Monday Light Bites: Yusheng @ Shin Minori - Japanese Ala-carte buffet at River Valley Road

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In the blink of an eye, Chinese New Year is upon us. And as most of you would come to know, majority of the larger Chinese restaurants would have long closed reservations by now. So if you're seeking a fuss-free alternative, look no further than Shin Minori (located on the 3rd floor of UE Square) where you can get their signature yusheng in conjunction with the hearty ala-carte buffet you're about to tuck into.

The Harvest Yusheng ($69.90 ++) can feed 8 -12 comfortably - apple ponzu plum sauce is drizzled over a myriad of fresh and pickled vegetables along with slices of fresh sashimi. Running till the 11th Feb, you can call a day in advance and reserve your party pack for a special promotion price of 1-for-1 when you takeaway.

[NEW] Nadai Fujisoba: Exemplary Soba in S'pore

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If you remember the old Itadakimasu food cluster located on the 3rd floor of Millenia walk, you'll be elated to know that this has been revived with the food village finding its new grounds of residence at 100 AM Mall in Tanjong Pagar.

Japanese dining clusters are all the rage this year with Japan Food Town, Nihon Food Street, Japan Foods Garden setting up in different districts dotting the island. The idea, to present a multi-restaurant dining enclave to offer a plethora of choices for an audience who have already formulated a plan to tuck into Japanese fare. One of the newest joints that have just thrown open its doors in Mid December dishes out what I deem to be the best Soba in Singapore.

boCHINche Brunch: a home-run of bold Argentinian flavors

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It's right before the break of dawn that I start to think about breakfast. Weekend brunch if you'd like to be specific. One that my mind drifts back to ever so often was my experience at boCHINche while it was still tucked away in the lush enclaves of Martin Road (read my experience here) - the classic Proveleta is a predictable order, oldie but gratifying nonetheless.

For those of you who don't already know, boCHINche had made a move to the dynamic precinct of Amoy street about half a year ago, sporting a more sleek and intimate outlook amidst several other changes. The weekend brunch menu, too seeing some revisions yet retaining some of the old classics. Take the Empanadas for example; days of the thick crusted 'curry pok' have changed and the pastry recipe has been swapped out for a flakier variant with a slight puff like consistency. Spinach, goat cheese, raisins and pine nuts ($6) is a product of those pre-dinner daydreams and is really good in my opinion leading up to the main brunch affair.

[NEW] Soi Thai Soi Nice: Don't judge a book by its cover

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I must admit my prejudices at the start of this excursion. The mention of Atmosphere Bistro sending shivers down my spine (read here for the full experience);  though slightly irrelevant in this circumstance, Soi Thai Soi Nice is the latest addition to the food and beverage group, SIMYEE Holdings that manages both Atmosphere Bisto and Shin Sapporo Ramen. The latter, enjoying a slightly more favourable response from yours truly.

What struck me at their most recent attempt, Soi Thai Soi Nice, was "the inverse relationship between Instagram friendliness and deliciousness." (What I ate wasn't unpretty, but it wasn't a mad-dash attempt to be an instagram whore and boy, was it highly delicious.) Headed by Chef Worawong Phairat from Bangkok with 19 years of experience under his belt, including rigourous training under a head-chef who cooked for Thai royalty - it was no wonder that the restaurant offers authentic Thai dishes, some of which you wouldn't recognise from your run-off-the-mill Thai restaurant menu.

RedRing Treasures: Chicken Cutlet Noodles in the heart of town

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If RedRing Treasure was born out of a moment of Eureka!; boy would I not have surprised. Especially given the founding family's deep rooted history in engineering. But for a fact that the business was the successful product of a young culinary talent's tenacity in the kitchen and his parents unwavering trust and support in his work; did it struck a chord in my heart.

Birds of a Feather: Contemporary Szechuan cuisine in cafe settings || You should flock to this one.

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Birds of a Feather along Amoy Street is anything but unassuming. What really impresses me about the store is it's depth and differing vibes with every crook and cranny. The front section is seemingly formal, similar to Bochinche; traverse your way in the direction of the kitchen and you'll find a specific zone awashed with the warm glow flooding in from the skylight above head. The ginormous mounds of wood employed as table tops flanked by tufts of greenery and lush fern. Mesmerizing. Tucked away in the space behind is a large communal table equipped with power-points flushed into corners - perfect for impromptu meetings or long mulling sessions accompanied with a good cuppa joe or perhaps a cheeky afternoon cocktail. Befitting of that restorative settings is a food menu like non-other I've seen; contemporary Szechuan cuisine served cafe style. Now, you really ought to give it a go.

Pollen @ Gardens by the Bay: New Year, New Chef

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Since it's the start of a new year, I decided that it was timely that I disclosed one of my favourite eats of year 2016. That being the profound modesty of Chef Steve Allen and the new culinary direction he has Pollen embarked on.

Novelty is a major lure for me and this is enhanced by a personalised buggy ride service from the arrival plaza to the restaurant, through lush foliage and scenic views of the Marina Bay waterfront. Sights targeted at calming the senses and whetting the appetite. To top it all off, you'll get to wander into the Flower Dome too! free of charge. Yes, they weren't kidding when they said POLLEN experience.

Teepee Bar and Restaurant: Burgers & Cocktails match

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Sure, it took me awhile before the shutters on this one were open to actually pay my maiden visit. But I'm certain my somewhat tardiness paid off.

Opened last Wednesday, Teepee Bar Bar is a casual joint hidden behind a non-descript frontage on 31 Hong Kong Street, just opposite the alley way from Pyxiemoss. Judging by the erratic working hours, Teepee is a true-blue all-day dining concept. Churning out hot cuppa joes from 8am in the morning and transiting into 'too-cool-for-school' intimate burger and cocktail bar by night.


Ordering is a walk in the park given the concise menu of a few burgers and rice bowls. I dived in straight for a customised cocktail - a White Negroni, padded with my favourite old suze bitters in place of campari. The result was a sensory overload , the herbaceous root flavor earthing the heady sweet mixture. If you're gunning for one of their signature cocktails, let it be the Dark and Stormy ($16) - Diplomatico rum meets homemade cola syrup and East Imperial's Ginger Beer for a concoction that is as tingling cold as it is fresh and punchy.

Where burgers are concerned, pick the Umami Swiss ($18) featuring a 150g beef patty, caramelised onions and mushroom trio blanketed by melted cheese. Sure, this does bring to mind the Burger King perennial favourite: mushroom swiss, only BETTER! Pick it up between your fingers and dig in, safe to say this needs about 3 napkins but I managed with 1. The challenges were aplenty as the double slice of thick juicy tomato and lettuce attempt to steal the limelight with every bite; I removed those successfully in order to enjoy my burger in its full glory.

The partner's Buttermilk Chicken ($17) burger did have a nice ring to it, with brined chicken thigh, apple raisin slaw, cheese and caramelised onion. The amalgamation worked miraculously, although he did feel that the protein was a little too turgid to the bite. 'It's chicken thigh, honey'.


For what it's worth, Teepee Bar and restaurant serves as an idyllic den for escapism from the world and indulgence of the burger sort. They do have a couple of rice bowls on the menu for those on the prowl for something a little more 'hipsterish', but for me, the familiar formula of burgers is unavoidable. And for that, I can safely say I will be back to suss out the rest of the burger menu.

p.s. I hear they are running a 31% off promotion till the end of the year. With the exception of Public Holidays and the day before public holidays, meaning that today is technically the LAST day you get to enjoy a big cut off your bill. Jump on it!


Teepee Bar and Restaurant
31 Hong Kong Street #01-02
S(059670)
t: 6225 0025

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 8am - 12pm
Sun: Closed

Lan Ting: for Crackin' Dim Sum this festive season

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If the trayfuls of roast meat and leftover turkey are starting to give you the heebie jeebies then look no further than the wealth of dim sum choices at Lan Ting.

The only folks I know to churn our dim sum at 8 am in the morning, you'll be sure to visited by pangs of nostalgia similar to those you get when making your rounds of the Hong Kong dim sum restaurants.

Phat Cat Laundry: Not a Washout

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Jiak Chuan road has a party vibe that has made it synonymous with neon lights. And that is what you get with a brief introduction to Phat Cat Laundry as you stumble past the fake facade of a laundromat up front (apparently licensing for a proper laundromat, to throw guests off is quite a hard deal to get around). Instead you find lengthy black marble bar counter and heaps of lounging space illuminated by artificial candle light. The walls meandering in the same backwash with cheeky aphorisms with visuals to match: dry hump with consent? do not dampen spirits? - a tad cheesy we think but superimposed on white laundry tag like cloth, it does relay a strong theme.