Frenzlink Cafeteria (S$2.00 Noodles at CBD Area)

Frenzlink Cafeteria

Address: 56 South Bridge Road S(058687)

Operating hours: Not exactly sure, but it was already opened at 7.15am on a weekday until lunch time. I will find out the exact timing and hope to share with everyone soon.

Introduction

I chance upon this small cosy Cafeteria while walking to work from Good Morning Nanyang Cafe. It looks very old school, and the thing that particularly caught my eye was the stall signage – $2.00 for all of their noodles. Frenzlink sells items like Wanton Noodle, Minced Pork Noodle, Mee Rebus, Mee Siam, Laksa, Fishball Noodle, Lor Mee and Prawn Noodle. There is already a good crowd early in the morning and instead of a typical breakfast food – Fried Bee Hoon (they sell fried bee hoon also), almost everyone are having noodles, particularly their Wanton Noodle dry.

So i made it a point to visit this place and try out their $2.00 noodle. I heard that Frenzlink had kept their price low at $2.00 for the past 18 years since. I miss the days where the stall helper will bring your food and drinks to your table instead of “self-service” and Frenzlink is still one of such places. This place is ran by apparent locals and were greeted with a “thank you” or “good bye” after my meal for all of my three visits.

Wanton Noodle ($2.00 or $3.00)

I had tried a couple of their noodles and Wanton Noodle is one of my favorites. Their Wanton Noodle is the sweet black sauce style with lean Char Siew and not the gravy or oil style. Not mentioning about the soup that is a little bland and the mini wanton, i think their noodle is actually quite good for it’s taste and texture. The portion is not very big so i will order the $3.00 noodle if i am feeling a little hungry.

Mee Rebus ($2.00 or $3.00)

Their Mee Rebus is one of the best items in Frenzlink. The gravy is smooth and flavorful and not too sweet and comes with a whole hard-boiled egg. Imagine the egg cost $0.50 so i am actually paying $1.50. for the noodle  The sauce don’t taste starchy and the smooth sauce coats the noodles without being too thick or watery.

Lor Mee ($2.00 or $3.00)

The Lor Mee is not bad. Gravy’s taste is acceptable, just that it’s slightly watery. It comes with two pieces of braised pork belly, half an egg, pieces of deep-fried wanton skin and two pieces of Ngor Hiang (five-spice roll). Quite OK for a $2.00 noodle. I prefer the other noodles compared to this Lor Mee.

Laksa ($2.00 or $3.00)

I think their Laska exceeded my expectation. I was not expecting a lot from a $2 Laksa but it is really decent. The gravy don’t taste “cheap”. It is rich, filled with coconut fragrance and the sweetness from the grinded dried prawn. There are 2-3 pieces of Tau Pok, half an egg and a few slices of fish cake. No cockles (hum) though.

Minced Pork Noodle ($2.00 or $3.00)

I didn’t have the photo of their minced pork noodle, but it’s not like our traditional minced pork noodle with lean meat, minced pork, pork ball and mushroom. Frenzlink version is rather unique with their own braised style of minced pork, and noodle. Not my favourite kind of minced pork noodle or at least not what i was expecting. Sorry, this minced pork noodle will be on my last-to-order list.

Conclusion

Frenzlink is not the kind of place that i will travel all the way from Jurong or from Woodlands to have a meal here. This place is more of a hidden gem within the vicinity and is more of an interesting eat rather than an amazing eat.

I am pleasantly surprised that such a place still exist in the CBD area and i thought i can still pop by in the future to support them whenever i can.

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe 早安南洋 (Time’s 24 World’s Best-Kept Secret)

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe

Address (Main branch): 20 Upper Pickering Street, #01-01, Singapore 058284

Operating hours:  Mon – Fri 7.30am – 5.30 pm, Sat 8.30 am – 5.30 pm and closed on Sunday

* Important Update (20 August 2014) *

The main branch at Upper Pickering Street will cease operation at the end of August 2014 due to various issues. You may visit their other branches at:

1. The Grandstand @ 200 Turf Club Road #01-34A 

2. Far East Plaza @ 14 Scotts Road, #02-23 

3. 75 Pagoda Street

4. Maxwell Chambers @ 32 Maxwell Rd

Introduction

I got to know this less-widely known cafe through  a Times article entitled “24 World’s Best-Kept Secret” and i have to agree that Good Morning Nanyang Cafe is indeed a well-kept secret in Singapore.

This little cafe tucked at one corner of Telok Ayer Green CC starts their operation as early as 7.00am on weekday. I estimated the timing wrongly and i reached this place at 6.30am! To my surprise, they are already opened and invited me to have a seat and offered to take my drinks order first as the food will only be available from 7.00am.

There is an air-conditioned indoor and outdoor dining area which can accommodate not more than fifty people. The menu items that particularly interest me is their orange peel ciabata toast and ciabata toast.

Ciabatta toast

After having it once, this delightful toast immediately became one of my favorite kaya toast in Singapore. First I will talk about the kaya. Good morning nanyang cafe’s kaya is a little unique in the sense that it’s not smooth but rather grainy, which gives a very different and yet delightful texture. I can almost chew on the not-too-sweet kaya custard and i particularly like the kaya for it’s “eggy” taste. It’s like a 70% coconut taste and 30% egg with overflowing pandan fragrance.

The butter was melted into the toasted Ciabatta bread. It maintained it’s softness on the inside while it’s really crispy on the outside. Arguably one of the best kaya toast in Singapore.

Orange Peel Ciabatta Toast

Basically the kaya, butter and toasting method is the same, just that Good Morning Nanyang use a different bread. The orange peel ciabatta is thinner, with a smoother surface and with orange peel baked into the ciabatta bread.

The exterior is not as crispy as the ordinary ciabatta toast and bread gives off a rather unique tinge of orange aroma that I don’t normally find in kaya toast which goes unusually well with kaya and butter.

Curry Chicken

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe also offer lunch items like Curry Chicken, Curry Chee Cheong Fun, Chicken Stew with Rice and pre-packed Nasi Lemak. I will often order their Curry Chicken with toasted ciabatta bread if i’m a little hungry.

I am not going to elaborate more on the curry chicken. The curry chicken is not fantastic, or heavenly. It’s rather decent. Good enough to complete my meal for the day. But i do like to order their crispy ciabatta instead of white rice to go with their curry chicken. Much better to go with curry than traditional baguette.

Conclusion

After trying their toast once, i had already returned to Good Morning Nanyang Cafe for at least seven to eight times since. I also wish to highlight that their soft-boiled eggs are greatly done every time. The staff there are always friendly and made me felt like home. I am always left satisfied when i had my breakfast at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe and i do hope that they can maintain this great service and food standard.

It’s too bad that they will be closed by dinner time. The only alternative is for me to visit their franchised branch at Chinatown. Although the toast ciabatta is not as crispy, i am glad that the rest tasted as good.

L’Atelier Tiramisu (The Tiramisu Workshop)

L’Atelier Tiramisu

Address: The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #B1-09

Operating hours: 1:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Introduction

Happen to chance upon this cafe at Clarke Quay The Central. The first thing that caught my attention was their signage that reads “L’Atelier Tiramisu” and the small seating capacity of the cafe. My first thought was “If a cafe can survive just by selling Tiramisu, it must be really good”.  That’s when i decided to try it out, and i am not disappointed. This is my second visit to L’Atelier Tiramisu.

The Tiramisu comes in four flavors – Classico, Lychee, Dark Cherry and Matcha, or you can try the Sampler Set at $15.00 to try out all four flavors.

Tiramisu – Classico

Among the flavors, the Classico is my favourite. Their Tiramisu is briefly divided into five layers, with the top layer as the cocoa powder, the cheese cream, the coffee soaked biscuit (or the sponge cake), another layer of cheese cream and the bottom layer of biscuit. The biscuit at the bottom layer taste a little sweeter and is not as wet as the top layer.

The most distinguish taste of this Tiramisu is it’s really moist biscuit center that is soaking wet with coffee and i can taste the sweet coffee aroma from every bite.

I also like the moderately sweetened Mascarpone cheese cream very much. The proportion of the cheese spread over the two layers are just good enough to complement the bitter taste of the coffee. A piece of Tiramisu cost me $6.80 which i thought that it’s well worth it.

Tiramisu – Dark Cherry

I tried the Matcha flavor in my first visit and i am having the Dark Cherry this time round. The layering of the cake is similar to the Classico just that they swap the coffee to cherry juice with some very fine fruit pulp, i think.

L’Atelier also added a thin layer of icing sugar on the top of the cake before ending off with the layer of cocoa powder. I personally prefer something a little bitter than a tinge of sour taste so my vote goes to the Classico.

Pandan Tiramisu *Update as of 01 October 2013*

L’atelier had launched a new flavor today – The Pandan flavor. This time, it does not comes in slices but in a cup. The price is $7.80, a dollar more than their normal range.

To be honest, this cake surprised me. As always, their Tiramisu is really moist, with added coconut rum, and they are rather generous with the mascarpone cheese. For this new creation, there is an additional layer of crispy chocolate center well hidden within this cake and i was surprised by this. I thought i tasted Milo powder, though the lady boss said that this is a layer of Chocolate Biscuit. L’atelier then  finished the cake with a layer of coconut flakes.

The two cake layers is infused with the sweet aroma of Pandan which goes really well with the mascarpone cheese. The layer of coconut flakes add an extra crunch to the overall texture. I thought the best way to eat this cake is to eat all the layers in one mouthful to savor the flavors and different texture all at once. If you are someone who like Pandan Kway or coconut, i think this will be a hit for you.

I was asking the lady boss why was Pandan selected among all the available flavors and her reply was that she hoped to come up with a very localised flavor. She elaborated that she took three months to perfect this recipe and i think she did a pretty good job.

Lychee Tiramisu *Update as of 01 October 2013*

I also finally tried their Lychee Tiramisu and completed the full set of flavors! After having the Pandan Tiramisu, the Lychee Tiramisu appears as slightly less impressive, thought it’s still rather good. There are some lychee meat and juice mixed into the cream layers between the sweetened sponge layers and finish with chocolate sprinkle and cinnamon powder. If you ask me my order of preference, it will be – Classico, Pandan, Lychee, Dark Cherry, Green Tea (sorry!).

Conclusion

I am quite sure that this second visit will not be my last visit to L’Atelier cus i have yet to try out the Lychee Flavor. The portion of L’Atelier’s Tiramisu Cake is just nice, not too big, and not too small, which makes it the ideal dessert after a meal. No matter how full i am, i think i should be able to squeeze out a little stomach space for a L’Atelier Tiramisu.