An Introduction

An Introduction
The Simplest Aphrodisiac

Flavours of the Month

Flavours of the Month
Rocks Urban Grill & Bar

Overseas Trips

Overseas Trips
The Reason to Travel

The A List

The A List
Featuring the Best

Cahaya Restaurant

25 April 2008

It has been quite a while since me and Daphne had come here for our zhi char fix, and we were getting a wee bit tired with the usual foodcourt, western or japanese food that we normally end up with. Cahaya Restaurant at Far East Plaza is one of the cheaper Halal zhi char places, and other similar establishments would include Sakura Restaurant (Far East Plaza), Magic Wok Restaurant (Novena), Selera (Cuppage and Selegie) and Rex (Selegie). While Cahaya does not have a significant variety like the rest, it is slightly lower in price. The picture above was taken when the place was closing, which was slightly over 9pm.

Hot Plate Beancurd: 6.7/10

Ordinary fare, though the gravy was very starchy.

Sambal Kangkong: 6.5/10

Almost like a staple dish for us haha. The sambal was alright, I just felt there were too many "stalks" in it. Some parts of the sambal was quite watery, but overall it was okay.

Fried Carrot Cake: 6.5/10

Daphne gave me an odd look when I suggested ordering this. "With rice?" she raised her eyebrows. But since we didn't want those crispy fried stuff like chicken, wanton or you tiao, we settled for this. Overall, she didn't like it, but I thought it's alright. The thing is some of the chunks of the carrot cake were too large, which made them taste bland. The smaller parts, on the other hand, well mixed with the sauce and egg, tasted good.


$15 for the three dishes and two plates of rice. Cheap eh.

Orchard Far East Plaza, Level 5

Additional Comments
1. Certified Halal.
2. They don't serve plain rice here, only chicken rice.


23 April 2008

Exams are coming up! Which also means a few trips to my favourite Starbucks cafe at Marina Square as I get through page after page of readings, notes, and textbooks.

US Style Chocolatey Muffin: 8.3/10

No idea why it has to be "US Style" (*American hegemony!*) but still, this chocolatey muffin was oh so chocolatey good! The top crust was very crisp, and the inside is just rich chocolate, so rich in fact, and I don't know if this is a good thing, that after you're halfway through you're actually quite filled. The chocolate bits melt inside the muffin, so its really... chocolatey.

Buttery Croissant: 8/10

Daphne insisted I give an 8 for this. It tasted great when served hot from the oven, and was pretty buttery too. Okay duh, coz that's what it's called. But yeah, not bad, tastes good even when eaten plain. Somehow Daphne kept adding more and more butter, but she seemed happy so we'll just let her be haha.

Very good! The people here are always so friendly. See two cups above? I asked for a cup of water and they gladly gave me one in the cup on the left. I expected something tiny haha.

$3.00 for the muffin
$2.55 for the croissant

Marina Square Level 1

Additional Comments
1. I always get my fav venti (yes, the largest, seen in the big mug on the right above) Caramel Macchiato, while the girlfriend tried the Java Chip Frappe today.
2. If you're considering staying in Starbucks for a longer period of time, I suggest you ask for a takeaway cup for your warm drinks, as this keeps it warmer better. Less exposed with the cap you see =)

Pasta de Waraku

20 April 2008

I know Pasta de Waraku has been around for quite some time, though for some reasons I haven't got down to trying it. Daphne likes Waraku, but I haven't tried that either.

You can always trust the Japanese with their creativity. Displays like these at Novena and Marina Square never fail to attract attention and make some of the hungrier people curious, or salivate, or both at the same time. The desserts look so tempting, don't they? But because we had a pretty heavy lunch and were heavily snacking throughout the day, we decided not to stretch our tummies further. Your foodie guide here has put on quite a lot of weight since he started this food blog a few months ago!

So what is Pasta de Waraku? It seems to me to be very much Italian cuisined with Japanese culinary skills and spices fused into it. For those who love to find examples of globalisation, this is probably one of it. You've got gratin and pasta with Japanese additions. Throughout the menu you'd keep seeing the words "healthy", and also this "wafu sauce" that I have little idea what it really is. Sounds cute though - wafu, wafu, wafu.

BBQ Beef with Spicy Sesame Sauce: 7.3/10

I was thinking between this and the "hamburg" thing with pasta. Since this beef pasta is on the "seasonal" menu (which probably means it ain't going to be there all the time) I thought I might as well try it now. And to be honest, it tasted pretty good. A little spicy and the beef was very tender. It seemed a little oily though, and I wonder if this is the sesame oil. There is another problem though.

Portion! Now I know why it's "healthy". That's because they don't give you much, that's why! Haha. You've got to adore their plates, it simply dwarves the food in the middle, as you can see in the picture just above that I purposely took to prove my point.

Katsu Tamatoji: 7.7/10

This is what Daphne had - pork cutlet with egg and tadah - wafu sauce! Portion was slightly larger, only slightly. But then I realise now that by default, they give you the larger sized one for the ordinary menu. That makes it $2 more! Still, she liked this, and was happily alternating between the different side seasonings available on our table - cheese, pepper and dried chilli.

Exceptional. Very polite, the usual Japanese routine of one greet, all must greet sort of service. As they didn't take reservations after 7pm for weekends, one of them, who looks like one of the managers, put us top on the waiting list. We came at 7.10pm anyways, he remembered us and there were still a few seats left. Pretty crowded on a weekend for a more peaceful part of Novena if you ask me.

$12.80 for the bbq beef with spicy sesame sauce
$15.80 for the katsu tamatoji with WAFU sauce.

Okay on checking, wafu just means "japanese style".

Novena Square 2 #01-07
Website (with menu):

Additional Comments
On observing we realised:
1. The eel pizza is awfully thin, like some thin biscuit.
2. The hamburg steak on its own was small, but if you order the set with rice, it's larger in size.
3. Their soup pastas are served in pretty large bowls, but it should be the same as the fairly large plates.

And, if you're wondering about opening hours:

Buttercup II

This is one of my favourite snacking places because of the great waffles, taco balls and muffins sold here. For more on this place, you could check out my previous visit here.

Chocolate Chip Muffin: 8/10

I had my peanut butter waffle, and it tastes as good (and fat-fully sinful) as previously. Daphne simply loved her chocolate chip muffin. It was reheated for us and the muffin was not only chocolatey chipy good (literally melts in your mouth) but its outer layer was also crispy, while so soft and rich inside! It didn't overdo on the chocolates or butter, which is important because some of the more popular muffins are like that, and makes you feel kinda full (and that "up-to-the-neck feeling if you know what I mean). This is one of those food that you can just say is simply delicious, very simple, but great on taste.

Very polite and friendly. What is the great thing about Buttercup is that the waffles are made to order, making them crispy. The muffins, as mentioned, are reheated on order.


Novena Square 2 #01-19

Additional Comment
1. Since the last time we came, Buttercup now serves hot coffee and milo that you could buy to go along with your snacks. They have a small area where you could sit, at the side of the shop.
2. Stated "no pork, no lard".

Rochor Original Beancurd

12 April 2008

My mum was saying this shop has been around since she was a kid, and we agreed that it made the right move of staying out and not carving out to too many branches because it would create spinoffs like that of the "Katong laksa". So Rochor beancurd stays in Rochor.

We bought this home, and I'm actually eating as I'm typing this post. Yummmmmy.

Rochor Beancurd: 7.5/10

I was thinking if I should give a rating on this, because I'm quite sure many are divided on their opinion towards the beancurd. To be honest, most of these tau hway all taste alike, and I think what makes them different is really what you eat with them. Rochor's one is particularly smoother, so I'd notched it up a bit.

Buttefly Bun: 8.5/10

And that's where my butterfly bun come in! It tastes even better when you eat it warm at the place of course, but dipping it in the sugared water of the tau hway, as many people do too with their you tiao, makes it a very sweet and satisfying combination.

Portugese Egg Tart: 7.5/10

Pretty good, though I was quite amused that my little sister preferred to nibble away all the pastry and leave out the yummiest eggiest part. Haha.

Prompt. The people here are quite nice really. I remember once when me and a couple of friends went there as a pit-stop from asking for donations, that they donated as much as what we paid for in the food we bought.

Around a dollar or below for each of the items.

2 Short Street

Additional Comments
1. The other outlet next to Rochor, called Beancurd City, is actually opened by a brother of the present owner. Sibling rivalry? Read more here: ST Foodies Club: Spilling the Beans.
2. We normally think of the third outlet as the one in Geylang. Hey hey, all three owners are brothers!

Smok'inn Frogz

Every Sunday I would take a look at the last few pages on the Life! section of the Sunday Times because there'd always be some food reviews or articles on the latest food craze. It was a couple of weeks ago that I came upon this small review on Smok'inn Frogz for its burgers, and seeing that it was along Bukit Timah I thought it was a good idea to head there with some friends to end off a very busy fortnight.

The Sunday Times article can be found here:

Smok'inn Frogz is really a kitchen within a little bar called Bar Bar Black Sheep. It might also be interesting to point out that Bar Bar is now within walking distance from the new Brewerks outlet. A little competition is always good, if you take it from a market-forces perspective.

Homemade Beef Burger: 8.3/10

I've always wondered what's with this concept of "homemade". Unless the chef lives in the kitchen and does the beef patties by hand, I don't see what really is the need to label it homemade. Still we get it everywhere.

The burger was pretty alright, though once again I felt Botak or Globetrotters have done better. As compared to Shokudo, this burger could do better with an egg, but it certainly has nicer fries. As compared to Changing Appetites, I think CA has fresher patties, homemade or not. Here at Smok'inn Frogz, I think the caramelised onions were not too bad, kinda like it but wish there were more of these.

Artwork by Daphne heh.

Chicken Burger: 6.5/10
Nothing out of the ordinary apparently. No pic coz they both look the same, the patties hidden by the burgers. The guy who ate this also commented that he found Shokudo's burger to be good, so it shows how subjective food tastes are! I hope Shokudo could do something about the state of its fries man.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips

No ratings for this coz I didn't taste this haha. On the whole it doesn't look like it was exactly meaty, does it. More flour than fish, a common disappointment for fish and chips.

Service is friendly, but it took a loooooooooong time before we got our food. It was crowded, but it sure took at least half an hour for our food to be done.

$12 for each.
$6 for a bottle of Heineken
$10 for a mug of Hoegarden.

879 Cherry Avenue
After the Bukit Timah turn-in to 6th Avenue, and near Tan Chong motors.

Additional Comment
1. Go before 7 to get a good seat, or be prepared to wait for quite a while, since many people here seemed prepared to just sit around with their beers and chat.
2. There also seems to be an Indian kitchen connected at the back, selling things like fried rice and tandoori chicken.

Fork & Spoon Ban Mien

Me and Daphne have been pretty tied up with work, and me especially with school events. We have not had much time to eat together, and when we do, somehow it's just a quick one at one of the foodcourts near her place. Toa Payoh's Fork & Spoon foodcourt happens to be our fav in the area. It's situated next to Toa Payoh Entertainment Centre.

More precisely, our fav stall has to be the "Ban Mien" one. The two pictures above aren't mine, they were lifted off another site, and if I'm not wrong they're currently doing slight display changes to the stalls.

Seafood Soup: 6.5/10

This used to be very good, consisting of prawns, crabsticks, fried fish, sliced fish, tofu and sotong, yet somehow with slightly higher prices it did not correlate to an increase or maintenance of the standard. The soup was pretty bland, and I did not find the fried fish added this time round (cost-cutting measure?). Why like that...?

Fried Fish Soup: 6.3/10

The girlfriend likes to add milk to her soup, which explains why there isn't much to see now. The anchovies, or ikan bilis as locals like to call them, weren't as crispy or fresh as in the past.

We used to easily give 7.5 to both dishes, but this time round after a change of displays (to reflect price changes I suppose) and probably a change of staff, the food isn't as good as it was in the past. There used to be a malay girl serving us but she wasn't around. We'll probably give this stall another chance when we return next time.

Friendly, though this depends on who serves you. Sometimes I ask politely for slighly more anchovies, and they would smilingly add, like this time round, though there were a couple of instances where they insisted I had to pay for a spoonful extra of those tiny things.

$4.80 for the seafood soup and rice,
$4.30 for the fried fish soup

Block 470, Toa Payoh Lorong 6,
Level 2
(Next to Toa Payoh Entertainment Centre and/or Courts)

Additional Comments
1. Fork & Spoon is a foodcourt that is similar to the Banquet 'Halal' foodcourt concept.
2. Here at the Toa Payoh branch, the stewed beef (stewed beef stall) and laksa yong tau foo ("bagus ytf") is pretty yummy too!

Asian Kitchen

06 April 2008

Initially me and Daphne meant to go Qi Ji (nasi lemak shop) at Marina Square for lunch, but somehow I knew Daphne wanted something else. Along the way we came by Asian Kitchen at CityLink and I suggested we have lunch there instead. Her face lit up in delight immediately.

I have to specially add a place label "CityLink" (eventhough I don't see myself eating elsewhere other than here or Shokudo Pasta) because I realised I can't put it at Marina Square or Raffles City - Marina Square's restaurant is bigger and has a much wider variety of side dishes like Vietnamese Calamari or Sambal Kangkong, while the one at Raffles City is smaller and focuses more on the la mian, xiao long bao, dumplings etc type.

Signature Beef Fried Rice: 8/10

This is my usual at Asian Kitchen, much because it's spicy and pretty high on taste. Add the dried chillies and you've got yourself a lip-smacking beef fried rice. Hmm, come to think of it, a nice egg could top this dish off in an even better way.

Cereal Fried Rice: 7.5/10

Daphne almost ordered the chicken chop fried rice, but quickly changed to this when she saw it on the menu. She liked it very much, and I felt it really reminded me of the "cereal prawns" that I sometimes order at seafood restuarants. She rated this at 8, but I moderated it a bit because it lacked ingredients, and was pretty much rice, cereals, eggs and imitation crabstick. She insists it's still nice =)

Mango Sago: 5.5/10

I think its shocking to realise that for $3.50 you get a dessert serving just a teeny weeny bit larger than that of the size of a rice bowl. We found this awfully sweet, though Daphne pointed out that the mango fruit was a tad sour too.

Attentive and friendly.

Beef Fried Rice: $8.90
Cereal Fried Rice: $9.70
Mango Sago: $3.50

1 Raffles Link #B1-21

Additional Comment
Feeling thirsty and wanting something sweet and milky? I strongly recommend the Red Bean Milk Tea!

2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.