Real Food and my favorite Dumpling Soup at Clarke Quay

Real Food and my favorite Dumpling Soup

Address: The Central 6 Eu Tong Sen St The Central #B1-52/53

Opening hours: Daily 9.00am to 9.00pm

Introduction

Real Food, one of the rare vegetarian cafes in Singapore. This cafe is situated at basement one of The Central Clarke Quay. One section of the cafe is for dining, and another section offers a good section of organic / health food. The cafe interior is very spacious, relaxing, with a minimalist design.

Real Food pride themselves as a food-ethical bunch of folks that only use fresh and “recognisable” ingredients (non processed food) for their dishes and everything is prepared from scratch, including their pancake mix and salad dressing. They have a good selection of menu including salad, pasta, noodle, sandwich, burger and brunch menu etc.

Real Food menu – click to enlarge

Dumpling Soup ($9.50)

This is my must-order whenever i visit Real Food. This fat chunky dumpling is made from over ten kinds of ingredients including chopped carrot, mushroom, coriander, turnip, spring onion, celery, tofu, french bean etc.

The filling has the crunchiness of the turnip and french bean, fragrance of spring onion and coriander, chewiness of mushroom and overall it’s a mix of pure goodness.

These dumplings are soaked in a sweet and light mushroom base broth and complete with a portion of green vegetable. In term of taste, these dumplings are not pale in comparison, or in fact better than many meat/prawn dumpling found outside. There is also option to add on noodle at an additional cost of $1.80.

Sour Dough Sandwich with Soft-boiled Egg ($9.80)

For those that don’t like their meal to feel too vegetarian-ny, this is one choice as it resembles the eggy brunch that we had, but a less sinful and less luxurious version. I particularly like the thick layer of melted cheese with it’s fragrance filling the air when it’s served fresh from the oven.

However I feel that the portion definitely can be bigger. I’m quite sure that it won’t fill a meal for a grown man and some of you may be thinking, “$9.80 for one egg, two slices of bread, cheese and salad? Seriously?”. Seems like real food don’t come cheap huh.

Organic Pizza ($16.00)

After having so many years of the unhealthy version of pizza, my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered their organic pizza. The portion is good and it’s freshly baked from the oven. There’s no processed food among the ingredients but only fresh ingredients like tomato, mushroom, pineapple, cucumber, olives, capsicum, cheese, and their homemade tomato paste.

The crust is thin and crispy and the homemade tomato sauce is pretty refreshing. However, I do not fancy this pizza much as i think it lacks the satisfaction that I’m looking for in a pizza. But I have to agree that this is one guilty free pizza.

Conclusion

I like this place for the ample space that they give to their diners. Take your time to grab a book from their book/magazine selection or browse through their organic food section and be amazed by their selection.

Food wise, i give it a good and bad, depending on what you order, and this is from the point of view of a meat lover. I personally love their dumpling soup the most and this is my one and only regular order whenever i visit this place. I am still trying out the other dishes to see what’s worth the money.

I really like the idea of them promising that they only whip up a meal using “real food” as it’s so unhealthy to eat out nowadays. If you are looking for something healthy, a little out of the ordinary and a nice place to chill, Real Food is probably the place for you. Healthy and clean food? Seems like it, but no promise it’s satisfying though

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Hoshino Coffee @ Plaza Singapura

Introduction

Hoshino Coffee opened it’s first shop at Japan in March 2011 and had been widely popular since then. Till date, they had expanded to more than a hundred shops in Japan. Their first overseas franchise store opened it’s door for business in Singapore at year 2012. Among the restaurants at Plaza Singapura, Hoshino Coffee has one of the longest queues and is always full house during meal time. Their dessert stood out among the menus and the two most popular desserts are the souffle and the french toast. I visited Hoshino a couple of times and here is my consolidated review.

Menu 1 of 2: Click to enlarge

Menu 2 of 2: Click to enlarge

Lobster Bisque Pasta (S$16.00++)

As the name suggest, the linguine is served in a creamy lobster bisque base with added cheese, topped with fat prawns and small cubes of mushroom. The tomato base sauce is not too heavy as I thought it and has a sweet and light crustacean aftertaste. They are quite generous with the portion of pasta, as well as the bisque. Some tomato base pasta is good initially but it kind of get too cloying overtime.

For Hoshino’s lobster bisque paste, the flavour is just right and despite the big portion, i find that finishing the whole portion is not a difficult task. This dish is not fantastic, but not bad. At least it’s worth my second try.

Hoshino Pot Baked Curry Rice (S$15.00++)

Among the limited choice of main courses, this baked curry rice is my favourite. Nothing beats a portion of rice, baked in Japanese curry meat sauce, and accompanied by molten egg yolk and melted cheese.

For some, this combination may be a little too much but for people like me who very much has a liking in strong flavour, i enjoyed this very much.

This curry is a little spicier than a typical sweet Japanese curry and i love the rich aromatic curry fragrance. I think the right way to enjoy this is to stir in the egg yolk and melted cheese within the hot pan and gobble it together with the curry infused rice. Shiok.

Pancake Souffle Style with Chocolate Banana (S$13.50++)

A souffle is a lightly baked cake that is made up of two main ingredients – eggs and flour. The puffed up cake is served fresh from oven and therefore a minimum waiting time of 15 minutes is required. I think that the soft fluffy texture is excellent but taste wise, it is like a less sweet version of our Singapore’s steamed sponge cake (鸡蛋糕).

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to taste like steamed sponge cake but it’s just that the price tag is a little too high for such quality. Apart from the cake, the milky soft serve is much to my delight and goes perfectly with the lightly sweetened cake. The texture of this souffle is a 9/10 but taste wise is only a 6/10 in my opinion.

French Toast with Homemade Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup ($9.80++)

This french toast doesn’t come with a cheap price tag either, but i had returned multiple times to Hoshino just for this french toast. They serve their french toast in small rectangular blocks of thicker-than-usual toast and is wrapped by a layer of sweet egg coating. Unlike our Singapore’s version which is normally pan fried, Hoshino’s version is toasted and there’s almost zero or very little presence of grease.

The homemade whipped cream is unlike those typical whipped cream that is out in the market. The texture is very compact, with very little air folded in and it melts in your mouth. It’s very lightly sweetened and is filled with milk and butter fragrance. This is my regular order when i visit Hoshino.

Conclusion

Although Hoshino doesn’t has the most exciting and most innovative menu, their main courses that I had are rather fine and I consider it as one of the better restaurants at Plaza Singapura in term of taste. However, if the pricing is taken into consideration, some people may think that it’s not exactly worth it because for a similar price, we can find something better elsewhere.

For me, it’s good enough, and the location is rather convenient for me, and thus the multiple visits. However, most of the time, I will just have a cup of caffe latte and their french toast. i will only occasionally order their main course when I’m feeling a little richer.

I also had their Carbonara before. At $14.00, they give you five slices of bacon. It’s true that the main focus should be on cheese and egg sauce (which it is indeed not bad), but five slices of bacon seriously?

Creamier Cafe, the hidden little Waffle Cafe at Toa Payoh

Creamier Cafe

Address (Google Map): 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-835

Opening hours: Tue to Thu, Sun: 12pm to 10pm, Fri & Sat: 12pm to 11pm, Closed on Mon

Introduction

I had been really into Waffle recently, but with so many cafes selling waffles, which is Indeed the best? This is a very challenging question because you declare a waffle cafe as the best, and ten new waffle cafes pop up on the next day, and the hunt continues. As such, finding a best waffle is not very feasible but finding the good ones is not a difficult task.

Recently there had been a lot of attention on this small little neighbourhood waffle place at a super hipster location – The Creamier Cafe. It’s situated in between Toa Payoh MRT and Braddell MRT.

Their menu: Click to enlarge

I consider it within walking distance from Braddell MRT but it takes a little time though. Creamier is hidden among the daily provision shops beneath a HDB block and I was like “Huh? Confirm can find Waffle Place at this neighbourhood or not?”.

Creamier Cafe mainly sells waffle, ice cream and beverages (coffee, tea and alcoholic drink) and there is also a self service ice water counter.

Waffle with Ice Cream

I ordered their Waffle with Ice Cream ($8.50) with additional scoop of Ice Cream at mere additional $2.50 (+ $0.80 for premium flavor). Comparing to the recent waffles I had, creamier is really generous in term of portion of their ice cream and this is a great plus.

The waffle itself is slightly sweetened and the shape of the heating pan ensures that the waffle is crispy at every edges. I love the egg fragrance of Creamier’s waffle with it’s fluffy moist center that is good even without the ice cream. i thought it lived up to its name of “best waffle in Singapore”.

The sea salt Gula Melaka is definitely the icing on the cake that completes the great dining experience. The not overly sweet Gula Melaka flavour is well balanced with the salted taste and every mouthful is an enjoyment. I thought the madagascar vanilla flavour is a little more normal, or it’s just simply outshine by the sea salt Gula Melaka flavour.

Other ice cream flavours and light bites

Here are some ice cream flavours available at creamier:

Orange Cranberry Vodka, Summer Strawberries, Mango Passionfruit Sorbet, Orange Milk Chocolate, Thai Milk Tea, Banana Chocolate, Chips Crumbles, Butterscotch Almond, Roasted, Pistachio, Chestnut Rum, Earl Grey Lavender, Strawberry Lime Sorbet, Black Sesame, Cookies and Cream, Plain Ole Chocolate

I think they don’t sell savoury items though. They do offer “light bite” of the day. On my visit, they are offering Windowsill Pies ($7.50).

Conclusion

Although the location of Creamier is rather inaccessible for friends who are not driving, i still consider it as walking distance from Braddell MRT. It’s actually a very straight forward walk along a stretch of sheltered walkway until you see a wet market and creamier is just around the corner.

Creamier Cafe’s waffle is something worth trying, but probably not for frequent visits unless you are driving or staying around the area.

The one thing i dont really like is the super small table and the cramp dining area. I was sitting in the middle of the cafe and it was so cramp that i had to lean forward whenever a person needs to walk past me. Probably It will be a better experience if i took up the corner seat.

Else, everything else is good.

Stateland Cafe at Bali Lane (Bugis)

Stateland Cafe

Address: 30 Bali Lane

Opening hours: Mon – Thu 12.00 pm – 10.00 pm, Fri – Sat: 12.00 pm – 12.00 am, Sun: 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

Introduction

People eat with their eyes first. This is what I always believe and that leads me to a small cafe a Bali Lane. Among so many cafes, Stateland Cafe stood out for it’s Red Velvet Waffle and Butter Toast in the virtual Singapore Instagram world.

I visited this cafe on at 11am on a Saturday and there is no crowd. Upon stepping into the cafe, the first thing i noticed is for it’s industial-theme interior. From the rustic old school electric fan, red metal railing, aluminium hanging light, to the black and white photos hanging on the wall, i can see that there are much thought put in for the interior design.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Red Velvet Waffle with Ice Cream ($14.90)

This is what caught my attention on instagram so this is definitely on my to order list. I was waiting in much anticipation as it took about 25 minutes for the dish to be served. I give this dish a 90/100 for it’s appearance and not so much for it’s taste though.

I love the ice cream. On the menu, it says that there are chocolate in the waffle but sadly I can’t taste much of it because the cream cheese taste basically overpowered the waffle. The waffle itself is also rather dry. I prefer a lighter cheese cream that is sweeter and more moist rather than salty and dry. Sad to say that this dish don’t work very well for me but I think there is potential in this dish.

Hazelnut Honey Toast with Ice Cream ($14.90)

After visiting Bangkok’s After You Dessert, i really miss the Shibuya Toast and i thought that Stateland Cafe’s Honey Toasted concept is quite similar to Shibuya Toast. Chocolate Ice Cream, Nutella Spread, Honey Syrup, Thick Toast with Salted Butter sounds lovely as a dessert, however it’s not very much so when all appears in a single dish.

Due to the rich flavour of the Nutella spread, i can’t really taste the toasted buttered bread and there is almost no need for the honey syrup as the whole thing is already very sweet. The only thing i can figure out from the bread is for it’s crispy texture.

I thought it will be better if the Nutella Spread is served separately from the butter toast like how the honey is served. Another suggestion is probably the Nutella can be drizzled (maybe by adding fresh milk or something and cooked to dilute the nutella) over the toast instead of spread. Probably it’s my mistake and i should order the original honey toast if i wanted something not as sweet.

Caffe Latte

I am not an expert in coffee but Stateland’s Caffe Latte is evidently more milky than usual. There is little espresso taste. It’s probably less than a shot of espresso or it’s a different kind of coffee bean used on that day. I don’t know. I love the steamed milk taste so i got no issue with that.

Conclusion

Actually i am not that satisfied after visiting Stateland Cafe and i immediately took to cab down to Loo’s Curry Rice for my lunch part two. Maybe it’s a wrong choice of dish ordered on my part. So kindly leave a comment if you think that there is any dish that is worth ordering and i will probably try it on my next visit.

Overall, I like Stateland Cafe, their friendly folks and the industrial-look-yet-cosy feel of the cafe. I think the concept of the dishes is good. The only thing is just basing on the two dishes i ordered, there should be more thoughts given to it as we won’t necessary get a good dessert by just putting many ingredients that we adore into one dish.

Please note that this cafe only transact in cash term. They don’t accept NETS and credit cards.

Mont Nom Sod – The milk and toast cafe at MBK Bangkok (มนต์นมสด)

Mont Nom Sod

Address: MBK Center 2nd floor

Operating hours: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Introduction

Mont Nom Sod is a cafe that specialised in toasts and milk that is situated at level 2 of MBK Center (Mah Boonkrong). The outlook of the cafe is not exactly impressive but don’t be fooled by their simple interior design. It looks our typical Singapore’s Ya Kun or Toast Box and the price is really economical as well, at about 23 baht per slice of toast bread.

Generally, Mont Nom Sod offers two kinds of bread, the toasted bread slices topped with a spread (like Coconut Custard, Condensed Milk, Chocolate, Taro spread, Pumpkin spread and Corn spread just to name a few) and the second kind is their soft steamed bread with a dip (coconut custard or chocolate dip).

Click to view enlarged menu

Click here to view my full list of Bangkok food Itinerary

The Toast (Coconut Custard and Condensed Milk) – 23 Baht

Mont Nom Sod’s bread is nothing like our square white bread where the texture became a little tough after toasting, or really crispy like Ya Kun’s. Their toast is crispy on the surface and fluffy soft on the inside.

Their Coconut Custard is in fact similar to our Singapore’s Kaya, just that there is lesser egg taste and stronger coconut taste. The aromatic coconut fragrance simply filled my mouth when i took my first bite. The bread didn’t became soggy even when it’s spread over the bread for a period of time. I know this because, as usual, I took quite some time for the food shot.

I always have a thing for condensed milk toast. Who didn’t spread condensed milk over their toast when we were kids? For Mont Nom Sod’s condensed milk toast, the last thing to worry is the condensed milk taste overpowering the toast and turned into a nothing-but-sweet-tasting toast. The condensed milk are applied in moderation with butter, and the sweetness is just nice for a supposedly-sweeter kind of taste.

Steamed Bread with Molten Chocolate Dip – 70 baht

If you have tried Old Town’s steamed bread, Mont Nom Sod’s steamed bread’s dough is fuller, more like a Man Tou (White Steamed Bun) texture but without the grease. At only S$2.80,  i get to enjoy a steam bread chocolate fondue. How good is this? Chocolate dip is rich and smooth and bread is fluffy and soft. No complain!

I also had their Sweet Cold Milk. Unlike chocolate flavor or strawberry flavor milk, white fresh milk is normally not as sweet but Mont Nom Sod’s is a sweetened version. I guess the Thais really like sweet stuff! The milk is worth a try, and after all, what is a visit to milk cafe without trying their milk?

Conclusion

Mont Nom Sod is a cafe which serves simple, yet delightful food at a very minimal price, which made me very happy after having my meal here. Some people classify Mont Nom Sod as one of the hidden gems in Bangkok. I like this cafe and thought that i will visit this place again on my next visit. I still have many bread flavors which i had yet to try.

This place is a perfect place to rest after walking for hours, and to refuel your energy. Give yourself a sweet sugar rush and continue with your shopping Part Two!

Ice Edge Cafe (Kovan) – Cosy not-so-little Ice-cream Cafe

Ice Edge Cafe

Address: 2 Kovan Road Simon Plaza, #01-10,

Operating hours: 12.00 pm to 12.00 am daily

Introduction

Ice Edge Cafe is one of my favourite cafes along the MRT north east line region that is within walking distance from Kovan MRT. Most of the time I will just pop by for their hand-crafted ice-cream and sometimes for their buffalo wings.

Ice edge cafe had recently just expanded their business floor area after taking over the shop beside it and they are offering a more extensive savory menu that includes a fixed 1-for-1 weekday lunch item on their menu. I had indicated the 1-for-1 menu at the bottom of the post. I had tried a couple of their dishes and I am writing those that I personally think it’s not bad.

Pesto Cream Chicken (17.90+)

This dish comes with a small portion of salad and flavored potato wedges. I like how Ice edge prepares their chicken which the surface of their chicken thigh is pan fried until it’s a little charred and crispy while the chicken still retain it’s overall tenderness. The aromatic buttery peppered pesto sauce is also quite well done which Ice Edge claimed that it was prepared using eight different kinds of herbs.

Salon Steak with Potato Gratin (19.90+)

Some of you will agree that some salmon will have a very ‘fishy’ taste that affects the overall taste of a grilled salmon. I am rather sensitive to that taste but Ice Edge’s grilled salmon contains almost no such ‘fishy’ taste (at least for this time).

Similar to their Pesto Chicken, the surface of the salmon is pan fried to crispness while it’s still soft and succulent on the inside. I thought the potato gratin is quite decent as well. It’s soft and well-flavoured with pepper, cheese and cream without overpowering the potato’s natural sweetness.

Buffalo wings (10.90)

The price is not exactly cheap for three pieces of drumlets and three pieces of mid-wings. But somehow the taste of these crispy wings managed to convince me to order their wings again on my subsequent visits. I particularly like the spicy/sour vinegar pepper hot sauce of ice edge’s buffalo wings.

Waffle and Ice-Cream

My favourite items from Ice edge’s menu -their handcrafted ice-cream. Ice Edge offers a decent variety of flavours like Lychee Martini, Salted egg yolk, Tiramisu, Rum & Raisins, Belgium Chocolate, Baileys, Champagne Vanilla, Pistachio, Snickers, but my favourite? It’s their Rocher and Mao Shan Wang Durian.

On a typical day, I will just pop by for a scoop of ice-cream but on pay day, I will order two scoops of ice-cream with their freshly made waffle! This is really sinful, as well as satisfying. Just looking at the waffle alone makes me a happier person. LOL. After Ice edge’s expansion, they are also offering sherbets but I have yet to try them out.

Others – Mao Shan Wang Lava Cake

By the way, i had also tried their Mao Shan Wang molten lava cake that comes with a scope of Mao Shan Wang durian ice-cream. I didn’t have my camera then so there’s no photo. The fillings of this cake is replaced by molten durian paste instead of molten Chocolate. I thought the cake does not taste as good as it sounds. The Molton durian paste is a little artificial for my taste and not the expected natural Durian taste like their Mao Shan Wang ice-cream. Their ordinary Chocolate Lava Cake is much better in my opinion.

Conclusion

I consider ice edge to be one of the very decent cafes at the Hougang/Sengkang/Punggol area, especially so if you are looking for one that is near a MRT station. This cafe will always be on my mind if I am having my meal in this area and is looking for a good place to chill out and to have dessert, maybe after a Soon Soon Teochew Porridge, Punggol Nasi Lemak, Qi Wei Chicken Pot, Nakhon Kitchen or Xin Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh at that area. Quite some good food at Kovan right? Not to mention about the Kovan Hawker Centre.

1-for-1 Weekday Lunch Menu

Here is the 1-for-1 menu during weekday lunch. You will be charged the higher price among the two:

Salad – Tomato Salsa 8.5, Sausage Salad 11.8

Soup – Mushroom Soup 5.8, Minestrone Soup 5.8, French Onion Soup 5.8

Appetizer & Light Snacks – Calamari Fritti 12.8, Chicken Wings 8.8, Buffalo Wings 10.8, Potato Wedges 6.8, French Fries 6.0

All Day Breakfast – Breakfast Stew 14.0

Oven Baked Rice -Salmon Baked Rice 17.0

Pasta – Seafood Aglio Olio 16.8, Penne all’ Arrabiata with Bacon & Ham 14.8, Spaghetti alle Vongole 15.8, Spaghetti Beef Bolognese 14.8, Prawn Pesto Cream Linguine 17.8, Chicken & Mushroom Cream Linguine 14.8

Western – Beef Ribeye Steak 26.8, Beef Tenderloin Steak 28.8, Salmon Steak 19.8
PEsto Cream Chicken 17.8, Double Pork Chop 15.8

Kids Meal – Chicken Nugget Set 9.5