CreatureS, the hipster restaurant at Desker Road

Address: 120 Desker Road

Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 12.00 pm to 10.30 pm, Fri-Sat 12.00 pm to 11.30 pm, Sun 12.00 pm to 10.30 pm, Closed on Mon

Introduction

CreatureS, a restaurant that is just opened 8 July 2015, is a restaurant situated at the most hipster location ever imagined – Desker Road. Desker Road had a little history of being the notorious red light district, but don’t worry, it’s pretty clean and safe nowadays.

From the menu, CreatureS’ dishes appear to be mainly western, but most of them has a local Singapore twist. Their Durian Cake is very reputable on social media and dishes like the 5-Spice Roast Pork and Crabmeat Croissant seem pretty interesting to try too.

This restaurant appears to be rather small from the outside, but it’s another haven upon stepping into it. The dining ambiance is set in a spa-like environment with a well-thought greenery placement at every corner of the restaurant with a lingering fragrance of essential oil. Seems like much thoughts had been put in to engage all our five senses at CreatureS and the relaxing dining environment is something that instantly appeals to me.

CreatureS Menu – Click to enlarge

Crabmeat Croissant ($26.00++)

Among the main courses, this is my favourite – Crab Meat Croissant. It’s actually more of a Crabmeat salad with Croissant though.  The portion of shredded crab meat is served cold in a Japanese Salad Dressing, Sasame Oil and Mayonaise with Coriander bits.

They are rather generous on the portion of the crab meat, however it comes at a price tag of $26.00++. The Croissant is served warm and crisp, baked in melted cheese, and the dish is complete by topping the dish with an egg benedict. As someone that likes coriander, i especially like the hint of coriander fragrance in the mix.

Ah Ma Chicken Ah Gong Noodle ($22.00++)

This dish has a rather interesting name, which suggested the dish to have a simple but homely taste. The noodle has a soft bouncy texture and the flavour comes from the simple shallot oil. It’s not exactly exciting when eaten by itself. As for the fried chicken, the portion is big, however I feel that it doesn’t justify it’s price tag of $22.

It tasted like a typical Taiwan chicken cutlet, crispy, juicy and satisfying, but my friend find that the portion is a little too big and cloying for his liking. It may be better to reduce the size of the cutlet, increase the portion of the noodle, and reduce the price tag by a little.

Zhu Burger ($23.00++)

Zhu actually means pig in mandarin so to put it simply,  this is a pork burger. It comes with a thick minced pork patty, a side salad and a good portion of fries. The salad dressing is too salty for my liking, although i pretty much like the taste of it.

The interesting part is they added Chinese Pickled Vegetable into the burger  patty and it reminded me of the steamed pork patty that we had at the mixed vegetable rice stall, but with a more sophisticated taste. The pork patty is well cooked, moist, however it is not exceptional and doesn’t leave an impression.

Durian Cake ($12.00++)

Although CreatureS has only started their operation a couple of months back, some on the social media had already branded this as the best Durian Cake in Singapore.  To be able to enjoy this highly sort after cake, it’s best to email them to make a reservation (for the cake) before making a trip down.

I can’t decide if this is the best Durian Cake in Singapore but i thought this cake is pretty well done up. Fresh Durian Meat is stacked between layers of lightly sweetened pandan sponge cake topped with a layer of luscious vanilla cream. This cake is not exactly a cake that is packed with nothing but chunks of Durian and Durian but more of a cake that is more balanced in term of cake and Durian ratio so do manage the expectation (although it appears otherwise on photo). If only the cake can be a little more moist.

Conclusion

The price of the dishes here is a little higher than average with their main courses offering from $22.00 to $32.00 before tax. Among the main courses that I tried, my vote goes to the Crab Croissant while the other two doesn’t impress as much. Some names of the dishes are actually more interesting than it taste but the Durian cake does leave an impression. Will i be back? Yes probably, to try out their five-spice roast pork and their Orh Nee Cake, which is unavailable during my visit. *sad*

Actually, the one thing that I like the most is in fact the dining ambiance, without the usual hustle and bustle of a busy and cramped cafe.  I enjoyed the dining ambiance than the food experience itself. My five cents worth of opinion – CreatureS has very good potential and stood out among the existing cafes, but maybe they just need to work on and tweak the menu a little bit to make it even better.

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Tanuki Raw by Standing Sushi Bar and their Truffle Yakiniku Donburi

Tanuki Raw by Standing Sushi Bar and their Truffle Yakiniku Donburi

Address: 181 Orchard Road #02-03 Orchard Central

Opening hours: 11.30am to 10.30pm daily (Lunch set available from 11.30am to 3.00pm daily)

Introduction

Tanuki Raw, a sister restaurant of Standing Sushi Bar, is situated at level 2 of Orchard Central. It occupies a cosy corner just behind the escalator and this restaurant offers an indoor and outdoor seating. It’s actually an oyster bar that also offers a good selection of Japanese-inspired dishes such as Donburi and Sushi Roll. A price of their main course typically ranges from $16 – $20, however Tanuki Raw has a lunch menu which offers the exact item on their menu at a cheaper price. For instance, a Salmon Don that usually cost $18.00++ only cost $12.00++ during lunch.

Tanuki Raw Menu – Click to enlarge

Truffle Yakiniku Don ($14.80 during lunch and $18.00 during non lunch)

The Yakiniku Truffle Don is the signature rice bowl at Tanuki Raw that consist of Angus Short Rib slices, an onsen egg and a portion of seasoned rice drizzled with truffle soy sauce. This bowl scores a very high score in term of presentation and the taste is too able to match up to the expectation. The tender beef goes very well with the rice that is flavoured with Japanese mixed seasoning as well as the truffle oil. Needless to say, anything with an onsen egg with a soft boiled flowing egg yoke can’t really go wrong.

Yakitori Don ($12.00 during lunch and $16.00 during non lunch)

The Yakitori Don doesn’t sounds exactly exciting as it’s commonly found almost everywhere. However, this is actually one of the best that I had. The exterior of the chicken is surprisingly crispy whereas the inside is soft and tender. The rice is doused in a good serving of teriyaki sauce and goes very well with the crunchy vegetable. At $12.00++ (lunch menu) for it’s quality, i am quite pleased with this dish.

Salmon Don ($12.00 during lunch and $18.00 during non lunch)

The Salmon Don is also one of the popular choices here. It comes with three kinds of Salmon – sliced raw, cubes in mayonaise and seared. They are rather generous with the portion of salmon and the rice is flavoured as well. This is not a bad choice for Salmon lovers but I do prefer their Yakiniku Beef and Teriyaki Beef over this.

Chirashi Don ($17.80 during lunch and $20.00 during non lunch)

Chirashi Don is gaining popularity as people nowadays are no longer satisfied with just one kind of Salmon sashimi. The Chirashi don is served with six kinds of Sashimi, two kinds of Roe and a few slices of Tamago. At $17.80++, i wouldn’t say it’s cheap but with ingredients like Scallop, Sea Bream, Tuna, Salmon, Swordfish and Striped Jack, it’s quite a feast for the price that you are paying.

Superstar Roll ($11.00)

This seared salmon sushi roll is drizzled with savoury mentaiko sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese and tempura flakes. The overall texture is pretty good with a mix of creamy and crispy texture. The seared salmon, as expected, has a smoky fragrance and the melty salmon texture is always the best part of dish . If I compare this with Koh Grill’s Shiok Maki, it’s still a little pale in comparison but for the price of $11++, I think it’s pretty not bad.

Instagram This ($13,00)

Yakiniku Steak, Tamago, Bacon, Melted Cheese, Ketchup, Mayo and Chopped Onions all in one roll. Sounds sinfully good isn’t it? Upon taking my first bite, this sushi roll actually tasted like cheese burger. There’s nothing bad to taste like cheese burger actually just that if I like to have cheese burger, likely I will have it at other places. Also the appearance of the roll doesn’t justify the name of “instagram this”. Most of my friends think that it’s ugly. Sad case.

Conclusion
I actually visited Tanuki Raw a couple of times, all during lunch time, before writing about them. Their Donburi is value for money and most of the quality are way above average and my favourite is definitely the Truffle Yakiniku Donburi. I have to highlight that their Yakitori Don is also a worthy mention.

I need to highlight that probably due to the seasoning or sauce in the rice, i was quite thirsty after the meal and was gobbling down water. However, Tanuki Raw is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for a comfortable japanese eatery that offers quality Donburi at a reasonable price.

Tuk Tuk Cha, the Thai Milk Tea, Coffee and Golden Toast Specialist

Tuk Tuk Cha, the Thai Milk Tea, Coffee and Golden Toast Specialist

Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-605A Suntec City Tower 3

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 9.00 pm daily

Introduction

Tuk Tuk Cha, a sister F&B business of Thai Boat Noodle at Bedok Point, specialises in Thai milk tea and toasts and they officially opened their door for business on 4 July 2015.

Tuk Tuk Cha is not exactly a sit-down cafe but more of a snack bar situated at Suntec City. Tuk Tuk Cha mainly offers Thai-style beverages like Thai Milk Tea, Thai Coffee and also Thai Green Milk Tea. They also offer savoury and sweet toast, together with Mango Sticky Rice, Papaya Salad. The Tuk Tuk converted dining table is their trademark that can not be missed.

Tuk Tuk Cha’ s Menu – click to enlarge

Golden Toast (Pandan Kaya Dip and Custard and Taro Kaya)

Their Pandan Kaya Golden Toast is definitely my favourite. The butter infused bread cube is quite remarkable, with the edges toasted to crisp while retaining a soft spongy center. Among the two flavours, i very much prefer the home-made pandan kaya over the Yam.

Unlike the pandan kaya, I felt that the Yam flavour is too mild and at first bite, it’s overpowered by the buttery bread. It’s quite a different story for the pandan.

Their pandan kaya is something different from our usual Kaya. It’s more creamy and has a very strong pandan flavour. This dip is not overly sweet and goes very well with the toasted bread cube. This dip is wiped completely clean by the time I finished the toast.

Sticky Rice Mango

At $6.00, it comes with a very reasonable serving of Mango. I have no complain for the Mango – thickly cut, juicy and sweet. I also like the pandan fragrance and a little savoury flavour from the glutinous rice. There’s quite some standard for such a food stand and the only complain is, the rice falls apart a little too easily.

Tom Yum Toast – Chicken Floss $2.50

This tom yum toast taste much better than it looks. It’s abit lacking in term of presentation but definitely not in taste. The sweet chicken floss is infused with a drench of spicy Tom Yum sauce, giving the toast of a mix of sour, spicy and sweet flavours. Note that the spicy level is higher than average, and that is what made it enjoyable.

Ice Thai Milk Coffee / Tea ($3.20 for a large size)

I prefer their Ice Coffee more than their tea. I like to highlight that like a true blue Thai Milk Tea / Coffee, Tuk Tuk Cha’s version is much sweeter than our Singapore version . I ordered a less sweet version during my subsequent visit.

I really like the strong coffee fragrance and the sugar level made this an instant energy booster. As for the tea, i feel it’s a little lacking in term of the richness in the milk taste.

Conclusion

I find that their concept is quite good, instead of doing as cafe style, they do in like a Ya Kun style and enables them to keep the price low. Among all, I like their golden toast the best. In Singapore, many similar bread toast is either too crispy or not cripsy enough but Tuk Tuk Cha’s is just to my liking.

Price wise, it’s very reasonable. $3.20 for a large ice milk coffee and $3.80 for their butter toast and despite the low price, the quality isn’t lacking either. This new addition in the mall gives me one more reason to be excited with the newly renovated Suntec City.

Sun with Moon Japanese Dining and Cafe at Wheelock Place Orchard

Sun with Moon Japanese Dining and Cafe

Address: 501 Orchard Road #03-15/16/17 Wheelock Place

Opening hours: Sun – Thu 12:00pm to 11.00pm, Fri – Sat 12.00pm to 11.30pm

Introduction

Sun with Moon is a well established Japanese restaurant in Singapore and it’s pricing is slightly above average with a set meal costing about $30. I made a reservation and visited the restaurant at Wheelock Place at 5.30pm on a Saturday and typically crowd started flowing in at about 6.30pm. The menu is very comprehensive and i just selectively took a couple of shots of their menu.

The ambience is slightly more up-class comparing to a typical Japanese sushi restaurant but i forgot to take a photo of the interior of the restaurant. But don’t worry, I still got all the food photos.

Scroll to end of post for menu photos.

Salmon Chirashi Don Set

At the price of $27.80++ ($22.00++ for ala carte), this set comes with a Don, a big bowl of Salmon Soup and a serving of Chawanmushi. The don comes with three pieces of fatty salmon dabbed in their bbq sauce and are grilled to perfection. The oil from the melted fat oozes out from the melt-in-your-mouth salmon upon taking a bite.

Part of the rice at the bottom is infused with the remaining bbq sauce and salmon oil that makes this dish really delectable. And as expected, the fatty salmon sashimi hit all the right notes – fatty, melty, fresh and chunky. In my opinion, it’s one of the best salmon don around.

I also find delight in their salmon cheek soup. This generous portion of soup is cooked in a hearty miso soup base with salmon cheek and thin slices of radish. At first glance, i bet there’s gonna be traces of fishy taste in it but I’m glad to say I’m wrong. The soup is robust, with a moderate sweetness of salmon.

Grilled Foie Gras

This is my second favourite dish of the day. It comes with two portion of grilled Foie Gras, topped over a slice of toasted baguette with crunchy lettuce as it’s base. I thought this combination works very well but let me write about the foie gras first. Although i don’t eat foie gras frequently, but I got to say this is so far the best that I had.

It has that just nice bit of crispy fat on the edge. It’s not burnt, just browned and crispy. And on the inside, the soft buttery fat simply just breaks down and melts in my mouth. The well toasted baguette absorbs the remaining melted fat to ensure that no essence is wasted. The biscuit-like cripsy texture of their baguette enhances the buttery Foie Gras and the fresh crunchy lettuce balances up this piece of oily indulgence.

Garlic Soy Sauce Beef Sirloin Steak Set ($29.80++)

This dinner set comes with a side salad, Chawanmushi, a bowl of fantastic miso soup (really) and a hot plate with a portion of Sirloin Steak, tomato base spaghetti, and a few fried potato balls, and a bowl of rice. The steak itself is decent, and instead of grilling with the garlic soy sauce like a typical Japanese-style steak, it’s applied onto the surface of the steak.

As such, I think they lost points for it’s appearance as the char grilled surface is cover by an uninteresting layer of browns paste. In order to take a better photo, I had to scrap off portion of the sauce and intentionally exposed the red intersection of their steak.

As for the side dishes, there’s like three kinds of carbo food, in a dish, and doesn’t seems to complement each other much. The portion of the tomato pasta is so small, that I’m not sure what is the purpose of being there at the first place. And then there are these five potato balls that are normally found in breakfast menu. In the end, I still prefer my rice. Overall, i think that it’s a little disappointing.

This is how the steak is served. Doesn’t look very appealing.

Grilled Salmon Sushi (Aburi Salmon Sushi )

Aburi style sushi refers to a kind of sushi whereby partially of the fish (the topside) is grilled and partially is raw. For people who want to try sashimi and is unable to take a fully raw fish, this may be the kind of sushi to start with.

I thought the chilli and cheese didn’t manage to enhance the overall taste of the sushi. Probably a plain old good aburi sushi is good enough. However at a price tag of $3.20 a piece, there are better alternative out there.

Conclusion

The dinner cost me $92 and it doesn’t come cheap but i had a hearty and satisfied meal. From this experience, the staff is rather attentive despite the busy crowd and ambience is lovely enough for a mini celebration for love birds. It’s probably a place that i won’t visit frequently due to the price but I wouldn’t have any problem coming back here for an occasion indulgence for their Salmon Don. But do note that dinner menu starts strictly from 5.30 pm onwards and they are only serving tea time menu between lunch and dinner

Sun with Moon Japanese Dining Menu

Sashimi Menu (click to enlarge)

Sushi Menu (click to enlarge)

Meat and Veg Menu (click to enlarge)

Dinner Menu 1 (click to enlarge)

Dinner Menu 2 (click to enlarge)

Rice, Noodle and Dessert Menu (click to enlarge)

Lao Ban Zhai Roast Meat at Alexandra Village Hawker

Lau Phua Chay Roast Meat (老半齋烧腊)

Address: Alexandra Village Food Centre, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1,  #01-20

Opening hours: Sun to Fri 11.00am to 7.00pm, closed on Sat

Introduction

Lao Ban Zhai (老半齋) roast meat is definitely not foreign to friends that live around Alexandra area. It’s situated at a far corner of Alexandra Village Hawker Centre. They are well known for the char-roasted char siew and unique braised sauce.

Braised Sauce

Their style of braised sauce is in a class of their own and we are unlikely to find another one that is similar to theirs. Although it does not appear visually appealing, like a bit of mess, the taste tells an entirely different story.

I thought the braised sauce taste very much like a mix of bean paste and sweet melted onion bits. Some may find this dark lumpy sauce a little too sweet but i personally like it very much and thought that this is exactly what made Lao Ban Zhai Roast Meat unique.

Roasted Char Siew

Apart from the braised sauce, the number one must-order is their Char Siew. Unlike some hawker stalls, Lao Ban Zhai uses cut that are moderately fatty. Each pieces of Char Siew are roasted to Char that gives a consistent level of sweet crisp to the meat. The char siew is fatty but not greasy, and some pieces of fat char siew simply melt in my mouth.

I also got to mention their chilli. This chilli is evidently drizzled with lime juice (i think), that gives the spicy chilli a fruity sour taste that goes perfectly with the Char Siew. It’s similar to how a piece of lime enhances the taste of a piece of a roasted chicken wing.

Lao Ban Zhai also sells roast meat and duck. I thought the two are NOT BAD, but the Char Siew is the one that is worth the calorie.

Conclusion

At $3.50 a plate, apart from the great tasting Char Siew and rice, you will still get a bowl of cabbage soup. I thought Lao Ban Zhai Char Siew rice is really well worth the money.

I enjoyed Lao Ban Zhai Roast Meat a lot while I was working in that area. Despite the long queue, it’s always worth the wait during lunch time. It’s one of my favourite Char Siew rice in Singapore and i will try to patronise this stall whenever i am in that area.

Tiong Bahru Wanton Noodle @ Golden Shoe Hawker

鹏 (Peng) Tiong Bahru Wanton Noodle

Address: 50 Market Street, #02-32, Golden Shoe Complex

Opening hours: Mon to Fri approximately from 8.00am to 4.00pm (or till sold out)

Introduction

When asked for the best hawker stall at the Golden Shoe Complex, this stall 鹏 (peng) Tiong Bahru Wanton Noodle will always come to people’s mind. It’s situated at Level 2 of the Golden Shoe Complex and stands out for the long long queue during lunch time. It comes at $3 and $4 bowl and for a better effect for my photo, I ordered the luxurious $4 version. At $4, I consider this as one of the most sumptuous Wanton Mee in Singapore.

The Wanton Noodle

The four dollars version comes with a generous serving of noodle (guarantee to fill your tummy), a good amount of home-roasted char siew, fried wanton, soup wanton, fried fish paste dumpling and a generous portion of vegetable and a fried fish ball.

鹏 Tiong Bahru Wanton Noodle is one of the few that roast their own Char Siew. The char siew is well caramelized and those who love charred Char Siew will definitely like their version. They offer mostly lean Char Siew so it tends to be a little dry, but not tough, and I thought it taste a little like Bak Kwa. For fatty Char Siew lover, you can ask for the fat portion (if it’s available) upon ordering. You won’t regret it.

Apart from the main attraction which is their Char Siew, i am pleasantly surprise that their noodle is also pretty decent. The noodle is a little thinner than usual. It does not lump together easily and it’s a little bouncy in texture. It’s lightly flavoured with pork lard and added stir-fried chilli. The skin of the soup wanton is a little too thin and it breaks rather easily, although it does not exactly affects the taste directly.

Conclusion

Peng Tiong Bahru Wanton Noodle may not be the best of the best in Singapore, it’s definitely one of the most satisfying one. At $3.00, it may be the cheapest Wanton Noodle in the CBD area that is worth your calorie. If you are looking for something cheap and good, you may want to consider dropping by this hawker centre within the CBD area. However, note that the average waiting time during lunch is about 15 minutes though.