My [One-North Eats List]: Timbre+ and More!
Labels: affordable, cafe, circle line, coffee, hawker, hidden finds, large groups, local food, one north, will return · Posted by SiHaN at 4/12/2016 08:44:00 am
With the recent opening of hipster enclave Timbre+ in One North, the once dire foodie landscape has seen massive limelight in the recent weeks from both the media and the locals alike. On hindsight, it's strange to see how the vendors arriving with feeding buckets to nourish the hive of activities generated by the melting pot of talent, ideas and business opportunities, are so late to the game. Still, better late than never, right?
Traversing the area looking for lunch options can be a slightly daunting affair given the minimal foliage coverage and soaring temperatures in the industrial fixture. So to cut you some slack, here are some of my 'tried-and-tested' joints in and about the region.
(73A Ayer Rajah Crescent)
Kicking off with non-other than the crowd favourite Timbre+ - a strange yet befitting constitution of shipping containers housing refurbished air streams within.
Wong Kee Wanton Noodles (#01-06)
My latest fixation, Wong Kee Wanton Noodles does an innovative twist on the perennial local favourite dish. Must haves include the Beef Brisket Spinach Noodles ($5.50) - beef brisket painstakingly stewed till meltingly tender; it's once tough hide perforated with subtle hints of 20 odd spices. The Char Siew Tomato Noodles ($4.50) manifests as some potent witchcraft as well, it's revamped form tossed in a tomato gravy scented with ginger instead of the usual soy sauce mixture. I inhaled every strand with an audible sigh. Definitely worth the queueing time!
Portico Platos (#01-32)
Focusing on serving up innovative small plate tapas, Portico platos is a fresh concept from the peeps of Portico and Portico Dempsey; aside from dishing out a diverse amount of homely plates inculcating avant-garde cooking techniques, the signature is the Market Seafood Paella ($9 for luncheon portion, $16 for full). Despite the lack of socorrat (rice crust formation), the rice cooked in stock is sufficiently flavorsome.
Two Wings (#01-30)
Armed with a 40-year old recipe, founder Chef Jeremy Loh has certainly brought the humble joint to greater heights with his vision of partaking in the hipsterish beehive of activities in his previous joints in Bukit Merah, presently at Essen @ the Pinnacle and now at Timbre+. Here, you can get your piece of nostalgic 1970s fried chicken with a touch of modern dining ambiance, abetted, by the ominous presence of craft beers from resident bottle shop and live music happening from Wed-Sat nights. You can't get a winning combination more compelling than that!
(1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis #01-12)
Opening it's doors only in Feburary 2016, this local/fusion establishment has been the reason for the derivation of gustatory pleasures from the residents, tired of expensive sub-standard food-court fare in the vicinity. Here, you can get Prawn Laksa Ramen ($7) - a little play on the usual laksa with curly thick strands of ramen instead of the usual alkaline packed yellow noodles. Though I would love to draw your attention instead to the Dry Pork Rib Noodles ($5.80) for maximal gratification - tangles rolled and tossed around in a fervently chilli-laden sauce with a bowl of addictive prawn mee soup for company.
Come nightfall, RED Noodle and Bottle Bar transforms itself from a lunch destination to a playground for the brain-drained folk looking for resolution. Happy hour pricing starts from 3pm to 9pm (Mon-Fri) with 2 half pints of Asahi or Kronenbourg on tap starting from $12 nett. Live music is also an option with jamming sessions occurring on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
(1 Fusionopolis Place, #01-28/29 Galaxis, 138522)
Just came out from the gym? On the prowl for #CleanEats? The Daily Cut is a fabulous option for the health conscious - here, you'll get to select a protein amidst some complex carbs and 4 supplements for $12. Permutations are limitless here and my resulting tray of Grilled Chicken thigh over romaine lettuce, grilled zucchini with freshly grated parmesan flanked by a sous vide egg proved to be guilt-free albeit satisfying meal.
(31 Biopolis Way, Nanos #01-07, 138669)
This may come as a stretch to those working around One-North; but trust me when I claim that this joint is worth working the extra calories for. Yet another joint to promote the greens is The Lawn Cafe; no boring Caesar salads here as self-autonomy leads to a plethora of riches. Choices of protein range from the grilled chicken breast with maple infusion, MOJO chicken, char grilled prawns, herbed pacific dory, balsamico fresh asparagus and eggplant (for the vegetarians!) and the more premium options of black pepper duck, Ben's beef rub and Portobello mushrooms. With an additional 7 dressings to choose from, diners will guaranteed to be spoilt for choice. Needless to say, all permutations and combinations will lead to flavor gymnastics in the mouth. It's hefty portions for a $9.90 basic bowl providing much gratification and nutritional benefits.
(1 Fusionopolis Way, #02-01)
With the current situation of two food courts housed in Fusionopolis, let me shed some light on the situation - the better choice, only choice would be the one situated on the 2nd floor. Am I too blunt? The basement options seems dingier and much more dearly priced. Then again, who doesn't need a healthy dose of Vitamin D during their lunch hour?
Pick a quick meal of Economic Rice at Jia Jia Le Cuisine or opt for this delicious Black Pepper Beef rice 'zenged' with an sunny-side up egg from 美食师傅 for a fuss-free lunch in somewhat jovial, brightened settings.
(1 Fusionopolis Place #01-34, 138522)
If you're looking for local food in a more upscale settings then Food on Board would serve its purpose. Expect to find Nyonya Nasi Lemak and Nasi Sambal Goreng here at competitive prices. Just another establishment more attuned to the local taste buds amidst the diversity of the foodie landscape. Despite the tight menu of 4 specials a day, items tend to be a little lack luster in the presentation field. My Hainanese Pork Chop Rice ($5) disconcert my young, foolish hopes of being served up a dish reminiscent of my Popo's cooking prowess. Instead I was met with thinner than Nicole Ritchie pork chop, beaten within an inch of its life and fried til death. If that left a bad taste in your mouth, wait for it. The Nyonya Mee Siam ($4) fared worse with a non-existent presence of assam exacerbated by an odd mixture of ingredients ranging from pineapple chunks to cabbage patches and ginger strips.
Only time will tell.
Guest La Mien
(Innovis #01-09, 138634)
During the peak hour lunch traffic, the looming queue situation at newcomer Guest La Mien almost always seems daunting. However, a quick glimpse at the menu board overhead, and the situation is self explanatory. The humble joint, tended by two elderly folk truly boost an bewilderingly extensive menu; headlined by homemade dumplings and strands of thick homemade la mien.
Must tries: Dry Ban Mian + Wanton Soup ($4.20 + $1.20) - a dynamite combination of al-dente noodles tossed in a slightly sweetish soy based sauce coupled with a few extra bonus wantons stuffed with homemade meat mixture. Truly the essence of comfort food.
Handmade dumpling ($5 for 8 pcs of $6 for 10pcs)
Would I say it's the best? NO. But it definitely fits its purpose as one of the better valued meals in the area if you're sporting a tight budget.
(21 Media Circle, #01-01, 138562)
DSTLLRY needs no introduction, especially among the chirashi loving fans. Though highly inaccessible, this placidly shaded den is a multi level temple to the glorious bowl that is their infamous Bara-Chirashi Don ($16.90).
April has recently seen the restaurant taking on a menu revamp that has it steering away from its rigid dinner omakase menu to incorporate more lively fanfare-worthy Japanese-centric plates at night. Throw in a couple of bespoke cocktails in the picture and you've pretty much nailed your first date.
(21 Media Circle, #01-03A, 138562)
A few doors down from DSTLLRY lies Revolution Coffee, a hole in the wall cafe churning out brews using the Handlebar Espresso from Gentlemens Coffee Company and Thumper from Smitten. While you're there, don't forget the mandatory slice of yummy Banana Bread with Yogurt or the irresistible Gula Melaka Pancakes ($13); that's if you're nursing a sweet tooth.
Note that a free shuttle bus throttles between One-North Bus Stop (exit B) and Media Circle. Shuttle operates from 8am to 7 50pm at night, Mondays to Fridays, except on Public Holidays with 15 minute intervals.
(1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis #01-16/17,138522)
Officially opened on the 1st of October'2016; this homely little eatery quickly won over the hearts of resident workers looking for a fuss-free meal focused on highlighting the valued fishery port finds. Make a beeline for their Signature Double Fish Soup or their Sliced Fish Mee Sua -both helmed by a tasty soup base and fresh batang fish with a sweet finish. The Tom Yum Seafood Noodles stumbles out of the food fight with a few scars to its pride - the intoxicating floral, lemony flavor imparted by the lemongrass a tad overbearing in the spectrum whilst the squid and prawns had overextended their stay in the hot broth. Stick with the former two dishes and get yourself a fresh lemongrass drink as chaser and perhaps you might just become a regular soon.
(Innovis #01-05, 138634)
Coffee Shops with nostalgic cafeteria fare seem to be a dime in a dozen in the Fusionopolis area, as if to facilitate the provision of meeting locations. Early morning, the joint pumps out the hot beverages and traditional toast accompaniments; a little later on, the menu plays host to an other bunch of local favourites such as mee siam, laksa as well as noodle dishes like my favourite ipoh hor fun. Decent if you're not looking for something to remain bright in your memory.
(1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-04, 138542)
Envy Coffee is an institutional One-North cafe with a big ole' heart; and my go-to spot should I be nursing some ill feelings that day. Their immensely comforting Matcha Latte always putting things into perspective. Founded by 3 young men and women who left behind stable executive jobs in order to curb their envy from the rising amount of independent cafes on the island - they finally found their voice at this quaint space, filled with inspirational quotes decorating serene glass splashed walls. Drop in for a cuppa joe or stay for a meal, Envy Coffee has the goods to make your mornings and suitably attractive lunch deals to pave a healthy lifestyle.
The homely Smoked Duck Miso Pasta ($12.90) is an eccentric individual with a blend of miso and sesame cream elevating the bland pasta, the key installation of smoked duck pleasing with its shy shade of pink and tender temperament.
Food aside, the staff at Envy Coffee are pretty serious about coffee matters and you'll expect to find some of the solid latte artwork here as well as cooler options of well-rounded cold brews.
(1 Fusionopolis place, Galaxis #01-04, 138522)
Attap House located in Fusionopolis place may appear a tad expensive for the type of food it carries, combined with unpretentious kopi-tiam vibes; however, let me assure you that your $6 meal will leave you satiated till dinner time hits.
Take my lead and order the Pork Chop Sambal Fried Rice ($6.50) - the usual suspect sees a fancy facelift here with the encouragement of an accompanying sweet pork chop. It's blackened coat of caramelization extremely winsome and poignant against the fragrant grains of fried rice. A magic carpet of sunny-side egg enlivens the deal with promises of flowy egg yolks.
For something that runs a little more along the comfort food lines, get the Braised Hokkien Mee ($5.90) - it's gravy galore as you dive into the thick strands of flat yellow noodles coated so sumptuously in thick brown sauce, carrying wafts of seafood and lard in its flavor.
Need more chili to hit the sweet spot? - the jovial crew will happily oblige.
So there you have it! My round-up of places to dine-in, preferably on a lunch type budget in and about One-North MRT. You can view the rest of the pointers by downloading ANYMAP on your phones (download links can be found below)
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If any of you business owners or foodies have a strong inkling that I'm missing out on something in the region. Do feel free to drop me an email at iamfundamentallyflawed[at]gmail[dot]com