Tag Archives: MUST TRY!!!

Truly Curry Rice @ 79 Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre

A new phenomenon has recently been taking Singapore or rather our hawker stalls by storm. Increasingly fronted by young people below the age of 30, this gutsy new generation of hawkers is possibly saving our disappearing street food culture and heritage with their ambition and drive.

Truly Curry Rice located at 79 Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre too has been ‘saved’ in such a way. The former owner had originally planned to give up his apron and retire when his daughter, Deniece and her business partner Joel decided to take a leap of faith, give up their well-paying trading jobs in the FOREX market and take over the stall.

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Some may call it impulsive and rash but the duo insist that it is a calculated move- one that has been in the works for a while now and the opportunity arose when the stall became available. And now, having taken over the reins fully for the last 6 months, the two have been slowly but surely gaining their foothold in the business.

Seasonal Harvests of Autumn/Winter at JAAN

Chef de cuisine Julien Royer is back with an Autumn/Winter menu inspired by the fresh seasonal produce of his hometown of Cantal, France. Featuring the heartiness and rustic nature of the quintessential vegetables and fruits of fall, each of his creations explores and highlights the richness and textures of the season’s harvest in its truest organic form.

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I had an awe-inspiring experience at my first visit to Jaan last year when I tried Chef Julien’s Summer Menu and have since been recommending it to anyone asking me for the best restaurant in Singapore. That dining experience was after all, one of the frontrunners of my 10 Most Memorable Meals of 2013 list. Needless to say, this invite to sample the newly launched artisanal menu was greeted with much anticipation and excitement- I was eager to find out if the food was still as excellent as I remembered.

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As usual we start off with some amuse-bouches with compliments from Chef Julien- a platter of miniature Chicken Pastillas, Black Sesame Sponge with Danish eel and Walnut Crackers topped with Cantal cheese presented with crisp rye crackers and homemade hummus dip.

Following this shortly was the thick frothy brew of Wild Mushroom Tea which brought back fond memories from my previous visit with bits of chopped grilled Portobello and Walnuts delivering a touch of earthiness and comfort.

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Another mainstay of JAAN’s set lunches is their Bread Basket of warm viennoiseries with French butter and sea salt which never disappoints. The Truffle Rolls which I adored were unavailable this time so I settled for the Onion Brioche instead. Buttery, fluffy and a little flaky with a hint of sweetness and tanginess from the onions, I was sold.

You can always trust the French to get their pastries and bread right.

Osia Bar & Restaurant @ Resorts World Sentosa (RWS)

Osia Bar & Restaurant located at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore is no stranger to our dining scene. Fresh from winning two awards at the Epicurean Star Awards 2013, this Western casual dining restaurant has in fact been charming the hearts of many since its debut in 2010 where it was named ‘Best New Restaurant’ by CNNGo Best Eats.

Opened by renowned celebrity Australian chef Scott Webster whose reputation far precedes him, this Asian offshoot actually carries the same name as his original London restaurant which has since closed down. The name ‘Osia’- an amalgamation of ‘ocean’ and ‘Australia’ was carved out by Webster himself who bears sentimental feelings towards his home country.

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And just as the name of his restaurant suggests, the contemporary and Australian-inspired menu served here at Osia is all about the freshest seafood from the ocean and the seasonal best of what Australia and the Pacific regions have to offer.

The Osia team is currently led by Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay who himself boasts of countless culinary medals despite barely hitting 30 years of age. Young, passionate and fresh, Tay’s food reflects that very same nature as he deftly creates contemporary dishes executed with precision and fervor.

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This January from Monday the 13th onwards, Osia rolls out a new menu which will be available right through to March. Here are some of the highlights which are definitely worth making a reservation for next week.

We start off with some beautiful homemade flatbreads that come in a different variety of flavours. I believe our table had garlic and cheese while the table next to us had a spiced and truffle one. Either way, the aroma is enough to bowl you over despite its simple outlook. And just to jazz things up a bit, the tube of Macadamia Ricotta, easily passed off as toothpaste, brings that bit of novelty to the table.

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Our first item was the Seafood Ice Experience $36. Presented as test tubes of various concoctions in a test tube holder, this was intriguing to say the least. Start from the left and work your way towards the right as the flavors intensify. The Coconut with Maine Lobster was the highlight for me while other noteworthy ones included the Sourz Apple with Salmon Trout and even the Lychee Martini with Oyster.

Weekend Brunch @ boCHINche Singapore

Barely 3 days after the opening of Common Man Coffee Roasters, Spa Esprit Group strikes again with boCHINche, conveniently located just upstairs from the former. A collaboration with renowned Argentinian chef Diego Jacquet, boCHINche introduces a refreshing concept of Argentinian cuisine served in small plates- inspired by Spanish tapas. Seeking to reinvent the misconception that the cuisine is all about beef and barbequed meats, the 100-seater restaurant is instead a celebration of the diversity of Argentinian food and its robust flavors.

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I recently got the opportunity to try their newly introduced Weekend Brunch – served only on Saturdays and Sundays (11am-3.30pm), and after getting a taste of what Chef Jacquet had to offer, I dare say that boCHINche might just be giving their neighbours downstairs a run for their money.

The ambiance and mood of the place was what first caught my eye. Choose from either an interactive experience at the bar counter seats with the chefs, a low lit and cozy setting indoors or the comforting sunny outdoors at the al fresco area, your weekend is off to a great start either way.

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From the Brunch menu itself, these were the highlights I personally picked out for you…

Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs with red onions, capers & dill cream cheese $24

Some quintessential breakfast items of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and homemade toasted baguette in this one. A beautiful combination of elements so seemingly simple, pulled together effortlessly by the spread of cream cheese. Those scrambled eggs- spot on creamy and luscious, runny even, while the piquant sourish notes from the capers added a nice balance. Great start.

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Organic poached eggs on toast, braised ossobuco & chives hollandaise $25

Poached eggs for breakfast? Boring and pedestrian maybe. But definitely not these ones by boCHINche. I am not quite sure what was more alluring- the flowing lava yolk of the eggs, the amazing tenderness and succulence of the braised veal shanks or that richness of the hollandaise that made this picture perfect. All I know is that the defining moment which weakened me into submission, was that burst of flavour in my mouth when I got a taste of everything in a single bite. Personal favourite of the day.

Pidgin Kitchen & Bar @ 7 Dempsey Road

Formerly known as Pamplemousse Bistro and Bar, Pidgin Kitchen & Bar- the newest addition to Dempsey Road is all about putting a creative spin on popular Southeast Asian local favorites and transforming them into unique original creations. This bold and ingenious concept by restaurateurs Adrian Ling and Cleo Chiang-Ling, takes your palate on an exciting journey of exploring familiar flavors that are presented in a whole new way. I personally enjoyed my tasting experience so much that I immediately made a reservation for a family dinner that same Friday night but was told that it was fully booked already.

Tip: Make your reservations early at Pidgin to avoid disappointment

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The 1500 sqft space seats 56 pax both indoors and outdoors comfortably and oozes ‘industrial-chic’ appeal with its concrete wall features and parquet flooring.

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A bar counter of Cult Spirits, Artisanal Beers and Wines steals the show with more than 100 labels of old and new old worlds categorized according to flavor profile. Craft Cocktails created by the bartenders are assured to please with signatures sporting exotic names such as Calamansi Mai Tai $28++, Nin Jiom Old Fashioned $20++ and Masala Apple Strudel $20++.

Festive cocktails specially created for the Christmas season include the sweet and nutty Zing-A-Ling $22++ and refreshing Melly Krismust $22++ that will be available only till 31st December.