The Populus Coffee & Food – Serving Grains and Coffee

Located near The Lokal, The Populus Coffee & Food is opened by the people behind Department of Caffeine and Two Degrees Coffee Co. Looking at the menu, it covers both healthy and sinful options and since the friend wanted something healthy for lunch, I thought this place is worth checking out

So crowded!

Flat White $5.50

The coffee is aromatic and nutty, well balanced and silky

Roasted Cod & Soba Noodle Salad $24

Marinated roasted cod sitting on top a bed of soba noodles, mushrooms and broad beans. Overall, the dish was salty. I wished there was more contrast in flavours

Roast Chicken Grain Bowl $19.50

The chicken was beautifully roasted, moist and tender. I love the furikake baby corn and roasted butternut squash, but feel less for the rest of the sides. The combination of wild and brown grains was fragrant but a little too hard. If this dish were to put itself in competition with its friendly competitors in the CBD, I think I would pick the latter

Our healthy lunch!

I appreciate the vast options available, especially for the health conscious people. Though there are certainly hits and misses here, I think there are definitely options that kept people coming back here (looking at the crowd)

The Populus Coffee & Food Co

146 Neil Rd, S(088875)

Sawadee Thai Cuisine – Thai Food in Bugis

The colleague was craving for Thai so we ended up at Sawadee Thai Cuisine at Bugis. The location is just opposite the downtown exit, which makes it a convenient and accessible one. I always walk past this place but never had the intention of going in so I’m glad I finally had the chance to try out their food. The restaurant wasn’t crowded and I spotted a few Thai customers in the restaurant so hopefully there is some standard here

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Thai Ice Milk Tea $5

We made them re-do our drinks just cos the first one was so diluted we don’t really know what we were drinking. Even though the second one was better, the tea lacked fragrance which makes the overall taste very mild and forgettable

Pomelo Salad $15 (large)

A light refreshing salad with generous portion of pomelo, mixed with apple slices. Some may find this too sweet, but I think this dish would have scored more brownie points if they added more chilli to it

Sawadee Appetiser Platter $42

Thai rice crackers with chicken dip, Mango salad, Thai crystal noodle salad, Fish cakes and Crab springrolls

The mango salad was very shiok and spicy. The raw green mango with peanuts and enough spice was an awesome combination. I thought the fish cakes were pretty good too, and so were the glass noodle salad

Thai Spicy & Sour Soup with Sliced Fish $18

Well, it was sour and definitely not spicy

Chose sliced fish cos the colleague don’t take seafood

Thai Style Otah $15

The otah was decent. Fish paste blend with coconut milk, but I thought if there were just a little more spices blended to it, it would have enhanced the overall flavour of the dish

Thai Stuffed Chicken Wings $15 (5 pcs)

Deboned chicken wings with shitake mushrooms. The chicken wings were a favourite. Crispy, tender and stuffed with surprise. Though the chicken bits inside were a little too salty

Stringbeans with Prawns and Thai Chilli Paste $10

Duck Curry $15

Red curry with duck meat and lychee. Not one you will find often on the menu. Pretty decent in taste

Olive Rice $15

With chicken, dried shrimps, chilli and onions. The olive rice here is really good, and especially fragrant when you mixed it with the dried shrimps. The chicken however was too sweet

Phad Thai $10

Phad thai was disappointing. It didn’t quite taste like phad thai, more like just your usual fried kway teow perhaps

Mango Sticky Rice $6

Mao Shan Wang Sticky Rice $12

This was a special and we were attracted to it. The dessert was probably the best of the meal with thick and gooey durian paste and lovely glutinous rice

I think finding a Thai restaurant in Singapore that serves delicious Thai cuisine can be a challenge. Some restaurants have improvised their dishes to suit the local tastebuds’ so much I can’t tell whether I’m eating Thai or local food. Sawadee Thai, overall, serves okay food, if you picked the right ones. But I can’t seem find the selling point here. It’s like those meant to be fragrant not fragrant, spicy not spicy. It felt like there was a mis-match in flavours, and another of those Thai restaurants

Sawadee Thai Cuisine

9 Tan Quee Lan Street, S(188098)

Brother Bird – Serving Soft Serve and Mochi Donuts

Brother Bird has been on the list to try for some time, and I’m glad we finally made it down one day. By the people behind Stateland Cafe (famous for their waffles), Brother Bird serves artisanal soft serve and flavours are rotated as well, so that you can try more than what they could offer

Cookie Butter Soft Serve with Earl Grey Mochi Donuts $15

I’m in love with their mochi donuts. Served warm and chewy, it has a good balance and texture to it, without being too overwhelming. The friend loves their cookie butter icecream but I thought it was too creamy for me

Raspberry Burst $15

Tried their watermelon soft serve with raspberry donuts as well. Refreshing taste of watermelon without being too sweet, it complements the donuts very well

I like the subtle sourness of the raspberry flavour, balanced with the overall sweetness. But what elevates the dessert was the assortment of almond brittle. Such crunch and sweet texture that was addictive and complementary

Definitely another choice of dessert if you are sick of waffles and icecream, but if you cannot make up your mind on what to eat, you can still have the best of both worlds at Brother Bird with menu by Stateland as well

Brother Bird

32 Bali Lane, S(189868)

The Hangar – Serving Brunch + Menu From Broth House

The Hangar at Arab street has been around for quite some time now, and just recently joined by its new neighbour, Broth House, which is opened by the same people. While The Hangar serves more brunch kind of food with an array of sandwiches and main dishes, Broth House serves Asian inspired fares like noodles, broth dishes and street side snacks

So I met the friend for brunch at The Hangar, which happened to serve the menu from Broth House as well and hey, you get the best of both worlds!

Cold Fresh Mint Mocha $8.90

Dark Chocolate with Fresh Mint and Long Espresso

Rather meh, with not much hint of mint and wasn’t much balance between the coffee and chocolate

Beef Short Rib Shasuka $22.90

Tender slow roasted braised beef stew with aubergine, baked eggs and turkish bread

The Hangar’s take on lamb shasuka, with generous amount of chunky tender short ribs. A very hearty and flavourful dish topped with cheese

Braised Pull Pork Mee $7.90

Tender slow cooked pulled pork with poached egg

I absolutely adored the noodles. Somewhat similar to kolo mee, nicely marinated and q, with tender pork slices and earthy bowl of soup

Topped with chilli sauce to give it extra kick

Or mix with with the yolk to have the creamy texture in your mouth

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I like how you can try either menu here, plus point for a diverse selection for those who want something else other than the usual brunch suspects. I thought the noodles were pretty decent and perhaps can try to go back to try the other dishes. Though I did recommend it to a friend and she did went down but the place wasn’t opened (by right they should open, so I was confused). In any case, another option if you are in Kampong Glam area!

The Hangar

25 Arab Street, S(199724)

Fat Lulu’s – Asian Modern BBQ & Dessert Bar

The former space by Five & Dime at river valley road has been taken over by Fat Lulu’s, a place specialising in Asian modern barbecue dishes & desserts, brought together by Chef Sam, Chef Song and the owners of Five & Dime. I have never dined at Five & Dime, but I was pretty excited to try what Fat Lulu’s got to offer

The restaurant was pretty new in their opening with many walk-ins customers and friends to support both the chefs

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Koppaberg Elderflower & Lime / Woodchuck Hopstation $13 each

Burnt Corn with smoked Sour cream, Oregano & Lemon $9

I didn’t know corns can be so delicious. The slightly charred taste with the sweetness of the corn and a light salty aftertaste was simple yet beautifully done

Nori Crusted Salmon with Lemon Fennel Salad, Ponzu Sago $17

Not a big fan of the salad, but I love the crispiness of the seaweed and the citrusy ponzu that elevate the sweetness of the salmon

Pork Buns $12 (Specials)

The pork buns were amazing. Super tender fatty meat marinated in Hoisin and their special sauce simply melts in your mouth with a sweet aftertaste

Ikan Bakar $22

The fish was nicely done, emitting fragrance of beautiful spices. The garlic chilli butter gave a nice butter texture though I thought the overall tone of the dish can be a little less salty. Paired with a side of cucumber achar

Apple Tarte Tartin $14

Slow cooked caramelised apple, puff pastry and burnt vanilla icecream

I didn’t quite taste the burnt in the burnt icecream, but I tasted a slightly charred taste in the puff pastry which was really fragrant, crispy and delightful. I like the apple wasn’t that sweet and it goes well with the dessert

“Atas” Kinder Bueno $16

A very deconstructed version with Bailey’s Hazelnut Icecream, Chocolate Sponge, Creamy Milk Chocolate and Bitter Chocolate Sherbet. I pretty much enjoyed this dessert. You could taste the different elements on its own but when you eat everything together, you could taste the different layers, texture and sweetness of the dessert as a whole

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I enjoyed Fat Lulu’s, on their take on Asian modern bbq. I thought their mains wowed me more than their desserts, but overall, I thought the meal was pretty good and reasonably priced. It’s a place I will recommend, and also a place you can drop by if you want something different

Fat Lulu’s

297 River Valley Rd, S(238338)

Dutch Baby Cafe – Cute Little Cafe Serving Dutch Baby Pancakes

Dutch Baby Cafe is a brand by Japan Foods Holdings, the same brand that brought Fruit Paradise to Singapore. So expect cute and lovely interior and also tarts by Fruit Paradise when you visit. Met a friend for brunch cos we wanted to try their Dutch baby pancakes, which look really dainty and pretty

Pink Rose Buds & Sangria $6.80 per pot

You can also top up to the mains and make it a set

Honestly, the tea was very light, to the point they were tasteless. I would recommend to skip it

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Given this concept is the brainchild from Japan, they also introduced this pretty interesting teapot where you just have to place the teapot on top of the cup and the tea will just drain from below. The friend says so that pouring tea won’t be so messy

Keema Curry Baked Cheese Rice $13.80

Got a baked curry rice to share instead of their popular udon. The curry rice was very fragrant. The rice was sticky with touch of tomato flavours and the chicken infused with light curry sauce, topped with melted cheese. It doesn’t look all appealing but it was strangely addictive

Mixed Berry Pancakes $13.80

Thin layers of crepe soft and crispy accompanied by an assortment of berries and vanilla icecream. The pancake has a slightly eggy taste to it which added fragrance and sweetness to the overall taste

I think this place would be a hit with kids. Cute interior, sweet curry rice, pretty pancakes. And if you are not a fan of sweets, they serve savoury pancakes as well. Given how I didn’t like Fruit Paradise, I’m glad this place fares a little better. It’s a place I won’t mind dropping by for desserts if I’m in the area

Dutch Baby Cafe

Paragon Shopping Centre

#B1-13, 290 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238859

Mad About Sucre – Summer Menu 2016

I love Mad About Sucre’s summer menu. They had launched a whole new collection with both savoury and sweet to pick from. That’s right, they serve delicious mains too so for those who don’t want to just dine there mainly for desserts (though they are really good at that), you can now choose from their selection of Summer Greens, Summer Dough, Summer Fields and Summer Waters

Smoked Wild Salmon, Grilled Fresh Prawns, Greens, French Organic Honey with Home Made Pita Bread $33

On first thought, salad at $33 is freaking expensive lah. But when the plate came, the portion was sizeable enough that I wondered to myself if I could even finish everything. A mix of wild salmon and marinate of lemon vinaigrette and olive oil, the salad gave a refreshing taste. I love the grilled prawns that were huge, crunchy and peppery and also the homemade pita bread that were specially toasted longer to taste like biscuit

Stew of Fresh Seafood, Marseille Style $36

(The garlic bread was awesome)

A hearty bowl of comforting soup which rich tastes of tomato, infused with sweetness of seafood. The fish was cooked perfectly with so much flavours and the adding spinach to the soup gave a balanced texture

Stew of Rib Eye, French Pinot Noir, Root Vegetables $38

Rib eye stew that warms your stomach with well-cooked vegetables and tender ribs that were flavourful and earthy

Moving on to the desserts..

Cirque de Gavarnie $12.80

Red Currant, Lychee, Toasted Wild Oats, Oats Sablee

This dessert was inspired by an UNESCO heritage site in France where the French loves to go there during summer with the place mainly created by valleys and moving glaciers. So in Gavarnie stood a giant cathedral which gave a peaceful and zen feeling, and hence the inspiration of this dessert. The chef wanted to give a little touch of childhood memories and thus the addition of red currant jelly or otherwise fondly known as 山楂. The body of the dessert is lychee mousse, used to tone down the overall flavour and the filling filled with toasted oat cream. The dessert sits on a wild oat biscuit, decorated by almond crisps, paired with French Rose and Lavender tea

This dessert was interesting, just so you can taste the different elements on its own but when you eat the whole thing together, it was a whole different flavour. The lychee mousse felt like pudding and was really subtle which I thought if the flavour was a little stronger, it would have been perfect. A generally light in flavour, perfect for those who don’t want too much contrast in flavours

Le Cailou $12.80

Pecan Nuts, Mandarin Orange, Caribbean Rum, Milk Chocolate Pecan Nut Shortbread

Shape of the dessert was inspired by pebbles; when people go hiking in summer and loves to throw pebbles into the streams/river with the colour representing the pebbles and the base representing the ground. Paired with Peach and Apricot Tea

The pecan nut mousse cake was light and emits the delicious fragrance of the nutty flavour. I love the mix of mandarin orange jelly and rum cream which goes so well together  and you can taste the wholeness of the rum in your mouth and when you finish the dish in one bite. Topped with tangerine twirl and apricot sauce, a delicate dessert that surprises

Chocolate Noir $12.80

French Dark Chocolate, Almond Cream, Chocolate Sablee & Meringue, Coco Bean Tuiles

Paired with Lemongrass and Mint Tea

There’s no story for this. Anyway, a combination of 2 different kind of chocolate – French & Mexican chocolate topped with almond cream. Each tart was specially hand made by the chef just cos the ‘walls’ are so thin and delicate there is no mould that can accommodate such texture. Pretty impressive I say. The chocolate is thick and lingering, yet with the right amount of sweetness that could fill you with happiness. If you love chocolate, give this a try

There are other cakes as well (like my favourite passionone), but cos I had tried all their cakes since they opened, I make it a point to only try those which I have not tried before.

I love listening to the stories behind each dessert, just like how Eric/James would always love to share their inspiration with us. It is with anticipation and excitement that I always go back for their new cakes, but now with the cafe venturing into savouries as well, I think you can just have a full meal to a happy stomach

Mad About Sucre

27 Teo Heng Road S(088334)