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5 Unbeatable Food Deals

5 Unbeatable Food Deals

Part of a great meal is thinking of all the money you saved.
Cephas Lim
Cephas Lim

With Japanese dons starting from $4.90, @bowlchap in Ayer Rajah Food Centre usually sells out by 1pm on weekends, so don’t be late for lunch!

While the Black “Sweet” Vinegar glaze on the pork belly was a tad sour, the onsen egg was cooked to perfection.

Who'd knew that NTUC Foodfare would offer food that's more than mere sustenance? (okay, 老火汤's pretty good)

Usually, mall foodcourts feature only one generic, token Japanese stall, but Clementi Mall's tally now stands at 4, with latest addition Ramen Taisho joining "Japanese Food", "Japanese Curry" and Pepper Lunch Express. Stiff competition for a foodcourt.

For its very agreeable price of $6.90, you get homemade ramen, two slices of fatty chashu and a molten half-egg, immersed in a decently rich tonkotsu broth that tastes leaps & bounds above its Kopitiam counterparts.

Recommended for all impoverished secondary school students nearby who are still priced out by Yoshimaru Ramen Bar's weekday specials.


The Short Review

Price Range: $8-$14

Nearest MRT: Beauty World

Instagrammability: Moderate -
The Stirling's hosted space at Cheong Chin Nam Road can get a little dim at times.
Beyond Plate's food is decently plated for its budget, while The Nomad's beverage aesthetic could fit into most upmarket joints like Pacamara.

1) French Toast & Caramelized Bananas [$7.90]
Two fluffy squares of brioche, drenched in maple & topped with caramelized bananas. The sugar glass tends to crumble off the fruit, producing a nice surprise crunch to the dish. Simple, delicious, and most of all, comparable to the cheap prices of JB cafés.

2) Popcorn Waffle [$9.90]
This charcoal waffle, which comes with a scoop of Popcorn Ice-Cream & a nicely-balanced Salted Egg drizzle, holds its own against the likes of FatCat (which delivers way more on plated desserts). Basically, for westies too belaboured to complete a Journey to the East.

3) Jigglypuff Rose Latte [$5.50]
Being a non-coffee drinker, I really enjoyed this cuppa as the pleasant floral notes of Bandung & milk really balanced the bitterness of the double ristreto shot. More enjoyable than The Replacement's.

4) S'mores Hot Chocolate [$6.00]
Coming fresh out of Rise & Grind's earlier $5 attempt, this way more "gao" mug of Hot Chocolate also comes with torched marshmallows, and ends up being a lot more satisfying.

Students familiar with pilgrimaging to Al-Azhar should have no problem finding the adjacent Stirling, which hosts promising pop-ups like Beyond Plate & The Nomad. Taking over Kaffle's earlier slot, both open only on weekends, from 10am to 5pm.

Special thanks to Eunice of The Nomad for offering your drinks :)

Come Here: Again.


Dubbed Singapore-style Ramen, these young hawkers serve up something closer to Wanton Mee. Though Amoy's not short of cheap & good fare, ANS justifies its premium price with novel, competently-executed components.

While the springy noodles are comparable to most stalls around, its 2 wantons are plump, its potato-wrapped prawn interestingly uncommon, and its 36-hour sous vide chashu amply tender & fatty. A bit on the miserly side to include just half an egg, though it's as good as any ramen stall's offering. Soup's great too. Ask for the moderately spicy sambal to tie the ingredients together, and ask yourself if you can spare the time to queue, which can stretch beyond half an hour due to each bowl's careful assembly.

Definitely not a daily order in light of queue-times & pricing, but a worthy weekly treat for any working adults in the area.

A glorious meld of fluffy McGriddles, grilled cheese, sunny side up, maple syrup & caramelized bacon can convert even the most ardent non-believer of sweet-savoury mashups. Easy on the eye, tongue & wallet; available only till 6pm.


The Short Review

Price Range: $5-$6

Nearest MRT: Beauty World (opening soon)

Instagrammability: Low -
It's a hawker centre. The cross-table judgement will be real.

1) Crispy Pork Belly Burger [$4.50]
The pork belly is a little dry. Fried lard cubes add a nice, life-threatening crunch. Didn't really need the presence of wasabi mayo, though I'd welcome a little more Hoisin sauce to moisten the meat.

2) Classic Beef Burger [$4.50]
Good for its price.
Freshly-grilled buns are always a delight.
Add $1 for Fairy Fries.

Vehemently recommended by Marcus.


The Short Review

Price Range: $12 without drinks
$17 with drinks

Nearest MRT: Buona Vista

Instagrammability: Moderate -
The food's not easy on the eyes, but their only option of dining outside illuminates plates pretty well.
Meanwhile, a cooking school takes up all that precious, air-conditioned space.

1) Eggplant Parmegian [$5.00]
Soft, mushy aubergines baked as a vegetable lasagna.
Delicious comfort food.
If you love overboiled brinjals & cheese, you will love this.
I love overboiled brinjals & cheese.

2) Honey Mustard Chicken Thigh & Wedges [$9.00]
Well-cooked Chicken & flavourful skin, let down by soggy homemade potato wedges.

3) Roasted Long Beans & Mushrooms [$3.00]
Zhi-char standard. Or less.

4) Parma Ham Foccacia [$6.50]
Think Foccacia, double-fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and left to set for 30 minutes.
Plus side? It's filling?

5) Iced Chocolate [$4.50]
Two parts milk, one part chocolate.
Dilutes terribly fast.
Best thing about it was the accompanying biscotti smidge.
Second best thing about it was thinking how cheap Charlyn's would be without the drinks.


The Short Review

Price Range: Under $12/pax

Instagrammability: Very High
Excellent, natural lighting, fresh oxygenated air.
You're in Gardens By The Bay.
These plants have better living conditions than the visiting human beings.

1) Eating at Pollen grants you free entry to Flower Dome at Gardens By The Bay.

2) The trick to saving money is ordering light snacks or beverages, so stay under that ticket price of $12 per attraction.

3) Voila! You've basically won a free meal with your admission ticket to Flower Dome.

The platter above costs less than $32, shared among three people.

1) Carrot Cake
Scrumptious cream cheese sitting atop very decent Mandarin & Carrot Cake.

2) JAAL Chocolate Ice-Cream
Rich, but spiced.
Call me unrefined, but I'd rather enjoy a straightforward, bitter dark chocolate ice-cream than challenge my palate.

Served with tea of your choice.