Sunday Folks @ Chip Bee Gardens

From the same people behind home-grown ice-cream brand Creamier at Lor 1 Toa Payoh, comes a new soft-serve dessert concept located in the heart of Chip Bee Gardens. And almost an entirely different concept it is indeed as compared to their predecessor, as Sunday Folks serves mainly just 6 flavours of soft serve ice-cream and a range of cakes which changes routinely. Rest assured however, their famous crisp eggy waffles are still on the menu.

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The space itself is much more luxurious than the cramped few seats there were in Creamier, with this being a lot more spacious and airy, sitting roughly 40 people quite comfortably. The interior too while minimalistic, bears some attention to details with vases of flowers on each table, light brown wooden furniture complimenting the cream-coloured walls, creating an overall cosy and comfortable feel.

Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2014 @ Chinatown Food Street

A few weeks back, I did a feature on the overview of the 21st edition of Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2014, which is happening from 11 – 20 July. Thanks to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), I was invited to attend the official launch of the festival which took place at Chinatown Food Street last Friday and caught a glimpse of what the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast had to offer.

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This event, which saw us being entertained by a “flashmob” of samsui women, policemen in shorts and street hawkers from the olden days, definitely set the tone for an exciting week long of gourmet festivities spanning across our different cultures and heritage, brought together by a common theme of “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.

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And a walk down memory lane we certainly did as this heritage feast featured 20 of Singapore’s Chinese dialect dishes that have been lost in translation or just lost over the years as our country evolved and grew increasingly cosmopolitan and westernized. From Traditional Hakka Yong Tow Foo to Abacus Seed and Rickshaw Noodles, we were being transported to the good old days of roadside stalls and pushcart hawkers via our taste buds.

Whale & Cloud @ 48 Niven Road (Selegie)

A couple of us crazy girls decided to embark on our cafehopping trip at 9am on a rainy Saturday morning. Reasons being, this discreet and hidden gem of a cafe only opens on selected weekends (word has it that it is only Saturdays now!), we heard that practically everyone was making plans to visit it that same weekend and knew that it had such a cosy space that was way too small to accommodate a crowd. So we went there bright and early to secure a table and mind you, we were still not the first to arrive when we reached.

There is nothing not to love about this place. It has a cutesy name- Whale & Cloud, the route to the cafe feels like an adventure itself, entry is only via the door along the back alley, you have to knock on it before the door is opened for you and when it does, it feels like walking into a whimsical wonderland of trinkets thrown together for that homely feeling. The red bricked wall, the vintage Cathay cinema seats, the bakes on sale for the day sitting on an oven top and the stalks of Baby’s Breath adding a touch of femininity to the place- clearly the owner takes pride in the details and it shows at every corner of the cafe.

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Although we were told that the owner bakes her own cakes and cookies to sell sometimes, the ones we had last week were from Kisses Bakery instead. Not complaining because I got to try their Red Velvet Slice $4 and amazing Carrot Cake $5 that was so moist and rich with that layer of thick cream cheese. I would have ordered a few more to takeaway if I was going straight home that day! Not sure if the owner will eventually decide to bake her own or cater from Kisses Bakery but either way, there will definitely be sweet treats on the table when you are there (while stocks last!).

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Other items on sale at Whale & Cloud include chocolates, bags of coffee beans, cooking books and even Kinfolk which the owner has brings back from her trips overseas so almost everything here is technically “limited edition”.

Dian Xiao Er Introduces Healthier Dining Choices

Partnering Health Promotion Board (HPB) for their Healthier Dining Programme, Dian Xiao Er is rolling out a new menu come 18 July 2014, which will feature healthier dining choices, focusing more on nutrition and portion, without compromising on flavour or taste. In addition, informative features such as calorie contribution labels, healthier choices logos and recommended calorie allowances are also tagged to the dishes for consumers to make informed choices when placing their orders.

Not just that, this Chinese restaurant chain is also one of the first in the industry, to switch over to rice bran oil for their cooking. Believed to be high in anti-oxidants, Vitamin E and cholesterol-inhibiting compounds, Rice Bran Oil is one of the healthier cooking oils in the market. The flavour is also rather subtle so you can hardly detect the difference in the food as compared to if regular vegetable oils were used.

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Two weeks back, we were given the opportunity to sample some of the dishes that Dian Xiao Er would be introducing in their upcoming menu and here are some of our favourites.

Starting with the soups, the Double-boiled Wintermelon Soup w Conpoy $7.30 and Double-boiled Black Chicken Soup $7.30 were easily the crowd-pleasers with their comforting warmth and herbal-y touch. The Stewed Crocodile Soup w Sweet Almonds & Chuan Bei $7.60 on the other hand, while a bit difficult to get used to at the beginning (especially for foreigners), turned out to be the most nourishing of the lot and is supposedly extremely beneficial for lung problems and joint pains. I was a tad hesitant to take a sip but was glad I did because truth be told, it did not taste anything out of the ordinary. It was just a bowl of really good soup packed with collagen.

Potato Head Folk @ 31 Keong Saik Road

Keong Saik Road just might be the next Tiong Bahru enclave with the recent popping up of hipster joints and cafes amidst the old-school traditional shophouses that still stand today. Potato Head Folk by Potato Head Bali is the newest kid in the neighbourhood to join the likes of The Study (formerly known as Keong Saik Snacks), Esquina, Afterglow and Muchachos. This outlet in Singapore marks the first international outpost for the Potato Head Group and takes over the iconic four-storey building which well-loved Tong Ah Eating House used to call home.

Potato Head Folk concentrates three different concepts into a single space- the first two levels are where Three Buns burger joint resides at, the third holds Studio 1939 (a drinking lounge) and the fourth boasts of a tropical garden which makes up The Rooftop bar where cocktails and BBQ items will be served.

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We made our way here for lunch on a Saturday afternoon and even though the place has been barely opened for a month, it was already full house. Clearly everyone received the memo and was keen to check out Chef Adam Penny’s burger-centric menu and the whimsical, quirky and cheery interior of the restaurant which was specially designed by Australian artist David Bromley.

Everything on the menu sounded incredulously delicious and quite honestly, we were tempted to order everything. But since there were only 2 of us, we had to be more selective. Eventually, we decided to get a Naughty Fries $9, Wing-Its $8 and Baby Huey Burger $20 to share.

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The Naughty Fries consists of sliced potatoes deep fried with their skins still on, doused generously with a combination of spiced creamy thick bernaise, chunks of minced beef and topped with crispy fried shallots for some Asian flavour. This was honestly the bomb and so sinfully good. Some might find it a little too much or heavy especially towards the end so do get a portion to share. Between the two of us however, we had no trouble finishing this clean.