49 Seats and their Tom Yum Pasta

49 Seats and their Tom Yum Pasta

Address (Google Map): 49 Kreta Ayer Rd

Opening hours: Mon to Thu 6.00 pm – 2.00 am, Fri & Sat 6.00 pm – 4.30 am

Introduction

49 seats is situated along the stretch of shop house, at the end of Kreta Ayer street. Comparing to most cafes and restaurants, the unique thing about this branch is they only open at 6pm and closes late at 2 am, even on a weekday.

Thank you BB and Fang Fang of 49 seats for hosting me. This is an invited food tasting session and i decided to accept the invitation after reading so much about their Smoked Duck Aglio Olio and their Tom Yum Pasta.

49 Seats Menu 1 of 2 – Click to enlarge

49 seats menu 2 of 2 – Click to enlarge

Smoked Duck Aglio Olio ($14.90)

This is their so-call off menu dish (although there is a pic of this pasta at the ordering counter). Apart from their Tom Yum pasta, this is another of their signatures and this is my favourite dish among all. Apart from the generous serving of buttery mushrooms and tender slices of smoked duck, the pasta itself is pretty good too.

There is a pleasant fragrance coming from the pasta which it guess there’s something to do with the oil of the duck. The slices of duck meat is not tough at all and the well marinated duck skin may just be the contributing factor for the popularity of this dish.

Tom Yum Fish and Chips ($16.90)

49 seats is rather proud of this creation – The Tom Yum Fish and Chips, and claimed that it’s currently the only one kind in Singapore. The tender breaded fish fillet is fried to crisp and served with fries. They also provide a separate bowl of Tom Yum sauce as dip or to be drenched over the fish. Dipping it may be a better option so as to retain the crisp of the fish. I think that the fish is quite average so the deciding factor will be on how well does the tom yum sauce complement the fish.

Sad to say that the tom yum is overly salty and that’s the only thing i taste. I also think that to complement the strong Tom Yum sauce better, it may be a better idea to go with a lightly battered fish and chips instead of a fully flavoured breaded one.

Tom Yum Pasta ($14.90)

This is like 49 seats’ signature of the signatures and has a reputation of one of the most spicy pastas around. The pasta sauce is a blend of cream sauce and tom yum spices. I thought this sauce is more creamy than expected and has a moderate punch of Tom Yum fragrance and is less sour and spicy than expected. I would very much prefer a much stronger tom yum flavour while maintaining a lighter cream base.

The pasta is boiled till moderately soft, which generally suits the taste of Singaporeans. Comparing to a bowl of hot spicy tom yum soup, this pasta lacks a bit of the “shiok” factor. However if i am to judge this as an entirely new creation, it’s actually pretty addictive after having the first mouthful.

Cheese Fries ($7.90)

I have no complain for this cheese fries. At $7.90, it comes with a good portion of fries, top with a hell lots of cheese. This got to be one of the most generous portion of cheese that i’d ever seen. The cheese taste like a cross between KFC’s Cheese Fries with Golden Village’s Nacho Cheese in term of taste and texture, which is not as sweet like KFC with a not-so-creamy texture. This is an ideal dish to order to go with a nice cold bottle of beer.

Chicken Wings ($9.90 for 8 pcs)

Their chicken wings are fried with a layer of seemingly simple blend of breading. It’s doesn’t has the most exciting flavours but I am satisfied with the traditional taste. The wings are rather well tenderise as the meat get seperated from the bone quite easily. The plus point? Juicy. The minus? Can be more crispy.

Waffle with Ice Cream ($10.90)

I thought a good dessert will complete the whole dining experience and it’s a pity that this waffle fall short of expectation. 49 seats waffle is actually sweetened, like a typical Prima Deli kind of waffle, but it lack in flavor and fragrance. The ice-cream taste like a typical Wall’s ice-cream tube and for the price of $10.90, there are definitely better alternatives out there. Not recommended.

Conclusion

I think this place and their menu selection will very much appeal to fun seeking youngsters. It has a very cosy and casual dining environment and they are also offering their food at a reasonable price. All prices indicated on the menu is nett, with no additional service charge and tax. Recommended dishes – Smoked Duck Pasta, Cheese Fries, Chicken Wing. Tom Yum pasta may also be something interesting to try.

In fact I went back to 49 seats (and that is when i also tried their Tom Yum pasta) as this place came to my mind when looking for a casual drinking place that opens till late. The cheese fries and fried chicken wings will probably be on my regular order when i visit this place.

Although the dishes here are not something to die for, it’s pretty decent and it can be an option if you are looking for something not heavy on wallet and yet looking for a more-comfortable-than-hawker kind of dining environment.

Advertisements

Nunsongyee, the Korean Dessert Cafe and their signature Bingsu

Nunsongyee (눈송이), the Korean Dessert Cafe and their Bingsu

Address (Google Map): 45 Burghley Drive #01-04, Burghley Lifestyle Hub (beside Tennis Court)

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm. Closed on Mon

Introduction

Nunsongyee (snowflake) is a relatively new Korean dessert cafe that is situated in one of the really ulu location, among the landed properties at the Serangoon Gardens vacinity. They specialise in authentic Korean dessert, mainly Bingsu, and things like toast and even spicy rice cake. It was quite empty at 11.30 am and i took this opportunity to have a short conversation with the young Korean lady boss.

Miss Eun Jin, the lady boss, quits her job in Singapore after two years and decided to open a cafe selling her country’s most popular dessert – Bingsu. She is confident that Singaporeans, that are well known for the love for food, will embrace this dessert.

She also explained between lower rental, larger shop area and convenient location, she chose the first two. She does not want to sacrifice the larger floor area, which equates to her customer’s comfort, in exchange for a convenient location in town.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Injeomi Bingsu

Bingsu, the signature dish of Nunsongyee, is currently the most popular dessert in South Korea. This cafe is best known for it’s unique Injeomi Bingsu. Injeomi is basically sweet Korean rice cake (tteok) made by steaming and pounding and the end product is usually tossed in powdered coating that is made from dried beans, nuts or seeds.

It’s something like our Muah Chee but they grind the powder really fine. I think the roasted soy bean and almond taste are the most evident and with added sugar. Don’t judge the taste of this Injeomi Bingsu by it’s appearance.

In my opinion, Nunsongyee’s Injeomi Bingsu is really well done. Usually we don’t associate cold dessert with powdered nuts or beans because the end product would be messy and lumpy. The saw-dust-like finely shaved milk ice and the powder mixed unexpectedly well and creates a blend of peanut-butter-like texture when consumed together. The sticky rice cake goes perfectly with the not overly sweet mixture and it completes the dish by adding a dimension of chewiness into the crunchy, ice sweet texture.

The Bingsu I had in Seoul also pales in comparison to this. And the secret to the great taste? Mother’s love. No. Really. Miss Eun Jin’s explaned that her mother personally selected these ingredients and sent it over from South Korea in order to preserve the authentic Korean taste.

Korean Strawberry Bingsu

If you like to have something that is less sinful, this premium strawberry Bingsu may be a good choice. Note that the premium is in term of ingredient but not such much about the taste.

Stacked with slices of fresh Korean Strawberry with crunchy red beans hidden beneath the shaved ice, it’s topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Fans of Korean Strawberry will find this a delight. I find this especially enjoyable during a hot sunny afternoon (or probably lost your way while trying to look for this place).

In term of taste, I still prefer the Injeomi Bingsu because no matter how sweet a strawberry is, it unavoidable that it still has a tinge of sourness. But there’s also a scoop of ice cream that made up for it, which is nice. For people who has a sweeter tooth, there is also a cup of condense milk blend provided. I poured everything in by the way.

Honey Toast with Ice Cream

This is also my favourite. At $12.90, it’s actually kind of pricy for a serving of toast but i really love the taste. How should i describe this dish?

Imagine a generous serving of butter melted over two slices of thick crispy toast, with pieces of sweet chewy rice cake sandwiched between the toast, drizzled with honey and topped with a scoop of smooth creamy ice cream.

It reminds me of a less fluffy version of Shibuya Toast that i had in Bangkok, only not as thick. If you ask me, will i pay $12.90 for this toast on my next visit, I probably will say yes.

Conclusion

I thought Nunsongyee has a first mover advantage because Bingsu is not a craze in Singapore, yet. No matter the price, as long as taste is right, we Singaporeans are generally willing to spend a bit more and to travel abit more.

Before the gantry into the Burghley Lifestyle Hub

I previously had one Bingsu at a stall near Clarke Quay and it was a disappointment and too far off from the authentic taste. However it’s a different story for Nunsongyee. It’s very much similar to the ones i had in Seoul and i find comfort in having a good Bingsu without travelling to Seoul.

Nunsongyee Dessert Cafe on the left

No doubt the price is to the higher side and it’s not exactly a cheap dessert, i guess this is the premium price to pay if we want an imported authentic taste of Korean food. For me personally, I am quite certain that I will return to Nunsongyee.

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.

Hatter Street Cafe, the hipster cafe near Kovan MRT

Hatter Street – Bakehouse & Cafe

Address (Google Map): 212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333, Singapore 530212

Opening hours: 1:00pm – 10:00pm, closed on Monday

Introduction

When i first know about Hatter Street Cafe, i was quite excited as there are rather limited (hipster) cafes along the north-east MRT line. Hatter Street Cafe is walking distance away from Kovan MRT and it’s literally beside a rather well-known Thai neighborhood eatery Nakhon Kitchen (see my previous review).

When i first visited this place, i remember it was not as crowded,  and a fatherly figure attended to my order. Not knowing that i blog about food, he was so painstakingly selling the pastry concepts, the thoughts behind it and explaining the effort put in in decorating the cafe in hoping to get more returning customers. i figured that he may be the father of the boss and if he really is, that’s a good father all right!

Hatter Cafe is a rather cosy restaurant that has an indoor sitting capacity of no more than thirty pax. The interior design is inspired by the popular animation Alice in Wonderland. It sells mainly drinks, pasteries and waffles. Apart from their brownies and waffles, i think they do not have a fix food menu.  What ever you see in their fridge is what ever you can order for the day.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Waffles drizzled in Salted Caramel $8.90

I had this twice and it’s still as good on the second time.  In fact I thought the portion is bigger. Their waffle is exceptionally crispy and yet the inside remain moist. I find caramel sauce quite sweet most of the time but not for Hatter’s salted caramel. There is a good balance between the sweet and salty taste that goes perfectly with the waffle.

There’s no complain for their ice-cream. It’s rich, creamy and good till the last drop. At a price of $8.50, this should be among the best waffles (in term of taste + value) that i had.

Pandan Ice Cream Waffle with Gula Melaka $8.90

This is also another interesting flavour as Hatter decides to drizzle their waffle with Gula Melaka and pair it with a unique pandan flavour ice cream. It is largely popular on social media and many said that it’s the best waffle that they ever had.

For me, the pandan ice cream don’t taste exactly like what I imagined it to be, probably lacking the fragrance of a real pandan leaf but the Gula Melaka drizzle works for me. This is good but if you ask me, I prefer the vanilla ice cream waffle with salted caramel.

Alice (White Chocolate Brownie) with Home Made Ice Cream $6.80

Apparently the intended signature dish of Hatter Cafe is their home made brownies. However the waffle is much more popular instead. With much curiosity, i ordered their white chocolate brownie.

As expected, the cocoa taste is not as rich as a typical brownie but the sweet milky white chocolate taste is unique in it’s own way. The brownie is not too dry but lacks in texture. It taste like a compact sponge cake. I feel that their brownie is ok, but if I know in advance that their waffle is sold out, i probably won’t specially make a trip down for their brownie.

Other Pastries

Here is a list of what you may find In Hatter Street Cafe:

Chocolate Ice Cream Whoaffles with Chocolate Sauce – $8.90

Mad Hare – $7.50 (Rich Brownie topped with Home Made Ice Cream)

Alice – $6.80 (White Chocolate Brownie served with Home Made Ice Cream)

Oh My 天 – $7.50 (Cookies and Cream Brownie with Oreo Ice Cream)

Kick 来 Liao – $6.20 (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake)

It’s so Kumquat – $6.00 (A Chinese New Year inspired Tart)

Smoked Saw Dust Pudding – $5.00 (Experience Macau through the journey of food)

To Arthur with Love – $6.20 (Guiness & Tiramisu)

水井坊 Tiramisu – $6.20 (Tribute to a very fragrant Chinese White Wine)

Conclusion

Apparently Hatter Street Cafe intend to market their home-baked brownie as their signature dish but it is their waffle that stood out in the end and I totally agree. For those who love crispy waffle, i am willing to bet that you will enjoy this. For the first to comment that you don’t like these waffles, i’ll do up a review base on your choice of restaurant. Not too ex please. Hahaha.

One thing to improve is the air conditioning. During busy time,  the air-con is not strong enough and the cafe is a little hot, especially when people are going In and out of the cafe. Apart from that, Hatter Street Cafe had made it’s way into my list of best waffle in Singapore.

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.

Mango Tango @ Siam Square Soi 5 – Bangkok

Mango Tango

Address: Siam Square Soi 5.

Opening hours: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

Introduction

Simply go to Google Map and enter “Mango Tango Bangkok” and you will get the actual location. It is only a couple of minutes walk from Siam Station.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mango+Tango+Bangkok&hl=en&ll=13.745242,100.534623&spn=0.012277,0.009913&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.86791,40.605469&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A

This place was recommended by my friend who happened to wander into this dessert place in Bangkok. Mango Tango, as the name suggest, they specialize in mango dessert. I visited their branch at Siam Square Soi 5 for the second time as I was bringing another friend to try, and it’s already queuing before the shop opens at 11.30am.

There is this stall just beside Mango Tango that sells quite decent Thai Pandan pastries. I will mention more on this stall after the Conclusion section of Mango Tango.

The one thing that I don’t like about this place is they have a rule of each person must order an individual dessert before you are allow a seat. This branch can only house only about twenty diners at a time.

They do have branch at other places. Visit their official website for more information.

Click here to view my full list of Bangkok Food Itinerary

Click to see enlarged menu

Signature Mango Tango with Sticky Rice  – 145 baht

This platter is like the McDonald’s big breakfast of Tango Mango where you get to sample everything – fresh mango, mango ice cream, mango pudding and their sticky rice. For both times, the mangoes are really fresh and sweet. Oh by the way, the mango sticky rice is very so-so. Do consider if you want to order it. I ordered cus I thought it will make the photo looks more complete and nicer. LOL.

Mango Salsa – 85 baht

Mango Salsa is actually Mango pudding in fresh mango juice. The mango and pudding taste exactly like the Mango Tango with Sticky Rice dish. The main difference is the generous smooth fresh mango juice topped over the pudding less the ice-cream.

Mango Aloha – 65 baht

This is a cheaper version that only cost less than S$3.00. It’s diced Mango in Milk Sago with less-generous portion of fresh Mango Juice.

Conclusion

I think the selling point of Mango Tango is the eatery is really clean, and apart from their fresh juicy mango, the variety of mango desserts may also be the reason for the good crowd. I thought their food is actually rather well done although part of the reason for the long queue might be due to the small seating capacity in the restaurant. Their pricing is also very decent for their quality mango.

In my opinion, Mango Tango dishes lack a wow factor. I am only saying this because i am comparing this with a Hong Kong Dessert Xu Liu Shan (许留山). Not sure if you had heard about it but Xu Liu Shan sells dessert that is very very similar to Mango Tango, but at a slightly higher price, but there is almost no queue in Hong Kong.

As such, queuing for this at Mango Tango makes me feel like it’s not super worth it. But of course i am not at Hong Kong, so Mango Tango is good by itself in Bangkok.

Apart from the waiting time, i’m actually OK to pop by in the future. But if the queue is really long, then i probably get  myself something else, like Afteryou Dessert at Siam Paragon or Mont Nom Sod at MBK.

Kanom Krok Bai Toey (Pandan Kueh) beside Mango Tango

Opening hour: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

While i was waiting in the queue at Mango Tango, i was attracted by this simple-looking stall that is selling something like Pandan Pancake in flower shape.

All cakes are freshly made on the spot and the piping hot pastry gives off a very aromatic Pandan taste. I remember it’s about 30 baht for a box of eight. Mixture of different flavors is possible. Cheap and good!