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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The annual Singapore Food Festival is back again for its 21st edition! First launched back in 1994, this iconic festival features a plethora of local cuisines as it pays tribute to our multi-cultural heritage and serves up a unique opportunity for visitors to get acquainted with local food. This year, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) will be reliving the best memories of the festival’s 20-year history with its appropriately theme of “A Walk Down Memory Lane”. Taking place from 11 to 20 July 2014, locals and tourists alike can expect to be treated to a diversity of the city’s delectable eats during the festival at various locations around our island.
Here’s a quick preview of what to expect during the week long festivities…
- BBQ by the Beach @ Sentosa, Palawan Beach
11-12 Jul : 6.30pm to 10.30pm
18-19 Jul : 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Feast on a sumptuous BBQ spread by the beach and to dine against the beautiful sunset backdrop for this event. With a wide variety of seafood and meat dishes such as baked king prawns in banana leaf, barbeque whole lamb and grilled beef rump- prepared in an ‘Imu’ pit (a traditional Hawaiian underground barbeque pit) and well-loved local favourites of Sambal Stingray and Sotong, the experience is assured to be truly memorable. Not just that, you get to choose between Sand Seats or Low Seats for your dinner. The former features tables and benches handcrafted by sand, making beachside dining totally authentic while the latter throws together comforting wooden tables and rugs for a cosy feel.
Click HERE to buy tickets or to find out more!
Joining the row of restaurants along Nankin Street of China Square Central is a ‘bacaro’ or wine bar that is inspired by the historical taverns of Venice. Sporting a dual personality of a cafeteria in the day and a bar serving cocktails at night, &SONS is all about affordable prices, comforting and hearty Italian classics, and a stellar dining experience.
I first encountered the food from &SONS at SAVOUR 2014 where they made their debut having just opened 3 months before. Their generous portions certainly stood out among the rest during the gourmet food festival but most memorable of all had to be their Linguine, Crab & Nduja, which blew me away with its wicked combination of perfectly al dente pasta and chunks of crab meat. They serve it with Tagliolini now at &SONS and it is still every bit as good as I remember it to be.
As mentioned earlier, &SONS prides itself as a cafeteria during lunch time by offering a menu of 16 large Italian plates priced between $8-$12. Portions are definitely hearty and the variety is adequate with choices ranging from Grilled Red Snapper, Baked Chicken Cacciatore, Grilled Beef Sirloin Steak and Linguine with Seafood Marinara.
The Bécasse brand is no stranger to the Sydney dining scene. And now after creating waves there for their French-inspired European fare and glorious pastries, Bécasse has made its foray into Singapore, opening its first ever full-fledged restaurant, equipped with an open kitchen, seafood counter displaying the freshest catch, a modern luxe dining hall with a beautiful rear garden conservatory and complete with the luxurious postal code of Dempsey Hill.
Brought in by the Jones the Grocer group, Bécasse Dempsey Hill boasts of a wide and varied selection of items in their menu with notably unique dishes which you will not find else where. From Sticky Date Pancakes, to Moreton Bay Bugs, Rabbit Schnitzel and Oyster Mushroom Crepes, these are definitely not your regular run-of-the-mill courses that you find in other restaurants.
Bécasse serves Breakfast from 8am-12pm every day and till 3pm on weekends, Afternoon High Tea from 3-6pm daily and a Sharing Menu at all other times from 12pm onwards.
From the Small Plates of the Sharing Menu, we had their Anchovy Flat Bread $9 that was baked with a generous topping of chopped soft sweet onions and dressed with some thyme and lemon zest. The breads are all freshly baked on-site as well and might I add that the complimentary Sourdough served at the beginning paired with a spread of salted French butter is by far one of the best I have had in a while. We could not resist buying back a loaf to enjoy at home after that.