Song Fa Bak Kut Teh – Chinatown Point


If I had to name one of my favourite Singapore hawker foods, bak kut teh would be one of them. The peppery garlicky goodness and the fall-off-bone tender pork ribs reminds me of the taste of my favourite instant noodle in HK (which I unfortunately cannot find anywhere else but in HK) ‘Fuku Superior Instant Rice Noodle’ from Nissin. The taste of that noodle was particularly rendolent at the one at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh (indeed that’s why I love it so much!).

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh (Originally at Clarke Quay) has opened a second branch at Chinatown Point! Yes, there are still queues at this one, but the perk is that it’s in aircon and more modern surrounds.


I had the original Pork Ribs Soup (large one with 4 ribs at $9, but the smaller one at $7 is 3 ribs). We also got the mee sua ($2) and the Kai Lan ($6), with sauce on the side (the vegetables taste awesome dipped into the peppery soup instead. Peanuts (small serve at $1.50). Soup was free-flow (the waiter was really nice to keep on topping up even if we hadn’t drank the soup yet!). Prices are nett!

The waitress was a bit forgetful in her order (we actually ordered the pork rib smaller portion but were given the bigger portion instead; which by the way is enough for 2 pax!), but other than that a great outlet of the original. Be aware they charge 20c for each wet tissue pack provided at the table.

Also if you can choose where to sit and it’s daytime, you might want to request inside because in the outside area at the atrium of the mall, the sky window makes for very sunny eating.

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Chinatown Point #01-04, 133 New Bridge Road Singapore 059413
Phone:6533 6128

Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9:30pm, Last order 9:15pm Daily
Closest MRT: Chinatown

Original branches
11 New Bridge Road #01-01 Singapore 059383
Opening Hours: 9am – 9:30pm (Tues-Sat), 8:30am – 9:30pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Closest MRT: Clarke Quay

17 New Bridge Road #01-01 Singapore 059386
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:45pm, Last order 9:30pm, Closed Mon
Closest MRT: Clarke Quay

Clinton Street Baking Company – Bugis, Singapore

I’m not usually one to want to be the first to queue for newly opened food outlets so that I can let the hype (and queues) die down, but Clinton Street Baking Company with its accolades as the best pancakes in NY from New York Magazine (twice) seriously piqued my interest. The secret is to separate the eggs and gently fold in whipped egg whites (if you have the time and mixer, there’s a recipe here). Chef-husband and wife duo Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, opened Clinton Street Baking Company in New York City in 2011 to make the best baked goods in the city, hand-mixed in small batches.

Having brought its splendour to outlets in Dubai and Tokyo, Singapore is the lucky second in Asia. It’s within walking distance to City Hall/Bugis MRT. Having just opened yesterday (without much fanfare either), the queue when I arrived on a Sunday morning at ~10.30pm required a 45 minute wait. Luckily their efficient system allowed us to walk around the nearby Bugis malls before they called us when our table was ready. The menu is pricier than standard cafe fare being a world-famous restaurant.

In classic Southwestern American style, Clinton Street uses buttermilk in many of their dishes, like the pancakes, Southern biscuits, and chicken and waffles. It makes the floured foods taste rich, well-aerated and fluffy.

You can’t go to Clinton St. and not order their Warm Maple Butter Pancakes ($18). They have blueberry, banana walnut and chocolate chunk. I got the blueberry rendition as per the waiter’s recommendation; bouncy, thick and fluffy to the core, yet with a firm and crunchy exterior and specks of blueberry embedded within; with a rich buttery fragrance, I can understand what all the hype was about and devoured it happily.

 I reckon the pancake itself was slightly too sweet for my tastebuds though, especially with the pot of the divine warm maple butter (comfort grub at its finest) and blueberry topping. The maple butter was not really enough for me, and each extra pot is $2 more (I suppose it’s a good thing for my waistline!). The blueberry topping was luscious and chock full of tiny blueberries (I believe they are dried blueberries) with in a rich sauce that soaked through the pancakes to create ultimate blueberry goodness. True to its American style, the portion is very large, and I think that this is too filling to share between two people (if you’re ordering another item to share between the two of you) so it’s probably best to gather a few friends to share.

We also tried a not so popular item Smoked Salmon Scramble ($23). I thought this was relatively average and pricey. The scrambled eggs were generous with the house-smoked salmon, but slightly rubbery and not creamy enough (although there were sparse chunks of the scallion cream cheese). The salmon was cooked with the egg so it was not soft, but the eggs were doused nicely with its salmony oil and chopped chives. The salad was fresh and had a mild vinegary taste (luckily not dressed with oil as the meal was already quite heavy!), and the seven-grain toast was wholesome and crunchy. My partner in crime liked this dish more than the pancakes (although expectedly, as he does not have a sweet tooth at all!), as it was a light reprieve from the richness of the pancakes.

We had a Ginger ale ($5) as it was quite hot sitting at the very front of the shop next to the window (they do have an awning but the morning sun was still shining straight at the shop and it got quite warm). This tasted like a canned drink, not particularly gingery, and nothing to shout home about.

The ambience overall is relatively fast-paced and busy with a lot of hustle and bustle/noise, but comfortable seating. Service was overall quite friendly and efficient (although the waiter wanted to clear my plate when I still had a fair bit of food on it and just stopped for a bit of a rest; I suppose there is a long queue?). Going to the toilet may be a bit of an issue though as there’s only one unisex restroom available.

The unbelievably phenomenal pancakes here gives Singaporean cafes a run for their money. I spotted a cute slogan on the staff’s t-shirt “Made with Love and Butter” very apt. I definitely want to return (probably when the crowds die down 😛 if they ever do…) to try out some of the other brunch items. The eggs benny on Southern biscuits and the crispy potato pancakes look very promising. I’m glad that Singapore seems to be getting quite a lot of worldwide famous restaurants into the ever-changing food scene here (seems more so than Australia too… probably because there are so many homegrown talents in Australia though).

Prices are not inclusive of GST and service charge.

Clinton Street Baking Company 
31 Purvis Street, Singapore 188608
Nearest MRT: Bugis/City Hall
Tel: +65 6684 4845
Opening Hours: Daily, 8am to 6pm

Group Therapy Cafe – Katong

On a weekend brunch, the cafe was full-house which is strange considering its whoop whoop location. Expect queues on weekend brunch peak period as they don’t take reservations. The ambience of this cafe is a bit dark and dingy in appearance, being inside a mall without outdoor sunlight, but it’s cosy and comfortable nevertheless.

My friend got the Skinny Latte ($5) which, as a coffee connoisseur, said was good; and me being a chai snob, got the Chai latte ($5.50) which I thought was really well done for Singaporean standards. No syrup in sight, it was made with the real spice. It was strong, full-bodied, milky and a substantial foam top too.

Buttermilk pancakes ($12.50) were thick and fluffy, but in my opinion not enough of a buttermilk taste. It’s a very generous serve though 🙂 The honeycomb crumbs and fruits lent a sour/crunchy contrast, and they by default serve syrup on the side which is always a plus.

Pumpkin pancake ($18.00) – doesn’t look super appetising, but by golly it was outstanding! Hints of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice ( cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) in a soft pancake with smoked salmon that was tender and easy on the sodium, two soft poached eggs topped with a very thick and rich serving of Hollaindaise sauce. We ended up scooping most of it away but if you do get it, ask for it on the side (or maybe most Singaporeans like it that way I guess…lots of sauce in food…)! Eggs were done bouncy with a gooey half-cooked yolk.

I thought the food and drinks at Group Therapy were good and understand why all the expat crowds flock here on the weekends!

Prices are nett (no service charge or GST)

They have another branch at Tanjong Pagar.

Group Therapy Coffee, Katong
30 East Coast Road, Katong V, #01-11, Singapore 428751
Nearest MRT: Dakota
Open daily from 9am to 9pm.

Group Therapy Coffee, Duxton
49 Duxton Road, #02-01, Singapore 089513
Nearest MRT: Outram Park/Tanjong Pagar
Tel: +65 +65 6222 2554
Open from 11am to 6pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays, 11am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 10am to 6pm on Sundays and public holidays. Closed on Mondays.


GastroSmiths – Bugis

GastroSmiths has been getting rave reviews for its Asian fusion cuisine serving globally inspired hearty food (drawing from Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish etc cuisines). It is a restaurant opened last year as the chef owner, Dillion, had shut down his original 10-seat bakery in Katong to open up this 20+ seater bistro at Marrison Hotel in Bugis. It’s an unassuming hole-in-the-wall place that you wouldn’t expect to serve such good food, but it definitely impressed. Although it was small with sparse decorations, it was thoughtful with adequate space between each table and the ones we were at even had extra chairs by the side (under the bench) to put our bags.

Our starter was the Scallop Ceviche ($14.50++), with Hokkaido scallop sashimi garnished with cute radish discs. It was simple yet the delightfully fresh and plump scallop paired so well with the sweet orange morsels, tang of the yuzu/olive oil sauce and koji (steamed rice with koji mould spores cultivated in; a crucial ingredient for sake) accentuated the umami taste of the scallop.

Their signature is the Hokubee Ribeye Bowl ($28.00++) with 200g grilled hokubee ribeye, Japanese rice generously seasoned with furikake and sweet vinegar, and an ultra soft sous-vide 63 degree egg (resembling the super squishy eggs served with kaya toast). Hokubee (or meltique) is a non-premium beef cut injected with canola oil/beef fat with starch to mimic the marbling of Wagyu. Hokubee definitely is no match for real wagyu, but it is tender enough to feel like it’s melting in your mouth. It had a good char encasing the perfect shade of medium pink.

I was a bit disappointed when I realised they no longer have the famed Fried Cod Mee Sua, but I was in for something better: Fisherman’s mee sua ($25.50++) is a seafood medley with homemade scampi bisque (with hints of satay?) and mee sua. Velvety mee sua absorbed full of the seafood bisque without becoming soggy, it took in the flavours much more than pasta would. Plump juicy seared scallops, chunks of juicy crabmeat, and fresh crisp prawns, all mixed in a gloriously rich and intoxicating bisque that was absorbed into the mee sua. A shower of coriander, lashings of spring onion, grilled cherry tomatoes, and a hint of chilli padi (optional; the waiter kindly asked whether we wanted it and it was an affirmative from Mr Chilli) all completed the scene for a very enjoyable dish (the only qualm was it’s a tad salty).

I couldn’t resist but order this gorgeous palette of magenta hues, Beet & Cheese ($14++). Patterned on the plate is the beetroot gel (which was more like beetroot puree; and it is quite strong in beetroot!), rustic beetroot sponge (yes those cute sponge-looking balls are actually beetroot flavoured), and two small cheese parfait mounds (which has a nice sticky cream cheesey quality similar to other deconstructed cheesecakes out there) dipped in a shiny beetroot fluid gel; with good-quality vanilla ice cream and crispy cookie crumbs. The beetroot taste is quite overwhelming (especially the sour pickled sliced beetroot at the centre!), but paired with the different components, it was a refreshing change to the usual berry compotes found elsewhere. I loved the luscious cheese parfait and wish they had given a bigger portion!

The menu has evolved and the website reports it will continue to do so as inspired by seasonal produce/latest trends. So your tastebuds will be constantly tantalised with new things and this surely was the case for me.

Service was warm, cosy and attentive. If you’re into interesting gastronomic experiences at reasonable prices, GastroSmiths is one of the favourites I’ve discovered.
Prices above not inclusive of GST and service charge.

103 Beach Road #01-02 Singapore 189704
Nearest MRT: Bugis, near Tan Quee Lan Street
Tel: +65 9772 9511
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Tues – Sat), 11am – 3pm (Sun)

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.


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.


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.


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).


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

Fordham & Grand – Outram Park

I’d heard of Fordham & Grand when it first opened 2.5 years ago just a few blocks from where I used to live in Everton Park. Pictures of its mouth-watering french toast were splattered over the 50 Things to Eat Before You Die list. It’s been on my food to-try list for way too long, but then again there are over 100 things on that list!


I got a pleasant surprise when my boyfriend entered the competition from Makan on BiTES and actually won! Thank you BITES for treating us to this delightful meal. We even got our own place card and there were a variety of adorable pig-themed sketch coasters. The editor, June, was there to share with us: BiTES is a food tabloid focussing on low-moderate price dining options in Singapore (it is a branch-off of the epicure Food Magazine, which covers high-end fine dining). I’ve been a regular reader since they started in July 2014 and saw their magazine in a cafe; nowadays I just look up the PDF online. They write about foods across the spectrum from hawker stalls to more atas locales like Fordham & Grand, and my favourite section is their monthly calendar where you can keep updated about upcoming foodie events. By the way I wasn’t sponsored by BiTES to write this!


I was really impressed with the food here, which the chef describes as Modern European with some Asian ingredients. We had the pleasure of having one of the founders, Singaporean Timothy Lim, and the head chef, Kean Hun, to introduce the restaurant and food to us. They really seemed to exude passion in serving good food and creating a good ambience. Timothy worked in Tetsuya’s in Sydney and came to Singapore to be part of the opening team for Waku Ghin. Thereafter, he wanted to fill a gap in the local dining scene where there wasn’t decent food late at night, and so came the birth of this bistro-bar that would serve food until 2am.


The sleek interior of the restaurant was inspired by bars in America during the prohibition era – a period from 1920 to 1933 when the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited in the US by a constitutional amendment. The restaurant’s design is like a speakeasy, an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages during the prohibition era. You’ll find numerous reviews that use these two terms without explaining (and me being the US history noob had to google it up!). This is why the door is so hard to find, with a tiny sign at the side revealing this secret little alcove. I like the secluded nature of this; it felt like I wasn’t really in Craig Road at all, like I was in another land. The name itself is inspired by an intersection in NY by the same name of Fordham Road and Grand Central, a cultural and vibrant hub. This defining feature could also be their tragic flaw: I feel the place needs more exposure because it has really decent food but is a hidden gem. In a way I do like it being kept a secret though, the intimate atmosphere is part of the experience.


The dinner menu runs from 5pm-10.30pm. We started off with the freshly shucked oyster + mignonette on a bed of sea salt ($32/half a dozen); seasoned with mignonette (condiment with cracked black pepper, minced shallots and red vinegar). The sourness of the red vinegar was a lovely contrast to the fresh clean taste of the oyster. I was really craving oyster that day (I saw so many buffet vouchers on Groupon and was tempted to get it..!) so it really hit the spot. RX commented that the sweet and sour plum juice (the one served at Sufood) would go well with oyster too.



Every dish I tried here was splendid, but if I had to pick a favourite, it would be the ingenious Jerusalem Artichoke Soup + Truffle Scented Froth ($12). It’s a wonderfully smooth and creamy blend of the sweet earthiness of the artichoke topped with a umami truffly foam and crunchy artichoke chips and chives. Although the chips were a tad too salty, mixed with the entirety of the soup it was just heaven in a cup. Two thumbs up; and the whole table agreed as well.


They’re very generous with the portions and the chef towards the end asked whether it’s too much: in my opinion it’s just right, as I usually wouldn’t order so many courses, and even then I was about 85% full by the end of it all, not yet bursting!

Our main course was the Grilled Tiger Prawn Linguine + Ginger + Chilli + Coriander + Olive Oil + Parsley in a Crustacean Stock ($36 – I can’t find it on the online menu, but I believe it may be the same flavour as their signature Lobster Linguine but replaced with prawns for the event). It was an orgasmic bomb of flavours with the richness of the ginger and crustacean stock which infused the entire pasta. The pasta was done al-dente (although a white lady there commented it wasn’t quite al-dente enough; I reckon it’s hard for the chef to strike a balance between catering for a clientele ranging from Western to Asian tastes who would want different things) – the chef explained to us that the reason for al-dente other than the characteristic bite, is also so that it will better allow the sauce to absorb into the pasta since it’s not bloated with water. It’s also lower GI if it’s less cooked through; although honestly if I’m eating out then health may not be the number one priority! Some might say the pasta’s drenched in too much olive oil, but I kind of like it that way; it’s like aglio olio but packed with a rich seafood and punchy  gingery taste that reminded me of the ginger oil my grandma used (see post below). The grilled prawn was fresh and toothsome, with a light, sweet and savoury marinade that paired well with the crustacean sauce.

We ended on a sweet note with the famous dessert that I wanted to try for so long: French toast: with Homemade brioche + Rum Sabayon + Ice cream ($14). Every component on its own was absolutely divine, but put together it felt a tad too heavy on the palate. Perhaps a small sour component would bring this to the next level. Regardless, it’s sumptuous: quenelle of good-quality ice cream with vanilla seeds, sitting on a bed of chocolate sand (which tasted like crushed milk chocolate-coated rice puffs and hazelnuts), with a dark rum sabayon (Italian creamy custard, save for any overly-eggy-taste), with a subtle hint of rum (the inner ‘alcoholic’ in me kind of craved for more but it was good for those like RX who are averse to EtOH). It was finished off with a beautiful blowtorch brûlée that added complexity to the taste, and of course the star: beautifully buttery brioche baked in-house with an almost pudding-like texture and caramlised with a thin burnt sugar encasing. The chef explained it’s tricky to make this dish partly because the temperatures really need to be ideal to make sure the french toast is sufficiently hot yet won’t melt the cold sabayon: a feat performed well with the with a nice hot-cold juxtaposition. I think I’ve found Singapore’s best french toast.


We were treated to a second round of desserts off-menu: chocolate brownie with coffee grounds. The chocolate brownie was rich and the mousse on top helped to cut the chocolatiness, while the coffee grounds tasted like awesome coffee crunchy cookie crumbs. It was so good. They should put it on the menu!

The chef came out a few times to talk to us and get some feedback, always a good sign. He said that everything is thought of meticulously, not only in terms of the cooking, but also the timing of the courses (spaced out enough to let the food settle and be ready for the next course), and portioning (enough to leave us satisfied, but not exploding).


All in all, a great place to have a drink, enjoy good food, in an intimate surrounding, into the wee hours at night. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s quality you’re paying for, and I would happily visit again to try out some of the other dishes.

Prices stated are not inclusive of GST and service charge

Fordham & Grand
43 Craig Road, Cantonment, Singapore 089681
Phone: 6221 3088
Hours: 5pm-3am daily
Closest MRT: Outram Park
Website: /

Afterglow by Anglow – Clean eating at Keong Saik Road

As a dietitian, I don’t promote raw food eating exclusively as there are many benefits to cooking foods. However, there are indeed nutrients that are retained better when raw, and I feel it is something that Singaporeans can try to incorporate more of in their diet (as it’s typically a somewhat Western concept that many Singaporeans are averse to).

With the clean eating movement, Afterglow by Anglow is a raw food vegetarian restaurant offering inventive dishes made from scratch with a farm-to-table concept. Afterglow’s founders Carmen Low and Lionel Ang, created the menu in consultation with Czech nutritionist and raw food advocate, Adela Stoulilova. All the dishes are heat-free, sugar-free (although of course there is still sugar found naturally in fruits etc), and apparently using pink Himalayan salt and bamboo salt to substitute table salt (however as I tell all my patients, all salt contains sodium! Luckily the dishes here are bursting with natural seasonings rather than saltiness). The Singaporean couple lived in Shanghai for four years and became proponents of vegetarian raw cuisine because of the endless food scandals in China. Read more about their story here. I also found a recipe from Carmen that looks amazingly good for a raw matcha cashew tart that they will apparently be rolling out soon.


The woody interior of the place reflects its natural raw philosophy well and I liked the relaxed and unpretentious vibe. The candlelit tables lit up a nice glow (pun intended) to the restaurant Unfortunately the light was very dim on the night I visited, making for terrible photography!

The Raw Zucchini Linguine with Walnut ‘Meat’-balls ($20) is made with Spiralized Zucchini, Dehydrated Cherry Tomato Sauce, Almond Crumble Cheese and Walnut, Shitake & Dates ‘Meat’-Balls


Other than the ingredients listed on the menu, I could see bites of woodear fungus as well as the shiitake mushroom marinated with hints of sesame oil. The tangy and umami tomato sauce infused throughout to coat the thin strands of juicy zucchini, while the walnut meatballs were well-seasoned enough to be able to conceal the astringent phytic acid taste and a close replication of real meatballs. It was a delight to eat and a unique experience from typical wheat pastas.

Our dessert was the Raw chocolate salted caramel fudge ($12.50), with Raw Avocado and Raw Cacao Fudge, Rich Tahini Layer, Vanilla and Medjool Dates Infused Walnut Crust


This is the highlight of the meal: the fudge tasted amazingly good yet clean, with a fair bit less saturated fat than its original (yes, I think it is slightly healthier, although still a sugar bomb!) – you wouldn’t even be able to tell it was avocado inside, because the chocolate and date taste was so intense. Yet it provided the creaminess of typical fudges, without the heavy feeling in the stomach like regular cream mousses do. The tahini layer lent a rich tone to the dessert, while the crunchy walnut crust provided textural contrast to the silky goo fudge. This was not in the ingredients but I could taste some coconut oil inside as well which lent a beautiful fragrance. Big thumbs up from me! However for non sweet-tooths, this dessert may be on the sweet side (from the dates).

To keep things interesting, the waiter took the initiative to inform us that there were seasonal specials that are chalked on the board, including the crispy raw lasagna ($22++, which differed from the regular raw lasagna in that it has an additional crispy layer from dehydrated tomatoes and macadamia cream cheese) and the coffee cheesecake ($15++, made from cacao beans and coffee). There is a bar serving alcoholic drinks too.

One thing I adored about the place was its heavy focus on nuts: a very good source of protein that most Singaporeans miss out on. It was interesting when I heard the lady next to me complain to the waiter “Hmm well I don’t eat nuts, so there’s not much I can choose from!” (I saw her eating some salad afterwards). Sometimes I go to vegetarian restaurants here and wonder “how is this a balanced meal! There is no protein! Mushroom with salad is not protein!” but rest assured that most of Afterglow’s dishes seem to have that covered. Another thing is that, as it is a raw food eatery, expect food to be served cold!

Service was authentic, polite and not intrusive; the waiter topped up our glasses of water consistently throughout the whole dinner without any reminder.

I liked the concept of Afterglow by Anglow even before I stepped in, and after having tried it I can attest it’s a place with good whole foods that indeed leaves an afterglow to your memory. The prices are steep but if you’re feeling like a treat after indulging in processed foods, this may be an option to consider. I’m personally feeling inspired to re-create some of the dishes myself considering how none of them require cooking (I need to get a blender though!)!!

See Afterglow’s menu here.

(Prices not inclusive of service charge)

Afterglow by Anglow 
24 Keong Saik Road
Phone: 6224 8921
Operating hours are 12pm – 11pm (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) , 5pm – 11pm (Tuesday) 12pm – 12am (Friday and Saturday)


Mook’s Thai Mookata BBQ at Bugis

Singapore has seen a growing trend of Mookata sprouting in even the smallest of coffee shops; it is one of the most popular get-together meals in Thailand and I can see why it’s getting popular in Singapore. I love Mookata, even more so than regular steamboat as the meat juices being grilled drips into the soup which adds to the richness, and the grilling beforehand enhances the meat’s natural sweetness. ‘Moo’ in Thai means pork, while ‘kata’ means skillet. Hence the pig imagery in so many Mookata restaurants, including Mook’s. Legend has it that the dome shaped hotpot came from a soldier in Chiang Mai who grilled meat using their helmet.

Opened on 7 April, 2015, Mook’s Thai Mookata BBQ is just opposite Bugis Junction near the ever popular Ah Chew Desserts. Mook’s has a down-to-earth interior with wallpaper in a brick design and plenty of space aligned between tables to facilitate comfortable groups. I believe I was lucky that there was no queue outside (because of all the Grouponers!), I have read that it could get quite nasty with the queuing but luckily I went at ~6pm sharp and there was still space available.


When I first ate Mookata, I had no idea what the white pieces of chewiness were and was taken aback to discover it was lard! On first chew I thought it was squid but realised it was too chewy/greasy to be so. Luckily the waiter had been nice and helped place it on the skillet to grease it first. Eventually I took away the lard because the meats were already fatty enough, although I guess this may be one reason the surface of the grill became a bit browned due to slight sticking of the meat (I’ve heard that it happens regardless though unless a non-stick grill is used! So, no excuses not to healthify a meal!)! They use a gas stove and their hotpot doesn’t have any grill holes, allowing all the meat juices to roll into the narrow moat of broth. While this made the soup quite tasty, the tight moat made it difficult to scoop out the noodles or vegetables inside, and the tongs were quite difficult to manoeuvre as they were very tight!

There were a choice of two soups to be poured into the moat: chicken soup or tom yum (we chose tom yum, although we got a taste of the chicken soup when I requested a bit of plain soup when it started to evaporate out). The Thais traditionally use water but Singaporeans loving their strong-flavoured food of course opted for interesting soups instead. I thought the tom yum soup at Mook’s was quite nice, not too spicy. It was the tomato-based style one with less lemongrass inside; I felt it was not using the real ingredients itself but made from a paste, although I know many Thai restaurants also use a paste as the base. I personally prefer it to be more strong on the herbs/lemongrass though. The chicken soup was light and pleasant; it didn’t leave a strong MSG aftertaste in the mouth. Although they placed a whole metal jug of the soup on our table, the waiters were quite attentive and helped us pour in the soup every time they noticed the supply was evaporating too quickly or when the fire was out. I had adjusted the fire to try and get the lightest one possible as the heat was really blazing out intensely!


The food itself came in platters of assorted meats: fatty pork collar and pork belly, garlic marinated chicken thigh, flower clams, fish ball and a few pieces of the lard (I requested for no hot dog and crab sticks because I prefer unprocessed foods more; they gave us more pork to substitute). On another basket was an array of cabbage, buk choy, enoki mushrooms, kang kong and tung hoon (bean thread vermicelli). It would have been nice if they had provided an egg to provide some dipping to smooth out the meat.

The food was fresh and decent with very tender meat, although I do prefer leaner pork. The wide variety of the vegetables was also a nice touch. I ordered an extra plate of tung hoon ($2) because it soaked up the yummy soup so nicely and also because the portion was too small for two hungry people. I’m not sure if it was really the two pax set meal or whether it was a slightly smaller version because I got the Groupon deal. Well I can’t say I’m unhappy considering I only paid $16.80 for the Groupon voucher ;). The original set meal is a reasonable $29.90 for two pax as well, not too bad considering the quality of the food but I do hope the portions would be bigger if paying full price.

The chilli sauce at Mook’s is apparently a specialty there, although I didn’t find it amazing… it tasted a bit like (according to RX who is quite the chilli expert) Yong Tau Fu sweet sauce, sesame and a bit of chilli. I found the meat was already very well-flavoured with the marinade (a bit too salty actually!) so I didn’t find any need to dip it into the sauce.

Other than the set meal, they have some a la carte finger food like pork nuggets ($5.90) and sotong balls ($5.90); or a customised DIY selection of different types of meat and veg to suit your tastes.

It was a fun experience and we enjoyed cooking the food together. The place was clean and neat, and importantly, air-conditioned (although not quite as strong as we wished as the stove’s heat was blazing outwards! I honestly don’t know how people manage to do it in hawker centres!) but there were no individual ventilation hoods for each table. Unfortunately, that means your clothes will stink after coming here!

Even without the coupon, Mook’s is a rather affordable and comfortable Mookata experience with good service and a good location, and with their late opening hours, I think they will become a popular dining spot with some fine-tuning of the recipes/equipment/portion sizes.

Mook’s – Thai Mookata BBQ
2 Liang Seah Street, Bugis, Singapore
Tel: 6334 6270
Mon – Sun: 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Closest MRT: Bugis