Tapas 26 Serves Eclectic Spanish Fare in Dempsey Hill

Author: Alex Chua

Tapas 26 is an upscale Spanish restaurant and bar situated at 26B Dempsey Road, one of Singapore’s top lifestyle and dining destination. Rebranded from its previous name La Ventana which first began its operation in 2015, this quaint little restaurant housed within a beautiful colonial building continues to serve an eclectic mix of all-time favourite tapas and cuisine from Spanish. Amidst the lush green surroundings, the interiors are contemporary and cosy, and the service is impeccable as ever. The premise is more relaxing than fancy. I waited for about an hour for my friend to arrive and I’ve made no complain as the servers were friendly and the seats and the ambience oh-so-comfortable and peaceful.


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What about the food? We have the 7-course dinner selected by the Chef. First up is the Hokkaido Scallop for appetizer. Light on the ingredients – salmon roe, sprinkled with frisee salad and a dash of sherry vinegrette, it is refreshing, light, taste rich of ocean possibly elevated by the vinegrette, and the presentation reminiscent of a white stone slab. Definitely whets my appetite for the next dish.


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The second dish, Salmon Tartare, is just as wonderful. Prior to serving, sea ‘ajoblanco’, or Spanish chilled summer soup, is poured onto the island of salmon roe, tomato guacamole and salmon tartare. The visual aesthetic is simply meditative. Taste wise the dish strikes the balanced tone of perfect harmony. The innate saltiness of the salmon has been smoothened out by the creaminess of guacamole and ajo blanco, giving it a certain complexity of taste quite surprising for a small bowl.


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Now perhaps the main highlight of the course – Crispy Poached Egg with Foie Gras. The experience of cutting into the crispy chanterelle to the poached egg, and letting the yolk oozes down the foie gras to the cepes cream is pure hedonistic. The taste itself is like fireworks in the mouth – silken smooth, delicate, creamy and wonderfully savoury. A sinful indulgence treats to give warmth to your heart.


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Yet another visual delight, the Scallop wrap with Panceta Iberica. A single slice of pork wraps around the scallop has a lovely layering of fat and meat, lightly seared to yield a slight crunch on the outside and firm tender scallop on the inside. The consistent pattern of strong, rich flavours starts to emerge throughout the course.


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For the sharing portion, the server placed on our table a pan of Iberico Pork Jowl with Mushroom Paella. Again, the succulent pork has a nice crunch and the 50/50 fat/ meat proportion sets the tone of this dish. The mushroom paella has a more refined flavour, thanks to the earthy mushroom. The aroma is simply quite irresistible.


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By the sixth dish, our stomach is quite full already, but we still manage to clean off the Spring Chicken Pulada. The tender meat is infused with a rich melange of contrasting sweet of prunes and savoury flavours.


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For dessert we had the Crema Catalana with Caramel Ice Cream. The server kindly informed us how it should be eaten – by first vertically poking into the caramelised top and down straight to the ice cream. The creamy ice cream compliments the crispy crema catalana like a warm embrace, a delightful ending for the gastronomic night.

Overall, I would rate Tapas 26 quite highly on my list of go-to restaurants due to its playful, visually-arresting presentation, great food and perfect ambience to chill and relax from the daily hustle and bustle. You can opt to dine al fresco also. What’s also interesting is that the menu will change every quarter, and special dishes will be added weekly according to the fresh products found on the market.

Tapas 26
26B Dempsey Road, Singapore (247693)


Operating Hours
Tue-Sat: 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm
Sun: 12-2:30pm, 6-9:30pm
Closed Monday

Rowing over to Casual Japanese Gastrobar Plum & Toro

Author: Alex Chua

Robertson Quay never fails to fascinates the foodies and folks who wants to chillax. Housed on the second level of the InterContinental Singapore, the casual Japanese Gastrobar Plum & Toro serves mod Jap cuisines with an impressive collection of wines and creative cocktails. The sleek and casual ambience with its lip-smacking, Instagram-worthy teppan and chargrilled dishes should be a huge draw for working professionals or couples who want some intimate conversations.

Starting off with something luxurious, we had the Fresh Oyster ($8). Huge hygo oyster with a spoonful of dashi jelly and golden tobki. All eyes were on to the oyster and the slurp was invigorating – subtle, citrusy, bursting of ocean freshness. Understand that oyster taste will be stronger when cooked but nothing beats the pureness of a freshly shucked oyster.


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It was a feast to the eyes when we took our glance onto the Sakura Ebi Somen ($20). The stir-fried cherry blossom shrimp adds vibrancy and depth in flavour to the otherwise simple plate of noodles. Tossed with thin noodles and scampi oil, the noodles by itself was quite delicious. This dish was surprising light, flavourful with a slight crunch from the shrimp.


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Now for the ultimate, premium indulgent, we had the Wagyu Truffle Don ($40). Wagyu beef kiriotoshi, served with onsen egg on pearly white Japanese rice, was meaty yet delicate, and flavourful. Topped with generous slices of fresh truffle, elevating the umami of this dish. The whole space had the pleasant truffle smell when we tucked in to it. High recommend for those who wants to impress their other half with something decadent.


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Reminding my fond memories of my last trip to Osaka, where I had a warm Japanese sweet potato on hand in a cold November winter. The Satsuma Imo ($15) just topped the normal Japanese staple a notch with an ultra-smooth vanilla ice cream topped with sprinkle of snow salt to open up your palate. Who knows sweet potato and ice cream makes a pretty awesome pairing.


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On top of the restaurant seats, Plum & Toro also has a 10-seater cocktail bar with liquor and sakes imported from Japan. For something original and fruity, order their signature cocktail P&T ($22). Using Umeshu and Shiso liquor which delivers a polished taste yet sleeky at the same time.
Overall, the food here are visually pleasant and well-balanced in flavour, modern yet has the hint of Japan. You can expect me to drop here anytime for a drink or some teppan.


Plum & Toro
The InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
1 Nanson Road, #02-07, Singapore 238909

SUN with MOON Unveils its latest 2018 Grand Menu

Author: Alex Chua

SUN with MOON Japanese Dining & Café has recently unveiled its latest 2018 grand menu. Situated in Wheelock Place, the new menu is specially curated by Executive Chef Mr Toshio Sawai, who had an illustrious culinary career beginning all the way back in Kitcho, one of the most luxurious and reputable Japanese restaurants in Japan, in 1983. The latest menu features a repertoire of brand-new creations, together with new spins on all-time favourites. Don’t expect only the traditional Japanese food; there are some innovations which to me are quite interesting.

The Chef’s tenacity to break off from the traditional can be felt with the Zensai Mori Appetiser ($16.80). Showcasing an indulgent platter of 7 chef-curated appetizers which includes light dishes such as mini prawn sushi, crabmeat and asparagus with mentai sauce, pickled radish with yuzu and herring roe, as well as savoury ones like grilled unagi with cream cheese, seared mini tuna steak with black pepper, grilled pork belly or grilled chicken thigh. This dish is meant to whet your appetite and transition you to subsequent dishes.


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What comes next after a refreshing, quasi-Japanese appetizer is the Niku Atsu Hotate & Unagi Kamameshi ($26.80). More of an authentic Japanese dish you might expect in an izakaya, the steamy iron pot is topped with luscious grilled unagi, thick-cut flamed-seared scallops with fragrant Japanese rice. The accompanying soup broth and kamameshi ingredients are all meticulously prepared for a satisfying Japanese traditional dish. Being a seafood lover, I find the unagi and scallops irresistible and rich in umami goodness.


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Can you spell LOVE? The Beef Miso Dare Sukiyaki ($25.80) is definitely the highlight and makes my day. The piping hot stew is made with Executive Chef Sawai’s original miso dare blend with hatcho (soybean) miso from Okazaki in Aichi Prefecture. I loved the cleverness of using diced US Ribeye beef cubes instead of the standard sliced beef in order for the meat to retain its rich meaty flavour longer. It’s my sure favourite and I would definitely order this if I am back for good.


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The Steak Moriawase ($45.80) do brings out the insatiable carnivore in me. Featuring a succulent grilled steak combo of Japanese Wagyu, US Tenderloin and pork steak (300g), diners can pick 4 sauces, of which 3 are the restaurant’s original sauce blends – black pepper, red wine and goma mustard sauce. Both the Wagyu and Tenderloin tastes succulent with a satisfying firm texture, while the pork is slightly dry. Nevertheless, this dish is quite unusual in a Japan restaurant setting in terms of its meat selection and visual presentation.


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Let’s call it a playful seafood indulgence; the Temari Sushi ($23.80) are bite-sized mini sushi balls which kids would surely take them to be yummy pokeballs up for grabs. The molded balls of Japanese sushi rice are topped with fresh tuna, salmon, scallop, grilled eel, yellowtail, mackerel, swordfish, cuttlefish, salmon belly and boiled prawn.


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All nice things end with sweetness in the mouth. The perfect ending goes to the Dessert Trio ($9.80), consisting of a cool ensemble of Goma Pudding, SUN’s Tofu Cheesecake and Matcha Ice Cream. Light, delicate and smooth, the sweetness explosion (especially the Tofu Cheesecake!) floats me right up into the ether.
Overall, SUN with MOON Japanese Dining and Café presents a contemporary cuisine that moves beyond traditions. While the flow of food served feels like a 6-course dinner in a fine-dining setup, they are sold ala carte and good for 4 pax.

SUN with Moon Japanese Dining and Café
501 Orchard Road, #03-15 Wheelock Place, Singapore 238880
Operating hours: 12pm to 10pm (Sun to Thurs & PH)
12pm to 10.30pm (Fri, Sat and Eve of PH)

Rumours Bar & Grill First Debut in Singapore’s F&B hotspot Holland Village

Author: Alex Chua

Great food, wonderful drinks with an amazing live band, Rumours is the bar to chill and lay the day’s trouble to rest.

The popular Bali casual bar & restaurant has recently made its debut at the competitive F&B hotspot Holland Village. Renowned for being a favourite spot among locals and tourists, Rumours serves not just wholesome good food created by award-winning Chef Noor Azman, the fun-loving bar also entertains and serenades the customers with its week-round live band performances and live DJ on weekends. If you’re down on mood or want a quality bite to satiate your stomach, just head over to Rumours and all shall be well again!


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The fresh menu in Singapore boasts of delectable pasta dishes, sharing platters, grilled specialties and not forgetting Singapore’s favourite bar snacks. One of the must-try signature dishes is the 1.2kg Australian Black Angus Fiorentina Bistecca. Cooked sous vide style and lovingly grilled, the meat is moist, flavour-rich and tender to the bone. The meat is beautifully blush within and its surface and edges nicely charred. Coupled with Rumours’ specialty indulgent drinks, it would be the perfect sharing platter to warm the hearts of the chatterers.


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Another carnivore’s favourite, the German Platter is, as the name goes, everything German! Featuring crispy whole pork knuckles combined with homemade Wiener schnitzel and Bratwurst Veal Pork Sausages and sides of German potato salad and sauerkraut. With all the strong, meaty flavours in one plate, can you say ‘Ich bin richtig satt’ (I am very satisfied)?


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As a person generally unimpressed by crustaceans, it is a strange love at first sight when the Grilled Lobster Thermidor came to our table. One grilled whole Boston lobster topped with savoury cream cheese sauce and a toss of succulent pasta. The plump lobster is fresh and slight crunchy in texture, and the pasta – lovely!


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Exclusive to the restaurant, the Rumours Grilled Cheese Burger is made up of homemade patty lightly grilled, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and crispy Old Dutch cheese, served with loads of fat chips. The patty is rather soft yet thick and juicy, coupled with a rich circle of Dutch Cheese, making it a sumptuous joy to munch into it.


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Putting a spin on the classic aglio olio, Rumours Aglio Olio Pasta is tossed in fragrant virgin olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, sliced mushroom and lightly doused in sake. The resulting taste is exquisite, rich and as all the Rumours dishes goes sinfully delightful.


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Of course, nobody could get on to the mood without some alcoholic drinks, and Rumours are one of the few bars that serve potently good drinks in town. With their concoctions skewed more towards tropical flavours, expect fruity delicious and summer of sweetness in their drinks menu.


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If you need an uplifting vibe, deliciously rich food and refreshing drinks with a group of party-loving friends, then Rumours is for you!

Rumours Bar & Grill
24A Lor Mambong, Singapore 277683 (Holland Viallage MRT Exit B)
Opening Hours: 5pm – 1am daily
Tel: 6463 5053

Treat Yourself to Authentic Taste of Germany with Brotzeit’s New FIT Category

Author: Alex Chua

Say German cuisine and most people immediately think of meaty food like sausages and pork knuckles. Brotzeit’s hopes to change all that. Its recent updated menu encompasses the all-time Brotzeit’s favourites dishes plus a new category Brotzeit FIT, offering well-loved traditional German classics together with refreshingly healthier options. With a total of 24 new delectable dishes, there is surely something for everyone and anyone!

Take the Gegrillter Ziegenkase Salat mit Beeren (Grilled Goat Cheese Salad with Berries), one of the five sensational salad on top of the DIY salad selection in the Brotzeit FIT category. Loaded with anti-oxidant-rich pomegranates and cranberries over a bed of mesclun greens and baby spinach, the salad is further topped with grilled goats cheese, strawberries and pecan nuts for added crunch. The salad is well-balanced in flavour and bite, and the goat cheese gives the salad a smooth, creamy texture over the crunchy greens.


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It’s a riot of rainbow delicious for the Violeter Bluemenkohlsalat (Purple Cauliflower Salad). Rich in antioxidants and flavour, the purple cauliflower not only elevates the taste of the salad it is packed with many wonderful nutrients. Inside the plate of delightful hues are cherry tomatoes, capers, marinated olives, fresh basil and parsley, drizzled with a special home-made white balsamic dressing.


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Of course, it wouldn’t be a visit without digging into the traditional German food. Pfandl is one that touches my meat-loving fancy. The savoury pan-seared beef, Nurnberger sausages, pork patties, smoked Kassler, roasted pork collar and meat loaf goes well with the delectable mushroom sauce. The fresh sauerkraut and creamy mashed potatoes that come with the dish balance the strong meaty flavour.


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Another dish to love is the Klassisch Gekochtes Rindfleisch (Classic Boiled Beef). Deceivingly light in appearance, the Australian grass-fed beef ribs and oyster blade is tender and flavour rich. Served in a succulent piping hot beef broth with seasonal vegetables, it is the absolute comfort food – all in a bowl.


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For those who craves for fried chicken and authentic German sausages, the Bayerishches Duo (Bavarian Duo) is the one dish that combines the best of both worlds. The unique combination features fried chicken over a fresh serving of potato salad, together with juicy Weisswurst sausages, served alongside freshly made pretzel and mustard. The best part, however, is the fun part where you got to either test your cutlery skill to peel off the skin or suck the filling out German style.


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Brotzeit Vivocity
1 HarbourFront Walk #01-149/151, VivoCity, Singapore 098585
For reservation & enquiry: 6272 8815

Go Mentaiko Madness on RE&S 30th Anniversary Celebration

Author: Alex Chua

Celebrating its 30th year anniversary, RE&S launches exciting promotions starting with ‘Mentaiko Madness’ at four of its restaurant concepts: Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store, Kabe No Ana, Men-ichi Japanese Ramen and Ichiban Sushi. For those of you who are clueless about mentaiko – it is a mildly spicy version of tarako (salted cod roe), a popular umami-packed ingredient in Japan. Its versatility allows easy pairing with rice or noodles to create appetising snack or meal. For RE&S, the popularity of this crowd-pleasing ingredient inspires new culinary creations, and over 21 dishes from these four restaurants will have mentaiko in it.

Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store


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Leading the Mentaiko bonanza charge is Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store, featuring a menu exclusively dedicated to all things mentaiko. From now till September, you can order items include Aburi Mentai Mayo Salmon Don ($14.80), Mentaiko Mazesoba ($12.80/ $13.80 with onsen egg), Mentaiko Mayo Cheese Imo Mochi ($2.30) and a not-to-be missed Mentaiko Ice Cream ($3.90).


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Mentaiko Mazesoba is one case in point of how I would prefer my mazesoba to be. The deliciousness comes when you stir and mix the components of the dish before slurping. The al dente noodles is topped with generous hunk of mentaiko, pork chashu and bamboo shoots. Tossing this dish is a fun and aesthetically-pleasing endeavour and, of course, tasted on-point.

Ichiban Sushi


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If you’re dining with a big group or family, then Ichiban Sushi could be the preferred dining option. Look forward to noteworthy dishes like the Kaisen Mentai Roll ($13.90), Tori Mentai Cream Udon ($12.90) and the unforgettable Ishiyaki Mentai Chazuke Wazen ($21.90). My all-time favourite Mentaiko Ice Cream is also served here =)

The Ishiyaki Mentai Chazuke Wazen (above) comes with flavourful stir-fried pork belly and onion pieces, served over rice in a hot stone bow; with a whole wedge of mentaiko, alongside seaweed-battered dory fish with Japanese tartar sauce, chawanmushi and mentaiko ice cream! Wholesome, complete, value-for-money, definitely suitable to those with big appetite!

Men-ichi Japanese Ramen


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Well-known for their collagen rich tonkotsu soup made with the perfect balance of pork and vegetables, Men-ichi Japanese Ramen is one store I patronizes frequently whenever there is a need to satisfy my ramen-slurping indulgences. And Hakata Mentaiko Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.90) definitely hits the spot when it comes to comfort food. Brewed on high heat for over 10 hours, giving it a rich and milky consistency. Topped with ramen, spicy cod roe, Japanese charsiew, half-boiled egg, this piping hot bowl warms my soul like a welcoming embrace.

Kabe no Ana


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Fun fact: did you know that Kabe no Ana is the original mentaiko spaghetti creator in Japan?

This Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant has upped the ante with four new mentaiko creations, including Mochi Mentaiko Pizza ($16.90), Mentaiko Gnocchi Set ($22.90), Mentaiko Maze Spaghetti Set ($21.90) and Mentaiko Cream Sauce Omu Rice Set ($22.90).

I simply find the thin-crust Mochi Mentaiko Pizza irresistible. Replacing the base with mentai mayo instead of tomato sauce and creative toppings such as Japanese mochi, squid, prawns and seaweed, making it a truly unique yet elevated pizza experience!


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Saving the dessert to the last, the Mentaiko Ice Cream is rich and creamy with a spicy endnote. Taste like innocent vanilla ice cream yet intriguingly smoother with a satisfying kick in it. For the adventurous dessert-lovers, definitely remember to grab a cup before ending the meal!

Mentaiko Madness at RE&S Promotion Dates
From now till September (Tokyo Eater Pop-Up Store)
From now till 4 June (Men-ichi Japanese Ramen and Ichiban Sushi)
From 3 April until 2 July (Kabe no Ana)

Iconic Korean Pizza Brand, Pizza Maru Launches 2nd Outlet at Bugis+

Author: Alex Chua

Even if you’re not into Kpop or caught up with any Korea trend (yes that rare breed), you would be hard not to love Pizza Maru. One of the iconic pizza brands in Korea with more than 620 stores in its home country, Pizza Maru’s recent launch of the 2nd Singapore outlet meant 2 things – more pizzas and more fried chickens choices! I’ve tried the food myself and it’s that good.

And yes, Muslims can savour the taste of Pizza Maru too as they are Halal certified!


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The cosy restaurant sits on the fourth floor of Bugis+, offering succulent dishes in its sleek and modern space. Amidst the pop-art deco and wordcloud wall, like-minded friends can chill or have a quick bite before spiriting away for a movie upstairs or continue their shopping. The service is fast, the location great and the food is meant for sharing.


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What makes this pizza gem Pizza Maru is their dough. Yes, their secret sauce is in their dough. Pizza Maru’s Premium Pizza range is made with their patented, Green Tea Wellbeing Dough and their Chicago Pizza range, which is made with Black Rice Dough. As the doughs are patented, they import their flour from Korea to keep up with the consistency and the quality.

I admit it – I love sweets. Few things made me happier than a good pizza that would warm the stomach, and this place has good pizzas. I highly recommend the Real BBQ Chicago ($26.80 for regular 9-inch pizza). Made with Black Rice Dough, the crust was stuffed generously with Double Mozzarella and String Cheese, topped with Chicken hunk, Cream Cheese Mousse, Honey, Almond Flake, Icing Sugar and BBQ Sauce. It is a juxtaposition of sweet and savoury, a pizza to indulge into.


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For some spicy fun with a punch, try the Mango Ocean Pizza ($19.80 for regular 9 inch pizza, $23.80 for large 12 inch pizza). Made with Green Tea Wellbeing Dough, the pizza is topped with Shrimp, Scallop, Squid, Onion, Mushroom, Mango, Black Olive, Broccoli, Pilaf Sauce, Spicy Buldak Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. Caution: the sauce is really spicy!


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With the flavours and crunchiness at the core of Korean-style Fried Chicken, their classic Original Fry ($15.80 for 6 pieces, $26.80 for 12 pieces) is something not to be missed. Crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, I can crunch on that any single day! For those who has an inclination towards hot and spicy chicken, go for the Supa Hot Dak Gangjeong ($16.80 for 6 pieces, $29.80 for 12 pieces). Similar to the Mango Ocean Pizza, the spicy level is quite substantial, while the chicken tender to the bone.


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Pizza Maru is the go-to spot for hearty, comfort Korean food without bursting your budget. A little tip: don’t just let your gluttonous gut do the ordering. Be mindful to balance the richness of the pizzas and chicken with a smoot, creamy yet light Taro Latte ($6.90) and the Nok Cha Latte ($6.90).

Bugis+
201 Victoria Street, #04-03/04
Tel: 6634 0930

Northpoint City
1 Northpoint Drive, #B1-192/193 (South Wing)
Tel: 6264 4307

Souper Tang – Nutritious, Robust Flavours Worth Returning For

Author: Alex Chua

Unless you have been to The Centrepoint recently, chances are you would not know about Souper Tang, a Malaysia restaurant specialized in nourishing herbal soups, that opened on the 2nd floor of the building on Orchard. Despite the casual ambience of the restaurant which is contemporary and relatively serene, I am impressed by the health products they carry (bird nest, essence of chicken) and delectable array of dishes served to us.

The style of Souper Tang dishes gives me the best of both worlds. It is abit of Chinese upmarket cuisine with your health in mind. Nothing is more perfect than knowing that the food you consume contains just the right essentials your body needs.


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Our appetizer, the crunchy Fresh Cucumber Tossed in Sesame & Walnut Mix, gives off an unforgettable aftertaste. Walnut is good for brain health and cucumber brings your body temperature down, a simple dish good for Singapore’s sweltering weather.


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Speaking of the climate, we may be into the hot season, but I cannot say no to a bowl of nutritious, comforting Ginseng Chicken Soup. Yes, the signature of the restaurant the Souper Tang Signature Soup. If you guys are feeling tired the whole day and feel a need of a boost then drink this soup. It helps reviving vitality, boost energy, enhance mind concentration and has anti-aging effect.

When you first taste the soup, you will feel there is lots of things going on in it, the taste of the herbs especially the ginger, the chicken flavour and the strong taste of the soup from the long hours of brewing. No doubt you can feel the effort and time that was put into the soup. The chicken is soft and can be pull off from the bone with a slight touch of it and the amount is huge too.


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For the meat lovers, the Home Braised Pork Belly in Rich Dark Sauce is served on a hot plate and the smell of sizzling pork belly is heavenly and on top of it the shinning texture of the dark sauce makes it even more appetising. Just the sight and smell make the dish irresistible already.

Lets move on to the main highlight, the taste of it. The most important part of the pork belly is the fatty part and it is just cooked right, not hard but extremely soft and melty. The meat on the other hand is tender. Ratio wise of the fat and meat is a 6:4, PERFECT!

There is also angelica root being added to the dish and it helps with the blood circulation so if you guys are contemplating with it being unhealthy, destroy that thought and give this dish a try!


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Another Souper Tang signature dish, the Claypot beancurd with Sliced Fish and Pickled Olive tastes like the claypot beancurd dish I had in other Chinese restaurants in the Orchard belt, only more luxurious and healthier. Pickled olive is rich in fiber, which helps to promote growth and digestion. This dish contains high content of Vitamin B and calcium, certainly what I needed in this life juncture.


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The Caramel Beancurd/ Caramel Ginger Beancurd that served here is awesome! It is smooth and silky and is comparison or even better than those popular beancurd outside. When I have the first mouth of it, it just melted in my mouth.

It comes with caramel and caramel ginger flavour, with the mix of caramel and beancurd together I would say it is a perfect match, it complements the beancurd with a slight touch of sweetness. For those that don’t like sweet stuff you can choose not to add the syrup on it and for those adventurous there is the caramel ginger.

Souper Tang
The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road, #02-52 & 02-K01, Singapore 238843
Tel: 6737 6772

First Dedicated Duck Ramen in SG – Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke

Author: Alex Chua

Ever had duck ramen in Japan?

While duck is uncommon in Japanese cuisine, Chef Keisuke Takeda’s many years of French culinary experience in French cuisine is no stranger to this robust red meat. Dubbed the Japanese ‘Ramen King’ due to his diverse portfolio of 12 stalwart brands, including Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, Ramen Keisuke Tori King and Ramen Keisuke Lobster King, his ‘kyudaime’, or ninth ramen concept and the 13th restaurant under Ramen Keisuke Group, is the first ramen restaurant dedicated only to duck.

The 32-seat eatery offers 5 ramen choices, including two variations of duck broth (rich and clear), spicy miso, tsukemen (dipping noodles) and mazesoba (dry ramen). All ramen is served with slices of premium Irish hybrid duck – favoured for its ample fat that adds to the tender texture and rich flavour of the flesh.
I love the Hybrid Duck Tsukemen (picture above) – $19.90 for its visually arresting presentation and the flavourful slices of duck. Not forget to mention the bowl of rich duck soup enhanced with bonito flakes for that extra oomph. Lovely!


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For those who enjoy a light, succulent soupy ramen, the Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen (Clear Soup) – $14.90 | With Flavored Egg – $16.90 | Special – $19.90 is prepared with whole Irish hybrid duck and kelp. The clear soup is simmered over low heat for 5 hours to extract the distinctive essence of duck, while preserving a light and refreshing taste.

For a richer variant, try Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen (Rich Soup) – $14.90 | With Flavored Egg – $16.90 | Special – $19.90, where duck bones and herbs are added to the stock and boiled for at least 8 hours over a strong fire.


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I’ve learnt something new. The ‘maze’ in Hybrid Maze Soba (Dry Noodles) – $14.90 means to ‘mix’, the components of this dish are meant to stirred and combined before slurping. The al dente noodles come topped with steamed duck slices, bamboo shoots and a deep-fried egg wrapped in seaweed. Tossing this dish is a fun and aesthetically-pleasing endeavour and, of course tasted on point. Which is why this is my personal favourite dish!


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For those who needs rice as their staple food can order the Kamo Ju ($29.90), a simple rice bento with 10 generous, succulent slices of steamed pinkish duck. A fantastic treat for fitness buffs to up their protein level!

Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke
16A Lorong Mambong, Holland Village
Operating Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 10pm (weekdays), 11.30am to 10pm (weekends)

Flavourful Fare in the Park with Toriyard

Author: Alex Chua

I am always thrilled when there is a new food option opening in the parks. Toriyard, the first Japanese yakitori joint to be located at Bishan Park, serves not only sumptuous yakitori. It also tries to convey a sense of home with nature’s lush greenery. And don’t be intimidated by the fancy exterior. The prices here are friendly, well suited for the residents here. It is a chic option for a good and inexpensive meal.


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There are three seating arrangements in this 129-seater Toriyard – indoor, al fresco and the VIP room (picture above) where corporate functions can be held. The industrial aesthetic is kept minimalist with metal tables, freshened up with pops of color from the red accents and blue and green chairs. In the middle of the spacious glass house stood the open-concept grill station, where gourmands can relish the sight of their ordered meats cooked to perfection with Japanese-imported charcoal grills. The menu is curated and designed by Tokyo native Chef Hasegawa Isao who has had close to 4 decades of culinary experience in various countries including Japan, France and Malaysia.


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The first dish – Sashimi Salad ($19) is a colourful, visually appetising starter. All the elements work. The robust slices of fish (salmon, swordfish and tuna), sweet prawns and the accompanying leafs of vegetables. Next, my favourite Onsen Tamago Cocktail ($17), which happens to be chef favourite as well, an elevated version of the onsen egg with foie gras, samon roe and sea urchin. The simplicity in taste and exquisite presentation only wows me asking for more of this dish.


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Toriyard features an extensive Japanese yakitori (grilled skewers) in the menu. Expect the classic tori (chicken) skewers, along with grilled beef and pork, fresh seafood and vegetables that will please diverse palates. My personal favourites are the flavourful Gyu (US Angus Ribeye $8), Momo (Chicken thigh $7), and Ebi (tiger prawns $6).


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Special mention about Momo, where Chef Isao demonstrated live to us how the chicken thigh meat is carefully rolled in chicken skin before being skewered and trimmed to ensure an even grill. His careful preparation of the dish shows in the crispy chicken skin juxtaposed against the tender, juicy chicken meat.


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For dessert the Jikasei Chiffon ($14), a fluffy matcha-red bean chiffon cake served with warabi mochi and vanilla ice cream helmed from Hokkaido prefecture. The warabi mochi was outstanding with it’s smooth consistency, and the light dusting of soybean powder that was not too sweet. My only quibble with it is maybe there can be more red bean in the chiffon cake but that would be nit-picking.


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Toriyard
1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569930
Facebook/ Instagram: @Toriyard
Tel: 9296 5988