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Categories : German | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads

Originating from Germany, HANS IM GLÜCK German Burgergrill had recently opened its first outpost in Singapore along Orchard Road beside the Royal Thai Embassy. HANS IM GLÜCK German Burgergrill is strategically located closer to Tanglin instead of the stretch towards Somerset; perhaps a move to be a little bit away from the crowd and also to target the expats in the area. The menu here seems to cater to everyone; there are several options for vegetarians and vegans, while there is an extensive selection of beef burgers on the menu with a few chicken options as well. For those who are into something lighter, HANS IM GLÜCK German Burgergrill also offers salad options too. They do also have attractive set lunch/dinner deals available; the set lunch comes at a $5++ top up where one is entitled to a side, a selected cold drink and coffee/tea as part of the set with their choice of burger, while the set dinner comes at a $15++ top up where the choice of burger comes with a choice of side and a cocktail.

 

All burgers come with a standard set of toppings such as fresh lettuce, red onions, sun-ripened tomatoes and their signature HANS IM GLÜCK sauce; one can also opt for the burger to come with Sourdough Buns, Wholemeal Buns or Naked (no buns). We were initially spoilt for choice, but ended up with the Alsdann ($17++ ala-carte, $22++ set lunch) in the “Juicy Beef Burgers” section of the menu opting for the Sourdough bun option; our choice of side was the Sweet Potato Fries which came in a pretty generous portion by the side. Being sourdough lovers, we thought that the bun wasn’t quite as sour from the fermentation as we thought it would be, while the bun was also more light and fluffy than the typical sourdough — not that we are complaining however; the sourdough buns here seemingly complimented the fact that it was meant to be a burger bun instead of one that was made for a sandwich. The Alsdann came with other condiments such as Grilled Pear, Mild Blue Cheese Sauce and Walnuts — a combination that seemingly felt unconventional. All the elements worked well though; the nutty crunch acted as a neutral flavour that balances out the sweet and juicy, soft pears and the distinct yet light flavours of the blue cheese, while the red onions add a tinge of numbness to the entire burger along with a mustard-like flavour within the sauce. The beef patty was a little bit on the dry side, though wasn’t particularly gamey, though seemingly still worked very well with all the condiments otherwise. Sweet Potato Fries were crisp with the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes being pretty evident; while good on their own, they were pretty addictive with their Tomato Barbecue sauce that is made available at every table — a must try!

 


We also had a go on their chicken burgers, opting for the Vogelwild ($14++ ala-carte, $19++ set lunch) — grilled chicken breast is used for the burger patties for all their chicken burgers, which makes them a healthier option to go for here. The Vogelwild comes with sour cream chive sauce and fried onions, while we opted for the Sourdough bun and the Krautnolle. Grilled chicken breast is actually pretty well crusted on the outside, though the flesh, admittedly, could have been a little bit moister. That being said, the Vogelwild was a safe option; the sour cream just provided some creaminess and a light tanginess to offset the fried onions within, whilst coming with the same standard condiments such as fresh lettuce, red onions, sun-ripened tomatoes and their signature HANS IM GLÜCK sauce. The Krautnolle is somewhat similar to sauerkraut, considering how the Krautnolle is a traditional German white cabbage salad with potato dressing; not too wet with a very light tangy flavour that helps to refresh the tastebuds in between bites of the burger.

Read the full post about HANS IM GLÜCK German Burgergrill on jiaksimipng here: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/hans-im-gluck-german-burgergrill-orchard-road/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Alsdann
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $25(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Pasta

There are quite a number of eateries situated in the East, especially near the Kembangan area where Changi Road runs. South Union Park, however, is hidden at the opposite end of where the known eateries of Kembangan are found within the private housing estate. Decked out with white walls and wood furniture; some with black leather upholstery, South Union Park gives off a rather relaxed vibe that seemed to be a little Scandinavian-inspired with an open kitchen concept tucked at the right side of the bistro. The interior fittings are minimalistic with a good amount of natural lighting shining in, but not seemingly cliche compared to one of a hipster cafe; instead, feeling modern, chic and homely at the same time. Serving up mainly western fare, South Union Park serves a couple of pasta dishes and two mains for those who are looking for something more substantial, while there is also an extensive dessert menu for the sweet-tooth. On the drinks menu, they do serve coffee, tea, sodas and a small selection of alcohol, which makes for a good pairing with their menu of sides and snacks.

 
I am usually one who rarely orders Pasta, and especially more for the case for Agnolotti for they are usually very filling for me. Their Butternut Agnolotti ($17) was, however, a delight to have, so much so that I completely enjoyed the dish and found no difficulty at all to finish the entire plate clean. According to what I was told, the Agnolotti here is made in-house. The chef here roasts the Butternut Squash before mashing it into a puree and stuff them into the pasta sheets. The result is an Agnolotti which came in the right thickness; not too thin that it breaks easily, but also not too thick to the extent that it feels too doughy. A single bite, and you would find the Butternut Squash puree eagerly bursting out of the Agnolotti, revealing a roasty sweetness that was pretty intriguing. The Agnolotti went well with the bouncy mushrooms which gave the pasta an earthy flavour to balance things out and the savoury flavours of cheese and garlicky herb crumbs sprinkled over the top. Towards the bottom, the dish felt a little bit on the oily side, but given how awesome it tasted, I would say that this is just a small issue that is not really much of a problem anyway.

 
Towards the end of the meal, I was presented with the Apple Crumble ($10) with compliments from the chef. This is one of the desserts available on their Plated Desserts section of the menu. Unlike other Apple Crumbles out there, this variant is unique for how they have decided to not serve the Apple Crumble as a pie, but more in the form that is closer to a plated dessert. Coming with Vanilla Ice-Cream drizzled with Salted Caramel sauce, Crumbles, Greek Yogurt and an entire stewed apple, this was surprisingly not overwhelmingly sweet for the stewed apple was not cooked in caramel, thus tasting of its own natural sweetness and carried a rather soft texture similar to a poached pear. Greek Yogurt is rarely found in an Apple Crumble, but in this variant it seemed to have worked and integrated well with the entire dish, especially when combined with the crumbles for it seemed to replicate the textures and flavours of Muesli subtly. Vanilla Ice-Cream was speckled with vanilla beans all over and was incredibly aromatic and creamy. Combine all the ingredients into one spoonful, and it does replicate the flavours of a classic Apple Crumble Pie without that unnecessary sugar rush for how balanced it felt.

 
Throughout these couple of months, I have visited quite a number of newly-opened places but there is not quite one that left me such a deep impression in the bistro scene as much as South Union Park does. During the course of the entire meal, I was pretty impressed with how every single dish came; not only they were a hit, but they just had that flavour and quality that strikes on your taste buds and gives that gleam in your eyes, and sure I did leave the place a happy man with a really satiated stomach. Service was more than decent, with attentive staff who seemed to be quite automatic in giving recommendations once you have seated and promptly coming over to check if everything is alright and clearing plates when you are done (though there were just two tables occupied at the time I have visited, you could feel the sincerity behind). Definitely did not regret my decision on heading straight over after school from the west side of the island to the east when I spotted them over on Instagram; this is one place I would do another revisit soon for I am pretty sure that I would develop cravings for their food, and also to try out the other items on the menu such as the Souffle as well!

For more photos and the full review, head to jiaksimipng by clicking on the link below:
https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/south-union-park-jalan-kembangan/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Butternut Agnolotti
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $27(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Choux-lovers, fall in! Smile Jun 13, 2016   
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Categories : Café

Opened in a quiet corner within the myriad of small roads in Jalan Besar is a hole-in-the-wall cafe named Ollella. Given the small size of the unit, the cafe features a single communal table and two counter seats facing the window. Ollella is a collaboration by Choquette and The Pourover Bar, the former offering a range of Choux puffs while the latter offers a wide range of handbrewed filter coffee from various origins as well as tea to compliment the Choux puffs.

 
While there was a Mini Choux Puff tasting platter ($21) that you can try all seven Choux puffs, I was alone and decided to go for the individual and larger Choux Puffs instead. Both the Apple Cinnamon and Lemon Meringue ($4) were done well; the Choux pastry was of the right moistness, not being too wet nor too dry. Lemon Meringue was a filled Choux puff with lemon curd filling and topped with Italian meringue. The Choux puff was well filled, and a single bite into the puff is all it needs for the lemon curd to eagerly burst out of the puff which reveals a pleasantly tart flavour. Italian meringue gives it a subtly sweet touch, adequately balancing out the entire flavour of the puff.

 
Apple Cinnamon Choux ($4) puff somehow surprisingly reminded me of an Apple Crumble Pie. Coming with caramalised apples slices with a light hint of cinnamon, the sugary bits and crunchy nuts helped to provide a texture similar to crumble, while the Vanilla Streusel replicated the flavours of Vanilla ice-cream well. A pretty thoughtful creation indeed.

 
Being a fan of Matcha, the Matcha Azuki Choux puff ($4.50) was one that I found hard to resist ordering. This certainly would hit matcha fans well with the subtly aromatic cream and loads of Azuki red beans hiding within the crusty Choux puff.

 
To compliment the Choux puffs, I had also ordered an Ethopia Tchembe N2 Mixed Heirloom handbrewed filter coffee ($8), which was medium-bodied with chocolatey flavour and light notes of fruit. Each cup of coffee comes with a mini Chouqette, which is pretty identic to the one from the Apple Cinnamon.

For more photos and the full review, head to jiaksimipng in the link below:
https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/ollella-residencessomme/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Lemon Meringue CHoux,Matcha Azuki Choux
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $20(Tea)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Singaporean | Fusion | Restaurant | Seafood

Being one of the ten restaurants that had made it to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2016, Wild Rocket sits at the 38th position on the list amongst other restaurants in various parts of Asia. Wild Rocket is started by Chef Willin Low, who used to practice law before his foray into the F&B industry in 2005. Nestled in the tranquil environment of Hangout Hotel, Wild Rocket is within walking distance from Little India MRT, though it is a steep climb up a hill. In 2014, the space was renovated to what it looks like today, exuding a clean, Japanese-inspired vibe that is classy, comfortable yet without being pretentious or over the top. For lunch hours on weekdays (which was the time we had made our visit), diners can choose from the ala-carte menu, the 3-course set lunch menu ($38++) or the Omakase menu (between $120++ to $160++), while the 3-course set lunch menu would be replaced with a 4-course set dinner menu ($75++) in the evening.

 
First to arrive at the table would be the bread service, where we were served house-made Brioche with an accompanying olive oil to dip in. Baked in-house, the Brioche may seem just a tad dry initially, but it turns out to be fluffy afterwards as the bread simply disintegrates into smaller pieces instead of clumping up so there is pretty much close to zero effort to chew. The consistency of the bread might be done intentionally so that it does not turn too mushy if dipped into the olive oil, which is pretty fragrant and flavourful. For those who prefer their bread to go with butter, they do also offer salted butter on request.

 
For my starter, I have decided to go for the Giam Chye Mustard Leaf Duck Consommé with Duck Confit Cubes, which is Wild Rocket’s take on the Chinese Salted Vegetable Soup that is served with daikon, tomatoes and duck confit cubes. I am one who does not really fancy Chinese soups, but this was one that got me going for more. While seemingly light to drink, the soup was immensely flavourful especially for how clear it was; never a moment too oily. Duck Confit cubes were spectacular; felt pretty smoky and savoury at the same time and definitely gave a good flavour contrast to the soup. Indeed, a great starter to the meal ahead.

 
My dining partner picked the Barramundi Carpaccio with Orange Shallot Oil. A harmonious marriage of the Chinese Yu Sheng into Carpaccio, the fish was amazingly fresh and drizzled with orange shallot oil for a little tanginess going hand-in-hand with the shallot was fragrant of its roasty flavour; that flavour you would have expected from the same shallots you add into a piping hot bowl of Porridge. It’s really that comforting.

 
Picking from the selection of mains, my choice was the Iberico Pork Char Siew with Shanghai Kao Cai & Quinoa (supplement $8++). The instructions to enjoy this dish was as follows; peel off the rice paper over the bowl, then squeeze the Calamansi to release the juices over the dish. Digging into the Iberico Pork Char Siew first, the tenderness of the slab of pork was mind-blowing; a really soft, tender, juicy slab of pork where you can pull the streaks of flesh effortlessly with a fork. Coated with a layer of sauce that exudes a smoky sweetness, the pork itself really stood to the occasion basking in the limelight for how stellar the execution was, making every bite an ironic moment because it’s just so good to have, but every bite that was taken would mean one bite less afterwards. The Quinoa was decent, but the Kao Cai was umami which helped to lift the flavours of the Quinoa while the lone Shiitake mushroom at the side also deserves a little mention for that subtle sweetness that sets it apart from the usual Chinese dried mushrooms that we are used to having. It is told to us that this dish is their take on the “Tau Yu Bak”, and the rice paper served alongside is intended to be the replacement of the bread that usually comes along as a carb; the wait staff however advice patrons against eating the rice paper as the texture of a half-steamed rice paper is not something everybody might fancy, but it is known that some patrons still do eat it.

 
Unlike the Iberico Pork Char Siew, the Baked Halibut with Curry Hollandaise (supplement $6++) would really hit those who prefer softer flavours. Twice-baked; once just by itself and the second time with the Curry Hollandaise on, the Halibut achieved flakiness without losing moisture within. Since the Curry Hollandaise is baked along with the fish rather than being simply drizzled over the top, the Curry Hollandaise actually “sticks” on the fish instead, which definitely helped to lock in the flavours of the sauce above the fish. The Curry Hollandaise helps add a hint of curry fragrance into the dish, and alongside with the root vegetables did seem like Wild Rocket’s twist on Fish Curry. While the root vegetables on the side seemed to be devoid of excessive seasoning, they were still flavourful from their natural flavours; possibly an intended move to bring out the unadulterated, natural flavours and sweetness of the root vegetables with no distractions.

 
With four desserts on the menu to choose from, we have decided to go for the Trio of Flowers and Strawberry Cheesecake (supplement $2++). Between the two, the Trio of Flowers would fit well for those who prefer lighter desserts; coming with Osmantnus & Chrysanthemum Granita, the flowery flavours work as a good palate cleanser for a flavour-intensive main. Together with the Elderflower Jelly sitting beneath the granita, it adds a tasteful sourness that provides for a flavour contrast with the granita, making the dessert a truly refreshing after-meal treat. For those who crave for something more conventional-sounding, the Strawberry Cheesecake is actually Wild Rocket’s signature dessert. Served deconstructed with layers of cream cheese, digestive biscuits and macerated strawberries, they were bound together with a Maple Walnut ice cream that introduces a mildly sweet, yet nutty flavour to the dessert. Despite how normal it might sound, this is probably one of the best renditions of a cheesecake out there; Wild Rocket had made their own twists to the elements that make up the dish, hence the flavours are really balanced and uplifting that one will never get sick of. Truly living up to the name of signature indeed.

For more photos and the full review, head over to jiaksimipng in the link below:
https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/wild-rocket-upper-wilkie-road/

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Giam Chye Mustard Leaf Duck Consommé,Baked Halibut with Curry Hollandaise,Strawberry Cheesecake,Iberico Pork Char Siew with Shanghai Kao Cai & Quinoa
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $54(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 5

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Categories : Bakery | Café

 
Crown Bakery and Cafe is yet another cafe that had recently opened in the area, though it is located a distance away from where most are situated. Being a bakery, there is an emphasis on breads; Crown Bakery offers a variety of flavoured loaves such as the Hainanese Chicken Bread; bread flavoured with chicken soup boiled from chicken bones and skinless thigh, garlic, ginger, shallots and lemongrass which tastes really identical to chicken rice. Apart from the loaves that are baked in-house, they also do serve a small selection of brunch grub, as well as desserts too.

 
One of my dining partners wanted to try their Brioche, which we settled for the Shizouka Matcha Brioche. Light and fluffy, the Brioche was perfumed with a strong green tea aroma which gave it a fragrant bitter flavour that is signature of green tea. Makes for a good light bite for the tea-time treat, and would definitely be a hit amongst Matcha lovers.

 
Crown Breakfast is a big breakfast platter that consists of bacon, cheese sausage, sauteed mushrooms, mesculun salad, braised oxtail, tomato and a Crown Puff Pastry that features an egg in the middle. Most of them were pretty decent, but the more impressive items would be the tomato; juicy and bursting with tanginess, the sauteed mushrooms which was flavourful yet juicy, braised oxtail that was really tender and came off from the bone and did not taste too gamey and not forgetting the Crown Puff Pastry where the egg was flowy and the puff pastry was flaky and crisp.

 
A rather innovative dish, the Earl Grey Pear Bread Pudding could be however rather controversial to some. Earl Grey fans would definitely love it for it is thoroughly soaked in earl grey aroma, with the bread pudding soft and custardy and a crusty top. In between lies the poached pear; soft yet retained its crunch. The first few mouthfuls can be rather awkward tasting, but this is one dessert that takes a while to get used to. Eventually my shameless self got the better of me as I ended up taking almost the entire portion of it that belongs to my dining partner.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: https://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/crown-bakery-cafe-crown-centre/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Earl Grey Pear Bread Pudding,Shizouka Matcha Brioche
 
Table Wait Time: 15 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $12(Breakfast)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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