All posts filed under: Restaurants

Hawker Chan (SG): Is the Cheapest One Michelin Star Worth the Wait?

Singapore’s food scene has perhaps been best known for its abundance of delicious cheap eats. A chicken rice at many hawker centres could cost as little as SGD2.5 (just over USD2 or less than HKD15). Despite its almost inconceivably cheap prices and simplicity of food, Hawker Chan has even earned itself a Michelin star. With the inevitable hype around what may be the cheapest Michelin star ‘restaurant’, I wasn’t surprised to hear all the mixed reviews: “don’t bother, it’s so overhyped” versus “it’s the best chicken rice!!!” I had to check it out for myself. There are two different outlets Hawker Chan was initially just a stall in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre – go up to the second floor and when you’ve located the long queue, you’ve probably found Hawker Chan. Since earning its Michelin star, they opened another outlet across the street. It’s a little more pricy, due to the improved seating arrangement and environment. We decided to go old-school and visit the original stall. 35 min wait on a Monday morning We expected …

The House on Sathorn (BK): A Turkish-Asian Tasting Journey

Bangkok and Lima are no doubt my favourite cities to experience food in general, but especially “fine dining”. If you read my feature on The Maker’s The Hit List, or Fine Dining Redefined in Hong Kong, you’ll know that this concept often makes me cringe. But a number of restaurants on the World’s 50 Best or Asia’s 50 Best lists stray far away from the white tablecloths stereotype of fine dining, and focus on creating an experience of a meal. For example, the experience at World’s #5 Central in Lima taught me everything I wanted to know about unique Peruvian ingredients at different altitudes. Asia’s #36 The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn in Bangkok brought me a similarly impressive experience, teaching me much more than just Turkish cuisine, but also how to get creative. The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn As soon as I got off my Uber to check in at W Bangkok, this beautiful house next door had my full attention as I eagerly turned to a friend, to ask “what …

Provisions (SG): New Restaurant for Fun Skewers and ‘KFC’

I can’t complain about being flooded with Insta-worthy brunch and coffee choices since moving to Singapore, especially after discovering ATLAS Coffeehouse, Pacamara and The Botanist. But these cute coffee shops sometimes crowd out my search for enticing and fun dinner spots, until I came across Provisions. This new casual Asian fusion restaurant/bar on Dempsey Hill serves skewers, claypot rice and cocktails. Despite the high chairs and tables, it still sounded like the perfect laid back spot for a group of friends to wind down on a weekday. Plus, their 2-for-1 house wine happy hour deal lasted through to 10pm! “KFC” Korean Fried Cauliflower (SGD10) *must order* A photo of that caramelised glaze generously smothering what you would otherwise not have suspected was cauliflower, was the first reason I wanted to try Provisions. I quickly decided that it was also my favourite dish of the night. I’ve had “KFC” at a couple of other restaurants back in Hong Kong, but this rendition was probably the best. The edges were super crispy-crunchy and each piece of cauliflower was generously smothered in the addictively sweet …

Cafe at Hyatt Regency: A Seafood Lover’s Buffet

Dinner buffets are sometimes shunned for their subpar quality of food. But growing up with younger siblings, it was almost a ritual for any of our family celebrations. So no matter how un-classy loving buffets may seem, they do secretly have a place in my heart. They tend to be an especially apt choice when there are kids in your group, but the selection at Cafe 咖啡廳 of Hyatt Regency (K11, Tsim Sha Tsui) will impress adults equally as much, if not even more. They have the most extensive variety of choices I’ve seen in Hong Kong, and more importantly, the quality of their food was impressive. Poached Lobster *must order* With so much on offer at this buffet, it’s impossible to get through even just their seafood offerings. They served chilled crab legs, prawns, crabs and mussels; they also had grilled scallops, oysters and tandoori tiger prawns. But the one thing you can’t miss is their poached lobster. Not only was it fresh and prepared-to-order, it was also cooked perfectly. The texture was crisp …

Imperial Treasure, Hong Kong: New Go-to Michelin-Quality Chinese Restaurant

Even though Imperial Treasure was awarded Two Michelin Stars in Shanghai last year, and has been a household brand name in Singapore for many more years, I admittedly had not heard of this restaurant until it opened in One Peking Road in Tsim Sha Tsui recently. When I mentioned I was coming here to a Singaporean friend visiting town, the familiarity of the name had her burst into excitement. Apparently it’s her go-to Chinese restaurant in Singapore. Over there, they have established many different dining concepts: casual dim sum, hot pot, Peking duck and even congee. Presentable, yet still affordable While Imperial Treasure has a range of different concepts in Singapore, the one in Hong Kong is a higher-end Chinese restaurant – the type you would go to for a nice dim sum lunch or proper extended family dinner or even business meals. In fact, its beautiful views over Victoria Harbour means that it’s also appropriate to treat your colleagues or clients from out of town here. As I inspected the regular a la carte menu, I breathed with relief that it was not …

Uma Nota: As Good As Brazilian-Japanese Sounds

We were talking about how beautiful Brazilian-Japanese babies are, comparing it to how good this combination would be with food, as we stood around on Peel Street sipping on cocktails and waiting to be seated. Uma Nota opened only about two months ago and has already amassed a crowd waiting outside its doors. I’m definitely guilty of adding to their table wait time, as I was there for the second time in just three days. Apart from their good food, I was eager to come back despite the short time lapse from my first visit (48 hours), because the ambience felt pretty perfect for a small four-person gathering. Cocktails On my second visit, we waited about 30-40mins for our table. But the wait was pretty bearable as we stood around trying out their cocktails. I was initially drawn to their Caipirinhas (HK$90), since they had a dedicated section for it and it’s apparently the ‘official cocktail’ of Brazil. The A Fresca version, made with a fresh fruit of the day (passionfruit) was sweet, fruity and pleasant – albeit a tad …

Lee Lo Mei: Creative Hong Kong Food with Quality Ingredients

Learning that a plate of rice rolls (cheung fan/腸粉) at Lee Lo Mei would cost HK$138 initially made me roll my eyes at a potentially overpriced gimmicky spot. I was skeptical as to whether foie gras and truffle would actually be a meaningful upgrade to the traditional cheung fan, which is already delicious with simple char siu or minced beef. I mentioned these feelings while having brunch at Mamasita’s Cantina five floors up (same restaurant group) one day, and a friend insisted that the food was genuinely really good, while acknowledging the slightly high prices. So I finally checked it out for myself, and could not agree more with the summary that it’s pricey but it’s good. Charmingly Colourful Dai Pai Dong Decor Lee Lo Mei’s use of the Hong Kong dai pai dong theme is hipster-ish borderline cliche, though perfectly in line with their menu offering. They used better quality foldable tables and stools to recreate that local street vibe, but the consequence of uncomfortable seating is admittedly a questionable compromise for cute decor. That said, half of the tables had better chairs – …