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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The famed Wooloomooloo Steak House and their Weekend Brunch

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse and their Weekend Brunch

Address: 2 Stamford Road Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12.00 pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.00 pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.00pm

Introduction

Wooloomooloo is a Hong Kong based, Australian-inspired steakhouse that is situated at level 3 of Raffles City. It has enjoyed quite a good reputation in Singapore and some even branded them as one of the best steakhouses since they opened their door for business in Singapore in Year 2012.

I visited during lunch time on a Saturday (for my birthday meal =D) and they are offering this weekend brunch menu which i find the pricing quite reasonable. At $68++, the diner can enjoy a 5-course lunch that includes a breakfast item, soup/salad, appetizer, a main course with a side, and a dessert.

Weekend Brunch Menu: Click to Enlarge

You can see their ala-carte menu from here 

Their pricing for a steakhouse is considered as mid-range, but they have Wagyu beef on their menu that cost $298.00++.

Egg Benedict & Fried Hen’s Egg (Breakfast dish)

The egg benedict is pretty decent, with a beautifully poached egg that comes with slices of lightly-smoked salmon and with a slice of muffin toasted to crisp. I particularly like their creamy hollandaise sauce.

The Fried Hen’s Egg is actually sunny side up and there’s nothing fancy about it but it’s a bit different for the stack of tomatoes cubes, avocado and crispy potato sticks. It has different layers of texture when eat together, such as the creamy (avacado), cripsy (potatoes) and juicy (tomatoes) and has a balanced taste of sweet, salty and sour. A very interesting dish.

Lobster Bisque & Classic Caesar Salad (Soup and Salad)

At first mouthful, it’s a little salty but it gets better with every mouthful. This dish don’t exactly has a creamy texture but the soup is very rich, and comes with a piece of Lobster pincer. I like the soup for having a pleasant but not overly strong seafood sweetness.

The Classic Caesar Salad is pretty much standard, except the part where there’s sliced Gruyère cheese. This cheese manages to add savouriness without overpowering the entire salad. No complain for the crispy bacon too. Ok, maybe the bacon’s a little too salty.

Wild Mushroom Risotto & Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (Appetizer)

In fact, both appetizers are among my favourites of the day. The wild mushroom risotto is quite well-portioned and the texture is something that i like very much – with a soft exterior and a moderately firm center. There’s also a robust mushroom taste and the already strong-tasting blue Stilton cheese completes this dish.

They are rather generous with the amount of crab meat used in this Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, although it’s not exactly Jumbo in size. The crab meat taste very sweet and fresh, with a little crisp on the exterior.

Beef Wellington and Tasmanian Salmon Fillet (Wooloomooloo Classic)

For those that watched Gordon Ramsay ‘s Hell Kitchen, the dish beef wellington will not be unfamiliar to you. It is a steak, coated with Pâté (Foie Gras for this case) and minced mixture of mushroom and baked in a layer of pastry. Comparing to a typical steak, in has an additional punch of fragrance from the mushrooms and savoury taste from the Foie Gras.

And of course , the steak is quite well done alone. Just look at the succulent texture!  This is my first time trying a beef wellington and i like Wooloomooloo’s pretty much. However, it’s not that I am against anything,  but I swear that the Pastry layer is made of instant roti prata that we got from the supermarket.  Interesting.

For the Tasmanian Salmon Fillet, the salmon is prepared in a Western style while the sauce has a Chinese soy sauce base. i like how the skin of the Salmon is pan fried to crisp but with zero burnt taste and the soft succulent salmon steak goes pretty good with the oriental taste.

Wooloomooloo Cheesecake and Bread and Butter Pudding (Dessert)

Both desserts are quite to my delight and both of them are not overly sweet. The cheesecake is not exactly a cake but more of a cheese cream topped on a layer of cookie base and also comes with a scoop of Yogurt Sorbet. The cheese layer is very light and balanced, which is not overly heavy after a 4-course meal.

As for the butter pudding, it didn’t have the expected egg custard taste so initially i was a little taken aback. However, the cream base made up is able to complement the butter pudding pretty well and the scoop of vanilla ice-cream made me forget about the egg custard. The portion of the pudding is just right to complete the 5-course meal.

Conclusion

Out of all the dishes that i had, the only one complain is that the side dish, Sauteed Mushroom, is too salty and i didn’t exactly finish it. As for the rest, they are all pretty good for my liking considering the price of $80 nett for a five course meal. The portion of the course are also bigger than expected and it’s definitely filling if one of the courses is a pasta.

During my visit on a Saturday afternoon, the place is rather quiet, without the usual hustle and bustle of a crowded restaurant. It has a very inviting ambiance, with a spacious dining area with ample natural light coming in from the full-height glass window.

I very much enjoyed my meal here and i do recommend this place if you are finding a place to celebrate a special occasion with your loved ones (in the afternoon).

 

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.

Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo, the Hidden Gem at Upper Thomson Roada

Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo

Address: 928 Upper Thomson Road

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm daily

Introduction

This Yong Tau Foo was recommended by a friend staying nearby and i had been a fan since then. Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo has been around in Singapore for about 45 years old. It was said that the first generation owner is a relative of the originator of Ampang Yong Tau Foo in Malaysia. The knowledge on how to prepare a bowl of good and authentic Ampang Yong Tau Foo was then imparted to this family. The recipe is tweaked over the years to what it is today.

Ngee Fou is situated at the far northern part of Upper Thomson at the Springleaf area and it spans over two shops. Apart from Yong Tau Foo, they also sell drinks, chicken and duck rice. Although it’s location is rather ulu, there is still a pretty decent crowd at meal time.

Ampang Yong Tau Foo

Ngee Fou charges their Yong Tau Foo at an affordable $4 per person and you place your order by stating the number of pax and the auntie will take care of the rest. A portion of their Yong Tau Foo comes with fried bean stick, fried wanton, fried quail egg, fish ball, tau kwa, tau pok, tofu, brinjal, lady’s finger, bitter gourd and tonnes of kangkong, drenched in their secret gravy.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the Ampang Sauce. The secret to their recipe is very well kept and the boss is unwilling to disclose them on various media interviews. It was mentioned that this gravy is made with more than 10 kinds of ingredients and spices.

Despite trying hard to analyse what ingredients are used in the sauce, I only manage to figure out garlic and probably flat fish. Their thick sauce is not heavy on the stomach, comes with a slight tinge of sweetness and a decent amount of garlic fragrance, and goes exceptionally well with all the Yong Tau Foo items.

My two favourite items are the fried bean stick and the kangkong. Unlike some bean stick that you find at vegetarian stall which is typically thin and flimsy, this one is well-fried, thick and crunchy. It’s exceptionally good when it’s half soaked with gravy and half crispy. Normally I will sacrifice the bitter gourd and brinjl to exchange for more of these.

As for the kangkong, they are really generous with the portion, considering it’s only for two person. Usually I am not a fan of non-sambal kangkong but this is one exception. Again, credit goes to the gravy for this lovely combination. The gravy coated vegetable is well boiled, soft enough and yet crunchy and gives a good balance over the fried stuff.

Normally it’s a SOP to order the Dumpling Soup together with their Yong Tau Foo. It’s cost $2.00 for five pieces of dumplings. To be honest, the soup has nothing much to shout about and I’m ordering this for their dumplings as an add on to the Yong Tau Foo ingredient. It’s more of a good to have than a must-order.

Conclusion

Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo is my choice for one of the unique and best Yong Tau Foo in Singapore. Apart from the great taste, it also comes at a great price. At $4 for ten items plus a big bunch of veggie, i consider this as very affordable. Most food court would have charge much more for a mediocre bowl of Yong Tau Foo. I also like the spacious dining environment despite being a coffee shop. The table is well space from each other without the feeling of being cramp up.

However, due to it’s location, it’s not a place that I will visit frequently, especially for people who don’t own their own transport. But who knows, the story may change when the Springleaf MRT station is completed in the near future.

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice at Katong Shopping Centre

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice at Katong Shopping Centre

Address (Google Map): 865 Mountbatten Road #B1-85/87, Katong Shopping Centre

Opening hours: 10.30 am to 8.00 pm (closed on Monday)

Introduction

Introducing this chicken rice that i had been visiting since my schooling days – Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice at Katong Shopping Centre. There are many things to do at Katong Shopping Centre then – LAN gaming, Billiard and Pool, Bowling and Karaoke and this chicken rice is my must-eat whenever i visit this place.

Price wise, it’s actually a little more pricey than the usual. Be prepare to spend about $6 to $10 per person, depending on what you order. For this meal, it costs me $54 (enough for six pax) and it comes with half roasted chicken, half steamed chicken, braised pork belly (seasonal), bean sprout with sliced abalone and two big bowl of (refillable) soup that are filled with meat and vegetables. Did I mention that it also comes with free flow achar?

Roast / Steamed Chicken Rice

The chicken is well roasted, with the skin slightly crisp, and drenched in a good serving of their unique blend of base sauce that is made from soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s completed by sprinkling fried garlic bit on the chicken, which added a tinge of garlicky fragrance to the chicken. Some may find the sauce a little too salty but i thought it complements the chicken perfectly and made every chunk of chicken enjoyable, including the usually drier breast part.

Their steamed chicken does not stand pale in comparison than it’s roasted counterpart. They manage to retain the natural sweetness of the chicken while ensuring the meat is succulent and juicy. Apart from the chicken, the thick-cut crunchy cucumber slices that are soaked in this sauce is definitely the next best thing that can happen to this plate of chicken.

If there is one thing to improve on, I guess that it’s their rice. Although I don’t find any major problem with their rice and i actually still like it, I have to highlight that their rice is a little to the dryer side, and comparing to some, it’s not as aromatic and fluffy. This may also means that it’s less oily.

Cabbage and Lotus Root Soup

The next unique thing about this chicken rice is gotta be their free flow achar and the (refillable) soup that comes with it. Typically for a portion for four people, it comes with two big bowl of soup – peppery cabbage and pork rib lotus roots. And they are not just soup, but full of vegetables and meat. The cabbage soup is cooked in chicken bones and flavoured with pepper. The cabbage is so soft, that it almost just melt in my mouth.

For the lotus roots soup, it comes with a generous amount of thick crunchy lotus roots, peanut, and even comes with chunks of pork rib in it. I’m quite sure these are one of the best “complimentary” (although i think the cost is already factored into the overall price) chicken rice soup.

Other dishes

They also serve side dishes like Oyster Sauce Vegetable and Bean Sprout with Sliced Abalone. Yeap. Real sliced abalone. I mentioned earlier that the price of the chicken rice can be a little more pricey and this is why.

On this visit, the staff recommended us to try their seasonal dish – braised pork belly a.k.a Dong Po Meat (东坡肉) when we wanted to order their roast meat. I though this dish is not bad. I like the fatty portion (the top part of the pork belly). They manage to break down the fat and made it melty soft instead of a rubbery texture but i thought the fatty part is a little too little as most parts are meaty and it is not soft enough and I sort of struggled trying to dissect it. It’s well braised and flavoured, but probably i still prefer my roast meat to go with my chicken rice.

Conclusion

It’s always a feast whenever i visit Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice at Katong Shopping Centre and having a meal there has always been satisfying. I like this chicken rice for it’s overall package, and not exactly on the individual dish. The meal time crowd has been increasing over the years and sometimes it may require a 45 minutes of waiting time, which i personally think that this one factor made the chicken rice not as attractive as before. For some people, the location of this chicken rice may also be a turn-off as it’s not exactly easily accessible.

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice has endured the test of time despite for operating in such an inconspicuous location, and maintained their standard throughout the years while maintaining a still-reasonable price. Until it goes the other direction, i will still come back and visit this place whenever i can.

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.