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CBD Buzz Over To Clarke Quay

CBD Buzz Over To Clarke Quay

Featuring Park Bench Deli, RONIN, Royz et Vous (Telok Ayer), Absolute Açaí (Pickering St), 8 Korean BBQ (Clarke Quay Central), Lean Bento (Tampines), My Awesome Cafe, Pantler, Real Food (Clarke Quay Central), Chick And Ken
Jean Kao
Jean Kao

The food menu is scrawled on a chalkboard, offering sides and mains that correspond to its hawker style identity. The char kway teow here is astonishingly legit, packed with plump prawns and yaaaas lup cheong, and fried deliciously without any lack of "wok hei". The only eyebrow-raising factor is the price - $12 for CKT? I think a reasonable price would be around $8 at most $10 factoring in the portion, the shophouse-pub location, and the quality of the dish. Local delights like the salad youtiao and har cheong gai (also kinda ex at $10 each) are pretty yummy sides to down with the "cold drinks".

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"I want something fruity that has cinnamon."
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I wonder if such a vague description can faze bartenders, but a skilled one will never fail to conjure up a bespoke cocktail that surpasses expectations. This cherry red drink is a unique amalgamation of spiced rum, pomegranate syrup, apricot liqueur, lemon, cinnamon powder, and of course it can't do without the ornament of a cinnamon stick. My friend said it reminded her of a cough syrup that she was once terribly addicted to because she loved the taste so much - it's a compliment. I like the balance of the tangy sweetness from the pomegranate and the mild spice profile. An uplifting cocktail suitable for ladies who don't always have a sweet tooth.

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Being gluten-, soy- and dairy-free, the texture is very much like sorbet, not thick and creamy like regular ice creams or even froyo. But it surprisingly lasted for quite a long time despite the Singapore heat, hardly melting much in a 15 min journey back to the office. The coconut water taste is mildly present, but I’d advise you to add the superfood toppings or sauces offered for sweetness. Cocowhip flavours include Cacao Bliss, Matcha Slim and Macqui Ripe, but only the original was available at the time I was at Jar’d. My colleague’s cup was topped with cacao nibs, crunchy with a caramelised coat, and mine had the healthy nut and wolfberry (and seed) mix. This is an almost guilt-free option to solve your sweet-tooth problems, and my lactose intolerance. Cocowhips are available at Sarnie's at Telok Ayer and Jar'd at One Raffles Place.
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Thanks @cocowhipsg for the sampling, @burpple for organising it, and @jellymo for being my hand model! #Burpple

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The other #BurppleTastemakers who went for the tasting a month ago have returned for more, one even up to her fourth visit by now!

The 麻辣锅 (spicy ma la hotpot, not shown in picture) at Long Qing was the biggest draw for us spice lovers who sat around the boiling soup, dipping our meats and beancurd skins into the segmented pot. Made up of more than 20 types of herbs and spices, the ma la base was pleasantly numbing without any burn from the chilis, a very unusual sensation! And not having that spicy burn also meant that I had more stamina tasting the dipped items.

If you're averse to spicy food, the other recommended option is the Wild Mushroom soup, which has been boiled for hours using three types of mushroom including shiitake and monkeyhead. Cook the seafood, or the slices of pork belly and shoulder shabu shabu style, and you can savour the freshness of the meats with the light complementary earthiness from the nourishing base.

James, the generous owner, is very passionate about feeding his customers with healthy wholesome meals. The soups are all MSG-free, which are best for older folks - in fact he has periodically hosted old folks from the communities at the restaurant. The place caters to anyone really, and particularly attractive to 80s "kids" like me with the Spotify playlists of 周杰伦 or 林俊杰 songs!

Set menus for 2 people range between $55 to $65 for different selections of ingredients (nope not a buffet place). Do order the beancurd skin and luncheon meat ala carte - the Golden Boy spam has chunks of meat in it, and got us hankering for more. Thanks @burpple for sending me down to this awesome find, and @longqingsingapore for indulging our greedy appetites! #Burpple

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You can get a 1-for-1 meal deal from the participating Western food eateries in your office or home vicinity.
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CBD folks, we are so lucky to have a sammich powerhouse in our list of participating restaurants. The guys at Park Bench Deli (who just turned 1, congrats!) know meats so well, they create astounding flavours that exceed expectations from a simple-looking sandwich. You peel off the wrapping, see the halves and think “oh wow that is one meaty sandwich” or “that’s a lot, I think I can save some for later”. Then you take the first bite… It’s a game-changer. Nope, no more saving, I am eating ALL of that RIGHT NOW.
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Look how thick the thigh portion is - this chicken did not skip leg day. I made a slight error in judgment ordering this item for delivery because it wasn’t as crispy as it should be with the fried breadcrumb coating that came slightly soggy. Honestly, my bad. But the succulent meat and the addictive creamy kewpie (japanese mayo) was enough to send me on a foodie high. My colleague also couldn’t stop nodding and mouthing “so good” between bites of her cheese steak sandwich.
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I can’t wax lyrical enough about how good PBD's sandwiches are, just don’t miss this opportunity to share the love with your friends and grab the Deliveroo deal next week!
#BurppleROO #Burpple #BurppleTastemaker #Burpproved

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There's much buzz around the CBD with a new tenant that's poking at the monopoly - they sold out by 1pm on their first day yesterday! I came by at 2+ today and they were left with spicy garlic tuna and original shoyu tuna only. For a $15 bowl with 150g larger poke portion, you can choose quinoa, romaine or rice as your base, free toppings include pineapple, cherry tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and seaweed. I added avocado ($1) and salmon skin crisps ($2).
The comparison: AP's (Aloha Poke) $15.90 bowl allows two flavours of poke, APT's (A Poke Theory) has one (or maybe I should've tried asking if I can have 2). I prefer AP's selection of toppings - jalapeño, flying fish roe and even avocado are complimentary by choice, though it's awesome that APT has the salmon skin flakes, they were thin and super crispy. APT's seasoning is more aggressive, and topping portions seem more generous in the wider bowl, which also makes it easier to mix and eat from. APT's big space lets customers eat at ease with their friends and colleagues.
As of now, I'm still leaning more towards AP for their variety and slightly lower pricing. But the competition will be tight when this baby grows!

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A halal cafe that's located right in front of Thian Hock Keng temple - such an intriguing yet conventional facet of our country's diversity. Royz et Vous's menu is predominantly Western cafe food, and surprisingly nothing too localised. Nope, no 'fushion' food here apart from this prawn and crayfish pasta with chilli cream sauce.
I've avoided cream pastas like the plague, but I thought this would be similar to a laksa paste pasta. I thought wrong, but not in a bad way. The sauce had a watery consistency, and probably thinner than what you're used to, but just enough for me. The chilli padi's heat was essential to reduce much of dairy richness and so the sauce turned out to be appetising - that's a huge shocker for me. The prawns were crunchy, crayfish chunks sweet and succulent. Worthy of the toque blanche icon!

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The vibrant patterned tiles, wooden chairs, marble-top tables, lazily spinning wooden ceiling fans set the mise en scene of a Little Nyonya-esque film set, but modern amenities like the cake display-chiller and cashier demystify the facade.
Avid instagram/social media photographers will have a field day here trying to capture all shades of the colour spectrum reflecting from both the kueh-kueh snacks and the tiles of the peranakan mini-museum at the back of the cafe. A pity though, that the snacks were below par - ondeh-ondeh were tiny and hardly filled with brown sugar syrup, banana glutinous cake was more mushy than chewy. Ang ku Kueh and Kueh lapis were so-so. I can imagine Peranakan matriarchs wincing in disapproval...

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This restaurant was packed with PMEBs during lunchtime, not hard to see why with its cozy setting and warm lighting, with a pleasant skylight over the bar area, very conducive for an intimate conversation over good food. Most inviting of all is the set lunch menus - for $22, you get a salad starter and a main that includes choices like shrimp truffle pasta or poached salmon - not too bad for a more "atas" restaurant.

My seared tuna steak (ooooh pink centre) with potato wedges was a $4 top-up, reasonable given that it would've cost as much on its own at most places. Seasoned well with salt & pepper and a citrusy zest from the lemon emulsion - that together with the sauce vierge (mix of chopped tomato and olive oil) gave a refreshing touch.

Overall verdict: good place for a lunch date or meeting if you want to avoid the hustle at Amoy Market.

Extra: for humour, check out #napoleoncelebrities to see the cheeky pictures they created of male celebrity heads photoshopped on French historical aristocrat portraits with wine quotes - quite hilarious 😂

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Since it was just the two of us, we went for the four colour set, with the recommended flavours garlic, miso, red pepper paste and kalbi. I realize cooking samgyeopsal is more of an aural than visual turn-on, that sizzle on the hot grill... Ooooh yeah.
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In a short span of 5 minutes, the meat were all cut up and ready to enter the human chamber *rubs belly* The Mangalitsa pork has a much higher fat-to-meat ratio, and their marbling is touted to be the Kobe-beef equivalent, so be prepared to chew a lot more fat than usual. Our unanimous favourite was the miso, most savoury stand-out.
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We also ate the seafood pancake, packed with shrimp, squid and chives, and was crisp and less dough-y, much to our liking.
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I can't wait to go back soon to try the other four flavours!
#Burpple

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Love the distinct earl grey taste in the pancakes that makes it much more appetising than just plain batter. The crunchy white chocolate macadamia crumble makes up for the slightly flat pancakes, and the brown sugar syrup was so addictive, an exceptional alternative to maple syrup or honey. The poached pear didn't really add any value in my opinion... Would've preferred something a bit more tart to balance the sweetness that was tipping the scales. It was quite challenging to finish this alone, perhaps two slices would've been enough for me.

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Cuz craving+birthday #absoluteacai #acai #acaibowl #burpple

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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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