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Featuring Umi Nami, Full of Luck Restaurant, The Bettership (The Cathay), Fu Xiang Signatures (VivoCity), Ah Tan Wings (Yishun Park Hawker), Gochi-So Shokudo (One Raffles Place), Paik's Bibim (VivoCity), Dao Ji (People's Park Complex), FoodMore (Commonwealth), WHEAT Design Your Own Bowl (Raffles Xchange)
Thint T
Thint T

I’m a modernist, my philosophies in life are heavily dictated by maintaining relevance and relinquishing the obsolete, which has rewarded me with glimpses of the future, consequentially making me the god I am today. That being said, my reverence for the oldest of establishments that pioneer a generation of culinary feats knows no bounds; practice makes perfect, and a place like Toh Kee which happens to be Singapore’s oldest roast meat stall (since 1926) exemplifies that.
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📍THE PLACE
Located on the first storey of the famous People’s Park Complex, the stall is instantly recognisable with its bold black and gold calligraphic letterings, as well as roasted ducks on display that are actually darker on the surface than most, due to the fact that they are charcoal grilled
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🍽 THE FOOD
1️⃣ 3 Types of Roasted Meat (烧味三拼) ($24/28) - one can hope to test the waters of the stall’s prowess by ordering this, a platter of the famous trifecta of roast duck, roast pork and char siew. Their roast duck is marked by the charcoal grilling, lending a crisp skin and a subtle smokiness that most roast ducks lose in the process of service.
2️⃣ Roast Duck with Rice($6/9) - if you’re looking for a meal for one at this quintessential spot for roast meat, this would be the prime choice
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🤔 THE VERDICT
Excellent meats, fast and efficient service that is no doubt proof that practice indeed makes perfect after 93 years of consistent effort.

1 Like

The Japanese phrase will tell you that you have three faces, the first one you show to the world, the second you show to your family, and the last you never show to anyone. The third one is often said to be the 'truest' reflection of who you are. In my case, the third face mirrors that of a simian ape on a cocaine and adrenaline overdose.
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📍 THE PLACE
A pleasant little joint on the ground floor of The Cathay building, dim lighting and an island-seating concept that is aptly shaped like a scaled-down Noah’s Ark, this time without the animals and with more sashimi.
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🍽 THE FOOD
1️⃣ Wagyu Truffle Beef Don ($23.90) - the staple of practically every mid-scaled donburi joint at the moment, this did not fall below nor exceed expectations
2️⃣ Truffle Cream Salmon ($15.90) - I have a personal bias for the flaky, clean maritime flavours of salmon paired with a cream-based sauce of any kind, so add truffle into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a winner of a donburi
3️⃣ Premium Kaisen Don ($25.90) - it comes in a miniature replica of the scaled-down Noah’s Ark previously mentioned. The entertainment value of that alone is worth half the price
4️⃣ Hotate Mentai ($8) - interesting take on a scallop carpaccio with the addition of cornflakes for a textural contrast
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🤔 THE VERDICT
It’s a sushi bar in a boat, that’s gotta be on your bucket list, right?

1 Like

Chinese food and I have always had a long and complicated relationship. My innate distaste and consequential aversion of the ancient dining cultures of steamboat and even those whole fishes that are served with the bone-in are somehow equally matched up against the wonders and the discipline in Chinese cooking. It’s a love-hate relationship on a 9:1 scale. Fortunately, I am also a sucker for any food that seems to be out-of-place with innovative pairings, great ambience and a sizeable goblet of G&T for the evening.
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Full of Luck Restaurant is nestled in the frontline of sweet home Holland Village, serving signature classic Cantonese cuisine in a setting that boasts luxury yet remaining casual enough for a Friday night catchup. If you happen to know me personally and have seen me pulling hairs out of what is left of my head, you would understand the level of excitement and stress that comes with browsing through an extensive menu where everything just looks delectable with a wallet that isn’t so...delectable. Fortunately, most of the dishes here stay true to its Cantonese roots, and sharing comes as an ease.
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An item I had previously eyed on the menu was rather lacklustre, despite all the previous rave surrounding it. The Crabmeat Truffle Fried Rice with Egg White ($15++) sounded like a treat on their matted, medium-weight and black marble textured menu with gold embossing on its letterings. However, the flavours of the star components that were the truffle and the crabmeat failed to shine as bright as they should. Their Full of Luck Special Fried Rice ($14++) proved otherwise. The signature wok hei, a resilient mark of the classic stir-fry lived in every bite of the rice.
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The Crispy Hakka Kurobuta Pork ($16++) was a simple dish of fried heritage Berkshire pork served with some cucumber sticks and a dollop of mustard dressing. The compotation of their beverage program may seemingly bring you to the back alley of the restaurant, where a curious red lantern swings in the windless passage. We had their Bombay Sapphire and Ki No Bi cocktails, while the youngest of the pack went for a warm and well-flavoured Mandarin Pu-Er Tea.

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It is something of a fantastic culture that one can come to embrace when it comes to fried chicken; from perfectly battered Southern fried chicken in the patriotic land of America to the saucy yangnyeom fried chicken that we simply know as Korean fried chicken, the art of achieving a crispy piece of chicken that is fried to a mouth-watering golden-brown exterior with a tender and juicy meat that pulls effortlessly from the bone has been something of a history in its own making. One of my favourite takes on fried chicken just happens to be a Singaporean classic: prawn paste fried chicken, or better known as har cheong gai. There is simply no replacement for authentic and freshly cooked har cheong gai, with its almost exotic but all-the-same homely flavour that just leaves you wanting more. I had the pleasure of trying what eventually came to be my favourite har cheong gai in the country at Ah Tan Wings. Run by a pair of siblings who share a passion for the perennial Singaporean fried chicken, Ah Tan Wings serve up har cheong gai unlike any other. Double-fried with two different types of batter and flour, their signature har cheong gai is uniquely crispy and packed with that familiar fermented prawn paste flavour we’ve all grown up with. After going through an arduous trial-and-error period amounting to 800 variations of the recipe, the result is truly noticeable from the first crunch of the superbly crispy skin. Their Atas Wing Meal ($5.30) comes with two of their pride and joy chicken wings (drumlet and wing) along with traditionally cooked aromatic chicken rice, a fried egg, some refreshing slices of cucumber and a tantalising chilli padi dip that pairs perfectly with the prawn paste chicken wings. A life-changing experience. For real.

3 Likes

When translated, bibimbap literally means “mixed rice”. A staple and a widely popular dish in every Korean diner and restaurant, bibimbap stands to be a crowd favourite due to its colourful plating and a comfort food to most stemming from the simplicity of fluffy warm rice with condiments. With tens of variations and a stretch to say that this dish can be indefinitely tweaked to one’s satisfaction, one can expect to enjoy bibimbap the way they want to; as comfort food. Paik’s Bibim has been one of my go-to places for a hearty and generous serving of bibimbap, serving up healthy portions of rice with various condiments. Their Teriyaki Chicken Bibimbap ($8.50) is a deliciously light and creamy bowl of goodness topped with teriyaki chicken chunks, crisp salad leaves, shavings of seaweed and crunchy tenkasu (bits of deep-fried flour batter). The bibimbap on its own could get a little jelak (Malay for bored, used to describe a boredom in eating) after a while, but with the little crunchy balls of tenkasu and a sweet and spicy kick from their gochujang sauce (red chilli paste, sweeter than it sounds), it becomes a refreshing and healthy meal to kickstart any day.

3 Likes

On the topic of comfort foods, it is indisputable that every one of us has an subconscious inclination towards the orient, be it expressing it through loud slurps of noodles with soup, or simply a humble bowl of rice with familiar condiments just as tens of generations before us came to honor. These days of course, with globalisation and access to a kaleidoscopic array of cultures at one’s grasp, the humility of rice bowls have become an elevated culture in its own right. A quiet little diner situated in the basement of Raffles Xchange, Gochi-So Shokudo serves their rice bowls topped with generous portions of Ibérico pork, onsen (water bath) egg, shavings of nori (seaweed), and spring onions. In layman terms, Ibérico pork meat could be compared in similarity to Wagyu beef, both of course, possessing a higher fat content and fat that actually runs within the very muscle of the animal itself. Gochi-So Shokudo serves their rice bowls topped with Ibérico pork at a rather generous price, giving you your money’s worth for a solid bowl of donburi. Their Pork Belly Don ($10) is nothing but goodness, with thin but flavourful strips of Ibérico pork belly. Finally, top it up with their condiments and sauces on-the-house such as Japanese BBQ sauce or their Stamina Garlic Sauce (highly recommend this if you’re looking for that flavour punch and something to refresh you for the remainder of the day).

2 Likes

A quiet and inconspicuous hole in the wall with a minimalistic but warm setting that showcases a beautiful bouquet of lanterns looming over you as you dine, Umi Nami serves affordable Japanese rice bowls with no GST nor service charge, perfect if you’re in the mood for some chirashi dons without breaking the bank. After numerous times walking past the establishment thinking it was simply under renovation, there was of course, a clear sense of excitement as to the food that the place whipped up. However, the excitement was eventually short-lived and anti-climatic. A quiet lunch at the retreat underneath the scorching hot weather included an appetizer of their Ankimo Monkfish Liver ($7). Traditionally, Ankimo features monkfish liver that is first cured with salt, before being rinsed off with sake and finally steamed. The liver served at Umi Nami came soaked in a citrus soy marinade, which did little to enhance the creaminess of the liver itself. I had their Aburi Scallop Salmon Don ($17), which came with a fairly generous portion of cubed salmon and lightly seared scallops. The redeeming factor of the dish all-in-all has to be the scallops, which had a small but effective dollop of truffle paste on each of the sweet and tender morsels. Not outstanding, but definitely a nice place to top up on your donburi levels.

3 Likes

An almost inconspicuous restaurant located in the basement level of Raffles Xchange, Wheat Baumkuchen (or simply WHEAT) gives the ever-demanding CBD lunch crowd a customisable, affordable and healthy food option to perk up the rest of their day in the immutably obsolete 40-hour work week that started as a result of the United States Congress getting in bed with the Fair Labor Standards Act on October 24, 1940. With Burpple Beyond, I decided to get their Beef Foie Gras Bowl ($18.90) with the option of their Bhutanese red rice instead of jasmine rice, which has a nuttier and almost starchier flavour than its white rice counterpart. The beef was unfortunately served at a doneness that I have stood against since the dawn of time: Well Done. There was also a sizeable portion of foie gras, which in my opinion could’ve been cooked a little more than it was, served alongside some greens, kimchi and a poached egg.

2 Likes

Spicy, creamy and luscious, curry has been challenging fond diners all over the world with its warm and fiery embrace that just keeps you on your toes as you take bite after bite whilst trying to resist going for the nearest glass of water. The term “curry” was actually coined by the British during its colonial rule of India and with a much debatable controversy, does not exist as any more than a categorical term that eventually came to be used by countries all across the world. That being said, Singapore, with its distant colonial roots and its bustling cultural landscape holds various curry dishes from Japanese curries to Jamaican curries in her bosom. Amongst these curries, the popularity in traditional Hainanese curry does not fail to show itself in the many dishes of economic rice ordered, or a wholesome bowl of curry chicken at a typical zi char (煮炒) table.

One place in particular that holds their family’s curry recipes and nails it down to serving flavours that are symbolic of Singapore’s rich heritage is Fu Xiang Signatures. A second-generation business helmed by twins Edric and Edwin, Fu Xiang Signatures is not just your everyday food stall making curry rice and serving it with accompaniments, but rather an establishment that is rich in its heritage and dishes that are representative of the story it tells. Originally a coffee shop stall owned by their parents in the 1990s, the fitting inception of the Fu Xiang Signatures stall in VivoCity’s Food Republic serves up their delicious curry that is painstakingly and precisely made with 9 hours of crafting the recipe with 21 herbs & spices that are kept secret to the family’s trade. Their Signature Chicken Biscuit Curry Rice ($6.80) features a succulent piece of chicken breaded with biscuit crumbs rather than breadcrumbs. Deliciously comforting and reminiscent of the humility of a simple dish like curry poured over rice. Their Emperor Cream Sauce Chicken ($6.90) is rich and creamy with a subtle foreground of spice. However, as insisted by the owners of Fu Xiang Signatures, although it bears similarity to the more popular salted egg sauce, their Emperor Cream Sauce does not in fact, contain a single trace of salted egg. Truly outstanding.

2 Likes

Phad Thai, Mango Sticky Rice and Tom Yum Goong, all dishes of a particular culture that is known far and wide across our tiny little interconnected planet. Thai food has always been a part of my life in more ways than one, be it having my mother’s rendition of Thai Basil Pork for a weekend dinner, or simply taking out from a little Thai place from the food court just a stone’s throw away. That little Thai place is Hansa Thai. Boasting a menu with traditional Thai dishes such as their Green Curry Soup ($6) and Phad Thai ($6) amongst other sharing plates, this place has never disappointed in the many years I’ve frequented it when it comes to cheap and delicious Thai food. One dish that I’ve come to have over dozens, if not hundreds of times is their Tom Yum Seafood Fried Rice ($5). Most Thai places fail to achieve a refined balance in their attempts to combine the exoticism of Thai flavours with the familiarity of simple dishes like fried rice, but Hansa Thai proves otherwise. Served with sizeable morsels of seafood such as cuttlefish, prawns and crab sticks, every spoonful of their Tom Yum Seafood Fried Rice is sweet, sour, spicy and of course, delicious.

2 Likes

Thint T

Level 5 Burppler · 61 Reviews

if it’s good, it’s good

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