Kko Kko Nara @Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar road has turned into an enclave of popular Korean restaurants. Most of them serve various renditions of Korean fried chicken and watermelon soju. Kko Kko Nara is a typical family-style Korean restaurant which offers typical Korean fare and a variety of Korean fried chicken. Owner Ms Eon Lee, is a self-taught Korean cook who spent 6 months perfecting her fried chicken recipe before opening the restaurant in 2008.

Bu Dae Jji Gae: Reputably known as the Army Stew or Kimchi Stew, this hotpot consists of spam, sausages, mushroom, Korean rice cake, tofu, kimchi and a mixture of vegetables. The dish was created as a cheap solution to warm the body and fill the tummy on cold winter months. The flavours are contrastingly spicy, salty and tangy, keeps you wanting more. Garlic Chicken Wings: Chicken wings marinated with garlic and soya sauce, they were surprisingly tasty and well-cooked. The skin is crispy and glazed, while the meat is tender and well-seasoned. One of the best fried chicken wings I’ve had so far!Mini Fishcake soup:  Tasty rectangular fish cakes in soya sauce soup, constantly kept warm. Steaming hot soup is the perfect solution to a chilly weather.

During my research for this restaurant, I came across several negative reviews by several bloggers. It made me realise that we should always be open-minded when reading food reviews. Take a look at the publish date and keep in mind that standards can drop or get better over time. Chefs have their off-days too. In the end, always give the place a try yourself before making the judgement.

Kko Kko Na Ra Chicken & Food
68 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088489

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-3am
Sun: 6pm-3am

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Pince & Pints Lobster Restaurant & Bar @Duxton

The famous lobster bar rolled into our shores almost a year ago last July but I’ve only managed to paid them a visit recently. Technically my second time because I got turned back by the long waiting time. But this time, my perseverance paid off and I managed to snag counter seats almost immediately. Not taking any reservations, the restaurant attracts long queue that can go beyond an hour every weekend. I appreciate and love how the restaurant is focused on what they are doing and only has 3 dishes on their food menu. The lobster roll, whole live lobster (either grilled or steam) and chili lobster with mantouPhoto 2-5-15 6 49 35 pmThe Lobster Roll: Indeed, it is THE lobster roll. The bread roll is pan-fried and yet not too oily. Soft and warm on the inside, aromatic and a little crisp on the outside. Then you find yourself staring at the chunks of lobster meat spilling from the center of the roll. By the way, all of the lobster meat in that one roll comes from one single lobster. Tossed with mayonnaise, salt and pepper, the lobster meat is fresh, sweet and savoury at the same time. Do not forget to add a squeeze of lemon for an extra boost.
Photo 2-5-15 6 49 16 pmGrilled Whole Lobster: Pince and Pints are dedicated to serving the best. Their lobsters are imported from Boston, Maine and Canada, so it is no wonder that their live whole lobsters are juicy and fresh. For the more adventurous, dip your lobster meat into the herbed butter sauce for an elevated taste.

The lobster roll from Pince & Pints is truly impressionable and has definitely set a high benchmark for its competitors. They have aced every component of the lobster roll, including their straight cut fries. Despite a limited menu, this place will keep people coming back for more. And that includes me.

Pince & Pints 
32 Duxton Rd
Singapore 089496

Opening hours:
Mon-Sat: 5pm-11pm
Sun: Closed

Arteastiq @Mandarin Gallery

There is something very alluring about Arteastiq: a linguistic play between Artistic, and tea. Interior designs are somewhat whimsical; a partition is created by hanging bird cages. Windows face the streets of Orchard, offering a view of Singapore’s most popular shopping district. Besides the view, Arteastiq is mainly known for 2 things: Their tea blends and its art jamming concept. For just $48, you can pretend to be Picasso for 3 hours and paint to your hearts content. Do check out their weekday promotion prices too. Photo 29-12-14 3 01 38 pmIced Lycée Tea: One of the drinks that caught my attention was their iced lychee tea. Refreshing and addictive, it is the perfect drink to cool our hot tropical afternoon. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetHot Ginger Tea: Ginger Tea has an acquired taste and not many can appreciate it. But it is known for its numerous health benefits and cure for common illness. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetGreen Tea Latte and Chocolate Coffee: The green tea latte was unimpressionable, and in fact a little too milky. However, the chocolate coffee was jaw-dropping. Deep, dark chocolate Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetViva Duck: One of my favourite dishes at Arteastiq, smoked duck goes extremely well with the wraps.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetPrime Dawn: Pan-fried potato-brocoli medallion, scrambled eggs and cheesy roasted tomato with sausage. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAnte Meridiem: Cheesy potato gratin with salmon, topped with rockets. As usual, it is hard to find a place who can produce a perfectly seared salmon fillet.

There are many reasons to take a trip down to Arteastiq. Be it to paint or to grab an afternoon tea,  one visit would never be enough to try the menu that they have to offer. To date, I’ve been here three times.

Arteastiq
Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15
333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867

Opening Hours:
Weekday: 11am – 10:30pm
Weekend: 10am – 10:30pm
Tel: 6235 8370

Nara Thai @Ion Orchard

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Nara Thai is an upscale Thai Restaurant that took over Burger King’s spot at the basement of Ion Orchard. Originally founded in Thailand in 2003 by a group of female entrepreneurs, their dishes draw inspirations from authentic recipes that have been reinvented and modernised. Classy and contemporary interior settings, polished and warm service, the dining experience at Nara Thai definitely leaves a lasting impression and a trail of dust for its competitors to pick up. IMG_8325Pandan Chicken: I have always been obsessed with ordering this dish whenever I’m having Thai food. I think it’s a habit from young I guess. Or maybe it’s just fascinating to unravel the chicken meat from its tightly woven pandan leaf. I am always one to enjoy fried chicken that is seasoned well(marinade goes far beyond the skin) but I thought it would be better if they could retain more moisture. Nobody loves a dry chicken. IMG_8326Green Curry with Chicken: This was the only dish we ordered that was not recommended on their menu. And sad to say, they were right. As a fan of green curry, I was really disappointed. It was too sweet and milky for my liking.IMG_8327Thai Fish Cakes: Glistening under the light, these fish cakes have been given the proper oiling treatment. But ignore the fact that it was deep fried and you will enjoy your meal much better. The fish cakes were a delight. Addictive, tasty and properly spiced, they bore resemblance to our “otah”. Please do not hesitate to use the dipping sauce that comes along. You will not regret it. IMG_8334Stir Fried Soft shall Crab: I vaguely remember having something similar at Thai Express but of course, the only resemblance remains in the taste profile. Otherwise, Nara Thai did it much better. A notch above its competitors. This dish may appear to be just a plate of yellow mess but looks can be deceiving. The highlight of my meal, the soft-shell crab in yellow curry was divine. The lightly battered crab was crunchy and tasty while the yellow curry was rich in flavours and spice, a great companion to a bowl of jasmine white rice. A speciality of the restaurant, the dish was cooked and seasoned perfectly.

It never really occur to me that Thai dishes were generally lacking in aesthetics. Well, not until I started to take a good look of my pictures. (Maybe it is just my mediocre photography skills.) But nonetheless, the Thai cuisine is a reminder to not judge a book by its cover. Beneath their matted appearance are flavours that are wondrously contradictory. Refined yet hearty, traditional yet innovative. Nara Thai maybe more pricey than your usual Thai food joint but it is worth a try, especially for its signature dishes.

Nara Thai
2 Orchard Turn
#B3-21
ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

Opening Hours:
11.30am-10.pm
Tel: 6634 5787