Best Eats In Serangoon, Kovan, Hougang

Best Eats In Serangoon, Kovan, Hougang

Featuring Lola's Cafe, Eleven Strands, The Plain Jane, Flavour Flings, Kovan 209 Market & Food Centre, Ciel Pรขtisserie (Hougang), Ci Yuan Hawker Centre, Amber Ember, Sin Heng Kee Porridge (Hougang), Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee (Space @ Kovan)
Chiang Keat
Chiang Keat

Butter Bread, opened by an ex-Shangri-La chief baker, offers artisanal croissants baked using butter specially imported from France. It opens from 1 pm till sold out, and is so popular that a queue had already formed when I was there at around 12.50 pm.ย 

Instead of the standard Butter Croissant, I picked the ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—บ & ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ($4.50). It lived up to expectations. Its inviting buttery fragrance whetted my appetite, before its flakey, crispy texture delighted by taste buds. The addition of the ham and cheese made it even more satisfying.ย 

At $4 each, I initially baulked at the price of the ๐—˜๐—ด๐—ด ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜, but once I bit into it, it was so worth it. Instead of the traditional crumbly tart shell, this egg tart has a croissant-like pastry encasing the egg custard. The pastry was immaculate while the soft and smooth egg custard was divine. It wasn't overly sweet, which was a bonus.

The last item we tried was the ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ท๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐— ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ($4.50). The scintillating scent of the hojicha was immediately apparent, and its crumbly texture looked promising. However I found it too dense and dry, thus it was our least favourite item.

Despite being a takeaway-only unit and its prices being higher than most other bakeries, Butter Bread's popularity is testament to its high quality bakes. I'll be back to try its other items.ย 

๐๐ฎ๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐
1187 Upper Serangoon Road
Unit 01-44 The Midtown
Singapore 533971

The ๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—˜๐—ด๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ($8.90) didn't disappoint too. Any rosti that costs under $10 is automatically a win. Crispy outside and fluffy inside, the rosti was excellent. Overall a good brunch, but since this is a kopi tiam setting -- bonus: a rubbish truck stopped next to my table to clear the trash halfway through my meal -- comparisons with restaurants are unfair.

๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ค๐Ÿ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‚๐ฅ๐ฎ๐›
941 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534709

Back at Breakfast Club for some budget brunch. The ๐—•๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฃ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ($9.90), consisting of a sausage, scrambled eggs, toast, baked beans, hashbrown and cherry tomatoes, was scrumptiously satisfying. The crazily crispy hashbrown, in particular, stood out.

๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ค๐Ÿ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‚๐ฅ๐ฎ๐›
941 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534709

The ๐—›๐˜‚๐—บ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ was a denser cake stuffed with bananas and pineapples, and topped with cream cheese frosting. My personal preference is lighter, fluffier cakes, so I didn't really fancy this cake even though the fruits made it quite delightful.

๐‹๐จ๐ฅ๐š'๐ฌ ๐‚๐š๐Ÿ๐ž
5 Simon Road
Singapore 545893

Among the two cakes we ordered at Lola's Cafe, we preferred the ๐—Ÿ๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ. The rosewater sponge was layered with buttercream, embedded with lychees and pistachios, and adorned with rose petals. Very refreshing and delicious!

๐‹๐จ๐ฅ๐š'๐ฌ ๐‚๐š๐Ÿ๐ž
5 Simon Road
Singapore 545893

First time trying the ๐—ฆ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น at Tiong Bahru Bakery, and I was impressed. Not only did the bright pink of the salmon stand out against the midnight black of the roll, the flavours were amazing too. Smoked salmon with cream cheese is just heavenly. The tender salmon also provided a nice textural contrast to the crispy roll. Definitelyย would have this again!

It's with great sadness when I read that Ah Seah Teochew Porridge would be ceasing operations on 19th June due to manpower issues. This eatery is an institution, having been around for 58 years. There's a sense of homeliness and nostalgia whenever I step in, and there isn't another eatery quite like Ah Seah. The decor may not be the prettiest and the food may not be the tastiest, but the sheer number of dishes on offer (easily 40 or more) distinguishes Ah Seah from other ๐—ง๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ stalls.ย 

We dropped by for one last hurrah and ordered some popular dishes. Steamed fish may be a luxury, but it's the most popular dish here as there were only two left. (I'm broke, so didn't order the fish.) The Minced Pork, Braised Duck, Spinach, Long Beans and Braised Tofu were nothing to shout about, but we could taste the assiduousness and dedication in every bite of the simple, well-executed fare.ย 

What caught the eyeย wereย the meatballs. Oddly-shaped and asymmetrical, they were the antithesis to the sleek, perfectly spherical fishballsย that are now commonplace. These meatballs looked primitive by comparison. But they were bouncy and juicy, and hand-making dozens of these everyday, in addition to preparing 40 other dishes, demands our respect.

Dining at @ahseahteochew is like visiting my grandmother's house when I was a kid. She would cook lots of dishes while everyone -- uncles, aunties, cousins -- would take turns to sit at the table for dinner. Nothing fancy, just homely, heartwarming meals with loved ones. There isn't another eatery quite like Ah Seah.

๐€๐ก ๐’๐ž๐š๐ก ๐“๐ž๐จ๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ฐ ๐๐จ๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐๐ ๐ž
31 Teck Chye Terrace
Singapore 545731

.
โ™ฆ๏ธ๐‘พ๐’†๐’†๐’Œ๐‘ฌ๐’๐’… ๐‘ฉ๐’“๐’–๐’๐’„๐’‰ ๐‘บ๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’” (๐‘พ๐‘ฌ๐‘ฉ๐‘บ)โ™ฆ๏ธ

Babba is a new addition to Jalan Riang, a stretch of eateries hidden within an enclave of landed houses nearby Serangoon MRT Station. Cafe by day and Peranakan restaurant by night, I popped by for breakfast.

The breakfast/ brunch menu is pretty lean, with only six items on offer. The Homemade Kaya Butter Toast & Eggs has been doing the rounds on social media, but I was loathe to pay $12 for something you can get at a kopi tiam for under $4. It's just kaya, folks, not Japanese A5 Wagyu beef.

I picked the ๐—•๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—•๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ($8), which came with a choice of toast (I had the Sourdough) and eggs (I chose scrambled). The ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต was well toasted, with crispy edges and a fluffy centre. The ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—˜๐—ด๐—ด๐˜€ were divine, fantastically fragrant and creamy.

To beef it up, I added a ๐—–๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ($6), ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐— ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—บ๐˜€ ($5) and some ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—–๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—•๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป (3 pcs, $5.50). The sausage was ok, while I liked the earthiness of the mushrooms. The undisputed star, however, was the bacon. Other places serve paper-thin slices of bacon that are overly greasy, but Babba's bacon was THICK and not oily at all. It was seductively scrumptious.

I also ordered the ๐—˜๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ผ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ ($4.50) but it was too acidic and sour for my liking. Overall I loved the food at @babba.sg and would like to try the dinner menu, although the prices tend to be on the steeper side.

๐๐š๐›๐›๐š
15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987

The ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ ๐—ฌ๐˜‚๐˜‡๐˜‚ ๐—–๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ฒ was another winner. Cutting apart the crispy, flakey cube, the marvellous matcha cream oozed out ostensibly. The disc of yuzu flavoured white chocolate on top added a refreshing zest. The amalgamation of flavours and textures was truly epic!

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐‘๐š๐œ๐ค
9 Yio Chu Kang Road
Unit 01-55 Spaceย @ Kovan
Singapore 545523

Matcha madness at The Bread Rack. Red bean plus matcha is by no means a revolutionary combination, but the ๐—”๐—ฑ๐˜‡๐˜‚๐—ธ๐—ถ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ really hit the nail on the head. Wedged in between the croissant was matcha cream and some red beans together with a gargantuan slice of butter. The croissant was further topped with matcha powder and more red beans. A gloriously gastronomic experience!ย 

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐‘๐š๐œ๐ค
9 Yio Chu Kang Road
Unit 01-55 Spaceย @ Kovan
Singapore 545523

The ๐—๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—™๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ธ ($10) cost more than the second bowl by virtue of having three more char siew slices. While they tasted pretty good, we felt they were on the leaner side and a more fatty cut would have made them more delectable. We chose Shoyu and dry for this, but the use of shoyu was too liberal here, thus the noodles were too salty for our liking.

In conclusion, our favouriteย bowl was Miso soup one. The flavourful soup alone was worth the price, and the ample toppings were a bonus. Skip the $10 bowl, as the char siew slices weren't mind-blowing enough to warrant getting more of them.ย 

๐‹๐ข ๐˜๐ฎ๐š๐ง ๐Œ๐ž๐ž ๐๐จ๐ค
Blk 511 Hougang Ave 10
Singapore 530511

The ๐—๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—™๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ธ ($7) had a choice of Shoyu or Miso, and soup or dry. We went with Miso and soup for this. In addition to the sliced pork, minced pork, meatballs and mock abalone that the former had, this came with two slices of ramen-style char siew. We unanimously agreed that the orange-hued soup, robust and moderately spicy, was the outstanding element in this dish.

๐‹๐ข ๐˜๐ฎ๐š๐ง ๐Œ๐ž๐ž ๐๐จ๐ค
Blk 511 Hougang Ave 10
Singapore 530511

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