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

Awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in Kobe, Japan, the inclusive ramen restaurant has a limited seating capacity and servings in the Singapore outlet, so count on your lucky stars if you managed to get a bowl. With only two items in the menu between the dan dan noodle and dashi noodle, my first visit (and many times to come), leaned towards the dry version.

Sitting by the counter, you can witness the meticulous effort of the chefs in preparing every order with the numerous ingredients to fill up a bowl. The dan dan noodle comes with a soft boiled egg which you add and give it a good mix before eating. Towards the end of the meal when you have finished slurping up the noodle and there are still ingredients left (and stomach space), do request for a complimentary mini bowl of rice so that you can mix it in to make a new rich dish.
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✨ ENISHI Singapore
📍 10 Anson Road, International Plaza, Unit 02-85A, Singapore 079903
🍴 [Self Funded]

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For folks who are not aware, Black Cow is a modern sukiyaki and shabu-shabu fine dining restaurant that aims to create transcendent wagyu dining experiences with the finest cuts that you can possibly eat in Singapore. The restaurant serves the Japanese black cattle or “kuroge wagyu”, sourced from a network of trusted farms that co-owner Sam Chua personally visits and builds a close relationship over the years. As the ingredients used as seasonal and sourced at their optimal peak performance every week, the restaurant gets only chilled Japanese A5 wagyu beef and works with a community of small producers across Japan for delicacies such as sea urchin and oyster, and other European distributors from Italy, Spain, and France for truffles. Despite the seasonality of these ingredients, the cooking methods are still the same and every diner can rest assure on the quality that you are going to get for your sukiyaki, shabu shabu and premium donburi.

For this Winter Menu, the restaurant will showcase seafood at its prime as due to the colder weathers, seafood will have a naturally higher fat content, which in turns give more flavours to the dish. There is a rotation of fresh product that are sustainability source from fish and shrimp to shellfish and A-grade uni narabi from Toyosu Fish Market, Tokyo. Besides the seafood, there is just no way you can go to Black Cow without experiencing wagyu euphoria. Throughout our meal, besides the tableside cooking sounds, there were numerous moments of indulgent silence, which is a testament on the pure enjoyment that were on display. We had a great start with the refreshing Black Cow Salad before the Kushiage ($38) was served, a one-biter of glazed foie gras topped with a katsu beef fillet followed by the seasonal starter that is part of the sukiyaki or shabu course, and that day consists of the pickled vegetable and a warm appetizer of stewed rib finger with Japanese daikon.

We transited to the mains thereafter with the Sukiyaki Course ($158 with A5 Seasonal Wagyu Beef / $238 with A5 Hida-gyu / $328 with A5 Matsusaka), the aforementioned transcendent wagyu experience that you should totally go for. The wagyu slices are cooked tableside with a master sukiyaki stock that dates back a couple of years and each is served with a dip of beaten raw Japanese egg. To complement the meal, you can top up with a selection of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms that are cooked together with the meats and enjoy the different methods of eating it. Besides the sukiyaki, diners can also opt for the Shabu Shabu Course, priced from $158 with the A5 seasonal wagyu beef. The indulgence did not just stop there as we were presented next with the Signature Sukiyaki Don ‘All-in-one’ ($128) made with a base of AAA grade Nanatsuboshi rice from Hokkaido, topped with sukiyaki-style A5 wagyu beef, sea urchin, glazed foie gras, caviar, onsen egg, seasonal black truffle and housemade garlic chips. The meal ended with desserts of warabi mochi, seasonal fruits, yuzu sorbet and the iconic Truffle Monaka ($35) that houses a rich and aromatic ice cream made with Madangascan vanilla, truffle shavings and egg yolk. Satisfied, happy and blessed were the words I am able to associate my dining experience at Black Cow.
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✨ Black Cow
📍 26 Beach Road, South Beach Avenue, B1-20, Singapore 189768
🌐 https://www.blackcow.com.sg/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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I have been wanting to go Gaggan’s restaurant in Bangkok but ever since COVID hits, all hopes were dashed. Fortunately, the Mandala Club has invited the famed rockstar personality over to Singapore as a resident chef for a period of time from now to 31 March 2022. If you are not aware, Chef Gaggan has been awarded numerous international accolades and his previous restaurant was ranked best in Asia from 2015 to 2018, earning two Michelin stars along the way. All the talk aside, his famed degustation menus are crafted from seasonal ingredients with locally sourced produce and a huge injection of his unconventional creativity, so much so that diners are encouraged to stamp their interpretations and imaginations of each course based on emojis.

The restaurant is opened from Wednesdays to Sundays, and we had the lunch menu ($288++) that day which was a nine-course dining experience that started off with a Yogurt Explosion, a molecular gastronomy that has been very popular recently in fine dining restaurants. I shall not spoil the fun and let your imaginations run wild with emojis if you are planning to dine there before the residency ends but all in all, Gaggan and his team managed to marry the bold flavours of Indian cuisine with great ingredients and present it in a modern, avant-garde manner that you can never get elsewhere. The pace of each course was timed perfectly so that you will not be overwhelmed and my favourites, besides the Yogurt Explosion, is the Charcoal Chicken Tikka Masala, Dry Curry, Chow Mien with Duck & Ginger and the soul-comforting Claypot Basmati Rice with Alaskan King Crab Curry.
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✨ Gaggan Anand
📍 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, Mandala Club, Singapore 089845
🍴 [Self Funded]

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From 1 January to 15 February, award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Yàn, will be ushering the Year of the Tiger with a bountiful spread of festive ala carte dishes and five set menus (priced from $138 to $268 per person), available for dine-in and takeaway. Diners who pre-order select takeaway items via the e-store till 8 January will get to enjoy up to 15% discount.

Key highlights of the offerings include the signature Abalone & Salmon with Gold Foil Lo Hei in ‘Shun De’ Style ($92/$138), an iconic starter dish for every Lunar New Year meal and over at Yàn, the lo hei is a savoury one, a contrast from the common sweet-tangy yusheng out there. The yusheng is constructed with a mountain of crispy vermicelli topped with shredded purple and yellow sweet potatoes, and complemented with pickled ginger, gold flakes, garnished with an abundance of vegetables and sesame seeds with the addition of fresh slices of salmon and braised abalone before the tossing. Warm the belly with the Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Morel ‘Yang Du Jun’ and Fish Maw ($26) next before tantalizing the tastebuds with the Steamed Soon Hock with Preserved Lemon Peel Sauce ($18 per 100g) that is topped generously with crispy garlic.

Lobsters have long been an auspicious dish to be served in a Chinese New Year meal, and the Wok-fried Local Lobster Tail with Crab meat & Crab Roe Superior Sauce ($23.80) combines both crustaceans in a single dish. For the ultimate indulgence and the soul-comforting dish, look no further than the moreish Yàn Harvest Pen Cai ($325/$650), a treasure trove that features layers of 18 delicacies from the sea and land with premium ingredients such as 6-head abalone, sea cucumber to roast pork and soya chicken. End the meal with the Chilled Pumpkin Cream with Aloe Vera and Deep-fried Sesame Rice Ball as a symbol of prosperity and luck. Other barbecue takeaways such as the Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig ($328) and Roasted Duck Marinated with Mandarin Peel ($88) are also available during this period.
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✨ Yàn
📍 1 Saint Andrew's Road, National Gallery, 05-02, Singapore 178957
🌐 https://yan-restaurant.myshopify.com/
🍴 [Media Invite]

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The trip will not be complete without a bowl of the Signature Bee Tai Mak that has been tossed in a pork lard oil mixture that you will have to give it a good mix before eating to fully enjoy the aroma and flavour. Throw in some of the cut bird’s eye chilli to amp up the taste profile and add a bit of spice kick to it. The rice needle noodles are silky smooth that you can scoop it up with a spoon and slurp it down easily. The accompanying ingredients such as the fish paste, meatball and fishball with the minced meat and crunchy pork lard bits all add to the overall texture to this wonderful bowl of noodles. Order an additional bowl of the newly launched Mentaiko Prawn Ball soup to complete the meal and you will go home a happy diner.
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✨ Ah Hua Teochew Fishball Noodle
📍 415 Pandan Gardens, Unit 01-117, Singapore 600415
🍴 [Self Funded]

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He was spot on and this plate of char kway teow is now among the tops in my list. Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow definitely deserves more recognition and can surely rival the top char kway teows in the island. The master behind the wok fries every portion individually and with such dedication and passion into each plate, you can be assured that your noodles have been given the well-deserved care and focus. This excellent plate of char kway teow tasted more savoury than sweet, had the smokey wok-hei aroma, eggy and last but not least, every strand of the rice noodles is not clumping together. If there is ever a place that you should spend your calories on, this is the place to be.
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✨ Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow
📍 59 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427783
🍴 [Self Funded]

MadASS aims to advocate the #GourmetSocialMovement of serving fast meals that are freshly prepared in the most fuss-free manner possible within minutes from putting in your order. Quick service meals need not be junk food and unhealthy, which is evident in MadASS’ approach to serve dishes with all-natural, seasonal ingredients without adding any preservatives, artificial additives, and flavours. To sweeten the deal, you need not break the bank to eat healthily as the prices here are definitely wallet friendly.

The concept of MadASS revolves around a destination that you can get food, drinks, and desserts all at a single location. We sampled several of their dishes ranging from the lunch bowls to dinner sharing plates such as the Pulled Iberico Pork ($15.90), which is served with seasonal vegetables and we got it with the 3-coloured wild grains that are picked from micro-lot farms in Cambodia. The rice grains have a fantastic chew to them with a nicely charred aroma that complimented perfectly with the pulled pork that has been well marinated with a nice balance of sweet, tangy, and savoury. From the dinner menu, two of our favourites are the signature Cauliflower ($15) and Numbing Spicy Crispy Chicken ($11), the former is a crowd favourite back in Mad About Sucre and the cauliflower florets are topped with miso and premium nuts while the latter has the perfect amount of numbness and spice that have been coated onto the juicy tender chicken breast.

The restaurant also has a full plant-based menu that focuses on using purely vegetables and fruits, without the addition of any genetically modified meat-free protein, in the cooking process. Head on down to MadASS, order some sharing plates, sip some cocktails and not forgetting their range of desserts for a wonderful evening experience.
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✨ MadASS @madass.sg
📍 30 Raffles Place, Change Alley Mall, 01-11, Singapore 048622
🌐 https://www.madass.sg/delivery-takeout
🍴 [Media Invite]

Starting off with the unique interpretation of an appetizer, the Deep-fried Cigar Roll ($24) which has been filled with black truffle, foie gras and prawn followed by a bow of soul-comforting soup of Double-Boiled Yunnan Wild Mushrooms with Sea Whelk, Dried Scallops and Kurobuta Ribs ($38). Both of these dishes were the perfect start to any meal to warm the bellies and whet the appetites.

There are regular char siew and there are out-of-this-world char siew, I am not going to exaggerate too much or overhype this dish, but the Applewood Smoked Jamon Iberico Pork Char Siew ($38 full portion) is truly a beauty and stunner in its own rights. Wonderfully caramelized, torched to have a crème brulee top, perfumed by the aromatic applewood smoke and an excellent bite of meat and fat, this char siew is a must-order. We ended the meal with some Braised Rice Bermicelli with Australian Scallop and Ikura in Egg White Sauce before getting a refreshing treat of Chrysanthemum Jelly with Lychee Oolong Ice Cream.
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✨ Peach Blossoms
📍 6 Raffles Boulevard, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Level 5, Singapore 039594
🍴 [Media Invite]

Recently, @xmxlormee has partnered with @ryanxgo of @foodkingnoc to open a branch along Balestier Road, offering the same lor mee goodness but this time round this outlet is opened daily from 9am to 9pm, or until sold out. This also means that you can your lor mee for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

The prices over at this new outlet is priced higher and pictured is the $6 portion which comes with your choice of noodles, sliced braised pork belly and the difference maker, fried fish chunks. The dash of black vinegar, scoop of minced garlic and chilli add a whole new dimension to the flavours but without them, you can already taste the savoury umami-ness from the braised gravy.
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✨ Old Airport Road Lor Mee (Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee)
📍 586 Balestier Road, Eastpac Building, 01-01, Singapore 329898
🍴 [Self Funded]

Starter Lab Bakery has been in my wishlisted places to visit for the longest time and I am glad to be finally able to experience it. Prior to this, my only visitation to Starter Lab was in Bali to grab a quick bite and it left a huge expression since.

This time round, we had the Rosie Mascarpone ($16) which totally blew my mind in terms of the flavour combination and texture. The rosemary sourdough toast had a nice tang and texture to it, pairing well with the generous spread of housemade mascarpone topped with roasted pistachios and rose petals. The finishing touch of raw honey gives it a nice overall sweetness without being cloyingly sweet. It was such an enjoyable toast experience that I am thinking of replicating it at home with the same sourdough toast.
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✨ Starter Lab Bakery
📍 721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645
🌐 https://starterlabpickups.oddle.me/en_SG
🍴 [Self Funded]

In celebration of the World Gourmet Summit 2021, the best catch of @pnwseafood.asia such as Pacific Dover Sole, Black Cod and Pacific Rockfish will be featured on promotional menus across a variety of cuisines in ten renowned restaurants, such as Peach Blossoms, Permata, HolyCrab, Grissini and several more, from 20 September to 31 October.

At Peach Blossoms, the featured dish will be the Mapo Dover Sole ($48), that is prepared using the Pacific Dover Sole. With the modern culinary techniques and artful presentation at Peach Blossoms, headed by Executive Chef Edward Chong, the restaurant is able to pair this classic mapo tofu with the mild and sweet flavour of the pacific dover sole. With the soft nature of the beancurd, it complements perfectly with the dense and firm texture of the fish, giving it a multi-layered dining experience. As this dish will be available for a limited period only, do try it before the campaign ends.
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✨ Pacific Northwest Seafood x Peach Blossoms
📍 6 Raffles Boulevard, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Level 5, Singapore 039594
🍴 [Media Invite]

Plus the fact how popular and elusive this seasonal sandwich is, it is almost a crime if you do not get it when you see the last portion displayed prominently at the chiller. Forget about all the calories when you find joy in one of these fruit sandwiches as the luscious cream with the sweetness from the strawberries and soft chewy texture of the white bread is just a magical combination. Absolutely no regrets at all.
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✨ Kamome Bakery
📍 169 Thomson Road, Goldhill Shopping Centre, Singapore 307621
🍴 [Self Funded]

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

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