍 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865
🛵 celebratorydelights.com/cny
🍴 [Gifted]

The three soup bases that we have tried are the Beauty Collagen Soup, Tangy Tomato and Miso Seaweed with the latter being the unanimous favourite for the creamy texture and umami flavour. As the buffet is served ala-carte style, you can select the items from the order sheet and have them delivered to your table conveniently. From fresh greens and seafood to a selection of meats such as chicken, marinated beef and pork belly, you will have an enjoyable steamboat dining experience. While waiting for the food to be cooked or in between the steamboat, you can also order cooked food from Korean chicken wings, mala xiang guo to Korean pancake and japchae.

With a minimum of 2 paying pax to dine, prices start from $16.90 for an adult for buffet lunch (Monday-Friday) or $26.90 on weekends and public holidays. Dinner for an adult is priced at $26.90 from Monday to Thursday and $28.90 from Friday to Sunday and Public Holidays.

There is an exclusive promotion right now whereby you can quote “FEAST20” in the promo code space when making a reservation from the below link, to enjoy a 20% off the bill for Monday-Thursday dinner and Saturday-Sunday lunch at the following outlets of I'm Kim Korean BBQ (SOTA & Grantral Mall) and GoroGoro Steamboat & Korean Buffet (The Centrepoint & Tampines 1).
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✨ GoroGoro Steamboat & Korean Buffet
📍 176 Orchard Road, The Centrepoint, Unit 03-43, Singapore 238843
🛵 https://kingdomfood.sg/goro-goro-steamboat-korean-buffet/#reservation
🍴 [Media Invite]

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Over at JUMBO Seafood, the CNY 2021 set menus are available from now to 28 February at all their outlets with their Award-Winning Chilli Crab served with golden deep-fried mini buns taking centerstage. Their chilli crabs are no stranger to many, having gained worldwide recognition and feature from celebrity chefs and tourists alike. You can definitely not find a sweet-sour-spicy chilli crab sauce outside that is like JUMBO’s as theirs are made with over 10 different Southeast Asian spices with a subtle eggy fragrance that complements perfectly with their crabs.

The Celebration Set Menus feature dishes such as the chilli crabs, seafood soup braised with crab meat, live ‘Long Hu’ garoupa steamed with preserved radish and boiled live prawns. Prices start from $258 for 4 pax and there is a one-day only Reunion Set Menu on 11 Feb with prices starting from $298. You can also add the Prosperity Salmon Yu Sheng ($58/$88) for the additional huat in the new year.
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✨ JUMBO Seafood
📍 30 Merchant Road, Riverside Point, Unit 01-01/02, Singapore 058282
🛵 https://www.jumbogroup.sg/en/cny2021
🍴 [Media Invite]

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This new concept by Soi Thai Soi Nice, Pratunam PLUS, aims to bring the taste and flavour of Thai street food in an affordable and convenient manner. With main dishes starting at $6.90 and skewers from $1.20, you can definitely stretch your money further and dine in a nice and comfortable setting. With three outlets in Singapore, this Bugis+ outlet is the flagship of the trio with an extensive menu that you will be spoilt for choice.

What we had during the media invite includes the Premium Tom Yum Mama ($12.90) and Runny Omelette Prawn Fried Rice ($8.90), the former no stranger to many as it is a comforting noodle dish that contains prawns, squid, bacon strips, pork sausage and pork meatballs in a rich tom yum broth that will be thicken by the runny yolk and melted cheese. If you are in the mood for rice, the creamy egg blanket with prawns will surely satisfy your cravings.

To complement the mains, Pratunam PLUS has sides such as Glass Noodle Salad ($6.90) and Fragrant Fried Pork Belly ($6.90) that is reminiscent of what you can get from the many Thai eateries scattered around Bangkok. What truly is the PLUS point from this concept are their grilled skewers of chicken, pork, ham or pork belly (from $1.80 per stick) that has been glazed in a plum sauce for a tangy sweet flavour.
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✨ Pratunam PLUS by Soi Thai Soi Nice
📍 201 Victoria Street, Bugis+, Unit 04-09, Singapore 188067
🍴 [Media Invite]

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At Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill, the restaurant has recently launched a full plant-based menu that utilises natural ingredients from vegetables to mushrooms and tofu to create these flavourful dishes using Peranakan spices and condiments.

We were treated to an exciting lineup of dishes such as the Eggplant Goreng Dip with Emping Cracker ($17), a bar bites’ favourite which has the smokiness from the eggplant purée that’s complemented by the slight bitterness from the emping cracker. The grilled King Oyster Mushroom ($24) that comes in a creamy coconut sauce, Garam Assam Tau Kwa ($20) topped with a diced pineapple and pink ginger flower compote, and the chargrilled Cauliflower Sambal Tumis ($19) are dishes that go hand-in-hand with some white rice. For spice lovers, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the fiery Jagung Bakar Pedas Manis ($18) which are grilled corn on the cobs that are brushed with a tangy and spicy sauce topped with feta cheese.

The rice dishes, especially the Nasi Goreng Kangkung ($23), might have just stolen the show as it was the unanimous favourite for the wok fried aroma and something that you wouldn’t think could pair together, water morning glory in fried rice, actually works. To end the meal proper, you cannot skip on the Pulot Hitam with dairy-free Coconut Ice Cream ($14) and Kueh Beng Kah ($15) as the Peranakans just do excellent desserts.
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✨ Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill
📍 3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, Unit 01-18, Singapore 179021
🛵 https://violetoon.com/order-online/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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One of the Spanish restaurants that will give you a good introduction of Spanish cuisine is Esquina, which we went previously and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This time round, we ordered the same few dishes that we have tried from the last visit and what stood out the most is the Grilled Spanish Octopus ($28), that was beautifully charred with a nice texture and paired with a sweet corn sauce, chimichurri and chorizo oil.
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✨ Esquina
📍 16 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089267
🍴 [Self Funded]

We were there to celebrate a birthday and instead of ordering a few ala carte dishes, we opted for the ‘Taste of Candlenut’ January menu ($68++ per pax) which comprises of tasting portions of several signature dishes of the restaurant.

We started off with a trio of small bites from kueh pie tee to itek sioh on fried mantou to charcoal grilled Westholm wagyu beef satay. Unfortunately, the dining experience started off on the wrong footing as one of the fried mantous contained duck bones from the pulled braised duck meat, which we proceeded to send it back to the kitchen. The mains arrived shortly after and the bakwan kepiting soup (blue swimmer crab chicken tofu balls in chicken broth), sayur Nangka kerabu (young jackfruit salad) and buah keluak sotong were very much enjoyable and the experience was truly redeemed by the care and concern from the staff from the horrifying encounter and the excellent showcase of desserts, red bean bandung and homemade nyonya kueh.
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✨ Candlenut
📍 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
🛵 https://candlenutsingapore.menu/
🍴 [Self Funded]

Staying true to the classic Cantonese and Sichuan specialties created by Executive Chef Leung Wing Chung, you can expect strong and familiar flavours in the revamped ala carte and set menus.

Recently launched dishes such as the Duet of Traditional Crispy Chicken ($88, whole) which has been deboned and served two ways, the Osmanthus Jelly with Almond ($6.80 for 3 pieces) and the Homemade Purple Rice Bean Curd with Red Bean ($6.80) are my picks for the new menu. The crispy chicken is a dish that is rarely seen nowadays due to the amount of work and time needed, and this dish features a roulade that has been layered with glutinous rice, brown rice, pearl white rice, peanut, sweet corn, chicken, chicken liver and goose liver before it is rolled, steamed and air dried prior to serving. The other presentation is using the same core ingredients with waxed meat; roasted and served with homemade pineapple puree and sweet spicy sauce. A little note is that both the chicken dish and Osmanthus jelly are not available for order from 1 Feb to 26 Feb 2021.

Just in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year, the restaurant has also unveiled a CNY set and ala carte menu which includes a pao fan ($78) that will surely warm the heart and soul of many. This dish is good for 2-3 persons and served tableside. The restaurant staff will prepare a mix of brown, pearl and white rice puffs over a hot stone pot before pouring hot superior chicken stock over it. Scallops, prawns, sakura ebi, conpoy, preserved vegetables, cooked white rice, coriander and spring onion are added into the mix before its being served to the diners with accompanying slices of a braised 2-head abalone. Another of the signature dish is the Signature Bean Curd Medley ($26/$39/$52) which is constructed on a base of homemade beancurd with deep-fried purple rice tofu and topped with one of the most flavourful minced meat sauce.
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✨ Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant
📍 181 Kitchener Road, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Singapore 208533
🛵 https://shop-parkroyalkitchener.panpacific.com/en_SG/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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Here at this hidden gem of a place, Overrice does their own rendition of the rice bowls with other menu items such as pita sandwiches, sides and desserts. The rice bowl is served with a base of seasoned basmati rice, topped with your desired proteins of chicken ($9.90), pulled beef or falafel balls, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a good drizzle of the white sauce, with the red sauce (spicy!!) served on the side. On the other hand, the pita pocket has the same ingredients without the rice. Not to be missed are the Yawn Balls ($7), which are recommended by the staff and we are glad we ordered them, as it is very similar to our “hae zor”, made with shredded yam and prawn paste.
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✨ Overrice
📍 48 Arab Street, Singapore 199745
🛵 https://overrice.oddle.me/en_SG/
🍴 [Self Funded]

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Available from 29 January to 26 February 2021 for dine-in, takeaway or delivery, these four set menus, that comes with six to eight courses ranging from $388 to $768, are specially curated by Chef James Wong, who has amassed decades of culinary experience in Asian and Cantonese cuisines.

What is Lunar New Year without the iconic yusheng? For the Year of the Ox, the hotel will be presenting with the Prosperity Tuna Yu Sheng Platter that comes with slices of yellowfin tuna coated in sesame seeds and seaweed flakes, together with the medley of white and green radish and carrot, purple cabbage, pickled vegetables, torch ginger flower and kaffir lime leaves with the homemade plum sauce as the dressing. The combination of colours and flavours exudes a vibrant and refreshing outlook. Other highlights in the menu include the Superior Braised Fish Maw with Crabmeat and Homemade Stuffed Crab Claw that is cooked in a chicken broth, Steamed Red Garoupa with Yellow Bean Paste, a steamed favourite that is returning from the previous year’s menu and Fragrant Crispy Duck that is deep fried, deboned and served with achar and duck jus.

With all the seafood and meat, you must balance your meal with the ocean’s delicacies of Braised Sea Cucumber, Fish Maw, Baby Abalone with Broccoli dish and Salted Egg Yolk Golden Tiger Prawn, a ubiquitous pairing that has trended over the past few years. The meal ends off with the Steamed Fragrant Rice in Lotus Leaf with Duck Meat and Chinese Sausage before a dessert of golden fried nuggets of Crispy Durian.
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✨ Park Hotel Clarke Quay
📍 1 Unity Street, Singapore 237983
🛵 https://bit.ly/3mH9Pl3
🍴 [Media Invite]

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Now you can have the best of both worlds for days you feel like having shellfish or meals that you want to enjoy with beef. Several of the beef versions of the jjamppong include the Beef Ro Ppong ($18.90), Beef Cha Ppong ($15.90), Beef Keu Ppong ($15.90) and Beef II Ppong ($15.90). Out of the four, I tried the Beef Ro Ppong which comes with wheat noodles in a tomato and cream sauce base topped with bulgogi beef and lots of mozzarella cheese for the cheesy pull. Very hearty and rich, you will be utterly satisfied and full by the end of the meal! If you are not feeling for noodles that day, there is also the Spicy Keu Beef Risotto ($18.90) of arborio rice that is cooked with a cream sauce and served with bulgogi beef, spinach and chilli oil.
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✨ Nipong Naepong
📍 313 Orchard Road, 313 Somerset Unit B3-03, Singapore 238895
🛵 https://kfoodgroup.beepit.com
🍴 [Media Invite]

"The best souvenir from travelling is to bring home a memorable food experience" #aworldtoeat

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