d'Good Cafe: do your stomach a favor and eat here!

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A sight for sore eyes. Surely. Since the lawn-inspired settings transcribes to a heavy amount of soothing vert colors to feed the senses. 

Obviously, this plays to its advantage as the welcome contrast of the warm palates of food definitely look tons more appetizing. 

My first trip to d'Good cafe wasn't exactly a largely gratifying experience, mostly stemming from the fact that I was there to accompany friends and only managed enough appetite to dig into a forkful of Maple Sea Salt cheesecake; which incidentally remains my favourite up till this day. This time round, with a bounty of treasures on the table, conclusions had to be drawn. Will d'Good Cafe be in? Or out?

Ippudo @ Shaw Centre: Look beyond the Ramen

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Opening its 5th outlet in Singapore, it is clearly evident that despite the saturation of ramen options on local grounds, Ippudo has succeeded in breaking into the hearts of many. Just sitting there alone and observing the incessant flow of large groups through the grounds, trying to figure out the various group dynamics, nationalities and age groups certainly made for a mind boggling experience. 

But first, we put the food to the test.

The BetterField: In search of greener pastures

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WE WANT SUGAR!

Slogan sounds familiar? That's because it's the ringing jingle for The SUGAR App. Being roped in to join the brand ambassador program recently, it has kept me on a tight ship of endless scrolling through various merchants in the wee hours of the morning. Reason being that the vouchers refresh at around 7am every morning with only an availability of 1 per day. In this case, the early bird catches the worm and since the window of opportunity is so small, it compels its users to act on a whim, grabbing chances at plain sight; that my friends, is the key success to the app's advocating of discovery and spontaneity.

That's SUGAR in a nutshell. And my first attempt at being reckless led me to the frosty facade of this cafe located in a non-descript alley along waterloo street.

Meat Smith: All that Jazz

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Meat Smiths on Telok Ayer road is one of a rare breed of diners dedicated to smoking their own meats in Singapore. Opened in February 2015, it is the newest wing of the expansion plan by hotelier-restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, whom together with his investors have a serious heavyweight league of hotels such as Wanderlust, Hotel 1929; and restaurants, Majestic, Ember, Cocotte and the ever trendy, Esquina under his Unlisted Collection. In fact, stationed in plain sight of the diner is his other restaurant, The Market Grill, situated directly across the road.

So, you would think that with so much roaming credentials and experience under his belt, that a meal at the casual joint Meat Smiths would be flawless. Truth be told, my meal was highly delectable and I would gladly endorse a trip here for anyone looking for a fun-filled dinner.

Miss Mollys: Not just about the Rainbow Cake

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Miss Molly's joins the infectious slew of cafes in the area. With a menu spawning many fusion dishes,  (sometimes I feel as if to pass off as an excuse to being unable to execute the classics right), Miss Molly's prides itself on being the newest hangout place in Tanjong Pagar, inspired by good food and ice cold beverages. And despite the depressing state of a Tuesday night, the cafe was packed to the brim with diners, all hawking into their food, the perturbing aroma of truffle oil staining the air. A situation I find unfathomable given the saturation of similarly priced food joints within walking distance.

So, I zero-ed in on my food in hope of understanding the dynamics of the cafe.

Bochinche Weekend Brunch: Boozy Boosts

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Looking to treat yourself this long weekend? Then Bochinche would be a highly recommended choice from me. 

Featuring an all-new brunch menu, only available on weekends from 11am - 3pm. Other reasons to warrant a visit include the $25 free flow booze-ster promotions on Saturdays from 11am -1pm. Think about it, continuous tipples of the best Signature Chimichurri Bloody Marys (aka the best hangover cure, ever), as well as wine and mojitos. There's no better reason than that, to hop on over!

Flock Cafe @ Ghim Moh: Breakfast food for the party go-ers

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I arrived all misty eye and in full regret of the wilful night out before. Itching for a jolt of caffeine and some nosh to soothe the alcohol traumatised system, Flock cafe with it's mollifying interior filled with white washed walls and charming wooden furnishings, made me feel right at home instantly. 

SAVOUR 2015: A Wrap Up | What to Eat at this Gourmet Food Festival

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Perhaps I had come with too much expectations. Having attended the Taste of Sydney event last year (read about my experiences here), I had arrived with a benchmark of experiences to live up to. I'm not saying that SAVOUR 2015 had failed my hyped up intentions. Just that it could have been so much more, with better logistics (more seating area) at hand and definitely more amicable service staff around. Jovial attitudes, that's what lacking!

The SAVOUR food festival is an annual event that aims to bring together the palates of gourmands on a relentless pursuit for the best food and drink experiences. Bolstered by the powerhouse of renowned experts and wizards of the culinary field, the 2015 line-up features a mind boggling 50 dishes including some from highly acclaimed Michelin starred chefs.

Here's a quick overview of what I sunk my teeth into.

Okkudak & Ssaldak: Baked Chicken vs Fried Chicken?

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Before you get thrown into a state of confusion, let's put it all out on the table. 

Oven Baked Chicken, houses two Korean franchises under one roof, Okkudak that specializes in oven baked chicken and Ssaldak who wields a magical hand over the fried chicken territory. Combining the likes of both under one establishment builds a powerhouse of sorts... set at capturing the likes of the health conscious, kfc fanatics and beer chugging fools alike.

Fortunately for them, I was all of the above. Sold on the concept, there was only the food left to judge.

Monochrome Fusion Bistro: the black and white of things

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I do not mince my words, and having just put my food evangelist thinking cap on, please pardon me for any feelings trampled on along the way. Believe me, I do not mean it. And even so, we live, we learn and we grow. 

Newly opened in February, the Chinatown Precinct sees the looming presence of a casual bistro touting its hold on providing an alternative dining experience, its main aim, to attract the inquisitive taste buds with a penchant for creative design as well as good food.

Unfortunately my visit to the establishment proved to be majorly disappointing. On the design front, I loved every inch of detail within the compound, the white washed walls with whimsical table cloths hanging on knobs, decorative shelves with a bunch of eccentric publications greets the wandering eye as you trod through the narrow corridors leading to the bathroom. The intersperse of striped blocks and circles of black and white imprinted boldly on the walls, tending to the fastidious pastry chef-y side of me. Service staff were young and upbeat, sporting mischievous smiles all around. I basked in the therapeutic ambiance of this design studio vibe restaurant, with the air-conditioning on high in stark comparison to the blinding heat outside. 

Life was good.

That was till the torrents of food started flooding our tables.