Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters @ Upper Thomson Road

Fans of the now-defunct OZ Specialty Coffee will be pleased to know that the cafe has undergone a major revamp, got an upsize, a new name and postal code. Named after a hybrid blend of coffee hailing all the way from El Salvador, Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters is probably the most talked about cafe in town at the moment- it is essentially your dream location for an Instagram photo op. The walls are white- really white. The tables are mostly wooden and communal while small pots of plants placed at random spots add a touch of green. Overall, spacious, airy and minimalistic with clean lines.

Taking over the corner unit where Liquid Kitchen once stood and just opposite the Shell petrol station, Pacamara is hard to miss. This boutique coffee cafe joins the growing vibrant cafe scene of the Upper Thomson area which includes but is not limited to Habitat Coffee, One Man Coffee, Salted Caramel and Ply Baked Goods. While it may seem difficult having to stand out from the already established brands within the vicinity, judging from the crowds that fill this place even on the weekdays and the rave reviews it had received on Instagram, Pacamara has clearly already won the hearts of many. Mine included.

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The menu features a good mix of brunch items with a price range of $10-$20, starters such as salads from $8-$16 and fancier mains of Wagyu Burger, Miso Glazed Salmon and the likes for $16-$25. None too pricey, with no service charge added and GST already included- essentially all nett prices.

For more eateries/cafes in Singapore with no GST or service charge, check out my list of 25 Places to Eat in Singapore with Nett Prices.

Jing Hua Restaurant- Delicious Homemade Dumplings

Jing Hua restaurant (or more affectionately known as 京华小吃) along Neil road has become a household name that is known for serving up delicious homemade dumplings for the past 25 years, since 1989. A homegrown family business which is now being run by the second generation, it is heartening to know that despite the fact that Jing Hua’s menu has never changed since the very beginning, the popularity of their dumplings and other signatures has never wavered and remains well-loved in Singapore.

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My sister who is a huge fan of 小笼包, strongly recommended I try the ones made by Jing Hua. These Little Juicy Steamed Meat Dumplings, priced at $7  for 7 dumplings are probably one of the most affordable you can find in town. Quality-wise, definitely a bang for your buck and every bite is worth so much more than its price. The translucent skin, though thin and fragile, encases the soup and parcel of minced pork so delicately and beautifully. The proportion of soup, meat and skin was said to have taken many years to perfect and the end result shows.

Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 – Celebrating Singapore’s Hawker Heritage

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TOUCH Community Services’ popular Ultimate Hawker Fest (UHF) returns for the third year with a unique focus on celebrating Singapore’s Hawker Heritage, as part of Singapore’s Jubilee (SG50) celebrations. The iconic one-day event will take place at Suntec Convention Centre Halls 401 and 402 on 22 November 2014, from 11am to 5pm.

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This year’s list of participating hawkers is particularly exciting as it was curated by three of my good friends- Maureen (misstamchiak.com), Derrick (sgfoodonfoot.com) and Ian (thesilverchef.blogspot.com), whose reputations in the foodie world far precedes them. The trio have eaten their way through many hawker stalls before finally shortlisting the top twenty stalls that will be represented at the Ultimate Hawker Fest. Do check out their blogs for more features on the individual participating hawkers.

Two Bakers @ 88 Horne Road

The Jalan Besar area welcomed a new tenant about a month ago. Two Bakers, located just a stone throw away from CSHH, The Windowsill Pies and The Bravery, excites with its display of freshly baked goods, all-day-brunch and good coffee made from Stranger’s Reunion beans. The space itself sells too with wooden tables, natural light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and white-washed walls for a clean and airy feel. Yes, Two Bakers has certainly got the whole concept to attract the cafehoppers in Singapore down to a T.

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Food wise, Two Bakers serves up Salads, Pastas and Sides of Luncheon Fries, Calamari Rings, Chicken Drumlets and more, while their all-day-breakfast menu offers house baked croissants and eggs done in different ways.

Staycation: Hotel Clover @ 33 Jalan Sultan

Words by Xinyas
Photography by Gninethree

I love hotels; not as much as I love food but there’s something fun and rebellious about checking in to a place where you are expected to make a mess and swipe the mini toiletries. You know what I’m talking about; don’t pretend you don’t love the frills of staying in a hotel – cable TV, comfy room slippers, crisp bed linen, bottled water, separate towels for hand, face and body…the list goes on.

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And this awesome staycation with the BFF happened at the newly minted Hotel Clover 33 Jalan Sultan which only opened in July this year. Housed in a row of 17 two-storey conserved shophouses, the hotel is equipped with a total of 88 rooms and suites and everything I mentioned earlier plus unlimited internet access so folks can Google or Instagram their way around the quaint, café-spotted neighbourhood.

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So I find it ironic that Hotel Clover’s tagline is “Simplicity in Luxury” because although everything may appear simple, if you stop to take it all in, an enormous amount of effort has been spent on the innovative room designs and the local-inspired décor which feature interiors of rich wood and intricately handpicked finishings and plush beds.