New Ebi Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and Honeydew McFlurry from McDonald’s Singapore

Disclaimer: This was an invited media tasting

McDonalds - Cereal Ebi

Credit: McDonald’s Singapore

If you love the Ebi Burger from McDonald’s, look out for the new Cereal Ebi Burger and accompanying sides from 3 September 2015, for a limited time only. Omy Blog kindly invited me for a special launch event of the new McDonald’s Ebi Burger. Ebi is prawn in japanese, and I wanted to see what would be coming up before the rest of Singapore, so treated myself to the rare McDonald’s indulgence. Yeah it’s not the healthiest meal ever, but I haven’t had Macca’s for a few months, and I do enjoy their Asian-themed burgers that I don’t get in Aus… So I brought myself to the AMK Park Macca’s (which reminds me of the stand-alone Macca’s restaurants in Australia; it’s one of the rare ones I see in Singapore with a drive-thru). Sorry for the poor quality photos; I’ve been moving house (or room, rather) and my organisation is a bit messed up so I forgot to charge my camera battery and had to resort to the iPhone in horrible night lighting.

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The new Ebi burger trumps the one I tried last year. For reference, the one last year was a wasabi flavoured sauce with a carrot/cabbage mix which felt almost like coleslaw. This year’s Cereal Ebi Burger has a crunchy cereal bun topped with chives and roasted white sesame (it’s a soft white bun with a sprinkling of cereals on top, not multigrain unfortunately…). It has the same whole crisp small prawn patty as last year, with a cereal coated batter and a mild potato flavour which gave the patty a pleasant mealiness. Sandwiched between the butter lettuce leaf lies a shrimp flavour mayo paste with a spicy lingering heat (some of the ingredients include onion, garlic and chilli padi). The sauce made the burger quite moreish with just the right level of spiciness, combining the different Singaporean-esque flavours; but the spiciness level may not be enough for many Singaporeans, it is certainly nowhere as hot as McSpicy.

The crispy sweet potato fries are coated with an ever so thin, crispy and light batter and they were so darn good! I love sweet potato fries anyway, but these ones were really addictive; the batter made the fries crispy for a long time, unlike other sweet potato fries which become soggy. I adored the sweet and salty interplay of flvaours. They should really make these a regular, just like the yummy twister and shake shake fries; or maybe not because then I would be patronising McDonald’s too much haha.

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The Honeydew McFlurry ($2.90) had a strong and pleasant honeydew taste, similar to the honeydew vitasoy flavour. It is flavoured with a sweet honeydew powder, but it is mixed in thoroughly and not in green strands / chendol like the picture seems to suggest (there was a small lump of powder that was not mixed well into the ice cream, but otherwise it was totally smooth). For textural contrast, there were crushed cones on the iconic soft serve. While I enjoyed the dessert, it was too cloyingly sweet for me; if I were to get it again, I would request for less honeydew powder. It would also taste better if there were fresh honeydew chunks in the McFlurry (a bit of wishful thinking since I’ve never seen Macca’s offer fresh fruit in their ice creams before!).

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We also got to try a special drink: Ribena Chill and Mango Peach Chill (basically a slurpee with ribena or a mango peach syrup), which I don’t think is part of the new menu, but was quite refreshing albeit a bit of an overload of sugar.

The ‘Ebi-Kase’ special set meal includes a Cereal Ebi Burger, a glass of coca cola (small) and crispy sweet potato fries (medium), available for $7.45. To healthify your meal slightly (and kudos to you if you can really resist those addictive sweet potato fries), opt to swap the fries for a corn cup (no extra charge), or a garden side salad of whole leaf lettuce, red and white cabbage, crunchy carrots, corn, tomato and a Japanese dressing (top-up $1.20).

McDonald’s
10 Ang Mo Kio Street 12, Singapore 567740
Tel: 6451 3365
Opening hours: Daily, 24 Hours
Website: https://www.mcdonalds.com.sg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcdsg

The Cupping Room – Canberra

I’m going to introduce to you my favourite cafe in Canberra, and probably one of my favourite cafes in Australia. The standards here are on par with those in the cafe capital of Melbourne, and I loved The Cupping Room so much I went there twice in the short 3 days that I was in Canberra visiting my brother, sister-in-law and baby nephew. Of course it helped that we stayed just a stone’s throw away in the ANU University House.

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Situated in the heart of the Canberra CBD, The Cupping Room’s name is inspired from the cupping of coffee (not as suss as it sounds!), which is is the process coffee roasters and growers use to judge different coffees’ quality against each other without bias, and they have cupping sessions held free of charge every Wednesday and Sunday from 2.30pm (bookings essential). I didn’t get to go, but another blogger wrote about it in quite a lot of detail.

The space is a breezy little shack with foldable windows and plenty of good lighting, and the patrons are mostly uni students but there’s a fair share of Lycra-clad joggers / older adults / business people looking for good nosh. There’s a row of comfy fabric cushion sofas lined across the edge of the walls, and adequate breathing space between each table. There may be a short queue if you’re here during rush hour in the morning or lunch.

The clever thing about the menu is how they seem to more or less feature their same favourites in the menu but rotating with different ingredients on a seasonal basis (we were there in March and it was their Summer menu; it has now rotated to the Autumn menu) which takes advantage of fresh seasonal produce and reflect the overall mood of the seasons. There’s also a specials menu stapled onto the normal menu everyday which usually runs out of stock quite quickly.

On the lunch menu, my savoury-philic boyfriend got the Market fish burger ($21) – Oven baked sword fish steak, piled high with Mauritian pickle, aioli & zucchini ribbons in a brioche bun and fries on the side. The swordfish is too tough for RX’s liking, but I thought it was nicely seasoned, and taken with the zesty Mauritian relish, creamy aioli and the raw zucchini thins, it was a very satisfying brunch indeed.

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Me on the other hand as a sweet-philic, was craving something lighter… so I got their amazingly good Bircher muesli ($13) with coconut milk soaked oats, chia seeds, grated pink lady apple, almonds, and passionfruit pulp. The flavours were such a great combination and the juicy crisp of the pink lady apple (my absolute favourite apple cultivar), almonds and tangy passionfruit made something as monotonous as muesli into a sensationally delightful breakfast. Surprisingly the coconut milk was not too heavy; perhaps it is a mixture of almond and coconut milk? I’ve never tasted such a delicious bircher muesli before. They were really generous with the chia seeds too; it was proportionally more than the oats!

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Escabeche ($19) – one of the specials on the menu (they seem to rotate weekly with seasonal produce, so while it’s still on the autumn menu, it may not be kingfish anymore). Cured kingfish with heirloom beets, baby carrots, radish, jalapeños, boiled egg & anchovy aioli  and gluten free bread (just wanted to try Deeks quinoa bread… it’s originally supposed to be sourdough toast. By the way they do charge extra for the GF bread; I think $1?) – RX’s favourite meal in Australia. Not to be confused with ceviche (raw fish), escabeche is a Meditarranena/Latin American dish of poached fish marinated in an acidic mixture served cold. The dish really piqued the palate with generous blocks of mellow and oh-so-soft poached kingfish, which had only a very mild vinegar taste. I don’t like cured food but this was really well done. The fresh heirloom veggies were piled in a beautiful fresh stack, and the jalapenos provided the hot kick to oomph the dish up. The soft boiled egg was seasoned with salt and pepper and provided a yolky creamy goodness to dip the nicely toasted bread.

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Beautiful food…Hotcakes ($18) – Figs, strawberries, pomegranate, housemade honeycomb, crème fraîche, citrus syrup and berry gel ricotta hotcakes (I saw on their Facebook they have it with agave syrup; as I have read some people say it’s not sweet enough for them!). This is THE BOMB. Yep. Beats any other hotcake I’ve had in my life. I loved the generous heaping of fruits and despite its looks, it wasn’t too sweet. The creme fraiche, berries and pomegranate had a refreshing and sour touch while the crunchy honeycomb provided the sweetness needed to balance it off. The ricotta hotcakes were thick, fluffy and substantial; it’s really the good homemade stuff.

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Real chai – infused with bonsoy ($5). The chai tea leaves came in a strainer and I could pour the honey-infused soymilk through. I asked for less sweet, but they advised me it was already pre-prepared; but luckily it wasn’t too sweet at all. Chai tea tastes so much more gingery and fragrant when it comes from the real thing and not syrup.

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If you’re looking for wholesome, beautiful, and good food, I think you’ll know where to head if you’re in the capital of Australia.

The Cupping Room
1/1-13 University Ave, Canberra City 2601 Australia
Tel: +61 (02) 6257 6412
Website: http://www.thecuppingroom.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/canberracuppingroom
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 7am-4pm ; Saturday-Sunday: 8am-3pm

Two Wings at Essen in the Pinnacle at Duxton

I stayed at Everton Park (the oldest HDB in Singapore, at Outram Park) for 2 years before moving to my current place, and I would pass by Pinnacle (Singapore’s fanciest HDB, and newest too? I liked the Outram Park area because it was quiet but also incorporated both the old and the new…) very often as I was walking to get groceries at the local NTUC. I remember the tacky looking Kopitiam back in the days, with the typical food court fare of the soup stall, mixed veg rice etc. Needless to say it was rather insipid and I didn’t go back for a second time.

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Fast forward 2 years, and the spunky looking Essen has replaced the old Kopitiam at the ground level of Pinnacle. Catering to the more upmarket residents above, it features various Western food stalls, one of them including Two Wings. The atmosphere is a trendy vibe, almost like we were in a cool bar rather than a food court.

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Two Wings owner, Jeremy Loh, was inspired to re-brand the 40 year old family recipe passed down the generations from from his granduncle (which also has apparently been passed on to other stalls like the Victor Famous Fried Rice Chicken). The chicken wings are said to be massaged everyday to drain the blood off, and uses bigger wings imported from Brazil. The skin is one of the thinnest and crispiest I have tried,  perhaps the reason that, surprisingly, the wings are not as greasy as most other fried wings. The batter is seasoned with hints of spices, upon biting which reveals piping hot, moist and tender meat. Although it may be mellower compared to more spice-filled chicken wing joints like KFC, it allowed the natural chicken-y juices to burst through.

The quality is said to be kept consistently with the original stall at Bukit Merah (non-airconditioned one), with his family members helping to run the Two Wings at Essen. The Chicken Wings are priced at $8.50 for 4 pieces, $12.50 for 6 pieces and $24 for 12 pieces. There are other options including the Chicken Burrito, Spring Chicken, and of course the combo meal I ordered.

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The Finger Platter Deluxe ($23.90) is a smorgasbord of fried and salad items, including 3 of the famous Chicken Wings served on a cute wooden board,  can feed 3 hungry people. It also contained Crispy Chicken Strips, Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries and Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Carrot & Veg sticks on a special dip sauce. This match definitely went down well; the fresh and crispy veggie sticks tasted so refreshing after all that fried food, and the creamy mayo dip was strangely addictive, which I was informed is Jeremy’s wife’s grandma’s homemade special mayo dip recipe. Everything on the platter was freshly fried without any overused oil taste and no greasy residues. I love that we got sweet potato fries rather than the typical potato fries too! The mozarella cheese sticks were unique, and indeed chewy and springy (but it hardened easily in the aircon). We shared it among two pax so it was too heavy, but it’ll be just right for 3 people.

IMG_2901We got an extra side of  Mashed Potato Salad ($3) was also nicely seasoned with hints of onion and sour cream, just like the good old chip flavour. The service crew there were kind enough to microwave the salad for us (mashed potato tastes better hot in my opinion…).

The photo doesn’t show, but we later picked up the chilli sauce, which is a homemade recipe lovingly made over a few hours on a daily basis, including fresh ingredients like homemade chicken broth. The chilli was indeed really good; similar to the chicken rice chilli but with a zestier kick and a spicy zing.

It’s one of the best fried chicken wings I’ve had in Singapore, and true to say that you definitely can’t just stop at one wing; two wings should do the trick! I love the fact they lovingly create everything from scratch with old family recipes too.

All prices stated are nett (no GST and service charge).

Website: http://www.twowings.com.sg

Two Wings – Essen At The Pinnacle
No. 1 Cantonment Road #01-01 The Pinnacle @ Duxton, Singapore 080001
Closest MRT: Outram Park
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9pm Daily
Tel: +65 9667 0368

The flagship branch:
Two Wings Bukit Merah
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 Salute, Singapore 15119
Closest MRT: Queenstown
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Tues-Sun)
Tel: +65 9667 0368

You’re eating dead wasps when you eat figs – Weird and Wacky Wednesday facts

Yep. I only just discovered after watching this video.

When a female wasp pollinates that juicy fig, she dies inside, gets digested by an enzyme in the fruit – and you’re essentially eating its dead body. Don’t worry, those crunchy bits are actually the seeds, not the wasp. But that fact kinda freaked me out. I love my figs anyway. I wonder if it can be used as a source of extra protein and vitamin B12 for those on a vegan diet?

If it’s any solace, from this article, it seems only dried figs are the main culprit… All this figgy talk reminds me of one of the biscuits I loved from Aldi in Australia, the fig bars. Which I can’t seem to find in Singapore…

The truth is, you’re doing more entomophagy (insect eating) than you would like to think. The red food dye in your cake? Yep it’s made from cochineal (ground up beetles). Beer, made from hops, contains up to 5% of its weight from aphids. Jelly beans and waxy apple skins are sweet, but also coated with a resin secreted by a Thai insect, Kerria lacca. Entomologist Dr Douglas Emlen revealed that most pre-ground coffee has ground cockroaches in it, as it’s too difficult to be processed out of the beans (the interview transcript). The FDA in the US say 100g of spinach can contain no more than 50 storm flies (thrips). And did you know fruit flies love ketchup? The FDA allows up to 30 fruit flies for each 100g of ketchup.

We’re already inadvertently doing it, I wonder if we may eventually open up to the idea of eating bugs as a sustainable source of protein and the future’s wonder food (did you know that historically, lobsters were considered disgusting to eat, yet now are delicacies?).

What do you say, yay or nay to eating bugs?

Tung Lok Teahouse – Square 2, Novena

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I saw the cutest baos ever on a Facebook from the Tung Lok Restaurants group: they are shiitake mushroom clones, down to even the stems, but made of steamed bread! Working near Novena, I took the opportunity one lunch hour to check it out.

As its name suggests, Tung Lok Teahouse was designed to echo the retro ambience of an old teahouse in Singapore during the 1950s-1970s, adorned with Peranakan furniture to match. The one at Novena had no windows, with a yellow tinted lighting, so it unfortunately didn’t really replicate that experience, but I could appreciate the concept displayed through its decor. They serve top-notch traditional Teochew/Pernakan-style food with a modern innovative twist; thus prices here are slightly steeper than your typical restaurant. It was a rather quiet day as there weren’t that many other patrons. Service is warmly genuine, and the waiters made an effort to find a comfortable seat for me (yep I was a brave lone diner!) when I expressed the table I was at was too cold, and they proactively offered to refill my warm water cup.

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The Wild Mushroom with Black Truffle Baos (S$4.80++) is a triplet of adorable steamed buns that have a soft fluffy interior with a beautiful mottled pattern of a mushroom. The crusty exterior is an ever-so-thin layer that seems to resemble the texture of tiger bread, which is made painting on rice paste and sesame oil, which dries and cracks into a crust during the baking process. I’m not sure if that’s how they made the pattern but doesn’t it look uncannily like the tiger bread: perhaps with some soy sauce to give it the black/brown hues? Nevertheless it’s quite a work of art and Tung Lok reports it took the chefs 6 months to perfect the recipe!

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I was a bit let down by the presentation as the other food bloggers (and the display outside the restaurant) had posted gorgeous photos of the buns complete with peanut /fried shallot garnishings on a pretty ceramic plate, but mine came out looking plain in a bamboo steamer. Nevertheless, one bite into the bun and all qualms were set aside; the fillings had king oyster mushrooms, shiitake, tea tree mushrooms, wood ear fungus, black truffle oil, and truffle abalone sauce). It was bursting with umami magical mushroom-y goodness (the abalone sauce gives it a great kick in what would otherwise be too monotonous in fungi); mushroom lovers will love this! Supply is limited to 50 baskets everyday, so the manager suggested that if you want to come back for dinner (yep the dim sum menu is available then, and LOL yes I love them that much) you can always call in to reserve it before you come in so that you can make sure you get your hands on these adorable fungi imposters.

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I also had their Steamed Glutinous Rice with Diced Chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf (S$4.80)++. This was very good, as I am usually very picky with lor mai gai and this hit the spot. Well-cooked (but not soggy) grains of rice (with specks of red rice) with morsels of salted egg yolk and succulent lean chicken. I’m glad that unlike many restaurants, Tung Lok did not seem to use fat as fillers for the dumplings.

I’ve always liked the restaurants under the Tung Lok group (did you know Slappy Cakes is under them as well?), and Tung Lok Teahouse definitely hit the mark for good quality dim sum. I will do a re-post here of the second visit I have coming up ;)

The dim sum menu is below. You can find their set menus online though, (including items like the Braised House Special Beancurd with Fried Conpoy, and Fried Assorted Vegetables served in Yam Ring).

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Prices stated are not inclusive of GST and service charge.

TungLok Teahouse
#01-73/79 Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive, Singapore 307506
Tel: +65 6893 1123
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 11:00am – 02:30pm & 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Nearest MRT: Novena
Website: http://www.tunglokteahouse.com

Second branch is at Far East Square near Bras Basah MRT.

Chez Dré – South Melbourne

I went back home for a short trip and for RX to finally experience Australia. It was a long 2 year wait before I went back; partly because my parents are no longer there, but also because there are so many other new holiday destinations near Singapore that I wanted to save my limited annual leave and hard-earned moolah for.

We went on a whirlwind trip around the east coast; from Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne to Brisbane; and other towns in-transit. This wasn’t an easy feat to achieve in just 2.5 weeks without a car to adequately cover everywhere I wanted to go!

I didn’t really like Melbourne when I went there 5 years ago; maybe it was something to do with the fact I went in the middle of the bitter winter temperatures?! And I didn’t really get to do much tourist/foodie exploring that time as I was only visiting family. So I was a bit of a Melbourne snob, dismissing it as just a pretentious hippy city… I had always liked Sydney more: the temperatures are nicer, there’s more of a metropolitan buzz, and my grandma is there so it’s always been like my home base in Australia (even before I migrated over).

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My second trip back to Melbourne and I have officially found my ideal foodie paradise. I am being serious, the food there is ah-ma-zing. I only had a few days there but I stuffed myself silly… and I came across my favourite brunch place in the whole world (no kidding). Chez Dré came as a recommendation from many of my Melbournite friends so I knew I had to try it, and boy am I glad I did. It’s a Francophile atmosphere with ingenious sweet and savouries inspired from France and made with local produce. Opened by patisserie chef Andrea Reiss, their pastries are excellent, with a huge variety of tarts, madeleines, gateaux and macarons. Come early if you don’t want to miss out on the best ones though as they may sell out quickly!

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After a short trip on the tram from the CBD, we reached the quaint area famous for the South Melbourne Markets. Chez Dré is immensely popular and we had to wait for about 15 minutes before we got a seat (it was a weekend morning…).

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The interior is grand and classy chic yet with a warm cosy feel and inviting breezy atmosphere. There is a curved design of the open kitchen for all of its patrons to stare in amazement, and beautiful window displays of the dainty desserts it is well-known for.

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My friends and I (all of them who were formerly Brisbanites; my old high school friends :) ) decided to choose from the dizzying array of desserts staring at us as we were waiting for our friend to arrive. All the petits gateaux (small cakes in French) are priced at $9.50.

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Our first pick is the pretty strawberry & vanilla fraisier: orange financier, vanilla mousse, basil-olive oil biscuit, strawberry jelly. It was a great juxtaposition of textures and flavours, with the contrasting tang of strawberry and orange layers and sweet creamy goodness of the vanilla and crunchy biscuit.

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Sacher Torte is a chocolate mousse and apricot gelee on a chocolate sponge base, fresh apricot, gold leaf with a white chocolate curl on top. This was good quality chocolate mousse, light and airy yet creamy, with a pleasant apricot fragrance.

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GREEN TEA CHEESECAKE: RASPBERRY CRÉMEUX, ADZUKI BEANS, GREEN TEA MOUSSE, GIANDUJA SABLÉ

I have found my favourite dessert ever, it is the green tea cheesecake here. Absolutely amazeballs. The base is addictive, being extra crunchy and nutty compared to your typical buttery graham crackers. The cheesecake itself was not like any other cheesecake I had; it was not the firm cheesy type that I usually like, yet it was not the mediocre creamy mousse types that I don’t like; it was luscious and light with a rich matcha taste. The core embraced a cluster of the speciality hazelnut chocolate (gianduja) and adzuki red beans, and the dollops of raspberry cremeux just worked together so well to create a sublime dessert. I just can’t get over it!

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The pastries on the wooden board it was supposed to be presented on :) My friend wanted it packed in the cardboard takeaway box for some reason haha. IMG_0484

Roasted eggplant and buckwheat salad ($18.50): Smoked eggplant puree, wild rocket, pomegranate molasses & rose water vinaigrette, dukkah and spelt flat bread. I loved this breakfast item I had. They may not have it anymore as it was seasonal special, but it tasted delightful, with the smokey undertones of the moreish eggplant contrasting against the clean cut and tangy pomegranate and vinegar. I loved their spelt flatbread too, being much thinner and airier than a typical pita and a more wholesome taste too (I love breads that use grains other than the typical wheat). It may have been vegetarian, but it was very satisfying.

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?Persian spiced tomato soup with fish – I honestly forgot what it was called haha and can’t find it on the menu. But it tasted like assam… trust the Singaporean to choose this! It was basically fresh fish fillets cooked in a hot stew with onions, garlic, parsley, turmeric, chilli, tamarind, coriander and tomato (similar to the ingredients of assam). Clean and fresh tasting with a twist of sourness from the tamarind/tomato, RX enjoyed this stew more than I did.

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The peach and mint house-made iced tea ($6.50) is also recommended, being refreshingly light, natural peach and minty fragrance and just the right amount of sweet. I got the last order as they had run out of ingredients to make anymore! And the ice cubes were cute big spheres. 

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Yep, I think Chez Dré is the best brunch I’ve ever had in my life.

Chez Dré
Rear of 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9690 2688
Opening hours: Mon to Sun 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Website: http://www.chezdre.com.au

The Soup Spoon Union White Sands

White Sands Mall at Pasir Ris has a unique Soup Spoon Union that has exclusively debuted two new concept stalls The Grill Knife and The Salad Fork. My friend who lives in the eastside sent me many appetising photos of her dinners enticing me to go. Unfortunately it’s not available any other Soup Spoon outlet except in the ulu Pasir Ris, so I so trekked all the way to the end of the green line to try it out.

According to the mall’s Facebook page, ‘Pasir Ris’ means ‘White Sand’ in Malay, named after a stretch of white beach that makes the North-East Coast of Singapore.

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The menu, in addition to the usual Soup Spoon favourites, has an array of fresh salads (The Salad Fork) and grilled meats (The Grill Knife).

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My boyfriend ordered the salad bowl ($8,80): with mesculun mix (+$1.50), hummus, whole egg, sunflower seeds, falafel balls, cauliflower rice + quinoa and carrot sesame dressing. Every component was fresh and generously packed on the plate. With over 40 fibre, protein, carb, and house-made sauce options to customise for your own salad/wrap, you’re spoilt for choice. And unlike some salad shops, I’m really glad that the menu allowed enough flexibility to allow a significant amount of protein in the dish. My main gripe would be that the falafel balls, although served hot, lacked the crunch and spice-filled infusion I’d had in other shops, but then that’s being nit-picky since it’s obviously not specialising in Greek/Middle Eastern. What I loved about the dish was the cauliflower ‘rice’ and quinoa: basically there is no rice, but it is replaced with crumbled cauliflower florets, edamame + quinoa, an innovative healthy way to add fibre that I approve of (taste-wise too; it’s like crunchy light-tasting fried rice!). I also enjoyed the unique carrot sesame dressing, which tasted like sweet juicy grated carrot with some tahini mixed in. Salads usually bore me but The Salad Spoon managed to create some twists and make things interesting.

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I got the chicken combo with grilled chicken breast + portobello mushroom set with a pesto penne and ponzu miso ($12.80). The grilled chicken breast was done well and again I was happy to see they were generous with the portions. The marinade of the chicken allowed the natural grilled flavour of the poultry to come through, although without a sauce it felt a bit dry (perhaps choosing thigh would be a better bet if grilled). The ponzu miso sauce was alright but it wasn’t really that to my liking; perhaps being a mix of sweet, sour and salty  in a Japanese style tastes a bit strange to me? But I heard the house gravy is good. The portobello mushroom is a bit small and slightly parched, but again well-seasoned. Luckily olive oil is available at each table, which I doused and made the whole dish taste good (yep, I love me olive oil. Nope it’s not because of Jamie Oliver). The pesto penne had a good pesto taste (although perhaps not as much cheese as the European standard?), but it was a bit too soft in texture. Nevertheless, each ingredient combined to make a pleasant dish, although not quite at fine dining standards.

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The Grill Knife also has other options available including the salmon ($15.80), steak (flank $12.80 and ribeye $15.80), and pork cutlet ($12.80), as well as various combos of these for hungry ones. Each grilled meat comes with your choice of a side (mixed green salad, basil pesto penne, cauliflower rice with quinoa and edamame, chunky fries) and a sauce (ponzu miso, Japanese curry, house gravy, mushroom sauce). Customisation at its finest!

I thought it was a good idea for the menu to include the kcal count for each dish, although it was only for the two concept stores.

I like both stores at the Soup Spoon Union White Sands: fresh, innovative, wholesome, generous, affordable and yummy. It’s no-frills at its best. But with a caveat: with these prices, don’t expect gourmet food. However, the main problem is that it’s too far away from where I live: Soup Spoon Union can you please bring it over to the central area?! :P

Prices not inclusive of 7% GST (no service charge)

Soup Spoon Union White Sands
#02-33, 1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3, Singapore 518457
Opening hours: 10.30am – 10.00pm daily
Telephone: 6585 0898
Website: http://www.whitesands.com.sg/stores/the-soup-spoon-union/ / http://www.thesoupspoon.com/home/our-brands/the-grill-knife/ / http://www.thesoupspoon.com/home/our-brands/the-salad-fork/