Places That Left A Lasting Impression

Places That Left A Lasting Impression

Curating a list of special places that not only left a lasting impression but definitely worth returning again. Not limited to just my favourite hawkers, but also cafes and restaurants in Singapore and around the world! List was started on 15 August 2018 and all photos are added thereafter.
Julius Lim
Julius Lim

This contemporary Japanese dining bar was one of the restaurants I was supposed to dine in before the dining-in restrictions kicked in and fortunately, I managed to enjoy their wagyu dons now at the comfort of my home. There is a total of three bentos that feature the premium Japanese wagyu prepared in aburi, yakiniku or sukiyaki. Each order of the Signature Wagyu Don comes with a complimentary side of truffle edamame that you can snack on as well.

The bento that has the aburi wagyu is the Wagyu Uni Chirashi Don ($58nett), a colourful display of wagyu cubes, Hokkaido uni, ikura, diced takuan, tamagoyaki and cucumber while the Truffle Wagyu Sirloin Sukiyaki Don ($58nett) is a magnificent showcase of wagyu sirloin prepared sukiyaki-style, topped with ikura, freshly shaved truffles and onsen egg over a bed of truffle rice. As expected, not a single grain of rice or ingredients are left behind. The whole meal was such a luxurious treat that I will highly recommend everyone to get. Besides these dons, you can get The Gyu Bar’s shabu shabu and sukiyaki sets that are perfect for two pax.

Takeaways and deliveries are available daily from 11:00am to 9:00pm, and you can place your orders by calling the hotline at 9150 3164 or visit the below link. There is free delivery to a single location for orders above $150 or a delivery fee of $8 applies for an order above $60.
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✨ The Gyu Bar
📍 30 Stevens Road, Unit 01-08, Singapore 257840
🌐 https://www.thegyubar.com.sg/
🍴 [Media Delivery]

Essentially, it’s fried chicken with a Southern dry rub of herbs and spices, but what sets them apart from regular fried chicken is how juicy it is with the wonderful kick from the peppers. You can get it in varying spice levels and we coward out with just the Mild so that we can enjoy the food without feeling the intense burn. However, if you can endure a volcanic eruption in your mouth, then I will recommend you get the insane level to spice up your life (and tastebuds). All in all, one of my top recommendations for fried chicken in Singapore which I have been back many times before.
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✨ Chix Hot Chicken
📍 1 Jalan Pisang, Unit 01-01, Singapore 199069
🌐 https://chixhotchicken.com/menu
🍴 [Self Funded]

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Paying homage to the orang laut community which is translated to sea peoples, the food at laut utilises mainly seafood, without any poultry dishes in the menu. Each plate out from the kitchen celebrates South East Asian flavours with produce sourced locally or around the region. The lunch menu is priced at $29 per pax and it comes with a 3-course meal that includes a soup of the day and a choice of coffee or kombucha. There are a total of 3 choices in each of the starters, mains and desserts, and will be good if you go in a group of 2-3 to try out all the dishes.

The starters we got include the Wingbean Salad and Bergedil, the former is inspired by the Thai som tum which has ingredients of vermicelli and green mango to bring flavours of sweet, sour and spicy from each bite. It was such an enjoyable starter that the small portion was not enough for me. The latter is a potato ball that contains madras curry oil and fried shallots. The mains arrived shortly after with the Pao Fan and BBQ Fish Soup, with the rice grains cooked in a fish bone broth with prawns from Ah Hua Kelong, oysters from Ubin and crispy mackerel roe to replace the rice krispies and give it an umami touch. The BBQ Fish is an interpretation of the BBQ stingray but grilled fish belly is served with a homemade sambal, pickled vegetables and fried egg over a bed of blue pea rice.

Desserts were in the form of Tart Limau and my favourite Pisang Laut, a shell shaped fried tapioca with banana in it. Overall, the dining experience was so good that I am making plans to return for the ala carte dinner menu that has more dishes and bigger sharing plates.
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✨ laut
📍 17 Stanley Street, Singapore 068736
🌐 https://www.lautcollective.com.sg/delivery
🍴 [Self Funded]

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Available from 15 to 28 March, the menu consists of a six-course tasting menu, priced affordably at $75++ per pax, contemporary dessert curations and a lineup of Spring cocktails to commemorate the changing of seasons.

The tasting menu has been specially curated with Chef Janice, and the theme is to present a dining experience with a contemporary expression of art and food. Diners will start off with a warm and comforting Dobin Mushi that is made with a base of Katsuo dashi with the additions of kinmedai and spring vegetables. The savoury umami flavour balances out with the freshness of the vegetables, making this soup a highly palatable entry to the course meal. It will be followed by the Maple Iberico Pork Jowl served with a lentil bacon puree in which diners can enjoy the excellent texture and ratio of meat to fat. A citrusy palate cleanser, named Citrus on Wood, refreshes the tastebuds with a cardamom panna cotta at the bottom of the bowl with the tartness from the bergamot bubbles.

Perhaps my favourite and most surprising dish of the evening, the Nenrin will wow diners with the multiple layers of flavour, texture and temperature as on one side, you have a mushroom risotto and pan-seared foie gras, while on the other side, a burdock ice cream, with black garlic and salted caramel circling around the plate. You might think that the combination sounds farfetched and might not work out but put a bit of every single element of this plate onto a spoon, and you can truly understand why this dish is being highly raved about.

The meal concludes with the Kyoto Garden, constructed with an earl grey ice cream rock, orange blossom jelly and floral parfait, and the Ichigo of the Tochigi strawberries prepared four ways. All in all, an artful presentation and display of how different herbs, spices and ingredients can come together to create a masterpiece. What are you waiting for? Make a reservation today via email to [email protected] as there is a preorder of the menu items at least two days in advanced, with limited sets available per day.
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✨ Akira Back x Janice Wong
📍 30 Beach Road, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, Level B1M, Singapore 189763
🍴 [Media Invite]

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Based on his constant experimentations and ingenious visions of Mod-Sin cuisine, Chef Han successfully manages to let you see and taste our local dishes in a different light.

With this specially curated menu for the occasion, we started off with something cold and refreshing, the iconic and signature The Labyrinth Chili Crab, but this time round instead of the piping hot version, a local flower crab is battered and deep fried till crisp, and served with chili crab ice cream and a mini mantou. The snacks followed with Uncle William’s quail topped with Russian caviar in a prata for an interpretation of our mamak’s murtabak, the gunkan inspired burnt parts of claypot rice topped with house cured lap cheong (pictured) and the irresistible liushabao with the most outrageous QQ bun texture that has bafun uni and Kaluga caviar. The mains followed thereafter with the Kulhbarra Barramundi, which is Restaurant Labyrinth’s interpretation of the yusheng, sweetened with Nutrinest’s farm honey and grilled Oyster Omelette, served in a bechamel sauce and hollandaise.
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✨ Restaurant Labyrinth
📍 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall, Unit 02-23, Singapore 039802
🍴 [Self Funded]

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Over on the savouries, we have the SG Style Bak Kut The but this time round, there is no pork ribs in it, just the pure essence of the broth, which is essentially the star of this dish. Served with a mini you tiao to dip into the broth and a cold brew of Mandarin pu-er tea to infer the regular way of enjoying pork bone soup, the aromatic broth will hit your palate and nostrils the moment it touches your tongue and with the soft boiled egg and black winter truffle shavings, it adds to the creaminess and flavour to the other dish.

The following dish is perhaps my favourite of the meal, the popular fish soup dish that is ordered by many when at the hawker centres, and this time round, Chef Han pan-fries the garoupa from Ah Hua Kelong and wraps it up with a crispy fatt choy to mimic the seaweed. The base is made with homemade fish paste noodles and the fish milk is poured into it tableside. Texture and flavour are all on point, an absolutely comforting dish to enjoy.

As a tribute to Chef Han’s Gong Gong and family business, Cairnhill Steakhouse, he has included in his menu a dish that is used to be served to diners in the restaurant, which is a beef steak with some vegetables finished with a Hainanese style red wine sauce on a cow designed grill plate. We ended the meal with desserts before the Kaya, Teh Tarik & Eggs course was served, a Hainanese kaya and butter toast topped with Russian hybrid caviar, the ultimate curtain call to an excellent dining experience.
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✨ Restaurant Labyrinth
📍 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall, Unit 02-23, Singapore 039802
🍴 [Self Funded]

2 Likes

Based on his constant experimentations and ingenious visions of Mod-Sin cuisine, Chef Han successfully manages to let you see and taste our local dishes in a different light.

With this specially curated menu for the occasion, we started off with something cold and refreshing, the iconic and signature The Labyrinth Chili Crab, but this time round instead of the piping hot version, a local flower crab is battered and deep fried till crisp, and served with chili crab ice cream and a mini mantou. The snacks followed with Uncle William’s quail topped with Russian caviar in a prata for an interpretation of our mamak’s murtabak, the gunkan inspired burnt parts of claypot rice topped with house cured lap cheong (pictured) and the irresistible liushabao with the most outrageous QQ bun texture that has bafun uni and Kaluga caviar. The mains followed thereafter with the Kulhbarra Barramundi, which is Restaurant Labyrinth’s interpretation of the yusheng, sweetened with Nutrinest’s farm honey and grilled Oyster Omelette, served in a bechamel sauce and hollandaise.
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✨ Restaurant Labyrinth
📍 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall, Unit 02-23, Singapore 039802
🍴 [Self Funded]

What’s the star of the show is definitely their Pork Belly Satay ($1.20) which is charcoal grilled to perfection. Well marinated with the slight bitterness from the burnt ends make this meat on a stick an absolute joy to eat. The satay sauce is nothing to shout about, just focus your attention on the meat.
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✨ Kwong Satay
📍 517 Geylang Road, Lorong 27A, Singapore 389473
🍴 [Self Funded]

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After witnessing it make its rounds on Instagram and so many foodies raving positive reviews about it, I am glad that I can finally understand (and tasted) why this bowl of Signature Bee Tai Mak is worth my traveling time from the East to the West. On the first glance, it might look simple and plain, but you will be proven otherwise from the first bite. Without any chilli sauce or vinegar added into it, this bowl of bee tai mak packs so much flavour from their secret blend of sauce and pork lard that it can knock out a boxer in the first round. Throw in some chilli padi if you can take the heat, give it a good mix and savour the multiple layers of flavour and texture from the bite of the bee tai mak to the bouncy fishball, fish roll and fish ‘rulers’. This is definitely a bowl that will be part of my memorable eats’ list and a place that I will highly recommend you come try.

Another gem is the mee pok, and this particular type of noodle is something that I will usually avoid ordering as I am not a huge fan of its flavour and texture, however, the mee pok that was prepared here still retained an al dente texture without the alkaline flavour.
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✨ Ah Hua Teochew Fishball Noodle
📍 415 Pandan Gardens, Unit 01-117, Singapore 600415
🍴 [Self Funded]

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The menu at Botanico plays up more on the culinary adventure where Chef Sue and her team tells a wonderful story of their vast travel diaries around the region. From the hugely popular Corn Panipuri ($10) to the Herbal Chicken ($29), every dish has a story to tell and flavours to taste.

Taking inspirations from her Indian heritage, Chef Sue took the street snack panipuri and elevated it by adding spiced baby corn and a rich espuma of curried Japanese corn into the crispy puri pastry after tasting a grilled corn-on-the-cob that has been brushed with butter and dusted with curry powder from a street vendor in Taipei. The Herbal Chicken was created during the Circuit Breaker based on Chef Sue’s love of chicken rice and this dish pays tribute to her father, who is of Indian descent, but loved the medicinal flavours of herbal chicken. The magic is in the sauce, and it is made up of four different Chinese herbs of dang gui, huai shan, yu zhu and red dates. When served, the sauce is poured onto the cooked chicken and paired with the ginger garlic infused couscous.

The other dishes that come out from the Inka oven include the 65° Kurobuta Pork Belly ($30), Crab Rissoni ($32) and Assam Pedas Snapper ($32), the latter a huge piece of red snapper fillet that’s grilled on a banana leaf and served with saffron risotto, okta-two-ways and a potent assam pedas sauce that brings flavours of sweetness, tanginess and savouriness. End the meal with one of two locally-inspired desserts of the Ondeh Ondeh ($12) and Black Glutinous Rice ($12).
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✨ Botanico
📍 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Garage, Level 2, Singapore 257488
🛵 http://www.thegarage.sg/takeaway-delivery/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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The new menu offerings, that took inspirations from Head Chef Sujatha and her team’s travel experiences, focus on South East Asian flavours and textural food using regional produce. Diners will be amazed at the flavours coming from both the Spicy Duck Loaded Fries ($17) and Fiery Shrimp Pizza ($30) which you just cannot get enough of.

The former comes with a bed of golden thick-cut fries that has been drizzled generously with mayonnaise, mozzarella and Sriracha cream to give the tangy and spicy kick. A handful amount of sautéed smoked duck chunks is then layered at the top before a garnish of scallions give it the finishing touch. Café food is usually rich and hearty, and that’s what the Spicy Duck Loaded Fries bring to the table with the differing texture and flavours. The latter Fiery Shrimp Pizza transported me back to Bangkok as the New York-styled pizza base is covered with a layer of squid ink garlic aioli, lined with fresh tiger prawns and topped with a homemade tangy chili dressing that’s reminiscent of the Thai seafood sauce, nam jim.
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✨ Bee’s Knees
📍 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Garage, Level 1, Singapore 257488
🛵 http://www.thegarage.sg/takeaway-delivery/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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Throughout my eating adventures, I have not ventured much into the mee rebus scene and might not be the best critic of this dish. However, every bite of this plate just brought so much joy and comfort that totally made my trip there worthwhile. For the price point of $4.50, the “Power” comes at a hearty portion with the addition of an egg and chopped chicken.

There’s also the “Normal” and Special” at $3.50 and $6 respectively which the pricer option having a chicken drumstick but that can be covered on another day as the power lies in the middle selection. The yellow noodles are drenched in the thick potato gravy that’s packed with so much flavour with a hint of spiciness that will hit you lightly at the back of your throat. The finishing touch of the nutty satay sauce at the top of the pile just made this sloppy mess even more irresistible and true enough, we slurped everything down within minutes.
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✨ Rahim Muslim Food
📍 453A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Chong Boon Market & Food Centre, Unit 01-01, Singapore 560453
🍴 [Not Sponsored]

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"The best souvenir from travelling is to bring home a memorable food experience" #aworldtoeat

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