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Bugis Bagus

Bugis Bagus

Including Bras Basah eateries and the vibrant Kampong Glam area!
Jean Kao
Jean Kao

The cold angel hair pasta is their highly prized and highly priced dish - it costs the same as the RW menu on its own. The portion is possibly half the amount of a plate of regular pasta. I only had one mouthful because it’s my friend’s dinner, but that bit bested all the other dishes. The intense truffle flavour exploded into fireworks in my mouth, the exquisite caviar pearls gave it colour like the green and red heart sparks during National Day. A must order at the restaurant.

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The dessert was pleasantly unexpected of the French restaurant. A ravioli filled with white sesame paste is placed on a liquescent base of chocolate sauce and what I think is condensed milk(?), sprinkled with crushed peanuts and berries. The ‘Asian-ess’ of it caught me by surprise, it’s comparable to the Chinese “tang yuan”, but the chocolate sauce and the sour berries gave it a different identity.

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I was delighted to see Gunther's in the RW listing, and more so that they had dinner bookings available. Made one on the spot even before I asked my friend if he wanted to join me - that's how highly anticipated this meal was.

The decor is teeming with classic elegance, cool gray walls with warm spot lighting on the immaculately set tables. Loudness levels seem to be kept at a maximum of 50-70dB with waiters and diners conversing in whispers. One of my friends who came with her husband told me later that she didn’t dare to say hi and cause a commotion because of how quiet the place was. Great for private time with your partner(s) but the setting can be a tad intimidating.

The menu cost $58++ with three courses, I chose the pan fried foie gras ($15 add-on), grilled smoked rack of black pig for the main, and dessert was a sesame ‘bonbon’ with chocolate. The slab of foie gras was a sight to behold, but lavish as it is, I would’ve preferred more sear around and a teeny bit more salt on it especially with the mild sweetness from the apple coulis and port sauce. The grilled pork (not in photo) was forgettable, cooked well with the chewy fat retained but bland and unexciting.

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A bold name, but it leaves an impression for more than just that. My Favourite Cafe serves just yong tau foo, but its popularity is strong enough to spur two outlets in the city. The queue was still present even after 2pm on a weekday!
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Even without checking online recommendations, the famed fried meatballs and huge Korean mushrooms were eye-catching enough to be must-adds. The rest of the ingredients are ordinary, though I commend on the generous array that seems to be regularly restocked.
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The curry soup base was watery but not diluted, it’s quite like laksa with even a tinge of possibly hae bi hiam flavour in it but not as heavy. The mushrooms are great for eating with soups, they become so plump after soaking in the curry so biting into them was a delight. My fried meatball was a bit of a letdown as it was obviously been left in the open for sometime, thus cold. Crunchy still, but not impressive. I guess it would’ve been better if I had chanced upon a freshly fried batch.
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$5.80 for yong tau foo is a hefty price in my opinion, but I wouldn’t mind going back for the mushrooms if I’m in Bugis Cube again. #BurppleBestBugis

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‘Manis’ is bahasa for ‘sweet’ - this is a dessert pancake, similar to ‘min chiang kueh’, the peanut pancake! The spongey honeycomb shell is the same, but Indonesians have taken it further by using toppings such as cheese, chocolate shavings and even crushed Oreos.
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Pancake Boss has been operating in Bugis Cube since 2015, but I only got to know of it recently thanks to #Burpple! It’s amazing how much variety they can come up with just pancake:
- the traditional with peanut, cheese and choco-rice fillings
- fruity if you like banana or jackfruit
- the specials which have unique toppings like ovomaltine and matcha kit kat
- Batman-themed fusion martabaks with flavoured bases like red velvet (Red Robin), charcoal (Dark Knight) and green tea (Green Joker)
- the most visually impressive 'pizza' with 4 or 6 toppings (including Smarties) on the round unfolded pancake
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Featured here are Pandan Jack (left, $9.90) and the Boss Combo (right, $9.90). The latter is made traditional style with peanut, choco-rice and grated martabak cheese… Yes, Kraft has produced #MartabakCheese, a type of processed cheddar that’s unique to Indonesia, and one of the key ingredients that had to be brought over here by the owners. The pale salty cheese had my colleagues raving non-stop, and became the highlight of both pancakes. I love the pandan aroma in the green martabak, and while I've always hated jackfruit for its cloying sweetness, this was an exception. I could finally appreciate the distinct flavour from the small pieces embedded in the honeycomb - I suspect the pandan and cheese played their part.
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Please note that each pancake is of a 20cm diameter, and only sold as a whole, which means you can’t buy just singular slices! It is cut up into 7-8 portions, so do care and share 💕
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The #BurppleTastemakers have been travelling to Bugis often this week, because we’re gathering food finds under $15 for our upcoming “Tastemaker Guides”! Stay tuned for our recommendations, or hashtag #BurppleBestBugis if you have your own. No, we're not sponsored by anyone 😁

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Everyone’s first encounter to a ‘Mexican’ dish was probably at the movies, snacking on nachos - crisp tortilla chips dipped into golden melted cheddar cheese. But nachos, as with other items such as fajitas, chili con carne and burritos, are not original Mexican food. Their birthplace was Texas, ironically one of the most racist states in the US… love the food but hate the people? Ok this isn’t a political history forum. Anyway Mexicans form the #1 immigrant population in the US, and one other top ten foreign-born demographic comes from right across the Pacific Ocean, you guessed it - Korea. With these two populations cohabiting in a melting pot of diversity and (milk) culture (=cheese, lots of), this interracial marriage shouldn’t come as a surprise… Ko-Mex (not the IT fair).
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Vatos started in Itaewon in Seoul, and after a series of expansions across the city, opened their first international branch here in Singapore. So far, visitors have been happy with the fare, me included. The tacos were so loaded with meat that it was a bit messy to hold and bite into, but that’s a good “problem”. The Korean pork belly had been chopped into smaller chunks but still retained some chewiness from the fat, and quite flavourful from the gochujang and doenjang marinate. My friend’s barbacoa pork was pretty good too - the pork shoulder pulled to shreds after being braised then grilled. It had more punch from the hot sauce and cilantro, perhaps why it’s the more popular taco here.
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We had a go at the makgeolita as well, at first thought to be a bit pricey at $25+, but it came in a huuuuuuge jug that was enough to share amongst the three of us. I like how the sharp ‘burn’ from tequila is toned down by the sweetness of the mild Korean rice wine. Perhaps they can try coming up with a frozen makgeolita slushie? Mmmmmh...

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I know I’m late in the game, but better than never at having the famed chirashi don at Manzoku. Yes ALL sashimi slices should be this thick, and while I love raw salmon, mekajiki/swordfish is what my heart is bound to. I had this look 😍 upon seeing this bowl presented to me. The thick cuts and portions of the succulent delicious slices are enough to make me scream “shaddup and take my money!” It’s $25++, and worth every cent.

While the sister restaurant Chikuwa Tei houses a boisterous crowd (probably due to its location at Mohamed Sultan), Manzoku is subdued in comparison, which makes it more suitable for intimate dinners, in case you're wondering which outlet to head to.

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Nothing beats the heat of summer more than a slice of cold watermelon, and now you can have the same cooling down effect without the messy explosion of juices and disposing the skin with this watermelon soft serve. The sorbet stays up for quite a long time, allowing you to enjoy the melting sweetness in your mouth.
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The name derives from the accompanying fried mochis surrounding the swirl, and as you may have guessed they encased molten raspberry coulis - not quite possible to pop them in your mouth given the size, so do cut them open gingerly to release the filling. I thought these were too sweet, so I'll probably get just the watermelon sorbet solo on my next visit.

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I took it as a good sign for the quality and, luckily, didn't wait long for a seat since I was alone.
The Kraving Ayam Bakar was a recommendation from one of the staff, and it is probably the embodiment of the cafe - neoteric but humble in nature. The roasted chicken thigh was coated with the classic Indonesian-style sweet sauce with a slight chili padi zing, and adorned with ketupat cubes and sliced onions that had smooth peanut/satay sauce slathered over.
The dish on the overall was definitely much more flavoursome than the grilled chicken from the popular Ayam Panggang franchise, though of course it's double the price, which goes to the stylish setting and the conceptualization of the upscaled tastes. And it also can't beat my number 1 go-to restaurant for my Indonesian fare craving... Still it's an applaudable ingenuity from the young chefs/owners, and the buzzing crowd in the cafe seem to agree.

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The inner sugar-phile saw the beautiful duo swirl and kept screaming in my head, "take the pictures before it melts!"
Aside from being picture worthy, the soft serve itself was ok... smooth, malty, but doesn't have the sophisticated layered flavours like from Sunday Folks, and matcha was so-so (I very much prefer Tsujiri).
The liu-sha mochi donuts were quite like tang-yuan, fried with oozy golden custard and a pleasantly chewy glutinous skin.
Generally a decent dessert, but I'm not sure it left an impression deep enough for me to want to return for more.

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The shredded crabmeat strewn across the Eggs Benedict immediately reminded me of the dried teeny whitebait that's usually paired with plain congee, quite similar in taste and texture. The hollandaise sauce was a setback though, maybe it was overpowered by the saltiness of the crabmeat but I thought it was thin and tasteless. I've never had crumpets before so I'm not sure how to judge but they seem to be similar to muffins but less dense? Overall I would say this EB was mediocre.

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Located at the luxurious boutique Naumi Hotel, Table by Rang Mahal's setting is equally ritzy with the big modern lounge space, and the attentive amiable staff made the experience a tad more glamourous. The Butter Chicken was the highlight of the Tastemaker Eatup night - everyone was wowed by the rich, finger-licking good sauce. My personal favourite was the prawn curry - spicy, sweet with prawn essence... a bit on the salty end, so best eaten with naan or the lamb basmati rice. Also got to try Pani Puri (refer to other Burpplers' pictures) for the first time, never knew there was such a unique Indian snack which you get to fill a crusty semolina puff with spiced water and chutney. We played a game guessing the ingredients and spices that went into the Murgh Angar (similar to tandoori chicken) and masala tea, and some of the answers were really surprising and subtle-tasting - amazing how much thought can go into food preparation to seek that perfect flavour.

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Jean Kao

Level 7 Burppler · 463 Reviews

Some things I don't eat (eg. dairy, beef), but those that I can, I eat A LOT. Instagram: @dana_zincy

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