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Café-Restaurants

Café-Restaurants

For cafés that do things a lil differently, leaning to a more western-european fusion take.
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

I know lotsa folks grab a sandwich or wrap there, but tbh I’m not a fan of those — so I’d say skip those and give their salads or this Salmon Cauliflower a go. Just see how wonderfully crisp that skin on the salmon is 🥰 Beautifully seated on a bed of roasted cauliflower, served with some creamy tangy hummus and juicy roasted cherry toms, this simple but perfectly executed dish is 10/10 what a hearty lunch means to me. I especially enjoy the little surprising pops of sweetness the pomegranate seeds adds to this dish, brightening up each bite and keeping it all from getting stale. All these complementary components and the generous portion, pegged at just $19 — what more can I ask for guys. And may I also say they’re on Burpple Beyond as well so...really it’s pretty fking worth it.

It’s no fault of the noodles of course which were honestly plenty delicious, if not outshone by the 🥟 We had the braised pork noodles: pretty generous portion of tasty braised meat + nori + ramen egg + spring onions + homemade noodles. I really really liked the noodles. They were cooked just right — springy, qq, with a good bite — and reminded me of good ramen noodles actually, so much that I had to remind myself I wasn’t having mazesoba. I would’ve liked a little more punch and oomph (by way of lard preferably imma fatty), but I was so impressed with the texture of the noodles I ain’t complaining.

1 Like

We had their Fried Pierogi (4 pc) as part of a lunch set and an a la carte Original (5 pc), and both were so good we almost — just almost — forgot about their noodles. This pan-fried OG of minced pork collar and napa cabbage was very much a gyoza: super juicy insides literally bursting at a first bite, crisp and thin skins barely (but perfectly) holding all of that in. So good, nothing for me to possibly pick on at all.

I’ve always enjoyed Bao Makers’ bao creations, so when they reached out with these new bao kits I was 20/10 stoked 🥺💕 What we received was 2 beautiful boxes of frozen bao ingredients that’ll stay good for a month, so you can reheat them any time the craving hits. It’s really simple and fuss-free, and the instructions are pretty much idiot-proof: all you need is a microwave and an oven/air fryer. For now they’ve got 2 flavours available, their Salted Egg Chicken ($13.90+) and Chilli Crab ($15.90+), and both are fabulous — coincidentally my favourites of their baos actually. I can’t recommend this highly enough honestly cause they tasted as good at home as I remember them to be at the restaurant. Super important imho.

3 Likes

You've got a thick slice of their fabulous house-baked sourdough, nutty and chewy, lightly buttered and toasted, then topped with an extremely generous layer of nduja and some creamy burrata. The whole shebang's then finished off with some crunchy pistachios and a glug of fruity olive oil. For the unfamiliar, nduja is a sort of spicy, spreadable sausage, with a flavour profile very similar to salami. I first had it at &Sons in a pasta, and fell head over heels in love with its punchy flavours and discernible heat. In this dish, it brought about a complex savouriness with just a touch of acidity, which went really well with the cool burrata and bread. I did however miss the characteristic spiciness nduja often has though, which would've really pushed this to the next level. Still, it’s an extremely delicious starter that I’d definitely recommend trying.

3 Likes

I say this because everything I had from their newly launched menu this week was fabulous, apart from this Big Souvlaki ($18+) that is. I’m a huge fan of souvlakis having had them so often in Melbourne, so I really thought this’d be a definite hit with the pulled lamb ribs, mixed salad, and jalapeño hummus. Well, aside from how this definitely looks like steak and not pulled lamb, which was the protein listed on the menu, as well as how we practically couldn't taste the jalapeño hummus, everything else was unfortunately rather mediocre. The meat was under-seasoned (we even got bits of cartilage in there despite the spot-on medium-rare cook), the dollop of plain yogurt on top failed to lift it up (nothing like the refreshing tzatziki we usually have), and it all just lacked the punchy flavours I expect of a souvlaki. The un-sliced surface of the pita bread was also very floury, in a raw dusted-with-flour kinda way, which was rather unpleasant. I’m guessing there were a couple of teething issues seeing how lunch service is new, and I’m very much able to forgive that considering how great the other dishes we had were. Fingers crossed this’ll taste better on our next visit 🤞

2 Likes

Look at that terrible pork rind. I thought these Pork Belly Baos would be a spin off of either kong bak baos or like roast pork buns, but nope these turned out to be — I’m most certainly declaring this — the worst bao creation I’ve had. The description says: pork belly, 5-spice red miso, XO dressed local greens. I expected melt-in-your mouth braised meat with a fantastic miso sauce, shrimpy xo sauce and maybe some slaw of local veggies. Nada. What I got was BOILED pork belly (look at the grey unappetising rind?!) with meat that was crazy rubbery, tough, and completely tasteless. The red miso was insanely salty and unevenly distributed, veggies were simply blanched without any semblance of seasoning, and where’s the XO sauce??? Dude this was so terrible I literally have nothing positive about it I can say.

2 Likes

If you can’t be bothered to read the whole review, the key takeaway is you’ve got to order this. This addictive side sees battered cauliflower florets deep fried then dusted with curry powder, served on a bed of lemon emulsion and a drizzle of mega yumz fish sauce caramel. Sounds funky but it really isn’t. The earth curry notes are super prominent here, especially with the addition of fried curry leaves, making the little cauliflower popcorns extremely fragrant and tasty. Then you’ve got that creamy, slightly tangy emulsion to keep it fresh, and then a umami caramel to tie it all together. So satisfying and exceedingly addictive!!

4 Likes

I 💕 prosciutto. I used to have it every week (since like a decade ago I kid you not), so you can say I’ve had a lot of this cured meat. Gotta say Caffe Cicheti’s is by bar the saltiest I’ve ever had. Now before you go “oh you uncultured swine”, I know prosciutto’s supposed to be really salty so that’s not out of the ordinary; but this was really reeeeally salty. Didn’t have the nice slightly nutty aftertaste either so I’m not entirely convinced with their prosciutto. Biggest bummer though was that the bread was toasted to oblivion and was basically a biscuit — not very pleasant I must say. In fact a little bit of a tang from the bread would’ve really helped cut through that intense saltiness.

3 Likes

The classic chilli crab + fried mantou combo in an easy-to-eat bao, less than $5 a pop and completely mess-free (shell-free is the way to go mmhmm) — need I say just how perfect this is? Especially so when they’ve got the deeply golden, sweet fried bun and chilli crab sauce down pat 😍 So I’ve been eating at their Jiak Chuan outfit for a bit, but westies can rejoice cause their latest store at Westgate’s been up for a month!

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It’s by no means revolutionary: pork and apples, a classic combination, accompanied by sides of mashed potatoes, purple cabbage, and a pommery mustard sauce. But every component is given equal attention and executed perfectly, playing its part in balancing the overall dish and bringing it harmony. The pork chop, though tough under the blade, is extremely juicy and tender when you bite into it. The mash is buttery, smooth, and well-seasoned; the purple cabbage holds a touch of crunch and welcomed accidity; and the mustard sauce unbelievably moreish. What sealed the deal for me though, were the apples. Syrupy, perfumed with vanilla, soft to the bite while retaining its structure and bite, the humble poached apples added a lovely (seriously addictive) sweetness and imho ties everything together perfectly. I’ve had apple purée/roasted apples/apple sauce with pork, but never poached apples — and they work so well I’m surprised I’ve not tried it elsewhere 🤤🤤🤤

3 Likes

Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

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