All posts filed under: Singapore

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 …

Xiao Ya Tou (SG): Pimped-up Local Fusion 

I had been a tourist in Singapore countless times before moving here. The unbelievably cheap yet delicious chicken rice, char kway teow and laksa noodles at hawker centres would keep me satisfied time after time. These classic local dishes served in a super casual (borderline dirty) setting is really a key part of Singapore’s charm. But when it comes to local food outside of hawker centres – a proper restaurant where you can go to in better-than-flip-flops clothing – Xiao Ya Tou comes to mind first. Its ‘pimped up’ dishes provides an interesting twist to the classic Singaporean cuisine, without losing local flavours and maintaining good execution. The cute artsy hipster setting also makes it an appropriate spot to catch up with a group of friends, or go for a casual date. Small dishes to start with… We ordered a couple of small dishes to start. I loved the Brussel Sprouts (SGD14) – not only because I’m partial to brussel sprouts in general, but also because it was cooked with generous dollops of minced chicken which made …

Nosh (SG): Beautiful Remote Brunch Spot Near Buono Vista

Hipster-ish brunch cafes are pleasantly abundant in Singapore, but Nosh offers something slightly less hipster, more classic. The fact that its location is more remote means that it’s usually not jam packed on weekends; you definitely won’t need a queuing ticket to get a table (like we did at Atlas Coffeehouse). The Greenhouse part of Nosh is an outdoor area, surrounded by greenery. It’s beautifully peaceful, no wonder the first time I attempted to brunch here on a Sunday afternoon, it was closed for a wedding. With such a setting, I would’ve been skeptical about their food, but after hearing multiple positive experiences, I had to try it for myself. House-cured Salmon with Scrambled Eggs The house-cured salmon with scrambled eggs didn’t look too inventive at first. But we were impressed with the execution of the unexpectedly creamy eggs. The smoked salmon was also delicious, especially when mixed in with the mentaiko sauce. Shakshuka with goat cheese and eggplant fritters *must order* But the shakshuka was definitely a winner. It might even be the best ones I’ve …

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 …

ATLAS Coffeehouse (SG): Hearty Brunch with Killer Pancakes

I’m always on the lookout for a hearty brunch and hipster coffee spot. Now that I’ve moved to Singapore, the number of cafe choices is almost as overwhelming as my intensive 10-month MBA course at INSEAD. Cute cafes are dotted all over the country. Yet in spite of all the competition, ATLAS Coffeehouse definitely stands out for its perfectly executed brunch items, which are interesting enough to set it apart, but retain that mainstream eggs-and-pancake element to satisfy the typical weekend brunch craving. (See also my review of other cafes in Singapore, such as Curious Palette and Pacamara) Creamy Mushrooms and Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough Toast (SGD14+3) The menu had a good variety of options ranging from the brunchy eggs, pancakes and waffles to the more filling ‘superbowls’ , meats and pasta. The sound of white wine creamy mushrooms stole our undivided attention for a good five minutes, before we noticed that a standard eggs benedict was not even featured on ATLAS’s menu. We didn’t care, of course. We added scrambled eggs (+SGD3) to the …

Pacamara: Hipster Brunch Cafe in Singapore

When work life back at home starts to overwhelm you, taking a long weekend trip to Singapore to eat brunch for three consecutive days with your bff of 16 years could not be more rejuvenating. Well it was more about having great company and nothing but Singapore’s amazing hipster brunches on my agenda for three days. 3 Brunches in One Long Weekend I visit Singapore quite often, and it’s hardly ever been for work. Apart from the hawker centres, my favourite part is the excellent selection and quality of hipster cafes. Hong Kong may be known for good food, but Singapore beats it for its brunch scene hands down. See also: List of my favourite cafes in Hong Kong Last year, I paid a visit to Curious Palette, but the choices I covered this time were even better. Over my three day weekend, we went to Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters, Common Man Coffee Roasters and Artichoke. I think I equally loved each one for different reasons. Pacamara’s location is a bit random but Uber-ing around Singapore …

Curious Palette: All-day Brunch and Coffee in Singapore

The last time (before this weekend) I visited Singapore was about three years ago and in this time, the hipster cafe trend has definitely caught on – I’d say they’re ahead of us in Hong Kong (See: Exploring Artisan Coffee Shops in Hong Kong). I was here for a dear friend’s wedding so my opportunities to explore were limited but Curious Palette stood out to be a clean and cute cafe; plus, it was conveniently located near Middle Road between Little India/Dhoby Ghaut. Laid back interior I was immediately in love with the interior when I stepped in. There was nothing revolutionary about the decor but the general vibe was stylishly simple and comfortable. The lighting was also very natural, which meant it was a perfect spot for a good catch up session and a bunch of flattering food photos. Ricotta Hotcakes Since I recently made a batch of my own ricotta hotcakes, I was intrigued with how cafes do it and I was also craving some at the same time. It was still 10am, …