Pizz Please ~

Pizz Please ~

It’s time for pizza!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

There hasn’t been much going on in terms of new F&B tenants within the basement of Marina One until fairly recently; the month of August sees new entrants such as Yenney Restaurant and Supergreen moving in and starting operations — about time considering how most of the office folks within the Central Business District had since returned to their workplaces. Situated right beside the lift lobby that leads to Marina One East Tower, Yenney Restaurant is a new Vietnamese concept — the interior has been decked in a style that is modern and chic, yet evokes some form of colonial touch and a feel that is close to nature; think terrazzo-esque table tops with seat cushions with tropical prints that is flanked by wooden furniture and fittings that is really pleasing to the eyes. Mainly serving up Vietnamese cuisine to hungry office workers during lunch, the menu at Yenney Restaurant groups various items together and offers the items as a “Set Meal” that sees a main being served with a starter and a drink. That being said, all items listed on the menu are available ala-carte; the prices of each item being listed beside the description of the dish. Mains available on the menu at Yenney Restaurant includes various types of Pho, Banh Mi, Bun Cha and Rice Sets, while there are only two starters to choose from — the Fresh Spring Rolls and the Fried Spring Rolls. Yenney Restaurant serves up a single beverage on their menu; a Lemongrass Tea that seems to be served with bits of Yuzu.

Was looking for something that is more of a light bite and decided to go for the Banh Mi Set — the Banh Mi Set comprises of the BBQ Pork + Bread, Fresh Spring Rolls and Lemongrass Tea by default. We pretty much liked the Fresh Spring Rolls that they had served up a starter for the set — whilst there is not a choice of prawn for their Fresh Spring Rolls, the spring rolls are chewy; encasing tender, juicy barbecue meat within. Dipping it into the fish sauce provided on the side gives the spring rolls a savoury note that gives the spring roll more flavour. The Banh Mi was also a decent offering; no doubt the bread does seem to lose its crispness rather quickly, but the bread does give a good, firm bite. Stuffed with different meats that are sandwiches in between, we did note chunks of BBQ Pork and slices of Vietnamese Ham included within — the former giving a slight hint of sweetness alongside a smoky flavour, while the latter gives a soft bite and a bit of savoury note. The bread is being spread with a meat pâté; one thing that is of particular note is how the meat pâté that is used in their Banh Mi here is milder in flavour than most that we have came across thus far — it’s buttery texture still manages to gel all the elements together, though is significantly less saltish than what we have tried. They have also included sriracha chili for the Banh Mi here by default to provide for that slight tingle of spiciness that tickles the tastebuds as well.

Having only tried one item off their menu, Yenney Restaurant does feel like an establishment that seems to have quite a bit of potential — the interior of the space does probably hint of the effort that they are putting into the business; that being said, we would reckon that the highlights at Yenney Restaurant are likely to be the various types of Pho that they have to offer. We also found it a real shame that they do not offer a variety of beverages at Yenney Restaurant; we were definitely looking forward to having some form of Vietnamese coffee here and perhaps even Salted Lemonade as an option to the Lemongrass Tea that is the only beverage available at the time when the visit was made. Otherwise, the experience at Yenney Restaurant was pretty alright — thought that there wasn’t much to comment apart from the service staff probably needing a little more time to get used to the pace once lunch time hits; prices might be a little steep since most of their lunch sets would fall within being a few dollars above or short of $15.90++, though it does make for a good spot with an ambience to settle those cravings for Vietnamese cuisine in an air-conditioned environment. A spot that we might return to give their Pho a try some other day!

And so the quest for a good Pho continues — Pho hasn’t been quite the Vietnamese fare I would usually go for of the late since I have a preference for non-soupy foods in general. Tucked away within Fook Hai Building facing Upper Hokien Street is May Pho Culture — a rather recent F&B addition to the building that takes over the former premises of the now-defunct Fart Tartz Cafe there. The interior does feature a mezzanine level that adds up as a dining space to the dine-in area on the first level and outdoor dining space, though it is an indie set-up where everything here is just managed by a handful of people. Being a hidden gem, May Pho Culture serves up Vietnamese Pho as their main focus — their range of pho includes pho that features quite a variety of cuts of beef; includes beef coin, beef brisket and tenderloin, whilst also offering different meat options such as chicken. Patrons who would like to have other items apart from pho can go for the Banh Mi and Com Tam that they also offer, whilst items available to share around the table includes fried and fresh spring rolls. May Pho Culture offers a decent variety of beverages here — apart from Vietnam Special Brew Coffee, they do also serve up canned drinks as well as a small selection of wines.

Hadn’t really have Pho for quite a while now considering how there are now a number of spots that serve decent Pho that is nothing to shout about; we have also been disappointed with the quality of the Pho at Mrs Pho which we used to patronise — the quality having dipped quite a bit ever since their commercialisation. May Pho Culture serves their Pho a little differently here — there aren’t many places that serves their Pho with fresh herbs by the side, along with chopped chili and wedges of lime as well; an indication of probably how much they care to replicate that authentic Vietnamese Pho-eating culture here. Patrons can choose to pluck off the leaves and drop them into the pho to elevate the dining experience here — something which we recommend even though the Pho broth was already very good on its own. The broth here is very clean, yet especially flavourful — probably one of the finest that we have had in recent times that we could easily just down the entire bowl despite being folks who don’t actually like soupy items. In the bowl of Pho also comes the slurpy rice noodles that are soft to bite, as well as onions and beansprouts for the crunch — the highlight being the tenderloin that really melts-in-the-mouth without much effort to chew; slowly cooked within the warm broth of the Pho for that level of tenderness. A really stellar bowl of Pho that is almost the gold standard of what other outfits do serve up.

While the Pho Tenderloin was the highlight for us, the Fried Spring Rolls is another item that we were also really impressed with during our visit — not only was it crisp and generously filled, it tasted actually really different from the others that we have had thus far; a little cleaner and less “fried” in a sense. For an establishment that has opened just for around two months, May Pho Culture is a gem of its own — really fresh food that is done well and good; bringing locals here a really authentic Vietnamese experience be it in terms of the style the food served, to the execution. Do expect some waiting time here during peak hours however, considering they will be a little short-handed if the place fills ups. That being said, this is definitely one place we will be coming back for the Pho; that broth is certainly hard to forget, and would be something which we will be craving for. Wishing the folks behind May Pho Culture all the best with what is to come!

Had noticed Nhung Kitchen (to be pronounced as “Yong Kitchen”) after passing by Balestier Road quite some time back — got a little busy and never really had the chance to make my way down to try out their Banh Mi. Found ourselves dropping by after an attempt to visit somewhere nearby that didn’t open. Basically a fairly simple setup, Nhung Kitchen’s interior can be said to be pretty basic where function is priority over form. Apart from bar seats that faces the window, the other dine-in seating comprises of dining tables and chairs that work best between diners of two to four pax. Space isn’t aplenty here, though the tables are placed comfortably away from one another, an area in the dining space is also used for storage. The menu at Nhung Kitchen can be said to be fairly simple — with Banh Mi making up most of its offerings, there are six variations of Banh Mi to choose from; for those who prefer having other forms of Vietnamese cuisine, Nhung Kitchen also serves up rice vermicelli dishes and rice dishes as well. Beverages available here includes Vietnamese coffee, as well as a homemade iced lemon tea amongst others.

Came here for the Banh Mi but found the Bun Thit Nuong to be the favourite dish. Of particular note about the Bun Thit Nuong here is probably the portion size — the portion of meat that is served here is especially generous as opposed to most other Vietnamese establishments we had visited. Beneath that BBQ Pork is the rice vermicelli and the usual mix of vegetables which includes carrots and cucumbers — it also comes with a saucer filled with spicy fish sauce that typically comes with Vietnamese rice vermicelli dishes. The rice vermicelli here is slurpy; giving everything a good toss before picking them up and dipping them into the spicy fish sauce, we really liked how the savoury notes of the fish sauce flavours up the entire dish whilst still tasting pretty clean — the various textures of the greens included provides a refreshing crunch and the chopped peanuts gave a good bite as well. The BBQ Pork is also pretty well-executed; it’s savoury and fairly flavourful, but what really enjoyed about it was how it pretty tender and easy to chew.

Given how Nhung Kitchen is pretty much somewhat of a mom-and-pop sort of shop, the food here seems to be more of the homely and hearty sort; all that with generous portions that makes them a really value-for-money option. For those looking for some authentic Vietnamese fare that doesn’t burn the pocket, Nhung Kitchen is a spot that is worth considering going for.

Having just recently checked out Obba Jjajang Express at the foodcourt at Koufu HQ, one has to wonder if there is a trend where Jjajangmyeon-based establishments are starting to emerge in the coffeeshops and food courts in the heartlands. Previously being located in JTC Space @ Tampines North, Jeong’s Jjajang had since moved into new digs at the coffeeshop at Blk 161 Bukit Merah Central — that very same coffeeshop that also houses No. 25 Minced Meat Noodle that is best known for their bak chor mee with a “tonkotsu-inspired soup”. Much like other Jjajangmyeon specialty stalls, Jeong’s Jjajang serves up items such as Jjajangmyeon, Jjampong, Kimchi Fried Rice, Tangsuyuk and Fried Dumplings — just to name a few; other Korean dishes sold here includes the Kimchi Pancake, Seafood Pancake, and the Soondubu Soup.

Making our visit to Jeong’s Jjajang just a couple of days after our visit to Obba Jjajang Express, we felt that we were already carrying unrealistic expectations that Jeong’s Jjajang might have difficulty filling in — little did we know about what we were getting into at Jeong’s Jjajang. While the Jjajangmyeon is a little bit more on the savoury side and doesn’t seem to carry minced meat (instead, they do include cabbage here for more crunch), the Tangsuyuk was the stunner that was especially well-executed. Jeong’s Jjajang serves up their Tangsuyuk with the sauce separated from the chunks of meat — patrons get to pour the sauce over to their heart’s content, or dip the chunks of pork into the sauce instead. The chunks of pork here is the key to how their Tangsuyuk is simply so good — the meat comes tenderised; easy to chew with a meaty bite, yet comes with sufficient moisture locked within, all that while the fried batter on the exterior is light and crisp without being anywhere limp. It is noted as well that the oil used here is pretty fresh; the chunks of pork did not carry any undesirable stench of overused oil, nor porky-ness as well. Pouring the sweet-sour sauce onto the fried pork, the sauce itself was dense and thick but not particularly starchy so much that it coats the chunks of pork without making them the batter then soggy; really like how there is this malt-like sweetness amidst a gingery note that made it rather refreshing and easy to have. Overall, one of the most impressive Tangsuyuk that we have tried thus far.

Having tried quite a number of Jjangmyeon specialty stores in the past such as Itaewon Jjajang, Obba Jjajang and then now-defunct Hong Jjajang, we were actually pretty surprised at the quality of food that is coming out of Jeong’s Jjajang especially considering how they are just a coffeeshop stall as compared against the other names that are full-service restaurants — from the banchan to the items that we had, they do seem to have an emphasis of freshness and quality where most of the elements does seem to be made from scratch. Given how the place seems to be run by Koreans and their passion and dedication in serving up authentic food that speaks to the soul, Jeong’s Jjajang is certainly a spot that is worth making the trip; even more so for those who are looking for great Jjajangmyeon and Tangsuyuk around. Wishing the folks behind Jeong’s Jjajang all the best in what is to come — certainly looking forward to having the Tangsuyuk again, as well as to try the other items such as the Kimchi Pancake and the Jjampong which we had missed out on this time!

Madlygood is probably a name that is more familiar to those residing in the west. With their very first outlet being situated at JCube right beside the skating rink at the mall, Madlygood had since opened a second outpost also in the west recently — conveniently located in The Clementi Mall, they are located at Level 5 of the mall. Whilst the food preparation area and the counter are located within a shop unit, the dine-in area is situated along the shopping aisle; most of the tables catering to groups of 4 pax. Offering a slightly smaller variety of gelatos that their JCube outlet serves up due to the smaller display chiller here, Madlygood’s menu at The Clementi Mall also features waffles, crepes and pancakes, as well as French Toast, Croffles and Croissants; beverages here include specialty coffee, tea, natural sodas, milkshakes / floats, and ice-blended drinks — a decent variety where there seems to be something for everyone.

Had quite a filling lunch before making our way here and decided to skip on the various hot food items that they have to offer; found ourselves going for the Oat Milk Chocolate Ganache Gelato to be served in a cup — the gelato flavour being one that caught our attention whilst we were skimming through the flavours that are available in their display chiller. Whilst the oat milk element doesn’t seem to be particularly evident in the scoop of gelato that we had, we did feel that it may have contributed to its extremely rich and dense texture which made the Oat Milk Chocolate Ganache Gelato especially luxurious. Just simply chocolate through and through, the gelato didn’t feel particularly jelak from cream or milk elements; it’s especially decadent, yet not being particularly “heaty” as well. A decent pairing with the Honey Lavender Espresso Latte that we also opted for — the frothed milk does seem to be purposely overdone here to form that “cap” above the coffee, but otherwise was a decent cuppa with a light body and earthy flavour profile that perfumes of a light floral fragrance of lavender and just a light touch of sweetness from the honey.

Madlygood has been a spot that we had been returning to on-and-off for gelato whilst being around JCube — their flavours offered these days are less inventive than what they had been doing previously for the last couple of years, though we still find them being a little under-the-radar considering they are not usually a name that is mentioned often for gelato in the west. That being said, we do prefer their The Clementi Mall outlet for its slightly more spacious environment despite being located in between the shopping aisles. Expect some teething issues here considering how they have opened not too long ago; none too bothersome though definitely should iron out over time — a convenient spot for Clementi residents to hang out over some sweets and coffee.

Woodlands is a neighbourhood that hasn’t really been affiliated with many exciting food options in the past, but it does seem that things are starting to change in the last couple of years with the opening of Woods Square (where establishments such as The Tipsy Panda by The Tipsy Collective, Cat and The Fiddle Cheesecakes etc. are located), as well as other hipster and indie options such as Parched by Parchmen & Co, D’Pasta Hero, and Tasty Thai etc. at other parts of the neighbourhood. Obba Jjajang Express probably the newest addition to the Woodlands neighbourhood as at the writing of this post — brought by the same folks behind Obba Jjajang at Tanjong Pagar as well as Obba BBQ & Jjajang at Beauty World, their latest express outlet is situated within the ground level food court at Koufu HQ located at 1 Woodlands Height. Being an express outlet, expect Obba Jjajang’s newest digs to carry a more streamlined menu as compared to their full-service restaurants; for a start, Obba Jjajang Express does serve up a variety of Jjajangmyeons (i.e. Black Bean Sauce Noodles) that Obba Jjajang serves — this includes the Frai Jjajangmyeon (i.e. Black Bean Sauce Noodles with Egg) and the Sausage Jjajangmyeon just to name a few. For those who are not into Jjajangmyeon, Obba Jjajang Express also offers dishes such as Jjampong (i.e. Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup), Jajang Bab (i.e. Black Bean Sauce Rice), Kimchi Fried Rice and Korean Ramen as well. Sharing plates that are served up here includes the Tangsuyuk (i.e. Sweet & Sour Pork), as well as various forms of dumplings.

Given how we will never give the Jjajangmyeon a miss whenever we hit Obba Jjajang at Tanjong Pagar, we had to go for the Jjajangmyeon when we made our visit to Obba Jjajang Express. We were glad to say that the Jjajangmyeon at Obba Jjajang Express is pretty consistent in terms of quality as compared to the ones that we have previously had at the Tanjong Pagar outlet — the bowl of noodles is beautifully covered with the black bean sauce just like how we recalled it to be previously. Giving the noodles a good toss, each strand of noodle is coated with ample black bean sauce — the noodles are slurpy and chewy; almost akin to that of the consistency of potato noodles that the Koreans are known for, while the sauce lends a sweet-savoury note that comes from the caramalised black bean sauce that is not only sufficiently thick and dense, but also comes laden with other condiments such as minced meat, as well as onions for a good bite. The strips of cucumber that they have included with the noodles helped to provide a refreshing crunch amidst the heaviness of the sauce and the carbs — makes the entire bowl pretty easy to eat despite being a rather flavoursome item on its own.

Still remembered visiting Obba Jjajang when they had first opened their doors at Tanjong Pagar a couple of years ago being impressed with what they have to offer. Since then, queues do form up at their store, and Obba Jjajang has also moved on to even selling their signature Jjajangmyeon in the form of a easy cooking kit for a portion of two pax stocked in supermarkets for patrons to easily replicate the dish at home. It is little to say that we are pretty surprised how they have since come so far — and a little unthinkable that they would have launched an express outlet in a location that some residents within Woodlands would have called “ulu” as well. Nonetheless, Woodlands residents would probably be glad that they no longer have to make their way down to town to get the Jjajangmyeon — pretty impressed with how the quality of the food here remains pretty on par to our previous experiences at the main outlet; this is not to mention that the prices here for the Jjangmyeon is also priced lower than that served in the full-service restaurant (a single portion costs $7.50 at Obba Jjajang Express instead of $13 at their full-service restaurant) without a substantial reduction in serving size. We do wish that Obba Jjajang Express will be able to maintain the food quality in the long run — certainly the outlet that we would consider returning back for Jjajangmyeon given the proximity for us!

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Came across this stall named Gula Gula Chendol with a pretty eye-catching pink signboard whilst going around Albert Centre Food Centre — the stall does seem new considering how there were congratulatory flowers being placed outside the stall when we made the visit here. Being a Chendol specialty stall that is pretty similar to the likes of King of Chendol (at Blk 79 Circuit Road Food Centre) and Ye Tang Chendol (at Beauty World Food Centre), Gula Gula Chendol only serves up four different variations of its Chendol here — the Signature Chendol, Traditional Chendol, Corn Chendol and Durian Chendol.

Going for the Traditional Chendol, it comes with the standard toppings of Gula Melaka, Pandan Jelly, Red Beans and Attap Seeds. Found it a bit regrettable that the stall serves all orders in disposable paper bowls regardless if one is dining in or taking it away; would really prefer to be having the chendol from a non-disposable bowl — just a preference of ours that might not make a big difference to others. If going by the stall’s namesake, the Traditional Chendol does satisfy in how the Gula Melaka is actually pretty thick here — the Gula Melaka is indeed the main star here with its rich, earthy sweetness that helps to flavour up the entire bowl. That being said, the other elements do feel a little pedestrian; the lack of sufficient coconut milk added meant that the shaved ice didn’t turn out as fluffy as we would have preferred; the Pandan Jelly was a little generic, though we did find the red beans being aptly sweet — the inclusion of attap seeds here was a welcomed addition considering how there are places that serve up their rendition of Chendol without it.

Overall, the Traditional Chendol here at Gula Gula Chendol is a rather decent bowl that isn’t too much to shout about save for the thick Gula Melaka they are using here — that itself also being the showstopper for the Chendol here. Wouldn’t really make my a visit that is out of the way for this — there are better artisanal Chendol from other establishments elsewhere such as that from Ye Tang Chendol, Yat Ka Yan etc. which features handmade components that provide a more gastronomical experience overall. That being said, the Chendol from Gula Gula Chendol would probably suffice to scratch any sudden cravings for chendol whilst dining in the food centre; also a good respite from the strangely humid weather these days.

Boyutei is probably one of the most anticipated openings in the cafe scene of the late — taking over the former premises of The Coconut Club at Ann Siang House before its eventual move to Beach Road, Boyutei is a contemporary French-Japanese cafe concept by the folks behind Whitegrass at CHIJMES and matcha specialists, Hvala, which runs various outlets including one at CHIJMES, 111Somerset and Beach Road. The space is pretty much left in the same format as when The Coconut Club moved out the premises; the kitchen at Boyutei is that of an open-concept style, while the dining area features two wings that adopts different decor styles — one that features a brighter design with white walls and wooden elements, while the other featuring black walls that carry a slightly raw look. Serving up their very own interpretations of French-Japanese fusion brunch fare, the menu is being split into several sections — this includes sections dedicated to salad & soup, rice & noodles, Sando and crepes. Plated desserts are being featured in their dessert section of the menu here, while Boyutei also offers a tea set that features savoury items, pastries / sweets and a choice of tea in a single platter at $69 for two pax. Being a concept that Hvala is involved in, expect a wide variety of Japanese green tea and black tea available at Boyutei; other tea options include straight Matcha, tea lattes, cold brew teas and Chinese teas. Coffee lovers can also opt for either the Gaiwan Coffee, as well as the Cold Brew Coffee on the menu here.

Perhaps one of the items that really showcases the French-Japanese influence on brunch fare at Boyutei will be their crepe lineup — the Prawn & Chicken Okonomiyaki being just one of the few items with a strong French-Japanese fusion amongst the crepes that they serve up here. Featuring elements such as dashi poached chicken, prawn, cabbage, pickled red cabbage, spring onion, mayonnaise, tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes, this is essentially an item where the Japanese Okonomiyaki meets the French crepe — using the crepe as a base, the crepe is done pretty thin here; despite its thinness, it does carry a sort of Prata-like consistency when one pulls it apart, all that whilst being still somewhat lightly eggy yet not being especially jelak. The mix of ingredients within the crepe is what one would usually find in a Japanese Okonomiyaki; the prawns here are especially fresh, while the dashi poached chicken is considerably tender and comes with a light hint of sweetness from the dashi used in its preparation — the red cabbage being especially fresh and gives the Prawn & Chicken Okonomiyaki Crepe a crunch factor that is also refreshing against all that meat and sauce going on in here. Given how this is an Okonomiyaki, it cannot do without the classic combination of the mayonnaise and Tonkatsu drizzle, and the sprinkle of bonito flakes for that slightly creamy, savoury and umami flavour combination. All in all, a well-made fusion dish that is made delicious especially with the use of fresh ingredients.

Having also tried the Matcha Goma Garden plated dessert, it seems that Boyutei is a spot with plenty of potential — hearty French-Japanese cuisine that is done with slight touch of finesse; a little less formal than what one would call fine dining, but certainly something that is a competitive offering to that of casual dining establishments around. Prices are reasonable here considering the quality of food and the sort of produce that they seem to be using — the rice & noodles, Sandy’s and savoury crepes being priced in the range of $18 to $26. Sure, Boyutei might not be the spot that would make for a weekly hangout, but it does certainly seem like a spot to visit for a once-in-a-while splurge, as well as a decent spot for dates that calls for slightly more upscale brunch fare.

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Chanced upon this stall named Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao which we previously didn’t recall seeing before when going around Chinatown Complex Food Centre the other day. Considering how good Sheng Jian Baos are a hard find in Singapore, we found ourselves itching to try them out. Apart from serving up these Fried Buns, the stall actually does serve up quite a number of different dumplings, soups and noodles — the chef’s recommendations here which are prominently displayed on the signboard includes their Xiao Long Bao, Beef Vermicelli Soup, and Fresh Shrimp Wanton Soup.

Was told that they only carried the “Original Flavour” ones (i.e. the ones with pork filling) despite the menu listing a prawn variant also being sold here on the day of our visit. There was also a bit of waiting time involved for the Fried Buns since they were actually preparing for a new batch — didn’t realise that there were actually a few more people in the queue who had walked away given the waiting time was closed to 10mins. Nonetheless, despite the crowd gathering in front of the stall, the wait was pretty uneventful and the lady boss calls out the orders as per the number listed on the receipt. On first look, the Fried Buns here does come in a different aesthetic than the ones that were being illustrated on the menu — the actual Fried Buns looked more plain, while the illustrated ones came with folds. That aside, taking a bite into the Fried Buns, it is noted that the bun was especially light and fluffy on the top — despite the bottom being pretty charred, we note that it wasn’t burnt; it is, however, pretty well-crusted and gave the bun quite a good bite. Within, there is sufficient pork filling; the filling free from any undesirable porky stench, and also came with a good amount of broth within that quite literally explodes out of the bun with the first bite — the broth being savoury with a light ginger note which was pretty flavourful and refreshing.

Considering how the Fried Buns turned out, we aren’t surprised how we have overheard that some of the folks in the queue are already returning customers to the stall — the Fried Buns are actually pretty well-executed; at the price of $3 for 3 pieces, we would consider them to be even somewhat of a steal for the quality. A spot which we would gladly return to get the Fried Bun cravings solved!

Had seen quite a bit of Waga Waga Den at South Beach Tower during the past week when they were still in their soft opening phase. Waga Waga Den takes over the former premises of Dimbluah Coffee at South Beach Tower, and is the latest concept by the same folks behind Black Cow (also at South Beach Tower) and Shatoburian (at Palais Renaissance, serving Yakiniku). Whilst their other concepts are more restaurants that has an emphasis on beef, Waga Waga Den is primarily a specialty coffee joint. Currently still serving a limited menu, the menu is limited to mostly beverage offerings focusing on specialty coffee; non-specialty coffee options include the Matcha Latte and Iced Houjicha Lychee. For those who are feeling a little peckish, Waga Waga Den serves up Warabi Mochi (sadly unavailable during our visit) — they will also be introducing more food items progressively as time goes along.

Listed as an item under the “Nowhere Else” section of the menu, the Le Cloud is their rendition of an iced latte that is unique to Waga Waga Den. Without the lid attached to the takeaway cup, the Le Cloud does bear a visual resemblance to Omotesando Koffee’s Iced Cappucino that features a bubble cap with cocoa powder sprinkled over the top (side note: Omotesando Koffee had also temporarily ceased operations at OUE Downtown some time back). Overall; a pretty good cuppa here — there seems to be this thickened layer of coffee that sits atop the iced latte — almost akin to that of a macchiato foam that somewhat makes the Le Cloud different from Omotesando Koffee’s Iced Cappuccino. That being said, the foam does not carry any notes of sweetness as one would have expected from the same from bubble tea specialty stores. Instead, the foam layer seems to be further enhance the punchy notes of the Iced Latte beneath — one that carried a mostly earthy flavour profile with a medium body that works as a morning perk-me-up.

Was pretty much a shame that we did not get to try any of their food offerings given how the Warabi Mochi was unavailable during our visit, but we do look forward to seeing what else they have to offer more food items when they introduce them progressively in the future. With prices that are rather reasonable for takeaway coffee (though slightly more pricey for the Le Cloud and the non-coffee options), Waga Waga Den is likely the go-to spot for specialty coffee for office workers around the Esplanade / Promenade neighbourhood.

The hot topic for the week has got to be the opening of The Coconut Club’s newest digs — having moved out of the former premises at Ann Siang Hill, The Coconut Club is now part of the The Lo & Behold Group, and takes over the former premises of Nox — Dine in the Dark along Beach Road (they have since relocated to Club Street), just beside where Hvala’s latest takeaway-only outpost is also located. Apart from the famed Ayam Goreng Berempah Set that had brought The Coconut Club to the forefront of Singapore’s dining scene ever since its inception, the opening of the new Beach Road outlet also sees The Coconut Club serving up more sharing plates, as well as starters and a wider range of desserts. Interestingly, The Coconut Club now also carries a newly-introduced Breakfast & Tea menu that is served between 8:30am to 11am, as well as from 3pm to 6pm — the Nasi Lemak, starters and sharing plates will not be available during the hours where the Breakfast and Tea menu is being served. A larger selection of drinks are also available with the expanded operations of The Coconut Club at Beach Road — expect non-alcoholic options ranging from coconut-based concoctions such as the Coconut Milk Cold Brew, Coffee (both brewed using beans roasted by PPP Coffee), Tea and mocktails, as well as alcoholic beverages such as cocktails, beer, wine and spirits.

Was in to give their Charcoal-grilled Kaya Toast but the item that was the show-stopper for us was the Kueh Bakar Keledek. Described on the menu as a “sweet potato cake”, the Kueh Bakar Keledek comes with a scoop of Coconut Sorbet that is churned by Birds of Paradise (yes, that one with the Thyme Cone at The Red House along East Coast Road, as well as Jewel Changi Airport, and Craig Road). Rather than to call it a sweet potato cake, we found the Kueh Bakar Keledek to be really similar to a Kueh Bingka Ubi (i.e. Baked Tapioca Cake); the texture of the Kueh Bakar Keledek was less moist than that of the typical Kueh Bingka Ubi — probably so since potatoes do contain less water content than tapioca. The result is a slightly more dense, not as moist cake that carried that inherent sweetness from purple sweet potatoes; it was also somehow was easy to cut through — the slightly drier texture here is easily remedied by having the cake with the coconut sorbet, which was thick and rich and almost similar to a gelato on its own. The only gripe where the sorbet is of concern is probably how it was stored; noted that there was a rather substantial chunk of ice in the middle as we dug through the sorbet, though it was largely enjoyable save for that one chunk of ice we encountered. If anything, the crusted surface of the Kueh Bakar Keledek deserves a mention — it’s crisp, warm and really comforting; like having a freshly-baked Kueh Bingka Ubi that just came out of the oven. Overall, a dessert which we will happily find ourselves ordering again.

Can’t really comment much about how consistent they are at their Beach Road location against our previous experiences when we visited their various locations at Ann Siang — after all, we did make it a point to try out the items that are newly-introduced with the opening of their Beach Road location rather than to go for the Ayam Goreng Berempah Set which we typically would order whenever we end up here. Still, The Coconut Club has come really far; no doubt there may be changes in ownership over the past couple of years, but for The Coconut Club to be a rising star in the local dining scene back then serving just a single variant of Nasi Lemak and limited options of beverages to a full-fledged restaurant with bar operations and being the establishment that paved the path for more artisanal Nasi Lemak establishments to come (i.e. Uptown Nasi Lemak, Dickson Nasi Lemak, Wild Coco etc.) — probably something that is pretty unthinkable from its humble beginnings which they do deserve all the credit for. We would most certainly be back to give the Ayam Goreng Berempah Set a go again; but for now, we would probably be thinking about the Kueh Bakar Keledek as the dessert to go for when we make our subsequent visit here some time in the future …

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Had been wanting to drop by Tasty Thai at Bukit Batok after having heard quite a fair bit of their Thai Kway Chap, though didn’t head down after hearing about the queue situation when they were first featured on social media in their initial days of opening. Went by the coffeeshop at Blk 515A Woodlands Drive 14 the other day, and saw their signboard above the shopfront; turns out that they were preparing for the opening of a new outlet within the KPT coffeeshop there. Serving up pretty much the same items as they were in Bukit Batok, Tasty Thai’s Woodlands outpost still features the same items that they are best known for at Bukit Batok — think Pork Trotter Rice and Thai Kway Chap, as well as other dishes such as Pork Knuckle Rice and Pork Big Intestines Mee Sua as well. Patrons can also order ala-carte sides to share around the table as well — this includes the Meat Ball Soup, Thai Fried Crispy Pork and Thai Fried Fish Sausage; just to name a few.

Being interested in their Thai Kway Chap ever since their initial days of opening at Bukit Batok, it is needless to say that the Thai Kway Chap is what we found ordering when we dropped by their newly-opened Woodlands outlet. The Thai Kway Chap here comes with pork slices, pork skin, pork lard, meat balls, a braised egg and Thai Fish Sausage by default. Upon first look, the Thai Kway Chap does seem a little different from the same that we are used to seeing from other establishments (i.e. Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap); as opposed to the usual clear and nearly transparent soup base that we typically associate with Thai Kway Chap, the rendition that is served at Tasty Thai is noticeably brown and darker. Flavour-wise, the broth here is somewhat more flavourful; whilst the one served at other locations may be on the peppery side, this does feel a bit more “herbal”; probably similar to that of some of the soups that accompany braised duck rice at some stalls. As per what is usually served at other Thai Kway Chap stalls, the rice noodles are served in rolls here — the ones here are slippery and chewy; a texture that we really fancy and also shaped in a way that is easier to eat. Found the pork items to be free of any undesirable porky stench; our favourite being the pork skin being jelly-like, while the meat balls were pretty savoury. That being said, we especially love the Thai fish sausage that is included here (and also pretty typically of most Thai Kway Chap served elsewhere); the texture being pretty much being a combination of Taiwanese sausage and Chinese XO sausages — sweet yet savoury with a good bite that isn’t too difficult to chew. The inclusion of the braised egg is also pretty much a crowd pleaser as well. For those looking for a little bit of spice to go with the Thai Kway Chap, do sprinkle some of the Thai chili flakes that the stall offers in at the self-service station on the counter — adds that slightly spicy touch that brings back some of that fiery heat that one usually gets from the peppery renditions of the Thai Kway Chap from other establishments.

Whilst Thai Kway Chap was pretty much the rage back then, it seems that the craze had taken a back seat for quite a while now. Indeed, there were many other spots around that are currently still in operations or have ceased operating that serves the peppery version of Thai Kway Chap, but the “herbal” version is still a pretty fresh offering nonetheless. Given the quality of the food here and the proximity of their new location in Woodlands to us, Tasty Thai is certainly one spot which we would probably find ourselves revisiting soon again to scratch that craving for a good Thai Kway Chap out t

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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