Food Hunter

Tokyo Pasta Mario @ Wisma Atria, Food Republic

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Scallop | Bacon | Spinach | Dry Sakura Prawn | Cheese| Linguine pasta

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Chicken Okura | Onsen egg | Japanese Mentaiko | Ladyfinger | Seaweed | Linguine pasta

I always had the perception that food courts do not do a good job with Western food or pasta in particular. Their range usually goes as far as to only have carbonara and bolognese. But I was wrong after trying Tokyo Pasta Mario.

Their pasta is done in a fusion of Italian and Japanese style and I found it to taste better than other mid range pasta places. What is great about their food is that it is priced reasonably between $6.80 – $9.80! They also serve Japanese teppanyaki and pizzas too.

On my first try, I had the Scallop, Bacon & Spinach Pasta with Dry Sakura Prawn topping ($7.80). Presented in a big plate, it felt as though I had ordered something from a restaurant. The pasta was tossed in an aglio olio style and there was a slight olive oil taste. The mix of the sakura prawn, the salty taste of the bacon and spinach matched pretty well together with the fresh seared scallop pieces (though I love for the scallop to be bigger). Plus, the pasta was cooked al dente which was quite rare in a food court!

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On my second visit, I had the Chicken Okura with Onsen egg in Japanese Mentaiko ($7.80). After giving it a good toss with the onsen egg, the noodle became thick in the egg sauce and mentaiko (marinated pollock roe). It almost had a similar resemblance to carbonara with a hint of the pollock roe’s taste. The chicken was lightly pan-fried, but I do think that was done so as to allow for the sauce to be more prominent. The ladyfinger was quite a weird combo in the noodle but I’m not complaining since I get to have some greens in my food! 

Comparing between the two, I preferred the scallop pasta because it had more ingredients and it did not feel too heavy on the stomach after eating it. However, some guys might find the pasta portion a bit too little for them. But I still think that their pasta is worth a shot to try!

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Food Hunter

The Burger Bar by Fatboy’s Concepts @ Far East Plaza

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Think of the word “Burgers” and the immediate place that comes to mind is a fast food joint. However, apart from those, you will find other eateries that serve burgers with so much more variety. One of these is The Burger Bar by Fatboy’s Concepts. This small outlet is a branch from the main Fatboy’s Burger Bar you find in Thomson and Katong.

What makes The Burger Bar by Fat Boy’s Concepts different from other places is that you get to build your own burger. Think of it as an unhealthy version of Subway. It gives you the freedom to choose the type of meat, bun, toppings and sauce. The plus point of being able to customise your burger is that you will never ever get bored of eating from a standard menu since there are somewhat endless choices.

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Ordering is done on your own on an iPad which simplifies the ordering process. The basic burger is priced at $6.50 with a choice of meat and given toppings of lettuce, cheddar cheese and tomato slices. The next step is to select any additional toppings or premium sauces (prices range from $0.50 to $3). The final step is a choice to top it up to make it a set meal (an addition of fries and a drink) or to have additional sides.

I got myself a burger consisting of grilled chicken on a wholemeal bun with smoked chipotle sauce and an additional topping of grilled pineapple. The burger came piping hot and it is quite telling from the grill marks on the chicken that it was hot off the grill. Although I had anticipated the burger to be on the smaller side (given its price), I was quite surprised how generous they were in serving up a huge slab of chicken.

Because of its size, handling the burger was a bit cumbersome at first. Once you get past that and you sink your mouth into the burger, the different textures and flavours create such a party in your mouth. There is the juiciness of the chicken, the charred grilled taste of the meat, the crunch from the lettuce and the sweetness of the pineapple. However, my bread turned soggy after awhile due to the amount of juice and sauce and I was left trying to not let it seep through the wrapping paper.

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Generally the meat was well cooked over the grill and the burger itself left me very full even without a set meal! Although I did not try the other sides, my friend who ordered the mozzarella sticks found it a bit tough to bite through. However, it was quite fun to watch how far you could stretch the cheese!

The space is quite small but if you prefer something different and away from the hustle and bustle of the Orchard crowd, this may be the place for you. But after eating this, I do think a run was very much needed.

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Food Hunter

Mu Parlour @ Holland Village

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Finding a lunch place on the weekend that is not crowded is pretty rare. Especially when you are at Holland Village, where the cafes are packed with people and it gets quite noisy. Don’t you just wish for a quiet somewhere you could go to for a relaxing Sunday?

All hope is not lost, as proven when my companion and I stumbled upon Mu Parlour. Interestingly, both of us had visited this place previously to study it for an urban class and remembered it to be a designer concept store. So like Alice going down into the rabbit hole, we went up the stairs lined with brick-clad walls on each side.

We were greeted immediately by the service staff and ushered into a bright and clean white space. It was filled with different furniture pieces and each had its own character.

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While I was supposed to have the No. 11 (beef burger with avocado), my words went faster than my thoughts and I subconsciously ordered Burger No. 1 ($15+) instead.

No. 1 consisted of beef, monterey jack, streaky bacon, gherkin and topped with a charcoal bun. The beef did not have an overpowering taste and was seasoned nicely with pepper and with other condiments. While the meat was thick, it was packed firmly and cooked evenly. The toasted charcoal bun was unique in colour and was a bit dense in texture, but  it tasted almost like any regular bun. One bite and you get the flavour of the juicy beef, the melted monterey jack, the crunchy texture of the bacon, lettuce and gherkin all rolled into one.

Not forgetting the fries that came along with the burger – they were seasoned with pieces of diced garlic. However, I felt that they were a little over-fried.

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If you choose not to have their burgers, there is also salad, coffee, cake and various pastries to satiate your hunger.

So would I be back? It really depends. Although the price of the food is kind of steep, the quiet ambience of this place might somehow make me consider my return.

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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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