Food Attack

Food Attack

Featuring The Disgruntled Chef (Dempsey), 4Fingers Crispy Chicken (ION Orchard), VXX Cooperative, Shin-Sapporo Ramen (Orchard Gateway), Mama Panda Kitchen (River Safari), Doi Chaang Coffee (Rochester Mall), 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, Kabe no Ana (Jurong Point), Dian Xiao Er (Jem), elements & co.
Vanessa Kou
Vanessa Kou

The Salmon (Aburi) Mentaiko Donburi ($15) was satisfying too with their own mentai sauce slathered over the slices. Embellished with briny ikura and tobiko, the rice bowl was not overly seasoned (saltish) and rather well-balanced. Although the slices were thin, they were fresh-tasting and were cooked perfectly - almost melts in the mouth. The sauce had a good flavour, not too jelat, and got a nice smoky boost from the torching as well.

Thank you @gyunamisg and @burpple for the invite!

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A decent spot for a quick and fuss-free meal in town, Gyu Nami is on #Burpplebeyond with 2 donburis going at $25! Known for their wagyu beef dons, they also serve a handful of mains and sides on their compact menu.

Done to a lovely medium rare, the signature Roasted Wagyu Beef Donburi ($15) was a pretty sight with a runny yolk at the very top and a generous pour of their housemade yoghurt sauce. The peppered Australian wagyu slices were lean and soft; with a mild beefy flavour. Hence, the bulk of the flavour came from the light yoghurt sauce and the sweet-savoury sauce found drizzled on the rice. I especially enjoyed dipping into and mixing the egg with the beef.

Thank you @gyunamisg and @burpple for the invite!

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Then leave some space for their freshly baked scones when having their Kyoto in Autumn Weekend Afternoon Tea set ($58 per person). Loving the accompanying jam and creams, I enjoyed the flavours of the Matcha White Chocolate and Ginger Confit Scones. Not too overwhelming, the pieces of ginger studded in the tender-crunchy baked good resembled a sweeten gari (pickled ginger) - an intriguing mix that worked well with the Yuzu Posset and housemade Cherry Jam on the side. Earthy and aromatic, the Matcha White Chocolate Scone was not to be missed even with my exploding belly. A solid treat for matcha fans.

Things get seasonal with One-Ninety Bar at Four Seasons Hotel for their Kyoto in Autumn Weekend Afternoon Tea ($58 per person). Artfully injecting familiar elements and flavours, the Asian themed set crafted by Pastry Chef Reiko Yokota of Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto was a delightful affair. The danity bites paired with a specially curated Japanese Tea selection (skip the rather bland Yuzu Kukicha and get the Osmanthus Sencha instead) and freshly brewed LAVAZZA coffee or gryphon tea.

Savoury highlights included a chilled glass of smooth King Crab Chawanmushi with the briny burst of sweet ikura, and a savoury Saikyo Miso Foie Gras Terrine. You can also expect a fancy Cream Cheese and Bottarga Chive Tart, a foolproof Organic egg salad, ebiko-filled brioche as well as one-bite finger sandwiches.

More my speed was the Sweets Box, which saw the likes of a fragrant Yuzu White Chocolate Bonbon, soft delicate Matcha Moss Sphere, juicy Japanese Strawberry Mochi with azuki, and a Hōjicha Tea and Apricot Cookie Sandwich. The “Kuri Kinton” candied chestnut came with a surprising meringue-like center while the Sweet Soy and Ginger Mousse was umami and a wonderfully balanced number. The mousse was creamy and light which matched harmoniously with the slightly gelatinous sweet soy that was subtly perfumed with ginger.

One for the Thai milk tea fans, the pudding ($6.80) was fairly intense - capturing the earthy milky sweetness of the concoction magnificently in a solid form. Soft and wobbly, the texture of the fragrant pudding was not overly gelatinous; it cuts easy and simply slides down the throat.

The Red Ruby in Coconut milk ($8.50) proved to be a great aromatic after-meal treat. The creamy chilled coconut milk was enriched with a nice dose of syrup and came together harmoniously with the vibrant floral sweetness from the shredded jackfruit. However, their rendition of the red ruby which had a good crunch was lacking its distinctive chewy gel-like texture.

Seen on almost every table, the UYKD Crispy Pork Belly with Special Dipping Sauce ($17) was a delight. Not greasy at all, the skin of the belly felt rather airy and had a very satisfying biscuit-like crunch. The balanced ratio of pork meat to fat also made it tender without being jelat.

Their rendition of the classic Phad Thai ($17.50) was spot on. The unassuming plate was not too moist and was wonderfully sweet and savoury. Well-seasoned, the noodles were not clumpy either and held the flavours superbly. The fried prawns were plump and fresh-tasting as well.

A pity that the two dishes I was most looking forward to trying at Un-Yang-Kor-Dai was unavailable during the day of my visit - the Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango and their PenLaos Signature Grilled Chicken. However, the dishes that I ordered certainly exceeded my expectations.

The first to arrive on our table, the Red Curry with Grilled Chicken, Lychee, Tomato, and Sweet Basil ($18.50) was super lemak. Noting that we requested for less spicy, the sweet-savoury spiced curry was very lip-smacking and great with a bowl of rice. The fruits (bits of mango, pineapple, lychee, and grapes) were refreshing and perfect additions to help counter the tickle of heat. The chunks of chicken were succulent too.

Piping hot, the Deep-Fried Prawns and Scallops Cake ($18) was a lovely starter. Though slightly pricey, the thinly battered golden-brown disc was so tender (softer than the usual Thai fish cakes in my opinion), and well-seasoned as you get the wonderful flavour of lemongrass as well as spices with every bite. Crisp on the outside, these sizeable nuggets also came with a refreshing side of mango salad (much like a salsa) which matched wonderfully together.

With a larger space and at a more centralised location, Simple Cafe is back! And so I had to order their best-selling items that I missed previously like their Satsuma and Spring Onion Amann.

Filled with a cottony Japanese sweet potato puree, the Satsuma ($7) was none too sweet and pretty unique. The sweet potato flavour was light yet distinct and very complementary to the light fresh cream. The sponge of the swiss roll could be a little fluffier in my opinion but the different textures at play were great.

I found my new favourite pastry from the cafe and it is their Spring Onion Amann ($7). An ingenious creation, the flaky laminated dough was so good. Served toasted, there was a nice crisp to the aromatic spring onion studded layers. The homemade sauce was uber savoury, umami even. What’s more, the egg blanket on top was the icing on the cake as it was both soft and fragrant.

2 Moods: Hangry & Sleepy [Instagram: @vanessa_kou]

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