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springtomorrow
This is springtomorrow . I am a Business Owner & Lifestyle/Food BloggerI like to hang out in City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Tiong Bahru. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Singaporean, Thai are my favorite cuisines. I also love Bakery, Café, Restaurant, Hawker Centre, Coffeeshop and Seafood, Steaks and Grills, Sushi/Sashimi, Dim Sum, Desserts, Soups.
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Categories : American | Fusion | Bars/Lounges

 
Before this bar’s existence in 2010, ‘KPO’ to most people probably referred to the Killiney Post Office that is located next to this bar today within the same building. KPO Cafe Bar is however not named after the post office. It’s located on the junction of Killiney, Penang and Orchard Road, hence the name.
A popular hangout place for the office crowd at dusk, the bar is very strategically located in the heart of town (next to Orchard Central). It not only serves up affordable drinks and the usual pub grub but some Singaporean favourites as well as Western classics.

 
Thinly sliced luncheon meat chips that were deep fried to crisp. What’s not to like? The moment this was placed on our table, a whiff of this household classic was almost impossible to resist. Perfect grub to go with the ice cold beer. Salty, oily and tasted meaty. Totally addictive!

 
Home made potato chips were the best compared to packet ones. These were served fresh, hot and crispy with the right amount of seasoning but this wasn’t all.

 
I loved the wide array of dipping sauces that came with the chips – tomato salsa, chilli sauce, nacho cheese, mustard, mayo and ketchup – so we could experience different flavours within one dish. This would be ideal for sharing in a group especially if everyone has a different preference for dipping sauce – spicy, non-spicy, etc. Kudos!

 
Crispy fried chicken wings that were slightly over cooked and tasted a little bland. I still prefer the ones from Ice Cold Beer and Muddy Murphy’s.

 
Sir Roti John that looked pretty much like our standard hawker fare but this was apparently made with ground wagyu beef. There wasn’t a lot of meat in the egg mixture so I really couldn’t tell the difference in meat quality but it still tasted good nonetheless. “Better than pasar malam’s standard”, said the husband. I would have enjoyed it more if the baguette was toasted longer.

While KPO Cafe Bar is an ideal place to chill out after work over beers and chips, the food are probably not on par with their price tags. Will I return again? Probably not.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Luncheon chips,Potato chips
 
Other Ratings:
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 2  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 2

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Disappointing ramens OK Mar 25, 2014   
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Categories : Japanese | Ramen | Kids-Friendly

One thing that I like about Ajisen Gourmet Town @ NEX is that it houses two of its restaurant brands Ajisen Ramen from Kyushu, Botejyu from Osaka as well as one of its own self-developed brands, Aji-Tei (means ‘a restaurant of tastes’) under one roof so customers can get to savour different types of Japanese cuisine. This food hall runs on a similar concept as the Japanese Gourmet Town at Vivocity.

 
Okos just means ‘okonomiyaki’ in short which is a Japanese savoury pancake with various ingredients. I had previously tried Botejyu’s seafood okos with squids, prawns and scallops at its Liang Court outlet (now closed) some years back and I thought it wasn’t too bad so the husband and I decided to order the pork one to share this time.
If the oko sauce and mayo were perfectly piped on the top of the okos, this would have been a piece of art. While the pancake was just average, it was the sauce mix that really gave it that salty, sweet and savoury flavour. The shredded cabbage inside were crunchy and the portion of thinly sliced tender pork in it was just sufficient.

 
While the noodles were nicely blanched and were firm and chewy to the bite, the broth was quite weak and simply lacked that rich and intense flavour that most good broths would have. I liked the cha shu that was lean but very tender. Sadly, the half egg was hard-boiled rather than soft-boiled.

 
The husband ordered the pork curry ramen as he wanted something spicier but this really wasn’t spicy at all. The broth had a very slight tinge of curry flavour that resembled curry flavoured instant noodles so I thought it was quite artificial. Also, there was a lot of oil floating on the surface that made this quite greasy.

We spent just under $40 inclusive of tea which I didn’t think was worth it as the meal wasn’t satisfying. While I might return for the okos, the ramens are a big no-no for me. Give me my favourite RamenPlay instead.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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A satisfying porridge meal Smile Mar 25, 2014   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Coffeeshop | Porridge/Congee

 
An ex-colleague recommended Tiong Shian years ago and it is still one of the few porridge places that I regularly go to. It specialises in Cantonese-style porridge as well as claypot dishes and one of its signature dishes would be the claypot frog legs which they are famous for. Its main outlet at Chinatown (New Bridge Road) is always bustling with customers, every day and night.
As the husband and I were around the Balestier area, I decided to bring him to the Whampoa outlet to try out the porridge.

 
This is one dish that almost every customer would order. Thinly sliced raw fish drizzled with light soy sauce and sesame oil and topped with fried shallots, sliced red chillies, chopped spring onions and shredded ginger. Such a humble looking dish but packed with a lot of robust flavours. The fish was fresh with a slight crisp to it and it didn’t contain any fishy smell at all. Squeezing the lime over the fish gave it a sharp and refreshing aroma. To eat this, you’d have to combine each mouthful of fish with a bit of every condiment so the different flavours and textures would all explode in your mouth.

 
This is another must-order side dish if you love pig’s large intestines as much as I do. It’s a pity the husband doesn’t really appreciate them much as he doesn’t get to eat them in England. These were braised for a long time so every bite was effortless as they were so soft and tender. Very flavoursome too as the intestines had soaked up the savoury braising liquid. These intestines were all properly cleaned so there wasn’t any unpleasant odour or dirty residue.

 
I’d normally go for their Mixed Porridge which consisted of a generous portion of ingredients such as sliced pork, minced pork balls, liver, intestines (both fried and poached) and cuttlefish that were cooked to perfect tenderness. I loved the consistency of the rice porridge as it wasn’t too watery. The rice grains had disintegrated slightly so the porridge remained fairly thick.

 
The husband opted for the pork porridge that came with sliced pork, minced pork balls and liver. It tasted just like the Mixed Porridge so the only difference was in the ingredients.
Both porridges were not heavily seasoned so we could just adjust the taste with additional pepper or light soy sauce to our preferences.

The husband thought the porridge wasn’t spectacular as it was just like any other ordinary porridge that he could get from the hawker centre but I beg to differ. This was one of the few better tasting ones out there. Maybe I am just fussy when it comes to porridge but I can easily return again to try out the other porridges plus the side dishes are just hard to resist.

For full review and pictures, please visit http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/03/09/tiong-shian-porridge-centre/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Raw Fish,Lou Ta Chang,Mixed Porridge
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 2  |  
Price
 4

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Awesome pad thai salad Smile Mar 20, 2014   (Related Review)
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Categories : Korean | Bakery | Desserts and Cakes | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads

 
The green paper label on top was actually meant for the sandwiches but they still used it for the pad thais. Weird.
Anyway this just looked like an awesome fiesta. Big, crunchy-looking fresh prawns, shredded chicken breast with coarsely chopped peanuts, assorted vegetables, rice noodles and sauce in a separate container so it wouldn’t get soggy.
Pad Thai

Pad Thai

 
I poured all the sauce over the ingredients, squeezed the lime wedge over and gave it a good toss. Looked so healthy and mouth-watering!
Every mouthful was like a myriad of flavours. Sweet, sharp, spicy, bitter and nutty – all perfectly harmonised. Even the textures blew me away from the crispy lettuce, succulent prawns, firm noodles, tender chicken to the crunchy peanuts.
This is probably the westernised version of the same Thai dish as it really tasted more like a chilled rice noodle salad than an authentic stir fried pad thai but it was good on its own though it was in a different style. If you’re seeking out meal options but can’t get a seat during the peak hours, this is one good alternative to consider that you can pack to go.

For full review and pictures, please visit http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/03/13/paris-baguette-with-food-to-go/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pad Thai
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Weekday Hi-Tea Buffet OK Mar 20, 2014   
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Categories : Beijing

One of the perks of not having to work on a weekday is to be able to enjoy a peaceful afternoon high tea, away from the bustling weekend crowd. I had been to Lao Beijing for their weekend hi-tea buffet 3-4 years back and though the spread wasn’t spectacular, it was good enough for me as it had everything that I wanted. I decided to revisit the restaurant to check out its weekday buffet menu.

 
Its weekday hi-tea buffet is priced at $13.80++ per adult with more than 20 items to feast on. While appetisers, soup, dim sum and desserts were laid out on an unappealing buffet set up for self service, the xiao long bao (steamed meat buns), noodles and dumplings would have to be ordered separately which was good so the latter would be made upon order and served fresh and hot.

 
This actually tasted more soury than spicy with a strong vinegary flavour but I quite liked it because it could ignite my senses. The textures of the crunchy bamboo shoots and tender shiitake mushrooms made great accompaniments but it would be better if the soup was made less starchy.

 
The Beijing-style Appetising Cucumber was just standard pickled cucumbers. The Stewed Peanuts were tender and flavourful but still not the best I had. The Sliced Beancurd Skin looked like beef tripe at first glance but I liked its firm and slightly chewy texture which was like eating cuttlefish. The Fried Noodles was average, nothing to rave about.

 
The sliced pork with garlic sauce was my favourite among all appetisers. Thinly sliced tender pork belly blanched and marinated in a rich, garlicky sauce that wasn’t too overwhelming. Not greasy at all and in fact, the layers of fat on the pork belly tasted crunchy.

 
The Beijing-style ‘Shao Mai’ was more meaty as compared to the Cantonese ones with more crunch from whole prawns, hence each morsel was quite heavy and dense and I got sick of it just after 1 or 2 pieces. The Special Fried Pancake was a little hard and dry on the outside but the inside was juicy with meat and chives. The rest of the fried items were just greasy and boring so skip them if you can.

 
One of my long-time favourites because these are cooked in boiling water and are non-greasy. These Beijing-style dumplings had thicker skin as compared to our local wantons or sui kows but I loved the combination of the pork and cabbage filling which was well marinated. I would dip each jiao zi into black vinegar and eat with shredded ginger. Heavenly.

 
Their Xiao Long Bao were made to order so you’d have to wait for this to be served. But it was worth it because these buns were steaming hot when they arrived on my table and it was just a joy to see how much meat juice each parcel contained. It would ooze liquid with each bite. Delicious.

For full review and pictures, please visit http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/03/11/weekday-hi-tea-buffet-lao-beijing-novena-square/
Supplementary Information:
While the high tea buffet wasn’t spectacular, it was still a decent meal for the price paid. It’s just affordably cheap. The LBJ outlet at Orchard Central offers lunch and dinner buffets too so that might be something new to check out next time.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Sliced Pork with Garlic Sauce,Pork and Cabbage Jiaozi,Zha Jiang Mian
 
Spending per head: Approximately $16(Tea)

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

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