Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe – Very much affordable authentic Thai at Aljunied!

Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe

Blk 115 Aljunied Ave 2

Thai-Thai-002It has been a while since my last Thai meal and am glad to conclude that Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe has quenched the craving for an excellent Thai! Located slightly closer to the East in a ‘less-trodden’ area of Aljunied, this unpretentious Thai restaurant does indeed attract a local crowd during lunch hours; though expats were spotted when I left.

IMG_7693Had a pretty heavy lunch with the parents and it was a unanimous decision that this is a very good Thai restaurant to visit! Lets explore! This pot of Lala Bee Hoon was so savoury that every strand of bee hoon was exuding with Lala seafood goodness. Loads of Umami packed in the noodles and soup, it was no wonder that it became one of the top favourites in various reviews! This is indeed a dish that shouldN’T be missed. $18. Continue reading

Tangerine

Tangerine

ESPA at RWS

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Located in the really relaxing ESPA, Tangerine aims to promote healthy eating with the use of whole foods, befitting the theme of this place. It is just located opposite to Equarius hotel which houses restaurant Forest and both are helmed by celebrity chef Sam Leong.

DSC_1157We were seated by this pond and that makes you feel calm and zen.

DSC_1151So there we go, started off with the citrusy pomelo salad topped with really fresh prawns and vibrant edible flowers. This has shadows of the thai pomelo salad I felt but is much healthier as fried shallot and shallot oil is not used. Very refreshing and whets your appetite. $18.

DSC_1153Also got the chicken salad with a really well poached egg for $18. Yolk is evidently very runny and chicken breast is so moist and smooth. Good quality salad served over here! Cranberries added gave it an edge with its slight sweetness and the sauce gives it a more intense taste.

DSC_1158Got a Sous Vide Salmon with chilli sauce and fried salmon skin. The salmon was really well cooked and is slightly orangy in the middle still. Chilli makes it more tangy but I felt this main was a bit small and plain for $22.

DSC_1160Vermicelli noodle with fresh scallop for $26. Intense flavour here and yet doesn’t feel oily at all. Delicious.

DSC_1164Moving on to dessert, this is the Aloe Vera with barley and pudding for $14. It felt really much like a Thai dessert and I thought that it wasn’t really worth the price.

DSC_1163However, I enjoyed the therapeutic lemongrass jelly with berries for $14 served in a coconut. Flesh of the coconut makes this refreshing bowl of dessert more creamy and delicious!

I think it’s the first time that I had really healthy meals outside and Tangerine is a restaurant that makes delicious healthy food. But for the price and location, it may not be too convincing for me to return. Then again, if you are one who loves to have healthy food once in a blue moon, then this would be the place.

Verdict: A good restaurant.

Labyrinth – when satay turns plush

Labyrinth

Near Outram MRT

A bday treat from S, we thought of going to somewhere fun, new, vibrant and Labyrinth was the place that came to our mind. It may be the one of the few restaurants in Sg that have added elements from our daily hawker food into modern cooking and which on the whole managed to hit the right notes. Fusion, molecular gastronomy, daring and creative would be the category that this restaurant can comfortably fall into. There were two menus for dinner that night, you can either choose the five course for $98 or the degustation 8 course menu for $138. And so after much deliberation, we got the degustation menu!

DSC_1114The tomato amuse bouche that is spicy, fragrant and slightly sour. It is chilled and that further accentuates the sourness that whets your appetite!

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For your super delicious herbs-infused focaccia bread, three different spreads will be served to you, namely the balsamic jam, cheese olive oil extract and a garlic spread. Very interesting spread I thought as the extract really looks like cheese flakes. As for the focaccia bread, I had 6 that night as it was sooo good. So good that I must take a picture of it. The crust is super crusty while the inside is super soft and fluffy. You could even eat it on its own!

DSC_1126So here comes the first course. Pineapple fried rice that consists of pineapple sorbet, tumeric zabaglione and crispy fried rice. This is definitely not similar to our usual pineapple rice. The fried rice resembles the pao fan I had at Forest. Those brown flakes are the usual pork floss that we have made into crispy thin flakes. Really fragrant and I love the chilled pineapple sorbet that makes this whole dish refreshing! A good interpretation on pineapple fried rice.

DSC_1129Next is the Bacon and ‘eggs’ with hokkaido scallop, sea urchin and Prosciutto Crisp. This was a pretty good dish as well but not too memorable for me.

DSC_1135The signature labyrinth chilli crab that has chilli crab ice cream, soft shell crab and caviar served with it. This was pretty mind-blowing  as the essence of the chilli crab sauce is all in that chilled creamy ice cream. That super savoury and intense ice cream made the crispy soft shell crab super fragrant and delicious. Kudos to the chef for making this really impressive dish.

DSC_1144Next came the artisan garden pizza with summer truffles, chantarelle mushrooms all held in on a spinach tomato crust. A pretty good vegetarian pizza indeed as all the expensive fungi managed to give this dish a very refined taste and I like the overall colour combination!

DSC_1145Another very interesting take on our Cantonese jok as it has carbonara, parmesan cream in it while polenta (cornmeal) is used as the ‘rice’. It was a very ang mor jok I would say and it came across as interesting, memorable but not one of the favourites.

DSC_1150As S doesn’t take steak, she changed one of the mains to Siu yok fan which was intensely flavoured and super delicious. The fat chunk of siu yok has a super crispy skin and I really loved the risotto-like rice. This Can also pass off as a siu yok paella. Fun and Delicious!

DSC_1153Satay marinated steak with creamy soft pan seared foie gras. The satay sauce was intensely fragrant as well and goes so well with the soft, well marbled beef. The small ketupat consists of peanut mochi and that goes well with this dish!

DSC_1156Cucumber sorbet to cleanse the palate. Light and refreshing, it indeed cleansed my palate for the dessert.

DSC_1157Yes, that’s the famous chendol xiao long bao. Not a savoury item and it has the chendol ingredients in it. The coconut milk was very interestingly made as it is encapsulated in a coconut gelatin. Bursts open once you start destroying it in your mouth! And in that vinegar jar, it is actually the sweet gula melaka. Interestingly made.

DSC_1159FInally, the last dessert was Singapore breakfast, like what you usually get from the coffee shop uncle. But there was actually mango and panna cotta in the egg while the cup of ‘coffee’ is teh tarik creme brulee. The condiments are pepper almond flakes and soy sauce dark choc. Interesting indeed!

DSC_1161And that is the ‘soft boiled egg’. Creamy, delicious and interesting.

DSC_1163And then the sneaky S has actually told them it was my bday and I was caught in surprise there. Thank you S for this delicious dinner and planning!

DSC_1165And finally the petite fours.

This really is an epitome of local food being made more upmarket and plush! I like the fusion concept and how every dish was sincerely thought of and nicely executed. This concept sort of reminded me of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (which has a very impressive chicken liver pate made into a mandarin) which requires daring and experimental chefs. Though not all the dishes are a big hit to me, this restaurant is definitely one of the better fine dining restaurants out there and would keep you guessing what’s up next!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant.

Ion Insider – Offering Sg’s first!

Ion Shopping Mall

Orchard MRT station

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As the name suggests, the gargantuan Ion would have her own personal blog to introduce her own specialties, ranging from fashion to lifestyle to food. Briefly, they are things that are exclusive to Ion herself. I got really excited when I was shortlisted for the Ion Insider Workshop (food) that I readily took half a day off to join the lovely hosts for an three afternoon teas that would give you a unique experience you couldn’t find elsewhere. They indeed are, as far as I know, Sg’s first or unique few. Am really thankful to Sweta, Coleen and Chermaine for this invite!

Salt Grill & Sky Bar – My first afternoon tea with a bird’s eye view

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Wondering where to go to for a sky high afternoon tea? Frustrated with a limited number of choices? Finally, Salt Grill & Sky Bar has capitalised on its awesome location and launched an afternoon tea menu. From Ion level four, You would be whisked by a pretty cool lift straight to the gorgeous Salt grill & Sky Bar. At 55th storey, you get an unparalleled panoramic view and everything below you really seems much slower which is a perfect setting for one to indulge in a relaxing afternoon tea. They have just recently launched their afternoon tea menu for $30++ from 2pm to 6pm which also includes a cup of tea or coffee.

DSC_0726And there we go, the familiar three-tiered afternoon tea. The savouries are in the middle while the sweets on the other two tiers. Lets start with my most favourite tier – the bottom chocolate tier which consists of chocolate delice, chocolate & jam lamington and Almond & cranberry florentines. Chocolate delice is super thick and rich while the contrasting lamington is soft and more refreshing. I like the florentine best as there were lots of nuts embedded in the candied biscuit that gives it a good crunch. As for the savouries, we got ham and turkey croque madame (ham and cheese sandwich), smoked salmon with cream cheese and coronation chicken sandwich. While the smoked salmon was fresh and tasted pretty good, the sandwiches tasted slightly dry and that could be improved.

DSC_0740The raspberry macaron is my favourite for the topmost tier as it is light, not overly sweet and has a pretty chewy crust though I thought that the crust could have been more chewy and thicker for a better consistency. The other two snacks are pate de fruits which tasted quite sour while I like the nicely flamed meringue on top of the mini orange tart as it is smooth and creamy. Somehow, this tier is less memorable for me and could have been more polished.

On the whole, I thought Salt Grill could have been more flavourful in its savouries (perhaps having a petite lip-smacking beef burger instead) and daring in its sweets on the topmost tier. That, would definitely make the whole experience perfect with its awesome view.

Nara Thai – My first ever Thai afternoon tea

So we made our way to Nara Thai at B3 for a Thai afternoon tea! This is really my first time having a Thai afternoon tea; even knowing that such a thing exists is also my very first (I bet it is for you too)! Nara Thai has just recently launched an Erawan afternoon tea that comes in three tiers and a cup of coffee or tea for $12.99++ which is available from 2.30pm to 5.30pm daily. Three tiers for $12.99; the price is definitely a steal.

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There you go, the three tiers of Thai snacks. Just like its English counterpart, the Thai afternoon tea consists of savouries and sweets and of course our familier kueh kueh.

DSC_0759Starting from the bottom most tier, we have the savouries: tapioca dumpling with chicken filling, chicken satay, minced pork and peanuts on fresh pineapple and Toong Tong (Golden Bag). The chicken satay is slightly dry. And on the whole, this would have been a much better savoury plate if the flavour for everything is more intense. Afterall, Thai food is all about extreme, intense and flavourful tastes.

DSC_0761Well never mind about the bottom tier as the middle tier sets to impress. Over here, we have the sweets or more kueh kueh stuff: Thong Muan (Coconut Wafer Rolls), Kanom Bueng (Thai Crispy Pancakes), Look Choop (Sweet Bean Paste in Fruit Shapes), Tha Koh (Thai Coconut Pudding), Woon Ma Praow (Agar and Coconut Jelly). Everything tasted pretty good here but the memorable ones were the cute Look Choop and fragrant agar coconut jelly. The agar and coconut jelly is thick and has a good consistency. I would have finished it all if I was not too full then.

DSC_0766And definitely, these cute little petite Look Choop did impress. It’s my first time having it actually. Wrapped inside this slightly chewy jelly skin is some not overly sweet bean paste that makes it light and refreshing.

DSC_0760And finally for the topmost tier, we had the standard sweet mango sticky rice with fruit skewer. There were fried yellow bits added to the glutinous rice too that gives it an extra fragrant crunch. This is a pretty good dessert to end the meal I thought, as how I would usually end mine.

For $12.99++, this Thai afternoon tea set is really worth the price. It would have been more satisfying if the savoury plate was more flavourful but on the whole, this is a steal I felt.

Uncle Tetsu Cheese Cake

And finally, our last stop was spent at Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake located at B4 of Ion Orchard. This shop has its origin in Hakata Japan and only does takeaways. To be honest, I was most impressed by this eatery for the day. Small bakery that is able to deliver high quality cheesecakes. Now, Uncle Tetsu has only recently (2014) opened its first Singapore branch in nowhere else, but Ion Orchard. They also have branches in Taipei and Shanghai which have created the ‘tim hou wan’ craze. By that, I meant really long snaking queues. Luckily, the Singapore branch has not experienced such a phenomenon yet, so I urge you to get it soon before a queue forms someday.

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They have two types of cheesecake, the original flat cheesecake and the dome-shape cheesecake. All the Japanese cheesecakes made over here are moist and not overly cheesy unlike the classic American cheese cakes. In contrast to the orginal cheesecake, these dome shape cheesecakes are slightly heavier in their cheese and have a denser consistency while they also come in different flavours such as mango (shown above), strawberry and chocolate. $13.90 for the dome cheesecakes.

DSC_0773The chocolate one has a pretty rich chocolate taste. It is still delicious though the chocolate seems to have slightly masked the cheese taste.

DSC_0788Freshly baked srawberry cheesecake that looks so fluffy and ethereal! Looks inviting, doesn’t it! They had to make a new batch of strawberry cheesecakes when we arrived as the last one was sold couple of hours ago. That attests to how fresh it is!

Ion Insider-002Branding their original cheesecake with Uncle Tetsu mould!

DSC_0793And the best part – we were each given a lovely original cheesecake to bring home and share with our family. The original cheesecake tasted so heavenly and only costs $9.90. You can have it hot or chilled. We tried the freshly baked hot ones there and it was so delicious. While the hot one has a much stronger dairy flavour to it, the chilled ones accentuate the cheesy flavour. Simply put it in the microwave if you would like to have it hot.

As for the last stop at Uncle Tetsu, the experience was perfect. Oh, and just to add, famous Gindako from Japan that sells delicious satisfying takoyaki is just stationed opposite Uncle Tetsu. Ion Orchard food hall is indeed an exciting place for Japanese street food lovers.

So after having been to all three restuarants, Ion has indeed strived to be unique or the first in many things. From the more upmarket sky-high afternoon tea to the intriguing Thai high tea set and the delicious Uncle Tetsu cheesecake, Ion indeed has an electrifying food scene. Once again, am very thankful to Ion insider for this lovely invitation!

 

Sawadee Thai Cuisine

Sawadee Thai Cuisine

Along Tan Quee Lan Street (Exit from Bugis MRT exit D)

Delicious Thai food served here, but just a lack of customers. I was reading some blogs and this restaurant was described the same way. Met up the London peeps at this restaurant for a good Thai meal and throughout our two hour lunch, we were the only customers. It really is quite sad to see that such a good restaurant not getting busy at all. I guess it may be due to its location. Located deep inside Quee Lan Street, it really is very easy to miss this restaurant. While all the other restaurants are located outside, near the main road, Sawadee is located inside beside some bridal shops. I guess one wouldn’t walk past all the bridal shops just to get to Sawadee as they may assume that there’re no more restaurants further ahead. Anyway, we ordered the 6 dish set meal for four which costs $118.

DSC_0711The first one that came was green curry. The green curry here is thick and fragrant and isn’t the watery kind. Chicken is tender and I can have two bowls of white rice with it alone.

DSC_0712Next came the Thai fish Otah and I really love otah served in this way somehow. It looks really cute and appetising I feel. Otah is different from the local ones as it is more moist. While the sg otah focus more on the chilli, the ones over here uses coconut milk to give it its fragrance. This is the second time that I have seen this type of otah. My first time having it was at Yingthai which is located on a parallel street.

DSC_0714Next was the stuffed chicken wing. Stuffed meat was moist and felt really juicy. Together with the sweet chilli sauce, this dish is really delicious. Then again, I haven’t had mediocre stuffed chicken wings before.

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DSC_0718The pineapple rice is really worth a mention as it is so fragrant and not too oily. There’s pork floss in it and I was impressed by its presentation as huge prawns were served with it. These prawns tasted genuinely fresh and succulent and I love the nicely stir fried egg bits in the rice. Rice was moist too and every grain was delectable.

DSC_0717Stir fried vegetables were also aromatic and crunchy.

DSC_0721The fried fish fillet was a slight miss I thought as it tasted a little bland. It was said to be seasoned with three different kinds of sauces but didn’t feel so. The chilli though was really good, very zesty and not overly spicy.

And so after finishing the set meal, we got the dessert menu and as we were so satisfied with the set meal we got all the four desserts available without any hesitation. Each dessert costs about $4 to $5.

DSC_0725Mango glutinous rice was very delicious. Glutinous rice was warm and has different colours which I am not sure why. The mango is sweet and soft while the small yellow bits were crispy. Didn’t know what are those though but it gives the glutinous rice an interesting crunch.

DSC_0726The coconut tapioca tasted normal though. It’s good but you can get it anywhere.

DSC_0728This red ruby is also really delicious. It’s not easy to make good red ruby I felt. This one was soft while the chestnut in it is crunchy. Yummy red ruby. It also doesn’t taste overly sweet and felt quite refreshing actually. Jellies were added to this dessert too.

DSC_0729The winner dessert I felt was this bowl of durian glutinous rice. The durian was so thick, creamy, pungent and delicious. Glutinous rice used is the same as the one for the mango dessert and was served warm. We finished this in like 30 seconds I think.

So, each of us spent about $39 on this meal and I find it totally worth it. This place really deserves a greater traffic. Although we were the only customers for lunch, everything was still meticulously made. Like the glutinous rice for dessert is kept warm and they did not cut down on their presentation. I like the bowls used as well. Really hearty Thai lunch and we were given $20 voucher every $100 spent for the next visit. Service here is also good and polite. A recommended restaurant for Thai food!