Bowls

Bowls

Featuring Bread Yard, KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar, Grain Traders (Telok Ayer), Salmon Samurai (100AM), WHEAT Baumkuchen (Raffles City), Supergreek (Raffles City), Overrice, Bricklane, Runes (Biopolis), The Lawn
Jolie πŸ₯‘
Jolie πŸ₯‘

A short walk from one-north MRT. I want to make a joke about its gentrified glasshouse decor, but the amount of natural lighting that streams through the windows is way too good for doing work and taking photos. The place is so minimalist I can't even tell where the kitchen is.

About food: they offer DIY bowls here. Interestingly, rostΓ― is one of the base options but it's unevenly salted and mehhhh. $14 for base + chicken thigh + mushrooms. Points for creativity, but The Lawn at Biopolis 10min away has better execution.

Iced white ($6) is smooth, one of the few that actually gives me a caffeine buzz so thumbs up.

Yellow basmati rice, fluffy pita, spiced chicken, lettuce n' tomato salad and a tangy white sauce (mayo/yogurt/vinegar?) all come together in one spankin' delicious mess - an unrefinement that tickles the senses most when you're stumbling down dimly lit streets, mildly inebriated in the chill of night. At $9.90, the portion is a steal.

Maybe I'm being oddly specific with my descriptions, but it's this kind of grub that gives off the rawest feelings and ticks all my boxes.

Portions are on the smaller side. This bowl is healthy alright - it's practically sauceless. Rice is dry. Broccoli is an add-on (+$1), without it, the bowl would be much emptier. Salmon is not bad but nothing to shout about. There are much more colourful and delicious poke/salmon options in the area. I ate here after work before rushing off to night class. I must say, only a subpar, depressing, expensive CBD meal like this one could have truly reflected that dreariness.

1 Like

I've got a love-hate relationship with KARA Cafe. Their food is way overpriced for the portions, it's stupid crowded half the time and the staff is not the friendliest. But this Miso Pork Belly ($16++) always keeps me coming back. With packet ramen chips, an overcooked egg and sparsely strewn vegetables, you'd frown at the price point until you take a bite of the pork belly. Three layers of perfection, ratioed perfectly for that melty, fatty goodness and the zingy miso-teriyaki marination of the meat. The meagre portioning stops it from getting too jelak, yet leaves you hanging like an incomplete hyphenation, a cruel lover. I just feel very strongly about this pork belly, okay?

TL;DR Try this dish if you can handle everything other than the meat seeming like an afterthought.

2 Likes

Haven't been to Bread Yard since I stopped working in the area, so I jumped at the chance to try this bowl off their updated menu. Unfortunately, the tuna is pretty underwhelming and doesn't mesh well with the seaweed and mushrooms. Not to mention that wasabi - what is it doing inside? Portions have also shrunk. Not sure if it was because of peak hour.

Breadstick is still great though. I think I'll just stick to their older dishes.

Being in the heart of the financial district, the rustic-themed Grain Traders is a really nice place to people-watch during lunchtime (that is, if you can beat the office crowd to get a window seat). Get your money's worth by choosing the more exotic options; here is crusted tuna tataki (+$1.50), ratatouille, mixed bean salad, curried veg and sunflower seeds atop barley risotto, diviiiine.

Ordered the small avo-bowl - brown rice, chicken thigh, chickpeas, edamame and lemongrass sauce.

The avocado tastes refreshing and goes well with the rather dry brown rice/chickpea/edamame combo. Chicken thigh is flavourful but not too oily. Portions are quite generous. Selection of toppings is very limited, but at this price I don't really mind.

Comes in a rectangular plastic box, though I think circular boxes would be better for the ingredients to soak up the dressing/for general presentation.

Roasted Barramundi Grain Bowl ($12.90)

Portions are miserable for the price. The bulk of the grain bowl comprises veg. They give paltry scoopfuls of quinoa and mashed potato, and 1 (ONE) small chunk of dry barramundi (covered by the onion), half of which is bone. Topped off with, like, 3 walnuts. As with most ready-made grain bowl places, the food is lukewarm.

I will say that the greek vinaigrette is amazing though - greek yogurt, cucumber, herbs that blend together into a tangy, creamy sauce. Unfortunately, they weren't very generous with it either and it couldn't justify the rest of this bowl.

Go somewhere else if you want to eat clean outside, people!

*pardon the low quality picture

Petite Brick Bowl ($6.90 for public): penne pasta, crispy tofu, japanese cucumber, charred corn, boiled egg, parmesan, house Peri-peri dressing.

I'm not sure if it was my choice of ingredients, but this bowl didn't really live up to my expectations. The pasta was dry and tough - I would've covered it up with the dressing but there was far from enough :( The corn is seasoned quite nicely and it's easy on the wallet, but other than that, it pales in comparison with all the other grain bowl places in the area. Just don't get the pasta, period.

Bull Run Soba ($8+$2 for upsize; free edamame topping)

Although healthy, build-your-own-bowl shops are now dime a dozen, Wheat is one of the few that truly provide you with inexpensive signatures, bursting with that distinct flavour that you can always rely on when you want to feel healthy (watch the sodium though). The teriyaki protein/edamame/salad is quite ubiquitous among Japanese fusion food shops nowadays, but no one has come quite close to the sesame mayo sauce they put in the soba.

The Wheat outlet at Raffles City is definitely a dine-and-go shop made for the CBD OLs (aka me). It's small, has limited seating and you can barely see the toppings in the glass casing because rows of coconut water and promotion flyers are crowding the front of the counter. Don't let that stop you from trying the food here, though.

Olive rice + smoked duck breast + honey mustard dressing + boiled egg.

Came up to $12.40 which is kind of steep but the rice+duck was well-marinated, plus the dressing added a refreshing tanginess so I was glad to pay for it.

I must say the al fresco experience always makes eating here way better - look at the way the meat glistens in the midday sun!!

Busy thinking up more words to describe food

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