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.

Website: http://www.gtcoffee.com/

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.

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

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

Disclaimer: The first part of the post 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 (à la carte from S$5.35) 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 (à la carte from $3.25) 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 the chill drinks: Ribena Chill ($1.95) and Mango Peach Chill ($2.45) (basically slurpees with Ribena or a mango peach sjora style syrup; the Ribena being a bit sweeter) that were 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).

Thank you Omy Blog and McDonald’s for the invited tasting.

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

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Reprise for my second Ebi Burger at Hougang Avenue 8 McDonald’s (anonymous identity) on 11 September 2015

So the first post had really lousy photos and I also wanted a quick lunch so with my trusty Canon G7X in hand, I went to the neighbourhood McDonald’s for comparison.

The prawn patty tasted a bit different this time, it seemed there were less whole prawns and more of the starchy/fish paste filler instead. A bit disappointing, but I suppose it makes sense that they’d make the invited event more impressive than the real thing. The sauce was still nice though, and the batter still with a nice cereal crunch.

When I went into the Maccas store, I could tell the sweet potato fries were sitting there for quite a while as it was about the end of the stash. Not wanting to wait until they cook the new batch, I asked if I could have a non-salted sweet potato fries (because this trick works for the regular potato fries: if you ask for the non-salted one, they always make it fresh and hot for you and it tastes so so much better than mushy fries minus the sodium overload). Unfortunately, this trick did not work as the server insisted that there is no salt added to the fries. I didn’t dare ask for a newly fried sweet potato fries though, which was unfortunate because I did not enjoy the stale sweet potato fries (tasted doughy and not at all crispy). Dipping it into the garlic chilli sauce helped me to get through it. The sweet potato fries also taste good with the ice cream (come on, I know many of you guys would’ve dipped the Maccas french fries into the soft serve as a kid, no?).

This time I was smart and asked for less powder for the honeydew McFlurry. So it was better, less sweet yet with an adequate honeydew flavour punch and the nice cornflake-like crunchies (which remind me of Rice Bubbles in ice cream, one of the simple pleasures I made for myself sometimes in Australia; although I just realised…there’s no Rice Bubbles in Singapore?! Maybe it gets soggy too fast in this humid weather?). It is still very sweet though haha.

And yes, I only just discovered you can lift up the McFlurry like a paddle pop with the spoon. 😛

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 and Far East Square at Telok Ayer

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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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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

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Reprise for second dinner visit on 24/8/15 at the outlet at Far East Square

Far East Square is like a maze of various buildings and the restaurant was not easy to find. This outlet seems to have a slightly more yesteryear ambience than the one at Novena.

They served an appetiser at each table, and these blissful bites of crunchy sesame seed praline walnuts were very addictive; too bad they are a hefty $4.00++.

The Sweet and Sour Chrysanthemum Fish ($26++) was done well with a lighter, crispier batter than the typical economic rice fare combined with some extra pine nuts and capsicum, but I couldn’t really taste the chrysanthemum. Guess what I just realised: the term ‘chrysanthemum fish’ means the fish is cut into the shape of a chrysanthemum flower, not that it has chrysanthemum inside! I can’t help but think it’s similar to the ones you can get at the Tze Char stalls though.

The Fried Assorted Vegetables served in Yam Ring ($24.00++). I didn’t really like the yam ring here: it was too thin (not enough yam), too oily, not crispy enough, and has a ngoh-hiang spice taste that doesn’t match the yam well. The fillings inside though, including the prawns, were fresh and juicy.


The Braised House Special Beancurd with Conpoy Crisps was good, with generous servings of soft tofu within leathery, crispy spinach skin at the top and mushrooms, atop a bed of green spinach. This was the better of the main dishes we ordered, and although the sauce tempered the taste, I felt it was doused in too much oyster sauce and there weren’t many mushrooms.

I also couldn’t help but order a second mushroom bao. They’re that good haha. But this time it looks a bit less realistic (more whites showing) and one of the buns was slightly torn, but still tasted awesome. RX picked up that there was a subtle chocolate flavour in the dark crust too.

Coconut and dessert fans will love the Chilled Snow Lotus Pudding With Ice-Cream Served in Young Coconut ($8++): an ever-so-light, melt-in-mouth, smooth and slippery (my tongue was floating on coconut water cloud nine) snow lotus pudding, vanilla ice cream, mango cubes, drizzle of evaporated milk. The young tender coconut meat was easily scraped off the shell for a highly commendable dessert. I have no idea what snow lotus is and it seems very elusive in my Google search as it looks more like a herb than any kind of pudding ingredient, but they do this pudding so right.

The restaurant was nicely spaced out without much crowd. I’m not sure if it were just the dishes we chose, but I thought the food was a bit hit-and-miss for the price you’re paying, but the coconut dessert is absolutely out of this world.

Prices stated are not inclusive of GST and service charge.

TungLok Teahouse
Far East Square, 9-13 Amoy Street, #01-01, Singapore 049949
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
Tel: +65 6877 1123
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (Mon – Sat), 10am – 2:30pm (Sun & PH), 6pm – 10:30pm (Daily)