Food Attack

Food Attack

Featuring The Disgruntled Chef (Dempsey), 4Fingers Crispy Chicken (ION Orchard), VXX Cooperative, Shin-Sapporo Ramen (Orchard Gateway), Mama Panda Kitchen (River Safari), Doi Chaang Coffee (Rochester Mall), Kabe no Ana (Jurong Point), 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, Dian Xiao Er (Jem), elements & co.
Vanessa Kou
Vanessa Kou

At $9 a pop, Baristart Coffee’s June Special (available till 30 June) Matcha Cream Puff served as a great (kinda pricey) after-meal treat. Made with their signature Hokkaido BIEI jersey milk and top-grade single-origin Okumidori matcha from Shuhari, the chilled matcha cream was an absolute dream. The filling could be a little more earthy or bittersweet, in my opinion, especially if it is to cater to the matcha fans that prefer a certain intensity but was overall distinctive enough for me. The consistency of the cream was smooth, luscious yet surprisingly light and the milkiness was very nicely balanced. And as always their choux was crisp, airy, sweet, and fragrant. 

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If you need more and want something to share, look no further than their Scallop Carpaccio ($16.80). Slathered with their homemade mentaiko sauce and embellished with tobiko, the rich and savoury number was super shiok and a foolproof side. The Japanese sashimi-grade scallops were tender and slightly sweet too.

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Back to serving all the CBD folks at International Plaza after their short break, BAFO’s 4-day special promotion is a must-try. An absolute steal at just $29.90, it features a premium bowl of Narabi Uni Negitoro Don and a free Mini BAFO Signature Don! Available from 21st to 24th June (mark your calendars), the crazy deal, whilst stock last, is limited to 20 bowls per day and each dine-in customer can only order one bowl.

Good for two ladies to share, the Uni Negitoro Don was so umami and hearty. The ratio of ikura to minced otoro to rice was insane. And looking at the melty Narabi uni, I really enjoyed how decadent the bowl was, they are truly generous with the ingredients. Everything tasted fresh as well. The fatty tuna was smooth and mild in taste while the creamy uni had the distinct yet subtle sweet ocean flavour so the briny pops of ikura helped tie it all together and enriched the dish. Topped with chunks of salmon, tuna cubes, edamame, tobiko, wakame, corn, crabstick, and drizzles of their homemade sauce; the Mini BAFO Don served to counter the richness in the other donburi. A more-than-decent chirashi with lots of fun textures going on and much more balanced.

Thank you BAFO for feeding us and Kylie for the warm hospitality!

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Dusted with pleasantly bitter matcha powder and crowned with a quenelle of matcha ice cream, Boyutei’s Goma Matcha Crepe ($14) was a solid treat. None too sweet, the flavour of the ice cream was a little overpowered by the other elements but the cool creaminess really helped to tie it all together. Separated by an even spread of the yummiest matcha pastry cream, the crepe was done pretty thin which was nice as it had a soft-chewy bite. The batter was not overly eggy and held a lingering earthy taste. What stole the show for me, however, was the layer of fragrant black sesame crumble. Adding to the medley of textures, the goma crumble was light and crunchy. It was also slightly buttery, nutty, and savoury~

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Designed as a large dreamy pastel pink book, Ginger Lily’s afternoon tea ($58++/ pax) rack packed a handful of sweet treats from the decadent Valrhona 46% Amatika Chocolate Cake to the delicate Tutti Fruitti Tea Cake and the moreish Almond Fig Tart. However, the savouries fared better, in my opinion, with the warm Salt-Crusted Pork Bun, crunchy Iberico Ham Crostini, and briny Mini Lobster Roll being the highlight for me. The Vanilla Madagascar & Golden Raisins scones were also pretty good. I especially enjoyed the Homemade Ginger Lily Jam and Cinnamon Chocolate Ganache served alongside. Incorporating their botanical theme into their selection of unique blended teas, Ginger Lily’s welcome drink, the Fermented Ginger Lily Tea Kombucha was a yummy palate cleanser as well.

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Need more spice? Blanco Court Beef Noodles just launched a new Father’s Day Special promotion where they are offering their latest addition on their menu, the Spicy Mala Beef Noodles with a drink for just $8.80 instead of the usual price of $12.40. More of a '小辣' with the distinct taste of peppercorn, the heat is pretty mild however the dish delivered a nice fragrance. The dry noodles were well-coated with the spices and the aromatics also went superbly with the beef. Valid till 30 June 2022, the promo is applicable for both dine-in and takeaway (+50 cents)!

Thank you Burpple for the invite and Blanco Court Beef Noodles for feeding us!

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Though known for their Superior Beef Noodles which comprises premium-cut beef shank, beef tripe, sliced beef, beef balls, and beef tendon; the frills-free Slice Beef Noodles ($7.90/S, $10.90/L) was more up my alley. The soup option was comforting and well-rounded - the slightly herbaceous broth being savoury and rich with the subtle sweetness of the bean sprouts balancing out the beefy flavours. The protein was tender. Prepared à la minute, the noodles either thick bee hoon or Kway Teow were slippery smooth, and cooked just right. The Blanco Court Beef Noodles’ classic dish comes at a great deal with Burpple Beyond 1-for-1 (at selected outlets only) too. The $18.80 set delivers 2 bowls of piping noodles (soup or dry) with homemade drinks and side dishes of our choice. Hence, for the side, the Signature Fried Chicken Wings ($4/2 pcs) came highly recommended. Marinated in a secret blend of spices and fried till crisp, the wings had a great crunchy batter, not greasy at all, and taste-wise was a little like prawn paste.

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Still the go-to place for hearty brunch fare, Wild Honey’s signature Norwegian ($30) stars a pair of perfectly poached eggs wrapped with smoked salmon and covered in hollandaise and salmon pearls, sitting on avocado and grilled asparagus spears with two thick brioche. Perhaps a little cloying towards the end but very satisfying on a whole and it has been ages since I had Eggs Benedict. The savouriness from the strips of salmon and briny pearls adds to the buttery flavour of the hollandaise as well as the decadence of the creamy yolk. Their brioche bread was also relatively fluffy so it offered some bite and served well in mopping up all the sauce.

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A classic done well, the Pappardelle e Coda alla Vaccinara ($36) sees the familiar sight of hand-rolled flat pasta tossed in a braised oxtail ragu of tomato, pecorino romano DOP and red wine. The silky wide ribbons were cooked with just enough bite and the sauce was perfectly savoury - not too heavy but felt relatively substantial and hearty with the meaty flavours.

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With a mild kick and a subtle wheat-like taste, the Struncatura Ammollicata ($32) had the firmest bite out of the lot. Known as a “poor man’s pasta” due to its low-cost ingredients, the flavour profile resembles a classic aglio olio imho hence I would probably skip this for its price point. However, the use of anchovies, taggiasca olives, chilli, and Mollica di Pane—sauteed breadcrumbs made it quite the savoury crowd-pleaser.

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Like a warm hug, the Tortellini in Brodo ($34) is a must-order. Stuffed with pork ragu or more specifically Mortadella di Bologna, Prosciutto Crudo, and Parmigiano Reggiano DOP; each hand-sealed tortellini was like a saltish kiss of meat-filled happiness. The tiny packages wrapped in the egg pasta sheets were then bathed in a clear chicken brodo. The warm broth was so clean tasting and nourishing; perhaps a little plain on its own but great with the savouriness of the pasta.

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Pasta time! And off to a great start, the Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese ($28) was my favourite at the table. Presented with a pesto of datterini tomatoes, basil, almond, and Pecorino Romano DOP, the helical-shaped pasta was so simple and tasty. The savoury pasta was slightly herbaceous and tangy with a hint of nuttiness - really well balanced and light. But the best part was the amazing textures. Handmade one at a time with a 'ferro' or thin rod, the coil-like feature of the dough was able to catch all the sauce and together with that crunch from the crushed almonds was the chef’s kiss.

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2 Moods: Hangry & Sleepy [Instagram: @vanessa_kou]

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