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Categories : Thai | Restaurant

Founded in 1999 by Ms. Suchana Swangsrisuthikul, Jai Thai is a humble casual eatery that serves affordable, tasty, and authentic Thai cuisine, passed down from her family. Among the most value for money Thai restaurants in Singapore, Jai Thai is popular both for its cheap prices, as well as its wide variety of traditional Thai food, made with fresh ingredients. With 4 outlets across Singapore and a catering service, Jai Thai is a good place for everyday dining, though not everything is consistently executed across their stalls.

Ambience at Jai Thai is their weakest point, with brightly lit but small seating areas, cramped with basic but functional cushioned wooden chairs, sturdy wooden tables, and hard wooden booths. There is minimal decor on the bare walls, and all outlets show signs of aging, be it peeling floor paint or aged yellow walls. The headquarters and catering outlet at Clover Way in the Marymount area has the most interior seating, while the Purvis Street outlet in the Bras Basah area is the only outlet with al-fresco outdoor seating.

Service at Jai Thai is decent. The mainly Thai staff can converse well in English, and are friendly and welcoming. They offer table side service, though you can also choose to self-service. Staff can provide basic descriptions of dishes if asked, though engagement is minimal. Orders are fulfilled very quickly, usually less than 10 minutes of waiting time even during peak periods. However, staff are not so quick to clear away empty / dirty plates or tables. I also find it somewhat difficult to attract their attention, and resorted to self-service on a few occasions. However, they display good service recovery skills.

Food at Jai Thai is authentic Thailand cuisine, with each dish being tasty, and a complex mix of flavours; sweet, sour, savoury, salty, or spicy. The variety on the menu is extensive, almost like you're visiting Bangkok, with dishes from all over the country. However, I also notice small variations in the menu options and pricing from outlet to outlet. Generally, food here is tasty with bold flavours, with portions nicely sized in small, medium, or large. Prices are affordable and wallet-friendly, making it great even for everyday casual dining. Budget about SGD $17 per person for a full meal here, or SGD $8 for an individual set meal.

The Mango Salad (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) here hits all the right notes of taste; sweet, sour, savoury, spicy, though it's not as intense in flavour as other versions. You can taste the layers; crunchy carrots, tender mango, sharp onions, crushed peanuts, prawn paste, making this dish a delightful combination. Good!
Mango Salad

Mango Salad

 
The fiery Tom Yum Soup Chili Paste With Prawn (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) is no laughing matter, because the chili burn hits you immediately, and continues to build with every spoonful. Yet, you can still taste the floral essence of lemongrass and ginger within, making this savoury spicy broth / soup delicious! The fresh, meaty, deshelled prawns were decent, with the small bowl featuring 6 prawns. Recommended to pair with a cool drink!
Tom Yum Soup Chili Paste With Prawn

Tom Yum Soup Chili Paste With Prawn

 
Love the authentic Thailand Green Curry Chicken (SGD $6 / $9 / $12), with its smooth, floral, herb flavour within the green curry. A generous portion of tender chicken chunks and pea eggplant / aubergine complete this dish, which pairs well with rice. Completely delicious!
Green Curry Chicken

Green Curry Chicken

 
Full Jai Thai review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/jai-thai.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 10, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $17(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 1  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes | Burgers and Sandwiches

Hidden away in the area off Portsdown Road, within the Infinite Studios building, is the 3 year old Revolution Coffee. Founded in January 2013 by Ajie Pramana, Revolution Coffee is a quaint, cozy cafe, specialising in handcrafted speciality coffee, and rustic, casual Australian style food. Inspired by the cafes of Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, the secluded location of Revolution Coffee is its biggest drawback, though there is a shuttle bus service from One-North MRT station.

Ambience at Revolution Coffee is cozy, rustic, and unpretentious. An eclectic mix of rustic wooden furniture lines the spacious but dimly lit place, with beer crates propping up the tables. A centerpiece light fixture hangs overhead, while a small booth area boasts eaye-catching wall mural art by Singaporean grafitti artist Samantha Lo, better known as SKLO, or Sticker Lady. The aroma of roasting coffee perfumes the air, while the small but attractive display of daily cakes and pastries draws the eye with their bright colours.

Service at Revolution Coffee is partial self-service, with ordering and payment done over the counter, though staff will serve orders to your table. I find staff to be chirpy, friendly, and welcoming, with decent product knowledge on the menu and daily items. They're able to describe the various types of coffee beans used here, which is important. Beyond the friendliness of staff, there is little else memorable about the service, but it's of a decent, acceptable level for a cafe.

Food at Revolution Coffee is Australian / British / Western style, focusing on sandwiches, salads, pasta, desserts, and breakfast / brunch dishes. The menu was developed by chef Shen Tan, formerly of the now-defunct Wok & Barrel. Of particular note is their baked items, all freshly made and baked in-house daily! Portions are fairly large, and suitable for sharing, while prices are affordable. Budget about SGD $20 per person for a meal with drinks and desserts here. As for coffee, they now offer more than just the Single Origin brand, expanding to include coffee beans from Smitten Coffee and the Gentlemen's Coffee Company.

The best drink we had here was the Iced Cafe Mocha (SGD $6.50), with its deep, rich, robust flavour of coffee and chocolate. Nicely sweet without being cloying, yet intense in the aroma of roasted coffee beans. Highly recommended!
Iced Cafe Mocha

Iced Cafe Mocha

 
Made with a double shot of espresso, the Cold Brew Coffee (SGD $7.50) is naturally higher in acidity and bitterness, yet the texture is refreshing and velvety smooth. Strong in body, this makes a great pick-me-up on a hot sunny day!
Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

 
The home baked Banana Bread (SGD $4.50) was so good! Much denser and smooth in texture compared to other versions, it has a nice fruity sweetness from the bananas, and paired with the refreshing yoghurt dip, it's really delightful. Totally unstoppable. Highly recommended!
Banana Bread

Banana Bread

 
Full Revolution Coffee review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/revolution-coffee.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 05, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $20(Lunch)

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

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A young adventurer, desiring true knowledge, undertakes an arduous, time-consuming journey to a faraway shrine. Hidden away in a quiet part of the world, the shrine is said to have many ancient artifacts, and within, an old master, wise and learned, who imparts secrets to worthy apprentices. Such is the feeling when visiting Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee.
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee Exterior

Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee Exterior

 
The story of Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee begins in the 1960s, with a young Mr. Tan Tiong Hoe, then an eager padawan himself, passionate about the coffee bean, and seeking to perfect the ultimate cup of gourmet coffee. From humble beginnings roasting his own coffee beans, he gradually moved on to packaging and supplying his coffee beans to coffee shops and cafes across Singapore. Today, with over half a century of experience, Mr. Tan Tiong Hoe is able to evaluate a cup of coffee, and even coffee beans, just by looking at it!

Ambience at Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee is like a shrine, or museum, to coffee. Sacks of coffee beans from all over the world line the cluttered shelves in the small place, alongside coffee percolators, from ancient models to sparkling new models. Quotes about coffee are scrawled on the walls, while warm lighting illuminates the small wooden furniture in the cramped seating area. The place smells distinctly of roasted coffee beans, and just next door, you can even watch them process it! And they also provide free wifi!
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee Interior

Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee Interior

 
Service at Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee is largely self-service, with ordering and payment done over the counter, though staff will serve orders to your table. What truely stands out is the staff's product knowledge on coffee, these are eager students and passionate coffee disciples of Mr. Tan Tiong Hoe, able to not only describe flavours of the coffee to you, but able to create and roast their own blends of coffee! The guru himself, Mr. Tan Tiong Hoe is a walking encyclopedia of coffee knowledge, only dispensing his wisdom to the worthy who pass his test.
Hands In Frame

Hands In Frame

 
Food at Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee is practically non-existent, with only a small selection of cakes and desserts. They barely even have any drinks beyond water, tea, and of course, coffee. You visit Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee only for the coffee, but my gosh, what excellent coffee it is. Coffee blends from all over the world are available, each with its own unique story, history, roasting process, and flavour. Portions are sized for individuals, and prices are more affordable / cheaper than other places, plus, the coffee is of a much higher quality here, as each step of the brewing process is accurately controlled.
Piccolo Latte

Piccolo Latte

 
Full Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/tiong-hoe-specialty-coffee.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 02, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $5(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Categories : Japanese

Founded in December 2010, Box N Sticks is a home-styled Japanese Izakaya, an informal, after work, casual drinks and tapas place. This hole-in-the-wall shop is incredibly popular, Box N Sticks is typically crowded most evenings! They're known for their wide variety of Japanese alcohol, as well as made to order small bites from the kitchen team headed up by Chef Bram Lim.

Ambience at Box N Sticks resembles the traditional izakaya / kushiyaki bars of urban Tokyo, in the Kanto region of Japan. The small, cramped, dimly lit interior has functional, but not too comfortable, wooden furniture packed closely together. There is a sense of street chaos here, traditional lanterns and knick knacks line the wall, colourful flags strung across the ceiling, faux trees sit in the corners, while the open kitchen is designed to resemble a street side stall. The place is noisy and bustling, transporting diners to the back alleys of urban city life in Japan.
Nine Tailed Fox

Nine Tailed Fox

 
Service at Box N Sticks is good. Staff are courteous and friendly, quick to greet and seat guests upon entry. They display good product knowledge, able to briefly describe the menu, as well as individual dishes if asked. Waiting time for orders is longer than usual, about 15 - 20 minutes or so, as food is only prepared upon order. I note that staff are efficient, quick to clear away empty / dirty tables or plates. The tableside service is good as well, upon serving, staff will help to arrange the table for plates, as well as inform diners the best way to consume each dish.

Food at Box N Sticks is all about Japanese cuisine. As their name suggests, lunch is mainly bento boxes set meals, while dinner is kushiyaki skewers and drinks. As a tapas / snack place, their small plates are suitable for both individual or communal dining, with decent portion sizes. I find taste of their food to be delicious, each bite has good flavour, and you can tell they've put effort into perfecting each dish. Prices are slightly more expensive than elsewhere, so be prepared to splurge if dining here. Budget about SGD $40 per person for a decent meal with 1 drink.

The Umeshu Wakayama San-Choku (SGD $8) is a sweet, slightly citrus, ume plum sake, served chilled. Love the refreshing, sweet, tangy taste! It can be served as either an aperitif or a digestif.
Umeshu Wakayama San-Choku

Umeshu Wakayama San-Choku

 
Absolutely loved the unique Sweet Potato Koroke (SGD $4), with its crisp, breaded exterior, and soft, sweet, grainy interior! Made with a vibrant purple Okinawan sweet potato, it's served with a tangy sour plum and mayonnaise dipping sauce. Highly recommended!
Sweet Potato Koroke

Sweet Potato Koroke

 
Full Box N Sticks review: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/box-n-sticks.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jan 24, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $40(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Sichuan

Named after the Chongqing region of Southwest China, Chong Qing Grilled Fish specialises in Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan cuisine, in particular, a charcoal grilled fish served in a spicy mala gravy, which is their signature dish. Founded in April 2010, Chong Qing Grilled Fish has become a popular late-night haunt for traditional Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan food.

Ambience at Chong Qing Grilled Fish is brightly lit and clean, though the sturdy dark wooden furniture is closely packed to maximise seating. As a result, the place is noisy and bustling, especially if guests start speaking really loudly. Ventilation is average, with only a faint smell of cooking that sticks to your clothing. There's minimal decor, the place isn't designed for aesthetics, and is rather functional in form. At least there's pretty paintings on the walls, of auspicious koi fish.
Beer Tsingtao

Beer Tsingtao

 
Service at Chong Qing Grilled Fish is pretty good. While staff mostly converse in Chinese Mandarin, at least they are friendly, courteous, and efficient. However, I have seen the senior staff conversing with non-Chinese diners / tourists in fluent English. The menu has English descriptions, and pointing at dishes works too. I note that staff are quick to seat diners and take orders, as well as clear empty / dirty tables or plates. Am actually rather surprised that the service is above average.

Food at Chong Qing Grilled Fish consists mainly of traditional Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan cuisine. The menu is small but with good variety, and the majority of food is naturally savoury, salty, and spicy. Portions are medium large, plated for sharing, and communal dining is highly encouraged. Prices are reasonable for individual dishes, but expensive for add-on options, budget about SGD $27 per person for a decent meal here.

The Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken (SGD $6.80) is a popular Sichuan appetizer, featuring chilled poached chicken in a spicy, oily gravy. This classic Chinese dish has tender, succulent chicken meat that is clean tasting, fresh, and sweet, while the gravy; fragrant with garlic, chili, and peppercorn; has a slow, lingering burn. Cool down with the chilled, crunchy slices of cucumber plated beneath! Highly recommended!
Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken

Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken

 
The Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $45.60) is the signature dish here. The fresh, meaty, seabass fish with sweet, succulent white meat has been charcoal grilled, making the skin savoury salty, with a hint of smoky flavour. It's then served in a oily, spicy mala gravy, along with your choice of optional add-on ingredients. I got this with enoki mushroom and frozen beancurd, which soaks up the gravy beautifully.
Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd

Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd

 
Full Chong Qing Grilled Fish review: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/chong-qing-grilled-fish.html

 
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jan 23, 2016 

Spending per head: Approximately $27(Dinner)

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

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