Everything Else, Food Hunter

TANGS Market @ Orchard Road

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“Excuse me, are you sure you can finish two bowls?” 

That was the surprising question I got from a Caucasian man who was in the queue behind me.  One look at the food portion and I could have told him that I was able to finish both. But being polite, I told him it was for my friend and myself to have.

At $4, I was a little disappointed that my 85 Redhill Teochew Fishball Noodles was not able to fill my hungry stomach. However, the noodles had a reasonable spicy and sour taste from the chilli and vinegar sauce.  Thankfully it was just the right amount, if not it would have coated my lips in oil. The fishballs were quite springy and it came with a special mushroom / vegetable piece.

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To top off our lunch, we had Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah ($4). Known as the “Poh Piah Maker to Singapore’s Presidnet and Prime Minister,” it was slightly longer than the usual ones. Wrapped with stewed turnip, radish, beansprouts and fresh lettuce, this healthy snack tasted good and each had the right portion and  crunch to it.  The poh piah skin was not too thick and doughy and it slightly soaked up a bit of the chilli, hoisin sauce and turnip stew in it.

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The fishball noodles and popiah were not the only thing found in the TANGS Market. Tucked within the kitchen and household section of TANGS, it also brings Peranakan, Penang and local delights under one roof. Like a noisy street market, the queues snaked around the narrow walkways and people were jostling through looking for seats in the small area.

The interior were furnished in old school items with an eclectic mix of bright colours and Peranakan patterns and prints. Some includes childhood favourites like the Khong Guan little biscuits with sweet star-shaped coating and Nyonya porcelain wares. While the price to the portion of food serving did not whet my appetite, I do think this newly renovated place is breathing life once again to the once quiet underground passageway towards the Orchard Road train station.

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Food Hunter

Toss & Turn @ Ion Orchard

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Before an extensive 4k walk to church, I wanted to pack some healthy food for dinner and was craving for a good sandwich and salad. Having passed by this place a couple of time, I decide to try Toss & Turn, a soup and salad bar by Cedele.

Packed in a designer style wrapper, the combo was a mixed grain loaf with chicken avocado and with a side salad.  One bite and you get the flavours from the roasted chicken and the freshness of the vegetables. The avocado had a slight sweetness to it and the good thing about it was that it was slightly mashed and not too chunky on the mouth. 

On the other hand, the salad was piled with lots of goodness; edamame beans, purple and green lettuce, carrots and croutons. The plus to it was the free flow sunflower seeds and pomegranate dressing that I could add to my salad from their counter. The pairing of the sweet and light dressing with the sunflower seeds and the croutons added a nice dimension and texture to the crunchiness of the salad. If you think that pomegranate dressing is too wild for your taste bud, the counter also serves other types of dressings, like the usual Caesar, Thousand Island to the fruity or less heavy kind for the salad.

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I was surprised that the portion of the food left me feeling quite full from the hearty meal! Judging by the stream of people that visit this outlet from office people to school going students, it seems to hit the right notes to appeal to people to eat their greens. I even went back a second time to try to create my own salad to take-away.

However, their service was a let down as I was kept waiting at the cashier while the staff was busy minding other customers and errands. While the regular salad portion was huge, their food prices is a bit steep ($9 for a regular bowl, $7.80 for half a bowl) just for greens and I think having it too many times seems like high maintenance? Maybe I’ll stick to buying fresh veggies from the supermarket and tossing them myself.

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Food Hunter

Real Food @ Killiney Road

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Dumplings with brown rice vermicelli and soup | Steamed dumplings with organic sesame oil and tamari

I love my greens.

Yes, you’ve heard me. But visiting Real Food for the second time makes me happy not only for that reason. For one, the vegetarian food you get is healthy, fresh and organic. The people who serve you are so down-to-earth, just like your next door neighbour.  Plus, the large space is quiet and simple with contemporary furnitures from Kartell.

I think this sets it apart from any other vegetarian places I have tried. I am won over by this place because of the variety of food they have. Pizzas, rice, spaghetti, coffee, smoothies and more!

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During my first visit, the pumpkin soup was amazing. It even had a bit of purée of the pumpkin flesh in the soup that was way better than the processed kinds from other places.

My friend and I had dumplings. It was really good because not only was it handmade, it was also not like the typical “vegetarian” food that replicates by using flour and mock meat to stuff the filling. Instead, they use around 10 different ingredients like carrots, mushrooms, bean curd, French beans and chestnuts to make it quite a refreshing dish to have!

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Dumpling with brown rice vermicelli | Pumpkin Soup | Organic Mushroom Aglio Olio

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On an interesting note, it feels like a system of trust in this cafe because no one attends to the cashier until you stand at the counter. This store also includes the small retail area that sells organic fresh veggies, oats, chocolate and even shampoo and bath soaps!

If you like to try something different and a healthier alternative, here’s the place for you!

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Food Hunter

Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodles @ Ion Orchard

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Nowadays it is hard to find handmade fishballs being sold at hawker centres or food courts. The cost efficiency and consistency of factory-made ones – although differing slightly in taste and texture – trumps tradition and it is no wonder you see many places selling that instead.

I was introduced to this by a friend and was told it was previously from Old Airport Road Food Centre (which has other famous eats!). I found it overpriced at $5 but the taste of the fresh and bouncy fishballs were a good change from the common manufactured types.

Not to forget the noodles (mee pok) that need to come with a good sauce! Their sauce was mixed with a special blend of chilli sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and lard. I did not find the chilli sauce too overpowering; it had the right balance and was not very oily.

On a side note, this food court gave a 10% discount to Safra and Passion card members! Plus points for that!

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Food Hunter

SPRMRKT @ McCallum Street

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Somehow I find this bistro’s name just too cool. It’s ‘supermarket’ without the vowels. But more than its name, SPRMRKT goes beyond typical utilitarian supermarket practice. It is where food, retail and art converge.

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Eggs Florentine | Breakfast Set B: 2 slices toasted brioche with scrambled eggs honey baked ham/ smoked salmon | Grapefruit Juice | Latte

What makes this place stand out from the crowd is that the menu changes each day (not counting the “all-day breakfast”). It keeps you wanting to go back for something different each time! All their food is about making things fresh and natural. They even sell their raw ingredients!  When I was there, yummy bakes were seen being readied for their turn in the oven too.

The breakfast set was pretty decent. In addition, you are surrounded by some cool photography works and a display of kitchen ware and ingredients that you can buy. It is a lot in one space, but it definitely hits the right notes with the office crowd in the city area.

Maybe it’s time for you to head down to do your grocery shopping?

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Food Hunter

Breadyard @ SUTD

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The Merry Bird (Seasonal Special)

Orange wholemeal bread | Turkey Ham | Rocket | Cheese | Onion| Cranberry Sauce | Entrée of Roasted Potatoes

This is one of the best kept secrets that not many people know about and only those in this university would.

Breadyard serves simple fare such as sandwiches, bread and bakes. They have four types of bread used in their sandwiches that are not your typical choices found elsewhere (Multi-seed, Olive, Hokkaido Milk, Italian Wholemeal). Plus, it is easy on the wallet!

Something interesting about the small bakery is that you can take a peek into a little corner reserved for the fermentation of their bread dough. The people behind this place do want to share in their joy of creating fresh bread!

If you visit this place, you might want to consider buying one of their home-made bread to take home!

Here is a short clip by them!

Don’t you want to make some bread after watching it? (:

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