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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Café | Brunch

Founded in April 2012, SPRMRKT (pronounced 'Supermarket') was born from the idea that food, retail, and art could be melded into a single, enjoyable experience. The brainchild of Designer / Director Sue-Shan Quek, and Chef Joseph Yeo, with pastry chef Furrene Hoh, SPRMRKT was set up as a concept store, offering casual gourmet dining with the twist of an art gallery amid a curated shop.
Hedgehog Brush

Hedgehog Brush

 
Ambience at SPRMRKT is rustic casual, resembling European style countryside cottage homes. Clean, brightly lit, with simple lines and functional wooden furnishings. A section of the wall is given over to shelves, which forms the retail section, displaying all manner of utensils, beverages, and some artwork. I love the decorative reading light lamps, and the clear glass display with appetizing and attractive cakes!
Bottles Of Craft Beer

Bottles Of Craft Beer

 
Service at SPRMRKT is partial self-service. Ordering and payment is done over the counter, though staff do serve orders to your table. The menu, which changes daily, is clear and comprehensive, with descriptions of dish ingredients. There isn't much opportunity to interact with staff or ask them questions, except when at the counter. I also note they're very efficient at clearing empty / dirty tables after people leave.

Food at SPRMRKT is fusion casual gourmet, inspired by Western flavours, primarily Australian, American, and British cuisine, with a focus on all-day breakfast. Generally, I find dishes here to be tasty, well executed, and huge in portion size. Ingredients are fresh, and kept simple with rustic plating. Prices are reasonable for the large portions, and comparable to other bistros, budget about SGD $27 per person for a meal here.

The interesting Coffee Tonic (SGD $7) features a blend of tonic water with 2 shots of espresso. This refreshing, chilled beverage has a silky smooth texture with a light fizzy carbonation, mostly mellow in taste with the flavour of the roasted coffee beans, finishing with a slight lingering bitterness. Not too bad, rather drinkable, though not particularly memorable.
Coffee Tonic

Coffee Tonic

 
The Minestrone Soup (SGD $10) here is very good! Not often you see home made versions, so I appreciate the effort. Rich and tasty, the soup / broth of sweet tomato and chicken stock features tender vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, cabbage, and celery, with savoury smoky bacon as a garnish. Huge bowl, served with a slice of crisp, buttered sourdough bread on the side. Very good appetizer, best shared! Only available on every Wednesday!
Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

 
Instead of the regular round burger buns, the Grilled Wagyu Burger With Fries (SGD $25) here is served with sweet, fluffy brioche bread instead! This lends the overall dish a wonderful fragrant flavour. The savoury, juicy, meaty 180g wagyu beef patty is done to your liking (I got it medium rare), topped with fresh crunchy lettuce, earthy sauteed wild button mushrooms, gooey emmental cheese, and a sunny side up egg. The dish is completed with piping hot, paprika spiced shoestring fries. Quite filling!
Grilled Wagyu Burger With Fries

Grilled Wagyu Burger With Fries

 
Full SPRMRKT review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/06/sprmrkt.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 05, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $27(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Categories : Singaporean | Multi-Cuisine | Hotel | Restaurant | High Tea | Buffet

As the in-house dining restaurant of the 5-star One Farrer Hotel, Escape Restaurant & Lounge offers a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ala-carte dining. But perhaps they're best known for their extensive international buffet spread, a formidable feast spanning 9 live stations and 8 static stations, with dozens of dishes prepared by chefs in open theatre kitchens. Since opening their doors in September 2014, Escape Restaurant & Lounge has quickly become one of the most popular hotel buffets around, creating gastronomic experiences with their daily rotating buffet themes.
Escape Restaurant & Lounge Exterior

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Exterior

 
Ambience at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is lovely. The wide open, spacious dining hall with high ceilings and warm lighting is so inviting, and the comfortable cushioned wooden furniture is nicely laid out, so it's not cramped. A large, circular bar sits at one end of the dining hall, with beautiful bottles of wine displayed. At the other end, the 17 live and static stations are bustling, piled high with all manner of attractive food. Each dish is clearly labelled, and I'm amazed at the extensive variety of dishes they've managed to display in this area. A cursory pass isn't justified, you'll have to walk slowly to observe all the different items on display!
Escape Restaurant & Lounge Interior

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Interior

 
Service at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is above average, befitting of a 5-star hotel. Staff behave professionally and politely, observant and attentive to diners, creating a personalised feel. They come around regularly to check if they can clear away empty / dirty plates, always an important thing in a buffet. I also note that staff have some basic product knowledge on the various dishes on the menu, though you can also interact with the chefs at the various live stations if you have specific questions on the food. But though the service is good, I feel it's not particularly memorable.
Open Kitchens

Open Kitchens

 
Food at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is good, featuring an International selection of cuisines. What stood out for me here, was their Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, and seafood. Perhaps because they're said to specialise in homey, comfort food, these associated dishes were well executed and delicious! Their team of in-house pastry chefs and bakers also produce some excellent butter cakes and breads. Prices are reasonable and comparable for their buffet, per person costs SGD $30 ++ for breakfast, SGD $45 ++ for lunch, and SGD $60 ++ for dinner. If going for their ala-carte, budget about SGD $35 per person.
Watermelon With Feta Cheese

Watermelon With Feta Cheese

 
Highly recommend the Roti Prata Plain, which is also a favourite of the chef, for its super crisp, buttery texture! Pairs well with the mild savoury Dhal Tadka lentil curry! The Chicken Tikka was outstanding as well, tender and moist, with good savoury flavour, pairing well with the fluffy, fragrant Naan Plain. The Mutton Korma was tender and decent in taste, though I would have liked it to be more spicy instead. Vegetarians can also go for the Mattar Paneer, which has paneer cheese cubes and peas in a mild savoury curry, or the Aloo Baingan, which has tender eggplant and potatoes in a savoury dry style curry. Overall, very good Indian cuisine here!
Indian Cuisine Sample

Indian Cuisine Sample

 
Highly recommend the Braised Beef Brisket With Tendon, for its smooth, fork-tender texture, and savoury flavour with full taste of the spices! I would visit again just for this, it's a must try! The Braised Broccoli With Mushroom is executed to a decent Zi Char standard, with crunchy florets of broccoli, soft carrots, and tender earthy shiitake mushrooms in a tasty oyster sauce gravy. The Fish Curry is decent, with fresh firm white dory fish which flakes apart nicely, and tender okra / lady's fingers slices. The Chicken Rice isn't too oily, but nicely fragrant with a slight buttery texture, while the Prawn Crackers have a crisp outside that cracks to reveal the meaty sweet fresh shrimp inside. Overall, very good Chinese cuisine here!
Chinese Cuisine Sample

Chinese Cuisine Sample

 
Dessert Sample

Dessert Sample

 
Full Escape Restaurant & Lounge review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/05/escape-restaurant-lounge-tasting-session.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 24, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $71(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Singaporean | Multi-Cuisine | Hotel | Restaurant | High Tea | Buffet

As the in-house dining restaurant of the 5-star One Farrer Hotel, Escape Restaurant & Lounge offers a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ala-carte dining. But perhaps they're best known for their extensive international buffet spread, a formidable feast spanning 9 live stations and 8 static stations, with dozens of dishes prepared by chefs in open theatre kitchens. Since opening their doors in September 2014, Escape Restaurant & Lounge has quickly become one of the most popular hotel buffets around, creating gastronomic experiences with their daily rotating buffet themes.
Escape Restaurant & Lounge Exterior

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Exterior

 
Ambience at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is lovely. The wide open, spacious dining hall with high ceilings and warm lighting is so inviting, and the comfortable cushioned wooden furniture is nicely laid out, so it's not cramped. A large, circular bar sits at one end of the dining hall, with beautiful bottles of wine displayed. At the other end, the 17 live and static stations are bustling, piled high with all manner of attractive food. Each dish is clearly labelled, and I'm amazed at the extensive variety of dishes they've managed to display in this area. A cursory pass isn't justified, you'll have to walk slowly to observe all the different items on display!
Escape Restaurant & Lounge Interior

Escape Restaurant & Lounge Interior

 
Service at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is above average, befitting of a 5-star hotel. Staff behave professionally and politely, observant and attentive to diners, creating a personalised feel. They come around regularly to check if they can clear away empty / dirty plates, always an important thing in a buffet. I also note that staff have some basic product knowledge on the various dishes on the menu, though you can also interact with the chefs at the various live stations if you have specific questions on the food. But though the service is good, I feel it's not particularly memorable.
Open Kitchens

Open Kitchens

 
Food at Escape Restaurant & Lounge is good, featuring an International selection of cuisines. What stood out for me here, was their Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, and seafood. Perhaps because they're said to specialise in homey, comfort food, these associated dishes were well executed and delicious! Their team of in-house pastry chefs and bakers also produce some excellent butter cakes and breads. Prices are reasonable and comparable for their buffet, per person costs SGD $30 ++ for breakfast, SGD $45 ++ for lunch, and SGD $60 ++ for dinner. If going for their ala-carte, budget about SGD $35 per person.
Watermelon With Feta Cheese

Watermelon With Feta Cheese

 
Highly recommend the Roti Prata Plain, which is also a favourite of the chef, for its super crisp, buttery texture! Pairs well with the mild savoury Dhal Tadka lentil curry! The Chicken Tikka was outstanding as well, tender and moist, with good savoury flavour, pairing well with the fluffy, fragrant Naan Plain. The Mutton Korma was tender and decent in taste, though I would have liked it to be more spicy instead. Vegetarians can also go for the Mattar Paneer, which has paneer cheese cubes and peas in a mild savoury curry, or the Aloo Baingan, which has tender eggplant and potatoes in a savoury dry style curry. Overall, very good Indian cuisine here!
Indian Cuisine Sample

Indian Cuisine Sample

 
Highly recommend the Braised Beef Brisket With Tendon, for its smooth, fork-tender texture, and savoury flavour with full taste of the spices! I would visit again just for this, it's a must try! The Braised Broccoli With Mushroom is executed to a decent Zi Char standard, with crunchy florets of broccoli, soft carrots, and tender earthy shiitake mushrooms in a tasty oyster sauce gravy. The Fish Curry is decent, with fresh firm white dory fish which flakes apart nicely, and tender okra / lady's fingers slices. The Chicken Rice isn't too oily, but nicely fragrant with a slight buttery texture, while the Prawn Crackers have a crisp outside that cracks to reveal the meaty sweet fresh shrimp inside. Overall, very good Chinese cuisine here!
Chinese Cuisine Sample

Chinese Cuisine Sample

 
Dessert Sample

Dessert Sample

 
Full Escape Restaurant & Lounge review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/05/escape-restaurant-lounge-tasting-session.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 24, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $71(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Filipino

While Cafe Calle Real has only been in their current location for about 1 year, their history actually stretches back to July 2006, having moved from Lucky Plaza, to Joo Chiat, before finally settling here in UE BizHub East. Cafe Calle Real is known for its modern Filipino cuisine; while predominantly Filipino, it also incorporates elements of Spanish and Chinese cuisine.
Art

Art

 
Ambience at Cafe Calle Real is colourful and cheerful. Sturdy wooden and metal furnishings, laid out in communal dining style, are in vibrant summer colours, without being garish or tacky. The ample natural light makes the place brightly lit, and the atmosphere can be noisy and bustling with laughter during peak periods. Cafe Calle Real can even set up a buffet line to accomodate events!
Seating

Seating

 
Service at Cafe Calle Real is good. Staff are friendly, polite, and welcoming, greetings diners and having them quickly seated. They display good product knowledge, able to describe how dishes are created. Food is served incredibly quickly, and looking at a full table packed with delicious food is just delightful. I like that staff come around occasionally to check if they're able to clear empty / dirty plates, and will also accede to requests for a change of serving plates.

Food at Cafe Calle Real is modern Filipino cuisine. Having previously visited the Philippines, and tasted the cuisines of both Manila and Cebu, I notice Filipinos prefer strong flavours, centered around savoury, sweet, salty, and sour, with an emphasis on contrast of flavours and counterpoints. At Cafe Calle Real, dishes taste less intense in flavour than normal, making it enjoyable for a wider variety of people. In terms of execution, small elements of Chinese, Indian, or Spanish cuisine have been incorporated into the traditional Filipino dishes. Portions are designed for communal dining, much too large for an individual, and sharing between at least 2 or 3 people is best. Prices are comparable to other cafes, budget about SGD $19 per person for a meal here.

Loved the Lechon De Carajay (SGD $14.80), more commonly known as Lechon Kawali, with its extremely crispy skin and moist, tender meat! Chef says the pork is air-dried for 3 hours, smoked for 1 hour, then roasted for another 2 hours. This results in the skin being taunt, cracking beautifully, yet retains moisture in the meat, making it soft and succulent. Paired with a robust sweet liver sauce, this was easily among the best dishes I tried here. Highly recommended!
Lechon De Carajay

Lechon De Carajay

 
The Kare-Kare (SGD $18.80) is a type of Filipino stew, made of oxtail and beef stomach, along with eggplant / aubergine, string beans, and kai-lan / Chinese kale / Chinese broccoli (a modern ingredient). A thick, savoury sweet peanut sauce is liberally poured over the top, making this dish rich and flavourful! I find the peanut sauce to be milder in flavour than the traditional versions I've tasted, yet the lightness is rather appealing, making it easy to eat. Paired with an intense dried shrimp paste, which you mix in yourself, this creates a new depth of flavour for the dish. Excellent!
Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare

 
It's said, "Sell the sizzle", and that's completely true with the Sizzling Pork Sisig (SGD $12.80). A noisy, sizzling hot plate, filled with egg, minced pork, minced beef, onions, bell peppers / capsicums, coated in pineapple juice, is mixed at the table, releasing a fragrant aroma of meat. Totally appetizing, this savoury salty sweet dish is best paired with rice, and eaten when piping hot. Pure comfort food at its best. Good!
Sizzling Pork Sisig

Sizzling Pork Sisig

 
Full Cafe Calle Real review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/cafe-calle-real-tasting-session.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 20, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $19(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Hawker Centre | Seafood

Opened by MediaCorp actress Felicia Chin in May 2015, Wholly Crab is a seafood eatery specialising in American / Louisiana style seafood boil, where a big bucket of steamed seafood is dumped onto a table for sharing. The difference is in their sauces offered, a variety of Singaporean and Asian flavours that sets it apart from other eateries. The pun-ny name Wholly Crab refers to, in the actress's own words, "a whole crab, or wholeness, like full of love, full of everything", although I imagine some other meanings which shouldn't be repeated in polite company.

Ambience at Wholly Crab is laid-back casual. Both outlets are located in a shared hawker space, as such, much of the ambient lighting, decor, atmosphere, and furniture depends on the location you're at. There usually is ample free seating available, which is modern and decently comfortable, and the general atmosphere is usually bustling. Both outlets are brightly lit and clean, with clear menu displays, though they don't display their seafood openly for hygiene reasons. While you could order takeaway, I find it best to actually dine here on the spot, as their food is best consumed freshly cooked.
Truffle Fries

Truffle Fries

 
Service at Wholly Crab is largely self-service, with ordering, payment, and collection of orders done over the counter. Slightly more service is provided at the 1st outlet at Satay By The Bay, as staff will serve orders to your table. Otherwise, the only engagement with staff occurs when placing your order, or if you interact with them at the stall. I find them knowledgable on the menu, able to describe dishes, as well as make recommendations on the various types of sauces available. I do wish however, that they would provide serviettes or disposable gloves, which is essential when using your hands to eat seafood coated in sauce!

Food at Wholly Crab is all about seafood, focusing on shellfish and crustaceans. Presentation is in the classic seafood boil style, a heap of seafood poured onto the table for communal dining. But taste is largely Asian inspired, with a variety of sauces to coat the seafood, very similar to Chinese style Zi Char in taste. I like that the seafood is fresh and clean-tasting, with portion sizes being medium to large for individuals. Prices at Wholly Crab are very affordable, much lower than prices elsewhere, yet the seafood is of good quality! Budget about SGD $20 per person for a meal, which I feel is reasonable and wallet-friendly.
Love Bucket In Chili Kicap Sauce

Love Bucket In Chili Kicap Sauce

 
The Clams In Original Sauce (SGD $18 / 500g) has a generous portion of fresh, savoury sweet, shell-on clams, served along with soft roasted potatoes, caramelised onions, fragrant garlic cloves, and tender corn kernels. The original sauce, A.K.A. au-naturel, while slightly oily at the bottom of the bucket, allows the rustic, natural taste of each ingredient to shine through.
Clams In Original Sauce

Clams In Original Sauce

 
The Mussels In Original Sauce (SGD $18 / 500g) has a generous portion of fresh, savoury sweet, shell-on mussels, medium in size but meaty! Served along with soft roasted potatoes, caramelised onions, fragrant garlic cloves, and tender corn kernels. Again, the original sauce, while slightly oily, allows the rustic, natural taste of each ingredient to shine through.
Mussels In Original Sauce

Mussels In Original Sauce

 
The Crabs In Kung Pao Sauce (SGD $28 / 500g) has a good portion of crab, mostly the legs and pincers, and the crab meat is fresh, sweet, and tasty. The kung pao sauce is outstanding, savoury, tangy, and sweet, with a slightly spicy heat. Pairs really well with the crab, making it so yummy! Wallet-friendly for the quality too! However, I wish they provided shell cracking utensils, as it's very messy to constantly bite through the crab shell to crack it.
Crabs In Kung Pao Sauce

Crabs In Kung Pao Sauce

 
Full Wholly Crab review: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/wholly-crab.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jan 14, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $20(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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