Starbucks Coffee, Terminal 2 Singapore Changi Airport

I made a pitstop here while shopping at the transit area at Terminal 2. (The Great Singapore Sale was still on and I managed to secure a gorgeous pair of Ferragamo shoes in the softest and smoothest leather for an amazing deal for the BF. Gawd, I love sales!)

I was planning to sleep on the plane so I got a non-caffeinated drink, the Raspberry Blackcurrant Blended Juice Drink ($5.50), refreshingly cool and absolutely berri-licious.

Starbucks Coffee
Departure / Transit
Lounge South
Terminal 2
Singapore Changi Airport
Tel: 6542 5865
Open daily 24 hours
Website: www.starbucks.com.sg/


Tiong Shian Porridge Centre, New Bridge Road

Tiong Shian's provision of our local classic comfort food of steaming hot Cantonese-style porridge has made it a firm favourite with clubbers requiring post-alcohol sustenance because it's open till late. The coffeeshop in the heart of Chinatown spans 2 storeys, with air-conditioning available on the second floor.

Although Tiong Shian specialises in claypot frog's leg porridge, I prefer and only order the Chicken Porridge ($3) here. The porridge is a smooth rice gruel with tiny discernible rice grains in a flavourful broth. Add in their simply marinated, smooth and tender chicken pieces and you have a brilliant version of the Cantonese porridge.

The Stall front.

Over the years, Tiong Shian has also expanded to include regular cze char fare, other than their usual porridge offerings. We like their San Lou Hor Fan ($6), which is arguably one of the better versions of this sliced fish noodle dish. The slippery flat rice sheets pass down your throat like silk and the generous slices of fish are fresh and flaky. This was clean, light and delectable.

We also ordered the Crispy Noodles with Seafood ($4), which didn't wow us as much as the aforementioned hor fan. Still, the seafood was fresh and plentiful.

For our daily fibre needs, we got the Sauteed Spinach ($6), a simple but yummy dish full of flavour and nutrients.

The Stall front, also in the same coffeeshop.

Tiong Shian Porridge Centre
265 New Bridge Road
Ann Kway Building
Tel: 6222 3911
Open daily from 8am to 4am


Nan Hwa Chong Fish-Head Steamboat Corner

We wanted something really light and soupy so we headed over to Nan Hwa Chong to have some Red Snapper Fish Steamboat ($20). We added extra Cabbage ($3), Enoki Mushrooms ($3) and Fried Yams ($3).  I love how light and naturally sweet the soup base is. No artifical, milk-enhanced cloyingly sweet shortcuts here.

Nan Hwa Chong Fish-Head Steamboat Corner
No. 814 North Bridge Road
Tel: 6297 9319
Open daily from 5pm to 11pm


Rang Mahal, Pan Pacific Hotel

L.A. Lunch this month was at Rang Mahal for some delectable Indian cuisine. I don't recall ever having Indian food for any of our L.A. lunches or dinners before, so this was quite a treat. Mr Marathon Man was lamenting that he eats Indian food at home everyday and had cheekily suggested that we pay him the L.A. allowance budget and go to his home to have Indian food instead. For the record, we didn't.

Rang Mahal is one of the oldest, fine-dining, award-winning restaurants in Singapore focusing on North Indian cuisine. And it's little wonder why, their food is exquisite and consistently good. Of course, this all comes at a price commensurate with the experience and ambience of one of Wine & Dine's and Singapore Tatler's Best Restaurants since 2000.

We opted for their Lunch Buffet ($45 per person) but supplemented the buffet with a couple of dishes from the ala carte menu. The first of which was the Portobello Mushrooms ($28), stuffed with cheese and grilled to perfection in the tandoor. I love portobello mushrooms. Juicy, cheesy and utterly delicious.

The other ala carte dish was the Samarkand Prawns ($40), ginormous prawns dry-rubbed with tandoori spices and stuffed with freshly shredded crabmeat and also grilled in the tandoor oven. Look at that gorgeous char.

The buffet, while limited in variety, made up for it in quality. Each dish was so good it could have been from the ala carte menu. They were all delicately spiced and such an explosion of flavours. My favourite's the Tandoori Salmon Tikka, enhanced with mustard and lemon. The oily omega three-rich fish was moist, aromatic and rich in flavour.

The Panchkkuti Dal of slow cooked mixed lentils was delicately spiced, chunky and thick. 

Little ramekins were provided to scoop the various curries into. 

The Dal was fabulous on its own or when paired with the crisp Pappadoms, also lightly spiced and slightly peppery.

The Naans were also fluffy, well-charred and so fragrant. These were practically good enough to eat on their own.

Other curries included the Dum Aloo Benarasi, baby potatoes simmered in light tomato, cashew and onion gravy. This yellow-ish curry was very light and not spicy at all. I liked how delicate this was.

I wasn't a fan of the Paneer Makhani, cottage cheese simmered in tomato gravy and dried fenugreek. The sour flavour of the cottage cheese just clashed with the piquant tomato and spiced curry.

The Jeera Pulao, cumin tempered basmati rice was a hit. The unassuming long-grained rice was fluffy, nutty and peppery. I would have had more of this if not for the fact that I had to review a long contract in the afternoon.

I loved the Prawn Masala, fresh crunchy prawns in a fiery thick masala paste. The only downside was that the whole dish was laced with coriander! Suffice to say, I had to painstakingly scrape the coriander bits off the prawns.

The Palak Gosht, a classic lamb dish with spinach was an unexpected surprise. I'm not really a fan of lamb because it can be quite gamey but this was handled very well. The lamb was tender and had none of that gamey taste, with spinach adding a refreshing element to the curry dish.

The Beetroot Tikki, tawa (cast-iron griddle) seared beetroot patties, was a cheerfully-hued and tasty appetiser.

I didn't really take to the Kurkuri Karela of crispy fried bittergourd, mostly because I'm not a fan of the vegetable.

The Eggplant at the Live Tawa Cooking Station was not bad. Indian spices were dry-rubbed onto the eggplant for added flavour and heat.

There were chili paste and garlic condiments available as additional toppings for the eggplant.

Indian food isn't just about curries and meat. Colourful fresh veggies with an Indian twist of lady's fingers, carrots, and musclun greens also make up their diet.

The Chickpea Salad and Raita provided a refreshing and soothing edge to the spice of the main dishes.

Indian desserts are definitely not for the faint hearted. They are catered to the extreme tastebud. The Kala Jamun, deep fried cottage cheese soaked in rose and sugar syrup was so incredibly sweet that the sugar rush you get can probably rival an Energizer Bunny on steroids.

This was countered by this extremely sour dessert, I took a spoonful, made a face and couldn't take a bit of this. (I can't remember its name though, any help?)

My favourite dessert was the light-as-air Chocolate Mousse. I'm not a fan of chocolate, but this was so light and so nuanced I didn't mind that it was chocolate.

The Chocolate-Coated Strawberry was a hit with my female colleagues, mainly because it was a strawberry and it was dipped in chocolate.

The Fruit Medley of blueberries, melons, papayas, honeydew and grapes. I love blueberries. Yum.

The Vanilla Ice-Cream was simple but classic.

Rang Mahal
Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square
Tel: 6333 1788
Opening hours:
Lunch from 12noon to 2.30pm (except Saturdays)
Dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Website: www.rangmahal.com.sg/


Cold Storage Specialty

Cold Storage sells fairly fresh sushi and sashimi sets at their Japanese counters, which are great for snacking. And healthy too! This was their Salmon Sushi and Maki Set ($5.80), convenient, fresh and really value-for-money.

Cold Storage Specialty
313 Somerset
Tel: 6634 0255


Kim Choo's Kitchen, East Coast Road

We happened to be in the east so we thought we'd go to East Coast Road to have some Peranakan food at Kim Choo's Kitchen.

Stepping into the tiny 30-seater restaurant is like stepping into a Peranakan friend's home for a meal. It's just so homely and quaint. This shop is housed in a beautifully restored Peranakan shophouse. The first floor comprises a restaurant and a stall selling Nonya kuehs, cookies and dumplings. The second floor contains a museum / heritage home full of exquisite Peranakan paraphernalia.

We started off with some Nonya Chap Chye ($6 for small), a vegetable medley of cabbage, carrots, clear vermicelli, fried beancurd stewed in fragrant fermented bean paste. This was better than Ivins' version as the gravy was richer than Ivins' slighter "limp" version.

The Bawan Kepinting Soup ($12 for small) was unexpectedly delicious. The fermented bean paste soup, with freshly handrolled meatballs of crabmeat and minced pork, silvers of crunchy bamboo shoots, smooth slices of topshell and abalone mushroom was unassumingly delicate yet rich.

The Nonya Ayam Curry ($8 for small), with juicy chicken thigh pieces and Dutch potatoes in a thick creamy gravy was spicy and rich.

We also loved the Egg Omelette ($8 for small), with diced prawns and assorted vegetables. This was fluffy yet chunky and thick.

The only slight disappointment was the Babi Pongteh ($8 for small), with bamboo shoots, shitake mushrooms and pork, which was a little "weak". Lean cuts of pork was used instead of the traditional version with fatty pork belly. The tau cheo (fermented bean paste) used wasn't very rich either. Ivins' version of this Nonya staple is definitely better. That said, the pork was soft and tender.

A little note about the service here: Although I've heard some rants about the bad service here, I enjoyed great service here. The waiter who served us was such a charming little boy. He wasn't the most efficient of the lot but he was funny, cheeky and had a cute personality. He really made us feel right at home.

Kim Choo's Kitchen
109/111 East Coast Road
Tel: 6741 2125
Open daily from 10am to 10pm
Website: http://kimchoo.com/


No Signboard Seafood Restaurant, Geylang

I'd been craving for some good ol' cze char fare the entire time I was running on the treadmill, so after we finished at the gym one Tuesday night, we went to No Signboard at Geylang for dinner.

It totally caught us by surprise that the restaurant was almost a full capacity on a late Tuesday night (it was already 9.30pm, past the dinner peak hours). We got a table immediately, but service was a teensy weensy bit slow because the restaurant was so packed.

We started off with the Claypot Beancurd ($10), with cauliflower, snow peas, prawns, braised Chinese black mushrooms, silky beancurd, mushrooms and green leafy veggies. We loved that a raw egg was cracked into the hot claypot just before serving.

The Ginger and Spring Onion Sliced Fish ($15) was aromatic and fresh.

We ordered the Saute Chicken with Dry Red Chilli ($15), chunks of tender chicken in a spicy savoury spicy oyster-based gravy.

The Stir-Fried Spinach ($8) was light and crunchy.

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant

No 414 Geylang Road
Tel: 6842 3415
Open daily from 12 noon to 1am
Website: http://nosignboardseafood.com/


Crystal Jade Kitchen, Holland Village

My pants have been getting a bit too tight, so it was back to the gym for a much-needed cardio session. By the time we finished at the gym, it was 930pm, so we headed to Crystal Jade Kitchen at Holland Village, which opens till 3am, for a really late dinner.

We ordered the Stewed Beef Brisket Noodle ($7.80). The beef brisket had been stewed so long it'd taken on the consistency of congealed fats. Very robust and tender.

The Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle ($7) was juicy and flavourful.

The Shrimp Wanton Soup ($7) was consistently good as always, rich prawn broth with succulent and silky prawn wantons.

The Double-Boiled Chicken with White Fungus and Red Dates Soup ($8.80) was full of traditional Cantonese goodness, healthy and rich in flavour.

The soup fillings, with white fungus for nourishment of the lungs and red dates for natural sweetness.

Crystal Jade Kitchen
No. 2 Lor Mambong
Holland Village
Tel: 6469 0300
Open daily from 7am to 3am
Website: www.crystaljade.com


Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh Eating House

We wanted something hot and soupy so I brought the BF to have some Pork Ribs Soup at Ya Hua along Havelock Road. We just found out that this shop is affiliated to the Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha shop at the PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex along Keppel Road, where the BF is a regular with his father on weekends.

We ordered the Pork Ribs ($7), tender juicy ribs that were soft. The clear peppery soup was a little diluted and weak though. There was no depth of flavour. I didn't ask for seconds of the soup.

We also ordered the Braised Peanuts ($2), which was soft and flavourful, having absorbed all that soy and garlic sauce.

Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh Eating House
593 Havelock Road #01-01/02
Isetan Office Building
Tel: 6235 7716
Opening hours:-
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11am to 2 am
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 3am
Sundays from 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays


Long Beach King Seafood, Kallang Park

I love eating crabs. I can have crabs up to 4 times a week. My fondness for the crustacean is probably due to my family's love for its delicate and sweet flesh. When we were younger, my family would go out for a seafood dinner every week. Yes, you heard right. EVERY week.

Of course it was really a no-brainer what to have for our Fathers' Day dinner. Pops likes a couple of dishes exclusive to the Long Beach Seafood chain of restaurants, so I promptly made reservations at the Kallang Park outlet. It may not have the scenic location of East Coast, or the hip factor of Dempsey, but I know the manager there, so service is generally more personal and attentive.

Pops loves Chili Crabs ($44 per kg), so we got one of that. Long Beach's version is thick, spicy, slightly sweet but still very heady. Egg is stirred in well so it becomes a very fine mix in the rich gravy.

We ordered 2 rounds of the Fried Buns ($0.50 per bun) just to soak up all that eggalicious gravy. These were crispy, fluffy and utterly delicious.

Some of us prefer the black pepper version, so we got one of the Black Pepper Crabs ($44 per kg). These were dry-fried, with the heady aroma and subtle heat of black pepper infusing the sweet flesh of the fresh crabmeat.

We also ordered my sister's favourite, Steamed Live Prawns ($32), plump, juicy and sweet. These were humongous! Thick black sauce with cut chilis accompanied the dish.

Pops also likes the Homemade Beancurd ($16 for medium), silky-smooth and incredibly soft beancurd with fluffy pork floss was served with a side of thick sweet Thai-style chili sauce.

The Sea Cucumber with Fish Maw Soup ($36 for large) was also a hit. The rich and creamy bisque-like soup was choc-a-bloc with premium sea cucumber, fish maw, strips of black fungus, bamboo shoots and Chinese black mushrooms.

The Steamed Seabass, Hongkong Style ($30.40) was delightfully light. The soft flesh of the fresh fish was perfectly steamed and slathered in delicate soy gravy.

To round of the heavy, seafood-centered meal, we were thoughtfully served complimentary refreshing Fresh Fruits.

Long Beach King Seafood
220 Stadium Boulevard
Next to Kallang Park Macdonalds
Tel: 6344 7722
Open daily from 11am to 3pm; and from 5pm to 1.15am
Website: www.longbeachseafood.com.sg/index.html
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