You must try Violet Oon’s dry laksa

dry-laksa

This is a public service announcement. If you are a noodle lover, if you are a local food addict, if you like spice, or hell, just like food in general, do yourself a favour and go check out Violet Oon’s Kitchen and order her Dry Laksa. Continue Reading →

Oldie but goodie: Tony Roma’s

tony roma's 1

Every which way you turn in Singapore nowadays, there are cooler, edgier, fancier restaurants springing up. Although it is fun and thrilling to explore new flavours, marvel at their striking decor, or even try a new cuisine, I oftentimes just yearn for something tried and tested, especially when it came to special occasions. For my hubby’s birthday recently, I planned a series of meals in restaurants that originated from way back when. Nostalgic favourites that still stand strong today, unfazed by the new kids on the block. The first oldie but goodie on the cards was Tony Roma’s. Continue Reading →

Comforting yet modern east-west cuisine at Pidgin Kitchen & Bar in Singapore

pidgin-fig

I’m always quite excited when I hear that a chef is trying to take on the very interesting challenge of producing “Modern Singaporean” cuisine. Combining our traditional flavors with modern cooking techniques, plating styles from different cultures, and ingredients from all over the world is something that I both enjoy playing with at home and eating when done deftly by a skilled chef. Chefs that do this well include Willin Low, Jeremy Nguee and Malcolm Lee. And, from what I’ve tasted during a recent trip to Pidgin Kitchen & Bar, Chef Adrian Ling. Continue Reading →

Trying the vegetarian menu at Lolla in Singapore

Lolla leek fondant

“Didn’t we go to school together?” is not a question I’m usually asked by chefs. And yet, it seems par for the course in Lolla, a one year-old modern establishment that has become one of the hottest tables in the town, but which refuses to forget its convivial, clandestine origins. I’ve had two vegetarian meals at this sparkling supper-club-turned-restaurant (with my herbivore girlfriend K); the experience was eclectic, serendipitous, and sensational.
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Modern departures from familiar flavours at Bacchanalia, Singapore

bacchanalia_crablasagna

Singapore is currently enjoying quite the culinary renaissance. It feels like there are new restaurants and cafes opening weekly. And to be honest, I can’t even keep up with all these new places. Unfortunately, judging from my dining-out experiences over the past year, far too many newbies prize style over substance, i.e. while many of these new eateries look great and attract a growing pride of local hipsters, the reality is that their food is often both mediocre and very expensive. One restaurant that opened this past year, however, whose culinary program has continued to impress me is Bacchanalia, located (oddly enough) in the city’s Masonic Hall. Continue Reading →

Lewu Cafe- my Thai food haunt

green papaya salad

The tall, slim, olive-skinned, always-smiling Thai female staff, the sound of sizzling woks in the background and the delicious smell of curry bubbling on the hob, all bring me back to my idyllic days of holidaying and eating by the scenic beaches of Phuket. Lewu Cafe is my choice when I’m in need of some authentic Thai grub, and if I close my eyes, I might just be able to feel the sand in my toes again. Continue Reading →

East-8, a NY-inspired eatery trying hard to be hip in Singapore

east8interiors

Until about a month ago, I had never heard of East 8, this despite the fact that it’s a quick ten minute walk from my office. A good friend had written to me saying that a friend of hers had opened up this tiny New York-inspired fusion tapas bar and suggested I give it a go. So, a few days later, I checked it out. The long and short of it is that East 8 is not bad. Nice interiors. Very nice people. And the food is pretty good, but like all “tapas” bars in Singapore, it’s priced a little higher than what I consider the food to be worth. Basically, a good option if you’re in the ‘hood and money isn’t really a concern. Continue Reading →

Candlenut in Singapore. Nyonya cuisine in evolution

candlenut kitchen's malcolm lee

One of my favourite chefs in Singapore is Malcolm Lee. Not only is he immensely talented, passionate and hard-working, he’s also humble and sincere. I’ve been a fan of his ever since he opened his first restaurant, Candlenut Kitchen, which was located on Neil Road in Singapore. Because of evil landlord issues (which seems to be becoming the norm on our little island-nation), Malcolm had to close Candlenut Kitchen down in 2012. Almost a year and a half later, this driven young chef has re-opened, this time in newer, shinier digs; he’s also dropped the “kitchen” in the restaurant’s name. Continue Reading →

Are you the next Wok Star?

WOK STARS RECRUITMENT POSTERHave you ever been disappointed by a plate of flavourless, badly cooked char kway teow, and know you can make a better version? Or perhaps your mission in life is to cook and preserve Singapore’s hawker food? If you love to cook local fare and have an adventurous heart, you might want to put on an apron and join MediaCorp’s newest reality cooking series, Wok Stars. We think this initiative is a really great one, so I was excited about finding out more about the upcoming program from Lawrence Ng, producer of Wok Stars. Continue Reading →

Great, affordable neighborhood sushi at Tomi Sushi, Novena Square, Singapore

tomi-sushi-set

On any given day, if you were to ask my lovely wife S want she’d like to eat, nine out of ten times she’ll answer, “sushi”. Sushi is, without a doubt, her favorite food. Her favorite sushi place of all time is Sushi Sho, in Tokyo. Sadly, there is no place in Singapore that even comes close to serving the kind of super-exquisite and super-umami sushi served by Keiji Nakazawa. That said, there are some rather chic places here that do serve some high quality fish, but most of those, we have realized over the years, are rather overpriced (for what you get). They are also not the kinds of places you frequent on a weekly basis — which is how often S wishes she could indulge in her favorite food. Fortunately, we have discovered, in our neighbourhood, a place that, while very modest and mass-market in appearances, does serve some really high quality sushi, at also very moderate prices. Continue Reading →