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Featuring Triple Three (Mandarin Orchard Singapore), Project Dingo, Jim Thompson, Punggol Pasar Malam, Bazar Raya Utara (Causeway Point), Al Hamra Lebanese & Middle Eastern Cuisine, Zubuchon, Lotus Thai Restaurant (Jalan Besar), See Lian Cake Shop, BurgerUp (Waterway Point)
Ivan Teh
Ivan Teh

Originally established as Polar Café in November 1925 by couple Hinky Chan and Shum Shui Yu, this Singapore heritage brand is today known as Polar Puffs & Cakes Bistro, with multiple outlets across Singapore.
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Most outlets are pure takeaway kiosks, but those under Polar Puffs & Cakes Bistro are sit-down outlets for a quick bite.
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The Curry Puff (SGD $2.60) features a crisp flaky puff pastry filled with chunky boneless diced chicken, tender potatoes, and crunchy red onions, marinated in a thick blend of 9 spices. Warm and satisfying, each bite gets you a bold buttery bready starchy savoury salty spice sweet flavour kick.
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The Tuna Puff (SGD $2.80) features a crisp flaky puff pastry filled with flaky tuna fish flakes, bouncy button mushrooms, and crunchy red onions. Carries lovely buttery bready meaty savoury vegetal earthy sweet flavour, without any unpleasant fishy taste, so nice. Good amount of filling too.
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The Chicken Pie (SGD $3) features a crisp flaky puff pastry filled with chunky boneless diced chicken, tender potatoes, bouncy button mushrooms, and juicy corn kernels. Has enticing meaty sweet vegetal savoury bready buttery flavour.
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The Black Pepper Chicken Puff (SGD $3.20) features a crisp flaky puff pastry filled with chunky boneless diced chicken, mixed with generous black pepper. Has mild meaty savoury peppery spice bready buttery flavour, nice though I wish this was more intense in taste.
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The Chicken Sausage Puff (SGD $2.80) features a crisp flaky puff pastry stuffed with a classic chicken sausage, tender and snappy. Has mild meaty salty savoury bready buttery flavour. What I really like about this is actually the puff pastry itself.
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Polar Puffs & Cakes Bistro
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/07/polar-puffs-cakes-bistro.html

Chef Eugene See informed us that the Charred Marinated Octopus (SGD $32) would soon be removed from the menu, as the season was ending.
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This features a whole octopus leg, perfectly grilled then marinated in Sichuan pickled green chili salsa, sun-dried joyn tomato, feta cheese, and baby arugula / rocket leaves.
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Paired with toasted charcoal pita bread and spring onions, you mix everything together and stack it within the bun.
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This has soft springy juicy crisp textures, with lovely bready earthy savoury sweet vegetal herbal sour flavour.
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Birds Of A Feather
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/birds-of-feather-2024.html

The Oxtail Mapo Tofu (SGD $38) was delicious, hearty, and filling. Served in a hefty stone bowl (which keeps it warm), the large bone-in braised oxtail has meat and tendon which just falls off the bone.
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Together with the rich mapo tofu (with tender minced beef and soft silken tofu bean curd) and its garnish of crisp spring onions and crunchy white sesame seeds, this carries rich meaty grainy savoury salty sweet spice vegetal nutty flavour.
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Accompanied by a bowl of soft fluffy moist steamed white rice dressed with crunchy black sesame seeds, carrying grainy sweet nutty flavour.
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Birds Of A Feather
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/birds-of-feather-2024.html

The Barramundi Chazuke (SGD $36) is now on its 4th revision.
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This latest version features a classic hearty Sichuan / Szechuan stew of pickled mustard greens, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, leeks, spring onions, and Japanese white rice, in a warm fish bone soup / broth that has been stewed for hours.
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The ingredients are soft and tender while the soup / broth carries robust grainy sweet savoury sour salty earthy spice flavours.
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The medium large slab of pan-fried barramundi fish fillet sits on top, with a garnish of juicy ikura / salmon fish roe that bursts with briny salty flavour.
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The boneless barramundi fish fillet is tender flaky moist, with a smoky sweet savoury flavour that is nicely enticing.
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The bubbling stew looks so appetizing when served, and the crisp rice wafer gradually dissolves within.
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Birds Of A Feather
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/birds-of-feather-2024.html

The Crab And Avocado Bruschetta (SGD $18) is a little morsel of luxury. A base of fluffy soft toasted brioche bread is topped with a chunky moist tartare made from deshelled crab meat, avocado guacamole, and Sichuan spices.
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Garnished with crunchy pomegranate seeds, crisp green apple slices, juicy sturgeon fish caviar, and edible flowers. Bite in and you get the lovely smoky bready sweet vegetal earthy salty briny savoury fruity floral flavour.
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Birds Of A Feather
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/birds-of-feather-2024.html

The Find The Chicken In The Chillies (SGD $19), also known as Laziji / Spicy Firecracker Chicken / Mala Chicken, features marinated then deep-fried pieces of boneless chicken chunks, tossed with dried Sichuan chilli pepper, spicy bean paste, Sichuan mala peppercorn, garlic, ginger, leeks, spring onions, and white sesame seeds.
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Each satisfying bite of the crispy tender chicken releases a bold savoury salty spicy flavour, tingling the palate and piquing the appetite. Yummy and addictive, among the best renditions I've had.
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The 2024 version doesn't include kale anymore, though price has remained the same as before.
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Birds Of A Feather
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/birds-of-feather-2024.html

The Cold Brewed Orchid Pu'Erh Tea (SGD $10.90) has a blend of orchid flowers with pu'erh tea leaves harvested from Jingmai Mountain in Huimin, Lancang Lahu, Pu'er, Yunnan, China.
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This tea blend is thick and velvety smooth on the palate, resembling the texture of whisky, with a strong earthy smoky flavour tempered by a floral sweet flavour. Served on the rocks, this was a punchy delight.
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The Tea-rrifically Healthy (SGD $14) has a blend of buckwheat tea infused with chrysanthemum flowers and osmanthus flowers. This tea blend is light and mellow, with a gentle earthy floral bitter sweet flavour.
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The Beau-tea-ful You (SGD $14) has a blend of dried cranberries, rose flowers, strawberries, and dragonfruit. With a lovely vibrant hue, this fruit tea blend is light and pleasant, with an appetizing fruity sour sweet floral flavour.
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Invited media tasting.
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H&C Cafe
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/06/h-cafe-tasting-session.html

Established in June 2011, Akanoya Robatayaki is a Japanese robatayaki / barbecue restaurant that uses binchotan / white charcoal for grilling, whose philosophy for the very best ingredients and exquisite dining can be seen in their approach - buying an entire Japanese village’s entire production of goma / sesame sauce being just one of many examples.
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Having passed down to 2nd-generation owner Javier Goh since January 2022, Akanoya Robatayaki continues to draw regulars for their attention to detail and care for guests.
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Ambience is cozy and intimate. The long but narrow space is dominated by a centrepiece counter with fresh seasonal produce displayed in front of the open grilling station, lit by spot lights. Private alcoves lie at one end, while the other end has a quiet bar and the restaurant's refrigerator for dry-aging.
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Seating is slightly cramped, an intentional design, but the atmosphere is great. Ventilation is pretty good, we had minimal cooking odour on our clothes despite being directly in front of the grill.
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Service is engaging and attentive. Regulars return partly because the restaurant goes out of their way to accommodate, for example, with Western fine dining ware, birthday celebrations, and off-menu items.
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Chefs behind the grill serve dishes up on long wooden paddle boards, a unique experience. Staff display good product knowledge, being able to describe ingredients in dishes, and cleaning up quickly to prepare for the next course or next set of diners. General Manager William Liou is an affable host, most willing to share.
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Food at Akanoya Robatayaki is delicious traditional Japanese cuisine, focused on kushiyaki / grilled skewers and light bites, elevated to gourmet standards through premium seasonal ingredients. Head Chef Brandon Teo and team produce course after course to exquisite quality, every morsel a delight.
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Portions are sized small for individuals, but a series of these means a meal here is still substantial and filling. Prices are premium but not as expensive as elsewhere, budget about SGD $168++ per person.
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Invited media tasting.
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Akanoya Robatayaki
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/05/akanoya-robatayaki-tasting-session.html

Opened in January 2024 by renowned chefs Matthew Orlando of Amass and Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert, together with entrepreneur Ronald Akili of Potato Head, AIR CCCC is a sustainable farm-to-table restaurant, research lab, cooking school, and farm where produce for the restaurant is grown.
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The restaurant is warmly lit with ample natural light, the idea of transparency spanning from the open kitchen and common dining hall to the natural surroundings.
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The facade features ribbon windows that open up views to the lawn, while paths take guests beyond to the urban farming gardens run by social enterprise City Sprouts.
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The fixtures and furniture were designed by Spanish product designer Andreu Carulla, using recycled timber, styrofoam packaging, and plastic bottles sourced from a former art installation, as well as paper mache and bamboo ceiling lights.
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Staff accord guests personalised attention, exercising great care with dietary restrictions. They communicate well in fulfilling requests and taking orders.
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I note staff work quickly, greeting and seating guests, clearing finished plates throughout the meal, and cleaning up efficiently when guests leave.
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Staff also demonstrate good product knowledge, being able to describe dishes on the seasonal menu, which changes monthly and features fresh ingredients grown on-site.
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No surprise that AIR CCCC is usually fully-booked, advance reservations are highly recommended.
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Style is Modern European and Modern Singaporean fusion, and true to its name, aims to provoke deeper contemplation about food, sustainability, and community.
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Dishes are creatively put together. Flavours are bold, and uncompromising, yet wholesome and nourishing.
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Portions are designed for communal dining and sharing, except for desserts which are individually-portioned.
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Prices command a premium for their casual gourmet dining experience, yet is well worth it, budget about SGD $68++ per person for weekend brunch, and SGD $98++ per person for dinner.
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AIR CCCC (Awareness, Impact, Responsibility, Circular Campus And Cooking Club)
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/05/air-cccc.html

This has soft chewy gnocchi pasta balls immersed in a rich creamy 4 cheese sauce of parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, and pecorino romano, garnished with coriander and black pepper.
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The result is a robust burst of cheesy salty savoury sweet herbal peppery spice flavour with each mouthful.
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Completed with fresh crisp lettuce with vegetal sweet notes. Delicious and filling, best shared.
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Trattoria Da Mimmo
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/04/trattoria-da-mimmo.html

1 Like

This is a unique pasta dish, with wide flat strips of al-dente pappardelle pasta noodles, garnished with a special wild boar ragu sauce.
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It's not gamey at all, and the thick chunky meat sauce carries bright vegetal meaty savoury sweet flavour, nicely appetizing.
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Completed with bits of coriander which lend vegetal herbal flavour, and fresh crisp lettuce with vegetal sweet notes.
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Trattoria Da Mimmo
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/04/trattoria-da-mimmo.html

1 Like

This was the special off-menu pizza-of-the-day during our visit.
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This has a crisp chewy fluffy pizza crust with smoky bready toasty sweet savoury flavour, and is garnished with a white sauce of gooey mozzarella cheese, crisp rucola / rocket leaves / arugula, juicy cherry tomatoes, tender hand formed skinless pork sausage chunks, soft white onions, and bouncy burrata cheese balls (of cow's cheese and cream), drizzled with lashings of balsamic vinegar.
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The result is a complex yet pleasant combination of cheesy salty vegetal bitter herbal sweet earthy sour meaty savoury milky flavours. Loved this.
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Trattoria Da Mimmo
More details:
https://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.com/2024/04/trattoria-da-mimmo.html

Ivan Teh

Level 10 Burppler · 3623 Reviews

Ivan Teh RunningMan Corporate Adult Educator. Blogger (Lifestyle, Food, Travel, Ed). L&D Futurist.

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