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roundtumtums
This is roundtumtums living in Hougang/Kovan. I work in Alexandra. I like to hang out in Jalan Besar, Hougang/Kovan, Alexandra. Japanese, Thai, Taiwanese are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café, Food Court, Street Food and Chinese Soup, Sushi/Sashimi, Pasta.
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Categories : Coffeeshop | Zi Char

Looking for cheap and good dinner place to bring your overseas friends to? Look no further cause today I am going to introduce one of my favorite go-to places when I have foreign colleagues in town!

Two Chefs Eating Place started in Commonwealth Crescent before opening a 2nd outlet at Sin Ming Ave(Bishan). The Commonwealth outlet is still the most popular one, so I decided to head there instead! Brought my family out for dinner and we happily order quite a few dishes.
DRUNKEN COCKLES

DRUNKEN COCKLES

 
You will see this signature dish popping up on different tables as an appertiser before the meal. Served cold and lightly cooked, this is a dish which people are usually aware off due to its half raw nature. However, dont shy away from it cause it is SO FREAKING YUMMY that you see a non-cockle eating me happily slurping the flesh of the shells!

Tangy sour and crazy fragrant from the ginger, chilli and spring onions, it is no wonder a signature dish at this eating place.

SGD 6
SPINACH WITH 3 EGG

SPINACH WITH 3 EGG

 
This was bland and watery. Definitely not a recommended item.
HERBAL CHICKEN SOUP

HERBAL CHICKEN SOUP

 
It was a soup which we almost didn’t order. Lucky we did cause it was so flavoursome! The chicken was so tender soft that the meat can easily break apart when I was scooping the soup. With a strong herbal after-taste, you will savor each bowl with especially during this rainy season.

SGD 8
GOLDEN MUSHROOM BEANCURD

GOLDEN MUSHROOM BEANCURD

 
One of the favourites that nigh, drench your rice with the savory brown sauce cooked with soft bean curd and golden mushroom and you will be sure to slurp up every single bit of this dish.

SGD 8 (small)
SIN CHOW BEE HOON

SIN CHOW BEE HOON

 
My dad, king of sensitive tastebuds love the beehoon even though I found it tasteless. He claim it has the “wor hei” burnt wok smell which makes it extra fragrant. I dont really fancy this dish, but they are definitely not stingy with the ingredients!

SGD 7 (Medium Size)

BUTTER PORK RIBS

The picture which I had of the dish was so blur but so yummy that I just have to mention about it! Soft slices of spare ribs are coated with sweet milk powder, I bet the little kids at the table will be sure to love this dish!

SGD 10

VERDICT

Definitely a great place to head to for family dinner with affordable offerings and great dishes. You would want to be there before 7pm where the dinner crowds starts to form a queue. The queue usually clears quite fast and the moment your butt is planted on your seat, the dishes will materialize in front you of you within 15 minutes!

Read more reviews at RoundTumTums.com
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Butter Pork Ribs,Drunken Cocklrd,Golden Mushroom Beancurd
 
Spending per head: Approximately $12(Dinner)

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

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Cheap and tasty food Smile Feb 14, 2014   
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Categories : Italian | Coffeeshop | Pasta | Steaks and Grills

Vintage Chef is nested in between HDB blocks and braddell road. It isn’t particularly hard to get there but it needs some familiarisation for driverssmile

The decor of the place wasn’t particularly attractive, where there were 2 huge tomato sauce cans placed next to the cashier and a smattering of pails of dirty dishes near to the store front. Not really the most welcoming sight to be honest.
Pork Piccata

Pork Piccata

 
Generous in amount, It was nicely flavoured and beautifully plated with vegetable garnish top it off. It taste as good as it looks, though the pork was slightly over-cook which made it a little tough to chew on.

SGD 8.00
PAN- SEARED FISH WITH LEMON AND WHITE WINE SAUCE

PAN- SEARED FISH WITH LEMON AND WHITE WINE SAUCE

 
Cooked till tender soft with not a hint of dryness, the texture of this dish was pretty good. However it tasted a little bland, in which a little more lemon juice could be added to the sauce. Compared to the pork piccata, this dish turns out a little lacklustre.

SGD 5.50

VERDICT

Vintage Chef seems to be taking the route which the ever- successful Aston and Saveur has tread before. Setting up shop at a coffee shop serving quality western food at low affordable prices. However Aston is known for their consistency, well flavoured food and quick turn around time for their dishes. This is something which I feel Vintage Chef still need to work on. There were only 2 pax before me but it probably took 15-20 mins before the food was served.

Although I don’t really get the “Italian Feel” from Vintage Chef, they do serve up a pretty good, and really affordable western food for a kopitiam stall. Still a place worth visiting, I would probably be back the next time to try out their pasta dishes!

Read more reviews at RoundTumTums.com
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pork Piccata
 
Spending per head: Approximately $7(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 5

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A true hidden find Smile Feb 14, 2014   
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Categories : Café

I like to think that cafes which are usually out of the way from the main roads with few human traffic is considered “Hidden Finds”.

Well that was until I learn about Backstage cafe which is located in a “bird dont lay egg” ulu like mad location that I am pretty sure if I ever try driving there without my GPS, I will be hopelessly lost. Despite that, it was a foodie trip which I dont regret and definitely look to be heading there often in future for the excellent food served up to us that day.

 
Once you step in, you will be overwhelmed by how spacious the cafe is, emitting a welcoming and casual vibe. I like how the service counter is right in the middle of the restaurant so that we can see the barristers busy at work, serving up their artful creations to eager hungry customers. Tall ceiling, warm lightning, sofa and table seatings, the Backstage cafe is definitely a cozy spot for dinners with friends.

Given the out of the way location, this would also be a nice spot for those who are seeking a quiet spot for their afternoon coffee and readings.
MOCHA & CAPPUCINO

MOCHA & CAPPUCINO

 
With Papa Palheta supplying the coffee beans, the cappuccino and mocha was robust and balanced in flavour. Accompanied with delicate latte art, I am sure this pretty drink will definitely make anyone’s day better!
SGD 4
SIGNATURE PORK CHOP

SIGNATURE PORK CHOP

 
It is no surprise that this was one of the signature dishes at Backstage Cafe,. Thick rich peppery sauce was drenched all across the tender soft meat which doesn’t come with the “porky smell”. The sundried tomato butter also adds on a rich flavour onto the meat.

To make the meal less sinful, equally yummy buttered mash potatoes and well seasoned sauteed vegetables were served on the side.
SGD 18
CHILLI CRAB PANINI

CHILLI CRAB PANINI

 
Spicy sweet crab meat fillings were sandwiched in between thick slices of bread which helps mute the spiciness of the dish. The chunky mash potatoes drenched in brown sauce was velvety in texture and definitely not to be missed. Another recommended dish, especially for lovers of spicy fiery flavours!
SGD 10
SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

 
Boy did these set our tongues on fire! I had to gulp water down after each bite case it was just so crazy spicy! Definitely shiok to enjoy with some icy cold beer or as a snack. If you are having the buffalo wings, try not to order with other spicy items, Because we were so spiced up by the Chilli Crab Panini, this one came as a overkill for us.

VERDICT

Definitely a place worth going back, it is rare to find a place which serves great food in such generous portions! For weekdays, set lunch menus are available from 11am – 3pm and they are offering set meals as low as $9!

Great service with friendly smiles, I definitely see myself heading there over during one of the Saturdays to perhaps try out their desserts and all day breakfast menu and chicken roulade which was sold out during my visit. If only they are opened on Sundays where I have the time to gather my friends for brunch.

smile
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Recommended Dish(es):  SIGNATURE PORK CHOP,CHILLI CRAB PANINI
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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Cozy place with comfort food Smile Feb 14, 2014   
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Categories : Italian | Pasta | Seafood

 
Taking up quite a substantial space in Vivocity, the place gives off an extremely comfortable vibe with the red leather couches, wooden seats, cushy armchairs and metal rivet tables. Natural sunlight brighten up the place through the ceiling high glass windows, while metal overhanging orange lamps gave it somewhat of a vintage flair which I like.

 
I was seated near the the open kitchen where I can see the bustling activities as orders from the lunch crowd stream in demanding for dishes of Italian food fare. Best spot in the restaurant if you are having awkward conversations with your first date, and you can just go “Oh look at how they are plating the spaghetti! “
MEATBALL SPAGHETTI

MEATBALL SPAGHETTI

 
The tender meatballs were served with a light pink centre and I like the addition of vegetables to the dish, giving it a healthier spin. If there is one thing I would have to pick at, it would be that the handmade spaghetti was a little mushy from being overcooked. Still a generous dish which will be able to fill a grown man up!

SGD 29.90
CAPPUCCINO

CAPPUCCINO

 
Order a cup of Cappuccino that turned out rather thin, so I would give this a miss.
WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO

WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO

 
In my mind, I was expecting a grayish looking dish cause truffle = mushroom? So naive me was caught by surprise upon seeing the bed of white rice drizzled with truffle oil and scattering of truffle bits around this dish.

The flavors in this dish lightly dance over your senses instead of overpowering it, prevent the dish from being too “jelat”. However I don’t particularly fancy the rice which has a slight bite to it. it gives me a feeling as if it was uncooked. Usual mushy sticky short grain rice for me!

Objectively, it is a recommended dish to order as my colleague did love the entire dishsmile

SGD 16 (small) / SGD 24.50

VERDICT

Despite the small amount of dishes which I tried at the establishment, the great service and food will definitely see me making a second trip. Spending SGD 30 per head, it will probably not be a common weekday lunch stopover, but definitely one for gatherings and celebrations.

Even though I haven’t tried this before, but I have long heard Jool’s Favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli; a dish which Jamie Oliver prepared for his wife’s pregnancy cravings. There are many good reviews from my friends around me, it will probably be a dish I would try the next time!

smile
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Recommended Dish(es):  WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO
 
Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Hotel

Located within Hotel Re! a local boutique hotel, the restaurant is located next to the check in counters, and was surprisingly small. It looks more like a cafe than a restaurant as the name suggest.

 
There isnt much for a crowd at the restaurant despite being a weekend night, however I did notice that most of them werent even hotel patrons. So what is so great about this restaurant that we can see people travelling up to Outram just to dine here?

We ordered a starter and 2 mains and it was a good choice cause we were stuffed full at the end of the meal!
CAESAR SALAD WITH SMOKED SALMON

CAESAR SALAD WITH SMOKED SALMON

 
Ample amount of smoked salmon atop a well dressed vegetables, this caesar salad is a generous starter to have while waiting for the mains.

SGD 13.80
SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

 
SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

 
If you are in the mood for something a little extravagant, I would recommend the laksa which happpens to be the signature dish of ReFill! It comes in a huge portion with baby abalone, prawns and scallops as accompanying ingredients; and it will definitely fill you right up!
The price tag is definitely not the cheapest if compared to Katong Laksa, and the taste is definitely milder if compared to the latter. It would be a good choice for those who wants something less spicy and more rich in coconut flavour.

SGD 23.80
SALMON & CHEESE SAUSAGE LINGUINE WITH CRAYFISH SAUCE

SALMON & CHEESE SAUSAGE LINGUINE WITH CRAYFISH SAUCE

 
Crayfish sauce is something which I am hearing for the first time, and it was a sauce that came rich in seafood flavour. The entire dish is definitely well flavoured however it lacks a little wow factor. I wasnt amazed by the taste to see myself shelving out the same amount of money again for it. in addition to that, it also came a little oily, which didn’t tickle my fancy.

SGD 22.80

***

VERDICT

The dishes at Re!Fill are definitely generous enough to fill you up without ordering sides. The tastes are not too bad however there are better alternatives for western food dining for the same price range. It would be a great place to head to if you are there for a staycation, but I wouldnt see myself heading up to ReFill! for any of the dishes in particular, unless I am in the mood for atas laksa.

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Recommended Dish(es):  SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA
 
Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

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

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