Come Over To The West (Dark) Side

Come Over To The West (Dark) Side

Featuring iO Italian Osteria (HillV2), Ayer Rajah Food Centre, Lee's Confectionery, Isetan Supermarket (Westgate), Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre, Kim Lotus Dessert, Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles (Jurong Point), Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice (Jurong Point), Ahtti Korean Chicken, Soh Kee Cooked Food (Jurong West)
Vanessa Kou
Vanessa Kou

A notch up from the basic beef bowls, The Gyu Co’s rendition comes with a pretty generous portion (solid beef to rice ratio) and was thankfully more savoury than sweet.

Looking for something fancy, I just had to get the Truffle Gyudon ($13.90/ Regular). Topped with sliced truffles, truffle salsa, and perfect runny sous vide egg, the marinated Australian wagyu beef slices were sufficiently tender - not too lean or fat. I liked that beef slices weren’t too thin or thick either so there was a nice bite without feeling too heavy (I think it is because they slice them in-house). The heady aroma and subtle earthiness from the truffle items went superbly with the umami flavour of the homemade sauce and the sweetness of the caramelised onions as well. Need more? Make it a set by adding $3.50 for a bowl of miso soup, silky smooth chawanmushi (studded with mushrooms, fishcake, and edamame), and a drink!

Different from the version I tried previously, their banana and coconut cake, JIĀO ($10) had since gone through several iterations - visually I noted the removal of the oat crumble base and sliced brulee-ed bananas. And so the latest one was a tad denser than what I remembered (as I recalled it having less sponge, more cream) but the flavours were still great. The banana sponge cake wasn’t overly sweet and coupled well with the slightly tangy banana compote and coconut cream. The dots of salted caramel and crumbs were nutty and fragrant as well. The scoop of banana ice cream was, likewise, very aromatic and didn’t taste artificial at all even though it was a tad icy in my opinion.

Though just a few bus-stops away from my place, it has been ages since I visited Lee's Confectionery. And knowing that they pair their cakes with their housemade ice creams now (yes it has been that long), I zoomed in on the ORNI ($10) - a Taro and Coconut Chou. Not knowing what to expect, I was imagining a sweetened version of our familiar yam ring for some strange reason and what came was a much-refined chou puff filled with thick yam paste. Airy, crunchy, and almost crisp, the choux pastry was so light and delicate which served as a great balance to the other elements on the plate. The taro paste had a good punch of flavour with the infusion of shallot oil but not too strong that it felt jelat. The soft whipped coconut mascarpone cream embellished with fried shallots and tiny cubes of yam was fun and yummy. The small scoop of ice cream too was toothsome and the perfect marriage of yam and coconut - creamy, nutty, and not too sweet.

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Apart from their stellar Korean fried chicken, Ahtti’s Seafood Pancake ($14) is a must-order. Fried to utter perfection, the dish was served piping hot and not greasy at all. Chock-full of vegetables and seafood, the pancake’s ultra-crisp edges were so satisfying. I also love the fact that it was of a slightly thinner variant thus it wasn’t too doughy or cloying and retained its crunch. The shrimps and chunks of squid were fresh tasting and provided a nice chew too.

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With solid Korean fried chicken delivered right to my doorstep, Ahtti was one of the best finds during Circuit Breaker. Thanks, Zhi Hui! Crisp, crunchy, moist and utterly flavourful, their Ganjang Boneless Whole Chicken ($34) was really toothsome and morish. Of course, I am partial to the boneless option as I always found wings and drumlets to be a hassle to eat. Hence, perfect for my K-drama marathons, each chunk was also bursting with the natural flavour of chicken and great with the lick of savoury-sweetness from the coating of soy! The glaze was slightly sticky but well-balanced. The batter was not greasy, tasted light even with the sauce, and retain it’s crunchiness hours later. Each order also comes with a can of Coke and pickled radish. I can once again say "West side best side"!

*To order, you can find them on GrabFood or WhatsApp them.

Looking beyond their obvious signature items, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles’ Dry Chicken Noodles ($8.90+). Exceeding my initial expectations, it is something I would definitely order again at my next visit. Not just an alternative for those who don’t fancy or can’t consume beef, the grilled chicken fillets were nicely browned with a tantalising hint of char flavour. Sure, the meat might not seem like much but it was both tender and slightly crisp along the edges. Additionally, the noodles which came in 8 different styles ranging from thin, thick, flat and even triangle was prepared perfectly with a nice bite. Toss everything with the sweet-savoury sauce sitting below and you got yourself a really competent bowl of noodles.

Note: the Dry Chicken Noodles are usually not served with soup, given that their broth is beef-based but can be requested.

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Tucked in the quaint Jurong East neighbourhood, Lee’s Confectionery is certainly a welcomed addition to the area. Decked in minimalist white walls, the patisserie delivers a small selection of dainty French pastries. And one that caught my eye at the display was Dale ($8).

A lovely number; the dessert was plated on the spot with layers of matcha sponge, matcha ganache, passionfruit jam, pailleté feuilletine crumble and dust of matcha powder. The pop of colour and tanginess from the jam hidden within, was very enjoyable as it seemed to have brought out the earthiness of the bittersweet matcha. What’s more, the plate held a good mix of textures with the crispy crumble, soft sponge and smooth ganache!

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Just across the entrance of Jurong East Swimming Complex, Lee’s Confectionery is the place to be if you are in the area for a light midday treat. A cosy spot to settle in and escape as you sample on their exquisite cakes. And of those few displayed, one that was recommended to us was JIĀO ($8) - a banana sponge cake with an oat crumble base.

Wordplay on banana and caramel, the fun dessert is injected with banana compote and mascarpone. Soft in the center and crunchy at the bottom, the cake was well balanced in terms of texture. Similarly for the sweetness, the elements complemented nicely with the plated sliced brûlée-ed bananas and spots of salted caramel.

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As great for family dinners, the chicken rice specialist also dishes out more than just the consistent well-loved Hainanese styled delicacy, with a variety of Chinese zi char items on their menu. But a must-order, the classic ‘white’ poached chicken is my personal favourite. Tender and flavourful, the smooth steamed meat is kept nice and moist with no greasy aftertaste. The savoury sauce also lending great flavours to the extra succulent chicken.

Clearly late to the White Bee Hoon trend, I finally got my fix at Prosperity Seafood White Bee Hoon which opened at Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre recently (ps. not sure if they are a second outlet or have moved from Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre). Hence, not knowing what to expect other than the generous portion from those who ordered before me, I settled for their Lala Sliced Pork White Bee Hoon ($8, Medium) with an add-on of fish slices at $3 to share.

No doubt a good rainy day comfort food, the plate was loaded with ingredients. Well-executed, the texture of the bee hoon leans toward a firmer and springy bite with a good hint of wok-hei. The handful of la la, tender pork slices and scatter of fried pork lard on top also came together very well. Loving how thick and fresh the slices of fish were, the flavours of the seafood too were evident in the light stock and further enhanced by the natural sweetness of white cabbage. Yums!

📍#01-183, Prosperity Seafood White Bee Hoon, Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre

Diggin' the slippery, silky-smooth scrambled eggs that simply glides down the throat with minimal effort. I just want a plate of 滑蛋牛肉饭 Beef & Egg with Rice ($4.50) from Sing HK Cafe to get through the short yet slow work week. Nicely seasoned, the humble dish was also well-executed and a great comfort food for anytime of the day as it captures much of the familiar flavours that Hong Kong style stir-fry brings - homey and unpretentious.

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Freshly toasted and packed with warm, oozy, melted pecorino cheese and aromatic black truffle paste; iO Italian Osteria’s Traditional Stuffed Roman Schiacciata is the perfect starter and a must-order as the flavours were absolutely divine! Though humble looking, just imagine as the earthy cream bleeds into the malty, fluffy, slightly chewy-soft centre and that crunch you get as you bite into the crispy crust of the flatbread. Amazing.

#Burpproved

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

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