Latteria Mozzarella Bar

Chancing upon Latteria was an act of fate. The initial purpose of travelling to Duxton Road was to try the famous lobster roll at Pince and Pints. But lo and behold, the minimum waiting time was at least an hour. With rumbling tummies, we were forced to seek other dining options instead. Every cloud does have a silver lining. Walking around Duxton Hill aimlessly, we found ourselves at the beautiful patio of Latteria.

IMG_8839 Linguine Crab & Mascarpone: This dish promises to razzle and dazzle you with its fascinating combination of complementary flavours. Creamy and tangy, the sauce coats the smooth strands of linguine nicely and evenly. Garnished generously with crabmeat, this dish possesses a similar taste profile to Ricciotti’s Linguine Al Granchio.

IMG_8838Latteria Mac & Cheese: This dish has always been my weakness. Even if I know that with diminishing returns, I will not last more than 8 spoonfuls, I followed my heart and my gut to order this dish. Housed in a little pumpkin, this dish is irresistible and a visual feast. The baked cheese crust at the top provides a hearty and savoury boost to its taste profile. Mac & Cheese is indeed comfort for the tummy.

Dont brush off Latteria off as just another trattoria(Italian restaurant). The interior has an ageless and warm ambience while their service is exemplary. Food wise, I have said it all. We are definitely going back for seconds and more.

Latteria Mozzarella Bar
40 Duxton Hill
Singapore 089618

Opening hours:
Lunch: 12-3pm (unavailable on Sat)
Dinner: 6-11pm
Tel: +65 6866 1988

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The Sushi Bar Far East Plaza

What started out as a small hole-in-the-wall 30-seater eatery, The Sushi Bar has progressed tremendously and opened another branch outlet in the same shopping centre. Tucked in the labyrinth of clothing shops of Far East Plaza, unknowing shoppers would only know of its existence from the long queue line. Set up in 2013, this sushi bar definitely does not lack popularity or diners in the peak hours. Even with 2 outlets in operation, do be prepared to queue for almost an hour. But once you dig in, it will be worth the wait. IMG_7982-0Sashimi: Sake and Hotate sashimi are staple orders whenever I’m having a Japanese meal. The Sushi Bar serves their salmon in uniformly thick slices. A little too thick for my own preference as I find it hard to enjoy the taste of each individual slices. 
IMG_7822-0Salmon Aburi Roll: One of their signature dishes, this is crave-worthy and top-notch. The relationship between seared salmon and mentaiko sauce is both mystical and complementary. 

I believe in quality food, especially Japanese cuisine as careful preparation is required to maintain flavour and freshness. But I also believe that we should pay for food that is value-for money. The Sushi Bar covers both the aspects of quality and value, and hence, is now my usual go-to Japanese eatery in town.

The Sushi Bar
Far East Plaza, #04-28
14 Scotts Road

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 12.30-3pm, 5.30-9pm
Sat: 12.30-9pm
Tel: 9653 6464

Two brothers, Two Chefs.

Two Chefs Eating Place, operated by 2 brothers, has been all the buzz in the Zi Char industry. Ever since my instagram feed constantly picked up its famed Butter Pork Ribs, I’ve been wanting to try it out. But what put me off for so long was its inaccessible location at Commonwealth. In case you didn’t know, they opened another branch at Sin Ming Avenue as well. (Yay to the North people!)

IMG_8166-0.JPGDrunken Cockles: One of Two Chefs’ signature dish, pictures like this can be found on all sorts of social media platforms when the restaurant is searched for. Personally, I’m not a fan of “hum”, so I didn’t try out the dish. But according to my companions for the night, they found it similar tasting to those you find in your laksa. This dish might appeal to those who has a constant hankering for raw cockles.

IMG_8167Minced Meat Tofu: Recommended by the staff, we enjoyed this dish a lot. So much so, the plate got wiped clean within minutes. Bored of getting the common hot plate tofu at your zi char place, this tofu dish makes a good alternative.IMG_8169-0One of the better Three Egg Veg I’ve had so far, this dish consists of century egg, salted egg and normal chicken egg. I find it full of flavour and yet not too ‘je lak’. Definitely a must-try dish.
IMG_8168Salted Egg Yolk Chicken: Salted egg yolk dishes are the craze here. So no zi char dinner is complete without one. Two Chefs prepares decent salted egg yolk chicken with a stingy serving of the sauce. Beyond the sauce and crust, the chicken meat inside could with more moisture and flavouring. IMG_8170Curry Fish Head: Definitely not a speciality of Two Chefs. The meat was pretty tough and lacking in flavour, nothing to rave about. I wouldn’t order it again next time. 
IMG_8171Butter Pork Ribs: Considered one of the star dishes in Two Chefs, every table will not be missing a plate of the famous Butter Pork Ribs. Funny how the dish is named 牛油排骨, but yet dominated by the aroma and taste of condensed milk powder. Although this dish may not appeal to everyone, it is indeed a speciality and unique in the zi char industry, a key factor which keeps regular customers coming back for more. IMG_8172Cereal Prawn: Two Chefs gave our favourite dish, the Cereal Prawn, a surprising twist with a dash of milk powder and probably sugar into its cereal mixture. Intriguing but maybe weird to some. I love the crunchiness of the prawns though. It is hard to come by fresh, perfectly cooked prawns these days.

On weekends, this place is sure to be packed with diners, so do be prepared to queue and wait for at least half an hour. Personally, I enjoyed my dinner at Two Chefs. Like they said, “high-class dishes at affordable prices”. It’s a pity that their speciality dishes stand out while other favourite Zi Char dishes lacked charisma. A good Zi Char place to come for meals with your friends and family, but not really much to go crazy or craving about.

Two Chefs Eating Place (Commonwealth)
116 Commonwealth Crescent
#01-129 S(140116)

Opening Hours:
Mon: 5-11.30pm
Tue-Sun: 11.30am-2.30pm, 5-11.30pm
Closed on Every last Monday of the month
Tel: 6472 5361

Hong Kong Food Travelogue

I just got back from my trip to Hong Kong and Macau and boy did I put on weight from all that eating. I’m just exaggerating. There’s no way I will allow myself to gain kilos from a mere 6-day holiday. But this trip has been satisfying and productive, as I managed to check out all of the food places on my wish list. So here’s a list that I will be sharing with you. Instead of the usual alphabetical order, I will be arranging the food places geographically. From Top to Bottom (Kowloon) and Left to Right (Hong Kong Island). This is to facilitate your itinerary planning.

Kowloon

Tim Ho Wan 添好運

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset A Michelin-starred restaurant where you can get a dish for just 2 US dollars. This place requires no extra introduction. With at least 5 outlets to boast in Singapore, why should you still check out the real Mccoy in Hong Kong? Firstly, only when you’re immersed in an room full of cantonese-speaking diners then you can truly say you’re having some real Hong Kong dim sum. But the real reason is because THW here costs half of what we have to pay in Singapore. Food quality may not differ much but I’m willing to make my money worth while.

G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon 九龍深水埗福榮街9-11號地下 Nearest MTR station: Sham Shui Po Station, Exit B2
Queue: Usually starts after 9.45am
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 8am-9.30pm
Tel: 2788 1226


One Dim Sum 一點心

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Another Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant, One Dim Sum lurks behind the shadow of its more successful counterparts. However, it is not lacking in popularity amongst locals or tourists. The standard of the dim sum here can be comparable to those at THW but personally, I still prefer the latter.
Shop 1 & 2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward 旺角運動場道15號京華大廈地舖1-2號
Nearest MTR Station: Prince Edward Station, Exit A
Queue: On a Sunday, expect a queue way before opening hours. Do not queue later than 9.30am and if you’re lucky, you get the first seating, otherwise, you will have to wait for another 45 minutes for the next round.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-12.30am Sat-Sun: 10am-12.30am


 Kam Wah Cafe 金華冰廳

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset When I say Kam Wah, you say 菠蘿包 Bo Lo Bao. Arguably the best pineapple buns in Hong Kong, this cha chan teng is not to be missed. Ironically, the bun has no trace of pineapple inside. Yet its resemblance of the fruit got the dish its famed name. A crisp and sweet crust on the top bun, the melted butter sandwiched between provides an extra oomph. For a better experience, order the one with butter.
G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward 太子弼街47號地下
Nearest MTR Station: Mongkok Station, Exit B3 or Prince Edward Station, Exit B2
Queue: There is always a steady stream of people waiting outside but the service is fast and you can get a seat within 5 minutes.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 6.30am-12am
Tel: 2392 6830


Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset IMG_7698 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Nothing Australian about this place but it was rumoured that the boss worked in an Australia farm prior and hence the name. Voted by their locals as the top eatery in Hong Kong, the place is flocked by both locals and tourists alike. But don’t be surprised when you find its simple menu that it has to offer. Just order the set meal comprising of its legendary scrambled eggs, buttered toasts and macaroni. The food gets served up at lightning speed, even before your seat is warm. Do be warned that the eatery is run by a strong crew of men who seem to be experiencing andropause, so be quick with your orders and pardon their somewhat rude service.
G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan 佐敦白加士街47-49號地下
Nearest MTR Station: Jordan Station, Exit C2
Queue: Thanks to its fast service, customers can get a seat within 10 minutes. Be sure not to stand on the take away line. The guy in front is very particular about his lines.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 7.30am-11pm Closed on Thursdays
Tel: (852) 2730 1356


Hong Kong Island

Kau Kee Restaurant 九记牛腩

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Another best of the trip. No Michelin star but this legend definitely deserves a mention. A broth robust in flavour, bee hoon that is well-done and steeped in flavour, and its tender beef brisket, the dish is a gastronomic delight.
G/F, 21 Gough Street, Central 中環歌賦街21號地舖
Nearest MTR Station: Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2
Queue: Went around 10pm and there wasn’t a queue.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12.30pm-10.30pm (Closed on Sun and Public Hols)
Tel: 2850 5967


Yung Kee Restaurant 鏞記酒家

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Unlike the rest of the eateries in this list, this place is the most “atas” so be prepared to burn your pockets. Despite its pricier menu, Yung Kee is never lacking in diners. The restaurant has won high accolades and awards in the culinary world, especially its famed roasted goose. If you’re low in budget, just order the roasted goose and you will not regret it. Crispy skin and succulent, tender goose meat, personally, this has got to be the best roasted goose I’ve ever had.
32-40 Wellington Street, Central 中環威靈頓街32-40號
Nearest MTR Station: 
Central Station, Exit D2
Queue: I’ve heard that queuing at the restaurant can take at least an hour, with a designated waiting area on the second level. The goose gets sold out past 8.30pm as well. So what I did was to email the restaurant (in English), to make a reservation for seats and the roasted goose. After receiving a reply from them, I got my hotel receptionist to call back the restaurant to confirm my reservation. Then, you can just walk right in. Like a boss.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11am-11pm
Tel: +852 2522 1624


Chi Ji Wanton Noodles 池記雲吞麵家

IMG_7413 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_7408 Awarded a Michelin guide recommendation, this eatery is famous for its wanton noodles. Springy noodles, sweet savoury broth and fresh prawn wantons, this place is to be reckoned with. The crab congee is worth trying as well.
G/F, 52 Russell St,, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣羅素街52號地下
N
earest MTR Station: Causeway Bay Station, Exit A
Queue: Clears pretty fast. 


Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop 何洪記

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I got to know of this place. Famous for their wanton noodles, the restaurant is another Michelin-star gem in Hong Kong.
Shop 1204-1205, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣軒尼詩道500號希慎廣場12樓1204-1205號舖
Nearest MTR Station: Causeway Bay Station, Exit F2
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11.30am-11pm
Tel: 2577 6028

Victor’s Kitchen, where Dim Sum magic happens

Long before the big swanky restaurant chain, Tim Ho Wan, was brought to Singapore, Victor’s Kitchen first started out as small and cosy Hong Kong-style dim sum eatery. A simple setup of metal tables and plastic stools, the place is smacked in the middle of Bugis, which is highly inaccessible but yet never lacks in patrons and diners. This was a sign that Victor’s Kitchen means business. The chief chef hails from Hong Kong, who was previously a chef at Victoria Hotel. No wonder, this place is swarming with rave reviews.
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Victor’s Kitchen
91 Bencoolen Street
Sunshine Plaza, #01-49
Singapore 189652

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 10:30am – 8:00pm
Tel: 98382851

 

Tampopo Restaurant

Making a Quick Statement

So many Japanese restaurants have sprung up in our sunny shores that the competition in this industry has intensified. What does Tampopo have to offer to keep you going for more? The menu are definitely pricier than usual but the quality is exceptional. The imported Japanese Rice is a notch above others, making you dig deep into your rice bowl.

We Recommend:
Wafu Steak (Do not be fooled by its dubious name. This steak is phenomenal. Well-seasoned, tender and melts in the mouth.)
Premium soft shelled crab (So delectable that we ordered another plate right after we finished the first one.)

Tampopo Restaurant
177 River Valley Road #01-23, 24
Liang Court Shopping Centre
Singapore 179030

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11.30am – 10.30pm
Sun: 11am – 10.30pm
Tel: 6338 3186

Canopy Garden Dining & Bar

Making a Quick Statement

A cafe with a garden setting for patrons to escape the huzz and buzz of city life, the menu has a variety of dishes to boast. From all-day breakfast to main courses, the western cafe definitely appeals to customers of all ages. Although it is inaccessibly nestled in the heart of Bishan Park 2, this cafe is fully booked days before and a long queue snakes at the door.  Although it is a pet-friendly cafe, it does not serve food for our pets. But still, both humans and canines never fail to gather.

We Recommend: Chili Crab Pasta (This pasta dish is number one on my list of favourites. Al dente linguine wrapped in creamy yet addictive chilli crab sauce with crab meat drizzled all over.)

Canopy Garden Dining & Bar
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Bishan Park 2
Singapore 569931

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thurs, Sun & PH: 9am – 10.30pm
Fri-Sat: 9am – 11pm
Tel: 9116 4666

Department Of Caffeine, more than just a family business

Finally, I venture into the rustic lanes of Duxton Road to check out one of the cafes that has been gathering raves and reviews in our sunny island. The name suggests that this quaint little cafe is pretty serious about the coffee and tea that they serve to their customers. Yet similarly, D.O.C promises to provide comforting and affordable food for the masses. IMG_2524D.O.C Platter: Scrambled eggs and bacon wrapped meatloaf on toasted brioche with tomato confit and cheese boccincini. The eggs were done well, though a little more seasoning would be perfect. And I think the classy plating just made my breakfast look like a million dollars.

IMG_2532Sausages, mushrooms & egg: English pork sausages with mushroom ragout topped with a sunny side up egg on toasted artisanal sourdough. Nothing can go wrong with this power combination, maybe except for the choice of bread. Not really a big fan of sourdough for breakfast dishes.

 

Although I swapped my regular mocha for a banana smoothie, I did not regret my decision. The smoothie was refreshing and a great start for the day. However, being named Department of Caffeine, I silently promised myself that I’m definitely trying its mocha the second round. You heard me right, D.O.C is definitely worth another visit. If you’re not ready to wait for seats, be sure to make a reservation first.

Department of Caffeine

15 Duxton Road
Singapore, 089481

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 10.30 – 7.30
Sat-Sun: 9.30 – 7.30
Tel: 6223 3426

Concetto by saveur

Riding on the success of Saveur, founders Chef Joshua Koo and Chef Dylan Ong decides to bring affordable yet delectable Italian cuisine to the masses. The chefs use cooking techniques, gathered from past experiences in worldwide high-end restaurants, to produce promising dishes. Being Shatec-trained, our local chefs are establishing themselves pretty well in our competitive dining industry. The menu was a pleasant sight for me, dishes are categorised into Earth, Land, Seas and Light. IMG_2543Salmon: A nice piece of salmon fillet sits prettily on a bed of parma ham, pea ragu & bonito oil. The salmon skin shows off a good crisp and sear. However, it would have been perfect if the fillet was less done. I prefer my salmon slightly raw and pink inside. 
IMG_2551Duck Tortellini: Where do I begin? The pasta was nicely done, skin not too thick and cooked well. Yet, it would have been so much more satisfying if the more effort was put into the duck filling. Bland and dry, my companion and I could not hide our disappointment. Not to mention that the combination of the poached egg and parmesan emulsion was pretty distasteful.
IMG_2557Pistachio Panna Cotta: I strongly believe desserts exist for several important reasons. And one of them is to end off every single meal on a sweet note. Ever since my companion and I tried this dessert at Saveur, we fell in love with it. An explosion of flavours occurs with every spoonful of smooth, creamy panna cotta topped with crushed pistachio nuts. Perfecto.

CONCETTO by saveur

The Cathay
2 Handy Road
#01-11/12 S229233

Opening Hours
12 noon to 9.30pm
Tel: 6735 1141

Nam Nam Noodle Bar

Making a Quick Statement

Singaporeans love to eat. So it’s not wrong to say that most of us eat anything or everything. Joining the local F&B industry is a small eatery offering vietnamese cuisine with outlets at Wheelock and Raffles City. A simple menu is made up of Banh Mi (toasted baguettes) and Pho (thin Kway teow in a special broth) as their highlights while small side dishes, desserts and drinks make up the rest.

We Recommend: Pho Chicken (tender chicken chunks served with well-cooked thin kway teow in a delicious beef broth cooked for 24 hours. The tinge of freshly squeezed lime whets your appetite and keeps you wanting more.)

Nam Nam Noodle Bar
501 Orchard Road
#B2-02, Wheelock Place,
Singapore 238880

Opening Hours:
8am to 9.30pm (last order)
Tel: 6735 1488

It was love at first bite.